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Old August 3rd, 2006, 02:48 AM   #1
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S-VHS tapes to HVX200?

Here's my situation; I'll be shooting a documentary this fall with the HVX, but I've found a potentially great lead for some already shot footage ( from about fifteen years ago ) for B-roll.

The footage was shot on S-VHS. Could I capture this S-VHS into the HVX? I plan on shooting the documentary in 720P/24PN.

If and hopefully when I get additional money for the transfer of the MXF files to 35mm film, I would try and get the masters of the S-VHS to replace the HVX copied S-VHS MXF files if necesary ( for resolution purposes ).

No theatrical release:( then I would not have to worry about transfer to film and the final output is to DVD.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 08:20 AM   #2
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It appears so. I haven't done it myself,

but see page 89 of the Operating Instructions. I think the process is laid out there.

And please report back on your success.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 09:41 AM   #3
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It appears you can only dub to tape. Page 89 of the manual says that you have to switch the MEDIA switch to TAPE position. Would I be better off just dubbing the S-VHS material using another S-VHS deck and worry about digitizing later?

There are over 400 tapes that are neither logged nor catalogued; so, I'm trying to come up with a plan of attack on how to sift and collect the material I think will be pertinent to the documentary.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #4
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Your original question was

"Could I capture this S-VHS into the HVX?" (You didn't specify you wanted to record to P2).

As I understand it,all your S-VHS source is analog. To digitize that, you're facing real-time capture of the content.

I'm certainly no expert, (actually more of a novice in my own mind), but this is my understanding: At least with digitization, you'll suffer no - or minimal - generational loss, while going S-VHS to S-VHS will introduce loss. Additionally, since the source is only S-VHS quality, do you expect to improve it somehow? (I have no idea how to do that).

Seems to me you're facing something like this:

- review/decide what S-VHS source you want to use,
- digitize that to miniDV tape,
- edit to completion or export to appropriate file type,
- convert to 35mm.

It's probably evident I'm not an expert, but I don't know any way around those steps. Perhaps others with more experience have more to offer.

Sorry I couldn't be more help.
Best of Luck.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 11:37 PM   #5
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I'm an expert on S-VHS.

There are high end decks made by JVC that do a pretty nice job.

Make sure the tracking position has been optimized and set correctly if you gain access to such a nice deck.

Another option would be to get a digital VHS deck which is supposed to talk via firewire to NLE systems. The image quality off of the digital vhs decks seems pretty good.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 01:10 PM   #6
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I had some 60 year old footage shot in 8mm and then transferred to VHS.

I ran the deck to our plasma HD, and shot the screen with the HVX200 at a 1/60 shutter speed to account for flicker.

Not the best, but pretty decent.
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Old August 11th, 2006, 11:41 AM   #7
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I work for an archive that exists entirely on S-VHS. We dub material to Beta SP ( via composite of all things!) and clients use this footage in broadcast productions all the time. Of course it's old historical B&W footage so viewers are expecting a contrast in image quality and are thus more forgiving.

I have looked into D/A converters but those w/component connects are at least 2grand. You can buy cheaper ones for a few hundred, but if the b-roll is meant to reflect a passage of time and you are not trying to pass it off as something you shot last week, I would think that using the camera would be fine. Of course, you could always choose your shots and have them digitized from the original 8mm.
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Old January 13th, 2007, 08:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Sargent
I work for an archive that exists entirely on S-VHS. We dub material to Beta SP ( via composite of all things!) and clients use this footage in broadcast productions all the time. Of course it's old historical B&W footage so viewers are expecting a contrast in image quality and are thus more forgiving.

I have looked into D/A converters but those w/component connects are at least 2grand. You can buy cheaper ones for a few hundred, but if the b-roll is meant to reflect a passage of time and you are not trying to pass it off as something you shot last week, I would think that using the camera would be fine. Of course, you could always choose your shots and have them digitized from the original 8mm.
Why not use S-Video out?
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Old February 14th, 2007, 10:38 PM   #9
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Digital VHS or D-VHS is not the same format as VHS or SVHS. SVHS is an analog format so your going to have to work with a analog SVHS deck. You might have to go to E-bay to obtain these decks but this would probably be your best option. The Panasonic AG-DS840 VHS/SVHS deck has component outputs as well as the usual composite and Svideo. This gives you the best signal that you can get from an analog deck. The JVC BR-DV600U is probably the lowest cost deck you can get because it is an older model. This has component inputs and outputs as well as composite, S-video and firewire.

You send the SVHS signal into the DV600U via component and it will convert and pass through to firewire to any machine that has a firewire input as well as record to mini DV.

I do this all the time using VHS, SVHS and Betacam. If you don't have component out, Svideo connections are almost as good.
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Old February 28th, 2007, 04:08 AM   #10
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Most, if not all, D-VHS decks will play back S-VHS tapes. I'm not certain if they will internally convert them to a digital form during playback and give a digital output, but it is possible. Check into these features if you want to consider using D-VHS. If a direct analog-to-digital conversion and output is possible, this would probably give you the best quality from S-VHS tapes.
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Old March 18th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Stephen McDonald View Post
Most, if not all, D-VHS decks will play back S-VHS tapes. I'm not certain if they will internally convert them to a digital form during playback and give a digital output, but it is possible. Check into these features if you want to consider using D-VHS. If a direct analog-to-digital conversion and output is possible, this would probably give you the best quality from S-VHS tapes.
The irony of this project is the amount of S-VHS tapes are so gigantic that logging them first on S-VHS is paramount to saving hard drive space later.
Logging 400 tapes of S-VHS tapes could take a year to do properly because once the tapes are logged then the next task is to figure out what is actually needed for the final production, which can't be done until one knows how much footage one has in relation to each aspect of the story.

As the amount of tapes involved expand, an exponential amount of time is needed to strategically select the most important footage. Additionally, searching these tapes is best done on S-VHS decks that offer 9 pin control because they offer the fastest search times.

You should factor in a charge of between 100 to 200 dollars per tape to properly log each tape.
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