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Discussion Starter #1
I need to transfer approximately 950 hours of shows that are currently recorded on VHS tapes. I am looking for recommendations on what the best setup I should get.


I am interested in knowing your thoughts and ideas as to:


What type of computer (PC/Mac)?


Suggest specs. on the computer I should use?


Should I save to External or internal hard drives and what size drives?


What video capture cards are the best? Internal or External?


And definitely what editing software is the best for my task?


Each tape has about 6 hours (SLP speed) recorded on it. I want to be able to just transfer one tape and walk away, and then go back and cut up the 6 hrs worth of material into folders.


I will be using a S-VHS VCR for playback via the S-Video input. Obviously I want to save these in the best quality possible. I understand the source is analog but any help/advice in restoring to the best quality is appreciated!


I thank you in advance for your recommendations and help!


~ML~
 

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I would go for DVD compliant MPEG-2. Especially for noisy, interlaced content MPEG-2 is pretty much unbeatable but does of course require a decent bitrate. For the encoding I would connect the VHS player to a harddisk based STB and for cutting I would use Videoredo.
 

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I used to record into a hauppauge PVR-250 via s-vid.

The quality was good and the hardware mpeg2 encoder ensured the CPU usage was kept low and the recordings were DVD compliant.

You should be able to pick one up on ebay for £20.
 

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I've only done about 20-30 hours of tape...


I too used a PC and a PVR-250, although any card with a hardware decoder would be good (internal or external shouldn't matter). You'll need 1-2 GB per hour of hard drive space, again, internal or external shouldn't matter. As you mentioned you'll want to edit it. I used ULead Video Studio. You can also do some color balancing, contrast adjustment, noise filtering etc. if needed. Six hours of capture though will a big file so editing will be slow. The largest I ever edited was two hours.


One sugguestion is to experiment with capture bitrate and resolution. There isn't a lot of image detail onVHS tapes (particularly at 6 hours per tape) so capturing at a high bit rate and high resolution will just fill up your hard drive faster and bog down your editing. With the huge amount you have to do, a hour or two finding the right capture settings could pay off in the long run.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclover408 /forum/post/12964547


I will be using a S-VHS VCR for playback via the S-Video input. Obviously I want to save these in the best quality possible. I understand the source is analog but any help/advice in restoring to the best quality is appreciated!


I thank you in advance for your recommendations and help!


~ML~

I'd go buy a good set-top DVD recorder. The 6 hrs limitation is one that might require one with a DVR included in order to record at a higher bitrate, but then you have to split to more than one disc. You'll be doing this anyway, since 6 hrs on one DVD is not really possible, even with dual layer discs. Once recorded to DVD, rip to PC to do your editing and authoring for a final burn to DVD.


Capturing and converting on PC is certainly possible, and quality will be as good, but the amount of time and effort and cost will be much larger.


I'd go for a Panasonic recorder, or another that offers "flexible recording" with a custom bitrate. I'd try recording 3 hrs to one DVD with the recorder set to "SP" and flexible recording. This might approximate the quality of SVHS at EP speed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgrimes /forum/post/12967508


I'd go buy a good set-top DVD recorder. The 6 hrs limitation is one that might require one with a DVR included in order to record at a higher bitrate, but then you have to split to more than one disc. You'll be doing this anyway, since 6 hrs on one DVD is not really possible, even with dual layer discs. Once recorded to DVD, rip to PC to do your editing and authoring for a final burn to DVD.


Capturing and converting on PC is certainly possible, and quality will be as good, but the amount of time and effort and cost will be much larger.


I'd go for a Panasonic recorder, or another that offers "flexible recording" with a custom bitrate. I'd try recording 3 hrs to one DVD with the recorder set to "SP" and flexible recording. This might approximate the quality of SVHS at EP speed.

I like that idea and it does seem a bit easier.

SO, my question is. When I have recorded 3 hours of footage on a DVD, how do I then take that and put it into an editing program on the computer. Please include instructions and what equipment and software you recommend. Thanks for this idea!!
 

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That's why I said harddisk based recorder not DVD recorder. That way it's easier to transfer the recorded files to PC and you aren't limited to the size of a DVD. I can't make any hardware recommendations but considering the massive amount of data you're looking at I would try to find out if there are any to which you can easily connect your Terrabyte drives. For software Videoredo is perfect for cutting MPEG-2 files without reencoding, without any need for muxxing elementary streams and without messing up the audio/video synch.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Can you send me a link to the type of hard disk recorder you are mentioning? I know of the set top DVD recorders with hard disks in them... but not what you are referring to.


Thanks
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by musiclover408 /forum/post/12967937


I like that idea and it does seem a bit easier.

SO, my question is. When I have recorded 3 hours of footage on a DVD, how do I then take that and put it into an editing program on the computer. Please include instructions and what equipment and software you recommend. Thanks for this idea!!

Virtually any video editor or DVD authoring program will import the contents of your recorded discs. I use the Panasonic recorder and RAM or -RW discs, then pop them into the PC and rip to hard drive, then import into TMPGEnc-Author for editing and authoring. If all you want to do is crop out a few bits, that program is more than adequate and includes a few simple filters for things like audio adjustment and video noise, etc. If you use RAM, you also need a PC drive that can read and burn RAM, most current ones do.


I understand the attraction of video recorders with hard drives (DVR), and capturing to hard drive, but the simplicity of capturing direct to DVD eliminates a few steps. With hundreds of hours of material to capture, less is better.



I'd estimate your costs for recorder ($175), PC drive ($35) and software, ($90), to be considerably less than a PC capture card, hard drive for capture and several different programs. Not to mention the value of your time and aggravation.


I can't promise you that you'll be thrilled with the results of recording 3 hrs on one DVD, but it's a good place to start, and the Panny recorders allow the flexible bitrates. Personally, I stick to 2 hrs. There's another way to skin that cat too, that's to record at thr higher bitrates, then use DVDShrink to compress it down to fit on one disc.


Still another thought is to use dual layer discs for your final DVD's, which increases the amount you can put on one disc. Maybe 4 hrs of decent quality stuff.
 
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