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Interested in transferring movie on VHS to HDD of PC

Posted on 2004-09-30
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Hi Everyone:

       I am interested in transferring a movie on VHS to my pc.  With this in mind, I am interested in any suggestions regarding special hardware and software setups required to accomplish such a task.  

       Thank you

       George
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Question by:GMartin
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by:bobo_tech
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First thing you need is some sort of a video capture card that captures analog sources.
I would go to a website such as http://www.hauppage.com/ and see what kind of hardware they have that is in your price range.

If you have a desktop comptuer, i would recommend a pci video card since they usually provide the best framerates.

For software, all you need is something like Windows Movie Maker (which is included in windows xp and me).

Then you can just capture the videos into your computer.

Make sure that you have a fairly decent system to do this with (like a 1ghz class or faster system).  That will give you the best quality.

And make sure that you have plenty of hard drive space and a dvd burner (that will give you the best quality).  I captured roughly 15 minutes worth of video (before compression) and it was around 7-8 gigabytes in size.

After compressing it to a dvd format, you can get roughly 2 hours to a 4.3 gigabyte dvd.



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by:tosh9iii
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PAR1033 earned 250 total points
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You need a hardware card the comes bundled with software to do the job.  While you can buy them separately, it would cost a lot more.  
You might try one of the Pinnacle cards or their Dazzle external box.
They have an inexpensive Dazzle Digital Video Creator 90 (Tigerdirect.com for $ 49.95) that has video composite in converted to USB input for your computer.  Lower price means lower quality.  
They also have a more expensive external boxes like the Daxxle Digital Video Creator 150 for about $ 150.
There are internal video cards from Pinnacle and others for $ 50 to $ 700.
You need a composite video in on a card or an external capture device, or Svideo for better quality, plug your VCR into the capture card or box, press play on the VCR and use the software provided or the Windows Movie capture feature in XP to save the video to your hard drive.  
The quality will be better if you use the Svideo out on a VCR rather than composite out.
I play Svideo from my VCR to my Sony camera, which has a DV (Digital Video) out on a Firewire or 1394 cable to a firewire card in my Sony Vaio or my PC or my MAC.
The results I get are pretty good.  The better quality conversion circuits in your converter device or card will be reflect in the quality of the recording on you hard drive.  












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by:Arl
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Hi,

May I suggest to take a look on this :
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20782492.html

As your request could find already the same issue than this question.

Hope that can help.
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by:Callandor
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Converting video to DVD
http://graphics.tomshardware.com/video/20030530/index.html

www.dvdrhelp.com also has a lot of tools and tutorials.  If you already have a camcorder with Firewire, that would my preference - you can use the camcorder as an analog to digital converter, plugging the VCR outputs to the camcorder and plugging the Firewire from the camcorder to your PC (if your motherboard doesn't have Firewire, you can get a PCI Firewire card: http://www.newegg.com/app/ViewProductDesc.asp?description=15-115-002&depa=0).  This will avoid the audio sync problem that can occur when capturing video and audio separately with a video capture card and a sound card.  Once you get it to the PC, you need a capture program like Pinnacle Studio, which will digitize it as an avi file.  You can edit it to keep only what you want, then compress it to mpeg2, which will take about twice as long as the length of the video.  Now you create chapter titles where you want to jump to with the forward button, create an ISO image and burn to DVD.  Some programs like Pinnacle Studio and Ulead DVD Movie Factory will do all of this in one program, but you could mix and match in certain cases.
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by:tpilg
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I have been using the v-stream products. I have the dv/av expert, a card that goes in the PC, that also allows has dv for digital video cameras, and an Xpert DVD maker, which simply plugs into a USB port.

http://www.kworldcomputer.com/product/DV-AV-Expert/DV-AV-Expert.html
http://www.kworldcomputer.com/kworldcomputer/www.nsf/h/dvdmaker

Software is important. The dv/av expert comes with power director which allows you to select the format of the file it will write to the PC. This allows you to maintain the quality, but use a compression that takes up a reasonable amount of room.



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by:GMartin
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Hi Everyone:

       Thanks so much for the followups.  I am fairly clear on everything with the exception of one thing:  What is the difference between an analog and digital signal?

        George
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by:tosh9iii
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by:Callandor
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Analog signals are sent across cables that typically have RCA connectors, and the signal is not guaranteed to come out the other end exactly the same as it went in.  There could be dgradation due to noise, interference, and drop off with distance.  Digital signals sent across Firewire are guaranteed to be the same on both ends.  The signals themselves are waveforms, with analog being a spectrum of different values, and digital being discrete values.
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by:PAR1033
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The older style video recorders use analog recording, versus the newer "DV" Digital Video.  
Analog video and audio is a continuous stream of information, stored as a stream of electrical signals with varying voltages.  You store this on a tape, whether audio or video, and then just play the stream of information to your speakers or display monitor.  
The quality of the signal will not get better than when you record it.  In fact, it tends to degrade, or get worse, as you copy.  To edit an analog video will require you to copy it at least once, probably three or more times.  Each "generation" will loose some of the quality because you are re-recording it, and there is a loss of quality everytime you record a signal in analog.  The better quality of the recording equipment, and the wider the tape you use, will help retain, or loose less of the quality of the orignal.
Digital video works differently.  Digital takes the analog signal, and converts it to a stream of discreate bits of information like a computer uses.  These are stored in the form of bits, which can have a value of 0 or 1 only.  It is the conversion equipment, and the quality of the format used that will limit how much information you can store, and how good it can be.  CD, MP3, DVD, HiDef, Mpeg, Mpeg2, Mpg3, mini DV, DigiBeta are some names of digital format standards used by the audio and video industry.  
You take the video stream from your camera, or sound equipment,  put it through an analog to digital converter,  and store it on tape or disk.  To play it back, you play the digital recording through a digital to analog converter to hear it or see it on a screen.
The quality of your format, and the analog to digital converters will determine your quality.  However, of great importance, is that the quality of your video, once in digital, will (basically) not degrade when you copy it , once, twice, etc.  because it is store in discreate bits of 1s and zeros.  
The sooner you convert the video to digital in the process of storing, copying and editing it, the less quality will be lost before you see it again.
Play your VHS analog signal into a device that converts it to a digital format, then if you keep it in that digital format, and play it in that format, you will loose the least amount of quality.  If you convert from one digital format to another, there can be additional loss of quality because of the differences of the formats.  You could do some more research on this, but do not assume if you are transfering your original digital version to another format that you will not see problems.  
The most common format used in consumer equipment today is DV or mini DV.  The quality is better than the VHS you recorded on.  If you save this onto DVD, the quality stays good.  If you try to save video onto CDs, you have to reduce the size of the information with a large amount of compression, and too much compression results in noticeable loss in quality.  Try to save your converted video on DVDs or DV tapes for best result.
A good camera can convert you VHS with good quality.  I use my Sony VX2000 mini DV camera to convert VHS with good results.  This is a $ 2000 plus camera, with good quality circuits.  If you buy a Pinnacle Dazzel for $ 50, the quality of the converter will be less. I hope that answers your question.
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by:GMartin
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Hi Everyone:

        After going to the v-stream products site, I found one of the system requirements for the dv/av expert card is a pci 2.2 compliant slot.  My pc is about 4 years old.  Will it have a pci 2.2 compliant slot?

        Thanks

        George
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by:tpilg
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Most system report programmes will tell you your pci version. I use sisandra and this has an icon that tells you yyour pci version.

http://www.sisoftware.net/
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by:GMartin
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Hi There:

        Thanks so much for the link to SIS Sandra.  After running this program, I found my pci version to be 2.1.  Since the card requires a 2.2 version of PCI, I will probably run into problems if I try to use dv/av expert card.  What does everyone else think about that possible obstacle?

        George
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by:tpilg
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I wouldn't try putting a PCI 2.2 card in a PCI 2.1 slot. I have a couple of newish telly cards that don't work properly in my older machines. You may have to check other cards and see if they support PCI 2.1. My other idea of the USB connector will fail too since your machine is probably USB 1.0.

I'm afraid I've no experience of other capture cards (except my matrox rt100 - which is a bit ott for what you want!). I'll come back in when it comes to what software to use when you decide on a card).

I often look at www.ebuyer.co.uk for bits of kit I want to get and read the comments from people who have bought them. They have a section on capture cards. If all you want to capture is VHS, you will not be wanting a very high quality card, and most can handle telly screen size. If your machine is old you may have problems with speed of hard disk - this will cause frames to be dropped.
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by:GMartin
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Hi

       My machine has a 1.3GHz Athlon Processor, 126MB of RAM, and 30GB HDD along with a DVD ROM and DVR burner.  So far, I have been able to record DVD -R and DVD +R without any drop of frames which I think is great.  

       I will be making a final decision today regarding the direction to go and will close this post accordingly.  I sincerely appreciated everyone's thoughts.  Like all other questions posted for answers, I really got some awesome feedback on this one.  It will be tough to grade because of the high caliber or quality of responses.

      George
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by:GMartin
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Hi Everyone:

       Before I begin explaining the direction taken on this post, I want to thank everyone for their objective points of view.  I found each reply to be rich in content and quality.  

       With regards to the direction taken, I went to tigerdirect.com and ordered the bundled package deal of Pinnacle Studio AV/DV 9.  I like the comprehensive practical side of this card because it not only offers support for analog input devices, but, it offers compatiability with digital input devices as well.  Additionally, professional quality video editing software called Pinnacle Studio 9.0 comes with it as well as IEE1394 cable and RCA jacks.  I got the entire package for $95.39 which included shipping.  

        Thanks again for the suggestions and tips.

        George
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by:tosh9iii
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I thought you might be interested in this one:

"Convert your VHS tapes to DVD

Whether your bookshelves are straining under the weight of old home movies or entire seasons' worth of Ohio State gridiron matchups, these devices will help you convert those bulky old VHS tapes into DVDs that you can watch (or store) just about anywhere. "

http://reviews.cnet.com/4520-6449_7-5138451.html?tag=cnetfd.sd
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