How to Use a Capture Card

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A capture card is used to transmit video images onto a computer for digital recording. Its main purposes are to convert analog video to digital and to act as a bridge for computers that cannot connect to standard video cables. Anyone looking to record video from a VCR tape, separate DVD player or game console so they can save and view it on a computer and post it online needs a capture card.

Things You'll Need

  • Video capture card
  • Computer
  • Video cables
  • Video source
  • Connect the capture card to your computer. If this is a PCI card, which looks like a small motherboard, insert it into an available PCI slot on the computer. If you are using an external card, connect it to the computer with the card's built-in USB cable.

  • Attach the card to the video player, game console or other video source you want to record from. You can use a full RCA composite cable with yellow, white and red plugs, or an S-video cable with RCA audio cable (white and red plugs only). Connect the card to the video source's output.

  • Load the CD that came with the card into your computer and install the software on the disc. This software is needed for the computer to recognize the capture card's drivers. The software also includes a media viewing application.

  • Open the media application from the CD on your computer. Some capture cards will work with other programs like Windows Media Player or Quicktime Pro; check the card's manual to find out If you can and want to use one of those applications. Once the program you chose is open, go to its source menu and click on the capture card.

  • Activate your video source; play a video tape or DVD, or load a game into your console. Look for the video image to appear on the application's video screen.

  • Use the console buttons in the application window to record your video as it plays; the Record button usually has a circle on it. Once you are finished recording, go to the application's Edit menu to edit the video with the Cut, Paste and Delete options. Go the File menu to save it as a file.

Tips & Warnings

  • All Macintosh computers will use external capture cards.

References

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