My father in law passed away recently and I've since found some old VHS-C tapes and I am hoping there is footage of him and the family on them. I bought an adapter that will allow me to play them in a VHS but I'm not sure where to go from here.
My goal is to get all the movies on my PC and then edit and burn them on discs (and maybe thumb drives) for each member of the family to keep. I also want to create a montage in memory of the amazing man I am proud to call my dad. I was looking at VCRs but I'm not sure what I need. Some have tuners and some don't but I can't figure out what that means? Is this VCR okay for this project or is there one that will give me greater quality? I did buy the Mygica EZGrabber . If I get the right VCR and hook it up to that will that be the best solution?
So basically I need a way to copy these tapes to my PC and discs and a program to create a montage with music and edited and whatnot. I'd like to get this all in the best quality possible.
I would like to present this to the famliy this Christmas as a surprise. One of his daughters (my sister-in-law) was talking to my wife the other day about listening to a tape hoping to hear dad's voice again. I think the family needs this. Can you guys help me with this? Thank you so much for your time.
A "4-head" VHS design is better than the really cheap ones, and 4-heads are not very expensive - they are quite common. Some will mention a "flying erase head", which is mainly useful for doing editing of VHS tapes on the tape deck, and that is NOT what you plan, so don't worry about that too much. The cheapest VHS machines do not have stereo audio systems. Look at the RCA-style input and output connectors on front and back. The yellow ones are for Composite Video. Beside them should be white and red ones for the Left and Right audio channels. If there is only one audio connector, that's a cheap machine.
For connecting from VHS machine to your computer capture card, I suggest using the Composite Video and stereo audio connection system. (The alternative is a common single cable-TV type of coaxial cable which carries the signal as a standard TV channel, and its picture quality is not as good a Composite Video.) Almost ALL VHS machines have these connections on them.
Do not worry about getting a machine with Component Video - this is a different set of 3 RCA output connectors with labels for Y, Pb and Pr. They carry only high-quality video, and the stereo audio is done separately. However, NO VHS tape system can supply a video signal of quality high enough to need Component Video. Similarly, no VHS tape system will actually use a slightly lesser connection system for video, S-Video. I have seen one or both of these latter two on combo units that include a DVD player, and that makes some sense. But note that in those, the high-quality video output (S-Video or Component Video) is ONLY used to output from the DVD player portion of the machine - VHS tape playback is done only via the Composite video on these combo machines.
As far as tuners go, for simple playback of recorded tapes, it does not matter at all. A tuner is needed only when you want to record a TV program. Virtually all VHS machines have tuners in them, although some are not obvious on the front. They use on-screen display systems. That is, you see nothing but a few indicator lights on the front of the VHS machine. All the real info is shown on the TV screen.
With the change to digital TV, you may find it really difficult to find a new design of VHS machine with a digital tuner. Production of VHS machines was already cut back a lot even before the switch to digital TV, so most VHS machine will have older analog tuners in them. For you - wanting only to play back recorded tapes - this will not matter. If you decide you REALLY want to record a digital TV signal on your VHS machine, you might need a separate set-top tuner box. Those usually have Composite Video and stereo audio outputs you can connect to VHS machine inputs, bypassing the TV's older tuner. In fact, if you had such a box, you could simply plug its outputs into your EZGrabber unit and capture the program on your computer, rather than on a VHS tape.