Quantcast Need some advice with VHS to digital project - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
10-23-2013, 08:40 PM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hello all,
I need some help with a VHS conversion project. I am a total n00b when it comes to this kind of project but I think it would be more cost effective to do it myself than pay for it through a 3rd party ( ~35-50 VHS tapes). Basically what is going on is my parents are separating and I have come into possession of all of our pictures and tapes, as the family techie it falls to me to get these converted before they degrade any further, some of the tapes are as old as I am, 32 yrs old. So, being the impulsive person I am, I ordered a Hauppauge USB-Live 2 digitizer and with a old Magnavox VCR, started away on my first VHS. The results are rough and I decided I should have do some research before I get too deep in this. So I am hoping I can get some direction from you guys because there is SO much info on this that it is totally overwhelming. Right now I have the USB-Live 2, a sony rdr vx500 and a old magnavox vcr (terrible); where do I go from here? Return the USB-live, get something with hardware encoding and find a vcr with TBC? Any advice would be most appreciated!
Reply With Quote
Someday, 12:01 PM
admin's Avatar
Ads / Sponsors
 
Join Date: ∞
Posts: 42
Thanks: ∞
Thanked 42 Times in 42 Posts
  #2  
10-23-2013, 09:30 PM
msgohan msgohan is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 1,323
Thanked 329 Times in 274 Posts
The USB-Live2 is a good device. Why would you want one with hardware encoding?

What format are you capturing to? Perhaps you could attach a sample of the results you are getting currently so we might see the issues with your tapes.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
10-23-2013, 09:46 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,027
Thanked 212 Times in 190 Posts
the biggest thing is a good TBC equiped VCR
also you need an external TBC like the TBC-1000
use S-video not composite

use the magnavox VCR just for rewinding tapes or checking what is on them
(saves wear on you good deck)

im not familiar with that Hauppauge device, but they do make some decent stuff
Reply With Quote
  #4  
10-23-2013, 09:49 PM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I had just read that there could be spotty results with the live because it coded in software and to mpeg-2 .ts files not H.264/MPEG-4 or uncompressed .avi. ...obviously I am pretty unsure on this stuff. I would be happy to attach, how do I go about doing that?
Reply With Quote
  #5  
10-23-2013, 09:51 PM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
the biggest thing is a good TBC equiped VCR
also you need an external TBC like the TBC-1000
use S-video not composite

use the magnavox VCR just for rewinding tapes or checking what is on them
(saves wear on you good deck)

im not familiar with that Hauppauge device, but they do make some decent stuff
Do I need an external TBC + TBC equipped VCR or can I run my sony deck with an external TBC?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
10-23-2013, 09:52 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,917
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
For only 35-50 tapes, it's often cheaper to pay a service to do it. Even at $30 per tape, it's less than the $$$$ you'd need to spend on good hardware.

You need:
- a high-end S-VHS VCR with TBC (clean image)
- an external TBC (clean signal)
- optional ES10, proc amp, detailer ... as determined by the quality of the tapes
- quality capture card
- lots of temp hard drive space

By the time most folks buy all these things, and pay to get them in working condition (many VCRs have issues that need repair), you're looking at about $1,000 minimum.

There's much to be said for experience, too!

Otherwise you're just making the video worse than the original tapes. With the right equipment, video can look BETTER than the original tapes.

If you want to go down this route, we can help. But pull out your bank book, either way. Video is not cheap or easy, but it can be done!

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #7  
10-23-2013, 10:07 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,027
Thanked 212 Times in 190 Posts
if you are a savy shopper you can find these item cheaply
i got my TBC-100 for $70 shipped
i have bought high-end VCRs for dirt cheap (people who dont realize what they have)
ATI capture cards are very cheap on ebay
Reply With Quote
  #8  
10-23-2013, 10:10 PM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
the biggest thing is a good TBC equiped VCR
also you need an external TBC like the TBC-1000
use S-video not composite

use the magnavox VCR just for rewinding tapes or checking what is on them
(saves wear on you good deck)

im not familiar with that Hauppauge device, but they do make some decent stuff
Quote:
Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
For only 35-50 tapes, it's often cheaper to pay a service to do it. Even at $30 per tape, it's less than the $$$$ you'd need to spend on good hardware.

You need:
- a high-end S-VHS VCR with TBC (clean image)
- an external TBC (clean signal)
- optional ES10, proc amp, detailer ... as determined by the quality of the tapes
- quality capture card
- lots of temp hard drive space

By the time most folks buy all these things, and pay to get them in working condition (many VCRs have issues that need repair), you're looking at about $1,000 minimum.

There's much to be said for experience, too!

Otherwise you're just making the video worse than the original tapes. With the right equipment, video can look BETTER than the original tapes.

If you want to go down this route, we can help. But pull out your bank book, either way. Video is not cheap or easy, but it can be done!

Well damn, that would defeat the purpose of me doing it myself then. I have the time but not the money, being unemployed (still ). This seems like fun stuff to get into but it seems like it would be better to look for a service in this instance. Are there any services that you recommend/know do good work? I would like to get the files in good digital format for editing purposes if possible but the most important thing is obviously preserving the memories.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
10-23-2013, 10:18 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,027
Thanked 212 Times in 190 Posts
the best service is right here - the digitalfaq site staff
just check the "our services" link up top
Reply With Quote
  #10  
10-23-2013, 10:40 PM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
the best service is right here - the digitalfaq site staff
just check the "our services" link up top
I see that there are some general prices for converting to DVDs but not for converting to AVI-MPEG, how does that price out usually? Would that be priced by VHS tape? I would like to cut and splice the files into sets myself, thus wanting the digital files themselves.

Also, forgive the question, but is there a benefit to using digitalfaq over, for example, YesVideo (costo's provider)? For clarification on this, I honestly have no idea what the pro/cons are. You guys obviously are passionate about these things, which is awesome and why I am here, so no disrespect is meant at all.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
10-23-2013, 11:13 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,917
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
We convert to AVI, MPEG, H264, Blu-ray, DVD-Video, etc. These days, most work is to lossless AVI (Huffyuv) or BD-R spec high-bitrate MPEG-2, when converting tapes. The price for direct capture is often lower, as there's no authoring/burning or supplies. You submit the hard drive to be used, and we just cap it.

YesVideo is a "bulk" distributor, and they don't have high end equipment in use. They don't closely monitor your videos one by one, and do whatever is necessary to get the best quality out of every tape. Video is not a "one size fits all" scenario, yet a bulk place like that treats it as such. We're constantly switching and rewiring gear, to use the best decks/etc for the tape. I've got an article about YesVideo somewhere, that shows the "behind the scenes" of how they work. It's the Walmart of video conversion. You could do it better yourself, with junky Best Buy gear. Sad, really.

We have very few competitors. REAL competitors. (Many folks learned what they know from us!)

After we finish capturing, we know your job isn't done. We provide long-term support (via this forum) for what comes next, be it editing, self-restoring, streaming conversion, etc. And we have many great members here (that we value a lot!) that also give good advice.

The goal is to revamp the service pages next year, with far more information. A number of long-term projects are ending this year (some started back in 2009!) and we'll have some breathing room next year.

I'm trying to help out with a project this week, right now, so I'm rushed to answer posts this week. I know you're new here, but that's a small victory for me! (Medical issues this year have kept me down. At one point, I was unsure if I could even use a computer again, much less help with some videos again!)

We'll help you do what you want, be it DIY or sending the tapes in. Just know that, for under 50 tapes (sometimes 100 tapes, if they short), DIY is just as expensive as letting somebody else do it.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #12  
10-23-2013, 11:28 PM
lordsmurf's Avatar
lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
Site Staff | Video
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 11,917
Thanked 2,170 Times in 1,870 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by volksjager View Post
if you are a savy shopper you can find these item cheaply
i got my TBC-100 for $70 shipped
i have bought high-end VCRs for dirt cheap (people who dont realize what they have)
ATI capture cards are very cheap on ebay
It used to be the case, but I'm afraid it's getting harder. With all the VCRs and TBCs "not quite right" out there, it's getting trickier than it was even 3 years ago. I too, got amazing deals back then, but I see almost none now.

A good VCR often runs $250. If getting a Panasonic, which is needed for SLP/EP and the "C" tapes, it may need repair (BEFORE YOU CAN EVEN USE IT!) for another $200-400.

The AVT-8710 is a gamble ($150-200), while the safer TBC-1000 is $250-450.

Even on a good day, we're already at $500, and that doesn't include IPS monitors, reference speakers, battery backup, TBs of hard drive space, etc. Some of those things are "optional" but pose a problem in a workflow when skimping.

The capture cards are getting sketchy too. I've seen far, far too many ATI cards arrive DOA or with issues. Not to mention you often have to build a system specifically for capturing. You're existing computer isn't the right OS, isn't good enough, or has too much other crap in the way. We have to Frankenstein some interesting things, to get what we need/want.

We're constantly afraid of something breaking around here (again!) because it's always an expensive ordeal. Hundreds of dollars and months down the drain, every time. The receipts for 2012 repairs comes out to $808. That's just repairs, not additions, replacements, etc.

It sucks.

This is why we started the Marketplace and Repair forums -- to help alleviate these issues. Or at least try to.

@volksjager, when was the last time you got those awesome deals?

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- For sale in the marketplace: TBCs, workflows, capture cards, VCRs
Reply With Quote
  #13  
10-24-2013, 01:06 AM
kpmedia's Avatar
kpmedia kpmedia is offline
Site Staff | Web Hosting, Photo
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,319
Thanked 371 Times in 340 Posts
We're not trying to be pushy here.

Do what you want, and we'll help either way. It's just that for so few tapes, it's not really a savings ... unless you get some kind of amazing deals for the TBC and the VCR, and have some of the other ideal things for a video workflow.

We hate to see people waste time + spend the same amount of money.

Be sure to read the various stickies in the workflow/capturing forums.

- Did my advice help you? Then become a Premium Member and support this site.
- Please Like Us on Facebook | Follow Us on Twitter

- Need a good web host? Ask me for help! Get the shared, VPS, semi-dedicated, cloud, or reseller you need.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
10-24-2013, 07:23 AM
dukeletoatreides dukeletoatreides is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 6
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I appreciate the responses, no pushy detected lol. I think it is looking like from all the information that to do this correctly myself will not be cost or time effective. What I will do now is return the USB-live (no other real uses for me) after I go through the tapes to get a accurate count on what we actually need converted. Then I will contact you guys to get a work quote and we will go from there. Did I miss anything?
Reply With Quote
  #15  
10-24-2013, 07:31 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
Free Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,027
Thanked 212 Times in 190 Posts
LS - i got a awesome deals just last week
i bought 2 mint SR-VD400U's $86 shipped for BOTH - even in their original boxes
got a very nice Sony DCR-TRV310 $32 shipped

a few months ago i bought a DT100U for $30 - i sold it $800
Reply With Quote
Reply




Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
1000 VHS Tapes to Digital Project sunsetandgower Project Planning, Workflows 15 07-23-2014 05:41 AM
Advice converting scientific data on S-VHS to digital? yellow_inspir Capture, Record, Transfer 4 08-24-2013 07:18 PM
Starting project, capturing videotapes to digital? Kedoch Project Planning, Workflows 13 06-16-2011 10:03 AM
8mm transfer to DVD project Rookie needs advice Riff_Raff Capture, Record, Transfer 19 07-10-2010 09:24 AM

Thread Tools



 
All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:15 PM