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Question about converting VHS to DVD

 
 
medgirl
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      22nd Jul 2006
I want to convert some old VHS tapes to DVD on my laptop, which has an ATI
Mobility Radeon X1400 256 MB video card. Can I do this just with this video
card alone or will I need something else for analog video capture?


 
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Barry Watzman
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      22nd Jul 2006
I think you are going to need a capture device.

The best capture device is a Sony digital camcorder with "pass-through"
A-to-D conversion (most of the "Digital-8" camcorders have this, some
other formats or brands may have it also). In this configuration, you
feed in analog video and audio from a VHS player to the camcorder (as if
you were going to record a copy of it on a tape, using the camcorder as
a digital VCR). But instead the camcorder makes the incoming analog VHS
signal available as digital video from it's "Firewire" (i.Link, IEEE
1394) port to the computer, where you capture it to the hard drive using
video editing software (Movie Maker 2 that comes with Windows XP can do
the capture on the PC). You will need a LOT of disk space, this is
uncompressed AVI (which is what you want for editing). It takes up
almost 15 gigabytes per hour of video.

There are also USB and Firewire stand-alone devices to do this type of
capture.

See if you can find a VHS VCR that has digital time base correction.
Some of the high-end JVC S-VHS models have it, JVC's name for it is
"Digipure". If you are converting a large archive of family videos that
have important sentimental value, it may be worth buying a VCR and
capture device (or even camcorder) to do the conversion.


medgirl wrote:

> I want to convert some old VHS tapes to DVD on my laptop, which has an ATI
> Mobility Radeon X1400 256 MB video card. Can I do this just with this video
> card alone or will I need something else for analog video capture?
>
>

 
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medgirl
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Posts: n/a
 
      22nd Jul 2006
"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>I think you are going to need a capture device.
>
> The best capture device is a Sony digital camcorder with "pass-through"
> A-to-D conversion (most of the "Digital-8" camcorders have this, some
> other formats or brands may have it also). In this configuration, you
> feed in analog video and audio from a VHS player to the camcorder (as if
> you were going to record a copy of it on a tape, using the camcorder as a
> digital VCR). But instead the camcorder makes the incoming analog VHS
> signal available as digital video from it's "Firewire" (i.Link, IEEE 1394)
> port to the computer, where you capture it to the hard drive using video
> editing software (Movie Maker 2 that comes with Windows XP can do the
> capture on the PC). You will need a LOT of disk space, this is
> uncompressed AVI (which is what you want for editing). It takes up almost
> 15 gigabytes per hour of video.
>
> There are also USB and Firewire stand-alone devices to do this type of
> capture.
>
> See if you can find a VHS VCR that has digital time base correction. Some
> of the high-end JVC S-VHS models have it, JVC's name for it is "Digipure".
> If you are converting a large archive of family videos that have important
> sentimental value, it may be worth buying a VCR and capture device (or
> even camcorder) to do the conversion.


Thanks for the explanation - that makes sense. I'm wondering if it might
be a better idea just to get a standalone DVD recorder. It seems that many
of them bill themselves as being able to copy VHS tapes to DVD. That might
be easier, and not much more expensive, than getting a new camcorder or some
other capture device.


 
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Ken Maltby
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Posts: n/a
 
      22nd Jul 2006

"medgirl" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>I think you are going to need a capture device.
>>
>> The best capture device is a Sony digital camcorder with "pass-through"
>> A-to-D conversion (most of the "Digital-8" camcorders have this, some
>> other formats or brands may have it also). In this configuration, you
>> feed in analog video and audio from a VHS player to the camcorder (as if
>> you were going to record a copy of it on a tape, using the camcorder as a
>> digital VCR). But instead the camcorder makes the incoming analog VHS
>> signal available as digital video from it's "Firewire" (i.Link, IEEE
>> 1394) port to the computer, where you capture it to the hard drive using
>> video editing software (Movie Maker 2 that comes with Windows XP can do
>> the capture on the PC). You will need a LOT of disk space, this is
>> uncompressed AVI (which is what you want for editing). It takes up
>> almost 15 gigabytes per hour of video.
>>
>> There are also USB and Firewire stand-alone devices to do this type of
>> capture.
>>
>> See if you can find a VHS VCR that has digital time base correction. Some
>> of the high-end JVC S-VHS models have it, JVC's name for it is
>> "Digipure". If you are converting a large archive of family videos that
>> have important sentimental value, it may be worth buying a VCR and
>> capture device (or even camcorder) to do the conversion.

>
> Thanks for the explanation - that makes sense. I'm wondering if it might
> be a better idea just to get a standalone DVD recorder. It seems that
> many of them bill themselves as being able to copy VHS tapes to DVD. That
> might be easier, and not much more expensive, than getting a new camcorder
> or some other capture device.


Mr. Watzman's initial suggestion is a good approach if
extensive editing or video processing (image stabilization,
correction for color format changes, ect..) is required.
This is normally only the case if you have a camcorder and
are going to be making complex home movies.

If your VHS tapes contain material that has already been
professionally edited, like TV shows or movies you have
taped, then it is much more practical to use a DVD Recorder.
If you also have a DVDRW drive in your computer you can
use an DVD-/+RW disk and bring that to your computer for
any processing you wish like removing commercials and then
authoring a new DVD with a good menu. A good frame
accurate cut & join editor like www.VideoReDo.com is
a must for such work.

There are even MPEG editing programs if you wanted to
make a relatively simple ( but still quite good) "home movie".
( Titling and Transitions as well as simple composting on a
timeline, for instance.) Check out the Ulead and Womble
products.

(You can do very complex editing in MPEG also but that
requires relatively expensive software, designed for
professional use.)

Luck;
Ken


 
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Barry Watzman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      22nd Jul 2006
The answer to that (using a stand-alone DVD recorder) depends on exactly
what you want to do. If you will be happy with a very, very [VERY]
"plain jane" copy of your video on a DVD, then a stand-alone recorder
will be the easiest way to do it. It can copy your video to a DVD if
that is [literally] all that you want.

However, if you want to do any editing of the contents, with chapters
and menus, then you really need to do the editing on a computer and burn
the resulting video file to a DVD. The problem with stand alone DVD
burners is that they don't give you any significant ability to edit or
to create a DVD layout with they types of chapters and menus that you
can create on a PC.


medgirl wrote:

> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>I think you are going to need a capture device.
>>
>>The best capture device is a Sony digital camcorder with "pass-through"
>>A-to-D conversion (most of the "Digital-8" camcorders have this, some
>>other formats or brands may have it also). In this configuration, you
>>feed in analog video and audio from a VHS player to the camcorder (as if
>>you were going to record a copy of it on a tape, using the camcorder as a
>>digital VCR). But instead the camcorder makes the incoming analog VHS
>>signal available as digital video from it's "Firewire" (i.Link, IEEE 1394)
>>port to the computer, where you capture it to the hard drive using video
>>editing software (Movie Maker 2 that comes with Windows XP can do the
>>capture on the PC). You will need a LOT of disk space, this is
>>uncompressed AVI (which is what you want for editing). It takes up almost
>>15 gigabytes per hour of video.
>>
>>There are also USB and Firewire stand-alone devices to do this type of
>>capture.
>>
>>See if you can find a VHS VCR that has digital time base correction. Some
>>of the high-end JVC S-VHS models have it, JVC's name for it is "Digipure".
>>If you are converting a large archive of family videos that have important
>>sentimental value, it may be worth buying a VCR and capture device (or
>>even camcorder) to do the conversion.

>
>
> Thanks for the explanation - that makes sense. I'm wondering if it might
> be a better idea just to get a standalone DVD recorder. It seems that many
> of them bill themselves as being able to copy VHS tapes to DVD. That might
> be easier, and not much more expensive, than getting a new camcorder or some
> other capture device.
>
>

 
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Barry Watzman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      22nd Jul 2006
It's very difficult to Edit video after it's been converted from
uncompressed AVI to MPEG, and even if you do it (convert it back), there
is a quality loss. Again, the best way to go depends largely on how
much time and effort you want to expend, and also on what you want to
do, but if any significant editing is planned, it's best to keep the
video in uncompressed format until the editing is complete and only then
encode it to MPEG. MPEG (and DiVX, aka MPEG4) is a "lossy compression"
technology and conversions back and forth will result in a quality loss
(similar to what happens when you convert an audio file back and forth
between a .WAV file and an .MP3 file).


Ken Maltby wrote:

> "medgirl" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
>>news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>>
>>>I think you are going to need a capture device.
>>>
>>>The best capture device is a Sony digital camcorder with "pass-through"
>>>A-to-D conversion (most of the "Digital-8" camcorders have this, some
>>>other formats or brands may have it also). In this configuration, you
>>>feed in analog video and audio from a VHS player to the camcorder (as if
>>>you were going to record a copy of it on a tape, using the camcorder as a
>>>digital VCR). But instead the camcorder makes the incoming analog VHS
>>>signal available as digital video from it's "Firewire" (i.Link, IEEE
>>>1394) port to the computer, where you capture it to the hard drive using
>>>video editing software (Movie Maker 2 that comes with Windows XP can do
>>>the capture on the PC). You will need a LOT of disk space, this is
>>>uncompressed AVI (which is what you want for editing). It takes up
>>>almost 15 gigabytes per hour of video.
>>>
>>>There are also USB and Firewire stand-alone devices to do this type of
>>>capture.
>>>
>>>See if you can find a VHS VCR that has digital time base correction. Some
>>>of the high-end JVC S-VHS models have it, JVC's name for it is
>>>"Digipure". If you are converting a large archive of family videos that
>>>have important sentimental value, it may be worth buying a VCR and
>>>capture device (or even camcorder) to do the conversion.

>>
>>Thanks for the explanation - that makes sense. I'm wondering if it might
>>be a better idea just to get a standalone DVD recorder. It seems that
>>many of them bill themselves as being able to copy VHS tapes to DVD. That
>>might be easier, and not much more expensive, than getting a new camcorder
>>or some other capture device.

>
>
> Mr. Watzman's initial suggestion is a good approach if
> extensive editing or video processing (image stabilization,
> correction for color format changes, ect..) is required.
> This is normally only the case if you have a camcorder and
> are going to be making complex home movies.
>
> If your VHS tapes contain material that has already been
> professionally edited, like TV shows or movies you have
> taped, then it is much more practical to use a DVD Recorder.
> If you also have a DVDRW drive in your computer you can
> use an DVD-/+RW disk and bring that to your computer for
> any processing you wish like removing commercials and then
> authoring a new DVD with a good menu. A good frame
> accurate cut & join editor like www.VideoReDo.com is
> a must for such work.
>
> There are even MPEG editing programs if you wanted to
> make a relatively simple ( but still quite good) "home movie".
> ( Titling and Transitions as well as simple composting on a
> timeline, for instance.) Check out the Ulead and Womble
> products.
>
> (You can do very complex editing in MPEG also but that
> requires relatively expensive software, designed for
> professional use.)
>
> Luck;
> Ken
>
>

 
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Ken Maltby
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      23rd Jul 2006

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> The answer to that (using a stand-alone DVD recorder) depends on exactly
> what you want to do. If you will be happy with a very, very [VERY] "plain
> jane" copy of your video on a DVD, then a stand-alone recorder will be the
> easiest way to do it. It can copy your video to a DVD if that is
> [literally] all that you want.
>
> However, if you want to do any editing of the contents, with chapters and
> menus, then you really need to do the editing on a computer and burn the
> resulting video file to a DVD. The problem with stand alone DVD burners
> is that they don't give you any significant ability to edit or to create a
> DVD layout with they types of chapters and menus that you can create on a
> PC.
>


True, and it is easy to use a RW disk and bring the DVD
compliant video and audio to your PC for a quick authoring.
No lengthy encoding of DV-AVI required. A new DVD
with commercials edited out and chapters and menu(s), all
within 20-40 min.
/Ken


 
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Ken Maltby
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      23rd Jul 2006

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> It's very difficult to Edit video after it's been converted from
> uncompressed AVI to MPEG, and even if you do it (convert it back), there
> is a quality loss. Again, the best way to go depends largely on how much
> time and effort you want to expend, and also on what you want to do, but
> if any significant editing is planned, it's best to keep the video in
> uncompressed format until the editing is complete and only then encode it
> to MPEG. MPEG (and DiVX, aka MPEG4) is a "lossy compression" technology
> and conversions back and forth will result in a quality loss (similar to
> what happens when you convert an audio file back and forth between a .WAV
> file and an .MP3 file).
>


There's no reason to go back and forth.

It's not so hard to edit MPEG anymore. Check out the following:

Adobe Premiere
Adobe Premiere Pro (with $400 plugin)
Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 (with $60 plugin)
Avid Xpress Pro
Avid Liquid 7
Canopus Edius
Cyberlink Power Director
Magix Movie Edit Pro
Mainconcept EVE v2
Mainconcept Main Actor v5
Pinnacle Studio Plus v10
Sony Vegas 6
Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD
Ulead MediaStudio Pro 8
Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus.

Just visit the sites and check out the features available.

Luck;
Ken



 
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Barry Watzman
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      23rd Jul 2006
You can't get the same kind of precision editing MPEG that you can get
editing the uncompressed video in most of the consumer programs.

MPEG consists of occasional "master frames" (the entire frame) followed
by only change information for a number of subsequent frames, then
another "master frame". When you edit MPEGs with most consumer editing
software, you have to do your cuts and transitions on master frames, and
they can be kind of far apart (not in terms of "clock time", but in
terms of frames, and where you really want the cuts).

Some programs can take the master frames and the transition information
and create new master frames exactly where you want them, but I think
that's the exception for most of the low-end programs. Some of the
programs in your list are way above consumer price ranges, up above $500
and in a few cases $1,000 or more, while most consumers need to use
software in the "popular" price range (call it $100 or less).

Ken Maltby wrote:

> "Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
> news:(E-Mail Removed)...
>
>>It's very difficult to Edit video after it's been converted from
>>uncompressed AVI to MPEG, and even if you do it (convert it back), there
>>is a quality loss. Again, the best way to go depends largely on how much
>>time and effort you want to expend, and also on what you want to do, but
>>if any significant editing is planned, it's best to keep the video in
>>uncompressed format until the editing is complete and only then encode it
>>to MPEG. MPEG (and DiVX, aka MPEG4) is a "lossy compression" technology
>>and conversions back and forth will result in a quality loss (similar to
>>what happens when you convert an audio file back and forth between a .WAV
>>file and an .MP3 file).
>>

>
>
> There's no reason to go back and forth.
>
> It's not so hard to edit MPEG anymore. Check out the following:
>
> Adobe Premiere
> Adobe Premiere Pro (with $400 plugin)
> Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 (with $60 plugin)
> Avid Xpress Pro
> Avid Liquid 7
> Canopus Edius
> Cyberlink Power Director
> Magix Movie Edit Pro
> Mainconcept EVE v2
> Mainconcept Main Actor v5
> Pinnacle Studio Plus v10
> Sony Vegas 6
> Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD
> Ulead MediaStudio Pro 8
> Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus.
>
> Just visit the sites and check out the features available.
>
> Luck;
> Ken
>
>
>

 
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Ken Maltby
Guest
Posts: n/a
 
      23rd Jul 2006

"Barry Watzman" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> You can't get the same kind of precision editing MPEG that you can get
> editing the uncompressed video in most of the consumer programs.
>

Wrong, there are a number of frame accurate editing programs,
those on the list ( Which you would have seen if you were to go
to the software publisher's web site and check out the features
listed.) plus www.VideoReDo.com [The best cut and join editor]
and www.womble.com [The cheapest basic editor with titling and
transitions]


> MPEG consists of occasional "master frames" (the entire frame) followed by
> only change information for a number of subsequent frames, then another
> "master frame". When you edit MPEGs with most consumer editing software,
> you have to do your cuts and transitions on master frames, and they can be
> kind of far apart (not in terms of "clock time", but in terms of frames,
> and where you really want the cuts).
>

Most often "I-frames" are 1/2 sec apart or 15 frames at 30FPS.
With all the frame accurate editors available, now a days, it's
hardly an issue. You are operating from outdated information.

> Some programs can take the master frames and the transition information
> and create new master frames exactly where you want them, but I think
> that's the exception for most of the low-end programs. Some of the
> programs in your list are way above consumer price ranges, up above $500
> and in a few cases $1,000 or more, while most consumers need to use
> software in the "popular" price range (call it $100 or less).
>


You are implying that there are a great deal more DV-AVI
editors that list under $100? VideoReDo is still $50 I think.
I don't remember what Womble MPEG Wizard is going for
now, it is probably a little more than $100, though.

The ones from the list that I would consider in the consumer
price range are:

Adobe Premiere Elements 2.0 ($100) +
($60 for MainConcept plugin)
Cyberlink Power Director 5 Premium ($90)
Magix Movie Edit Pro 11 ($50)
Mainconcept EVE v2 ($70)
Mainconcept Main Actor v5 ($200)
Pinnacle Studio Plus v10.5 Titanium edition ($70)
Sony Vegas Movie Studio + DVD Platinum ($130)
Ulead VideoStudio 10 Plus. ($100)

( These are all prices buying from their web site, you can
usually find them for much less at other vendors.)
Most have free demo downloads.
Luck;
Ken


 
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