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11-17-2016, 09:43 PM
Phaaze Phaaze is offline
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I've been scouring the forums for a few hours now and have to say that I've learned quite a bit. However, I'm not much closer to making a decision on what products I should buy to get started in digitizing my VHS tapes. I have about 300 VHS tapes taking up a lot of room in storage boxes, many of the tapes are not labeled, and most of them, I believe, can be thrown away as they're just recorded shows and stuff. However, there are some that are home videos that I'd like to digitize.

I'm in the US, so I'd be looking at NTSC from what I have read and understood. I'd prefer to be able to do this work on my desktop which is running an ASUS P8Z68 Deluxe motherboard which unfortunately doesn't have AGP. However, I want to feel comfortable with being able to throw away the VHS tapes when I'm done, so I want to have very good quality, if not lossless, digital copies. That said, I do have another machine with AGPs but it's very old and very slow.

That said, I have a few questions:

1) What is a fast way to safely (without increasing the chance of a tape getting 'eaten') to go through the tapes to see if there's anything worth keeping on them? Would watching the tape on fast forward be my best option? Does it increase the risk of losing it?

2) Is the difference between the ATI 600 USB2 and the ATI AIW cards truly noticeable or would I likely be more than satisfied going the USB route?

3) I saw this thread suggesting various VCRs but it doesn't really mention the differences between each model. Any personal suggestions as to which one I should shop for?

4) How do I know if the VCR has TBC or not?

5) Should I get an external TBC device? Would it be better than one built into the VCR and if so what should I be looking for when shopping for such a device for my purpose?

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11-20-2016, 01:08 AM
latreche34 latreche34 is online now
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The VCR should have TBC button in the front panel if equipped, S-VHS with TBC is the best option, External TBC or in line TBC a.k.a full frame TBC only required if tape has tracking errors, They are not cheap so try without it and if you need it you can buy it later, I'm not an experienced person to suggest what S-VHS VCR is the best but it really depends on the type of tapes you have, in other words; tape formulation, hardware recorded on, source of materials recorded...etc.
Try to capture lossless using virtualDub with one of the lossless compressors such as HuffYUV and store in a hard drive for later edit/playback/sharing.
Any USB/Card capture device should do fine as long as you don't use the software that comes with but experts in this forum may suggest some devices over others and also depends on what OS you are using.

This subject has been beaten to death in all A/V forums so reading is your best bet.
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12-03-2016, 06:48 PM
jnielsen jnielsen is offline
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Re. 1. Just wind, play, wind, play, or better capture it all and look at the small thumnails in the capture/editing program to get an overview of what to cut away.

Re 3. I like the Panasonic NV-HS960 or 930 ( PAL models ) with TBC and NR (can be switched off), I have also tried the very recommended HS1000 ( NTSC AG-1980P ) but I found the built in noise reduction too heavy. Also these high end models are very expensive and often very worn out. They seems to "circulate" on ebay.

Re 5. I have a Panasonic DMR-ES10 DVD-recorder that I use as pass through. I have very good results with that, it stabilizes the picture and also has some noise reduction. For old noisy worn out tapes it is really good. Very stable picture. For tapes in very good condition a VCR with built in TBC is better, because they do not need so much TBC and NR as the ES10 supplies.

If time is an issue and you will only do basic editing (cutting out parts). consider capturing to MPEG2 directly.
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The following users thank jnielsen for this useful post: mohammad84 (12-26-2016)

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