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VHS to DVD

(19 posts)
  • Started 9 years ago by SarahJames
  • Latest reply from LH
  • Topic Viewed 3213 times

SarahJames
Posts: 0

Cleaning out I stumbled upon the loads of VHS tapes I was planning to convert to DVD and finally installed the app to do so. However the software that comes with it is rather limited and I don't like the output quality.
Any ideas for (free) software that will help improve this?

(Oh and yes, I can google it - but last time I did that for an audioapp I ended up trying 20 different ones and not much improvement at all. So your input and experiences are much appreciated ;D)

Cheers,
Sarah.

Posted 9 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 0

Sarah, you have the VHS recordings still on their tapes or have they already been captured to your hard drive? What kind of capture device was (or will be) used?

From my experience with analog video capture devices, they have all had their own proprietary software. I have a Sony MPEG-2 encoder board in my Sony Vaio with Sony software (Gigapocket). Only their software works with their device but, fortunately, it outputs standard, DVD-ready MPEG-2 video.

I also have an old Pinnacle Movie Studio Box device that uses Pinnacle Studio software. I have yet to own or use a video capture device that lets you choose the software for capturing.

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

Hi ScottW,

They're still on the tapes and I want to get them to the PC;)
A friend gave me 'Zolid DVD Maker', a USB thingy to easily transfer the lot.
Comes with Arcsoft Showbiz DVD 2.
Works! (after a serious fight over which cable ought to go where, since I've also never used this VCR player before and didn't know if it worked in the first place LOL)

So from what you're telling me I'll have to stick with that;)
I'm trying to find out which settings give the best quality - I don't have a clue when it comes to these things ...
Trial and error I guess ...

Posted 9 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 0

Sarah, yes you should stick with the software that came with the device. They are sold together and probably only work together. You might try googling on the device or software for recommendations on settings. I see a number of pages, many of them in Dutch.

Some general guidlines:

• Format - be sure to choose the proper video type, if it doesn't auto-detect. PAL, NTSC, or SECAM.
• Copy "protection" - some VHS tapes have used analog techniques to discourage copying. In the US, Macrovision protection is fairly common. It can be corrected by most video capture hardware and there may be a switch in the software for it.
• Bitrate - high-quality DVD video streams can run 5 Mbps or higher, but consumer-grade VCRs can only put out an image that is equivalent to about 3.5 Mbps max. Set the capture bitrate too high and you are just wasting space. Set it too low and it can degrade the quality.
• File format - it's ideal if the capture is stored in MPEG-2 since it can then be written to DVD without conversion (just authoring). If the video requires conversion, quality can be lost in this step unless care is taken.

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

ScottW, the format is set by default to NTSC, though the others are available too.
No copyprotection problems, since they are just recordings from things on the television and familystuff;)
Bitrate was set to 5 by default I believe (can't check now: it is running LOL)
And I manually set the capture to MPEG-2 (was MPEG-1 by default).

The little capture I made as a test looked quite allright, so now it is working on a whole tape ;)

Thanks,
Sarah.

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

I find it odd that the default is set to NTSC. Was the machine bought from America ?
You should be PAL there.

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

All from Holland ;)
So I should set it to PAL?
(LOL It's been running for over an hour now ...)

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

Those tapes would be recorded from PAL, so yes
I would be interested to see the results from this first run though.
I have never worked with NTSC, only PAL and SECAM.
Heres some info for you,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PAL

Edit. The map part. SECAM is French.

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

ScottW. This is pretty good,
http://www.videointerchange.co.....rsions.htm

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

My bad - seems it is set to PAL after all. I think it selected that when I changed the choice from 'for computer' to 'for tv'.
Funny app though ... When I start a new tape it resets its audio-input :(
Not the USB device anymore. So I ended up with a live Tina Turner concert with the audio from the radio my winamp was playing. Was weird ... <LOL LOL LOL>
Easy to fix: I just take care now to check the audio input still selects the USB device, but that was an hour converting down the drain :(
But I'm getting there and the dogs have a blast: in between I take them for walks, game of ball etc.
(and still have the feel some work is getting done;D)

Edit: after a swift glance at that link you posted, LH:
NTSC - Never The Same Color. Ok that's one I won't forget that easily anymore! <LOL>

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

What is an hour, compared to some of your previous problems :)

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

No problem, no problem at all ;)

Posted 9 years ago
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ScottW
Posts: 0

Sarah, PAL and NTSC won't even sync up, so if you had been recording a PAL signal in NTSC format, you would have had a blank video to go with your bad audio. :-)

LH, great info -- wish I had that about 10 years ago. Now I wish that those tired old formats would be retired and replaced with HDTV everywhere!

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

ScottW. That info was available at least 25-30 years ago. It did mean buying very expensive books, or visiting Hack sites (also very expensive}.

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

LH - as requested a single number from Tina Turner's live show in Holland in 1991 as recorded on VHS when it was on television ;)


Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

It's asking me to download a WMP11 plugin. No way am I doing that :)

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

Ok, I'll convert it to a smaller and more manageble file and find another place to store ;)

Posted 9 years ago
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SarahJames
Posts: 0

Ok, succumbed and finally created a youtube account <LOL>.

Posted 9 years ago
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LH
Posts: 0

Ooooh. Not good for my blood pressure this early in the day :)

Posted 9 years ago
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