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Transferring VHS to DVD (a beginner)

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by uncleb, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. uncleb

    uncleb Guest

    Dear Friends,

    I would like to transform family VHS & 8mm tapes to DVD. Some of these babies are 13 to 14 years old. I’d like to do it using my computer, but need to know exactly what I need to do it. I’ve been to a few places (like Best Buy) and talked to a few people about what I needed. All have been helpful, but unlike you guys, they might have ulterior motives. That’s why I’m enlisting your help. Internal card, external USB, editing software? I don’t know. Finances are important (cause I ain’t got much to spend), but so is the quality, cause like I said these are priceless family heirlooms. The materials that you recommend need to be easy to figure out and operate (cause I ain’t no rocket scientist). If it helps, looking at my systems properties it says that I have a AMD Anthlon™ XP 1800+ (processor), 256 megs of RAM, I use Windows 98SE, and have about 30 gigs available on my Hard Drive, a 3D fx Voodoo Banshee Display Driver, and I don’t know what else. Anything you can tell me will be appreciated. Thanks in advance you guys (and gals) have been most helpful in the past.

    God Bless

    Uncle Bob
     
  2. DogBomb

    DogBomb Regular member

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    I've been doing alot of video editing - basically converting from VHS to DVD like you want to do. If I had to do it all over again, I WOULD HAVE JUST BOUGHT A $300 Gateway DVD Recorder!!! (But it was $800 last year.) Honestly, your PC could not handle what would be required for video editing. You would need a big fat hard drive (they recommend 2), USB 2.0 (USB 1.1 impossible), lots of RAM, a fast processor, as well as a video card or hardware that could accept analog input, AND video editing software. That's $1000 already. Otherwise, your vids will look like garbage - choppy and blurry. This does not include the time to transfer the video to PC, editing, and the 4 hrs it takes to "render" a 1 hr video to DVD. I bought Pinnacle MovieBox USB and it came with Studio 8. That piece of shit is so buggy that the audio is never in sync with my video! Wasted so many hours on that piece of garbage. So if you've got alot of tapes that you want to preserve, a DVD recorder works just like recording from another VCR. And you have some but limited menu creating abilities. Just remember you can always go back and edit your DVDs later if or when you want to. My friend recorded some VHS tapes onto DVDs for me, and the quality is alot better than I would get even if I spent hours to capture and edit myself. Even captured the audio in Dolby Digital whereas after capturing VHS to MPEG, it's just MPEG-2 audio. Trust me, if I could do it over again, I would just buy a DVD recorder. Instead, I spent so many wasted hours learning the stupid editing software that doesn't even work.
     
  3. DogBomb

    DogBomb Regular member

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    Bob, not to beat a dead horse, but I think your PC is lacking for video editing. You would need more than 30GB for video, considering it takes 4GB for a decent quality, 1-hour video in MPEG. And if your drive speed is only 5400RPM, you will get choppy video. And you need a video capture card, which is different from just a graphics card (unless you get an ATI 9xxx) which does both. Win 2000/XP will also be better at handling big files. 256MB RAM is only good enough to keep your PC running, not for vid editing. Look at these: http://www.gateway.com/home/ce/dvd.shtml?cmlid=CONS*Promo3*CPHP*HOMEPAGE
    http://shopper.cnet.com/LIteOn_LVW_...14-6473_9-30607163.html?tag=pl&q=dvd+recorder

    The only thing I don't like about Gateway's is no component video inputs. I've seen a cheap Cyberhome one too, but avoid it!!!
     
  4. DogBomb

    DogBomb Regular member

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  5. berni29

    berni29 Member

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    I use a USB 1.1 external usb box (in fact it is a winTV PVR usb2 box but the computer has usb 1 ports)on my XP Athlon 1800 machine and I get very good results copying VHS to DVD. I get about 3 VHS videos on one DVD. I cannot tell the difference between the original recordings and the DVDs. In fact the DVDs play back and pause better. To copy at standard DVD quality I would have to use a USB2 machine, and I will do that when I copy my DV tapes.

    I have a question on that front please. Is it worth getting an S-vhs cable instead of using the composite cable from my DV camcorder?

    Thanks
     
  6. DogBomb

    DogBomb Regular member

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    I figured as much that you were using a SUB 1.1 instead of USB 2 or Firewire but I'm definitely surprised your video isn't choppy. Hey, it it works for you, great! Yeah, if you have a svhs cable input into your capture device, definitely go for one. It's suppose to provide much better video quality than composite (composite > svhs > component)
     

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