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Topic: Video encoding for dummies (Read 5889 times) previous topic - next topic
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Video encoding for dummies

I have some old VHS tapes which must be digitalized before it's too late. However, I know nothing about video encoding. I'm looking for suggestions for software (preferably free) to record A/V onto my computer and subsequently making DVDs, or - which is perhaps easier - maybe someone could recommend a reliable Internet forum where I could find related info on this subject.

Thanks in advance!

Video encoding for dummies

Reply #1
Have you tried Doom9 forums which is often referred to here?

You might need extra hardware to record the video, or you might be able to use a digital video recorder (e.g. recordable DVD player or hard-disc player) to record it to DVD-type format (MPEG-2 video in VOB wrapper), as I have done for camcorder (VHS-C) input.

Other basic advice would include cleaning the tape heads on the VHS player and retaining the original captured video even if you process it further once it's on your PC.
Dynamic – the artist formerly known as DickD

Video encoding for dummies

Reply #2
The best way to encode will also depend on what you want to do with it on your computer.

If it's a home movie, and you want to take advantage of having it on the computer to edit or touch it up, then you should bring it into the computer as DV, not MPEG-2 (the latter being a pain to edit).  If you just want it straight from tape to DVD, the easiest method would probably be to hook up your VCR to a DVD recorder and copy it as if you were going from tape to tape.

In the case of converting it to DV, you should try to find a video equipment store that rents out stuff, and see if they've got a Canopus ADVC-110 or similar thing.

Video encoding for dummies

Reply #3
If you want to transfer VHS to DVD, you may also want to consider a DVD/VCR combo that will record VHS tapes on to a DVD-R.

Video encoding for dummies

Reply #4
If you want to transfer VHS to DVD, you may also want to consider a DVD/VCR combo that will record VHS tapes on to a DVD-R.

That's what I use to transfer my VHS tapes to DVD-R.

I have several hundred VHS tapes of recorded movies and special events made over the past decade.

What I did was purchase a new VHS VCR for about $40 USD and a DVD-R recorder for $60 USD.  Both were purchased at Wal-Mart.

I also purchased 2 cake boxes (100 pack) of blank DVD-R media for about $20 USD each.  In essence, each VHS tape will get it's own DVD-R to transfer to and save.

I used a Composite Video and RCA Stereo cable dubbing set to pipe the output from the VCR to one of the DVD-R recorder's inputs.

I match the VHS recording mode to the DVD-R recorder mode.  Thus, a VHS tape recorded in SP mode (120 minutes) is copied with the DVD-R set to SP mode (120 min).  Same with LP (240 min) and EP (360 min).

After each VHS->DVD transfer, I make sure to finalize the DVD-R so that it can be played in regular standalone and PC DVD players.

I transfer about 12 hours worth of VHS video per day.  So, that's either 2 VHS tapes (if both were recorded in EP mode) or up to 6 VHS tapes (if each recorded in SP mode).

I've gone through about half my collection since the beginning of the year.

Video encoding for dummies

Reply #5
The forums have lots of useful information, though some of the regulars seem fanatically supportive of their way of doing things.