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Take It All Off

Take It All Off
by Gary Woods

Every now and then there's something on television I'd like to burn to a DVD. To do this I have to Digitally Video Record the event on my trusty Cox DVR. Then I hook up the cables from the DVR to my old Video Tape Record and dump the data to the VCR. Next I unhook the VCR and move it over to my computer and get out my Turtle Beach Video Advantage and capture the data via FireWire. All of that hassle is to get usually a couple minutes of video moved over to a DVD.

The biggest pain is un-hooking the VCR and moving it over to the computer. To simplify this part of the equation I found the Pinnacle Video Transfer box which retails for $129.99. This box hooks up directly to your VCR with the supplied RCA cables and uses a USB 2.0 memory stick to store the data. You just plug the power supply into the wall, connect the USB Thumb Drive to the box then run the cables and look for the blue light to come on.

You can select from three quality levels: good 320X240, 512 Kbps; better at 320 X 240, 768 Kbps; or best at 640X 480, 1.5 Mbps. The good setting records audio at 96 Kbps while better and best bump it up 128 Kbps. What you get isn't great but it's certainly good enough to be put on the Internet. I'd recommend the better setting if you're going to be upload to YouTube.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc