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Old October 3rd, 2004, 05:31 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: New York, NY
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vhs to dv: composite or s-video, and best quality??

I am trying to get a handful of vhs tapes onto dvd. My setup:

vhs vcr (composite out) > trv900 mini dv (composite in)> g4powerbook > powerbook superdrive > dvd

I'm using imovie to capture and idvd to burn because I want to do it quickly and easily and am making no changes whatsoever to the footage.

my questions:
since my original media is vhs tapes from '92, does it matter that i'm using composite rather than s-video (my vcr has no s-video port)?

if i got a converter and was able to go from vcr to s-video in on my camera, would it make a difference in the quality at all?

can i loop my vcr into my digital cable box and take the signal from that, therefore going from s-video out on cable box to s-video in on camera? and if I can, would it make a big difference in quality in my case?

My footage after being captured looks not very good on my monitor, but fine when i play the dvd back thru the tv. Any idea why, and is there anything i can do to raise the quality on the computer monitor?

Are there any important settings I'm maybe skipping in imovie or idvd that are compromising the quality?

finally, on this first capture, the whole tape (though I did it in two batches on the same tape) there was a horizontal line (looks like "bad reception" on a tv) at the very bottom of my screen that was not on the vhs tape. What's causing this and how can I avoid it?

Many many thanks for any answers anyone can provide.
Michelle Cohen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 3rd, 2004, 06:06 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Clearwater, FL
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The fewer devices in the chain the better the quality. In other words don't use the cable box as an S-Video convertor. If you can get an S-VHS VCR you'll get S-Video out and it would be a higher quality signal than composite. Depending on the quality of your source material it may or may not be worth the effort to convert to S-Video.
Jeff Donald
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Old October 31st, 2004, 07:11 PM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Hillsborough, NC
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I've captured many VHS tapes and made DVDs. I use a Canopus ADVC-100 external analog to digital converter. You connect to to your computer via Firewire and to your VCR or TV by one of several options (S-video and composite for sure, maybe more). It works great; no frame drops and no sync problems. Canopus makes several external devices with different features. Other manufacturers make similar external Firewire device. There are internal (PCI card) versions, too.

Good luck.

Dennis Vogel
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