I currently have about 100 VHS to digitize that are from a local community access station. Most of these tapes are the only surviving footage as the master tapes of most of the shows were blanked and reused. The tapes were mostly recorded in EP mode to fit as many shows on them as possible so they are not the best of quality. As I would like to preserve these as best as possible, I would like suggestions on how to start. I have read a lot on the forums here over the years and every time I start the project I always worry if I am doing it the best way so it never gets started, but now it's time to get cracking.
Equipment I have so far:
Sony DVD Recorder (with hard drive - rebadged pioneer)
Toshiba DVR-620 VHS/DVD recorder combo
Panasonic S-VHS Professional AG-7350 recorder
JVC HR-9911U VHS/S-VHS VCR
Canopus ADVC-300 converter
The main goal is to be able to backup each tape to hard drive and also to DVD. I would also like to be abel to throw away the VHS tapes which are collecting dust and are taking up a lot of space. Also we are finding it harder and harder to find quality VHS decks to play them.
Any other issues or suggestions? Or other equipment to use instead? Would blackmagic products be better than the Canopus? I currently use a mac and I cannot control the Canopus via the software since it is only used for PowerPC. I can use it on my windows machine however. Also I have read about other external devices such as proc amps and video enhancers. Just wondering if I could benefit from these as well? I understand once the footage is digitized there is little that can be done after that stage which is why I want it to be done right and the best quality even if it is only VHS.
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Thread: VHS/SVHS to hard drive and DVD
Last edited by umatic_82; 9th Mar 2013 at 22:11.
You've got VCRs with line TBCs and a Canopus ADVC-300 box. About all I could recommend beyond that is a full-frame TBC in case you get dropped frames while capping. I like the Canopus unit myself but others might recommend a method of capturing lossless rather than DV-AVI, by using a capture card.
Me, I'd avoid using the DVD recorders if at all possible. But it's certainly the easiest way to go about it.
I have read a lot on these forums and I guess I took the wrong information away from the articles. I came to the conclusion that when capturing it was better to make as many adjustments and improvements to the picture while it is still analog rather than after the fact when it is in digital format. So that being the case, would it be just as good to record to dvd then if/when i had the time to do it, rip the dvds and edit if need be? Right now I am not really concerned about menus and chapters etc. I am just mostly concerned about the quality of the record and getting the digitized before the tapes go south, or the equipment or both.
Thread moved to the capturing forum where you can get more help.I think,therefore i am a hamster.
But there are many others around here that also work with VHS sources and they may have different opinions.
I'm especially concerned about this statement:
Most of these tapes are the only surviving footage as the master tapes of most of the shows were blanked and reused. The tapes were mostly recorded in EP mode to fit as many shows on them as possible so they are not the best of quality.
You wouldn't have to press your case to convince me that recording such material directly to lossy DVD compression will look worse as digital video than they do as EP tapes, and the noise and artifacts will be impossible to remove. You might want to consider making one capture to lossless AVI (or, at the very least, to high-bitrate DV), archive that lossless copy to a hard drive, and then make a second capture directly to DVD. Later, when you view the direct-DVD copy and your eyes begin to recognize the damage inflicted onto your DVD, you'll be glad you have a lossless capture to work with. The superiority and benefits of more careful methods have been proven again and again in this and similar forums. If you have any doubts in this regard, you're welcome to submit a few seconds of "direct" video to the forum. Or browse the Restoration forum for examples of the capture problems of typical VHS tape (and typical garbage tapes as well).
You will also find some posts from those who copied family tapes directly to DVD or to some lossy format such as DivX, discarded the tapes, and later came to regret it -- only to find that very little could be done to improve the results, and even the "little" improvement required many hours of processing.
But they're your tapes. I'd advise trying at least one project in the recommended way.Our inventions are wont to be pretty toys, which distract our attention from serious things. They are but improved means to an unimproved end. -- Henry David Thoreau