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  #1  
02-28-2013, 11:41 AM
cruise1616 cruise1616 is offline
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Hello! New poster here and finding this forum to be a wealth of helpful information. I am about to embark on a major project of digitizing 150 tapes of old home movies dated from 1980 through 2006 that span multiple formats (VHS, Video8, VHS-C, MiniDV). Seeing how this will be a time-consuming task, I want to get the best recorded quality possible for a moderate budget ($500 to $700 for equipment). Equally as important, I want to make all efforts to avoid these tapes getting eaten during the process because I won't hear the end of it during the holidays if I destroyed the classic tape of Christmas 1983.

From everything I have read, the playback device is critical to this kind of project and I was hoping I could get the forum's advice in this area. I am currently leaning towards a Panasonic AG-1980 + a JVC C-P7U adapter because 80% of my tapes are old VHS or VHS-C. My impression from the forum is that the AG-1980 shines with old VHS playback and doesn't have the JVC risk of eating tapes.

Advice on the best playback device for old VHS and VHS-C is of greatest importance. Any comments on my Video8/MiniDV playback devices (already purchased) as well as my workflow would also be appreciated.

For your reference, I have laid out my workflow and a breakdown for the different tape format groups in my home movie collection below. Thanks in advance, everyone!


Current Workflow
Playback Device (Will add a TBC if necessary) --> ADVC110 --> Macbook with 4G RAM and 2.4 Ghz processor

FYI, I want to edit/clean up the videos in Final Cut, so computer capture the preferred route.


Tape Collection Format Groups
VHS >> 40% of Tape Collection >> Dated mostly 1980 - 1988 with some 1990s >> Fuji, Kodak, Sony, Maxell & Scotch tapes (in order of most to least) >> Playback Device: TBD?????

Video8 >> 15% of Tape Collection >> Dated 1989 - 1993 >> TDK and Polaroid tapes (about half & half) >> Playback Device: Sony CCD-TRV62 camcorder (Not original camcorder, but tapes were recorded on a similar Sony Handycam; Recently bought it on Ebay)

VHS-C >> 40% of Tape Collection >> Dated 1993 - 2004 >> Primarily JVC tapes >> Playback Device: TBD?????

MiniDV >> 5% of Tape Collection >> Dated 2005 - 2006 >> Fuji tapes >> Playback Device: Sony DCR-HC32 camcorder (Not original camcorder, but tapes were recorded on a DCR-HC21; Recently bought it on Ebay)
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  #2  
02-28-2013, 01:41 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the AG-1980 is your best bet for the VHS - just make sure to get one in 100% working order.
the CCD-TRV62 is a great cam - use it and make sure the TBC and DNR are turned on
the MINI-DV cam is fine too.
how many VHS-C tapes do you have? if only a few re-spool them on the full size VHS shells
if alot use the JVC powered adapter in the AG-1980
use S-video cables with all

it is preferred to capture with a Windows PC and with an ATI capture card
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  #3  
02-28-2013, 04:07 PM
cruise1616 cruise1616 is offline
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Thanks so much for the quick feedback. The VHS-C group actually has the most tapes of the lot (58 tapes total), so I will go with the JVC adapter. Glad to hear the camcorders are well-regarded.

Buying a PC and a supplemental capture card would blow my budget...is going the ADVC110/Mac route poor quality or just generally less optimal than PC/ATI? I'd like to stick with the Mac if possible.

Sounds like the AG-1980 could be a good fit. Are there any sellers on Ebay you would recommend (I've seen several that are "refurbished" but am not sure how much weight that should carry without a voucher for the seller)?
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02-28-2013, 04:18 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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i have never owned a Macs and probably never will, but some of the experts here say that macs are not as good for video and im quite sure that canopus device isnt ideal either
hopefully someone else will chime in on that.


the only 2 Ebay sellers i could recommend (other than myself ) is Southern Advantage and MHtradingpost

i had 2 really nice ones i just sold to a forum member.
i dont have any at the present but should be getting at least 2 and hopefully 4 soon.
but i need to fully check them out before selling them.
2 that im trying to get came from a church and should be in nice shape.
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03-05-2013, 04:35 PM
cruise1616 cruise1616 is offline
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Thanks again for your help. Let me know if any AG-1980s come your way. In the meantime, I am going to scour Ebay as I'd like to get this project up & running sooner rather than later.
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03-05-2013, 05:46 PM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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i just got 2 ag-1980's in today
i am running a test tape in 1 now.
it is very clean inside and and the digital display is nice and bright.
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  #7  
03-05-2013, 07:26 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cruise1616 View Post
Hello! New poster here and finding this forum to be a wealth of helpful information.
Welcome.

Quote:
I am about to embark on a major project of digitizing 150 tapes of old home movies dated from 1980 through 2006 that span multiple formats (VHS, Video8, VHS-C, MiniDV). Seeing how this will be a time-consuming task, I want to get the best recorded quality possible for a moderate budget ($500 to $700 for equipment). Equally as important, I want to make all efforts to avoid these tapes getting eaten during the process because I won't hear the end of it during the holidays if I destroyed the classic tape of Christmas 1983.
Excellent. Glad to hear it!

Quote:
From everything I have read, the playback device is critical to this kind of project and I was hoping I could get the forum's advice in this area. I am currently leaning towards a Panasonic AG-1980 + a JVC C-P7U adapter because 80% of my tapes are old VHS or VHS-C. My impression from the forum is that the AG-1980 shines with old VHS playback and doesn't have the JVC risk of eating tapes.
Correct.

Quote:
Advice on the best playback device for old VHS and VHS-C is of greatest importance. Any comments on my Video8/MiniDV playback devices (already purchased) as well as my workflow would also be appreciated.
A good Hi8 camera with TBC. There are several. NJRoadfan made a guide on the forum; search for it.

Quote:
Current Workflow
Playback Device (Will add a TBC if necessary) --> ADVC110 --> Macbook with 4G RAM and 2.4 Ghz processor
FYI, I want to edit/clean up the videos in Final Cut, so computer capture the preferred route.
A Canopus ADVC device is the weak link in your chain, if this is NTSC video. I cheated, looked up your IP (admins can see it), and you're in the USA. That probably means NTSC. You're going to capture everything with 4:1:1, which is half the color resolution present on the tape (4:2:2). Not greta.

Now, I like Mac. I have one. I have an iPad, too. Others here have various iDevices, and they're great at the tasks they were bought for. But for capturing video, they're pretty crappy. That's because you have limited choices in capture devices, most of them DV workflows. The ideal thing to do is have a Windows XP machine for capture, using the better cards. Ironically, most of them are cheaper than the Canopus box.

Quote:
Tape Collection Format Groups
VHS >> 40% of Tape Collection >> Dated mostly 1980 - 1988 with some 1990s >> Fuji, Kodak, Sony, Maxell & Scotch tapes (in order of most to least) >> Playback Device: TBD?????
Those are thankfully good tapes. A JVC VCRs tends to be best for non-VHSC tapes. But if you can get one, get the Panasonic. Just know that a JVC tends to be cleaner. However, the Panasonic plays most EP/SLP better. There lots of caveats to video: there's not clear-cut advice or answers.

Quote:
MiniDV >> 5% of Tape Collection >> Dated 2005 - 2006 >> Fuji tapes >> Playback Device: Sony DCR-HC32 camcorder (Not original camcorder, but tapes were recorded on a DCR-HC21; Recently bought it on Ebay)
Any DV camera tends to be fine. The data is digital, not analog. It's there or not.

Hope that helps.

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  #8  
03-08-2013, 10:16 PM
cruise1616 cruise1616 is offline
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Thank you so much for the advice! Based on both your and Volksjager's feedback, it sounds like Macs are definitely out of favor for VHS capture. I can't afford a new Windows PC for such a purpose, but may be able to get a ~2009 Emachine from a family member whose specs may be adequate (~2.5 GHz and 2 GB RAM) for capture with an ATI card.

I know that there are some posts on capture cards, but they seem non-current and I imagine such information becomes obsolete quickly. Seems like ATI is the winner based on what I have read. Could you do me a favor and let me know the model number for the most-recent good quality ATI card? Thanks.
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  #9  
03-09-2013, 07:11 AM
volksjager volksjager is offline
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the info has not changed -
the best capture cards are the older ATI All-in -wonders for XP
of the ATI600USB for vista or 7
the specs are adequate on that emachine PC.
is it XP, Vista or 7 ?
does it have an AGP or a PCI-E slot?
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  #10  
03-12-2013, 01:49 AM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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You don't need a new one. Anything from the past 10 years should work -- Pentium 4 2.5Ghz or higher.
AGP, PCI, PCI-E, and USB2 cards from ATI work.

I'll sell you one for $50 -- I have extras. You can get an ATI card for about $50. So under $100 gets what you need. (Sans case; $20 for one of those.)

Get the old one from family if you can.

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home movies, panasonic ag-1980, playback, vhs capture

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