TOYBOX: UltraTV offers new uses for old standbys

A big problem with technology is that the more things change, the more old formats you're left with.

A big problem with technology is that the more things change, the more old formats you're left with.

A prime example is video tape. With digital recording here, everyone likely has old tapes they don't know what to do with. AverMedia has a device that can help and also turn a PC hooked up to a TV into a personal digital video recorder. The UltraTV USB 300 is a tiny silver box that can attach a TV to your computer so you can record programs onto your hard drive or DVDs. It also can be used to transfer old tapes to disk. I hooked up my old tape-using video camera and attached the Ultra to my PC. I was able to transfer home movies to my hard drive. One software program I was sent for that specific function didn't work on my machine, but I blame Windows XP for that. Another program included for transferring files worked fine. PR pros could use this to capture TV news clips for clients or to transfer old tapes with clips they need to save. Any suggestions for gadgets we should try? Send them to toybox@prweek.com
  • John N. Frank writes Toy Box. He is the Chicago-based Midwest bureau chief for PRWeek. Price $99.99 Available at Comp USA, Frys Electronics, J&R Computer World, Micro Center, Office Max, www.avermedia-usa.com Specs USB 2.0 interface, CPU requirement of 4.2GHz speed in order to record at best quality on DVD. Video formats: MPEG-1, MPEG-2

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