Ok, here's the story: I teach at a state university, have been doing this work for a couple decades now and have a sizable collection of VHS tapes of historical significance that I have collected over the years. Many are commercially produced educational tapes and cost hundreds of dollars each to replace as DVD (yes, educational videos are sickeningly expensive). Of course I could not afford to spend the thousands of dollars it would cost to replace them. In fact, I couldn't afford to buy them originally -- they all came as compensation or consideration from publishers/producers/etc for my assistance in reviewing and editing textbooks or as incentives to adopting their texts in my classes. Many are also no longer available. Most of these are very good quality and excellent condition, none of them are beat up or abused, all of them are legit commercial tapes I personally own outright.
My problem is that the university has (finally) removed all the VHS players from our classrooms and I need to digitize at least the ones I use and likely all of them. It's a lot of tape and the services to do it are outside my budget. The university will not do it for me.
What I do have is some basic gear:
- Panasonic AG2580Pro VCR - good working condition, composite and coax out only (no other outputs) [4 Head HiFi Stereo / Direct Drive Capstan Motor for Precise Speed / SuperDrive / Quasi SVHS Play / Tuner / Auto Repeat]
- An old Pinnacle USB-510 capture device
- Pinnacle Studio 11
- Office desktop (i5-750, 8gb ram, ssd + spinning drive, gtx460 gpu)
Thanks to the site licenses and educational discounts I also have access to PowerDirector Ultra 11, which I know from other work with .h264 video files makes much faster work of encoding and processing video than the Pinnacle 11 software (by which I mean minutes rather than hours).
Now, part of my problem is Macrovision, which I understand can easily be handled by a $25-$30 Digital Video Stabilizer 9v black box reasonably well.
The other problem is just a question of capture quality. The USB-510 does ok, but it doesn't look great and I am wondering if there is a reasonable upgrade in the ~$100 range budget to improve my capture quality or a specific post-processing procedure you all would recommend. I am not an AV wizard and have no idea how to use a TBC but reading countless threads on TBCs here and elsewhere leads me to believe they may be overkill for what I am doing, may cause me more grief than good, and the ones people strongly recommend seem to all be in the 400$+ range, like the TBC-1000 (even on EBay).
I'm really not in a position to drop much more than 100-150$ down on any new gear and my suspicion is that a new capture device / card might be the priority.
Thoughts or advice?