Converting home movies (VHS) to DVD

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Jon_Are, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    I know the basics have been covered here and elsewhere, but I'm opening this new thread because I have a specific question:

    THIS is the unit I'm considering buying to accomplish this conversion. I'm interested in any opinions from those who have used it or are aware of its pros and cons.

    What are its limitations? Will any aspect of this converter/editor disappoint me? Keep in mind that I am not looking to do anything fancy, just preserve my home movies to DVD. Also know that I'd like to keep my expense under $200.

    Is there anything else - other than the discs - that I'll need to buy?

    Thanks!

    Jon
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Do not use the Go! type solution if you want this to work absolutely slam-bam reliable. You'll be dealing directly with their software and not anyone else's and your editing capabilities will be strongly limited.

    Check out http://www.dvdrhelp.com/ for info, as well as reviews on capture cards, but the one that has most success/versatility is the Canopus Firewire bridgeCanopus Firewire Bridge
     
  3. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Thanks, Chris.

    The ADVC-100 - does it come with the software I'll need to do the job, or do I have to get that on my own?

    If I have to obtain the software seperately, which is most recommended (ease of use + reliability)?

    Thanks again,

    Jon
     
  4. Paul Bartlet

    Paul Bartlet Stunt Coordinator

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    I've looked into getting a capture card for this same purpose. Lots of old home movies on vhs.
    Look here for your card . If it's there, you should see good/bad comments on it's use.

    This card is alittle out of the price you mentioned, but if I was buying one, this is what I would get.
     
  5. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I use the Datavideo DAC-100 for video capture to firewire (you'll need WinDV, a freeware app, easily found on the internet), and then use TMPGEnc to crunch up the AVI to MPEG-2. The DAC-100 was $180 including shipping at Harmony Computers. I use it mainly for porting LD to DVD.

    I also have a Leadtek TV2000 Expert mainly for TV tuning, but it can be used to do video capturing. The only caveat is that you'll need some decent horsepower (a P4 would be preferable) to run the video capturing capability of the card, but it's around $55 at Newegg if you're PC is up to the task.
     
  6. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    I understand (I think) that MPEG-2 is my ultimate goal. Patrick, I would not have known that the DAC-100 produces AVI if you hadn't mentioned it; how could I have figured this out for myself from the product description?

    For the record, I'm running a P4 with 2.8 GHZ processor, 512MB RAM, 160GB hard drive, Windows Home XP, USB2 and Firewire ports.

    Now I'm leaning toward this Pinnacle system.

    Any thoughts?

    Jon
     
  7. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    I'm trying to get the hang of the first generation version of this. I've only had it a couple of days. It seems to be working pretty well. I'm still fumbling with the software, so I haven't yet inspected a final product. Bundled software included Ulead Video Studio 6, a capture wizard and Sonic MyDVD. The newer model runs about $150. I found the older one on half.com in perfect condition for 80 bucks.
     
  8. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Capture cards will produce a file which then needs to be encoded into MPEG2. If you're looking for a way of converting as you capture then I think you're going to be disappointed.
     
  9. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Ahhh, that makes sense. Then, once the file is converted to MPEG2, it is write-able to a DVD?

    So, what I need is:

    A) a capture card (to convert the analog signal to a digital file)

    and

    B) software to convert the file to MPEG2??

    Would the Pinnacle system I linked to accomplish all this?

    Thanks for your input,

    Jon
     
  10. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Jim,

    Let me know how that InstantDVD package works for you.

    Jon
     
  11. Rob Gillespie

    Rob Gillespie Producer

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    Jon, the process is:

    Capture.
    Edit/splice etc.
    Convert to MPEG2
    Author the DVD
    Burn DVD

    I've not used the Pinnacle package buy John B will be able to advise on that. Myself I used WinDV (freeware) to do the capture, VirtualDub (freeware) to do the splicing and editing. TMPGEnc to do the MPEG2 conversion and then DVD-Lab to author the DVD. My capture card is the Canopus ADVC-1394. I couldn't use the ADVC 50 or 100 because I didn't have any Firewire connectivity.
     
  12. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Jon, The capture step went well, I got playable files to my PC via USB 2.0 and line-in to my on board sound card. I managed to figure how to edit and that worked well. By the time I figured how to add chapter stops to the final product before burning, I had also downloaded and applied software patches, which sent my progress from slow to buggy as hell. I've gone back to the OEM disk, and we'll see how it goes from here.

    edit: Success!! OK, the capture process went really well considering the quality of my source tapes and spare VCR. Editing was easy once I figured out how to do it. Transitions between clips were a no-brainer. Rendering was slow (~an hour for 1:42 of video) and the most likely place for the software to stop responding. Chapter stops-see editing. Burning was uneventful once I got to that point. The finished product was quite good. Some digital artifacts, but again my source was not great and I didn't attempt to get maximum frame rates or resolution.

    Assuming my next project will go much more quickly, I give the hardware a high grade and the software a passing grade.
     
  13. Jim_F

    Jim_F Screenwriter

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    Yes, the subsequent DVDs went much more easily. I think this dealy is worthwhile. The software is pretty demanding of the computer (mine's a 2.4 P4 with 2GB of PC3200) I'd expect even better quality from a S video output (I used composite)

    In fact, Jon, I have a inkling that you and I work in the same building. If so, I could probably loan this one to you for a week or so if you like.
    -Jim
    (Midnights, 7 on/off, 55277)
     
  14. Bob_M

    Bob_M Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi all,

    What about using a Sony Cam to do the A/D conversion? Does that work as well as a capture card? That way you can put the money into a nice cam rather than a card. Bob
     
  15. Eddie L

    Eddie L Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Jon,
    I've used Pinnacle's Studio 7 Deluxe now for...at least 2 years, and have always been happy with it.I'll upgrade one of these...years. It's simple and fun to use. Almost more fun editing than taking the videos. I can spend hours fiddling with it. At first I just did VHS tapes but graduated last summer to DVD's on a Memorex + and -R RW. Sorry, don't know model number as I'm not at home. Anyway, it took me a few tries and wasting of $3 discs to get it right, but I did. My problem was I was just using the drag to disc easy way program. That would burn the disc, but I wasn't able to play it on my stand alone player, only my computer. Now, it's a snap. The combo does a very professional looking job, in my opinion. Hope this helps.
    Ed
     
  16. John Karpiscak

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    I just started using Pinnacle Studio 9. Nice for $79.00. Does everything I need.

    I'm considering the follwing as as an add on:

    1. Buying a DVD recorder that takes DVD-RWs.
    2. Transferring and editing the data on my PC (freeing up the DVD-RW to record again).
    3. Burning a DVD-R in final form for the media library.

    Thoughts?

    jk3

    www.y2kfam.com/theater.htm
     

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