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Step 1: EQUIPMENT
Video Cassette Recorder having video and audio input jacks, preferably stereo sound.
Headphones that fit computer's audio output jacks or VCR's audio output jacks.
Cables and connectors to tie everything together, which will depend on what specific equipment you use. See the diagram and the photo of cables typically supplied with a converter.
Step 4: VGA CONVERTER
During recording, you can watch the program on the netbook's screen, or you can turn off its display while it continues to feed the video out its VGA connector. You cannot do other operations on the computer while the recording is taking place. Be careful that you do not give the computer touchpad or mouse commands during the recording, or you might stop the video or change its screen size.
Step 5: SOUND
Step 6: SET UP
It is easiest to check out the entire system by first playing a DVD to provide computer video and sound, which for the netbook requires an external drive. Once everything is set, you can record a little of the internet video of interest, play it back to make sure you are getting what you expect, then restart the video and VCR to record all of it from its beginning.
Computer management: You may need to set your display option to your local display (LCD) plus a external monitor in order for the video to feed out the VGA connector to the converter. The only setting that works for me on my EeePC is "LCD plus External Monitor-Clone". Set the computer so it will not turn itself off or switch to a mode that will interrupt the video if you fail to manually stimulate the computer for a while and test to be sure the video continues to record if your screen saver kicks in.
VCR: You may connect the converter to your VCR S-Video or component video inputs. You need to set the VCR to record from whichever connector is used, not the composite (RF) input. Recording will work whether you connect the VCR to the tv via component video, S-video or composite (RF) output, but you need to set the tv to whichever is connected.
Sound level adjustment: Start the VCR on "record," start the computer's video program and record for a few minutes. Note, by repeated trials, and judging by ear from the headphones or computer's speakers, what level of audio loudness produces good sound when the recording is played back on a tv. If you use headphones for this, always adjust their built-in volume knobs to full volume when adjusting the computer's controls, in advance of making a recording, to achieve what sounds like the good recording level. Once the recording begins you can readjust the headphone controls if necessary for comfort, or to off.
Computer display: You may need to try different settings of the colors and resolution of your computer's display to provide the best picture recorded on the VCR and displayed on a tv. These settings will probably be different from what you use every day. Always return to those settings before you begin making a recording. One way to save those settings is to create a user login on your computer that you enter just for recording. When you log out, the settings for recording will be saved, but entering your regular login will bring up your everyday settings. You may even want to create another user login to save display settings for recording a second screen format. Give the logins names that make it obvious which login is for which format.
Step 7: OLD SCHOOL
Some graphics courtesy of the free, extensive, searchable microsoft.com clipart database
Photo background made of genuine pegboard.