How to Transfer Video From a Digital Camcorder to a DVD Recorder

Transferring video recorded on a digital camcorder to a DVD recorder is a snap! Recording to a DVD is a way to back up your tape, and it allows you to easily share and watch your home videos. For this tutorial, we're using a Sony DCR-HC21 MiniDV Camcorder as the playback device, and a Samsung DVD-R120 Set-Top DVD Recorder as the DVD recorder. Please read on for information on how to transfer video from a digital camcorder to a DVD recorder.

Steps for Transferring Video to a DVD Recorder

  1. Record some video! You'll need some video to transfer to DVD, so get out there and shoot some great video!

  2. Turn on the DVD recorder and the TV that the DVD recorder is connected to. In this case, we have a Samsung DVD Recorder hooked up to a TV via an RCA Audio/Video cable from the rear outputs on the DVD recorder to the rear RCA inputs on the TV. We're using a separate DVD player for playing DVDs, but if you use your DVD Recorder as a player as well, use the best cable connections you can to connect to the TV.

  3. Plug your digital camcorder into an outlet (don't use battery power!).

  4. Power on the digital camcorder and put it into Playback mode. Insert the tape you want to record to DVD.

  5. Connect a Firewire (also called i.LINK or IEEE 1394) cable to the output on the digital camcorder and the input on the DVD recorder. If your DVD recorder does not include a Firewire input, you can use analog cables. Connect an S-Video or RCA video cable and composite stereo cables (red and white RCA plugs) from the camcorder to the inputs on your DVD Recorder. In this example, we'll connect the digital camcorder to the DVD recorder with a front Firewire input.

  6. Change the input on your DVD recorder to match the inputs you are using. Since we're using the front Firewire input, we'll change the input to DV, which is the input for recording using the Firewire input. If we were recording using the front analog cables it would be L2, the rear inputs, L1. The input select can typically be changed using the DVD recorder remote.

  7. You'll also need to change the input select on the TV to match the inputs you are using to connect the DVD recorder. In this case, we're using rear inputs that correspond to Video 2. This allows us to view what we're recording.

  8. You can now perform a test to make sure the video signal is coming through to the DVD recorder and the TV. Simply start playing the video back from the digital camcorder and see if the video and audio are being played back on the TV. If you have everything connected properly, and the correct input selected, you should be seeing and hearing your video. If not, check your cable connections, power, and input select.

  9. Now you're ready to record! First, determine the type of disc you'll need, either DVD+R/RW or DVD-R/RW. Second, change the record speed to the desired setting. In our case, it's SP, which allows up to two hours of record time.

  10. Place the recordable DVD into the DVD recorder.

  11. Rewind the tape back to the beginning, then start playing the tape while pressing record on either the DVD recorder itself or by using the remote. If you want to record more than one tape on a DVD, just pause the recorder while you switch tapes, and then resume by hitting pause on the recorder or remote a second time after you start playing the next tape.

  12. Once you have recorded your tape (or tapes) hit stop on the recorder or the remote. DVD recorders require that you finalize the DVD in order to make it a DVD-Video, capable of playback in other devices. The method for finalizing varies by DVD Recorder, so consult the owner's manual for information on this step.

  13. Once your DVD is finalized, it is now ready for playback.

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