How to Use Your PC to Transfer Video Tapes to DVD

You see it in so many homes – including yours. Shelves, stacks, and boxes of old VHS and video tapes we just don’t want to get rid of. They have our favorite episodes of Seinfeld, our treasured home videos, and a backlog of movies recorded from HBO or Showtime that we just never got around to watching. Why Convert VHS to DVD? There are a few problems with keeping these old VHS video tapes: VHS Tapes are Bulky: With VHS tapes, a few hours of video takes up as much space as a book. Converting VHS to DVD means storing the same video content on a small stack of disks – probably taking up less space than just a few of VHS tapes. VHS and Video Tapes Deteriorate and Break: Analog tapes, whether VHS or 8mm cassettes, degrade over time much more rapidly than digital disks. While storing tapes in constant temperature and humidity helps delay deterioration, the longer you wait to transfer video tapes to digital disks the lower the quality will be. Plus, cassette tapes have mechanical moving parts that are more likely to break or malfunction the older they become. VHS Tapes are Obsolete: VHS tapes and players are rapidly going the way of the dinosaur. If you keep waiting to do something with your old video tapes, one day you will find yourself with no way to play or reproduce them. Then you may end up spending big money to pay a professional to salvage your precious home movies. How Do I Convert My Video Tapes to DVD? There are several ways to copy VHS or other video tapes to DVD. If you have a VHS player (or a camcorder) and a component DVD recorder, just connect the output of the VHS player to the input of the DVD recorder and record directly to the DVD. Some of you may even have dual VHS and DVD recorder decks. Most of these have a dubbing function that will make copying the tape to DVD easy and fast. Whether or not you have a DVD recorder to use for copying your tapes, consider using your PC for converting them to DVD. First, if you don’t have a DVD recorder, you probably have a DVD burner on your PC. You can buy the tools needed to use your PC to convert the tapes for much less than you can buy a component DVD recorder. Second, while direct dubbing will copy your tapes, using a PC gives you tremendous power to easily edit and create DVDs you will actually want to watch. Plus, you can add background music and soundtracks. Using a PC to Transfer VHS to Digital is Easy! Using the power of your PC to capture and transfer analog videos to digital DVDs has never been easier. In the past it may have involved buying a video card and opening your PC to install it in an open PCI slot. Next you installed the video card drivers, then you crossed your fingers and hoped it all worked. Now it is almost as easy as plugging in a USB cable. A number of manufacturers provide exactly what you need to make it fast and simple. Just search on-line for “VHS to DVD Converter” or visit your favorite technology store. Comprehensive packages include the hardware and software needed to transfer your old tapes. The software makes it easy to capture and edit the video. The hardware adapter connects your computer’s USB port to the RCA style jacks for video (yellow) and audio (red and white or black) found on...

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How to Print DVD or Video Game Covers

Going through the game of life, often times things get lost or misplaced. Your car keys? Gone. Your MP3 player? Disappeared. Your homework? Dog ate it. Your DVD or video game cases? Missing as well. While we can’t help you find your car keys, MP3 player, or get your homework back; we can help by providing a guide to print your own DVD or video game covers. Let us begin:The following instructions are for Adobe Photoshop: Start up Photoshop and open the cover you downloaded by going to File > Open. Select the cover image. First we need to check the dimensions and resolution of the image by going to Image > Image Size (Alt + I + I). If the image is sized properly, then just cancel out of this. When you are ready to print the cover, go to File > Print with Preview. Click Page Setup to select the correct paper size and orientation. Ensure that you have 8.5×11 (with borderless enabled) or 8.5×14 selected for your paper and you set to the page orientation to landscape. Click Ok to close out of Page Setup. Your image should now appear centered in the middle of your paper in the preview window. Ensure the checkbox for “Scale to Fit Media” is unchecked as the image should already be at the proper size. Click Print to begin printing. If you need a place to download DVD or video game covers, here are some resources that you will find very useful: The Cover Project CD Covers.cc DVD Town You probably have many reasons why you want to print your own video game covers. Maybe you are not happy for the box art that came from the manufacturer, maybe the game didn’t come with a case (such as Wii Sports bundled with the Nintendo Wii game system), or you want to replace those flimsy Nintendo Gameboy Advanced boxes that have been crushed. Whatever the reason, rest assure, printing out a video game cover is just as easy as printing one for a DVD case. Follow the steps below to print a Nintendo Gameboy Advance cover to fit the case of a Nintendo DS game: Scan in the front, back, and side of your GBA box into 3 different images at 300dpi. Trim off the edges of the each of the scanned images. This is to remove any worn edges of the box. Resize the front and back of the boxes to 1535×1370. Clean up the scanned image of the side of the box as this image will be used for the spine of the cover. Resize the spine to 190×1370 and paste the GBA Spine Logo into the image and align it to the very top. Shift your spine image (game logo) around until it looks good. This is a subjective thing and takes a little tweaking. Create an image that is 3260×1370 and copy and paste the previous 3 images into it and align them end to end. Save it with a quality of 10 to 12 and you are done. Here are the dimensions required to print a Nintendo DS cover courtesy of The Cover Project: Front and Back length x height: 1535px(5.117″) x 1370px(4.567″). Spine (middle area) length x height: 190px(0.633″) x 1370px(4.567″). Now that you are ready to do some heavy printing, you need the right equipment and supplies to get the job done. Of course, to make things easier on you, we’ve gone ahead and compiled such a list: Epson Stylus R260 – Not only a inkjet color printer but also has the ability to...

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Beginner’s Guide to Buying DVD Media

In this section our focus is to teach you the following: The Difference Between DVD-R, DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD+RW, DVD-RAM and Other Formats The Firmware of Your Burner and Benefits of Upgrading Your Firmware The “MEDIA ID” for the Blank Media You Have Purchased The Different Surface Types: What Do DVD Media Speeds (i.e. 4X, 8X, Dual Layer, etc.) Mean? How Much Can Be Stored in the Media That You Buy?   1. Difference Between DVD-R,DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-RW, DVD-RAM and Other Formats What format does your burner require? DVD+R, DVD+R DL, DVD-R, DVD+RW, DVD-RW, or DVD-RAM? DVD-R Media: A write-once, recordable format. DVD-R drives can write DVD-R discs, which can be written to only once, as opposed to a DVD-RW drive, which can write and rewrite to RW media multiple times. The Authoring Use Drive (635nm Laser) was introduced in 1998 by Pioneer, and the General Use Format (650nm Laser) was authorized in 2000. DVD-R offers a write-once, read-many storage format akin to CD-R and is used to master DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs. DVD-RW Media: DVD ReWritable. A rewritable DVD format that is similar to DVD+RW, but its capability to work as a random access device is not as good as that of the +RW. DVD-RW has a read-write capacity of 4.7 GB. DVD+R Media: Short for DVD+Recordable, a recordable DVD format similar to a CD-R. A DVD+R can only record data once and then the data becomes permanent on the disc. The disc can not be recorded onto a second time. DVD+R and DVD+RW formats are supported by Philips, Sony, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Ricoh, Yamaha and others. DVD+RW Media: The DVD Plus RW Alliance is a group of companies that includes Philips and Sony. They propose standards for recordable and rewritable DVDs. DVD+R Dual Layer / Double Layer Media: Double Layer DVD+R media has an amazing 8.5GB of storage capacity. This incredible capacity is enough for up to 4 hours of DVD quality video, 16 hours of VHS quality video or over 120 hours of MP3 audio. Compatible with all current DVD video players and DVD-ROM drives as well as new DVD+R DL drives, the disc is ideal for virtually any business or household application. Dual-layer DVD-R media offers genuine advantage over the current single layer 4.7GB DVD. The new dual-layer recordable DVD-R disc allows users to read, write or view almost twice the amount of data that is currently possible with the single layer. The advanced technology means that material can be read or recorded on one layer without affecting the other. There’s no need to flip sides or change discs. DVD-RAM Media: DVD Random Access Memory is a rewritable DVD disc endorsed by Panasonic, Hitachi and Toshiba. It is a cartridge-based, and more recently, bare disc technology for data recording and playback. DVD-RAM bare discs are fragile and do not guarantee data integrity. The first DVD-RAM drives had a capacity of 2.6GB (single-sided) or 5.2GB (double-sided). DVD-RAM Version 2 discs have double-sided 9.4GB discs. DVD-RAM drives typically read DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and CD media. The current installed base of DVD-ROM drives and DVD-Video players cannot read DVD-RAM media. 2. The Firmware of Your Burner and Benefits of Upgrading Your Firmware Before purchasing DVD Media for your burner, find out the firmware version of your burner. Use the program DVD Identifier to find out the the following information: What is the current firmware on your burner? Use DVD Identifier to figure this out. What is firmware? Firmware is the programming instructions contained on a ROM chip within the DVD recorder. This tells the recorder how to respond...

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Tips on Labeling Your CD DVD Discs

DVD/CD Labeling Options We all have discs we haven’t yet labeled. Some of us have just a few; some of us have stacks or mounds or boxes or baskets of them. These collections grow every time we toss a new disc there, after we burn it but before we get around to labeling it. So how do you label a disc anyway? There are some good answers, some bad answers and some gorgeous answers, many of them right here.   Write Here If only you thought of this before! Yes, you can write directly on the disc. And yes, you can ruin the disc and maybe the drive when you do that – here’s how to make it work. Use a Sharpie. Other markers may also work fine, but some may not. Sanford (the makers of Sharpie) tells us that some marker inks can eat into the plastic and may make a disc troublesome, even useless. Sharpie markets a range of markers they offer specifically for use with CD/DVD media, so we’re naming them. Don’t use a ballpoint pen. Don’t use a pencil. Don’t use a crayon. Writing with a ballpoint or pencil can create enough pressure to damage the layer the laser has to scan, making it unreadable. Writing with a crayon can let wax transfer to the drive’s head or mechanism, leaving your disc just fine but your drive useless. The next time you shop for blanks discs (it’s too late for the discs already in that basket), you might want to choose among the Verbatim products with a white area on the label side that makes any printing you do easier to read. For some of us, alas, who can’t read our own writing, writing isn’t much help. As your grade school teacher may have advised (ours did), when you can’t write neatly, print.   Print a Label Overall these days, we find that people who have the gear to burn CDs also tend to have color ink jet printers. (OK, that’s obvious, but please don’t yawn). And certainly there are many products out there that let you print something on your inkjet printer and stick it onto a disc. And of course, of all those products, we like our Verbatim’s own Verbatim Touch-Less Labeling system best. Should you? With our system, you don’t touch the sticky part of the label, you can’t get centering wrong and the label goes down without a wrinkle. That last part is the best part. A wrinkled or off-center label on a disc spinning at high speeds could make it wobble causing playback trouble. But you decide.   Let the Drive Label the Disc HP (in cooperation with Mitsubishi Chemical, Verbatim’s parent company) debuted a neat product early in 2004 (headed for stores by the end of 2004) with a bright way of getting a label to appear from inside the drive that burns the disc. The HP Lightscribe drive cleverly changes the way the burner drives the laser to let it create a silkscreen-quality image on the “flip” (label) side of special, compatible discs. Since Verbatim helped develop the process, you can count on us to offer Lightscribe media for use with those drives.   Print Directly on the Disc Several printer brands – notably Primera, Epson and Casio – offer specialized printers that print right on a disc and don’t use paper. After you are done reading check out the great range of Verbatim printable CD and DVD media for each of these solutions. Primera is best known for its production duplicators (burner plus printer), but they also...

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