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  1. Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    United Kingdom
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    I have some commercial store bought VHS tapes that I would like converting to DVD, they are mainly motor racing reviews from the 80's and 90's.

    I have the means to convert them using my ADVC 100 etc etc, but I really cant afford the time and effort required to do a semi decent job never mind the earache from the enemey for having the VHS player out and leads everywhere . So I have been lookiing at getting them convertued proffesionaly. Aside from looking out for amateurs in their spare rooms using the same methods I have done in the past, is there anything else I should look for in terms of quality and how they do the conversion and achieving the best quality possible.

    As I own these commercial tapes, and they are not and never will be available on DVD, Is it within the law that these can be convereted for MY PRIVATE use only ?
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  2. Member
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    May 2014
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    Memphis TN, US
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    If they are copy protected, you'll have to do some looking around. Most reputable shops won't work with commercially protected VHS AFAIK. You can inquire for a definitive answer from some real pros, some of whom are videohelp members, at http://www.digitalfaq.com/services/video-conversion-tape-to-dvd.htm
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  3. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    United Kingdom
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    As above. No reputable commercial organisation in the UK will touch commercially produced videos. There is the small matter of copyright.

    And you do NOT own the content of the tapes. The situation is identical as with DVD. You own the right to view them and can, to a degree, copy them yourself in to another format for your own use. But those rights are not transferable.
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  4. Banned
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Freedonia
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    As you live in the UK, those of us in the US can't comment on what your legal rights may or may not be. We don't really have the right to legally do that kind of thing, although I've never heard of any individuals being sued for copying old videotapes for personal use and not sales. EU copyright law is different and you may actually have the right to do what you propose for all I know. Generally you really shouldn't ask "Can I legally copy these for my own use?" here because US members will chime in on what US law is, which is useless for you. Sometimes flame wars occur from such a simple question, helping nobody.

    My personal belief is that at this point you should just be glad to still be able to get this kind of thing done and not worry excessively about quality. Expecting DVD quality is not realistic in my opinion, yet there are people who swear that they can do it. I think you can realistically expect a copy to look about as good as the original tape, with all the flaws inherent in VHS tapes. I wouldn't advise expecting more than that.
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  5. Banned
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    Oct 2014
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    Northern California
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    Originally Posted by jman98 View Post
    Expecting DVD quality is not realistic in my opinion, yet there are people who swear that they can do it. I think you can realistically expect a copy to look about as good as the original tape, with all the flaws inherent in VHS tapes. I wouldn't advise expecting more than that.
    True, however VHS degrades over time, if you want to keep the contents you would do better archiving it to a better format as soon as possible.
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  6. Originally Posted by efiste2 View Post
    So I have been lookiing at getting them convertued proffesionaly.
    All 'professionally' means is you'll pay someone to do it. It says nothing about the quality of the resulting DVD. 99% of the time they'll just run the tapes through a DVD recorder, one of the worst ways to do it. For them to do anything more will cost you big bucks (big pounds?).
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    United Kingdom
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    Originally Posted by efiste2 View Post
    So I have been lookiing at getting them convertued proffesionaly.
    All 'professionally' means is you'll pay someone to do it. It says nothing about the quality of the resulting DVD. 99% of the time they'll just run the tapes through a DVD recorder, one of the worst ways to do it. For them to do anything more will cost you big bucks (big pounds?).
    It its loosest sense, 'professional' means just that. But, in my work, I was a professional person. It also translates to a certain level of experience, knowledge, care and attention.

    Video transfer services over here are no different to other countries. The better ones do offer different methods one of which is the quick 'n dirty VCR>>DVD-Recorder. All academcal in this case for reasons already stated.
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  8. Originally Posted by manono View Post
    99% of the time they'll just run the tapes through a DVD recorder, one of the worst ways to do it.
    99% of the VHS transfers I've seen made by clueless newbs ineptly using a PC look worse than anything I've seen from the same newbs using a dvd recorder. With an affinity for the work and an understanding of the hardware/software (or ability/motivation to learn it), then yes, a PC can run rings around a dvd recorder.

    But if you're not at all technically inclined, forget it: you're just gonna end up with mediocre results regardless, in which case the dvd recorder is much less of a hassle. That goes double for any commercial tapes that are copy protected: a dvd recorder will tolerate encoding those by adding a fairly simple analog filter device, while many PC setups require more sophisticated add-ons (and more skill) to encode protected VHS. Its a crapshoot either way, efiste2: before exploring other options, may as well connect your VCR to your ADVC 100 and transfer one of your tapes to establish a DIY quality reference. At the very least, you want to know if these tapes are "protected" before proceeding further.

    Commercial services vary. Here in USA there are several large firms that will convert VHS to either DVDs or generic video files on a hard drive. Lowest cost is approx $10 per hour of VHS, for quality roughly equal to what you could do yourself quick-n-dirty. The large firms will not take commercial tapes, but most local shops will (at their discretion). A local shop might not accept a known blockbuster like "The Avengers III" or "Star Wars Episode 13: Leia's Cremation" but would likely have no qualms tackling fifteen year old motor racing compilations. A private, higher-end, professional video tech could arguably do a much better transfer for you at much higher cost: depends on the tape quality and how much you want to pay.
    Last edited by orsetto; 13th Jan 2015 at 18:22.
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