When transferring high-definition (HD) video to a PC, the footage must be in digital format. Although most HD cameras already store footage as digital files, there are older HD cameras still using HD tapes. In such case, the footage must first be digitally captured using a video editing software.
Playing and editing HD videos require your computer to have at least a 2GB processor and 2GB of RAM. Otherwise, the player merely shows a black screen, the screen only shows a frozen video clip, or the video jumps or stops playing every few seconds.
1. Determine whether the HD footage comes from a file-based HD camera or a tape-based HD camera. If the footage is already stored as video files, prepare the storage media used in order to directly transfer the files to the PC. If the footage is still in an HD tape, prepare the tape used in order to digitize the files to the PC.
2. Put the storage media (usually a memory card, camera hard drive or P2 card) or tape to the camera, into an applicable storage media reader or a tape deck, depending on what resources are required to transfer the HD footage to the computer. Open the media reader or tape deck, or if using a camera, open it and place it in “VCR” mode.
3. Connect the camera, storage media reader or tape deck to the PC using the applicable cable. This is either a USB or FireWire cable.
4. Confirm the hard drive to use for the storage of the HD video. Make a destination folder to organize the HD files you need to transfer. If getting the HD video from a file-based camera, simply copy-paste or drag-and-drop the video files from the camera or the storage media reader to your destination folder.
If the HD video comes from a tape-based camera, open the video editing program, go to the “File” menu, then select the “Capture” function. Once the capture window appears, check if your camera or tape deck is already recognized by the computer. The footage you see from the camera’s LCD screen must be shown on the capture window as well. Cue your tape, then press the capture window’s record button. Right after, press the “Play” button in your camera to start playing the HD footage. The entire tape that needs to be transferred to the PC must be recorded in real time.