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Step-By-Step Video Capture

Systems / Hardware Requirements:

Operating System: Microsoft Windows XP, XP Home, XP Pro
PC: Personal or multimedia system 800mhz or better. Should work on most systems pre-loaded with XP.
Firewire Port / Connection (IEEE 1394)
Movie Maker 2 (Pre-installed with most versions of XP - Free download / upgrade HERE)
Digital Video Camera with Firewire (IEEE 1394) connection.

There are also many other video sources and video file types that may work directly with our FREE encoding software. The best way to test a particular video file type is to "browse file" with the encoding software. Generally, if you can view the file - the encoder will encode it. Supported file types are .AVI, .MPG (sometimes renaming .MPEG files to .MPG will work) and .WMV. For best results, your source file should be at least 320x240 and have a frame rate of 30fps.

1) Connect Your Video Camera

Have your video camera set to "off". Connect the Firewire (IEEE 1394) port from your camera to the Firewire port on your PC. See below:


  The camera shown here is a Panasonic. The Firewire port is circled in red. Location of this port will vary from camera to camera - but if your camera is digital (MiniDV, Digital 8) it will most likely have a Firewire port.
  This is a Firewire cable. Generally, the small end inserts into the camera and the large end inserts into your PC. Laptops have the same size connection as found on the camera, but laptop Firewire cards will use the larger connection end. Make sure you have the correct cable for your application.
  This PC has a Firewire card installed. Most high-end or multimedia PCs have Firewire ports. If yours doesn't, you can get them at most computer stores for under $40. Most laptops have Firewire ports, if yours doesn't - laptop Firewire cards are under $50.

2) Create Capture Settings

After you plug your camera into the computer - turn it "on" to the VCR or Playback setting. At first, a small icon balloon in the lower right of your screen may appear that says "New Hardware Attached", after a few seconds it will read "Your New Hardware Is Ready To Use". This will only happen the very first time you plug your camcorder into your PC. Next, a screen will appear that looks like this:

  Click on the "Capture Video using Windows Movie Maker" button. Make sure you have Movie Maker 2, which is free to download from Microsoft.
  Windows Movie Maker will start. This screen will appear to ask you  \what you would like to name your video clip and where you'd like to store it. Choose a name and place you can remember easily. Make the name all one word like "sellmyharley" as an ad for a motorcycle. Click NEXT.
  This screen will appear asking you to define the quality for the video you'd like to capture. Choose "Best quality for playback on my computer (recommended)". Click NEXT.
  This screen will appear asking you how you'd like to capture - the whole tape or just parts. Choose "Capture parts of the tape manually" and check the box "Show preview during capture". Click NEXT.
  This screen will appear. This is your Capture Video control screen. Use the "DV camera controls" to wind to the section of your tape you'd like to capture. When you've reached that point, click the "Start Capture" button. When your clip is finished, click "Stop Capture". This may take a few attempts, but with a bit of practice you'll be capturing just the sections you want to webcast in no time at all.

3) Review Video File

Now, go to the place where you saved your file (in this case My Videos should contain a file called "sellmyharley.wmv" - you can click on this file and it will play back in the Windows Media Player. You can also use the Windows Movie Maker to edit your file until you have it just the way you want (for information on editing, click HERE).

For forums, self-help and interesting discussion on using Windows Movie Maker, click the button below:

Now that you've got your video clip ready, close Movie Maker and fire up the encoding software. Follow the instructions shown HERE and your video will be on the web in no time!

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