Record VCR tapes to DVD?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Tim L, Mar 8, 2004.

  1. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    I was looking to convert some of or all of my older VCR tapes onto DVD, and was wondering if any of the DVD recordered models (such as the $300 panasonic model) will allow this- I guess what I am asking is , can I hook up a VCR to a DVD recorder and transfer the material over, I'm looking for an easy way without getting into hooking up through the computer and such. Thanks
    Tim
     
  2. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    You might want to double-check the player specs, but normally the answer is yes. I have already filled up 14 of them at 6 hours each.

    Note though, that store-bought prerecorded movies are usually protected by Macrovision, and those will not work.

    Glenn
     
  3. andrew markworthy

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    I've had no problem with it. I've transferred 100+ hours of stuff this way, using a cheap (well, cheap for the UK anyway) Panasonic.

    A couple of things:

    (a) I've found picture quality of disc copies of tape to be indistinguishable from tape when done on conventional (2 hours/disc) recording. I did a couple of high quality recordings and found no real difference. However, as with recording from other sources, the longer play discs do look inferior. Unless you're doing archiving where picture will genuinely never be a major issue, then stick to the 2 hour recordings.

    (b) Recording has to be done in real time, so it can be a pain in the ass waiting around. I found the best thing to do was to start recording as I began watching TV in the evening - that way generally when I was ready to switch the TV off a couple of hours later, I'd got another disc done. Just accept that unless you've only got a small amount of copying that you're in for a long job.

    (c) If you think you'll need more than one copy of a tape in the future, record them now. Don't rely on being able to do disc to disc copies - I think everyone's found that there is a copy protect stopping you doing this. This really annoys me, because the discs I want to copy aren't copyrighted, but copies of home movies.

    In spite of these caveats, I'd personally recommend it. You'll have a store of recordings that should, all being well, outlast tape. Plus in future you'll be able to make recordings that will outstrip anything that even the best VHS machine can do.
     
  4. Steve Phillips

    Steve Phillips Screenwriter

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    I've been doing it for the past 2 years!
     
  5. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Sounds promising, seems worth while to pick up themodel I saw at Costco for around 350.00- Panasonic I beleive. My next question is hookup. My VCR is connected to a Tv of course- but through a Digital cable box- what would be the easiest way to hook up the DVD recorder to make copies from the VCR- sorry for all the questions- but help is much appreciated
    Tim
     
  6. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Sorry to ask another question, but can I stop the DVD from recording and fast forward the tape to another part and then resume recording form the DVD recorder? thanks again
     
  7. andrew markworthy

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    Yes. You can also take the disc out if it isn't complete and use up the remaining space on another occasion (the disc isn't unwritable until you do the finalisation; though personally, I tend to finalise a.s.a.p.).

    Can't help on the connection issue, I'm afraid, as I've got a Brit version of the machine with different connections (I think America is largely a stranger to SCART sockets).
     
  8. ThomasL

    ThomasL Supporting Actor

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    Tim,

    Without knowing more about the specifics of the equipment that you have, I'll make a generalized comment based on my experience. You can connect the VCR up to the Panasonic DVD-Recorder directly into its A/V inputs in order to record things from VHS tape to DVD-R. The Panasonic recorder has 3 sets of inputs as well as an RF input for NTSC/analog cable sources. You can then watch what you're recording through the output of the recorder. This is how I have things currently wired with a Panasonic dvd recorder.

    hope this helps,


    --tom
     
  9. Tim L

    Tim L Second Unit

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    Thomas, thats sounds easy enough- I'm debatingon what model to get now- because I want to buy a camcorder and some of the models have I-link (sony firewire) and was wondering of it was worth getting a DVD recorder with firewire input for an easier and hopefully better picture connection- any thoughts on this- or is this no big deal, thanks
    Tim
     
  10. Bill McMah

    Bill McMah Auditioning

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    Tim, Tom and any other readers - I have just had old 8mm and super 8mm home movies transferred to VHS. My plan is now to burn this video to DVD with my Philips DVDR 75.

    Since I guessed at the time order of the film cannisters I decided on NO background audio for these "silent" movies since I knew I would have to do some editing before I copy this video to DVD.

    While watching the tape I played some audio feed from my satellite box (Direct TV) to ease the bordom. I next plan to dub this audio onto the DVD as I copy the "silent" home movies.

    Bill M
     
  11. DaveyM

    DaveyM Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm interested in buying a dvd recorder mostly to make copies of my old vhs tapes.
    Since i don't own a dvd recorder and have never seen the process before i have a few questions.

    1. When you burn vhs to dvd will the dvd have chapter stops like region 1 dvds?
    2. Is it true that you cant make multiple copies of the dvd you create? This would be a drag if i needed extra copies of home movies for family.
    3. Is there any possible way you can improve the quality of the source material before you copy it to disk?
    4. Is it better to buy just a simple dvd recorder and connect the vcr to it, or is it better to buy a vcr/dvd combo?

    Thanks to anyone that can help.
     
  12. Bill McMah

    Bill McMah Auditioning

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    DaveyM,

    Hope this helps-

    1. I am using a Philips DVDR model 75/17 and you can insert chapter markers every 5-6 minutes automatically, or you can insert them manually wherever you desire.
    2. You can make as many copies as you have the time for (done in real time) since what you create is NOT copy protected.
    3. When recorded in what Philips calls "M2" mode (total 2 hours on standard 4.6 Gb blank disk) the quality is slightly better then the original source since the VHS analog signal has been converted and recorded digitally.
    4. I don't know of DVDR/VCR combos, I think the combos only are DVD PLAYERS...regardless it is very simple to send your VHS signal to a DVD recorder and you can save a few $$ since you already have a VCR.

    Good Luck,
    Bill
     
  13. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    DaveyM,

    I have the Pioneer 420 (exclusive to Costco, but similar to the 520 carried elsewhere.)

    Because this model has a hard drive, you only have to copy the tape to the hard drive once in real time. You can then use the copy list to edit it just the way you want -- trim off any excess and add chapter stops. When you have it the way you want, you can do a high-speed burn to a DVD-R, and finalize. Pop in another blank DVD-R, and repeat for as many copies as you need.

    I know there are some DVD recorder/VCR units from Samsung and JVC, for example. Not sure if that would simplify anything, aside from not having to connect external cables. I tend to think standalone DVD recorders would offer more flexibility all around.
     
  14. DouglasRobert

    DouglasRobert Second Unit

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    I am also thinking of buying a DVD recorder very soon.

    Mainly I want to transfer my VHS Tape collection over to DVD. I don't care about compatibility issues with other DVD players as these will be only for my own use.

    There are two recorders I am interested in, one is a DVD-R/-RW and the other is DVD+R/+RW.

    Here is the questions I have and by what I want to do with the DVD which format would be best for me.

    1. While recording can you pause and then un-pause to continue recording, such as in eliminating commercials.

    2. Can you record at different speeds on the same disc?

    3. If you take the disc out and then put the same disc in and record, can you start from the exact location you stopped recording before?

    4. With RW you can re-record over the disc, however can you re-record over just the parts you want, such as re-recording over just 1 epsiode of a TV show?

    5. Is there anyway to record widescreen programs in Anamorphic Widescreen on DVD recorders?

    6. I want to choose where I want chapters, which format allows this? Also I want to be able to input where the chapters are after the recording is done, which format allows this?

    7. Is it possible to choose the pics for the scene selection menu and if so, what format allows this?

    8. What DVD format is selling the most units right now? And which format is most likely to be around for many years?

    So based on the above questions, which format would be best suitible for my current needs?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  15. Thomas Newton

    Thomas Newton Screenwriter

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    There are DVD recorder / VCR combinations out now. But to date, they have non-SVHS VCRs, and no hard drives.
     
  16. Elizabeth S

    Elizabeth S Producer

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    DouglasRobert,

    I posted the following at the "other forum" in response, but let me cut and paste it for discussion here as well (I think you revised your questions a bit, though):

    Based on my experience with my Pioneer 420:

    1. Do they come with a Timer recording capibility? Yes.

    2. Do they operate the same as a VCR? Much more flexible; instant access to recorded programs is wonderful. No more searching through stacks of videotapes looking for something. Great for editing out commercials for archiving favorite shows onto disc. I strongly recommend a model with a hard drive for flexibility in this area.

    3. Can you pause a recording and then un-pause to continue recording? As in eliminate commercials. Yes.

    4. Can you record at different speeds? How is the quality at slower speeds? The Pioneer has 32 different speed increments to choose from. Even the LP speed is watchable, but I like SP for programs I'll keep. The max I try to fit on a DVD-R is about 2 hours and 15 minutes, which fits 3 hour-long programs with the commercials edited out.

    5. Can you take a disc out, then put it in later and continue recording at the spot you stopped at? Yes. though my Pioneer has been a bit quirky with DVD-Rs and continuing; have had no problems with DVD-RWs.

    6. What format is the best? Pioneer takes DVD-R and -RW. Haven't tried +R/RW or RAM.

    7. Can you record at different speeds on the same disc? Yes.

    8. Can you re-record over them, and can you re-record over just the parts you want to re-record over and not the entire thing? The re-recordable -RW lets you erase whichever parts you like. Only erasure of the last items on the disc will increase your disc space for re-recording, however. Ex. -- if you have 3 hour long programs on a disc, erasing program #1 will not increase the recording space by an hour, though erasing #3 will. (Things do not shift up on the disc to create space. ) If you erase #1 and record something which was the EXACT same length, I'm not sure if it will fit itself into the vacated space, or record at the end, though.

    9. What brands are the best? Wal-Mart is selling a $150 Recorder for around $150 from a company called "Ilo", is that a good company? Don't know about Ilo. Everyone has different preferences. A very good forum for indepth analysis of various models:

    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forum...0&pagenumber=1

    10. Can you record Widescreen recordings and make them Anamorphic? I don't know.

    11. Menus. - Can you make animated menus or are they static? Menus are static on finalized discs. The hard drive thumbnails are animated when you highlight them.

    12, Chapter markers. - Does the machine automatically choose where to put chapters or can I? Are the chapters inputed during recording or can you choose where to put chapters after recording is done? I've had some inconsistencies with the automatic chapter markings (which can be set to every 10 or 15 minutes). When I record a TV show, there are no automatic markings -- if it's a "keeper" show, I insert chapter markings around the commercials as I watch it, allowing for easy editing later. If I recall correctly, I've had the automatic markings show up in recordings from an external source, though sometimes it didn't show up. (I think this automatic marking can also be set to off.) Even with the automatic chapter marks, you can add others as desired.

    13. Scene Selection Menus. Can you choose the pics chosen for the scene selection points or does the machine automatically do that for you? The machine automatically selects either the first frame or the selected setting (like 30 seconds in, I think). However, you can override that by inserting the navi marker for whichever frame you prefer as the title thumbnail. (The Pioneer only shows thumbnails on the menu for separate titles, not for chapters -- although you can see chapter thumbnails during editing, they do not carry over to the final dvd. I understand the Toshiba XS-32 allows thumbnails in a submenu for the chapters within a title for the final disc.)


    Hope that helps some!

    As for which format will likely be around the longest -- it seems pretty up in the air. (I chose to go with DVD-R, but then again, I chose Betamax as well. ) I don't have faith in DVD-RAM because of its restricted compatibility; however, the biggest dvd recorder manufacturer is behind it, so who knows?
     
  17. Dave Miller

    Dave Miller Supporting Actor

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    What would I need if I wanted to hook a VCR up to my PC? I already have a DVD-RW drive installed.

    What do ya'll recommend for this type of set up?

    Peace,

    DM
     
  18. Dewitte

    Dewitte Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave Miller wrote in Post #17:
    You will need a video capture device of some sort, be it an internal card or a separate piece of hardware. I'm using an ATI All-in-Wonder 9600XT card, but I have an issue with sound. I'm not entirely clear on how to record an acceptable sound level. My first few discs had cooked sound and were pretty much worthless. Anyone have any pointers?

    De
     
  19. Brad Newton

    Brad Newton Second Unit

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    Originally posted by Thomas Newton


    JVC has a model (SR-MV30U) this is SVHS & dvd recorder combination. Pioneer also has a new unit that is just now available, RT-500, I belive is the model. I saw it at Sam's earlier this week. I would expect it to be available at Best Buy soon. The JVC model is fairly pricey, while the Pioneer is around $300.
     
  20. Deane Johnson

    Deane Johnson Supporting Actor

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    Is there any difference in the quality of DVDs recorded on a DVD Recorder and the internal DVD writer/burner in a computer? Mine burns DVD+R and DVD+RW. Like others in this thread, I would be transferring old VHS home videos.

    Deane
     

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