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Converting VCR tapes to DVDs

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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May 8, 2003 5:55:35 AM

I am trying to find the best equipment to use to convert several VCR tapes to DVD. I've read so many different stories it has got me spinning. Firewire vs USB vs PCI. Does anyone know what these tape conversion companies use? Do they use PCI capture boards and some flavor of a capture package or something else? I have over 100 tapes to convert.

Thanks,
Brian
May 8, 2003 8:44:35 PM

Get a PCI "hardware" capture card that will capture analog video and convert it to MPEG-2 format to be stored in your HD. Of course, there're other solutions too, but if you're going to convert 100 tapes, the fastest and easiest way is to use a capture card.
May 9, 2003 1:39:55 AM

You should really tell us what your computer specs are.

If you want less hassle, you can just buy a standalone dvd recorder. Those run about $500 and all you do is shove the tape in the VCR and press record. The thing is you can't tweak the video.
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May 9, 2003 2:36:50 AM

Can you tell me some cards to stay away from as well as recommended cards? I've looked at various specs and many of the cards appear to be very similar yet their prices are quite different.

Brian
May 9, 2003 2:40:55 AM

Lancer...computer specs isn't a problem. I have access to whatever I need. I'm just looking to get the best card for the money. I have a P4 2.4ghz with 1GB Ram and plenty of disk space sitting on my desk.

I would like to be able to capture the video, have it detect scenes into chapters, and then burn the DVD.

Brian
May 9, 2003 5:03:52 AM

Capture cards won't do the chapters from an anologue source like VHS tapes. That will be for your VCR to detect, but it would have to have an interface with the computer. Since you are not working with a pro setup, then there is no way for the system to do it automatically, because unlike DV tapes, there is no info to pass along the analogue/RCA/SVHS/RG cable. So you will have to make the splices yourself, and then organize them into chapters on your DVDs.

As for good capture cards, Pinnacle has a really good bunch of PCI products. And that would be my choice PCI over firewire/USB 2.0 and even comes with basic authoring software. Dazzle is pretty good too, but really just better at external solutions.
I would stay away from the TV combo cards, since you are using it for just video.

Just my 2 frames worth.


- You need a licence to buy a gun, but they'll sell anyone a stamp <i>(or internet account)</i> ! <font color=green>RED</font color=green> <font color=red>GREEN</font color=red> :tongue: GA to SK
May 9, 2003 12:36:04 PM

I was under the impression certain video capture software automatically detected (or at least tried to) scenes. Also, can you please define a "Pro" system? Given the quantity of tapes we have at my office, that might be an option. Do you have any names or web sites of these type of systems?

Thanks,
Brian
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