Need Recommendation for VHS to Digital Hardware

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Hunt, May 25, 2006.

  1. Hunt

    Hunt Guest

    I've got a project for a friend (no money will change hands) and also for my
    family. I need to record VHS tapes to the computer for editing and am looking
    for hardware solutions. As this will not be an on-going project, and the
    results will end up on DVD for personal viewing, I'm not looking to invest in
    pro hardware.

    System: 4GHz dual-core Intel, 4GB RAM, 512 MB nVidia Quadro vid, 2TB HDD (
    SATAII, 4x500) plus 2TB 10/100/1000 LAN HDD storage. Premier Production
    Studio, on XP-Pro SP-2. I've got FW-400 & 800 ports, plus USB 2.0s.

    The original cameras (VHS) will not be available, and I have three VHS decks
    to choose from. Before I go out and spend a bunch of $ (those are US $'s) on
    hardware interface gear, I'm looking for some recommendations from this group.
    In a perfect world, I'd get an add-on box, rather than a PCI card (I do have
    empty PCI slots), but am open to your suggestions. As stated, this will be
    something that will be done once, or twice, and not be a "service." I've
    looked into the service bureaus for digitizing, but think that I can "build"
    the capability into my system for about the same outlay, and have it around
    for the next project, should one ever arise.

    What digitizing hardware would you recommend?

    Hunt, May 25, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. Hunt

    Paul Guest

    What digitizing hardware would you recommend?

    I originally purchased a Canopus ADVC110 which seems to be highly
    recommended but could never get the thing to work correctly with the right
    combination of firewire drivers and capture software. After a couple days
    pulling my hair out with that and numerous installations of various bloated
    video editing/capture packages, I ended up buying an LG LRY-517 VHS/DVD
    Recorder combo (Circuit City) to transfer VHS tapes directly to DVD. It
    worked great, and I could transfer the VOB (MPEG2) files to the computer for
    editing and further encoding.

    -- Paul
    Paul, May 25, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. Hunt

    Ken Maltby Guest

    What I find works well is a DVD Recorder. The DVD+RW format
    seems to provide the most reliable results. You can get a refurbished
    unit with more sturdy construction and built-in TBC and NR, for near
    the cost of the newer, cheap (WallMart) units. ( I have a refurbished
    RCA DRC8000N that has worked out great. I even have it hooked
    up so that I can watch VHS tapes through it and benefit from the
    filtering and Progressive Component output.)

    Ken Maltby, May 26, 2006
  4. Hunt

    Neil Maxwell Guest

    I'll second this. I looked at all the time and black magic involved
    in getting analog video into a PC, and got a standalone DVD recorder
    instead (though I went for an inexpensive one). It's extremely easy
    to use, there are no issues with PC performance, audio sync, etc, and
    it's very easy to rip the video from the resultant DVD into the PC,
    then edit it with whatever works for you.

    Especially in a case like this, where there's no compensation
    involved, it makes a lot of sense from the time and effort
    Neil Maxwell, May 26, 2006
  5. Actually the ADVC models are very good. The way to use the capture from
    analog to DV is to open the capture module and then hit the play button
    which opens the 1394 port. You then begin either capture and then hit play
    on the VCR, which leaves a little blank video at the beginning - or hit play
    on the VCR and then record on the capture module. This is a normal way of
    dealing with analog to DV capture devices where there is no device control
    due to the fact you are capturing from an analog source. This method is also
    described in detail within the manual that ships with these types of capture
    devices, whether it is an ADS Pyro A/V Link or the Canopus ADVC models... If
    you folks would just read the manual before trying to use the device it
    would save you plenty of time and headache.
    Larry Johnson
    Digital Video Solutions
    877-227-6281 Toll Free Sales Assistance
    386-672-1941 Customer Service
    386-672-1907 Technical Support
    386-676-1515 Fax
    Larry Johnson, May 26, 2006
  6. Hunt

    Paul Guest

    Larry, have you *seen* the ADVC110 manual? I just took a look at it, and
    it's 18 pages long with only 9 pages of useful information. It comes with
    *no* software/driver/manual CD in the box. Granted, it's supposed to
    automagically work with Windows XP and certain software packages listed on
    the box, but it's a bit disconcerting to buy a $300 piece of hardware with
    little to no instruction on how to use the thing, or even detailed info on
    what software/version is compatible with the device. "Here's your $300
    hockey puck and a firewire cable. It's so easy to use you don't need
    instructions. GOOD LUCK !!"

    -- Paul
    Paul, May 26, 2006
  7. Hunt

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    I have 2 ADVC 100s at work and I've never even opened the manual. Just
    plugged them in (using Sony Vegas) and they work. No software/driver/manual
    is needed as this is a product that DOES work as advertised. BTW, it works
    with Windows 98 & W2K and any other NLE software I've thrown it at.

    Mike Kujbida, May 26, 2006
  8. It's just a firewire pass-through device. It should be available to any NLE
    software that utilizes a simple firewire card - which is basically all of
    them. It's no different than having a firewire card and using that for
    capture in anything from Windows Movie Maker to Adobe Premiere Pro. Firewire
    cards do not have specific drivers and software to interface them with NLE
    software any more than applications that produce sound need special drivers
    to utilize your soundcard.

    Maybe you shouldn't go through life always overthinking everything.
    Larry Johnson, May 26, 2006
  9. Hunt

    Hunt Guest

    Thanks for all of the insight. I didn't mean to start a 1934 device war though
    <G>. It looks like the VHS -> DVD recorder will so what I need, and, as I need
    a VHS deck for an in-home AV setup, I'll probably go that route.

    Hunt, May 27, 2006
  10. Hunt

    M.L. Guest

    But if I only had a standalone DVD recorder, how would I convert the
    edited files to a DVD?
    M.L., May 27, 2006
  11. Hunt

    max Guest

    You'd need a DVD recorder on your PC as well. In theory, you could
    play it back from your PC and re-record it on the standalone, but
    you'd need a TV output on your PC, and the logistics and quality
    issues could be tricky.

    A good DVD recorder for a PC can be had pretty cheaply these days - I
    haven't bought one for a while, but they were heading down to $40 or
    so last I checked.

    max, Jun 10, 2006
  12. Hunt

    Scubajam Guest

    Follow this other thread. There's another way to do this besides
    buying a standalong DVD recorder. Just run through a conversion
    camcorder, capture avi file. Edit on any software desired, including
    the free Windows Movie Maker, and record to an internal DVD burner.

    Here's a thread from a previous similar question. It's a long thread,
    but lots of good info there.

    You can probably borrower, or in worst case, rent, a camcorder that
    does passthrough. Many of the Sony models, both minDV and Digital8 do
    this. As explained in the thread.

    Cost is about $20 for Firewire (IEEE1394) capture card, and $40 for DVD
    burner. Software can be free. Borrow a camcorder, or worst case, buy
    one off eBay for about the same or less as a stand alone DVD burner.
    Just make sure you check that the model you get will support analog to
    digital conversion. Or, worst case, record to a tape in the digital
    camcorder, then Firewire to the computer. That take 2X as long and
    might lose a very slight bit of quality. The VHS isn't going to be
    great quality anyway, compared to anything digital.

    Jim McG
    Washington State
    Scubajam, Jun 10, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.