What Is a Video Digitizer?

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A video digitizer is either software or hardware that is attached to or installed on a computer that converts film footage to a digital file, which can then be edited and enhanced on the computer. Understand the technology behind video digitizing with information from the executive producer of a video production company in this free video on digital video.

Part of the Video Series: Digital Video Production
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Video Transcript

I'm Christopher Rokosz, actor, director, producer. And we're discussing, what a video digitizer is. Well, a video digitizer can be both hardware, software, and a position. So let me a explain to you a little bit, what it is. Let's say that you have your footage, it's either on film, whether it be 8 millimeter, 35 millimeter, maybe you have it on VHS, super VHS, Hi-8 you name it, but as long as it's not a digital media, or on tape, in any way, shape, or form, if you can see it, smell it, taste it, touch it, or pass it through your lower intestine, it's not digitized. You need a video digitizer. And what that is, again is either software, or hardware, that you can attach, or install into your computer, and then you hook up your computer to it, or you hook up your camera and video source, or deck to it. So let's just say we've got some old VHS tapes, and we edit it on a modern NLE or non linear editing system. Well in order for it to get, well it's got to get into the computer, and if you look closely your computer does not have a VHS hole in it, you can press it into the DVD port as much as you want, it's not going to help, we've got to digitize it. So you get your VTR deck out, you hook up your camera to the computer, and it's got to go in, with either a specialty cord, with either fire wire, USB, you can even component, and composite, and that's what the video digitizer will have on it. So, if you have to get some hardware, or an expansion card as a video digitizer, it will have your, either your BNC or your RCA connections into it, to allow you to put in your cables, and simply record, or capture it, using your computer, and then you just simply press play on your VTR deck, so the information in real time gets digitized, or turned into digital information so it can be edited on a computer. Now, it may be an internal piece of software because you're going to go with a more modern camera, you're going to use fire wire, or USB. You don't need a card, at least an exterior IO card, or in and out card to plug into. So you just use your piece of software. Let's say you're using an Adobe product or a Final Cut Pro. If you're using Apple, that has a digitizer built into it, and a converter built right into it. So basically a digitizer is anything that's going to take an analog signal, and make it digital. And if you're talking about a position, who is a digitizer, it's the dude that takes it from analog to digital. This dude, Christopher Rokosz, we'll see you in Hollywood.


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