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Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: Cary
Date: January 19, 2022 08:07PM
So I found a box of old video tapes, some of my kids when they were young.

What's the best way to get them converted to digital? Do I need to buy equipment?

I pulled out my old VCR/DVD player, but it seems to not be outputting video on the VCR side of the house, so I'm looking for another VCR with component out.

What else do I need?

Or, should I use a service?

TIA

Cary
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: Rolando
Date: January 19, 2022 08:12PM
If you use a USB or FW import module, make sure you import at 60 fps!
[youtu.be]

You can upload them them to youtube, list as private or 'unlisted' to share with family.



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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: jh
Date: January 19, 2022 08:21PM
I converted to digital several VCR tapes a while back. Here's my how to.

Your going to need a device to convert the tape to digital. You have half of the solution I used by having a VCR player. I used the Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0). I had an older converter but it did not work when I upgraded my OS. The Elgato worked fine with my system (Sierra). I would suggest you make sure whatever device you use works with your current OS before purchase. The digital files are then on your hard drive after import.

Going to a company to convert them can be pricey in my experience.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/19/2022 08:23PM by jh.
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: davester
Date: January 19, 2022 08:39PM
I have an old combo VCR, DVD writer. You can probably find these on eBay. Fairly straightforward transfer. Refurbished versions are available for about $200. Google them.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: S. Pupp
Date: January 20, 2022 08:59AM
My method 22 years ago:
VHS to Canopus ADVC300 Firewire D/A converter to B&W PowerMac G3.
Convert the DV files to MPEG-1 with Toast or MPEG-2 with BitVice.

Quality: Adequate. At least the audio and video were in sync, unlike using a Sony FireWire camcorder with passthrough.


Current method:
Panasonic AG1980 VHS to DataVideo TBC-1000 Time Base Corrector to BlackMagic Design Intensity Shuttle USB 3.0 to MacBook Pro 2017.
Convert MPEG-A files to H265 with Handbrake.

Quality: Excellent, with audio and video in sync. MPEG-A files are enormous - a large external drive is warranted to avoid wearing out the built-in drive prematurely.

There's plenty of advice on methods to do this and equipment to use at VideoHelp.com, but the software mentioned is generally Windows based.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/20/2022 09:01AM by S. Pupp.
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: raz
Date: January 20, 2022 09:17AM
I just went the Canopus rout last year. None of my FireWire equipped machines would get sound (but video was ok). Fortunately, this was all Dad's old 8mm home movies, so no sound anyway.



--------------

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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: bhaveshp
Date: January 20, 2022 11:07AM
Quote
jh
I converted to digital several VCR tapes a while back. Here's my how to.

Your going to need a device to convert the tape to digital. You have half of the solution I used by having a VCR player. I used the Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0). I had an older converter but it did not work when I upgraded my OS. The Elgato worked fine with my system (Sierra). I would suggest you make sure whatever device you use works with your current OS before purchase. The digital files are then on your hard drive after import.

Going to a company to convert them can be pricey in my experience.

+1 I also used the Elgato device along with a camcorder to playback my original tapes. Worked great.
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: rz
Date: January 20, 2022 11:53AM
For me, it was VHS player to stand-alone DVD recorder.
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: Will Collier
Date: January 20, 2022 12:56PM
Quote
bhaveshp
Quote
jh
I converted to digital several VCR tapes a while back. Here's my how to.

Your going to need a device to convert the tape to digital. You have half of the solution I used by having a VCR player. I used the Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0). I had an older converter but it did not work when I upgraded my OS. The Elgato worked fine with my system (Sierra). I would suggest you make sure whatever device you use works with your current OS before purchase. The digital files are then on your hard drive after import.

Going to a company to convert them can be pricey in my experience.

+1 I also used the Elgato device along with a camcorder to playback my original tapes. Worked great.

The Elgato (it's a glorified dongle) is an easy solution, and the quality is fine for personal copies. Goes straight to h.264 without having to fool with massive DV files. I would edit with MPEGStreamclip instead of the El Gato application, though.
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Re: Convert VHS tapes to digital
Posted by: dk62
Date: January 20, 2022 12:56PM
Several threads on this in the last few weeks. I used a DV camcorder, can be had for under $100 on eBay, if you have ability to connect FW output. Worked like a charm.
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