Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

VCR Tapes -> DVD, how to?

Tags:
  • DVD
  • Burner
  • Components
Last response: in Components
Share
November 20, 2006 12:49:01 PM

I have been out of the loop for awhile on this. My mother-in-law would like to take all of her vcr tapes and be able to burn them to DVD.

What are all my options here?

1. Easiest
2. Cheapest
3. Simplest

etc...

More about : vcr tapes dvd

November 20, 2006 1:38:13 PM

Easiest is to buy a DVD recorder, not for the PC, but a stand alone unit that you can plug the VCR into.

A simple video capture card added to your PC (along with a DVD burner obviously) would let you do it from the the PC.

I use a Canon digital camcorder that happens to have an analog to digital convert built in - plug the VCR into the camera's inputs and the output to the PC. Not the easiest or cheapest, unless it's what you already have. :D 
Related resources
November 20, 2006 2:58:32 PM

I use an ATI All-In-Wonder video card to capture video from the TV or a composite device (VCR Tape). This works well to record VCR movies to the hard drive then I use Nero to create a DVD Video discs (Playable in DVD Players).

You can probably get away with a video capture card and a DivX converter to accomplish this for less money.
November 20, 2006 3:29:27 PM

get a hardware tv tuner card and then encode it into mpeg. Author the content to dvd and your done. But any of the options when using the computer could take a long time if it's not overly powerful. Also the problem with all of these is it would be done in real time so if you have 150 hrs of tape it's going to take a min of 150hrs to record the content.
November 20, 2006 3:29:52 PM

Quote:
I use an ATI All-In-Wonder video card to capture video from the TV or a composite device (VCR Tape). This works well to record VCR movies to the hard drive then I use Nero to create a DVD Video discs (Playable in DVD Players).

You can probably get away with a video capture card and a DivX converter to accomplish this for less money.


That depends on your other equipment and what kind of tapes you're trying to record.
November 20, 2006 3:45:44 PM

I think everybody also forgets to mention that prerecorded vhs cassettes have macrovision encoding and can't "just" be converted to digital. Now anything that was recorded on a vcr or camcorder is not a problem to convert to digital, but the quality will never be outstanding unless the tapes were s-vhs or extremly carefully recorded. But old bought vhs movies? Write them off, they aren't worth trying to save.
November 20, 2006 3:54:12 PM

i never had any trouble converting any of my "pre recorded" movies into dvd. Never even heard about the macrovision on VHS.
November 20, 2006 4:11:27 PM

Quote:
I think everybody also forgets to mention that prerecorded vhs cassettes have macrovision encoding


Read the second response, the one with the link.
November 21, 2006 12:40:25 PM

I still like the first response. To convert many old VHS tapes, buy a stand-alone DVD recorder. And a LOT of blank DVD's. Many users of VHS recorded 6 hours per tape in SLP speed, but most DVD's hold 2 hours.

You asked in a computer enthusiasts' hangout, and almost eveyone told you hop to do it through the computer, many ackowledging that it needs a reasonably powerful one to do it AND it takes a lot of time. In the straightforward case, you copy into the computer, than copy out. With a VCR-to-DVD Recorder system you only copy once.
November 21, 2006 1:18:06 PM

Another method of conversion would be to play that VCR cassette to a tv then take a DVD camcorder and record it. Use a tripod for better result. Walla! Instant conversion. :p 

(I saw it on a movie)
November 21, 2006 2:02:03 PM

If you used a stand-alone dvd recorder you'll find out about macrovision rather quickly. On a pc certain decoders ignore it. My point is more that vhs can never be upgraded to anything remotely even close to dvd quality. It may be good enough for you on a low res regular tv, but everything is going hi-def. So eventually you're legacy low res conversions are gonna look like crap even on tv, cuz eventually all tv will be hi-def. And current dvd tech isn't even truly "hi-def". So for you're families' old home movies it may be worth the trouble of trying to preserve them - IMHO vhs movies aren't worth it. And don't even get me started on the fact that burned dvd's don't last more than 2-5 years. I've got 2-3 yr old burns that already won't play all the way through.
November 21, 2006 2:14:35 PM

heheh, anything I want to keep a long time goes on a backup hard drive where it can easily last over 5 years before an exact, undamaged copy is made to another backup hard drive.
November 21, 2006 2:21:31 PM

There's one question that needs to be asked.

Do you want to edit your content?

If you don't want to edit content. Then yes, the direct VHS/DVD recorder is probably the best option.

If you want to edit content (say getting rid of commercials) Then your journey will take a longer path.

Either way, as fas I know, you will have to read your VHS tapes in real time. I know of no way to read them in faster.

Let's say you take the longer path. Capture/edit/render/auther/burn.

Capturing. You can capture something in a raw form, taking up huge amount of space, or you can capture in mpeg format. This depends on how involved you want to get into the editing phase. If you only want simple editing. Cutting/splicing. Culling commercials. Capturing in Mpeg format is OK. If you want fancy transitions, scrolling titles, and the like, you'll be more inclined to capture in a raw form.

Personally, I use a PVR-150 tuner card. I can capture directly from cable or antenna, and my VCR (when I have the card tuned to channel 3). It captures in Mpeg compressed format. I've never been much of a fan of the All-in-Wonder card. (I bought one years ago, and it kept locking/boluxing my system). So I like to keep input and output separate.

Editing. This depends on your capture method. If you capture in raw form, then I'd lean towards Pinnacle's Studio software. I use it to edit video I took with my camcorder. If you capture in mpeg format there are other editors that work. I'm happy with mine, but I can't think of the name off the top of my head. Starts with "M" I think. Editing an mpeg format file(s) is more like defining bits and pieces of my input file(s) and gluing them all together in an output file.

Render. Rendering is part of the editor, but I put it separate here. If you capture in raw form, Rendering takes serious horsepower and time. If you render in mpeg format, then not so much. An mpeg render simply takes the bits an pieces of input and writes them out to an output. I do have some transistions. I usually do a "blend" from one scene to another. It takes less then five minutes to render about an hour of output. There's a definite slow down when I run across a transition. But still only for a few seconds while it works on that particular transition.

Authoring. This where you make layout of the DVD. There are a bunch of authoring software out there. Shouldn't be hard to find one.

Burning. Sometimes built into the authoring software, sometimes not.

I hope this all helps....

TO dig deeper, I'd suggest you follow some of the links already posted in this thread...

Good Luck
November 21, 2006 2:21:47 PM

I like the way you think, Crashman. I've started using sata drives plugged in externally - back stuff up and then unplug it. Saves time and noise from spinning multiple drives.
!