How to Use the AV Input on a Computer

By James Clark

Use the AV input on a computer equipped with a capture card to connect the PC to AV equipment and save digital copies of videotapes, vinyl recordings and other media to the hard drive. For example, you could convert old albums into digital audio files by connecting the PC to a turntable, or convert family home videotapes into digital video by connecting to a VCR. You can later burn the converted video files to DVD and burn music files to CD or upload them to a personal audio device.

Things You'll Need

  • Composite AV cables
  • Audio-video recording software
  • AV components
  • Recorded media

Step 1

Connect audio cables to the audio "Input" jacks on the back of the computer's central processing unit, using the white plug for the left channel and the red plug for the right.

Step 2

Insert the yellow video plug into the yellow video "Input" jack on the computer, if using an AV component.

Step 3

Connect the plugs on the other end of the cables to the "Output" jacks of an audio or video device using the same color codes.

Step 4

Open the recording software on the computer by double-clicking the name of the program.

Step 5

Insert a recording into the connected device, such as a videotape into a VCR or a cassette into a tape deck, and press "Play."

Step 6

Click the "Record" button to capture the pre-recorded media from the device attached to the computer with the AV inputs. Click the "Stop" button when finished, then click the "File" tab and choose "Save" to create a name for the recording and store it on the computer.

Step 7

Disconnect the AV component from the computer when not in use.

Tips & Warnings

  • Plan to reserve at least 10 gigabytes of memory for every hour of recorded digital video. Using a DVD burner to make a copy of recorded video will help preserve hard drive space on the computer.
  • Shut down the computer whle connecting equipment to the AV jacks.