One of the biggest problem during investigations on CCTV footage is the fact that most of the systems records in some proprietary format. Although usually encoding algorithms employs the standard mpeg-like algorithms, you won’t be able to view them on common media players. Some are providing a DirectShow or VideoForWindows codec, but most of them allows to view the recorded material on some custom media player. If you want to try to process the video with Amped Five (or some other editing software, I hope not), you’ll need to capture directly what’s happening on screen and encode it back with a more standard codec. Some of these players have some options to save the frames of the video in image files or to export it in the avi format, but quite often you have to save manually all the single frames one by one (what will you do for hours of video?) and the avi file exported will be very badly compressed, further damaging footage that proabably was having a bad quality.
Here it comes in help a beautiful free tool, called CamStudio. You can download the program from
here. A very important thing to note is that you need also to recompress the captured video (your hard drive won’t be big enough if you nedd to record more than few minutes) with the minimum loss of quality. For this purpose the CamsStudio author makes available also a lossless codec to install on the system, that you can download here. In the last days the website wasn’t accessible because of traffic limits, but you can still access it by SourceForge.