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  #1  
01-30-2015, 05:09 PM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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Hello,

Conversion: VHS to Computer(For editing at some pointand storage)

I've got a bunch of old VHS i've finally decided to get transferred to my computer and stop having a lot of VHS tapes with family movies under my bed.

Many years ago I bought a Pinnacle MovieBox deluxe(2004), which at the time was 500$, and it's been used a few years ago when I first transferred a bunch of VHS and VHS-C to my computer.

After reading a bit on the forum, I've learned two things:
  1. I should buy a S-VHS with TBC, to get more quality out of my VHS movies(Despite them being normal VHS)
  2. I should use a ATI capture card and disregard the MovieBox because it's a DV capture device(I think?) and therefore not suited for max quality

Is the above correct?

I can't say all my material is top noch quality, which is why I want to get the best quality possible. I live in Denmark, so getting external top noch help really isn't all that likely.

Price isn't the biggest issue for me, as it's childhood memories I'm trying to transfer, which is also why I prefer to do it myself so I'm sure the best result possible is achived.
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  #2  
01-30-2015, 05:21 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Don't use Pinnacle hardware. It's craptastic.
The best quality will come from a dedicated XP system with an ATI All In Wonder Theatre card + S-VHS VCR with internal TBC + external TBC.

Finding hardware in Denmark may be an issue, but other EU countries have plenty to go around -- especially Germany and UK.

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  #3  
01-30-2015, 05:33 PM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
Don't use Pinnacle hardware. It's craptastic.
The best quality will come from a dedicated XP system with an ATI All In Wonder Theatre card + S-VHS VCR with internal TBC + external TBC.

Finding hardware in Denmark may be an issue, but other EU countries have plenty to go around -- especially Germany and UK.
thanks for the quick reply - And finally a site where everyone wants the best quality, not just getting it over.

You've correctly predicted that Hardware is a issue - I haven't been able to find any of the VCR's from the buy list. I have a sister in the UK though, do you know of any sites a la craigslist for the UK?

Since it's old VCR's I assume it'll be best to test them before buying, and perhaps cleaning the insides before starting to use them for my little project.
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  #4  
01-30-2015, 05:40 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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eBay.de and eBay.co.uk are your best bets for a VCR.

What mode are the tapes recorded in? SP or LP?
FYI: I don't think PAL have the 6-hour EP/SLP. I believe the SP was 3-hour, and LP was 6-hour.
If SP, look at the JVC decks. If longer, then the Panasonic.

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  #5  
01-31-2015, 06:25 AM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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They are all recorded in SP. EP didn't really come along or was that popular with us.

We do however have a lot of 240 mins tapes - 180 or 240 mins mostly.

Is the Pinnacle hardware crap because it's DV that compresses the video right of the bat or?

Furthermore, I've heard that I can use normal VCR's to forward and rewind my movies, and that it's a good thing to do to keep them magnitized. Any truth to this?
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  #6  
01-31-2015, 08:35 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghDk View Post
They are all recorded in SP. EP didn't really come along or was that popular with us.

We do however have a lot of 240 mins tapes - 180 or 240 mins mostly.
4 hours on VHS/120 tape (or VHS/180) is not SP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghDk View Post
Is the Pinnacle hardware crap because it's DV that compresses the video right of the bat or?
It's inferior junkware, period, DV or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghDk View Post
Furthermore, I've heard that I can use normal VCR's to forward and rewind my movies, and that it's a good thing to do to keep them magnitized. Any truth to this?
Keep them magnetized? Hopefully you didn't pay for that bit of screwball information. No, you do that in order to smooth the windings on the feed side and help improve tape flow. It's called repacking.

Last edited by sanlyn; 01-31-2015 at 09:23 AM.
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  #7  
02-09-2015, 01:26 PM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
4 hours on VHS/120 tape (or VHS/180) is not SP.

It's inferior junkware, period, DV or not.


Keep them magnetized? Hopefully you didn't pay for that bit of screwball information. No, you do that in order to smooth the windings on the feed side and help improve tape flow. It's called repacking.
Most of my tapes are either VHS/180 or VHS/240.

I didn't pay for that info, though it was a video restore guy in Denmark who told me.

Is a TBC also needed if you are only transferring home video's? Or is it needed mostly for commercial video's?
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  #8  
02-09-2015, 01:47 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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A line-level tbc is absolutely necessary, no exceptions. Line tbc's are built-in with some high-end JVC and Panasonic VCR's, or you can use a Panasonic DMR-ES10 or DMR-ES15 as line-tbc pass-thru to a capture device. Frame level tbc's are a different animal, but they're usually necessary to correct frame signal timing and especially to undo Macrovision. I sometimes use both types of tbc's, although often my ES15 pass-thru seems to be enough. With really crappy tapes, you should use both tbc types.

Your tape might look "OK" played directly to a TV because your TV knows it's handling an analog signal. But analog sources don't "look" the same way to capture devices or encoders working in the digital domain. They expect a perfectly timed signal in all respects. You can't undo timing errors after they've been captured.
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  #9  
02-09-2015, 02:40 PM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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Might be able to get a Panasonic NV-HS830 quite cheap 40$, but don't know if that's a okay VCR. I don't think it has TBC.

There's a JVC 9600 for sales too, but for 300 I think it's a bit steep.
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  #10  
02-09-2015, 03:00 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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The Panasonic has been discussed several times here. Panasonic NV-HS830 VCR

A high-perfomance unit like the JVC will always cost more,especially if it's still in working condition. High quality costs more, that's all there is to it. If you think that's expensive, try a rebuilt Panasonic AG-1980 from a good outfit. IF you can't afford either, go with the NV-HS830 and put a little under $100 for an ES10 or ES15 for tbc pass-thru. And, yes, a good line tbc makes a really big difference.

I note you said earlier you have some 240 minute tapes. That's not SP, it's middle speed SLP.
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  #11  
02-09-2015, 05:21 PM
NJRoadfan NJRoadfan is offline
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PAL VHS was only had SP and LP speeds available. E-180 and E-240 tapes weren't all that uncommon in Europe.
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  #12  
02-09-2015, 05:37 PM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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Thanks, NjRoadfan. So noted. Learn something new every day.
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  #13  
02-10-2015, 07:06 AM
dpalomaki dpalomaki is offline
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Weren't the standard NTSC VHS speeds SP, LP, and EP (aka: SLP) with play times of 120, 240, and 360 minutes with a standard T-120 tape. Many VHS VCRs did not support recording at the LP speed.
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  #14  
02-10-2015, 09:23 AM
sanlyn sanlyn is offline
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All true. The O.P. is in PAL land,so I guess there are differences over there that I wasn't aware of when I question "240 minutes". NTSC offered 8-hour tapes for EP (horrible, thin stuff), so I guess PAL had 240 tapes.
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  #15  
02-10-2015, 10:20 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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NTSC =
SP mode, standard T120 = 2 hours, all VCRs had it
LP mode, standard T120 = 4 hours, most 80s VCRs had it, some 90s (but not many)
SLP (later EP) mode, standard T120 = 6 hours, most late 80s and all 90s VCRs had it

PAL =
SP mode, standard E180 = 3 hours, all VCRs had it
LP mode, standard E180 = 6 hours, all VCRs had it
SLP/EP = does not exist in PAL

However, PAL VHS heads were not great, so you still have tracking issues comparable to NTSC SLP/EP tapes.

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  #16  
02-14-2015, 11:18 AM
SinghDk SinghDk is offline
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The VCR got sold under my nose. Will see if something turns up, however with all the TBC and so on will I have to fiddle a lot with the controls, or do the videos just play, once you've set it up?

I've found some nice ATI cards here, would this ATI 9600 work? http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/ATI-All-In...item4ad6503c22
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  #17  
02-17-2015, 09:10 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
ATI All-In-Wonder 9600 128MB DDR AGP Video Card w/TV Tuner (PAL)--Brand NEW
Yes, that seems fine.

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