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PC Video Capture

Video capture usually refers to the various methods of digitizing analog video to a computer from an outside source, such as a VCR or TV signal.

The term "video capture" is sometimes used interchangeably with the term "video encoding". Analog video is digitally encoded during capture. However, "capture" is usually used to describe analog to digital conversion, and "encoding" is usually used to describe digital to digital conversion. A notable exception to this is the transfer of DV video from a digital DV tape to a computer via FireWire, which is nearly universally referred to as "DV capture". Capturing full-motion video of what is displayed on a computer screen (to the same computer) is sometimes also called "video capture", but the correct terms for this are "video screen capture" or "screencast".

Capturing video from an outside source requires special hardware - like a video capture card (such as PCI or PCI Express), PCMCIA, or USB or Firewire based video capture device, and Video Capture Software. Capturing video of what is displayed on the computer screen usually requires special software. Operating systems do not have built-in mechanisms to record videos of the screen (recording how the user moves his mouse around, clicks icons, types text etc. as a movie). A multitude of utilities are available, though. Many computer games have built-in video screen capture capabilities. Video capture can also include the capture of TV from a TV Tuner device that can be connected to the computer. Once captured, a VGA to NTSC video converter may be required to display the captured video on a regular TV set (though many computers now have an NTSC video out port).

The leading manufacturers of Video Capture devices and accessories include: ADS Technologies, AITech, AverMedia, Hauppauge, Kworld, Pinnacle Systems, Sabrent, Visiontek, and others.