Digitizing Three Ways
If you want to use footage from analog
sources, you have three options, explained
in this section.
Dubbing to DV
In addition to an IEEE 1394 (aka FireWire or
iLink) connector, most DV camcorders also
have analog connections. Often, this connec-
tion is in the form of an adaptor cable. One
end plugs into the camcorder (generally using
a proprietary connector that works only with
your brand of camcorder). The other end of
the cable has analog connectors for video and
audio (usually RCA connectors like the ones
you use to hook up most consumer VCRs and
audio equipment).
To view a DV tape on a TV or copy it to a
VHS tape, you use the cable as an audio/video
output. However, you can use the same cable
as an input to record the audio/video signal
coming from your television tuner or VCR.
This way, you can copy, or dub, an analog
source (such as a VHS tape) to a DV tape.
Once your footage is on DV, you can use
Premiere Elements to capture your footage
in the manner described in
the section
“Capturing DV.” As a plus, you’ll have
a copy
of your (possibly precious) tape in a newer,
more versatile, and more resilient format.
Converting to DV using a
camcorder
Some DV camcorders can act as analog-to-
DV converters. They accept video and audio
from an analog source, convert the signals
into the DV format, and output the DV signal
directly to another device (such as your com-
puter). This way, you can capture analog
footage as DV in a single step, and (depend-
ing on your camera) without even using a DV
tape. Not all DV camcorders have this feature,
though. Check your cameras documentation
for a pass-through feature or an E-to-E (elec-
tronic-to-electronic) mode. Pass-through lets
you record and output DV simultaneously,
whereas E-to-E converts and outputs the
video and audio without recording to a tape.
Note that youll have to use another program
(such as Windows Movie Maker) to capture
footage using this method. Once the footage
is in DV form, however, you can import it
into Premiere Elements (as explained later in
this chapter).
Using an analog-to-DV
converter
You can also convert analog video and audio
to DV using—what else?—an analog-to-digital
converter (sometimes called an A-to-D con-
verter). Depending on the device, an A-to-D
converter can also be a D-to-A (digital-to-
analog) converter. These devices are small
boxes with video and audio inputs and out-
puts appropriate to the formats being con-
verted. In this case, one output is an IEEE 1394
(FireWire, iLink) connector.
A converter is an attractive option for those
without a DV camcorder or with an over-
abundance of analog source tapes. Again,
Premiere Elements isnt designed to work
with converters directly, but you can use
the DV files they create.
Tip
Theres an old saying in video production:
Tape is cheap.” In other words, the cost of
videotape is typically the smallest expense
in a video production. This adage holds
true even for home productions. Although
theres no need to waste tape, it’s usually
well worth using enough tape for your
needs. Dubbing an old analog tape to DV
also is often worth the expense—not only
for the editing advantages you gain, but
also to archive what is likely a rapidly
deteriorating keepsake.
50
Chapter 3
Digitizing Three Ways

Get Premiere Elements 2 for Windows: Visual QuickStart Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.