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Old 18-04-2021, 18:50   #1
IAmATeaf
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Best way to transfer video tape to ….

Anybody have any suggestions on the best way of doing this please.

I’ve tried a dongle type device and even a TV card in the past but the resulting output has been worse than the original tape.

I was wondering if maybe a vhs and dvd combo type player may be worth a shot or I’ve read of using a camcorder which supports input but unfortunately my Sony camcorder doesn’t have an input capability.
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Old 18-04-2021, 19:04   #2
douglasb
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This is getting increasingly tricky I believe, due to many of the better PC capture cards not being compatible with the current version of Windows. Not sure of the best current 'off the shelf' option.
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Old 18-04-2021, 19:11   #3
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Tough one but if go with simple VHS to Recordable DVD and rip the DVD. Probably easiest to pick seperate VHS player and DVD recorder.
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Old 19-04-2021, 07:03   #4
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When I do this (and I have pretty much finished copying all my analog stuff, so it's limited to rare occasions and/or helping friends etc.) I use a now fairly old tabletop HDD recorder (Panasonic BW780) which has analog inputs, plus a playback machine (tape, laserdisc) as source. Set the BW780 up to record from AV input; play source, record it onto the onboard HDD. Leave it and do something else while its playing.

Once captured, with the BW780, the file can be copied over the local network to the PC where any editing can be done. This is way quicker than burning to a RW disc and then extracting the contents.

Before I got the BW780, I used a much earlier Sony machine with a HDD. Same recording process - but as that box isn't network enabled, in this case I had to extract the recording via a RW disc.

As an aside, I always initially record to the HDD and then copy off, rather than burning direct to a DVD(-RW) - just in case there is a problem with the disc burning process; if the capture is on a HDD then it's more trivial to simply copy it again if necessary, rather than having to await another full recording pass.

Either way, it's important to do the initial capture at a data rate (quality setting) that will fit your intended target media. So doing may avoid the need for a further re-encode. Some editing apps do allow editing without wholesale re-encoding and that's a good thing.

I believe that such dedicated tabletop boxes will always be more reliable, and quite possibly will do a better job than any PC expansion card/USB device. That initial capture is (probably) the most critical part of the entire process.
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Old 19-04-2021, 08:06   #5
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What a great machine ! But one helluva release price !

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Old 20-04-2021, 11:13   #6
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I bought a cheap USB capture device that has composite and s-video inputs and was actually very impressed with the quality of the captures even just using the composite cable.. Remember that VHS isn't progressive and is only about 250 lines of resolution so it's never going to look very good compared to anything we have now. Also in my experience of mucking around with DVD-VHS transfers, the quality of bought VHS tapes were never actually that good in the first place.

This was the device: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The software that came with it worked fine and was easy to use.
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Old 21-04-2021, 17:20   #7
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After various experiments I found the old camcorder in the back of the cupboard would take a VHS in and then output it to laptop (usb or firewire or..). Was some cable fun but worked well
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