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Directly watching VHS casette on my Laptop

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by Nakkoush, Mar 12, 2007.

  1. Nakkoush

    Nakkoush Member

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    Hi,

    This is my first post here, i hope i am posting it in the right section, I am newbie in this and need your help

    I want to buy an external hardware which can connect through USB or Firewire to my laptop, which allows me to watch directly my old VHS movies on my laptop, or to watch my digital satellite receiver on my PC...

    In fact this is my main intention (to directly convert analogue to digital and have the movie played on my Laptop's screen somewhat good image), but if the same hardware comes with a software having the possibility of recording my VHS to DVD, it would be a great plus for me, again i am not expert in that... I hope i am not asking the most stupid question in this forum

    My budget is between $100 to $150, i can go a bit higher if it really makes difference...

    any help is highly appreciated..

    Regards,
    Nakkoush
     
  2. Corypolo

    Corypolo Member

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    Hi Nakkoush,

    Well.. let me just say that there are a couple of unknowns here for me (but maybe not for others viewing the question).

    The main thing I'm wondering is what is how powerful is your laptop..what are it's specs? (what operating system [Windows, Mac, Linux, etc] processor speed, hard drive space, amount of ram).

    Also, what ports do you have available? (such as usb [1.1 or 2.0], firewire...do you have a pmcia/card bus slot?)

    Depending on what you have to work with, there may be several possibilities..maybe even a few in your given budget. Please let us know.

    Corypolo
     
  3. Dunker

    Dunker Regular member

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    This is what are looking for->
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/search.asp?cat=1428&keywords=video capture&mnf=

    , but there is one big problem: VHS outputs an analog, often degraded signal. Making matters worse is copy-protection; hardware-encoding cards and DVD recorders will not record any signal they detect as having Macrovision, which is used on commercial videotapes. Unfortunately, even old tapes without copy-protection may appear to be copy-protected to some devices. A "stabilizer" or "clarifier" can take card of the Macrovision problem, but to reduce jitter and improve signal quality, you need a Time Base Corrector and those are pricey (TBCs will also remove Macrovision though). A device that does not have hardware-based encoding will not have problems with copy-protection problems, but requires more CPU use and usually does not produce as good quality. I don't know if any of the device in the link I posted don't hard hardware encoding. There aren't many USB capture device that dosn't have hardware encoding, and, thus, Macrovision recognition. The only one I know of is this->
    http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2329309&CatId=1428

    Hope this helps.
     
  4. garmoon

    garmoon Regular member

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    I used rather cheap ($50)"Dazzle" Digital video Creator 90 with pinnacle software. Worked like a charm. Connects with USB to pc and with audio and video RCA or s video to a VHS player. I transferred my VHS family tapes. The process takes time since you have to play the VHS tapes in real time. Then encoding also takes more time.
     
  5. donewell

    donewell Regular member

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    For what its worth, I have the ads tech dvd express that works for me. you just run the right and left sterio audio outs and the video out from vcr to it then a cable to your usb port. It even by passes the macrovision so you can back up comercial tapes. the tape thinks it is being played not copied.
     
  6. Dunker

    Dunker Regular member

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    That's what the non-hardware-encoding cards do. The problem is the workload it places on the CPU and hardware - multitasking can be difficult if not impossible - and the quality issues. Software MPEG-2 encoders tend not to be as high-quality as the hardware ones, at least not the ones in encoders with decent chipsets. Then there's the whole jitter/signal timing and stability issues, which is where the TBC comes in. Don't get me wrong, those non-HE capture device work, and can do the job, but I've yet to see one that does the job with reasonable quality.
     
  7. Nakkoush

    Nakkoush Member

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    First of all thanks to everybody here..
    To make it easier for all of us:
    A good digital video convertor, will it allow me to see a picture on my laptop screen apart from converting an analogue picture to a digital one and recording it to my PC or DVD?
    in fact not to have a good display picture on my laptop's screen and almost acceptable picture when converting is not what i really want, i have no problem as i mentioned earler to spend up to $200 if i can get a proper thing..

    Again thanks in advance
     
  8. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_usb2.html

    Hardware mpeg2 encoding, no load on the CPU. Ignores Macrovision copy protection. Great quality mpeg2 captures.

    Yes, you could just watch the video on your laptop without recording it and the picture quality will be fine.
     

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