record directly to a hard drive from vhs deck or camcorder ?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by ragna, Apr 3, 2010.

  1. ragna

    ragna Guest

    I'm looking for a way to record video directly from my camcorder and my vhs
    deck to an external hard drive... I know Sony makes a dvd recorder that can
    do this but then you're limited in too many ways.
    ragna, Apr 3, 2010
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  2. ragna

    Paul Guest

    You can use a WinTV capture card, to capture a composite signal.
    A card like this fits in a computer, and the computer does the

    If you don't like the computer solution, then the next solution
    might be a DVR. They make DVRs based on hard drives, so a device
    like this has its own hard drive internally. They're typically
    used on security systems. The only advantage of this, compared
    to a computer, is it is slightly smaller and dedicated to the
    task of recording.

    They also make portable DVR devices, like this one. This one has
    a 30GB drive inside.

    Paul, Apr 5, 2010
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  3. ragna

    ragna Guest

    The source would be from several camcorders: a Sears VHS that
    used the big vhs tapes you played in a vcr attached to a tv set...

    Those old Sears units were made for them by RCA and you could
    shoot up to 3 hours.. some of those tapes recorded to were 160
    and 180 minutes native, not extended play or SuperLongPlay.

    Used it for wildlife, mostly black bears that would come down to
    the creek and fish for suckers when they were spawning in the spring...

    The other footage is from Sony camcorders that shot digital, both
    hi8 and miniDV using 90 minute tapes.

    So you can see that capturing to dvd, even dvd/dl, wouldn't give you
    enough storage and it would also be in vob/mpg2 which isn't a good
    place to wind up... I've got several hundred hours of this kind of footage.

    A DRV/PVR unit that would accept feeds from both my old VCR playback
    decks and straight from the firewire out port on the Sony camcorders would
    be ideal

    The idea is to get all the footage onto a hard drive in avi format for
    ease of editing...

    Thanks a lot for your suggestions - gets me pointed in a good direction.
    ragna, Apr 5, 2010
  4. WHY? Thousands of us do this every day with a computer, but if
    you are asking for a standalone solution (which doesn't require any
    computer) then you are venturing into an area with not many choices
    and big price tags. Is that really what you want?

    You would be better off buying annother/new computer than trying
    to find a standalone solution.
    Richard Crowley, Apr 6, 2010
  5. ragna

    ragna Guest

    you're almost certainly correct ... but every once in a while there turns
    to be someone lurking around the newsgroup who has either come across
    or has invented a great solution and if I never pose the question I'd never
    find it out... guess I might try to grab an old p4 3gigahertz with lots of
    RAM and
    open pci slots and fat hard drives and get busy ... any ideas on used
    cards ?
    ragna, Apr 7, 2010
  6. ragna

    ragna Guest

    GREAT !! A good use for the old Sony handycams to use 'em to patch
    from the VCR's into the firewire card...

    Not going to go with RAID but everything else looks straightforward...
    Already spotted a couple of older core2's with XP Pro and your sources
    for the drives looks fine and I think I can cut a hole in the computer case
    to add a socket for external SATA connection... Looks like by the end
    of next week I'll have all the hardware. and Avidemux ought to be able to handle the editing.

    Thank you very much - saved me lots of time and fretting !!
    ragna, Apr 8, 2010
  7. ragna

    Tony Guest

    No need to cut a hole in the case. Just by an esata pci (or pic express card for about $15.

    Tony, Apr 12, 2010
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