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manleywoman
01-07-2012, 12:06 AM
I know this has been discussed before, but since technology changes so fast . . .

I have three bags of VHS tapes I'd like to copy to DVD. Some of them are movies, but a lot of them are old skating tapes I recorded.

Some of them (gag) are old tapes of me competing, and are therefore very short . . . only about 10 minutes of content on a VHS tape. So ideally I'm hoping to find a device that will allow me to gang up a ton of my performances on one DVD so I don't have 20 different DVDs for 20 different performances when I could just run the performances all chronologically on one DVD.

If that's not possible (because I imagine that would involve more video editing capabilities) then I'm fine with just burning old one VHS tape to one DVD, just so I can get rid of the old VHS tapes. Then perhaps later I can take the DVDs onto my Mac and edit them the way I'm thinking.

Anyone have recommendations on a good machine to purchase to do this? It seems to me it would be cheaper to buy a $100 machine to do this rather than send the tapes out to a service, which from what I've researched so far will cost me a whole lot more. Can I plug this machine into my Mac laptop to use as a monitor so I don't have to mess with the configuration of my TV?

Thanks

Artemis@BC
01-07-2012, 12:38 AM
I take it you don't have a DVR? 'Coz that's the easiest method -- run an RCA cable from your VCR to your DVR, and record on the DVR.

Failing that, I keep seeing Groupons / Teambuys etc. for this VCR-to-DVD kit (http://www.teambuy.ca/toronto/28135561). Can't vouch for how good it is, but at $40 the price is right! I'm sure there are similar products available near you.

Vash01
01-07-2012, 12:40 AM
I have a VCR-DVD player that can copy from VHS to DVD. I don't know if they are still selling it. I think I paid around $250-$280

Jot the Dot Dot
01-07-2012, 12:51 AM
I have a VCR-DVD player that can copy from VHS to DVD. I don't know if they are still selling it. I think I paid around $250-$280

I got a Toshiba DVDR/VCR combo for just $179 Cdn. Shop around for good buys.

aliceanne
01-07-2012, 01:22 AM
You must preserve the tapes of you competing, the mini-Manleys for generations to come will want to see them.

acraven
01-07-2012, 03:09 AM
Doing it yourself will definitely be more cost effective.

I use my computer (with a VCR connected) to convert tapes to DVD. For this you need a computer with analog-capture capability, which a computer with a TV-tuner card would have. You also need a lot of free space on your hard drive (rock-bottom minimum 100 GB, I'd say). If you have a newish computer, you may already have what you need, hardware-wise. You can buy an external capture device if your computer doesn't have a capture card. Here's some info (not sure how current) from about.com: http://dvr.about.com/od/tvcapturemethods/ht/ht1.htm

I much prefer converting via computer, rather a than VCR/DVD combo, because of the comparative ease of editing. Just as an example, think about putting a title on a DVD: Would you rather do that with a computer keyboard or with a cellphone-style keyboard? The less editing you want to do, the less important this difference will be to you, obviously.

I have a feeling that you could connect one of the combo devices to your computer only if the latter had a capture card. That's just a guess, though.

I have a DVR with a hard drive and DVD-burning capability (Maganvox 515, available from Walmart.com). It's reasonably OK for making DVDs of TV broadcasts if you don't need to edit out commercials. For the latter, it's klutzy and really not precise enough, so I've never considered connecting a VCR to it as a means of converting tapes. I assume it's technically possible, and the DVR might have better editing features than the combo device (or not).

It's definitely viable to focus initially just on converting your videos to digital form before the tapes deteriorate further, postponing actual DVD creation till you have more time. In that case I'd simply convert the tapes to .mpg format and store those .mpg files for later use. Easy on a computer; I don't know whether it's possible to do that with a combo device. I haven't been able to figure out a way to do it with my DVR.

I've learned to store any video I might want to (re-)edit later in .mpg form, not as a finalized DVD. My one attempt to re-edit a completed DVD produced video and audio that were out of synch, which is fatal for skating videos. Perhaps a Mac would handle such re-editing, but I am doubtful. Googling "re-edit DVD" produces information that makes my head hurt.

I store my unfinished .mpg files mostly on DVDs because I've had such bad luck with external hard drives. The resulting DVDs can't be played on a TV, but I can watch the video files on my computer if I need to.

You mentioned movies. Many commercial movie tapes cannot be converted to DVD without use of additional equipment to remove the built in copy protection features often present. Google "video stabilizer" and see what turns up.

More than you wanted to know, I'm sure...

A.H.Black
01-07-2012, 03:44 AM
Not more than I wanted to know. You are always a fount of information that is very helpful. Thanks so much for posting.

Someday I will PM you about capturing streaming video. You posted once about it but it's too long ago to find.

Skate Talker
01-07-2012, 05:45 AM
I also prefer to capture on my computer. On my old PC I did not have a cable/tv card so I invested in a Hauppauge WinTV PVR. This allowed me to connect either RF cable or composite feed into my computer and also included the software to record as mpg files. I hooked up the tv cable box for capturing live broadcasts and my VCR to capture and save my old skating tapes. Originally I used to do this, then convert and burn them to create DVD movies. I experienced some difficulties with the DVD creation and at times ended up with out of synch audio/video. Possibly my computer was not powerful enough. Whatever the cause, I always had to check every DVD to make sure my DVD player would read it without freezing up. This was a pretty time-consuming effort. Because of the unreliability of these DVD movies, almost from the start I started making backups of the captured mpg files on DVD's and discovered that although my more expensive Sony DVD player refused to recognize them, my cheapo DVD player would play them just like my computer. No more need to burn movies and the bonus is that burning them as individual files resulted in being able to put more on each DVD and in much better quality too.

A number of years ago, I was given a Western Digital Media Player for my birthday. This allowed me to connect external hard drives, or USB sticks filled with photo, video, or music files to my TV and play them flawlessly. For video it accepted many types of files, from avi, wmv, mpg, mp4 and on. Unlike acraven I have had good experiences with my external hard drives though I am careful to also back up to DVD.

With convergence of TV, Computer, wireless networks etc. I really don't see any reason to be creating movie DVD's anymore anyway. This summer I got a new computer running Windows 7. Again it did not have a tv tuner built in but now that most of the skating is broadcast in HD I decided to treat myself to a Hauppauge HD PVR. It allows me to capture as MP4, TS or M2ts files.

allezfred
01-07-2012, 10:38 AM
I have a Sony HDD/DVD recorder that I love. Very easy to use and I just hook it up to an old VCR with a Scart lead and transfer videotapes that way.

Clytie
01-07-2012, 02:52 PM
I agree with what others have said- buy a software program with an external capture device(you will need those yellow/red/white/ cables ie. audio/video plug ins) to hook up from the device to the VCR. This will save the videos to your computer harddrive were its so much easier to edit them. And yes you will need lots of harddrive space especially if you save in mpeg, which I also highly suggest.
I have old soap tapes (don't judge please!) and family movies that I've converted into dvds. It really is'nt that hard. The right software is important. I had Pinnacle originally, that I liked- but my last one was VHS to DVD that I did'nt find as user friendly.
I think the hardest part of this though is getting a good VCR to play the tapes in- my old one broke and the one I have now keeps showing tracking lines I can't get off the screen. So I've stopped. I am also to cheap to invest in a new VCR. And yes save the originals to dvd. You can always import them into the program later and make viewable dvds later.

I think the movies manleywoman is talking about could even be tv movies. There are some out there that I wish I had on dvd but they are either not available on dvd or are never re-aired. I know I wish I had a few more classic soap tapes to save- especially with OLTL going off the air next week.

Twilight1
01-07-2012, 03:13 PM
I just started the process of transfering my old VHS tapes to DVD. What a time sapper!! My dad had a converting machine so I have started converting all my compilations tapes for ice dance. I have done 4 so far, but have well over 100 left to go. Crazy the amount of figure skating I have copied over the years.

I also have a few tapes with soap opera's on it. Santa Barbara of all things!! I think I have a few of Another World as well. lol!

Erin
01-07-2012, 04:16 PM
I have a Sony HDD/DVD recorder that I love. Very easy to use and I just hook it up to an old VCR with a Scart lead and transfer videotapes that way.

I also love my Sony DVD recorder. Very user-friendly. It was about $500 when I bought it, but that was over four years ago, so I'm sure the price has come down significantly since then. It's very durable as well - I've probably burned over 500 DVDs and haven't had any trouble with it. (In contrast, I had a Phillips that worked for less than a year and turned out to be unrepairable :mad:)

Vash01
01-07-2012, 04:59 PM
I got a Toshiba DVDR/VCR combo for just $179 Cdn. Shop around for good buys.


I always shop around for good buys. That was the best price I could get at that time. No need to show off how smart you are (and to imply that I am an idiot who does not know about shopping around).

allezfred
01-07-2012, 05:33 PM
I also love my Sony DVD recorder. Very user-friendly. It was about $500 when I bought it, but that was over four years ago, so I'm sure the price has come down significantly since then. It's very durable as well - I've probably burned over 500 DVDs and haven't had any trouble with it. (In contrast, I had a Phillips that worked for less than a year and turned out to be unrepairable :mad:)

I had the same issue with a Phillips. Never will buy one again. Had it serviced a few times and it came back unrepaired. :rolleyes:

I think I've burned significantly more than 500 DVDs on the Sony. :shuffle:

manhn
01-07-2012, 08:01 PM
Dvd recorders with a hdd are the best! But I can no longer find them in NA. Too bad. I have 4 of them. I hope they last for awhile (one is dying).