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VHS to DVD options

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by danoli, Jan 6, 2005.

  1. danoli

    danoli
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    Hi Guys, I am new to this forum and hope to stick around for a while.

    Hope my first post has not been repeated too often, I have searched the forum and not found exactly what I ma after, so here goes.....

    I want to transfer my home vidoes to DVD. My master copies are on VHS as the original camcorder tapes have been overwritten. The VHS copies are very good quality for VHS but at the end of the day, they are only VHS.

    I read a thread on here about using a DVD Recorder to transfer VHS direct to the DVD. I do not have a DVD recorder as yet and was considering all options, time vs Cost vs Simplicity.

    I have numerous DVD Writers in my PC's, a Sony digital Camcorder with Video IN enabled, A decent quality VHS recorder + a mixture of cables etc. I do not have a TV capture card in my PC's but have the following SPDIF IN/OUT (I do not know what that is), Firewire plus all the other usual stuff.

    I have about 50 x 30/60 minute VHS tapes I would like to transfer, each onto their own Disk (1 VHS tape per Disk) with no additional editing required (or maybe a still 1 page caption right at the beginning or end of the disk)

    Option 1
    I am guessing the easiest method is to buy a DVD recorder, hook it up to my VHS recorder/player and do a straight transfer, adding captions via further editing on a PC and rewriting the DVD with captions.

    Option 2
    And I guess the 2nd method being to get a capture card, stream the VHS to the PC, edit and burn to DVD.

    So, my question may be obvious (and already answered) but the follow up would be, what DVD recorder would you recommend if option 1 or what PC capture card if option 2. Are there any other options? Cost is fairly important, I do not want to spend more than about £150 ish (excluding blank media)

    Which would be best to retain quality as much as possible?

    Hope I haven't rambled on too long.
     
  2. danoli

    danoli
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    I should have also added that I would consider this to be done externally depending on price. Are there any companies (large or small) that do this sort of work and at what approximate cost per disk. Thanks.
     
  3. dood

    dood
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    The PC route's main benefits will be fancy editing eg transitions, layers, soundtracks etc. A DVD recorder will be much easier to use and will allow very basic editing eg chapter creation and a menu. Since you want an easy way of doing things and don't need to do much editing, I would think that the DVD recorder route would be the one for you.

    As far as the length of tapes is concerned, you can get 2 hours of video on a DVD disc at good quality - certainly good enough for VHS sources.

    If you intend to make DVDs from your digital camcorder you should get one with DV in. This may be difficult with your budget of 150 in mind. I think other forum members will advise on what you can get for that price.

    Personally, I've considered both routes and have spent a fortune on getting a high spec computer with all the frills necessary for video capture and editing and DVD writing. Due to the learning curve for the software, and time constraints, I never used the computer. I have had a DVD recorder for a couple of weeks now and already have made DVDs from satellite broadcasts, DV camcorder footage and VHS tapes. It's just so easy!
     
  4. chunkymonkey

    chunkymonkey
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    I am also looking for a DVD recorder to archive my VHS home videos. After reading these forums it seems the Panasonic E55 is a popular choice, one of the reasons being it has the Time Base Correction feature which is supposed to help when transfering poor quality videos to DVD.
    I tried transfering the videos to my pc using a very cheap TV capture card but ran in to problems where the recording would stop after a few minutes.
    Currently I am leaning towards the JVC DR10 which has the TBC feature, but will probably wait to see if the price comes down in the next couple of months.
     
  5. TobyW

    TobyW
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    I found that the Tosh XS32 does an excellent job with an old VHS tape that was recorded off-air. At SP (2 hr) I can't tell the difference, and at LP (4 hr) I can only just see the drop in definition.

    BUT if the VHS is a copy from an old Betamax tape, the cumulative time base jitter defeats the Tosh and the TBC (if any) no longer works. Instead, the jitter becomes very visible, making the transfer unusable.

    The same tape plays quite happily when connected directly to a TV, or to my PC's BT848-based capture card.

    I wonder how the Panny 85 would compare. Does anybody know?
     
  6. Kabelnet

    Kabelnet
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    If you want to copy your VHS to DVD only, a DVD recorder is an expensive solution. You can buy a Special hardware to your PC (ex. Pinnacle MovieBox), you connect your VHS to this device, and you can convert your tapes to DVD.

    If you plan to change your VHS "technologie" to DVD "technologie" (record from TV directly to DVD), then the best solution is a DVD recorder. In this case it is simple to convert your tapes to DVD using this device. I converted all my VHS tapes (>100, about 200 movies). I used SP mode (it is enough for normal VHS tapes). The recorded movies I copied to my PC (because I prefer my editor), built DVD-s and wrote them. It was very simple. Important: the Macrovision protected tapes you can not copy with DVD recorder (E85).
     
  7. TobyW

    TobyW
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    I too have spent megabucks over the last couple of years, on PC upgrades towards the goal of VHS to DVD. I nearly got there with a Pentium 4 and an inexpensive Winfast capture card, and demo versions of software such as WinDVR3.

    However that route is still tedious, because I keep having to fiddle with black level, contrast, and audio level, as well as bit rate settings, to get anywhere near a decent result from each tape. And then if the tape has drop-outs, I can't edit and re-encode the resulting file without losing lip sync.

    By comparison, once I had set the Tosh into auto-brightness mode, the Tosh produced a perfect result effortlessly, even with noisy tapes, over-loaded audio levels, and tape drop-outs. The only failure was with Betamax-to-VHS backups, as I have mentioned before. (But I haven't yet tested for losing lip-sync as above.)

    I did consider getting a high-performance PC capture card, but they cost over Aus$500. That price would have bought a diskless Panny in the January sales, or an E85 for Aus$980, so I splashed out Aus$1150 for the Tosh the other day.

    The big advantage of the PC would be the (relative) ease of cutting out ads. Here in Australia, ads occur every 10 minutes or so and occupy around 15% of the movie time.

    My only other concern with the Tosh is the slip of paper with it, that says it's NOT COMPATIBLE with DVD-R's faster than x2. Should I stock up with x2's before the shelves are empty?
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    I have so been there! Spending tons of cash building systems from the motherboard up just to enable video editting/capturing without dropping framerates. For three years (98-01) I attempted to go down the PC route to convert VHS and Betamax recordings to VCD, SVCD and SVCD (on DVD-RAM). Results were never very good even using external time base corrector becuase the system could just not handle it. Thankfully set-top DVD recorders changed all that - instantly good results with no hastle.

    I'm sure PCs are much more user friendly for video capture these days - and can cope with it much better - but for ease of use you can't beat a set-top DVD recorder IMHO.

    This shouldn't be an issue - you will be able to use 1-4x media without problem and that will be available for years yet.
     
  9. dood

    dood
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    Phew! I hope you're right Rasczak. I just bought 5 packs of verbatim 4X DVD-R. I haven't tried them out yet.
     
  10. TobyW

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    So I tried a x4 Shintaro -R on the Tosh XS32. (These carry a warning that they will damage Pioneer A03/A04 drives without firmware upgrade.)

    The x4 worked with no problems, and copying from HDD to DVD was twice as fast as a x2 -RW disc. (So an SP recording transferred in a quarter of the play time.)
     
  11. danoli

    danoli
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    Does anyone know of any businesses that offer a transfer service and approx costs?
     

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