VHS to digital conversion information

Discussion in 'Video' started by steve_singleton|2, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. It's finally time to tackle the conversion of all those family VHS tapes. I'd like to archive them all to an external hard drive, that I can then use as a way to review the footage and edit the choice bits down for distribution to family on dvd. There's a lot of information out there about doing this, but I can't determine what is authoritative and what's not. Yes, I can purchase a $35 digitizer to put between my VCR and laptop, but will the quality be decent? What digital video formats are available and likely to last for a number of years? How large are the digital video files and how much storage will I need? What editing software will perform the minimal tasks I need?
    Can anyone point me to a good bock on the subject or a series of current tutorials on the web?
  2. I use a Sony DVMC DA-1. It has S-Video and Composite in & out. Since I use an SVHS deck, I use the S-Vid.
    It converts to Firewire, so the file is a DV Stream and can be edited by any software that supports Firewire cameras. File size is about 11 gig/hour.
  3. This is a massive job, but one that needs to be done. I see this as my heritage to the children.
    I have done one- but that originated from 8mm film that was projected on a wall. The original films got lost.
    I am busy with the second stage- all my VHS and VHS C cassettes, often captured with different cameras. At this stage, I have captured all the VHS in AVI format, Lagarith compression, and after editing, save as AVI and then convert to MPEG.
    There is a long thread in this regard. If you are interested, I can direct you to it. Unfortunately, this thread did not kick of well, so I will need to "talk" you through it.
    Let me know
  4. Gup

    Gup Gup

    I started this as a Christmas gift to my wife. My video is on 8mm tape and I got through about 1/4 of my 50+ hours before 'both' my 8mm cameras gave up. I don't feel it is worth repairing either of them at this point so the project has screeched to a halt. I was playing the tape through the camera and into a DVD recorder with the idea I would then rip them to my hard drive for editing. It was fun while it lasted. I got through our honeymoon, the birth of one daughter and a few wild parties before having to abandon the job. Now I suspect the DVD recorder of being on its last legs, too, so will have to find another way.
    Good Luck!
  5. I usually discourage archiving to a DVD recorder if you ever think you are going to want to go back and edit the video. There is a quality loss in compressing and decoding and recompressing, and it can add up pretty quick.
    On the other hand, with set top boxes going for less than $100 these days, it's a cheap, easy way to make your video accessable if you like watching the raw footage...
  6. "'both' my 8mm cameras gave up"
    Definitely not worth the cost of repair. But since you still need one to do the transfers, why not just pick up a used one on ebay? There are plenty being sold cheap but you need to do it now. They won't be there 20 years from now.
  7. You might wanna give this video converter a try. I used it for a bunch of home vids and it was nice because I could actually edit everything once it was converted! The quality is good too. It's a bit pricey but if you have tons of videos it might be more cost-effective. I originally looked for a conversion service but it was honestly too expensive for my taste. Plus then I only get them on a dvd and can't exactly do anything with them (editing ways). There should be tutorials online if that helps too. Lemme know what you think!
  8. Gup

    Gup Gup

    Thanks for the link Samantha. I have seen these programs for sale in the past. My problem is having no way to play the tapes now. I still haven't replaced my 8mm camera/player or VHS machine. Since then I have been scanning thousands of negatives and uploading 500 CDs instead. Each is a time consuming exercise in patience.

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