I have some Umatic tapes I need to digitise and would like to know the best way to keep whatever quality is left in the tapes.
The Umatic has 1 BNC for video out and 2 RCA for audio.
The Surface Pro 3 PC has USB 2 and a Display Port. (Win 10 1803)
I have seen small transfer gizmos with RCA to USB but not sure whether they are any good.
I figure if I can get the BNC Video on the Umatic to the Surface USB, how do I get sound the as well?
Could I also use the Umatic Audio RCA to a USB port on a USB Hub?
Would appreciate any help.
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Something like the Easycap USB 2.0 (I'm not recommending this but just an example).
They sell simple BNC to RCA converter jacks (BNC Male to RCA Female Adaptor).
If the tapes are important to you, you might want to consider a paid service because you're clearly just starting out, and may make some beginner's mistakes.
Or, don't throw the tapes away afterwards; that way it could be retried later.
Possibly clean the video heads first?This is nøt å signåture.™
Don't go cleaning video heads without a reason. They are delicate and should be left alone unless they're clogged and the picture is trashed.
You'll get the best U-matic result from a deck that has the "dub connector" and an outboard transcoder to convert the signal to s-video. I use a VO-9850 and a DPS-210 for NTSC. Then you can hook up to an inexpensive USB dongle.
This is nøt å signåture.™
Before you go further, what is the state of your deck? Are you sure it works correctly? Cleaning the video heads (only if necessary) is the tip of the iceberg. Umatic decks were professional equipment and used machines are likely at the end of their life when they're sold. There may be more required than just cleaning the heads to get it working properly/optimally.
As Spiny Norman suggested, unless you have a lot of tapes, you're probably better off having the tapes transferred professionally. The catch is there aren't a lot of reputable places offering Umatic transfers. I suggest posting at digitalfaq.com and maybe lordsmurf will be able to help you find someon
Umatic is pretty well known for having sticky tapes that shed on the heads, in recent decades. It wasn't like that back in the 80s but now that the tapes are nearing 30-40 years old, they have absorbed plenty of water. And the tape formula was not as good with Umatic when compared to later tape formats because of tape technological reasons. I know someone who had to clean the head after every use, maybe even after 10-20 minutes. It was that bad for him. I'm only recommending that much cleaning if it's truly shedding on the head and causing a noisy picture.
The best advice is to always get Umatic professionally transferred, and then clean up digitally whatever mess is left. And there will always be mess. I've dealt with several in recent years, and it's often worse than an old VHS tape.
Do you do Umatic transfers for customers? Or is there anyone you could recommend?
Sorry to keep throwing posters your way, but I trust your recommendations.
Many thanks guys for you advice and experience. Yes I know it's a tricky business.
I'm going to get 1 pro done first to see how that is. But exy though.