how to transfer VHS to DVD via DVD-writer, what equipment, etc. is needed.

 music cassettes and stereo system audio can be transferred to CD via a computer CD writer.......I would like to know how to transfer my VHS tapes or other DVD's(2-3 DVD's edited and burned to one disc, etc.)to my computer for burning on DVD's...... The table top DVD recorder's are very expensive......and I can get a good 4x DVD writer for under $100 or a 8x for around $178.....with music cassettes it is a matter of a couple radio shack cables and I have already done some successful transfer of music...for video I have no idea what is needed as far as cables, video card, etc....thanks for any help.
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you need a good video capture card or a cheap tv tuner card if quality is not of prime importance. these would allow you to record the video from your favourite source (tv, vcr, capcorder...) and using the convertors available from net, you can either directly burn the captured avi or first convert yourself and write onto dvd..

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H-P Has an Easy Way to Let You Convert Old Videos Into DVDs

August 21, 2003  
H-P Has an Easy Way to Let You Convert Old Videos Into DVDs

Using a computer to transfer old videos onto DVDs should be simple, but it's a hassle. Older camcorders and VCRs are analog devices and can't translate the contents of a video into the digital format computers understand. You need an extra gadget called an analog-to-digital converter to put between the camcorder or VCR, and the computer.

A number of converter products are on the market. But they are often complicated or unreliable. I recently tested three of them that worked poorly, or not at all. Some new digital camcorders can act as converters, but they are expensive and tricky to use in this way. And you still need a DVD recorder, something most PCs lack, to actually create the discs and finish the job.

Now, Hewlett-Packard is attacking the problem with a gadget called the DVD Movie Writer dc3000. It's an external accessory for Windows computers that combines, in one integrated box, an analog-to-digital converter and a DVD recorder. It will be sold late next month at $399.

H-P promises that the DVD Movie Writer will allow users to convert old videos from their camcorder or VCR tapes to DVDs in just a few simple steps. In my tests, I found the claim to be true.

But there is one huge caveat: Microsoft's Windows Messenger, an unrelated product that comes with every copy of the Windows XP operating system, interferes with the video transfer and must be disabled for the DVD Movie Writer to work correctly. H-P says there is a new patch for Windows that fixes the problem, and that the patch will be included in the installation software for the product. If the fix really works, the company will have a winner on its hands.

Hewlett-Packard's DVD Movie Writer

  The DVD Movie Writer is the best external video-conversion device I've tested. It's also the easiest to use, partly because the DVD recorder is built right in. Even when you've converted all your videos, you can still keep the unit as a DVD player and burner. It also burns and plays CDs.

Setting up the DVD Movie Writer is simple. You just install the necessary software and connect the device to your PC, which must have Windows XP or Windows 2000 and 10 gigabytes of free space on the hard disk, to hold the digital video files it creates. It will work with any USB port, but you really should have a new, speedy, USB 2.0 port, or your video transfers will take an eternity.

Then, use standard video and audio cables to plug a camcorder or VCR into the H-P gadget. The unit accepts either a standard video cable or a higher-quality S-Video connection.

H-P includes a variety of software programs for use with the DVD Movie Writer. There's a video-editing program and a program that automatically condenses a long video into a short movie. And there are utilities for using the drive for nonvideo purposes, such as backing up files or creating music discs.

The most interesting piece of software included with the unit is H-P's Video Transfer Wizard, which allows you to import an entire videotape and transfer it to a DVD in just a few clicks. It's for converting videos you don't want to edit, but simply want to get onto a DVD intact. It's simple and works unattended. Once you get it going, you can walk away. The transfers can take hours, but they don't waste your time.

I used the Video Transfer Wizard with a standard, inexpensive home VCR, and converted three different videotapes. One was a 10-year-old video of a school play, one was a six-year-old video of a TV show, taped from cable, and the third was a video of a recent technology conference, shot professionally.

In each case, I was first prompted to insert the tape and view its contents through a small window on the PC screen until I reached the point where I wanted the DVD to begin. I then pressed the stop button on the VCR. I also had to estimate the total time of the video, and was given an opportunity to select a design for the main menu, and a name and date for the DVD.

Then, I just hit "Transfer" on the PC, pressed "Play" on the VCR and walked away.

The only glitch I ran into was that the audio at first didn't come through. But this was due to the conflict with Windows Messenger. I killed Messenger. After that, the audio worked fine.

The DVDs I created played perfectly on a set-top DVD player, in a different Windows PC and in a Macintosh. The quality was decent, though not fabulous. The software automatically records videos of under an hour at its highest quality setting, and then lowers the quality as videos grow toward the maximum duration of two hours.

You can play the DVD from start to finish, or use a menu to jump to various chapters that the software automatically creates every three or five minutes.

All in all, H-P's DVD Movie Writer is a fine product. It's a good example of H-P's new commitment to innovate in the consumer market. I can heartily recommend it, if H-P can get around the Microsoft Messenger conflict

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As far as software, I'd like to recommend that you get Magix Movies to CD and DVD.  It's $39.99US at most retail stores.  It lets you create scenes and whatnot.  If you'd like to get menus and other cool features, you'll need something like Roxio Easy CD & DVD Creator Version 6.  I use both, and the combination is great.  I also use Magix Music and Video Maker Generation 6 Deluxe.  It lets me get up to 16 layers of sound, video, or a combination of the two.

You can go almost to any retail store and buy a TV tuner card.  I have an ATI TV Tuner PCI card, and it works pretty well for me.

If you need any further information, please do not hesitate to ask us.

Thank you,
Radomir Jordanovic
If you already have a dv camcorder, the easiest solution is to plug your vcr into it (audio and video rca connections) and attach the firewire output to your pc (all dv camcorders should have firewire; if your pc doesn't have it, you can buy a combo firewire/USB card from for about $50 or less).

If you don't have a dv camcorder, you can get a video capture card or a dedicated external analog-to-digital converter (I have the Canopus ADVC-100, Dazzle also makes a device).  The external device will feed to your pc via firewire or USB, whereas the video capture card uses your pc's PCI bus.  I prefer the firewire/USB solution because I had issues with video and voice synchronization during capture.  Video capture cards typically come with a tv tuner, like the Flyvideo 2000 or XCard and can make your pc act as a tv; the picture can be very good when used in conjunction with a free deinterlacing program called DScaler, and these cards are relatively cheap.  DScaler does not work with ATI tv cards (different chipset).

Once you have the hardware, get a good software video capture program - I recommend Pinnacle Studio for its ease of use.  It will let you capture, edit, and generate a compressed mpeg2 file which you can then burn with the software that came with your dvd burner.  For more complexity with titles and special effects, I recommend Ulead DVD Movie Factory.

For replicating dvds, get a tool like DVDDecrypter, found on (which has loads of free video-related software).  You can copy the contents of your dvd to your hard disk, and from there burn it to a new dvd.
you can acquire video feed using a simple cheap miro PCTV card.

You will need unlocked drivers from sourceforge to get good results. (stuning quality for the price)

take care of the size of the file (1gb for 5min).

Then burn the video on a DVD. Some software like nero will encode the video before burning (very long process).

You can also use a MPEG2 compression software to get better results I use Sorenson squeeze and VegasVideo.
After doing quite a bit of research and realizing I didn't have a huge amount of money to spend, I decided to get the ADS Technologies DVD Express Video Editor for $99. It includes the cables you need (usb 2.0 and stereo A/V), a hardware convertor, a basic video capture program, and ULEAD Video Studio 7 SE DVD which actually works quite well as far as included software goes. I've converted a couple of DVDs worth of video and am suprised at how easy it is. The quality is very good - the only limitation being that I'm recording from old VHS tapes. For price and simplicity without any discernable quality issues, I think I made the right choice. It's also a flexible choice, since I picked it up at the local computer shop, I liked that I could just take it back with no hassle if it didn't work. Good luck.

I think others have handily answered your questions on DVD capture.

Good luck.
nickg5Author Commented:
isaluroar: ok..thanks....I bought a Lifeview Flyvideo98 video capture card on Ebay for $20. It has a coaxial connector so my TV or VHS plugs right in.  The problem is the size of the files. A two hour movie is over 33,000 mb(or 24 Cd's per movie). Can not store many of these on my computer. Does the product you have reduce the size of the files? I was told that some burning software will reduce it so I could get a 2 hour movie on 2-3 CD's. I plan to burn them on CD's as VCD's. and my table top DVD palyer does play vcd's....thanks...
The product is DVDShrink, and you can find others on and
nickg5Author Commented:
ok..thanks...i'll look into that...
After a long search I concluded that the best way to convert the VHS to DVD the video editing software and hardware, and I thing you can find a convienient price to you with Canopus productus.

You can either get a video card from evga they have a personal cinema that has an analog conection that will let you do what you are wanting to do. Here is a link to that video card:

You could also get a analog to digital converter from canopus which makes a really good one that works. Here is a link.
Bare None, the most Time on a disk (if this is your Goal) is to get a DVD player that supports DIVX. Yes they are out there, and they are nice. It is even possible to put a DVD with DIVX files on these machines. I have done 6 files that were 1h 30m a peice and I had room to spare. That is well over 9 hours on a disk (thats a 4.7gig dvd).
I like DIVX for VHS cause the quality is about the same for both. You won't see much clearity (if any) by using standard DVD movie format (but it will work in most DVD players, not just ones that play Divx) You may get as much time on a DVD by playing with the encodeing options but even that can restrict what DVD player can see it. Personaly I'd just by a computer with TV out and use it for a player.

has a list of DVD players that support divx under the Hardware section.
You might also try several hardware solutions from Plextor. Depending on all what you are converting, they have different models. Their best is their PX-TV402U, which includes a tuner as well as hardware to convert the video files directly. Check out this and others they offer. One may be what you need.
the best software is  cyberlink :power director pro . it is everything u need it also burn ur cds and dvds with less time then nero ,, and as a converter i some times use supermovie converter but u dont need with if u have the powerdirector with pluggins ,, for more info dont hesitate to ask me ..
I have used Nero 6.0 or Ulead VideoStudio 8.0 to capture my VHS recordings or even directly off the NVIDIA GeForce FX2500 video card. In all cases the recordings play back with jerky motion and looking at the frames with the editing feature, every so many frames are repeated. I've even seen frames swapped so that the motion appears to go backwards for one frame. This occurs when playing from the hard drive which is a Western Electric WD 1200JD 7200rpm with 8MB cache partitioned NTFS for the video files.
Anybody able to help please?
I have not used the same hardware/software solutions as you, but I can offer some things to try:

1. If you can afford it, put in a second hard drive (both should be NTFS formatted) so that the second drive is ONLY for your captured video. Using a separate partition just doesn't work very well since the disk is constantly having to change from read to write mode.
2.  If you have ANY other programs running...shut them down! Make sure you turn off screen saver too.
3.  If you have a network/router card in your computer, disconnect, turn it off...but don't let these things be active while you try to capture.
4.  I know this might sound weird, but I turn my computer off for about 1/2 hour before I start capture. Heat can be a problem.
5.  What you are using to capture is depending on the speed of your processor, hard drives and RAM. If they aren't fast, you will get dropped frames.
6.  What is your capture size? You may be trying to capture beyound the capabilities of your hardware as mentioned above.  720x480 is pretty tough to get good results with unless you have GREAT computer hardware.
7.  When you have repeated frames, it is usually because the hardware could not keep up so the software just repeats the previous frame(s) until the hardware can catch up.
Hope this helps some.
To transfer movies from an old VHS cam recorder you need either a graohics card that supports S-Video In or an TV-card.
You need:

1. TV out

You can hook up your VCR, DVD, Camcorder, Digicam or anything else to that device and record live video directly onto DVD media with your DVD burner.

Works great for me!
Very useful info
Just found this, thought I would add it
Its really just best to leave this to the pros.  By the time you purchase the equipment, invest the time, etc, you will have spent more than just paying someone else.  And the quality will likely be better too due to the superior equipment being used by these companies.  
Try or 
all you need is a capture card to take the input from youre cassette player, but recording it to your computer will literally take the time to play each cassette, if you like doing this, and also have a decent system which can handle the encoding to what ever format,  (if you want to actually be able to use your computer while it does this change) then go nuts, otherwise look for paying someone to do it in likel 1/10th the time and for a little more money.
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