Author Topic: Analog To Digital Video Convertor  (Read 3131 times)

wantahertzdonut

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Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« on: November 13, 2012, 02:15:33 PM »
I have a bunch of home movies on High-8 and VHS tapes taking up tons of space that I want to get rid of, so I'm looking at converting all of them to digital files.  I just started looking at convertor devices and found this in about 5 seconds of searching on Amazon.

Anyone use one of these or can recommend a better unit?   
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JD

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #1 on: November 14, 2012, 10:44:36 AM »
You're talking to the right guy, because this is all I do all day at work.

At a consumer level, the video quality that you end up with really doesn't depend on the capture device or software, but the unit you're actually using to play back the tapes. So first off, make sure the equipment you have now is working well. If not, either have your units serviced, or consider looking for higher-end used equipment. If you want an opinion on anything (camera, vcr, etc) let me know and I will help!

As I said, spending more for the transfer equipment won't yield better results, but where the difference comes in is software. I don't know what software the Ion is packaged with, but I highly recommend spending a little bit more and picking up a Dazzle which is packaged with Pinnacle Studio. It's a simple, easy to use software. I have given lessons to 65+ year olds on how to use it, and they have picked it up with no problem. It's not the software to use for a Hollywood Blockbuster, but in regards to transferring your home movies, it's exactly what you are after.

Also do keep in mind that raw video is very large. When capturing video, it's in uncompressed AVI format, and equates to roughly 13GB per hour. I highly recommend an additional hard drive (either internal, or 3.5" external) to store and handle just your video files. Running your OS, software, and trying to process large amounts of video can be a strain on a single drive, and can cause slow down.

http://www.amazon.com/Dazzle-Video-Creator-Platinum-HD/dp/B006C1ZZPG/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352908090&sr=1-1&keywords=dazzle+platinum

The other option is, if you don't plan on editing, and just want to transfer them to DVD is a standalone recorder, such at this:
http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-DR430-DVD-Recorder-Black/dp/B0038JECKY/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1352908131&sr=1-1&keywords=dvd+recorder

Hope that helps. Any other questions, let me know!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 10:49:14 AM by JD »

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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #2 on: November 14, 2012, 11:17:59 AM »
After ripping the data, I recommend encoding the video files so they're significantly smaller. There's really no advantage to keeping them in a raw AVI format.

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JD

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #3 on: November 14, 2012, 11:25:07 AM »
Depends on what he's planning to do with them. Editing in raw AVI is much easier, and also faster, as effects and whatnot usually do not have to be rendered before being previewed. Also converting and compressing can also affect the quality of the video.

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wantahertzdonut

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #4 on: November 14, 2012, 12:28:22 PM »
JD- Thanks for the answers on the software.  I don't mess with this stuff much so I have no idea what's good and what's not.  I'm going to pick up the unit you mention.

My VCR is pretty kick ass, and I have a High-8 player that I borrowed from a friend's dad.  I'll probably be editing those down since there's a lot of junk on them. 

I have a 64Gb external drive for my laptop, so I think for the chunks of video I'll be doing it'll be alright.  Most of the tapes are only 2 hours long anyway, so at 13Gb/hr I should be fine.

Kalgorn-  Yes, I'd like to encode the stuff once I'm done.  I'm sure some of this stuff will stay on my hard drive and doesn't have to be top quality.  HD won't show up on my tv anyway since it's a flat-glass CRT.
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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 01:08:44 PM »
HD wouldn't even matter since the data you're going to be pulling isn't HD to begin with.

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JD

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 01:46:08 PM »
He is correct. I get the question all the time at work. "Can you transfer my old piece of crap tape to Blu-Ray?" Ummm.... technically yes... but it doesn't matter...

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wantahertzdonut

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2012, 08:00:03 PM »
Right, but couldn't you still record a crap signal to a high quality file and have a very large grainy digital file?  I'm saying HD just from the standpoint of large file sizes as an example.
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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2012, 08:33:21 PM »
Sure. Have you ever seen an SD image blown up to 1080p? It looks like shit. :lol:

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wantahertzdonut

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #9 on: November 14, 2012, 08:54:16 PM »
That's exactly what I'd like to avoid.  I'll be knocking down the file size first chance I get.

JD, I assume the software included with the Dazzle will enable me to reduce file size once I'm ready?
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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #10 on: November 14, 2012, 09:53:16 PM »
You won't be able to avoid it, unfortunately. It's just the way it is.

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wantahertzdonut

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #11 on: November 14, 2012, 11:26:30 PM »
I'll live in that case.  It's better than having all these tapes around!

Speaking of, is there any way to recycle VHS tapes?  I feel pretty bad chucking a bunch of plastic in a landfill if I can avoid it.
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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2012, 09:15:18 AM »
Looks like you can recycle through GreenDisk but you would either have to pay to ship to them or purchase one of their kits which they then pay to ship back. Give Radioshack a call. I know they recycle electronics but they might take VHS tapes as well.

Goodwill is also an option.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 09:15:56 AM by Kalgorn »

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JD

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2012, 10:26:26 AM »
If it's home videos, Goodwill wouldn't want them.

Electronics are easy to get rid of. Most dumps have a specific place for electronics that you can dump for free, and then they strip it for copper and whatnot. There's no real way to recycle VHS tapes that I know of, aside from maybe what Kalgorn mentioned.

You also may be able to disassemble the tapes, though the physical tape in the garbage, and recycle the casing.

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Kalgorn

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Re: Analog To Digital Video Convertor
« Reply #14 on: November 15, 2012, 11:43:44 AM »
Oh, right... I forgot they were home videos. Duh. :lol:

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