Hi, first post here. Apparently I'm a computer guy so I've been tasked with the responsibility of converting various tapes that my dad made in the 80's. They are TV shows that were produced at the public access TV station, and there's about 50 different shows. Let me just say here, I am generally knowledgeable about digital A/V but am completely clueless about "old-school" stuff like this.
The shows are on (original?) U-matic tapes but are also on master VHS tapes. Obviously being old tapes some are over-saturated, distorted, with excessive video noise, and they just plain look old.
What I'm trying to figure out is if there is there anything I can do within reason to restore these tapes, or if there is anyone I could get to do the job.
Also, which tapes would have better quality and/or be convertible to digital formats, VHS or U-matic? TIA for any help!
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For choosing the tapes, just play them and choose witch looks better.
Anyway tapes get old and so do VCRs. It may be easier to find a good VHS VCR than U-matic.
You may also have to find an old-timer who remembers the art of Head cleaning...
The digitalizing device is important too, some may have a TBC effect and give you better picture than what you saw ever before.
I use for digitalizing tapes a Pioneer HDD video DVD recorder and it gives me plain satisfaction.
Alas Pioneer doesn't sell such devices any more.
Any way, when you digitalize non numeric stuff ,you should use a rather high bit-rate.
If you do not so ,you will add to the poor quality of your tapes the quality loss of encoding,and this is usually worse when the quality of the source is poor.That will also be better if you use later video improving software.
Your videos are necessarily interlaced, trouble may come from that if you forget it, but this would be an other topic.
If you can spend a lot of time with that task, the result might be better than if any one else did it.
Last edited by misermidas; 16th Feb 2012 at 09:40.
Unless you or your Dad have access to really good or "Pro" gear for the "U-matic tapes and also master VHS tapes", there will be the possibility that these tapes could be damaged by consumer grade equipment that is at "end of life". Take lordsmurf's advice on outsourcing the project. He might even be able to do the work for you. See his website: http://www.digitalfaq.com/services/video-conversion-tape-to-dvd.htm At least read through his site before you try anything on your own, after all he is the "Guru on video restoration"
Last edited by OldMan64; 15th Feb 2012 at 07:59.
What you will choose to do will depend on how much time or money you can spend, and on the quality level you desire (do not believe in miracles for this), and how clever you are, and how precious the tapes are to your father, and how bold you are ...
At least , I do agree with this: video tapes can get tangled inside a VCR ,especially old tapes or old VCR ;
one has then to open the VCR to get the tape out (this I can do) and try to repair the tape ( that few or no people can do now and I can't).
I will give you just one piece of advice more (much could be said):
If your videotapes are stored in a cold place ,do not try to play them at once !
Please wait a few hours for them to get warm !
Last edited by misermidas; 16th Feb 2012 at 09:37.