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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    [font="'Comic Sans MS"]What I would like to do is copy some VHS tapes, with sound, to my computer. I have no clue what I need for hardware or software. Can I hook a VHS recorder/player to the computer somehow and record it? Do i need to use the video camera? I don't even know if we have it anymore. [/font]
    [font="'Comic Sans MS"]Do I need some specialized card or hardware to do this? [/font]
    [font="'Comic Sans MS"]Besides VHS I also have some 8mm tapes I will want to do this with. I know for sure that I don't have the camera that shot the 8mm tapes.[/font]

  2. #2
    5 Star Lounger
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    You will need some sort of hardware device to connect between the VCR player and computer. One possibility is to use Roxio's VHS to DVD product ( http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/ea.../overview.html ). Is the 8 mm the stuff on a little reel that had to be sent away to be developed? If so do you have a projector that will play it? If not you'll probably have to try and find a service that can play it back while digitally recording it with a camera so it can be transferred to a computer for further processing.

  3. #3
    Lounger
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    People either love or hate that roxio product, I dont see much in between.
    For $44, I bought it. How hard can it be to use.
    Thanks for the pointer.
    The 8mm stuff was recorded directly by the camera, just like the VHS. I'll worry about it after I get the VHS stuff done.
    The Roxio product will supposedly allow me to digitize cassette tapes and LP's as well, this should be interesting.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Try one of these Youtube vids
    Might point you in the right direction.
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  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    I did this a few years back. I used a Dazzle Digital Video 150 device which hooks up to the USB port and has the standard video and audio input ports that you find on a VHS recorder. You will still need a VHS and 8mm player to play your original media. Fortunately, my VHS player and 8mm camera were still working. If I was to do this today I would use my Hauppauge HVR-1600 card (a PCI device) - it also has ports that can connect to a camera or VHS player. The hardware (both Dazzle and Hauppage) came with software to enable video recording. The Dazzle device came with a stripped-down version of Pinnacle Studio, which I found handy enough for both recording and video editing that I bought the full product (if you watch the Fry's ads, it will eventually be one sale for a really good price).

    Check the Best Buy and Fry's ads circulars - they almost always have either PCI or USB devices for doing video recording on sale.

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    I have converted over 300 hours of personal video to AVI files and then to DVD. My source video has included: 8mm film, VHS, Hi-8, and DIgital 8. The VHS was a pain (at least for me). I was using an ADS Pyro A/V Link connected via Firewire to capture Hi-8 and Digital 8 with Adobe's Premiere Elements and all was working well. When I hooked a VHS player to the Pyro, my resulting video was not always synchronized with its audio. Many attempts failed so I finally bought a Toshiba D-VR660 which can transfer VHS to DVD directly. For the most part this worked well. My VHS tapes had 2 hours of video but I'd only put 1 hour on a DVD+RW. This meant I had to put in a second DVD+RW, back up the VHS a little bit and restart the transfer. I put the DVD+RWs in the PC and used Adobe Premiere Elements to read the VOB files, and reassemble the video from the two DVD+RWs (to remove the small overlap I created when backing up the VHS). The Toshiba broke each hour of video into multiple VOB files, so I also had to delete a few frames (up to 7 frames) at each break because the Toshiba would lose the audio. I found it was better to have a slight video discontinuity than have the audio drop out. I guess our ears are more discriminating than our eyes. All-in-all, it was work, but the video and audio stayed in sync and I was able to convert the VOB files to AVI before making DVDs with menus for my set top players.

    My oldest VHS tapes were made in 1983 so I was happy when none of them broke during the transfers. The Toshiba did a good job adjusting its tracking to read the tapes, but there were some tapes that it couldn't handle. For those, I'd connect a different VHS player that could read the tapes to the Toshiba's inputs. The disadvantage to using an external VHS player was that I had to be at the equipment when the first hour was up so I could stop the external player. If I used the Toshiba's VHS deck and dubbed directly to DVD, the Toshiba would stop the VHS player when I ran out of room on the DVD.

    Note that you wouldn't have to use the PC at all if what you get out of the Toshiba was good enough for you. However. my goal was to get my whole video library into computer files that were indexed so that later I could condense the material into shorter "movies" that would be more interesting than the original raw video. To this end I used a couple of other software packages. One life/time saver has been AVCutty. It allowed me to breakup the long VHS files into shorter segments or scenes. AVCutty has an automatic scene generator, which I'd run. All too often I got too many scenes due to the software getting confused by the camera doing fast pans. However, AVCutty has a slick interface for being able to merge and split scenes. It was well worth my small contribution to the program's author. I also used DVDate to extract date/time information from digital video sources and add it to the file names.

    The end result of all my work is a library of 60-minute DVDs (on Verbatim's "movie reel" DVD media) with nice menus and scene navigation (done by me, not the Toshiba), a separate library of AVI files for later use, and an index of each scene including the event, data, and "actors". The AVI library is approximately 5TB. Hope this info helps.

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