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Offline rhinowing

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I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« on: March 25, 2011, 11:38:54 PM »
I've had these tapes sitting in my parent's house for the better part of four years now, and I'd like to get them onto dvd before they disappear forever...would anyone be able to do a quick and dirty transfer to DVD? They're about 75 minutes each....

2000/08/06 Edmonton, AB ( MiniDV > VHS-2, center shot )
2000/08/11 Molson, ON ( MiniDV > VHS-4, pit shot )
2000/11/29 Chicago, IL ( VHS-3, partial stage left angle )

Please PM if you're interested -- I'm more than willing to cover return shipping and the cost of blank discs...
Please contact me if you've ever taped the Smashing Pumpkins or a related group!

Offline yousef

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2011, 08:10:46 AM »
A slight hijack, for which I apologise...

I'm looking to transfer all my old VHS family videos (plus a couple of concert tapes) but could do with some advice as to how best to go about it. The USB interfaces on Amazon look a bit suspect and I've read a couple of things online that suggest recording into a DVD recorder and then ripping to a PC is the way to go.

Can anyone advise as to how to get the best quality transfer at home?

Again, apologies for the hijack.
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Offline beatkilla

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2011, 02:54:22 PM »
What groups are your footage of and what do you mean by VHS-4 VHS-2?

What happened to the original mini dv?

Also alot of mini dv cameras allow for analog pass thru which digitizes your analog footage and send it by firewire into your computer.Thats probably the best way.....or buy a Canopus device which does the same but you may already have a mini dv camera.I can do it by i don't have alot of free time so there would be some fee.

Offline junkyardt

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2011, 02:59:10 PM »
What groups are your footage of and what do you mean by VHS-4 VHS-2?

What happened to the original mini dv?

Also alot of mini dv cameras allow for analog pass thru which digitizes your analog footage and send it by firewire into your computer.Thats probably the best way.....or buy a Canopus device which does the same but you may already have a mini dv camera.I can do it by i don't have alot of free time so there would be some fee.

I'm guessing he means they are VHS's of the Smashing Pumpkins that he got in trade, and the VHS-2, VHS-4 etc. indicates the generation of the VHS copy he has. The MiniDV masters most likely belong to the filmers of the shows and are not accessible to him.

Offline shoestringconcerts

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2011, 05:31:40 PM »
Friends dont let friends transfer generated VHS to DVD.

Have you checked to verify that the shows you have on vhs arent already available in better quality on DVD?  if you have a VHS2 that means you got it from someone with a VHS1 and they got it from the filmer, one of them may have traded or sold the show on DVD, so it may be out there in better quality than you have.

For the guy with family videos,  there are services out there that do those transfers for a fee.  If you want to do it yourself all you need is a Canopus device or any of a zillion different USB capture devices and some software.  Google tends to be the best way to research the options if you dont want to pay someone to take care of it for you.

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Offline willndmb

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2011, 06:16:28 PM »
Friends dont let friends transfer generated VHS to DVD.

Have you checked to verify that the shows you have on vhs arent already available in better quality on DVD?  if you have a VHS2 that means you got it from someone with a VHS1 and they got it from the filmer, one of them may have traded or sold the show on DVD, so it may be out there in better quality than you have.

For the guy with family videos,  there are services out there that do those transfers for a fee.  If you want to do it yourself all you need is a Canopus device or any of a zillion different USB capture devices and some software.  Google tends to be the best way to research the options if you dont want to pay someone to take care of it for you.
do you have any input/advice on a canopus device for capturing HD video from tv/dvr > mac?
thanks
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Offline yousef

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 01:03:37 PM »
I'm really not keen on those USB devices.

Reading around, it seems like the best way would be to record into my standalone DVD recorder via a component-out on the VCR.

If I can find a VCR with such an output (probably via SCART on a UK machine) is this really the best way or if I want to edit and do menus etc will I end up adding unnecessary encoding steps by using the DVD-recorder?

Apologies for the continued hijack - happy to take this to a new thread if wanted.
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Offline tailschao

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 01:34:29 PM »
I'm really not keen on those USB devices.

Reading around, it seems like the best way would be to record into my standalone DVD recorder via a component-out on the VCR.

If I can find a VCR with such an output (probably via SCART on a UK machine) is this really the best way or if I want to edit and do menus etc will I end up adding unnecessary encoding steps by using the DVD-recorder?

Apologies for the continued hijack - happy to take this to a new thread if wanted.
Find an S-VHS player with a decent Timebase Corrector. eBay/craigslist or something. I hope you're not in the UK, they're very hard to find at decent prices over here (I tried a while ago). Run the S-Video output to a PC video capture card. Then record that signal as uncompresssed 4:2:0 video at either PAL or NTSC DVD resolution (depending on source tapes).

If you want, you can record in DV or something instead of the huge bandwidth uncompressed files. I'd guess that the bitrate of DV should be enough to cope with VHS footage without visual loss.

Either way, for best quality, the important part is the first 2 steps. S-VHS player with an S-Video output and a TBC. PC Capture Card.


DVD Recorder method would work, but it will incur loss.

If you are in the UK it might even be easier to find a professional service which will do a proper transfer for you and give you the footage on a hard drive than for you get a decent S-VHS machine yourself. I dunno, I've never looked, but there are services which will do proper 8mm film transfers outputted uncompressed to hard drives so I'd guess there are some which do the same for VHS tapes.

Offline rhinowing

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 04:41:17 PM »

I'm guessing he means they are VHS's of the Smashing Pumpkins that he got in trade, and the VHS-2, VHS-4 etc. indicates the generation of the VHS copy he has. The MiniDV masters most likely belong to the filmers of the shows and are not accessible to him.
yep, exactly

Friends dont let friends transfer generated VHS to DVD.

Have you checked to verify that the shows you have on vhs arent already available in better quality on DVD?  if you have a VHS2 that means you got it from someone with a VHS1 and they got it from the filmer, one of them may have traded or sold the show on DVD, so it may be out there in better quality than you have.

For the guy with family videos,  there are services out there that do those transfers for a fee.  If you want to do it yourself all you need is a Canopus device or any of a zillion different USB capture devices and some software.  Google tends to be the best way to research the options if you dont want to pay someone to take care of it for you.

and, I've checked the existing transfers of these videos exhaustively (I run an SP recording website) -- 8/6 has never been transferred to digital (short of an audio > cdr transfer), 8/11 is transferred from a higher-gen tape and only available as a vcd (mpeg1), and 11/29 exists from a tape of roughly the same generation, but was only transferred to a low-quality xvid...which is why I'd like to get these out there.

I was lucky to get these tapes from someone who had dropped out of the SP trading game and had some rare stuff (especially on video) that disappeared from circulation over the course of time
Please contact me if you've ever taped the Smashing Pumpkins or a related group!

Offline yousef

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 04:56:37 PM »
Find an S-VHS player with a decent Timebase Corrector. eBay/craigslist or something. I hope you're not in the UK, they're very hard to find at decent prices over here (I tried a while ago). Run the S-Video output to a PC video capture card. Then record that signal as uncompresssed 4:2:0 video at either PAL or NTSC DVD resolution (depending on source tapes).

If you want, you can record in DV or something instead of the huge bandwidth uncompressed files. I'd guess that the bitrate of DV should be enough to cope with VHS footage without visual loss.

Either way, for best quality, the important part is the first 2 steps. S-VHS player with an S-Video output and a TBC. PC Capture Card.


DVD Recorder method would work, but it will incur loss.

If you are in the UK it might even be easier to find a professional service which will do a proper transfer for you and give you the footage on a hard drive than for you get a decent S-VHS machine yourself. I dunno, I've never looked, but there are services which will do proper 8mm film transfers outputted uncompressed to hard drives so I'd guess there are some which do the same for VHS tapes.

Thanks for that.

I initially started looking for players with a S-video out (and yep, they do seem to still go for silly prices here) but Wikipedia suggested that S-video was inferior to the RGB component output that some VCRs would output through the SCART. Is this not the case?

I had thought about sending them away for transfer but thought that the costs of doing it for two families' worth of 25 years of home videos might make it cheaper to buy some decent equipment to do it at home...

And have you got any recommendations for a USB or Firewire based interface? - I don't own any desktop PCs anymore.
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Offline keytohwy

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2011, 01:34:46 PM »
Check out Canopus as mentioned before.  I think the 300 model has the TBC built in. 

keytohwy

Offline tailschao

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 01:20:02 PM »
Find an S-VHS player with a decent Timebase Corrector. eBay/craigslist or something. I hope you're not in the UK, they're very hard to find at decent prices over here (I tried a while ago). Run the S-Video output to a PC video capture card. Then record that signal as uncompresssed 4:2:0 video at either PAL or NTSC DVD resolution (depending on source tapes).

If you want, you can record in DV or something instead of the huge bandwidth uncompressed files. I'd guess that the bitrate of DV should be enough to cope with VHS footage without visual loss.

Either way, for best quality, the important part is the first 2 steps. S-VHS player with an S-Video output and a TBC. PC Capture Card.


DVD Recorder method would work, but it will incur loss.

If you are in the UK it might even be easier to find a professional service which will do a proper transfer for you and give you the footage on a hard drive than for you get a decent S-VHS machine yourself. I dunno, I've never looked, but there are services which will do proper 8mm film transfers outputted uncompressed to hard drives so I'd guess there are some which do the same for VHS tapes.

Thanks for that.

I initially started looking for players with a S-video out (and yep, they do seem to still go for silly prices here) but Wikipedia suggested that S-video was inferior to the RGB component output that some VCRs would output through the SCART. Is this not the case?

I had thought about sending them away for transfer but thought that the costs of doing it for two families' worth of 25 years of home videos might make it cheaper to buy some decent equipment to do it at home...

And have you got any recommendations for a USB or Firewire based interface? - I don't own any desktop PCs anymore.
I'm not sure about the component, you might well be correct. I only looked into S-Video, as my capture card only has an S-Video input.

That said, I can't imagine a standard VHS tape has enough quality on it to be noticeable between S-Video and Component.

I know that Scart > S-Video has weird problems, like the image being black & white and softer than the actual VHS. IIRC there's some kind of workaround but I never got it to work. And I think you need a converter box to go from Scart to Component (like this).


I can't help with specific external USB/FW interfaces, but I would guess that external interfaces with component input will be quite expensive.

I dunno man. The thing is, if you can get a decent S-VHS player, the inbuilt TBC will do a lot to improve the picture quality too. Note: External TBCs will do nothing of the sort, all they do is remove copy protection. If it's a choice between spending £85 on a Scart > Component converter box plus christ knows what on an external component interface, I think I'd rather get a cheaper S-Video only USB/FW interface, then put all the other money saved towards a proper SVHS deck off eBay or something.

Offline yousef

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 05:53:34 PM »

I dunno man. The thing is, if you can get a decent S-VHS player, the inbuilt TBC will do a lot to improve the picture quality too. Note: External TBCs will do nothing of the sort, all they do is remove copy protection. If it's a choice between spending £85 on a Scart > Component converter box plus christ knows what on an external component interface, I think I'd rather get a cheaper S-Video only USB/FW interface, then put all the other money saved towards a proper SVHS deck off eBay or something.

That sounds very sensible. Thanks for your advice, will start trawling Ebay and the boot sales...
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Offline Brian E.

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2011, 11:09:53 AM »
I have a very expensive and awesome conversion box (firewire, locked audio) but after I converted everything I had I tossed the VCR since it was a VCR/DVD combo and the DVD was flakey.  If you want, you could borrow the box.  It's Firewire 400 (6 pin) so you may need an adapter if your mac/pc only has 800 (9 pin).  My new MBP is 800, so I would need one too.

It's this:

http://www.amazon.com/Canopus-ADVC300-Advanced-Digital-Converter/dp/B0006UMGHE

Looks great, has on the fly color and sharpness controls if you want in the software.

I captured the adjusted feed with iMovie as a "webcam" input.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2011, 11:12:19 AM by Brian Emerick »
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Offline Brian E.

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Re: I have some VHS tapes I'm trying to get transferred...
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2011, 11:13:00 AM »
Check out Canopus as mentioned before.  I think the 300 model has the TBC built in. 

keytohwy

this! :)
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