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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Need the help of the Experts on this forum:


My Father in law needs to Dub ~600 to 800 VHS tapes to DVD...local High School Football Game/Practice tapes (copy protection not a factor and no need for editing).


Looking for a Reasonably Priced, VHS DVD Combo Unit that will do High Speed Dub from VHS to DVD...


Anyone aware of a unit that does High Speed VHS transfer? If no inexpensive models...any idea what it would cost to get a recorder capable of this??


Thanks in advance - John
 

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AFAIK, there is no consumer product that does this. Probably no professional product either.
 

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There is certainly no consumer product that will do that. It is possible that for huge $ a professional product exists, but I'm sure it is well out of your price range. VHS players will only reproduce at realtime unless you are willing to put up with very obvious noise bars and a loss of data (frames) in the process. The player would have to spin the heads two times (three times, etc) as fast as normal for this to work. For what it's worth, lots of us would have such a device if it were available. Many of us here have many VHS tapes to transfer, and would love to be able to do it high speed.
 

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Since doing an actual high-speed dub of tape onto disc is not physcially possible, you might look into a professional or consumer machine that automates the process as much as possible.

I have over 2000 tapes that need to be copied to disc, and have found that playback into hard drive DVD recorders makes the job quite easy; once the tapes are set up, the material goes to hard drive and then can be divided up into discs as needed. Also, some machines like the Panasonic DMR es30v can automate the process so that it does not have be monitored much (unless editing is desired, which you said is not necessary).
 

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It sounds like there's about a year's worth of work ahead for somebody. I know some businesses will dub for you ( Channel Productions does it for about $18/tape). You might call a local shop and ask about bulk pricing and speed of results. It is conceivable that they could have some high speed equipment, but I doubt it. Maybe 1.5 or 2x - but even then, the tape would probably be pretty much consumed by the process. Even with special equipment, you are still dealing with VHS consumer grade tape- very thin. We fast forward and reverse, and scan, but you would have to combine this with faster spinning heads and the need to synchronize- and a limited market for such equipment. What's more likely is that they have a bank of machines and can do many at once (See dupjob.com in Chicago).


I'm not sure how much demand there is for this kind of service, and whether it's growing or fading away. Certainly 2 or 3 years from now there will be very little VHS left in stores, both machines and tapes. In fact, since all new build VCRs must have digital ATSC tuners in them by 7/1/07, I'll bet they'll be gone by then- no sense in spending the money to develop/manufacture a big improvement in an obsolete product. DVD recording will be so much easier, space efficient and common by then, as well as cheap- I doubt there'll be much demand for VCRs. No purists there to keep it going, like with tube amps, vinyl records and CRTs. And the VCRs sold for the last few years will be lucky to hit 5 years before breaking. I've bought my last VCR, built into a DVD recorder, and am moving all my tapes to DVD, or giving them away. Your FIW needs to start now. If he does it himself, he'll have time to complete the job at a reasonable pace before the machines are worn out and hard to repair/replace. And 800 tapes just might be the lifespan of today's machines. When my super rugged old Sony VCR died and simply could not be repaired, the REPAIRMAN begged me not to toss it since they hadn't made them that sturdy in years. But- no way to replace a burnt out power supply unit, and no practical kludge. I could not find a similar machine anywhere at any price. All the new ones are so light weight, to boot.


By the end of 2006, I will have discarded my portable TV with built in VCR, and most of my VCRs (having completed the dubs to DVD). The only ones left will be built into DVD players/recorders. It's time to say goodbye to a technology that has seen it's day come and go.
 

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The question everyone with large collections of VHS tapes has to ask, is it necessary to dub to DVD because we think a) the information on the tape will become untrievable, b) VHS playback will not be possible c) it will take less space to store d) the DVD format is more permanent e) and yadda yadda yadda.

I think there have been a lot of threads throwing into question the relative permanence of the recordable DVD format particularly when used for archiving single source material. The football games and practices are such single source material.

I have VHS tapes that are pretty old, 15 to 20 years, that still playback as good as they did when recorded. I have great concern that DVD's I am recording now will not "fade" and become scratched and unreadable in 5 years. I think I have decided not to bother dubbing anything that has a second source, like TV shows and movies. Home movies, I will dub and preserve the original tape.

It may be a better bet to make sure the tapes are properly shelved and in a proper climate controlled environment, i.e. not the attic, basement or garage, and make sure a decent (non-tape eating) VHS player is available. Triage the DVD dubbing process to those games or practices that might need to be referred to most often, but keep the tape in case the DVD becomes scratched or "faded".
 

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I am planning to create 2 DVD copies of each treasured VHS tape (e.g., home movies). One working copy will be "out there" for everyday playback and the other will be an archive copy to be used to generate another working copy if/when the first one fails.


After editing and creating the DVD source on the hard drive of my DVDR, it typically takes less than 10 minutes each to generate high-speed copies.


I will still retain the original tapes and a means of playing them as 2nd backup.
 

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If I absolutely needed to do a project like this, I would buy multiple vcrs, dvd recorders and/or combos so I would be able to dub several tapes at the same time. When the project is completed, I would sell off the used equipment on ebay.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Lots of good information/discussions...My father-in-law has just retired (again!!) and suggested to the school that they contract him for this job. I think part of the allure for him is that it will INDEED take a long time.


Looks like his plan currently is to buy (2) VHS/DVD combo units and just plod along at a leisurely pace. The school is definitely planning on Storing/Saving the "Master" VHS tapes...but the frequently viewed games will be shown with the recorded DVDs. I guess there is also quite an interest in town (small South Georgia City) to purchase copies...the school is considering selling DVD copies to help pay for Road Games/New Equiptment/etc...


Thanks again for all the advice....

- John


Just got a call, he (father in law) just bought a Pioneer DVR RT500 for $220 delivered...anyone familiar with this model. (I'll do a little searching as well...)
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunnycrest
The question everyone with large collections of VHS tapes has to ask, is it necessary to dub to DVD because we think a) the information on the tape will become untrievable, b) VHS playback will not be possible c) it will take less space to store d) the DVD format is more permanent e) and yadda yadda yadda.

I think there have been a lot of threads throwing into question the relative permanence of the recordable DVD format particularly when used for archiving single source material. The football games and practices are such single source material.


I have VHS tapes that are pretty old, 15 to 20 years, that still playback as good as they did when recorded. I have great concern that DVD's I am recording now will not "fade" and become scratched and unreadable in 5 years. I think I have decided not to bother dubbing anything that has a second source, like TV shows and movies. Home movies, I will dub and preserve the original tape.

It may be a better bet to make sure the tapes are properly shelved and in a proper climate controlled environment, i.e. not the attic, basement or garage, and make sure a decent (non-tape eating) VHS player is available. Triage the DVD dubbing process to those games or practices that might need to be referred to most often, but keep the tape in case the DVD becomes scratched or "faded".


This is really a good post. I always hear about archiving material to DVD for its permanance, but, although I have a ton of VHS to archive and some older VHS tapes experience "drop-outs", I would be hesitant to record to DVD and then discard or erase the VHS tape because so many DVD disks become unreadable, and then where are you? At least this will not happen to a VHS tape. So what's the solution; back up each valuable VHS tape to two DVDs with the the thought that it would be unlikley that two DVD disks would become unreadable? Ideally I would like to chuck all the old bulky VHS tapes taking up closet and shelf space.
 

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In a few years, we'll all be backing up those DVDs to the Next Big Thing. Fine to keep the tapes, but in 2010 I doubt you'll find any VCRs available. A VCR & tapes in a dust bag and kept preserved at good temp/humidity sounds nice, but still takes up space- and has to be schlepped when you move. WAF will be low.
 

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"Just got a call, he (father in law) just bought a Pioneer DVR RT500 for $220 delivered...anyone familiar with this model. (I'll do a little searching as well...)"


I had one for several months. It "quit" working for me. It's made by the company that makes Bronksonic (out of Thailand). While it recorded well when it worked, the type of recording your father-in-law is doing will be too demanding for it...over time.


I recommend he purchase the Panasonic DMR-ES30VS, which is carried by Costco and Sam's Club (Sam's also has the Pioneer). The Panasonic is much easier to use and is a Panasonic product (though, made in Malaysia). It does a great job with less fuss and bother. Additionally, if you buy it from Costco or Sam's, if anything goes wrong with it, you can return it for full refund. That's what I did with the RT500:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=542742
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aggie86
Lots of good information/discussions...My father-in-law has just retired (again!!) and suggested to the school that they contract him for this job. I think part of the allure for him is that it will INDEED take a long time.


Looks like his plan currently is to buy (2) VHS/DVD combo units and just plod along at a leisurely pace. The school is definitely planning on Storing/Saving the "Master" VHS tapes...but the frequently viewed games will be shown with the recorded DVDs. I guess there is also quite an interest in town (small South Georgia City) to purchase copies...the school is considering selling DVD copies to help pay for Road Games/New Equiptment/etc...


Thanks again for all the advice....

- John


Just got a call, he (father in law) just bought a Pioneer DVR RT500 for $220 delivered...anyone familiar with this model. (I'll do a little searching as well...)
First, for your Pioneer RT500 question: I recall reading elsewhere here that Pioneer has some other company make this for them. I'm also pretty sure this is the combo unit Sam's Club sells.


It has already been suggested that the least painful way to do this is via a HDD recorder. I totally, completely agree. With a DVD/VCR combo, one can only get one copy. With a HDD model, it's easy to make a finalized DVD (- or + R) for playing and an archival copy (RW or RAM) if more, high speed copies of a particular game are wanted in the future. With only one copy via the combo unit, any additional copies will be made in real time.


Be sure to tell you father-in-law that he should be careful buying media. Not all is equal and people are especially down on Memorex. His new Pioneer is only DVD-R/-RW. Maxell and Sony are very highly rated and work well with Pioneers--and if he hurries and dashes to Staples before it closes, Sony spindles of 50 DVD-R are under $20. and DVD-RW spindles of 25 are just under $15. The sale ends today.
 
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