Quantcast How can I copy VHS tapes to DVDs ? - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-04-2012, 07:16 AM
ad211184 ad211184 is offline
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My old VHS is slowly giving up the ghost and so we have decided to move with the times and get one of those DVD/HDD recorder things. The problem is that we have a stack of store bought videos that my kids still want to watch. I'm not looking to start a pirate movie business but I think it fair for me to copy those movies over to DVD for personal use. Does anyone have any suggestions or links that can help? Cheers in advance.
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  #2  
03-04-2012, 07:36 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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for commercial movies that are available on DVD you are better off just buying them on DVD.

unless you have a large amount, the cost to do it right will probably exceed the cost of the DVDs and the quality still wont be as good.

plugging a worn out VCR into a DVD recorder will yield very crappy results.
at minimum you need a Super-VHS VCR, a TBC/Proc Amp and a good dvd recorder or computer capture card.

you could also just get a working used VCR until your kids outgrow the movies.
decent ones are cheap on ebay
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03-04-2012, 07:14 PM
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While it is definitely fair (and a good idea in theory) to copy your existing library of VHS tapes to DVD, it's not as easy as it would sound.

It's not as simple as copying a CD on a computer. Analog video signals are very chaotic, and the analog-to-digital (VHS-to-DVD) process requires a number of costly tools to do a good job. A consumer VCR -- be it new or worn out -- is rarely going to work well. Most consumer DVD recorders are very touchy about copy protection (artificial video errors purposely added to tapes), making conversion impossible.

At minimum, you generally need a time base corrector (TBC) between the VCR and the DVD recorder. That means the combo units are out. The combo units were made so you could play/record tapes, and play/record DVDs, but separate from one another. It was never intended to copy VHS tapes to DVD, even though some manuals state it can. The manuals lie, and were likely written by non-engineers.

For the same $200+ it would cost you to buy a TBC -- not to mention the cost of DVD recorders, new VCRs, etc -- it's generally better to just buy the DVDs. For one, they'll look much better. If you want to go the budget route, buy used. Amazon.com and eBay.com have tons of used DVDs available. I often buy used DVDs off Amazon for as little as a penny ($0.01) plus $2.98 shipping, making a disc about $3. I often get TV series box sets, used for about $10-15 each. That's a fraction of the cost of what discs cost new.

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03-07-2012, 09:10 AM
gkktyyu44 gkktyyu44 is offline
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Just as you can't copy commercially made video tapes to another VCR due to Macrovision anti-copy encoding, the same applies to making copies to DVD. DVD recorders cannot bypass the anti-copy signal on commercial VHS tapes or DVDs. If a DVD recorder detects the anti-copy encoding on a commercial DVD it will not start the recording and display some sort of message either on screen or on its LED front panel display that it detects the anti-copy code or that it is detecting an unusable signal.
However. I can recommend one firm which can solve it. I have found here such site http://xdimax.com/grex/grex.html.
They have a device - GREX, I heard that with its help it is possible to block protection DVD and satellite tv-channels and to write down transfers on the dvd. It removes Macrovision.


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03-07-2012, 03:21 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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a good external TBC will remove the macrovison
but you need a separate vcr and dvd recorder - NOT a combo unit
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03-08-2012, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
They have a device - GREX, I heard that with its help it is possible to block protection DVD and satellite tv-channels and to write down transfers on the dvd. It removes Macrovision.
The problem with a Grex, however, is that it only removes enough of the "bad" signal (artificial video errors) that prevents copying of the signal. A large portion of visual signal damage remains. Most notoriously, the Grex video values are off -- subtle changes in color (chroma) and brightness (luma) occur throughout the video. It's still a far cry from being a TBC, and at $100 it's a waste of money. Only if it was $25, and you didn't care about quality, then I guess it would work.

Whether a source is commercial VHS or homemade VHS -- it doesn't much matter. VHS is such a nosy format that it simply requires correction before it can be input into an A>D buffer to be digitized to DVD or another digital format.

I'd also add this: If you're ready to spend $100, you're probably just as inclined to spend $200 for something better.
Most people who don't want an "expensive" TBC also refuse to even spend $50.

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