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VHS to Avi (Macrovision protection)

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by cosmos23, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Hey guys, I have a Commercial VHS tape that was produced in 1984, and I have two questions I hope you can answer.

    I wanted to know if it has Macrovision Protection? And if it does how can I get around it easily.

    I was also hoping to back it up easily to a Excellent Quality (.avi) XviD, or at least a DVD (.vob?). Looking for a good Tv-Tuner for the $$$, or PVR (is that right?), can somebody help me please? Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
  2. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    Well, if your VHS tape was produced in 1984, the odds are low that it's Macrovision protected. Macrovision tapes didn't start getting released until 1985 and it took a few years before they became very common.

    Assuming your tape isn't Macrovision protected then there's lots of different ways to digitize it, it all depends upon your budget really. There are USB devices and PCI capture cards you can get in the $100 range. Hauppauge and ATI offer some good quality cards. Also, you could use a DVD recorder to easily convert VHS tapes to DVD. If you opt for a capture card I'd look for one that has hardware mpeg encoding.

    If you're looking for that extra couple of percentage points of quality you can spend more, but a decent mpeg2 card should be all you need for great quality.

    By chance, if you have a VHS tape with Macrovision and you want to convert it to DVD, some capture hardware ignores Macrovision (Hauppauge) and others (ATI) support it. You can always use
    a video stabilizer or TBC to get past a Macrovision protected tape.
     
  3. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Awesome! Thanks for the detailed and very helpful info. Here are some of the products I was thinking of.

    (1) DVD Recorder - Toshiba DVD Recorder With DivX
    http://www.futureshop.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0665000FS10085621&catid=

    (2)Tv Tuner - Hauppauge-WINTV-PVR-150MCE
    http://www.everbest.on.ca/ver2/showProduct.php?id=2420

    I'm leaning more towards the DVD Recorder. Can you edit and record different parts of a VHS on a DVD Recorder, or will it just copy the entire disc? Is the DVD Recorder quality any different from (.avi) Tv Tuner quality (I'm looking to record about from 45mins to 2 hours per DVD-R)? Anything else you could tell me would be appreciated. Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2007
  4. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    Generally you're not going to have a lot of editing options on a DVD recorder. Some might let you cut out commercials. But for the most part it's just going to record what's on the tape, as is.

    It's hard to compare DVD recorder quality with captured .avi quality. Uncompressed .avi is the best quality, but you're going to have to re-encode that and then the quality of your mpeg encoder determines what you end up with. Also, there's no standard DVD recorder quality. There's variability between models, just like with capture cards.

    I don't know anything about that specific Toshiba model you mentioned. Maybe somebody else can comment on it. The 150MCE is a good capture card. I use the regular 150 and I really like it.

    I think it comes down to how much editing you're going to be doing, because you can get good quality either way (DVD recorder or capture card). If you're going to be editing your tapes I think it's best to use a capture card, edit the captured mpeg file the way you want, then burn a DVD.

    DVD recorders are a convenient way to turn tapes into DVD's, and in a pinch you could always rip the burned disc to your hard drive to edit it, then reburn.
     
  5. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Great info. Okay, sorry I have one last question! Is my computer even good enough to use Hauppauge-WINTV-PVR-150MCE? I have this http://www.xpcgear.com/asusk8vmx.html with 2800+ (1.6Ghz), 704MB RAM, On-Board Video. What do you think about Recording in .Avi with this computer, would is pass?
     
  6. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    The Hauppauge PVR-150MCE uses hardware compression. That means all the video processing is done on the card itself, so you don't need a super fast CPU or lots of memory on your PC. Your PC isn't doing the work of capturing/encoding the video, the capture card is. That's the advantage of hardware compression on a capture device.

    If you're running Windows XP Media Center OS with an average or even low end PC, then the Hauppauge 150MCE will be fine.

    The Hauppauge 150 doesn't capture to .avi, it capture to mpeg2, but that should be fine for what your wanting to do.
     
  7. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    ahhh...now I get it! I don't have Media Center OS, would that still be okay?
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2007
  8. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    What OS are you running, Windows XP? The 150MCE will work under XP but the drawback is that it doesn't come with the software to run it. You would have to get additional software like SageTV or something else to use it.

    If your on XP Home or Prof I'd think you'd be better off getting the regular 150.
     
  9. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    I'm running XP Prof. I don't mind picking up something like SageTv, would that be all I need? Is this the Regular 150 you are talking about? Hauppauge-WINTV-PVR-150 PCI Card
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  10. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    Software like SageTV (or Beyond tv, gb-pvr) would be all you'd need to get the PVR-150MCE running on Windows XP Professional. But keep in mind, SageTV is not free software, I think gb-pvr is freeware though.

    Here's the standard PVR-150, the one that I'm using on my Windows XP Pro machine:

    http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_pvr150.html

    So, if you're running XP Pro and you can pick up a 150MCE, plus the software to run it, cheaper than you can pick up a standard 150 (which includes Hauppauge's WinTV software), then go for the 150MCE. But, all other things equal, for a Windows XP machine, I don't see the advantage of the MCE version over the standard 150.
     
  11. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Awesome!! Thank You very much Moonrocks for taking the time over the last couple of days to explain and answer all of my questions and more.
     
  12. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    No problem. Best of luck cosmos23 :)
     
  13. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Hey sorry I have one last question :)

    Do you hook the VCR through the TV into the Tv tuner? or do you hook the VCR and Tv separately into the Tuner? And are there special cables needed or would I already probable have them and can get just the card?
     
  14. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    My cable TV line is split and feeds 2 different VCR's, the audio/video out from 1 VCR goes to my TV and the other to my 150 card.

    As for cables, both the 150MCE and standard 150 come with composite and s-video inputs. So, it's up to you which connection to use. The 150MCE will come with 2 rca audio inputs so you just use a normal rca stereo cable from your VCR to your 150MCE. The standard 150 has a 3.5mm mini jack input for the audio, so you'd need a male rca stereo to male mini cable like this:

    http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Pro-Au...3?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1188531429&sr=8-5
     
  15. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    One thing I forgot to mention, if you have 1 vcr and 1 cable TV line then you could hook up the cable TV to the VCR. You could use another coax cable to hook the coax out from the vcr to the TV. Then feed the s-video (or compositive video) out, and audio outs, from the vcr to your 150 card.
     
  16. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Exactly what I needed to know. Thanks a $Million!
     
  17. cosmos23

    cosmos23 Member

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    Hey I hope your still here!

    I'm planning on getting the Tv Tuner tomorrow but I was just curious about one more thing. It says I need a Sound Card... does that mean a non on-board sound card? Ok am I okay with on-board sound only.
     
  18. moonrocks

    moonrocks Regular member

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    You should be fine with on-board integrated audio.
     

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