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Chapter 4. Capturing DV

I've been a big fan of the digital video (DV) format since I acquired a DV camcorder back in 1996. Not only was the quality better than my Hi8 camcorder, capture was also much simpler. And since DV camcorders record the time and date of each shot, Windows Movie Maker can divide captured video into scenes, making it easier to find the clips to include in the project.

Just to get our terms straight, the term video capture was coined in the olden days, when transferring analog video from camcorder to computer required a “capture card” that converted the analog signal to digital and then compressed the video so it would fit on disk. Today, all that occurs on the DV camcorder, which stores the video on tape as a digital file rather than in analog format. This makes capture from a DV camcorder more like a file transfer; and some even refer to the process as a file import. Call it what you will, getting DV video from your camcorder to your computer is a snap.

The same cable that carries the DV video to your computer lets you control the camera, so you can start, stop, rewind, and fast-forward your DV camera within Movie Maker—a useful capability unavailable with most analog camcorders. All these factors make DV capture fast, painless, and highly functional.

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