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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: Cinder on December 01, 2013, 01:55:11 PM

Title: VHS to DVD conversion
Post by: Cinder on December 01, 2013, 01:55:11 PM
Howdy all!

Looking to the collective wisdom.. What's the best way to get VHS tapes to DVDs?  The DW's parents want some kind of device to do it.  I think I've seen $135~$160 for standalone devices that either have both a VHS slot and a dvd recorder, or are DVD recorders that you would hook up to the output of your VCR. 

What's the most painless way that you've found to do this?  The cheapest? (some kind of analog hookup to a PC with capture software, then convert using something like Handbrake?). 

Thanks in advance!
Title: Re: VHS to DVD conversion
Post by: bradb on December 01, 2013, 08:41:35 PM
I have a Sony digital video camera (the kind that has the 60 minute mini-DV tapes). I connect that to my VCR, then dub the VCR playback with the camera. Once it has been digitized on the mini-DV tape, I connect the camera to my computer and capture the video with editing software. There are probably easier ways to do this--including finding a local service to do it for you. There is a guy in my town that does it for cheaper than buying equipment to make the transfer (depending on the amount you want to transfer).
Title: Re: VHS to DVD conversion
Post by: Ziggurat on December 02, 2013, 04:49:17 AM
I've digitized old VHS tapes using a video capture card and Windows Media Center (comes with the latest versions of Windows). These days you can get USB capture devices for around $30-$50.  I hooked our old VCR player into the video inputs of my card and set up a manual recording on WMC.  Quality was not that great, but the VHS tape quality sucked to begin with.  From WMC you can burn video files to DVD, either as data files or as regular DVD; the latter can be played in any DVD player.

I've always wondered whether the people who offer conversion services have special dedicated equipment that can do better, but any recording is going to be limited by the quality of the original tape, unless they can do some kind of image processing to reduce noise or something. Even then, you don't get something for nothing ... that would change the quality in some other way.
Title: Re: VHS to DVD conversion
Post by: SunshineGirl on December 02, 2013, 09:56:12 AM
I know that Costco offers this. I've decided that due to the hassle factor, once I get around to doing this, I'll probably not buy the equipment.