Converting Analog Video

Andy brooks

Standard Member
Hello,

I'm looking for some help in converting my VHS videos to digital.
I have....
Sharp VCR with red and white 'phono' type outputs, aswell as Scart and TV out
Lenovo T61 with NVIDIA graphics card, firewire USB etc, running Vista
Belkin USB 2.0 DVD converter, yellow composite and S-Video inputs (bought without checking VCR output)
I have not tried the Belkin yet as I'm reluctant to open the packaging if it won't work with the VCR. Also, this hardware is slated on Amazon reviews!
Can anyone recommend any hardware.
Thanks,
Andy
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Sharp VCR with red and blue 'phono' type outputs,...
Unusual colours.....can you check, and please check any labelling next to these sockets for words such as Audio and Video. You need audio (x2 if it's a stereo machine) and video signals.
 

Andy brooks

Standard Member
Hmm.. meant red and WHITE not blue, apologies.
I could take a red white and yellow output from the Scart socket with an adapter. I need to know what is recommended as a converter though.

Andy
 

MarkE19

Moderator
TBH any of the USB analogue video capture devices will work, but the results are not normally that good. Audio & video gets captured separately and therefore often goes out of sync. If the PC is not fairly fast/powerful then you can often get dropped frames (causes jerky movement) due to the speed of USB devices slowing down. But from a VHS source you may find it good enough as VHS isn't that great to start with.
Personally I would recommend getting something such as one of the Canopus ADVC converters (they start at around £90 so not cheap) or if you have a miniDV/HDV camcorder with AV-in this can be used to do the conversion. Just connect either of the 2 to a PC via firewire.

Mark.
 

LV426

Administrator
Staff member
Whatever method you use for getting video (and audio) into your computer, you will need to supply it with BOTH audio AND video. Red & White are the normal colour coding for RCA sockets carrying right and left AUDIO only. Composite video is usually coloured yellow, and SVideo is a small round multi-pin connector, rather like a PS/2 mouse port in appearance, and usually coloured black. If available SVideo will give substantially better results so use this if you can. Failing that then, as you say, red white and yellow will give Right Audio, Left Audio and Composite Video respectively.
 

Andy brooks

Standard Member
Hello,

Thank you to both LV and Mark.
I spent the evening trying to find a solution taking advice from both of you... and it has worked.
Things to note....
Belkin hardware seems to work Ok but the software is far from user friendly
Took video from Scart and audio directly from VCR. Initially this caused a sync issue but it resolved itself thankfully
Software defaulted to NTSC despite asking for feed format during set up, where I put in PAL! Somewhat confusing
Preview didn't reproduce sound... spent an age trying to resolve this before realising that my test captures did have sound, confusing again
Software gives the impression that frames are being dropped but on playback this is not the case.
Mark - I did try the camcorder route but despite multiple output options on my sony mini dv, it doesn't accept incoming feeds.

Cheers, Andy
 

MarkE19

Moderator
Mark - I did try the camcorder route but despite multiple output options on my sony mini dv, it doesn't accept incoming feeds.

Cheers, Andy
The vast majority of camcorders don't have AV-in and I assume yours is one of them :thumbsdow

Mark.
 

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