VHS Tape to DVD Recording

Discussion in 'Audio Visual' started by glenpinn, Aug 9, 2018.

  1. neRok

    neRok Member

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    Straight to DVD is not the best choice, as others have pointed out. The compression will wreck it.

    If the bloke who wants this done has lots of time and a decent computer, he can do all that himself. There's lots of free programs/scripts out there to nut your way through.
     
  2. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    The big problem is any copy / conversion using VHS to DVD or computer copy requires real time conversion. So your going to sit there for weeks doing all of them.
     
  3. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Set and forget, for each tape, surely.
     
  4. Hi-end Head

    Hi-end Head Member

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    50 tapes at 3 a day equals a couple of weeks. By then you will have forgotten what your waiting for. And just pray you don't get a power cut
     
  5. MR CHILLED

    MR CHILLED D'oh!

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    Yes the time is there but you're not sitting there watching it as it tapes for all those hours. Set and forget. Come back some other time, get new tape, set and forget, rinse, repeat.
     
  6. nico6

    nico6 Member

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    VHS always looked pretty rubbish, all things considered, by today's standards. I doubt any fancy equipment will help, unless you get right into the retro thing and play the DVDs on your old AWA CRT TV :)
     
  7. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I have no clue why, but my videos that I copied into the computer came out better than playing the tape. Something in the machine made them better (no, i'm not imagining things, the tape is all grainy and horrible, how you'd expect, and the video file is pretty good.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    It is very uncommon for any video from a VHS tape to look better just by dubbing from a VHS player onto a DVD disk, however some VCR/DVD combo recorders have a built in TBC unit (Time Base Correction) which does enhance the video as it is copied over to the DVD, and stabilize it as well, among other corrections, so maybe this was the case in your situation.
     
  9. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    You are correct, all VHS and Mini DV tapes must be transferred in "real time" so a 3 hour tape takes 3 hours to transfer to computer or burnt direct to dvd, but you don't need to be sitting there twiddling your fingers waiting for each tape to finish, if you did this a 3 hour VHS tape would cost $150 just for the recording, editing or correction work will double that cost.

    Many professional companies that do this type of work use multi tape decks and multiple dvd burners set up so they can transfer multiple tapes at a time.
     
  10. broccoli

    broccoli Member

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    I just do the tape to the disc and then from the disc to the PC, maybe the PC has some fancy-schmancy improvement stuff in it? I don't know, all I know is that my VHS movies look pretty good in the computer.
     
  11. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    Sounds dodgy to me. Better quality recordings were made with the VCRs that didn't do 'long play', they recorded a wider track.
    I've tried using a SVHS VCR thinking a S-Video connection to my ADVC300 would get more chroma but nope. Realistically what matters most is the quality of what's on the tape. I've transferred some corporate VHS tapes that were mastered on high end kit and they looked so much better than any home movie of the same vintage.
    If you really want to go down a deep hole there are plugins for vDub that can some amazing restorations, almost 'CSI'. for the majority of people the combos turn out a good enough job and they do have a built in TBC. Only advice I can add is don't try to fit 3 hours onto a single layer DVD.
     
  12. OP
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    glenpinn

    glenpinn Member

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    Correct, the more VHS video put onto DVD ends up with lower bitrate, lower quality, and i always tried to maintain at least 8Mbps for VHS (up to 1.5 hours) and 6Mb for Mini DV tape ()up to 2 hours)
    I used an ADVC 300 and 500 between a panasonic tape deck on a Panasonic Recorder for direct burning, and connected the ADVC unit to the Computer for Digitizing the files in Mpeg2 onto the Hard Drive for editing/authoring or conversion to MP4.
     
  13. vk2fro

    vk2fro Member

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    Sorry this is an old thread but its an interesting thread - I did a similar thing for a friend (his computer was too weak, and I had a TBC and capture box from my days of doing it in the 00's). I took his VCR (nice 6 head stereo one) back to my place along with 21 tapes, and set up the PC to do them. I forget the software's name but it was truly set and forget. The software waited for the end of tape by looking for a completely black screen - if it saw 5 minutes of this, it would chop that off the video, and then stop recording and close the file.

    I got through the tapes in about a week, but I'd start one in the morning, then when I got home do another 2 or 3 (if I was staying up late) before bed. Thanks to a weekend in there, I was able to get a pile of them done, and by tuesday I was ready to hand back the VCR and loan the portable SSD to him to copy off the footage.

    The alert for me was hearing the tape hit the end, and start rewinding to do the next one, and the great thing was, it didn't tie up my main computer, I used a spare machine that had plenty of grunt... My server!! easy enough to spin up a windows 7 VM, pass the usb box through to it and let her rip :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2018
  14. pelmen

    pelmen Member

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    If you want a crappy conversion, do it yourself. But if you want to do it right pay for the service. Its far more than pressing play and record on two machines. They use the types of machine you 've never seen, if they use consumer vhs machines just walk away. First you need a playback machine that is well maintained, no perishing rubber guides and belts inside and regularly serviced inside to remove oxides etc. This machine won't chew the tape and the commercial machines I used to use at a video duplication center (authorised) would have serial control to run through other units like oscilloscopes to monitor signal noise quality off the tape and any drop below set level would automatically pause the machine so tensioners could be adjusted and the issue investigated. You'd be surprised how many commercial vhs tapes on the shelves at the time were duplicated from a VHS master not a one inch etc. Some tape are run from pancakes on the sprinters but half were recorded real time from a master to banks of ten specialised recorders (again units you've never seen before, nothing like consumer units). The player unit not only runs through a time base corrector but has frame accurate control to allow bad signal frames to be replayed to another frame accurate recorder for seamless editing/reconstruction of a master.

    Thats just for playing the VHS cassette. Next the clean signal needs to run through a video amp to maintain the signal strength due to drop off through cabling to the recording unit. In this case you want digital and ability to edit, so you need a digital video recorder. NOT a dvd recorder, which is an output device not a recording device. You want to be able to record the analogue video in as high fidelity as you possibly can, uncompressed. And this is the sticking point of all the DIY solutions they record to a compressed format so immediately you are throwing away signal that and reducing picture and sound quality you can never get back. Again dodgy operations just use consumer dvd recorders while pro ones use digital video recorders (exactly what these units were called long before dvd format existed) and from there would be recorded at an adjustable bitrate to a dvd file for burning to fit the space. A proper service will let you supply a hard drive like 8TB and they can copy the recorded files onto that to return to you for editing and dvd mastering as you want.


    So stop making assumptions and thinking its simple. It can be simple sure and it'll be crap (but acceptable/unnoticable to you). Sure it can be cheap but given home movies are unique and irreplacable its up to you if you want to ruin them forever. find a pro service that will give you digital files at high bitrate on hard drives, then you can edit and colour correct as much as you want to screw them up further because you dont know what you're doing. only then compress them to a final output for dvd mastering etc.
     
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  15. RobRoySyd

    RobRoySyd Member

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    "rubber guides"? Metal or plastic....

    Good luck finding one that still works. Parts are no longer available if you want to repair / maintain them. In any case those "pro" machines only real advantage was for recording VHS. Never found them better than good consumer machines for playback. That's with waveform monitor and vectorscope.

    Bottom line here is VHS was a dog, SVHS was less of a dog but you'll not find too many home movies originated on that. Recording "uncompressed" video from VHS does nothing more than waste disk space. Sure mpeg-2 temporal compression doesn't handle the noise from VHS well but DV's spatial compression - sampling (4:1:1 for PAL) is more than adequate for VHS at a saving in disk space and ease of editing. Where VHS gets really ugly is a lot of "home movies" that are on it were originated on 8mm film and the transfer to VHS wasn't well done. Getting good images back off film is simpler than off VHS today. A film scanner is a pretty simple device mechanically.
     
  16. pelmen

    pelmen Member

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    by rubber guides i should have said rubber rollers on metal or plastic pins. there's always someone whose pedantic. not all machines have rubber in them, more the consumer end which was the point, people are wanting to use this stuff thinking its ideal. its not.

    uncompressed... if you've read the thread they guy wants to process and work on the video to clean it up, you need as close to uncompressed format always, audio/video/picture... ANY time you process a compressed format its impossible to match the results of using and uncompressed digital source.

    just trying to give the guy good advice instead of the trash he's being fed. he can do it cheap and poorly if he wants, but if he or anyone else wants to do it properly they can and its worth paying for. up to you guys to decide for yourselves.
     
  17. Sprayman

    Sprayman New Member

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    If you're still looking for options or anyone else wanting to do the same, I've got a device with software program called Video Editing DVD Maker 2 from a brand called Kworld. Picked it up at Jaycar Electronics store a couple years ago for $25. You will need a working VCR. Plug in the AV cords to the VCR and the other end has a usb which goes into the computer. There's a disc with the software to install then you just press play on the tape and it's one touch recording. Can do all kinds of editing if you wish. File size usually comes to a fairly large amount, think was around 4-5GB for a movie timed file. Checked on ebay and they're still selling them from around $20-$30.
     
  18. bart5986

    bart5986 Member

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    I can't imagine RCA + USB ends up with a very good picture.
     
  19. Sprayman

    Sprayman New Member

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    Well it has a svideo converter too. It's much better quality than VHS to VHS combo dubbing. You can also upconvert it to 720p with hardly any loss (There are many options for quality in the software ). I knew the only negative I'll get is from someone who does it as a business. This is a very cheap and good quality option if someone doesn't want to pay astronomical fees to do it professionally...
     
  20. Dodge M4S

    Dodge M4S Member

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    I've heard of people setting up a projector and recording the screen with a camera lol I wonder how that would turn out :p
     

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