All PCs have a video card, also called the graphics card. If you didn't have one you'd have nowhere to plug your monitor into. The video card fits either into the AGP slot or the PCI slot of the motherboard, depending on what type you have. (Some cheaper PCs have the video card integrated into the motherboard). At the back of the PC you'll see a bit of your video card which has a socket for your monitor.
Video capture and video editing cards are additional cards that fit into PCI slots and co-exist with the video card. Video capture cards are the cheaper ones. They provide you with a socket for your camcorder. Some of them provide you with plugs for both analogue (S-Video input/composite) and digital (DV or digital video) camcorders. With analogue capture cards you want to enquire whether there are both input and output sockets. Digital connectors can both send and receive video clips.
Video editing cards have specialist hardware built into the cards. This hardware is dedicated to video editing tasks like rendering and MPEG encoding. The better video editing cards are real-time editing cards. Most people see these as very expensive. We see them as free. Yes, free... When you pay ?500 for a good video editing card the chances are that in addition to the card, cables, manuals etc you are also getting a professional video editing software package that would normally cost ?500-?600 on its own, like Adobe Premiere.
Last update: 09:17 PM Wednesday, November 15, 2006