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Old July 8th, 2013, 01:48 AM   #1
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Iasi Romania
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VHS to DVD equipment/hardware

Hello 2 all,

I don't know if I posted this thread in the right place as I am new here. If I posted wrong, please (admin) move it were it belongs.

I've got some questions for the professionals and for the people that have experience in this kind of stuff.
So here it goes:

I want to transfer VHS tapes to DVD.

1. What's the best/one of the best (by best I mean to achieve the best quality) hardware/equipment to do that ?

From what I've searched on the internet there are a couple of ways to do it:

a. VHS/DVD recorder combo
From what I've red this is the easiest way to do it. But some of the people that used it complained about the quality of the DVDs.However, I know that some people expect their converted DVDs to be HD-like quality, so I don't know if the ones that gave bad reviews complained about something serious or about something that is imposible to achieve in the first place.
Also others complained that their VHS/DVD recorders didn't have TBC, so their DVDs had poor quality.

b. VHS player -> TBC -> DVD Recorder
I've red that hooking up your VHS player directly to your DVD recorder won't create good quality DVDs, but if you put a time base corrector between them, you will get good results.

c. VHS player -> Camcorder -> DVD Recorder / PC
Another option i found would be to connect your VHS player to your camcorder and your camcorder to your PC or DVD recorder.

d. VHS player -> Capture Card -> PC
And the last option that I've found would be to connect your VHS player to your PC.However here are two options:
d.1. capture card that you put in your desktop
d.2. USB DVD recorder (for example Dazzle, Roxio etc.)

If there are better ways to transfer VHS to DVD please tell me. If not which of these will give the best quality end result. PLEASE select them from best to worst, for example : In my opinion C A B D1 D2 ; C being the best quality end result and D2 being worst than the others.

2. From what I've searched on the internet one of the best way would be to buy a good capture card, connect your vhs player to your PC and then edit(improve) your video with some good software and then burn it to a DVD. However this takes a lot of time in comparison with popping in a VHS and a blank DVD in your VHS/DVD recorder.
Will the quality of the video between those 2 be noticeable by the normal everyday user ? Or will the differences be noticed only by a pro ? Because i saw a couple of VHS/DVD recorders (I don't know if they have TBC or not) that have very many positive reviews.

I have almost no experience in this field so please try to explain it to me as you would to a child :D

Thanks in advance!
Dragos Stefan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2013, 11:57 AM   #2
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Hollywood, FL
Posts: 301
Re: VHS to DVD equipment/hardware

I have a new Profession Panasonic VHS to DVD Recorder in an unopened box. Private message me if your interested in it.
Douglas Call is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 8th, 2013, 08:27 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Hamilton Ontario
Posts: 769
Re: VHS to DVD equipment/hardware

B and D are the best options.

B) Some VHS players have TBC built in. It might save you some money, compared to buying a separate TBC.
D) Use a VHS player with TBC. Unlike option B, digitizing the footage allows you for cleaning, color correcting etc...

B is fast and simple
D is more work, but total control at the output.
Peter Manojlovic is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 9th, 2013, 12:00 AM   #4
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Novato, CA
Posts: 1,774
Re: VHS to DVD equipment/hardware

Well, to get the best quality you are going to have to do a combination of b and d1. Good quality DVD into a TBC then into a quality capture device into your PC. From there, use a full featured NLE to clean up the video and make color and other corrections as necessary. I do this for clients who want to have their very highly valued VHS recordings restored and put in a digital format. They are also very willing to pay for service. It takes a lot of time because it is a realtime capture then several hours of clean up and color correction.

I use a Blackmagic Decklink Extreme card. Once I've captured the video and done all the editing, I produce a DVD or provide the digital files.

Will you notice a difference from the other methods you mentioned. Yes, if you know what you're doing. But, as you said, it will take a lot more time and it is not automated.
Garrett Low
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Old July 10th, 2013, 09:02 AM   #5
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Los Angeles, USA
Posts: 2,114
Re: VHS to DVD equipment/hardware

Many cheap DV camcorder has RCA in. It digitizes on the run output through Firewire. So just connect VCR to MiniDV cam and capture like capture from tape. It will become DV-AVI file with 13GB per hour.
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