Best way to Digitize VHS

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Peter S, Sep 1, 2001.

  1. Peter S

    Peter S Agent

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    What's the best (economics versus quality) to digitize VHS movies destined for VCD mastering?
    I've recently discovered that some older titles in my VHS collection are degrading faster than I originally anticipated. I attempted to digitize one of them, this afternoon. It didn't go very well. My wife's computer is slow, like 200 Mhz, 64Mb RAM. She has installed, an ATI TV Tuner card, along with her ATI video card. Attempts to capture VHS output result in lost frames, and a jerky capture.
    A quick look at eBay suggests that a company called Dazzle has some pretty good "block box" products that take analog in, and spit out MPEG-1 video via USB. They have other products that plug directly in to you PC using a PCI card. Reviews at Amazon.com for some of these products suggest their software is buggy, and performs poorly from Windows 2000 (the platform I run on)
    I am interested in learning a economical way to digitize titles from my VHS collection, for safe keeping. DVD-R are a bit prohibitive for me, right now, but VCD might be a good alternative. Any recommendations that might be made are welcome and appreciated.
     
  2. John_Robinson

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    I'm not trying to advertise; I have nothing to do with this company. But! At a public outdoor event last month, I was handed a flyer by a company that makes DVDs from your home videos. They do a good job -- and the first one's free, kid.
    For that price, I threw them the 1st of 4 8mm videotapes that I filled up during a 1993 visit to the US Virgin Islands. I was pleasantly surprised; the DVD looks just as good as the videotape did (and now I have index points to find scenes, plus I can play it as often as I like without any fear). So I decided to let them do all of my videotapes, a few at a time.
    http://www.lifeclips.com/help is the URL to get the "first one free" coupon.
    After that, regular pricing is $29.99 per disc (up to two hours per disc) -- which is worth it to me for not having to buy the blanks, do the mastering, etc.
    ------------------
    John Robinson
    "E=mc^2 (+/- 3dB)"
     
  3. Bon

    Bon Auditioning

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    Hi there,
    200 MHz is definitely too slow. I have a Celeron 533 MHz and it's only just good enough for VCD-quality captures. (I've captured at 384x288 @ 25fps and still get dropped frames.)
    Check out http://www.vcdhelp.com for an excellent resource on capturing and VCD authoring.
    -Bon
     
  4. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    I don't think that you're going to find what you're looking for. I have used the ATI software and found that the only way you are going to get the a/v quality that you want is to use their 'highest quality' settings. Unfortunately, this eats up bits like termites chew wood.
    After about half an hour of recording, it will just stop. This is dictated by the 32bit file limit. You'll end up with an excellent file that is about 2 gigs.
    Glenn
     

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