HCS Multimedia Tutorials Video Digitization (VHS to AVI)
Introduction: The easiest way to convert a segment from VHS videotape into an AVI file is to use
miroVideo Capture. Converting a VHS videotape to an AVI file is the first stage in the video digitization
process. Once you have an AVI file you can convert the AVI file into other type of video formats.
The following list is the type of video files that you can produce in the Haas Computing Center.
File Type
High quality
Very large file size
Requires codec*
High quality
Large files
Common file type
Real Audio
Small file size
Varying quality
Requires a Plug in
A codec is an algorithm, or specialized computer program, that reduces the number of bytes consumed by
large files and programs. Codecs are used to minimize the amount of storage space required for a
complicated file, such as a video file. Codec is also an acronym that stands for
Compression works by eliminating redundancies in data. Compression can be done for any kind of file,
including text, programs, images, audio, video, and virtual reality (VR). Compression can reduce the size
of a file by a factor of 100 or more in some cases. For example, a 15-megabyte video might be reduced to
150 kilobytes. The uncompressed file would be far too large to download from the Web in a reasonable
length of time, but the compressed file could usually be downloaded in a few seconds. For viewing, a
decompression algorithm, which "undoes" the compression, would have to be used.
Note: You can only convert a video to an
AVI file on a Multimedia workstation that is
connected to a VCR.
Open miroVideo Capture:
 Click on the Start Menu.
 Select Programs.
 Select Multimedia Applications.
 Select VidCap Video Capture.
Created by Haas Computing Services
Edited by DW on January 5, 2000
HCS Multimedia Tutorials Video Digitization (VHS to AVI)
Check the settings:
 Make sure that Video In and Video Out
Check Setting
is set to Composite. (If it is not set to
and queue your
Composite click on the button until it is
set to Composite.)
 Make sure that Audio is set to Audio.
(If it is not set to Audio click on the
button until it is set to Audio.)
Note: It is possible that a previous user
disconnected the appropriate cables. If a
blue screen does not appear after checking
the settings and making sure that the VCR is
on then ask for assistance from the
Queue your tape.
 Insert your tape into the VCR.
 Press play.
 Queue your tape to about five seconds
before the point in which you would like
the video clip to begin.
 Press stop.
Note: Keep the movie clip short because an
AVI clip can become quite large. A two-
minute AVI clip can be over 200MB.
Check the settings:
 Click on the Project tab on the
Check the
miroVideo Capture window.
 Make sure that Audio is set to Stereo,
22kHZ and 16bit. (This is not CD
quality but it is fine for any presentation.
CD quality takes a significantly more
space than these settings.)
 Make sure that Frame resolution is set
to Quarter.
 Make sure that Pixel ratio is set to
 Rename the project by clicking the
middle button underneath the white
Created by Haas Computing Services
Edited by DW on January 5, 2000
HCS Multimedia Tutorials Video Digitization (VHS to AVI)
Name the file:
 Click on the Record tab on the
Name the file
miroVideo Capture window.
and record.
 Delete everything in the Next file to
capture field and enter the name that
you want to call the file.
Record the video segment:
 Press the Enter button on the keyboard
then press the Play button on the VCR
to record the segment to the AVI file
 When the segment you want to record
has ended press the Enter button on the
keyboard and the Stop button on the
Note: Do not use the mouse to click the
record button or to click the stop button
because it will result in a rather large
amount of dropped frames.
Review the clip:
Final Step
 Click on the Clips tab on the
miroVideo Capture window.
Review the clip
 Click on the Play button to review the
and close the
Note: If the clip does not show everything
that you want it to show than re-record the
clip by following the above steps. If the
shows more than you want it to show that is
fine. You will be able to edit the clip by
using Adobe Premiere.
Click on the Quit button when finished.
Created by Haas Computing Services
Edited by DW on January 5, 2000