Best VHS to MPEG4 capture workflow? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys,

I have a bunch of VHS tapes I'd like to finally throw away but I want to archive many of them. Ultimately I'd like them to end up as H.264 files for playback on a media center computer.

I'm scratching my head about the simplest way to go about it, short of just straight video capture to the computer. I wonder if there's a way to leverage the cheap cost of VHS/DVD Recorder or VHS/harddisk recorder units for this purpose. Since VHS/DVD Recorder combos make it easy to "hit record and forget" converting a 2-hour VHS tape to DVD/MPEG2, I have thought of the following workflow:

1) I.e. buying 3-5 VHS/DVD Recorder combo units (i.e. next time they go on sale)

2) Recording VHS -> DVD-RW discs

3) Ripping the MPEG2 from DVD-RW discs on my existing computers that already have 5 DVD-RW drives per computer, and either keeping the MPEG2 files or converting them in a second step to H.264?

This multi-step process makes it much lengthier than I'd like, but bottom line is I'd need to buy several VCR's anyway so having a combo unit might save me from investment in standalone VHS plus video capture cards.

Does anyone know of an easier way, or if a set-top player that combines a VHS with harddisk or USB flash storage (or god forbid PC-linkable VHS combo player) exists to simplify my workflow?

Any info appreciated - thanks guys!
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post #2 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 10:00 PM
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Not that I know of. I have a Philips VCR/DVD Recorder that I use to convert home movies and stuff to DVD. Most combo units feature direct dubbing so just insert the VHS and blank DVD, press the direct dub button and you just wait until it finishes. If you were to go with video capture cards + VHS, setting up the recordings will probably be more of a hassle.

At this point, I wouldn't even bother with DVD-RW. I'd just record straight to DVD, label them and keep them in a CD portfolio or cake box or something.

edit:
Scratch that. I just remembered there used to be DV/SVHS decks that you could connect to your computer via Firewire. Not sure how easy it'd be to find those now, plus, I'm betting the DV files would be monstrous (maybe 14GB/hr?).
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post #3 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 10:39 PM
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Workflow? How about they made your wish come true...under $200USD

Check here and here

USB dongle (component or svideo)(SDI) to h.264 files

It won five awards at the National Association of Broadcasters Electionics Show 2008. (I dont know how discriminating they are)

So now any time we see a can i capture component video thread?? We can say "yes, for about 200USD"

I'm guessing they are going to go fast...
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post #4 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuncHwagon View Post

Workflow? How about they made your wish come true...under $200USD

Check here and here

USB dongle (component or svideo)(SDI) to h.264 files

It won five awards at the National Association of Broadcasters Electionics Show 2008. (I dont know how discriminating they are)

So now any time we see a can i capture component video thread?? We can say "yes, for about 200USD"

I'm guessing they are going to go fast...

Nice - much cheaper than Canopus ADVC300 I was considering. Now I just need a S-VHS VCR known for restorative (NR/TBC features) qualities to clean up the video before it gets encoded. I hope I can run multiple instances of the capture program so that if I buy let's say 3-5 of these devices, that I don't need as many computers.

Do you know anywhere actually selling this thing or is it not out yet?

Anyway thanks for the tip - to what address do I send the young hooker + beer?
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post #5 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 11:14 PM
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If you're gonna go the capture card route, there's also the Hauppauge HD-PVR and it's already available.
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post #6 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 11:20 PM
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I wondered if we had moved to reasonably priced 8head VCRs

and this came up here

Less useful after the fact...but same price. For "cleanup" I would go with a quality 6head VCR... anything more is quickly going to lighten your wallet.

My wife tells me I can resume hookers and beer when i have completed the HTPC. I think she finally understands me.
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post #7 of 7 Old 07-22-2008, 11:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LuncHwagon View Post

I wondered if we had moved to reasonably priced 8head VCRs

and this came up here

Less useful after the fact...but same price. For "cleanup" I would go with a quality 6head VCR... anything more is quickly going to lighten your wallet.

My wife tells me I can resume hookers and beer when i have completed the HTPC. I think she finally understands me.

Nice. Make sure you get a Harmony One or similar uni remote to put in her hand so HTPC / DVR / AVR switching is not confusing. Works wonders for the girlfriends when I need to have a romantic comedy babysit them while I'm off doing other things.

Everything I'm reading is telling me Panasonic AG-1980 is the VCR to go for as far as having best playback quality. That VHS2PC at circuitcity link is interesting but looks like a cheap-a$$ VCR with a USB connector.

The Panasonic AG-1980 once retailed for $2499 and had also sorts of crazy features for correcting playback issues and with it going for as cheap as $50 on ebay now I will probably get several.

Thanks for your help!
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