Need advice on converting old VHS tapes to DVDs

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Olin K. McDaniel, Dec 30, 2006.

  1. I just checked posts in this group, for the first time in nearly 3
    years, so this may have been covered numerous times in the past. If
    so, I apologize for wasting the time of you regulars, but I would like
    help on the subject. Some years ago I tried converting a few old VHS
    tapes, and bought some devices to assist - only to recognize that what
    I bought then was really not effective. So, now maybe there have been
    newer devices more suited to the job, and that's why I'm here.

    As to my existing equipment, I have several VHS recorders scattered
    around the house atop various TV sets. All have analog video and
    audio outputs, and of course all can play the tapes I wish to convert
    to DVDs. I have two computers, each with its own DVD recorder
    installed. (In addition, I have two DVD "off the air" recorders at a
    couple of the TVs, but don't believe they enter this subject.) It is
    no problem to move one of the VHS recorder/player to feed to either
    computer. As to software, both computers are running Windows 2000,
    and I have recent versions of Nero, plus several older software
    packages such as Roxio Easy Creator 6 and 7 which I use infrequently
    and several other even older, like Vegas 4.

    My basic problem is - I don't have anything as a hardware interface
    within the computers. Perhaps, what I lack is something I used to
    know was called a "capture card". If this is what you experts feel is
    needed, please give me some recommendations, but cost is of some
    importance since I'm not doing this work as a business. Just trying
    to save some old family video tapes for passing on to other family
    members as DVD disks. Many of these tapes come from old VHS
    camcorders, some from recordings off the air. Being retired, the time
    required to do this work should be readily available, assuming I live
    a while longer. So, any useful suggestions are appreciated.

    Olin McDaniel
    Olin K. McDaniel, Dec 30, 2006
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  2. Olin K. McDaniel

    Larry in AZ Guest

    Waiving the right to remain silent, (Olin K.
    McDaniel) said:
    Why bother with the computer, unless you need to do extensive editing..?

    You say you have stand-alone DVD recorders, right..? Just patch VCR to DVD
    recorder and be done with it. Hit PLAY on the VCR and RECORD on the DVD.

    I've transferred dozens of older VHS and Hi-8 videotapes to DVD this way and
    am completely satisifed with the results. Use the best recording quality
    possible for the DVDs, depending on the lengths of your tapes. You may need
    to keep changing it.

    Occasionally, I'll use a computer only to make a mirror image copy of the
    Larry in AZ, Dec 30, 2006
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  3. What I do to transfer my old VHS tapes to DVD is a double step process but
    it doesn't tie up my computer in a real-time capture mode.

    I transfer from VHS to a DVD standalone recorder (Panasonic) recording on a
    rewriteable. I then copy the VOB file off that disk into my computer and
    join them up in VideRedo and spit out a DVD compliant set of files for
    burning - that way I can do a bit of simple editing and it's a lot quicker
    than tying up your computer for hours on end doing tape transfers. The DVD
    recorder and VHS unit sit in a dark corner talking to each other without
    bothering anything else.....
    Little Red Hen, Dec 30, 2006
  4. Jan Panteltje, Dec 30, 2006

  5. Thanks Jerry. I guess my mind must be fogged over, since that is so
    logical. Actually, when I last tried to do this some 2 or 3 years
    ago, I didn't have the stand-alone DVD recorders and I fought this
    problem with my computer, but with very little success. After your
    pointing out the obvious to me, I thought that makes a lot of sense
    and tried it. It worked fine for what I needed, so thanks again.

    Olin K. McDaniel, Dec 31, 2006
  6. Olin K. McDaniel

    Mike Fields Guest

    Be aware of one issue you may run into -- many recorders refuse
    to copy "protected" video's (purchased VHS movies etc.) --
    they will sometimes decide that old tapes where the signal quality has
    dropped must be "protected" and refuse to copy them. I have seen
    a number of posts about this in the past. They were NOT protected
    tapes (Macrovision etc.), but the stupid recorder decided that since
    the signal level was fluctuating it was protected. Just be aware you
    may run into this issue

    Mike Fields, Jan 2, 2007
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