How to record a PowerPoint presentation to a videotape


This article describes two methods that you can use to to record a PowerPoint presentation to a videotape. You can use a scan converter to save a presentation to a videotape. You can also use digital video editing software and hardware to record a PowerPoint presentation to a videotape. For detailed information, see the “More information” section of this article.

More Information

PowerPoint does not have a built-in feature with which to record a presentation to videotape. However, you can use a number of third-party products to perform this operation.

Before you start, consider the following issues:
  • Video uses an analog signal that is both fuzzier and lower-resolution than the digital signal that is used by your computer to display information on the monitor. Because of this, do not use tiny or finely detailed text or graphics in your presentation.
  • Information close to the edge of the screen may be cut off. Do not position text close to the edge of the slides.
  • Some colors, such as bright red, do not display well on video. Because of this, avoid using bright reds and yellows in your presentation.
To record your PowerPoint presentation to a videotape, use either of the following methods.

Method 1: Use a scan converter

A scan converter is a device that gives you the ability to put what appears on a computer screen on a standard National Television System Committee (NTSC) or Phase Alternating Line (PAL) television monitor, or conversely, you can watch television on your computer screen. You can also use a standard videocassette recorder (VCR) to record what appears on your computer monitor.

Some video cards (for example, the ATI All-in-Wonder video card by ATI Technologies) allow you to transfer the video playback from your VCR to your computer video card TV-IN connection and from your computer video card TV-OUT connection to your VCR.

For information about how to contact your video card manufacturer to determine the capabilities of your video card, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

To record a PowerPoint presentation by using a scan converter, follow these steps:
  1. Install the scan converter device to your computer and VCR by using the manufacturer's instructions.

    If you do not know what type of video card you are using or if it has a built-in TV-OUT connection, look at the back of your computer where your monitor plugs in. Look for either an "F" connector or an "S-Video" connector. An "F" connector is the one most people are familiar with and is used universally on televisions, cable boxes, and VCRs.

    Most newer video devices (televisions and VCR's) use an S-Video connection. If all your equipment (your TV, VCR, and Scan Converter) has an S-Video connection, it is highly recommended to use it, as S-Video will provide a higher-quality picture.

    There should be two "jacks" or connections marked "video in" and "video out". To record from your computer to your VCR, connect the Video Out (TV-OUT) on your computer video card to the Video In (TV-IN) connection on your VCR.
  2. If your presentation contains sound, connect the Speaker or Line Out jack on your computer's sound card to the Audio In jack on the VCR.

    Note To complete this step, your computer must have a sound card and you must obtain the correct cable (generally a cable with a mini plug on one end and an RCA plug on the other).
  3. Press Record on the VCR.
  4. On your computer, run your PowerPoint presentation.
If everything is connected correctly, the VCR should now record your PowerPoint presentation slide show.

Method 2: Use digital video editing software and hardware

Digital video editing offers a more advanced method for you to record a PowerPoint presentation to a videotape. This method uses an adapter card that either replaces, or works in concert with, the video adapter card in your computer. This card has output jacks for several different types of video signals, and may also have input jacks for several different types of video signals. Some examples of this type of card include the Matrox RT2000 by Matrox Electronic Systems Ltd. and the Pinnacle DV500 by Pinnacle Systems, Inc.

To control these cards, you must use a video editing program (for example, Adobe Premiere by Adobe Systems, Inc. or Video Factory by Sonic Factory).

Note You must also have a VCR to connect to the video editing adapter.

With this hardware and software configuration, you can record Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG) files, QuickTime movies, or images stored in various formats, and then record them to videotape.

Also note the following:
  • PowerPoint can save presentations as a series of graphic files. The supported formats are Graphic Interchange Format (GIF), Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG), or Portable Network Graphics (PNG) formats. If an earlier version of PowerPoint is installed on your computer, you can use a screen-capture utility to save each slide as a graphic file.
  • If you have a program that permits you to create a QuickTime movie directly from the screen display, you can use it to create a movie file of your presentation.
  • You can use your digital video editing program to send the graphic or movie files to the VCR.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.

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