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What exactly do you need for capturing from VHS to PC??

Discussion in 'Video capturing from analog sources' started by k0k0m0, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. k0k0m0

    k0k0m0 Regular member

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    I have several old movies and home videos I'd love to convert from VHS to PC and then to DVD.

    I have been learning quite much about DVD authroing and such lately but now I'd love to go to one of my sources and learn how to convert those old VHS.

    What [bold]exactly[/bold] are the requirements for doing it so? I mean hardware and software. Do you need to buy a special card aside from the 3D card you have?

    Sorry if it sounds too ignorant fellas!

    My PC is a P4 1.5 Ghz with 1024 Mb Ram and an Nvidia 5500 graphic card.


    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2005
  2. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    You need a method of getting the VHS signal into your computer.
    There are a few ways.
    1) TBC device. Expensive, uses firewire (usually).
    2) Hardware encoder card, cheaper, good quality.
    3) Software encoder card, very cheap, good quality, very time consuming!
    3a) Some video cards also have capture, ATI only.
    4) Passthrough on digital video camera.
    1, 2, and 3 all come with software. There is also lots of free stuff on the internet.
     
  3. k0k0m0

    k0k0m0 Regular member

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    Thnx as usual Jim!
     
  4. car1ef

    car1ef Member

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    rebootjim,

    in your list...

    could you please recommend some hardware choices for options 2 & 3... and maybe even some some recommendations on the free software to use with those particular cards...

    Thanks,
    Carl

    Just remembered to let you know what system I'm running on...

    Win XP SP2
    AMD 3200+
    ddr 3200 512mb
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2005
  5. pfh

    pfh Guest

    IMO first decide how much editing and how creative you plan to be with your vids. Will you be adding scene transistions, titles, extra music, etc.? If your plans just entail basic transfers and a menu with chapters then I feel it's best to find a capture device that encodes directly to dvd compliant mpeg files. This method saves the time it would take to cap in say, avi then convert this to mpeg.

    Look for cards/devices that use their own chip for hardware based encoding to save on cpu resources and help eleminiate computer related hangs. It's also best to have a separate hard drive for your video caps and work or at least a separate partition that can easily be cleaned and defragged OFTEN. I have a sepatate 40 gig drive I use for doing (most times) just one video project at a time.

    I can't comment on the differnt cards. I bought the Plextor ConvertX PX-M402U last year and before I started educating myself on video stuff. However, this device has served my purposes quite well. At ~$150 the price was in my budget. Other's like Hauupage, Canopus, Leadtech, offer excellant mpeg capabilities but where the difference lies is most likely the software bundled. Check the details on the software side and you might find it would be overkill for your needs. Canopus can be near professional stuff that, although cool, just might never be used. everyones situation is different. For me- I've got a family of 4 kids that can derail anybodys plans and time!

    One thing I did learn was have a good output device- as in a quality vcr.
     
  6. k0k0m0

    k0k0m0 Regular member

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    I would use it mostly for amateur things. Nothing professional nor fancy. I've got old recordings from high school, for instance, on VHS that I'd like to convert to DVD to preserve.
    What would you suggest for that?
    Apart from that I am thinking of buying a Digital Camcorder....

     
  7. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    If you're definitely getting the digicam, then you don't need a card, of any sort.
    It will transfer DV video directly in DV-avi format, to your hard drive. No compression, no quality loss.
    You can use the digicam as a "passthrough", that is, hook the VCR to the cam, cam to computer (through firewire) and cap directly.
    This is the same as having an expensive TBC, and will bypass macrovision.
    The only thing you lose out on, is the live TV, and TV caps.
    If you want TV, just set the VCR to whatever channel you want to watch, and use any viewing/capping software, such as VirtualVCR (free), still using the cam as a passthrough.
    If you don't want the cam inline all the time, get a $20 tuner card (with VirtualVCR, Stoik Video Capture, virtualdub, or 3 or 4 other free ones.)

    Don't put Hauppauge PVR cards in the same context as Canopus or Leadtech.
    Hauppauge WinTV cards are "soft", that is, they rely on software and your CPU to do the work. The PVR cards do not.
    Canopus make TBC's. No tuner, more expensive, but the best way to cap VHS (unless you have a digicam with passthrough).
    Leadtech stuff is also "soft".
     
  8. k0k0m0

    k0k0m0 Regular member

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    Oh! So if I use a digital cam I do not need a card? The cam acts as "a bridge" between the VCR and the PC? You can playback on the VCR and record to the Digicam? Wow... didn't know that! Thanks so much!
     
  9. noypi2

    noypi2 Member

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    I used the following setup without any problems or issues.

    VCR + ADS Pyro A/V Link + PC firewire port
    Ulead software that comes with Pyro is ok.
    I've transferred old VHS clips to DVD or CD.

    Hope this helps
     
  10. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Yes, if you have a digital cam with passthrough (via firewire), you don't need a capture card of any sort (providing you have firewire on the computer).
    You don't actually record on the cam, it just acts as the TBC, and converts the analog VHS to digital, then passes the digital DV-AVI off to the computer to save it.
    It's realtime, and excellent quality.
     
  11. bkstyl

    bkstyl Member

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    Quote:
    Don't put Hauppauge PVR cards in the same context as Canopus or Leadtech.
    Hauppauge WinTV cards are "soft", that is, they rely on software and your CPU to do the work. The PVR cards do not.
    Canopus make TBC's. No tuner, more expensive, but the best way to cap VHS (unless you have a digicam with passthrough).
    Leadtech stuff is also "soft".
    _____________________________________________________

    rebootjim, just to confirm our earlier conversations, I thought the Hauppauge WinTV PVR-150 and 250 have hardware based encoders which takes the work off the CPU. Does your comment above mean that getting either the 150 or 250 will taxes my CPU resources and that I should look at a different device?
     
  12. bkstyl

    bkstyl Member

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    Quote:
    Don't put Hauppauge PVR cards in the same context as Canopus or Leadtech.
    Hauppauge WinTV cards are "soft", that is, they rely on software and your CPU to do the work. The PVR cards do not.
    Canopus make TBC's. No tuner, more expensive, but the best way to cap VHS (unless you have a digicam with passthrough).
    Leadtech stuff is also "soft".
    ______________________________________________________

    Sorry I read that wrong. The Hauppauge WinTv cards are soft but the Hauppauge WinTv PVR rely on the hardware encoder?
     
  13. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Yes, the key is in the model name. If it's PVR-xxx (3 numbers in the xxx), then it's a hardware encoder type.
    There are lots of different cards/devices made by hauppauge, and it's easy to get confused:
    WinTV-PVR 150/150MCE (Model 26xxx)
    WinTV-PVR 250/350 (Model 32xxx/48xxx)
    WinTV-PVR USB2 <---
    WinTV-PVR Roslyn (Model 28xxx) (very rare)
    WinTV-PVR 500MCE (Model 23xxx)
    MediaMVP <---This is the "soft" one.
    WinTV-PVR Baldwin (Model 30xxx) (very rare)
    WinTV-PVR (Model 45xxx) <---This is the "soft" one.
    WinTV-PVR USB (old, out of service).
     
  14. bkstyl

    bkstyl Member

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    Thanks rebootjim. I read that wrong the first time and wanted to make sure I was getting a good device. Seems as though they have new drivers out to fix the 150's volume issue. Any other issue that you know if that should stop me from buying that one?
     
  15. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Nope. If the price is right, and the new drivers fix the audio problem, go for it.
     

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