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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,


I am fairly new to video capture but technically competent as I am a computer programmer. I have a dell inspiron 8600 laptop with 128mb ati 9600 video card, usb2, firewire, 60gb 7200rpm HD, 768mb ram, 4x dvd+rw. I would like to use this to record video from tv and also use it convert my old vhs tapes to dvd for archive purposes.

What is good hardware and software for getting my vhs content onto dvd? I can currently put the vhs onto hi8 tape through my camcorder and then feed that into the laptop via firewire but that is tedious and I am wondering if I am losing quality doing that. Is there a better way I should be looking into? If I could use the same hardware at least to get video from tv shows and the vhs tapes on dvd that would be very cost effective and a good option.

Also, in the near future I will be taking the plunge into HDTV as I will be getting some new HT equipment so it would be excellent to have a way to record HD content on the computer too. Is this possible? What do I need to get to do this?

There is so much HT equipment, hardware, software out there I could go broke trying to get something working so I really appreciate your suggestions. I want the most cost effective option. I didn't think spending hundreds on a pvr or dvr was smart as it is hundreds of dollars for basically a hard drive. I don't know much about this though so let me know what works well.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Still hoping to get some advise on this.


I was looking at usbhdtv .com and was wondering if anyone had any input on this solution.

Sorry I couldn't post a hyperlink as I don't have the required 5 posts yet


Thanks
 

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All of the source material you are talking about converting is NTSC standard quality. No need for any high def capture card. Besides, the usbhdtv is meant to record over the air ATSC high def television You are going to need a wee bit more hard drive space than the 60 gigs on that laptop. That would be good for about 5 hours.


For your old tapes, I would just go with a USB capture device. standard definition video is low enough resolution that you can do it just fine using USB 1.1. Think of it this way. The DVD spec allows spikes up to 9 mbits per second. USB 1.1 is 12.


I would make an easy choice to start. Maybe a Dazzle video creator or something similar. Everything you need to go from old tape to DVD is in the box. Spend your time learning the digital editing process.


As you progress, I'm guessing you will find the laptop to be a limiting factor but you've got to burn a lot of DVD's before that happens.


BTW, Nice laptop. I ordered it over christmas, but returned it thinking the Dothan processors were right around the corner.... oh well.
 

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My recommendation for 1394 capture is a Canopus ADVC-100. It has a very nice feature which is the ability to keep your audio and video in sync when capturing; it's extremely helpful for VHS and other tape sources. All you have to do is plug it into your computer and it'll get seen as a DV Bridge. After the ADVC-100 is installed, fire up a DV editor like Adobe Premiere (or Windows Movie Maker (free)) and start capturing. When you've captured your video, edit it, encode it to MPEG2, and then author it to DVD. Adobe Premiere is able to export to MPEG2, but if you don't have that, then look into CCE or TMPGEnc.


The big advantage to going the DV route is that any if you have to do any editing, then it won't take any time at all. DV is designed around being fast and friendly for edits. Also, should any of your VHS tapes happen to have macrovision, you can easily get rid of it by using the ADVC. :D


I suggest hitting up dvdrhelp.com for further reading, there's a lot that you can learn there.
 
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