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VHS to DVD
Old 02-23-2012, 09:18 PM   #1
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VHS to DVD

I'm finally getting around to converting stuff I have on VHS tapes to DVD.

I have this DVD/VCR combo unit but that's too awkward to use. So instead, I also have a separate DVD recorder, so I'm doing the "press play on this machine...press record on this machine" method.

A part of me wonders if the conversion is even worth the effort and I'll be spending plenty of hours watching old tapes that I haven't seen in many years. But I guess, maybe that's the very reason to convert.
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Old 02-23-2012, 10:03 PM   #2
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Are you talking about converting home/personal videos to DVD or actual movies? I would definitely do the first one but wouldn't waste my time with the later. For the price you can rent DVD's for it's probably not worth the cost, not to mention the inferior quality of VHS. I don't think I've watched a movie in the last 3 years that wasn't in HD format or at least a good quality DVD.
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Old 02-24-2012, 05:14 AM   #3
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Are you talking about converting home/personal videos to DVD or actual movies? I would definitely do the first one but wouldn't waste my time with the later. For the price you can rent DVD's for it's probably not worth the cost, not to mention the inferior quality of VHS. I don't think I've watched a movie in the last 3 years that wasn't in HD format or at least a good quality DVD.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:06 AM   #4
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Yes. Mostly, I'm transfering stuff I've taped off the TV set over the years. The the most part, I'm just dumping what's on the tape to DVD with as little editing as possible. The advantages are one that a disc wont snap like tapes, and the convenience of fast forwarding and rewinding.
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Old 02-24-2012, 09:37 AM   #5
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worth noting... DVDs can be scratched and also have a shelf life (you can't leave them on a shelf for 15+ years an expect them to still work). The future of digital media is trending towards a file system and moving away from disc storage (like DVD and Blu-Ray).

If they are home movies, or things you want to pass down to kids and grandkids I would recommend getting the tapes copied to digital format and store them on your computers hard drive where memory is getting really cheap and reliable. Some companies will do this for a pretty low price (Ritz Camera is one of them)...
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:26 AM   #6
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I did this many years ago. I'm glad I did, but I haven't watched any of the transferred home movies for a while.

I've never watched the several TV series I've recorded, but I think I will someday.
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Old 02-24-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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I made the VHS-to-DVD conversion of all the home movies/birthday parties/etc. right after I retired. It was a real PITA process, but I'm glad I did it. I tried to do it all in time sequence so DD's growth was obvious. Interestingly, the taping pretty much stopped before she made it to middle school. I did tape some interviews with aging relatives for family history.
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Old 02-24-2012, 03:16 PM   #8
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I made the VHS-to-DVD conversion of all the home movies/birthday parties/etc. right after I retired. It was a real PITA process, but I'm glad I did it. I tried to do it all in time sequence so DD's growth was obvious. Interestingly, the taping pretty much stopped before she made it to middle school. I did tape some interviews with aging relatives for family history.
Agree about the PITA part. Just today, the taping was going fine for about 2 hours, then the dvd stops with an error message saying can't record on the disc because of some type of error. Perhaps just the disc was defective. It's like pulling teeth
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Old 02-24-2012, 06:45 PM   #9
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I copied my old VHS tapes (personal ones, not commercial) into .avi's with a little USB video capture device (including software). I used the Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture Device (from Amazon, $32 currently). It is pretty idiot proof.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:04 PM   #10
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I copied my old VHS tapes (personal ones, not commercial) into .avi's with a little USB video capture device (including software). I used the Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture Device (from Amazon, $32 currently). It is pretty idiot proof.
What a neat invention.
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Old 02-24-2012, 07:09 PM   #11
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I copied my old VHS tapes (personal ones, not commercial) into .avi's with a little USB video capture device (including software). I used the Diamond VC500 One Touch Video Capture Device (from Amazon, $32 currently). It is pretty idiot proof.
Uh huh. But where were you during the heavy lifting.
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Old 02-24-2012, 08:28 PM   #12
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Agree about the PITA part. Just today, the taping was going fine for about 2 hours, then the dvd stops with an error message saying can't record on the disc because of some type of error. Perhaps just the disc was defective. It's like pulling teeth
Heed the advice of EvrClrx311 (I quoted below with emph). Though I'd use an external drive so it isn't 'tied' to any one computer.

DVDs are old technology. You want something to move to the future. Plus, with hard drives, it's easy to make a back up. Every few years, it would be good to transfer to another drive, the magnetic ones/zeros do fade over time. Freshly formatted a drive, then copy over to it will 'refresh' all those ones/zeroes.

But you will be 100x less likely to get some kind of write error in the middle of a file with a hard drive than with a DVD. I will suggest you put the hard drive directly into a port on the computer, do not go through a hub.

(off-topic:I had to google, both "zeros" and "zeroes" are accepted plural spellings, I threw in one of each)

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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
worth noting... DVDs can be scratched and also have a shelf life (you can't leave them on a shelf for 15+ years an expect them to still work). The future of digital media is trending towards a file system and moving away from disc storage (like DVD and Blu-Ray).

If they are home movies, or things you want to pass down to kids and grandkids I would recommend getting the tapes copied to digital format and store them on your computers hard drive where memory is getting really cheap and reliable. Some companies will do this for a pretty low price (Ritz Camera is one of them)...
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:11 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by easysurfer View Post
I'm finally getting around to converting stuff I have on VHS tapes to DVD.

I have this DVD/VCR combo unit but that's too awkward to use. So instead, I also have a separate DVD recorder, so I'm doing the "press play on this machine...press record on this machine" method.

A part of me wonders if the conversion is even worth the effort and I'll be spending plenty of hours watching old tapes that I haven't seen in many years. But I guess, maybe that's the very reason to convert.
easysurfer, I don't know what kind of device you have which is awkward, but the ones I've used are simple to operate. Place a DVD in the DVD drive. Place the rewound VHS tape in the tape slot. Play the VHS until where you want to start recording. Push pause tape and then hit the dubbing button. Probably a good idea to be sure the tape is tracking properly from time to time. Only trick after that is to remember to finalize the DVD or set the unit to automatically finalize.

I have done the tape machine to DVD recorder myself when the tape half of the recorder was on the fritz. Works okay too.

Agreed that DVD is "ancient", but I have a backlog of VHS tapes (primarily from Goodwill and Salvation army, etc.) which I want to "condense". No guarantee any of the disks will ever be watched but they will take up a lot less room. YMMV
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Old 02-25-2012, 06:16 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by EvrClrx311 View Post
worth noting... DVDs can be scratched and also have a shelf life (you can't leave them on a shelf for 15+ years an expect them to still work). The future of digital media is trending towards a file system and moving away from disc storage (like DVD and Blu-Ray).

If they are home movies, or things you want to pass down to kids and grandkids I would recommend getting the tapes copied to digital format and store them on your computers hard drive where memory is getting really cheap and reliable. Some companies will do this for a pretty low price (Ritz Camera is one of them)...
Good point on DVD storage and good advice on converting to digital format for storage.
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Old 02-25-2012, 08:55 AM   #15
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Another plus to recording to a HD is the ability to edit commercials, adjust volume, and such. As if the recording process is not l-o-n-g enough...
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Old 02-25-2012, 11:11 AM   #16
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easysurfer, I don't know what kind of device you have which is awkward, but the ones I've used are simple to operate. Place a DVD in the DVD drive. Place the rewound VHS tape in the tape slot. Play the VHS until where you want to start recording. Push pause tape and then hit the dubbing button. Probably a good idea to be sure the tape is tracking properly from time to time. Only trick after that is to remember to finalize the DVD or set the unit to automatically finalize.

I have done the tape machine to DVD recorder myself when the tape half of the recorder was on the fritz. Works okay too.

Agreed that DVD is "ancient", but I have a backlog of VHS tapes (primarily from Goodwill and Salvation army, etc.) which I want to "condense". No guarantee any of the disks will ever be watched but they will take up a lot less room. YMMV
The DVD/VCR combo I have is made by GoVideo. I think the cumbersome part may be with the use of the remote and switching back and forth as to which (dvd or vcr) is active at a certain time. It does have a copy button too.

At the moment, I'm using the GoVideo as a VCR player, which is hooked up to my other DVD recorder (Toshiba).

Amazon.com: Toshiba DR430KU DVD Recorder - Black: Electronics

I really like the Toshiba. It's a recorder only (not a tuner, no VCR) but I find the menu's very user friendly.

So far, only had that one bad disc, so other than that, the transfering is humming along.

Yes, I do understand that DVDs are already not the latest and greatest. But I can live with that. When done, I'll still keep most of the old tapes in a box stored somewhere. That'll be my backup.
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