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  1. Member
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    Help! I have copyrighted (I am the owner) video tapes that were sold successfully in the 80's that I need to convert to the VERY BEST quality DVD's (for masters) that could be produced. I purchased a computer (not this one) that I thought could handle any editing several years ago but I think it was hacked & I need to save what I want on a flash drive & then it can go to the shop to be wiped clean to start over.
    The tapes are all over an hour, one is 2 hours. I would probably want to redo 6 tapes eventually. I am not Techie AT ALL! but I have edited (JVC VHS editors)(music, sound, titles) some tapes for a college over a period of several years) so I thought I might be able to do the work myself unless the cost of the equipment I need is prohibitive.
    I need the very best job available whether it would be me doing it or would you advise sending to a commercial establishment? I would rather go slow ...one by one ...by whichever method (self or send out) and have a quality product that I could advertise on a website.
    ANY IDEAS, THOUGHTS, OR INFORMATION WOULD BE EXTREMELY APPRECIATED!!
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  2. You can start by changing your thread title to one that reflects the subject of your thread. It might be something like, "Convert VHS tapes to DVD". Then you might search the forums as this subject has been discussed ad nauseam.

    All you have available for source material is the old tapes?
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  3. Mod Neophyte Super Moderator redwudz's Avatar
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    Carlemae, in the future please use a more descriptive subject title in your posts to allow others to search for similar topics. I will change yours this time. From our rules:
    Try to choose a subject that describes your topic.
    Please do not use topic subjects like Help me!!! or Problems.
    Thanks,

    Moderator redwudz
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  4. Member
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    The "VERY BEST" work available? Are you sure about that? We'll see how you feel, once you know what "best' entails from VHS, which in terms of a master digital transfer means lossless media. It certainly doesn't mean a "JVC editor", but it does mean starting with a player with a built-in line tbc and learning about lossless capture. Try these links for starters:

    Introduction to Digital Video Capturing
    Guide to Understanding Video Sources, Part 2 Capturing Videotapes
    VCR Buying Guide (S-VHS, D-VHS, Professional) for restoring video
    Capturing with VirtualDub [Settings Guide]
    Last edited by LMotlow; 4th May 2019 at 16:00.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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    For six tapes, It will definitely be cheaper to send them out to be converted as a good (not great) VHS capture setup (VCR, timebase corrector, capture device) will run upwards of $1000. Plus multiples of the hours of the tapes runtimes to get "...the VERY BEST quality...

    There may be others here that will give you a quote for doing the work, but I highly recommend contacting lordsmurf either though this site or digitalfaq.com for the job. Be sure to have solid proof of your ownership of the videos as neither he or anyone else doing legitimate work will do it otherwise.

    A couple of points. You'll never get DVD quality out of a VHS tape, though you may get closer if it's a professional (e.g. BetaCam SP) or digital (e.g. D-VHS or Digital8) format. Also, DVD quality video (MPEG2) isn't master quality. Whether you have it done professionally or DIY, you want an uncompressed or lossless file(s) as your masters from which Video-DVD compatible files can be created.
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  6. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    If it's from the 80s, very best video at that time would be D1, but more likely best would be BetaSP. But from the sound of it, I'm guessing it's VHS or SVHS. Maybe 3/4"Umatic.

    +1 on using a higher quality service. Get both digital uncompressed master files, as well as nicely authored DVD.

    Scott
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  7. All I can say is I feel very very sorry for folks converting VHS in 2019, especially stuff recorded decades ago. I was astounded at the current lack of TBC's for sale (Not a datavideo to be seen), for a small number of tapes I would try a VCR with tbc like the JVC's and a dvd recorder.
    PAL/NTSC problem solver.
    USED TO BE A UK Equipment owner., NOW FINISHED WITH VHS CONVERSIONS-THANKS
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    Originally Posted by victoriabears View Post
    All I can say is I feel very very sorry for folks converting VHS in 2019, especially stuff recorded decades ago. I was astounded at the current lack of TBC's for sale (Not a datavideo to be seen), for a small number of tapes I would try a VCR with tbc like the JVC's and a dvd recorder.
    The owner didn't say "lowest quality', he clearly typed "VERY BEST quality".
    But you know what? I'll bet he ends up using a DVD/VHS combo.
    - My sister Ann's brother
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  9. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Originally Posted by victoriabears View Post
    All I can say is I feel very very sorry for folks converting VHS in 2019, especially stuff recorded decades ago. I was astounded at the current lack of TBC's for sale (Not a datavideo to be seen), for a small number of tapes I would try a VCR with tbc like the JVC's and a dvd recorder.
    The owner didn't say "lowest quality', he clearly typed "VERY BEST quality".
    But you know what? I'll bet he ends up using a DVD/VHS combo.
    They are pretty good when just using the VCR side for the S-Video Out, SVHS, and builtin TBC. Which is exactly what you recommended, "but it does mean starting with a player with a built-in line tbc". The DVD recordings are also pretty good for a DVD transfer, but they don't like macrovision.
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    Originally Posted by redwudz View Post
    Carlemae, in the future please use a more descriptive subject title in your posts to allow others to search for similar topics. I will change yours this time. From our rules:
    Try to choose a subject that describes your topic.
    Please do not use topic subjects like Help me!!! or Problems.
    Thanks,

    Moderator redwudz
    Thank You for your guidance! I can see converting these tapes is going to be more difficult than I expected as is learning to navigate the Forum...
    ANY COMMENTS, HELP, CRITICISM, GUIDANCE ETC. IS MOST APPRECIATED

    Sincerely,
    Carlee
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    Originally Posted by manono View Post
    You can start by changing your thread title to one that reflects the subject of your thread. It might be something like, "Convert VHS tapes to DVD". Then you might search the forums as this subject has been discussed ad nauseam.

    All you have available for source material is the old tapes?
    Thank You ...Any, All help appreciated!

    Carlemae
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  12. Member
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    Originally Posted by LMotlow View Post
    Originally Posted by victoriabears View Post
    All I can say is I feel very very sorry for folks converting VHS in 2019, especially stuff recorded decades ago. I was astounded at the current lack of TBC's for sale (Not a datavideo to be seen), for a small number of tapes I would try a VCR with tbc like the JVC's and a dvd recorder.
    The owner didn't say "lowest quality', he clearly typed "VERY BEST quality".
    But you know what? I'll bet he ends up using a DVD/VHS combo.
    Thank You for your reply. It made me think ...Thanks.

    Carlemae
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    Originally Posted by Cornucopia View Post
    If it's from the 80s, very best video at that time would be D1, but more likely best would be BetaSP. But from the sound of it, I'm guessing it's VHS or SVHS. Maybe 3/4"Umatic.

    +1 on using a higher quality service. Get both digital uncompressed master files, as well as nicely authored DVD.

    Scott
    Thanks Scott. They were just plain ol VHS video tapes from Walmart but the camera & editing equipment was good for the time. I really appreciate your input. Gives me major food for thought ...

    Carlemae
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    Originally Posted by lingyi View Post
    For six tapes, It will definitely be cheaper to send them out to be converted as a good (not great) VHS capture setup (VCR, timebase corrector, capture device) will run upwards of $1000. Plus multiples of the hours of the tapes runtimes to get "...the VERY BEST quality...

    There may be others here that will give you a quote for doing the work, but I highly recommend contacting lordsmurf either though this site or digitalfaq.com for the job. Be sure to have solid proof of your ownership of the videos as neither he or anyone else doing legitimate work will do it otherwise.

    A couple of points. You'll never get DVD quality out of a VHS tape, though you may get closer if it's a professional (e.g. BetaCam SP) or digital (e.g. D-VHS or Digital8) format. Also, DVD quality video (MPEG2) isn't master quality. Whether you have it done professionally or DIY, you want an uncompressed or lossless file(s) as your masters from which Video-DVD compatible files can be created.
    lingyi,
    Thank You for taking the time to pass on this information. I will definitely get in touch with lordsmurf for starters. I understand (painfully) that because of the initial format, the DVD master will not be near the quality of other similar products on the market as it would have been if it had been a product of the Modern Age. However I plan on marketing them as "from the past" so a lesser quality picture may be more acceptable...hopefully!
    Thanks again for taking the time to answer. Carlemae PS I still have the two big editors that the master tapes were put together with. I feel sure there was an internal TBC in those. If I did end up working on this myself I wonder if I could use one of those machines ???? Just a question from a total illiterate in this field.
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  15. A few thoughts.

    1. Try getting one tape transferred commercially. Do a search in your area to find if there are local "ma and pa" transfer services. Use Yelp or other review site to determine if people are generally happy with each local company's service. Some of these can be much better than the national services, although some are amazingly bad. So, at least research the local services before you try a national service like Costco or Walmart (both sub out to YesVideo), Legacy Box, or ScanCafe. Most services (local or national) charge about $20-$30 per two-hour tape.

    2. If you want to do it yourself, don't get too hung up on getting some ultimate setup until you've at least got a basic setup put together. If you find the quality isn't what you want, then you can look around for better equipment. If you go to DigitalFAQ.com you'll find that Lordsmurf (who runs that site) recommends either JVC or Panasonic VCRs that have some sort of internal time base corrector. I have a such a VCR (a JVC model) and have been quite happy with its quality.

    Here is a link to the list of Lordsmurf's approved VCRs. I don't know enough to comment on this, but he's spent years on the subject, so I assume this is a good list:

    Lordsmurf/DigitalFAQ VCR Recommendations

    3. If you are interested in getting results that look better than your VHS video ever looked, you need to learn about using AVISynth and its plugins to reduce various artifacts that are an unfortunate part of any consumer format (VHS, Beta, 8mm, S-VHS, or Hi-8). This post-capture restoration won't make your video suddenly look like HD, and it can't add or improve details, but it CAN (and does) do a wonderful job of getting rid of dot noise, color noise, some types of shimmering, color shifts, and more. Here is a "before/after" to show you a little of what I was able to do (this just shows basic noise reduction):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7a9KSQvDZlw

    If you click on this link, make sure to go to the YouTube resolution setting (lower right corner of the screen) and set the video to "1440p". If you don't do this, you won't see the noise on the before (left) video. Let the video play until the second scene starts (about halfway through this short clip), position your mouse over the timeline cursor just after that scene change and keep clicking the timeline to cause the video to back up and loop around the beginning of the second scene. While looping, concentrate on a static part of the "before" scene (on the left), like the wall in the background in the upper left, and note the noise. Then look at the corresponding "after" video on the right. Note that virtually no new artifacts have been added, but the noise is almost completely eliminated.

    So, even if you don't get a perfect transfer, you can significantly improve it in post, and you can also diminish the artifacts you are going to get no matter how high-end your equipment.

    A time base corrector is the one thing that cannot be duplicated using software: you cannot eliminate flagging, herringbone, and jitter, all of which are common artifacts of a time base that needs correcting. So do try to get a VCR that has this feature.
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  16. Member
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    To John Meyer:
    To say that I am grateful for your obviously knowledgeable, thoughtful answer to my plea would be an understatement! I am pretty sure you must have wings!
    I will check out every suggestion you explained so well...even I could understand. Thank You So Much!
    Very Sincerely,
    Carlee
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