I'm just your average guy looking to get some old videos copied over from VHS to DVD. I'm not looking to start a business, this is just for do it yourself purposes, and I'm realistic about my expectations. Reading through some of these threads I find most are way to technical for my level of knowledge and I was hoping on getting some basic tips and procedures, keeping it as simple as possible. Not to mention, the stickies at top are like 5 years old, and some of that info might not apply anymore, as technology as advanced. What I have learned thus far tho is having a quality VHS player is key, like this Panasonic AG-1980 (that most people seem to rave about) which has a lot of editing features, and which I suspect for the average home use person, will play and clean up an old VHS tape sufficiently for transfer to DVD. The only VHS player I have now is a Toshiba VHS/DVD combo which does have direct copy capabilities, but I've been told for my purpose, those combos are junk, and I can accept that. And judging by one direct copy I've done, that that is a correct statement. I was thinking my tape was just degrading, but after reading a few posts here, I believe that it could be that my VHS player is just not that versatile enough to get the most out of the tape. So I plan on purchasing a AG-1980 in the near future. They are on ebay in decent quantity at a wide price range. The low priced ones are basically "Buyer Beware", but for a couple of hundred bucks you can get one that's been refurbished with a warranty.
So what I'm looking for is a basic setup. The DVD in my combo does have recording ability so I'm thinking I can record from the AG-1980 directly to it, and that the editing features on the AG-1980 should be sufficient to get the video quality back to what it was when it was new, or pretty close. Right now, the only problem I'm having is some color bleeding.
My first question is can I connect my AG-1980 to my TV and Combo unit so I can edit/monitor the video and copy it to the DVD at the same time?? A connection diagram would be really helpful. I'm great with pictures! If you think a separate DVD recorder/writer is better, can you please recommend a few models? And is there a difference between a DVD recorder and a DVD writer??
Like I said, this is just for home use, copying maybe 50 vhs tapes over onto DVD. Any information would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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In order to use the DVD recorder in your combo unit with the AG-1980, just connect your combo as you normally would to your TV.
Connect the VIDEO and AUDIO output connections of the 1980 to the VIDEO and AUDIO inputs of your DVD recorder.
Your combo unit may have more than one set of VIDEO and AUDIO inputs so you'll have to set the combo to the proper input in order to see the 1980 on the TV.
For best results, be sure the recording mode of the DVD recorder is set to 2 hours of recording time or less.
If you want to transfer any commercially made tapes, this may be a problem as DVD recorders usually refuse to copy them due to a form of copy protection called Macrovision. This is not a problem for home recorded videos.
This is a basic setup using equipment you already have. There are more complicated methods that involve capturing files to your computer and then transcoding those files in order to make a playable DVD that will yield better results, but picture quality is always subjective.
The term "DVD recorder" is used for a standalone unit that works independently of a computer. Sort of like a VCR.
"DVD writer" usually means a DVD drive in a computer that has the ability to write data to recordable DVD discs.
Last edited by RowMan; 21st May 2010 at 14:10.
Thanks RowMan for that input! It helps. Like I said I'm just trying to keep things in simple terms that the average homeowner who wants to copy a few tapes without spending thousands on equipment, and who may for whatever reason not want to give a tape to a business to have it done professionally, even though in the short run that might be the cheapest way to go. Also keeping in mind of course that the quality you get is only as good as what you start out with, without investing a lot of time and money into extra hardware and software.