Turning your stack of old videotapes into digital masterpieces can be done without investing in a new computer and camcorder. But consumers will have to buy some additional equipment and software.

For those who want to edit existing analog tapes, buy a digital camcorder with an input jack that allows it to copy video through a connection to the video-out jack of a VCR or an older camcorder. Such digital camcorders, Bass said, are a step above basic models and thus more expensive.

For those who have 8mm tapes, Sony has a digital 8mm camcorder that can handle those. Sony also has a converter box, which lists for about $500, for transferring video between a VCR and computer.

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