VHS to DVD


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Old 06-13-10, 02:49 PM
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VHS to DVD

I have about 55 movies on VHS cassettes which I would like to keep and since my VHS player is acting up on me lately I would like to transfer them to DVDís.

I have an old Magnavox combo VHS / DVD recorder and I did transfer some to DVDís but the majority of the VHS are copy protected and the Magnavox will not do the copy.

I thought that if I can copy the VHS to my hard drive, I should be able then to copy them back to a DVD. My desktop is an Asus deluxe P5K3 with 2GB DDR3 and Intel core 2 DUO 3GHz with 2 Sata HD totalling about 400GB.

There are many PCI / PCIe cards out there that may do the job but Iím not sure which one to get.

Any ideas / suggestions?
 
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Old 06-17-10, 08:42 AM
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If your are running XP, the ADS Tech DVD Xpress DX2 will work, although it can be a pain to set up. The device (at least the one I bought in 2007) ignores the Macrovision copy protection in commercial VHS tapes. The device not only converts analog video to digital, but also at the same time converts to MPEG-2 compression, which is what DVDs use. However, the MPEG-2 compression is done in hardware, and my experience has been that, even when set to the highest quality settings, there is momentary pixellation when a scene suddenly changes from one without much motion to one with a lot of motion. In addition, the resulting video file is in progressive format, rather than the interlaced format that the original VHS is in. Essentially, this results in, I believe, a loss of essentially half of the motion information. I have noticed that motion is, to my eye, less fluid than the original.

Because of these issues, I went to a much better, but much more involved (and substantially more expensive) solution. (Rather than copying VHS tapes, however, my goal was to create DVDs of my home Hi-8 movies in the best possible quality.) This solution is the Grass Valley ADVC-110 analog to digital converter. This device uses a firewire connection to create a DV-AVI file on your PC. The conversion is flawless, and the original interlaced format is preserved, but you would have to use a video editing/authoring program to convert the DV-AVI file to an MPEG-2 file within the DVD specification. The ADVC-110 is not advertised to bypass Macrovision, but has the capability to do so (at least the one I bought in 2008 does). A Google search will easily identify the method for doing this.
 
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Old 06-17-10, 03:41 PM
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Eclipse,

You seem very educated in this area. I've been wanting to do the same myself. Can't get rid of all the old family videos! I just haven't had the time yet. My daughter has started telling me about Blue-Ray discs and how they are supposed to be replacing DVDs. So before I go and conquer this feat, would it be better to try and find someone to help me transfer the VHS tapes straight to Blue-Ray or should I stick with my original plan of DVD? I just don't want to waste the time and money turning them into DVDs if I'm going to be forced to once again transfer them into Blue-Ray discs shortly after.

Thanks for any advise you may have!
 
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Old 06-17-10, 05:54 PM
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I really don't know much about blu-ray, other than adoption of it has not been as widespread as anticipated. If you son't already have one, it's certainly not worth getting a blu-ray burner for the sole purpose of transferring analog tape video into digital form. I think DVD is going to be around for a little while, but someday it is likely to go the way of VHS. The beauty of the Grass Valley unit is that the DV-AVI files it creates have only minimal compression (but still consume around 12 GB per hour of video). In comparison, a 4.7 GB DVD will hold two hours of video, so the DV-AVI file needs to be compressed, and compression involves loss (which actually may be imperceptible to many people if a good encoder is used to compress the DV-AVI file to the MPEG-2 format used in DVD. In my case, I made it so that the DVD holds only one hour of video, which means less compression (the compression level can be adjusted) and thus better quality. Because storage is so cheap these days, I have saved the original DV-AVI files because these have the highest quality. Something better will come along that I can watch these movies on, and when I'm older and want to watch my kids when they were little and wax nostalgic, DVD will be a distant memory.
 
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Old 06-18-10, 09:36 AM
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Vhs-c dvd

You are doing what many people have and continue to do..
lately we have also tried our hand at it there can be lots of problems for one thing you'll need a adapter VHS-C if you got the cassette videos we found some didn't work some tapes get ceased up some just plain forget the work that was done in the past...and some folks did a great job with there home movies and also a great job transfering it all over to DVD...good luck
 
 

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