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Transferring videos to your home computer

Naomi de la Torre is freelance writer and stay-at-home-mom with two delightful boys, ages three and six. Naomi has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, is a self-proclaimed salsa diva, and can make a killer octopus ...

Digitally preserve your home videos

Preserve your precious memories so you can share them for generations to come. Learn the basics on how to transfer your family home videos to your computer.

uploading videos to laptop

How to transfer home videos to your PC

In this digital age, technology can change in the blink of an eye. From the birth of one child to the next, you practically have to buy all new gadgets to keep up with current technology. If you are like most of us, you probably have a veritable storehouse of old family videos on VHS, Hi8, Video8 and other outdated media. Want to learn some easy ways to transfer these irreplaceable memories onto your computer so they don’t get lost, while at the same time gaining the opportunity to share your videos with friends on all your favorite social networking sites? We’ll show you how.

SD Flash memory makes transfers easy

If you’re on the up’n’up with all the latest technology, then you probably already own a camcorder with flash memory capability. Transferring videos from your camera is as easy as one-two-three with the SD flash memory card. All you have to do is remove the card, pop it into your flash memory drive in your computer and (boom! ) you’re in business. The software that comes with your camcorder will automatically pop up and lead you through saving your home videos to your hard drive.

Using your USB cable

If your camcorder does not have flash memory, it will likely have a USB cable, which is the second easiest way to transfer your videos to your PC. All you have to do is plug the small end of your USB cable into your camera and the large end into your computer’s USB port. Before you can say “tech-savvy,” you’ll be downloading all your latest films with ease. If you don’t want to use the software from your camcorder, you can always use Windows Live Movie Maker, which is an excellent (and free!) video editing program that is installed on almost all PCs.

Quick Tip

If your camcorder has SD flash memory but your computer does not have an SD drive, you can purchase an SD card reader, which will easily connect to any USB port like this one from Dynex.

Transferring videos from older media

Don’t waste your precious closet space storing up bulky cassette tapes. With a little effort and the right tools, you can transfer them to DVDs or save them directly onto your home computer. If you still have the cables to your old camcorder that used cassette tapes, you can use Roxio Easy VHS to DVD software to transfer video from VHS, Hi8 and Video8 to DVD format. Simply install the software onto your computer, connect the cables between your camcorder and PC and you can begin capturing all your old videos. As an extra bonus, this software allows you to take your videos to the next level by enhancing them with noise reduction, stabilization of shaky videos, color correction and exciting transition effects.

If you don’t have the cables, you can purchase a DVD/VCR combo to convert your old VHS tapes to DVD. Then all you have to do is save your DVDs to your PC and you can use any video editing software to restore and enhance your old footage.

More on home videos

Why we love the Sony Handycam
Best (free!) editing programs for video
What to do with your home videos after you take them

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