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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to copy all of the family videos to my PC via a capture card and then burn them to DVD.


I've been reading thru various posts but unfortunately never bookmarked them on what others have done!


I was originally thinking of using the Hauppauge PVR 150 card using S-video connections from the vcr and camcorder to the card and then using the supplied Ulead software to do the editing and burning. But now I've been reading that the ATI AIW or Nvidia Personal Cinema cards may be better. Been looking thru Cnet and other web reviews and I seem to be getting more confused, not less!!


I'd like to hear what others here have used and what recommendations they may have.


I'm trying to keep costs low but finished quality high. Can it be done reasonably inexpensive? Say between $100-150.


-t
 

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The big problem with using your PC is that old tapes will accidently trigger a false-positive "Macrovision" lock-out. I eventually resorted to a top-of-the-line Panasonic VHS/DVD w HD unit (the 75? model) and it actually cleaned-up the tape a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsalsero /forum/post/0


The big problem with using your PC is that old tapes will accidently trigger a false-positive "Macrovision" lock-out. I eventually resorted to a top-of-the-line Panasonic VHS/DVD w HD unit (the 75? model) and it actually cleaned-up the tape a lot.

How much did it cost? Is there SW included to make the menus on the DVD?

-t
 

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Just remember that creating DVDs from tape on a PC is a multistage operation.

Capture

Convert (optional step, possibly needed)

Edit

Author

Burn


Once you have your process and workflow defined, it will go pretty quick but getting set up can be tricky. If you are going to turn your PC into a DVR also then it would probably be worth your time, but just to set up for capturing: a standalone machine may be a better use of your time and money.


While MCE (or other software) might recognise Macrovision, I don't know of any Hauppauge card that natively responds to flags of any sort. There is no hardware Macrovision chip like there is on standalone DVD recorders. Tape captures do present some problems but good editing software can clean up most of them.


(The Panasonic mentioned by sdsalsero is a standalone machine so "Software" is probably not the right term for it's menu creation features - possibly very rudimentary - I'm not familiar with it's features)
 

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I recently went through this with our old VHS and Hi8 tapes. I ended up getting the pinnacle capture card (PCI). It comes with 2 Firewire ports and a set of RCA inputs/Outputs. This allows you to plug in your camcorder (analog or digital) and/or VCR to the capture card. Then using Pinnacle Studio you play the video on the source (camcorder or VCR) and record it on your PC. You end up with either a RAW avi, or MPEG2 video file. I did everything in AVI. Once you have the source it starts to make clips for you, basically each time you start/stopd recording when you took the video, it breaks the clip up. Just in Studio, you still have 1 big AVI file. Then you can take these clips and drag/drop them to build your 'movie' from here, it's all up to your imagination how you want to arrange it. You can add sound, transitions, music, DVD menus whatever. For some of the tapes I took the time to actually edit the content and cut it down, buy the end I was just burning them to DVD with basic editing and a simple menu. Also, once it is on the DVD if you ever want to get the video back on your computer just copy the VOB files back to your computer and rename the extension to .mpg, this way you don't have to keep around a 6GB avi file for 1hr of video.


The only downside to the Pinnacle capture card is you MUST use studio to do the initial capture, you can't just use any software. However, once you have the AVI file on your computer you can use whatever you want, like ULead or windows movie maker (yuck). I used ULead a few times but liked Studio better.


I never had a problem w/ macrovision messing up the signal (as far as I remember that was a 'feature' of commercial VHS, not home movies), the picture was just as clear on the computer as if I were watching the tape on the TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod7501 /forum/post/0


Just remember that creating DVDs from tape on a PC is a multistage operation.

It's also a major PITA


Especially if you have a good backlog of tapes. As the tapes age, more dropouts appear. Dropouts drive the digital capture equipment crazy and once the dropout has passed... sometimes the capture device is unable to re-lock the source signal. So, it's not a hit play and walk away procedure because if you do walk away... you may be very disappointed when you return 2 hrs later to just a 5 minute recording



I bought the cheap Cyberhome DVD recorder (around $100 at BB, CC, Walmart, etc...) and recorded my tapes to DVD. I then ripped the DVD's to Mpeg on my computer and did the editing from there (because you can't edit on the standalone DVD recorders). Once the Mpeg was edited, I authored it for DVD with Ulead DVD Movie Factory and burned it to DVD with Nero. It's a lot of work, but it's worth the effort to get your memories off tape. Once your content is in the digital realm, it's easy to work with.
 

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Sorry, maybe I was getting a little ahead of the conversation. The issue re "Macrovision" is only applicable to old *damaged* tapes. Any analog-to-digital input made for the U.S. market is supposed to have a Macrovision-detection circuit. The reason is to prevent you from copying your commercial videotapes, but damaged VHS tapes playback with similar characteristics (missing or invalid intra-frame sync) and most computer-based recorders will mistakenly think your old family tape is a commercial tape ... and stop recording!


My method now is to do the initial analog-to-digital conversion on my Panasonic deck. Then record it to DVD-R without bothering to customize the built-in menu system (which is really rudimentary, blech!). Finally, I use Nero Vision to re-author the disc on my computer, i.e., trim unwanted video, add chapters, and create a nice menu.
 
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