Q. My PC has all the components to download and edit digital media. However, as far as I can tell, my PC does not accept analog inputs. I'd like to achieve the...

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Q.

My PC has all the components to download and edit digital media. However, as far as I can tell, my PC does not accept analog inputs. I’d like to achieve the highest possible quality digital conversion from analog sources.

My questions are: Other than using the digital videocam to digitize analog media, might I achieve quality conversion using a DVD recorder? I plan to purchase a DVD recorder for my home-entertainment system. Will I be able to plug it into my PC?

My idea here is to avoid having to purchase an external digitizer or video card. Would I need to make a DVD disk on the DVD recorder first and then run the disk on my computer to download it for editing?

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— Dan in Bellevue


A.

Yes, you can use a DVD recorder for converting your analog video into digital and moving it over to your computer. And while DVD recorders generally come with basic editing capabilities, you will be able to do more sophisticated editing on your PC.

The only requirement on the computer side is that you have a sound card that accepts digital input. Not all do. If you don’t have digital input, you could of course burn a DVD on your DVD recorder, then pop it into your computer.

Bear in mind that while you’ll get quality conversions, the ultimate quality of your digital output is likely to be limited by the quality of your analog tapes. Analog recordings, even when digitized, will not have the sharpness of digital video.


Q.

I recently acquired a Sony WEGA (LCD) TV, which can display photos stored on a Sony Memory Stick taken with a Sony camera. However, I have a Nikon camera, so I copied image files (JPG format) to a Sony Memory Stick. I can read (display) the file fine on my PC, but the Sony TV won’t recognize them. What can I do to get the TV to read my photo file images, short of buying a Sony camera?


— F. van Oppen


A.

The problem isn’t the camera. It’s the stick. The Memory Stick, that is.

Not all Memory Sticks are alike. You didn’t mention the specific model of television you have, but some models require adapters for certain types of Memory Sticks to be read. You can find out the specifics for your model of TV at Sony’s Web site: www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_BrowseCatalog-Start?CategoryName=acc_MemoryStickMedia. Click on the “Memory Stick PRO Media Compatibility Tool” listed under More Information.


Q.

Here’s a problem that has me stumped. When I receive an e-mail that has a link included in it, the referenced Web page won’t open when I click on the link. I can copy and paste the link to my browser and get to the page but can’t get to it directly from the e-mail message. The same is true if a link is included in an attachment such as a Word document. The link shows as “hot” but it doesn’t actually work. Do you have any idea how I can fix this? My operating system is Windows XP, my e-mail is Outlook Express, and my computer is protected by ZoneAlarm and has a separate virus program.


— John Kees


A.

The most common cause of this problem is that Internet Explorer is no longer specified as your default browser. This might happen, for example, if you have installed another browser on your computer.

To check, start Internet Explorer and go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options and then Programs. Finally, make sure that the box next to “Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser” is checked. If it isn’t checked, check it and then close Internet Explorer. That should get things working again.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by e-mail to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail to Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.