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  1. Hi all, Iím looking to purchase a device for recording from RCA inputs to the computer to transfer VHS tapes to digital. This can be either an RCA to USB unit or a capture card with RCA inputs, whichever one would give better results.

    I would like something that will do a good job (I realize that VHS is bad quality to begin with, so as good as can be expected) and Iím looking to spend upwards of around $200 and maybe a little more if itís really worth it.

    I have a variety of old VHS players, a VHS camcorder with RCA outputs (which some of the videos were recorded on), and a Magnavox VHS HQ (a VHS to DVD recorder). I do want to be able to edit the videos with Sony Vegas so I canít use the direct DVD recording on the Magnavox.

    Iíve done a bit research here on the forums (much of it went way over my head as Iím not a video expert lol) and what I have so far is to record with VirtualDub in a lossless format, process/edit in Vegas, then render to compressed format. So I think I have the software covered and now I just need the hardware to make it happen.

    Relevant computer specs:
    Operating system: Windows 7
    Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-Z68A-D3H-B3 (with PCI, 16x PCI-E 2.0, and 1x PCI-E slots)
    No Firewire, but I could purchase a Fireware PCI card if needed

    Any recommendations (and/or products to avoid) would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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  2. Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    San Francisco, California
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    If you're going to the trouble to capture lossless, you should be using a Y/C (s-video) connection. That's the four-pin Mini-DIN connector. The lone RCA (phono) jack carries a composite signal, which is inferior in most cases.
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  3. I just checked and the only VCR I have that has any s-video connections on it is the Magnavox VHS to DVD recorder, but unfortunately the only s-video output is on the DVD side not the VHS side. Here's an image of the unit and the back panel:

    Just to be sure, I also tested it by trying to play a video and it didn't work.

    So I don't think I can do s-video with what I have. Should I look into another VCR unit with s-video output? If so, then how much for an s-video recording unit or capture card? If I can do it all for around $200 (or maybe a little more if needed) that would be great. Thanks.
    Last edited by Tekker; 27th Dec 2015 at 22:23.
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  4. Get a used DVD recorder with a line TBC, like the Panasonic ES10 or ES15. Use that in passthrough mode to clean up the horizontal jitter.

    Then capture with a capture device that supports uncompressed, or losslessly compressed, YUV 4:2:2:

    Paying more than that won't necessarily give better results. You can pay less but many of the cheaper devices don't work well or don't work at all.

    It sounds like you have a few VHS decks to choose from. Use one that doesn't apply sharpening or noise reduction filters. You can do far better in software.
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