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The Long Black Line
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Old November 19th, 2005, 12:40 PM   #1
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Saving VHS on your harddrive...

I have some older home movies that I want to save on my harddrive, but I don't know that much about capturing analog sources (I just use a firewire card normally with my DV footage). What's the best way to do it and without degrading quality?
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Old November 20th, 2005, 12:37 AM   #2
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You would need some way to capture analog footage using an s-video or composite connection from your old camcorder. One solution would be a device like this from ADS. It will transcode the analog video and audio and send it over firewire so that you can bring it into the computer in the same manner that you would DV footage:
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Old November 20th, 2005, 01:30 AM   #3
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You could also connect the outputs of your old camcorder or VCR to the inputs on your DV camcorder (with RCA cables or s-video) and record the old footage onto the DV tape, which can then be captured in normally via firewire.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 01:23 PM   #4
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Adding to Dan's comments, some DV cameras will act as a converter, letting you play the VHS tape into the A/V inputs on the camera and passing it out through the DV port without having to actually tape it to DV in the process. Check your camera manual.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 05:31 PM   #5
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A TV Tuner/capture card is a very easy way to capture video through RCA or S-video connections. They are cheap to buy, starting at about US$30.
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Old November 25th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #6
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Depending on the current state of your VHS tapes, It may be advisable to get a TBC (Time Base Corrector) as sync errors will can cause adverse picture effects when transfering your VHS to a digital format. By using a TBC many common picture issuses can be resovled.

Also my advice would be to get a Super VHS player (even if the tape is a normal VHS tape) and use S-Video connections between your SVHS and Capture card.

Also capture in the least compressed format such as Huffyuv codec.

Also you can run the captured file through VirtualDub and "clean" it through a VHS plugin called "VHS flaXen" and also do other simple corrections.

Then finally get your self a good Mpeg Encoder and encode to DVD.

Alternatively (if you get stressed out like me, and want to do other things in your life then have it tied up by Video perfection then)

(1) Get a SVHS player

(2) Insert VHS tape

(3) connect to DVD recorder (standalone)

(3a) optionaly connect a TBC inbetween the SVHS and DVD recorder

(3b) Also connect a Video processor (for colour correction)

(4) Press play on SVHS and hit record on the DVD recorder

(4a) Optionaly take DVD and use software to rip the recorded DVD and recode it with menus.

Hope some of that helps.

Anhar Hussain Miah
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