Video Editing

Copying VHS tape to digital video

This process requires you to play a VHS tape through the video inputs of a camcorder, through the digital output of the camcorder and then through the digital input of our computer system. We use Adobe Premiere to capture the digital video.

Because this is a rare process, the AV cables are probably not already connected in our AV room, so you may need to connect cables to the back of the VCR. For assistance, see the CRL lab technicians. All cables should be hanging from the video cart in the AV room. If they are missing, please contact the CRL lab technicians.

Log into the computer

You should log into the computer first. If the computer is not operational, you won't be able to get very far with this procedure. If you do not have a folder on the D: drive, create one in advance. You will be using Adobe Premiere to capture the video. When you use Premiere for the first time, it will ask for a location of your video. Choose your folder that you created on the D: drive, select the default NTSC DV project, and name your project dv-ntsc.

Connect the cables

Locate the AV cable that has a long 3.5 MM plug on one end and three RCA plugs (white-red-yellow) on the other end. Connect the cable as shown. Use the bottom set of connectors on the back of the VCR.

Locate the Firewire cable (hanging on the equipment rack) and connect it to the DV output of the camcorder .

Plug in the power adapter for the camcorder.

Set up the camcorder

Set the camcorder to PLAY (VCR) mode.

Set the POWER switch to PLAY (VCR) and the TAPE/CARD switch to .

Pop out the video display on the camcorder.

Press the MENU button to open the menu.

Turn the SET dial to select VCR SETUP and press the SET dial.

Turn the SET dial to select AV->DV OUT ... ON and press the SET dial.

Turn the SET dial to select AUDIO SETUP and press the SET dial.

Turn the SET dial to select 16-bit and press the SET dial.

Press the MENU button to close the menu.

Record your video

Turn on the VCR and insert your tape. Press STOP if is starts playing. Back in Premiere, press F5 to open the capture window. You should see a blue screen. If not, recheck all your connections. If you still don't see a blue screen, you won't be able to capture any video. See the CRL technicians for help.

Press PLAY on the VCR. Before the video segment starts playing, press the RECORD button in the capture window of Adobe Premiere. If you didn't hit the RECORD button in time, rewind the tape a bit and then press the RECORD button before your video segment appears. You can always crop out video later. While recording, you will see an indication that video frames are being captured, and there is also an indication of how much free space/time there is on the hard disk. If you see an indication of dropped frames while recording, this may indicate a problem with the tape. This is not ideal, and your captured video could be damaged. Consult the CRL technicians for assistance in this case.

When finished recording, hit the Esc key in the Premiere capture window and save your clip. You will find that AVI video clip in the same folder where you saved your project file. You should copy this to another location as soon as possible to free up disk space for more recording. Again, consult the CRL lab technicians for details on how to move or transcode your video files in order to free up disk space.

Clean up

When finished, please disconnect all cables, switch the camcorder to the OFF position and hang the video cables on the AV cart where you found them. Store the camcorder and the power cable where you found them. Also, don't forget to log off the computer before leaving.