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How To Do "Lossless" VHS-to-Digital Rips?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by layzee, Jan 1, 2020.

  1. layzee

    layzee Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Victoria, .au
    I'd like to convert some of my VHS cassette tapes (retro gaming and Yngwie Malmsteen related) to a digital format (.mkv etc) but from reading a few guides, it seems a bit complicated. But let's start at the beginning I guess.

    To reduce potential future issues and maximise audio and video quality (e.g. S-Video port compatibility is a must), I don't mind paying some money for a good JVC or Panasonic VHS player/recorder but which model? JVC and Panasonic seem to be the most recommended brands for this type of thing.

    Alternatively, are there any places in the Melb CBD that offer this service and do a decent professional job of it? If so, how much?
     
  2. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    General features you're looking for from a top quality VHS player for capture are:

    * 4 head (sometimes marketed as "6 head" if they include stereo processing)
    * Japanese name brand. Sony, JVC, Sanyo would be my top picks from that era
    * S-Video out (sometimes called SVHS, SuperVHS or Super Video in marketing). SCART connectors are a bit tricky, as often they're just sending composite over SCART (not RGB).
    * Multi-format playback (PAL and NTSC).

    If you're chasing reviews, use Google's advanced search to look up older reviews. Sites and forums focusing on home theatre are your best bet, as those users will be particularly critical around video quality.
     
  3. alexc

    alexc Member

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    I ripped a bunch of tapes a while back to my Mac.

    I still had a VHS player in the cupboard, so just used that hooked up to a USB to S-Video adaptor. On my Mac I used the QuickTime player to record the USB input device. Very simple.

    There are professional places that will do it for you. I just wanted to archive, and was less interested in overall quality. But generally the quality of VHS is appalling by todays standards and the resolution is tiny!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    layzee

    layzee Member

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    Location:
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    Opinions on the Retrotink?

    Got a growing bunch of 80s/90s-era Yngwie live concert VHS tapes and various Japanese retro game promo VHS tapes. Curious if there's anything unseen Yngwie stuff in there, or even if already known, at least I can capture a better quality version. For now, into the storage they go.
     
    alexc likes this.
  5. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    There are some people using it for VHS processing, although that's not really its design. You'd want the newer Tink which is more expensive, but has better deinterlacing. But if you want to capture it upscaled to HDMI through a newer HDMI capture device, that might be easier.

    I'm still waiting for the Domesday86 Project people to turn their laserdisc project into a VHS project.
    https://www.domesday86.com/

    Including the Domesday duplicator, which rips raw RF encoded information off the laserdisc:
    https://github.com/happycube/ld-decode/wiki/Domesday-Duplicator

    And ld-decode which can software decode the information at a better quality than and laserdisc or VHS player on Earth:
    https://github.com/happycube/ld-decode/wiki

    That will provide amazing quality VHS rips - better than any capture device in the market. But it's still years away, I feel.

    [edit] More here:
    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/394168-Current-status-of-ld-decode-vhs-decode-(true-backup-of-RF-signals)

    [Edit2] Also check out this thread in the retro forums. Lots of clever OCAUers doing VHS capture:
    https://forums.overclockers.com.au/threads/ocau-watch-capture-old-vhs-tapes.1281255/
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2021

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