Author Topic: Digitize VHS-C Home Movies  (Read 1130 times)

El_Viajero

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Digitize VHS-C Home Movies
« on: December 26, 2017, 12:18:19 PM »
The dream:

Create lossless video files for all of our old home movies, nearly all of which reside on VHS-C cassettes.

I don't want DVDs. I want actual files that I can store locally and back up to the cloud. Ideally, they'll be in a lossless format that I can easily compress into an mp4 file (or similar) for sharing, uploading, and so forth.

Does anyone know the best way to do this, DIY-style? Or should I be asking this on a home electronics forum?

ketchup

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Re: Digitize VHS-C Home Movies
« Reply #1 on: December 26, 2017, 01:56:30 PM »
Lossless (or uncompressed) video tends to be large and impractical (35-40GB/hr for standard definition like VHS).  If that's what you really want though, it can be done.  What you're probably looking for is some sort of PCI/USB capture card and simple software to tap into that and dump the stream (VLC should do the job).  I haven't messed with lossless video in a long time, but huffyuv was popular in the past.

Given the analog nature of the source, I'd focus on getting the highest quality signal *to* the computer.  You'll want to track down the best VCR you can get.  That'll probably end up being a JVC SVHS VCR, but I don't know much beyond that.  For extra capture quality too, you could try to find some capture card with the best comb filter, but I don't know how nuts you want to go with quality (but I also have no idea if that's still an issue).  You could also do multiple captures and combine them for best accuracy TooT style and do extra post-processing like stabilization.

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Digitize VHS-C Home Movies
« Reply #2 on: December 26, 2017, 09:32:26 PM »
I did a similar project for a family member several years ago.  After spending way too much time trying to use video capture cards and ending up with video that gradually became unsynchronized with the audio, I eventually bought a VCR/DVD recorder.  I used that to capture the VHS into something digital (and synchronized, and in good quality), then copied the files to the computer for editing.