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Entering the VHS to digital conversion arena... anyone got handy experience?


GanjaSMK

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You're just doing this casually? For what reason? What's the backstory to this? Do you already have the stuff you need to do it? What are you using to do it?

 

I have no experience with this, but I know that those old dual DVD and VHS players that would let you copy VHS to DVD are rare and expensive now, yet I see them often at thrift stores and it makes me want to buy them just to see if they work and try to sell them on ebay or something.

 

 

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Yep I got some old stuff.  The JVC player/recorder I just picked up is DVD+VHS; direct transfer possible, but sadly the VHS is only 'HiFi' so it won't properly display SP tapes, which is what most of the content is that I have. 

 

I've got old family recordings, xmas, birthdays, easter, accolades like first communion etc, and plenty more (like dad's PGA stuff from the 80's and 90's, tony awards, etc from mom).  Plus I've got like original Peter Pan disney that I'd like to digitize for my personal library. 


What I bought YEARS ago was this VHS-to-DVD USB dongle from some rando company.  Got the software on CD and have a good key for it (VHS to DVD 4.0 by Honestech).

 

Simple to use software that can at least get VHS to a digital file that I can then use Handbrake/other encoders to format to what I want.  Been fun sofar today ... but grinding my damn gears because many of the VHS tapes I have are recorded in SP (cause you get more time LOL).... anyway... gonna now build up my VCR/VHS devices so I can get everything I need digitized.  I probably have... 100+ tapes?  gonna be a project FOR SURE... lol

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Hmm, interesting. IDK if I would personally care about some old Disney movies from VHS quality, but cool for the more irreplaceable stuff. 

 

If you ever need another way to convert, try some thrift stores. GoodWill will let you return stuff if it doesn't work.

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Does your VCR have an RCA out (yellow, red and white) or is it RF only? I used a cheap $30 Amazon capture device that had RCA as well as S-Video to transfer and get a digital copy of a particular tape. On the backlog is to get another (I threw it away when we moved; I wanted to use it for old video game streaming, and all of my old systems can do S-Video, but they had terrible combing artifacts) and transfer all of our home movies to digital format before the tapes fail.

 

I would not be surprised if they make something like this but with an RF connector for specifically this purpose, if your VCR lacks RCA out.

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I looked into it a little bit more for you, unfortunately I didn't see any capture devices on Amazon with RF.

 

If your VCR does have RCA, here you go.

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I have an extensive collection of old VHS and Hi 8mm video tapes.  Holiday events with family as well as years worth of water skiing and vacation videos.  I transferred them to digital years ago, at least 10 years ago and it is quite the project but well worth it!

 

What you have to be careful of is the tapes are so old now they can easily break or get eaten by the VCR.  Hopefully you have stored them in a place that does not get too hot.  I would recommend you test some tapes that you don't care about in your VCR before you put the ones in that you cannot replace.

 

Also the VCRs are so old now that the rubber rollers, belts and other wear items are shot.  I have a Sony SLV-R1000 which is the best consumer Super VHS VCR ever made, it plays regular VHS tapes which are 240 lines of resolution as well as Super VHS which is 400 lines of resolution which was quite an improvement over standard VHS.

 

I also have a Sony EV-S7000 which is the top of the line Hi-8mm VCR which would play standard 8mm of 240 lines of resolution as well as Hi-8mm tapes which again were 400 lines of resolution.  Before I embarked on my project since I had not used either for some time, I sent them to some guy I found on ebay that specialized in rebuilding older VCRs.  He put all new wear items in and cleaned everything up.  It was not cheap, but they worked flawlessly for me which was well worth it.

 

I bought a video capture card for my PC that fit into a PCI slot, and used some software by Cyberlink to import them.  I connected the RCA jacks from the VCRs to the video capture card.  Now I have all of my old videos on my hard drive along with a few backup.  It's lots of time and effort but well worth it.

 

Some day I'll have time to edit all of my videos.

 

 

 

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I have a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 that I scored at a thrift store for like $7 that'll do exactly what you're looking for, so I'd say look for something like that used.  It's a PCI card, but the problem is drivers, I think it'll only support up to Win7?  But it has the RF / coaxial ins and outs, RCA ins, all sorts of options.  Use that and the line in on your sound card for audio, and you can use OBS to record.  I think the manufacturer had their own software too, but OBS should work.

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Yesterday I had a customer call me about transferring some old DVDs of home movies to a flash drive. Some of these DVDs are over 20 years old and not all of them are fully readable. Obviously way less complicated than dealing with VHS tapes, but still kinda interesting to be dealing with burned DVDs that are so old they are breaking down. 

Pretty simple though, VLC can convert the video data to mp4. I had to pull my old Sandy Bridge PC out of my closet to do the transferring because it's the only PC I have with a DVD drive. 

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I have a portable usb DVD/CD reader and burner that I use.  this one Might be worth the investment and its easier than pulling a rig out of storage and hooking it up.

 

Probably shouldn't say this but it burns Saturn games no problem and didn't even need to use a low speed for it. Generally they recommend you burn old Sega games, especially Sega CD at 4x speed but the lowest that drive can do is 10x 🤣

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Well I bought an expensive (probably not originally) used JVC Hi-Fi DVD/VHS box but sadly it won't play SP VHS tapes.  I was so bummed out. 

 

For capture I have a Honestech USB 2.0 VHS-to-DVD (BR even I guess) device with RCA/S-Video and works a charm. Even the outdated but handy software it came with works plenty fine. 

 

Then a few days after the JVC box I stopped by a local thrift store and found a Daewoo DVD/VHS box.  It was also labeled as Hi-Fi and I thought, "Damn.. gonna be the same thing and might not work". 


Well, for a whopping $10 let me tell you GENTS.... the Daewoo WORKS.  LOL! 


Got my 8-yr old easter egg hunt transferred, so many more to do now. 😛

 

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On 11/07/2023 at 21:30, pioneerisloud said:

I have a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 that I scored at a thrift store for like $7 that'll do exactly what you're looking for, so I'd say look for something like that used.  It's a PCI card, but the problem is drivers, I think it'll only support up to Win7?  But it has the RF / coaxial ins and outs, RCA ins, all sorts of options.  Use that and the line in on your sound card for audio, and you can use OBS to record.  I think the manufacturer had their own software too, but OBS should work.

 

I had one of those years ago, loved it.  Could watch TV on one monitor and play CS on the other... man... missin dem days.

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1 hour ago, GanjaSMK said:

 

I had one of those years ago, loved it.  Could watch TV on one monitor and play CS on the other... man... missin dem days.

I mean, I won't SELL it because I scored it for $7 at a thrift store and its mine dangit.  🤣

However, if you needed to borrow the Hauppage 2250 I've got, let me know.  I bought it exactly for the purpose you're wanting, converting VHS to digital.  I just don't have any VHS or a tape player....  :lachen:

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