Believe it or not, this is a question that gets asked on the semi-regular basis: How can we transfer the time and date stamp from my camera to my final surveillance video?
There are two ways to do it – I believe iMovie has the ability to transfer the T&D as well, but I don’t have enough experience with that system to write about it.
The two ways I know how to do this are: Digital and Analog.
With a Digital copy, you get to keep the high definition element of your video. You don’t lose quality and the video is transferred directly from your camera into a processing system. So, if you want to keep the High Definition video, you’ll need to extract the T&D Stamps using software. There are two that you can use right now: (Before you guy this, make sure you finish reading, there are requirements – YOU NEED AVC-HD Capabilities on your camera) That’s the fine print – here are the two types of software that we’ve found: Investigation Video Editor & Visual AVCHD
If you don’t care about the HD part of your video, you can do it by turning the HD video into an analog version of your video using an analog transfer method. If that’s what you want to use, then I’d recommend using something like the Dazzle DVD Recorder or the Roxio VHS to DVD. Again, this method is going to turn your HD video into a “standard” quality of your video.
I’d recommend keeping the HD video features since that’ll make you stand out. Remember when I said “requirements” in the section above? Here it is: In order for that to work, you’ll need to make sure your camera has AVC-HD capabilities. This is extremely important. If your camera does not have AVC-HD capabilities, the T&D stamp won’t be able to be extracted with the software I’m about to talk about.
The Problem – why can’t camera just transfer the files?
The way it was explained to me: When you record, the camera stores two separate files – a video file, and a file for your meta data. The meta data is where your camera stores your T&D Stamps.
When you pull the video off your camera via SD Card or by pulling and dragging directly off the hard drive, the Meta Data gets stored within the video format, but it doesn’t give you the ability to pull it out.
The two systems I mentioned above, pull out the data and embed the T&D above your video.
If you only want to use the Analog Version, then do this:
Buy the Dazzle or the Roxio converter. Install the software on your PC. Then connect your analog cables to your camera, and start recording the “screen” of your camera and play the video all the way through.
Roxio and Dazzle both have a dashboard that gives you the ability to record, in real time, the screen from your video camera. Literally, all you’re doing is playing the video back on your screen, and your recorder captures everything you have on the camera screen.
If you took at 1 hour long video, you’ll be sitting in front of the PC for 1 hour waiting for it to process. Otherwise, just drag and drop into the other two systems (assuming you have the right camera) and then go to the races.
If you want to move up a little up the rank, Canon has a very nice camera. The Canon VIXIA HF R700 – a full HD Camcorder and 57x Advanced Zoom. This camera also has the AVCHD setup that we’re talking about. You’re going to pay about $190 for this camera, but it’s well worth the money.
Again, try to keep the optical zoom to about 30x. Canon has an “Advanced Zoom” system which makes long range captures possible, but don’t put your integrity behind it.
Finally, we move into the 4k range with the Sony FDRAX33. This camera is a bit on the pricy range at $848 or $610 if you buy it used, but I can tell you the video quality that comes out of this camera is superb.
I’ve seen video from this camera and it looks stupid good. It incorporates a stabilization system to prevent shaky videos from kicking in, and it also gives you the ability to take stills directly from the camera. One last thing that I like about is the mobile connect. Which gives you the ability to control the camera from your mobile device.
Those are the cameras that I recommend which have the AVCHD formats. Feel free to go through Amazon and search for AVCHD to see what you find. Make sure you do your research and verify your camcorder has AVCHD capabilities. This is extremely important.
Once you have your camera, you’ll need to download one piece of software. I’m going to focus on DTS 8888 since that’s the one I used the most. You can download it for free and try it out before you commit to the full license. If you have the trail version an dyou process your video, it’ll water mark it with “Sample” across the screen – UNTIL – you get the paid version license. http://www.dts8888.com/vATS/download.htm
When you install the software, you’ll have to add files that you wish to “stamp” and then you’ll need to store the files within an “output” folder. Here is a guide on how to use the software: http://www.dts8888.com/vATS/Help/vATS.htm
I also added an image with steps on what you need.