89 PC Tips – Video & TV

Over the course of the next couple of days, I’m going to post quite a few articles in relation to the 89 best PC tips. This will include everything from Audio, iTunes, Email, Productivity, Mac OS X Tips & Tricks, Security, Travel, Video, the Web and even Media in general! This is a very well thought out and well written list originally from Laptop Mag. I enjoyed reading this article so much that I decided it was worth re-publishing. All of the original copyrights are in place, the next series of articles, titled 89 best PC tips, are completely credited to LaptopMag!

The following series of tips is in complete dedication to Video & TV.

#1 – Mix In Photos and Music
Create a digital trail mix of your personal media with Pinnacle’s free and easy to use VideoSpin (free – www.videospin.com). Simply drop in your music, photos, and videos, and add titles and transitions. We like the included sound effects, especially the different types of applause you can mix into performance videos. Once your VideoSpin project is finished, click the Make Movie tab and select one of the common video formats. From there you can save the project to your PC or upload it directly to the Web for sharing.

#2 – Edit Movies in Hi-Def
If you’re going to spend a small fortune on a hi-def camcorder, you should spend just a little bit more and make sure that what you capture has that professional quality look. Vegas Movie Studio Premium Editioin ($119.95 – www.sonycreativesoftware.com) provides drag-and-drop video editing in the HDV and AVCHD formats, and it lets you enhance your footage with more than 100 video effects and put in seriously sleek titles. It also includes 5.1 surround sound mixing and encoding. Although the interface can be intimidating for newbies. Sony provides Show Me How interactive tutorials.

#3 – Wrangle all your media
Roxio Easy Media Creator 10 ($79.99 – www.roxio.com) has all the multimedia tools you could ever want. You get a serious all-in-one photo, audio and video editing suite at a reasonable price that offers high-definition video capture and editing. A three-step wizard auto-edits your movies, and each of the bundled programs have intuitive menus so you won’t get lost in a project. This suite is also mobile-device friendly; it lets you transfer music, photos, and video from your PC to your Cell Phone or iPod and back.

#4 – Watch HDTV anywhere
There’s a seemingly infinite amount of video to watch online, but the picture quality often leaves much to be desired. The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950 USB stick ($119; www.hauppauge.com) lets you watch HDTV right on your notebook. A portable digital antenna plus right into a compact USB stick that has an over-the-air ATSC digital TV receiver built in. We loved being able to watch high-def channels at full screen resolution, without any hangups or skipping. Bonus: The device supports Mac OS X and Windows.

#5 – Kick back with this keyboard
With HDMI ports becoming more common on laptops, it’s never been easier to connect your PC to your big-screen TV. Logitech makes it easy to control the action from the sofa with its diNovo Mini Bluetooth keyboard ($149 – www.logitech.com). Just plug the included Bluetooth dongle into your laptop, then sit back and use the built-in trackpad for navigating Windows Media Center or surfing the Web. A compact keyboard allows you to respond to e-mail or type in URLs from across the room.

#6 – Stream prime time to the small screen
You already pay for television at home, so why pay for it on your laptop? Free high-quality streaming is Hulu’s (free – www.hulu.com) specialty. The site provides full episodes of current and past hit shows, and they look surprisingly good at full screen. You get lots of content choices, including Family Guy, 30 Rock, and Heroes. The interface is one of the best we’ve seen (trumping Joost and Veoh), and we love the “dim the lights” feature, which strays out the rest of your browser to make the video really stand out.

#7 – Mix Things Up
Putting raw videos on YouTube is so 2007. Jumpcut (free – www.jumpcut.com) lets you upload your pictures and video to the Web and mix it all together to create a slick movie. The robust community functionality allows you to grab anything you see to use in your own creations, or completely remix other Jumpcut members’ movies. It takes a bit of time to upload videos, but you can split the clips and add music, as well as add transitions and titles, within the online interface.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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