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Old Nov 27, 04, 4:33 am   #1
 
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Best way to convert VHS to DVD?

What is the best way to convert VHS tapes to DVD or VCDs? Between DVD and VCD, is the end picture quality the same?

I was thinking about buying a DVD recorder and plugging in a VCR and recording it. Is that a good way?

We don't have any desktop computers just laptops with CD-RWs and external DVD burner. So we CANNOT buy a PCI graphics that would feed a VCR signal in.

We also have over 50 tapes to convert, so we don't want to send it in to be done since it is cost prohibitive.

Any thoughts?

Thanks.
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Old Nov 27, 04, 6:52 am   #2
 
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I bought a DVD recorder for the same purpose. It works great. Time consuming to copy all the VHS tapes - but the end result is good.

I don't know anything about VCD's or the quality comparison. I do believe though that when you are starting with a VHS quality recording you will not improve it by copying it to DVD or VCD. You will still have VHS quality.
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Old Nov 27, 04, 9:16 am   #3
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagold
I was thinking about buying a DVD recorder and plugging in a VCR and recording it. Is that a good way?
That's what I did, and it's the easiest way as far as I can tell.

Quote:
I do believe though that when you are starting with a VHS quality recording you will not improve it by copying it to DVD or VCD. You will still have VHS quality.
I think my DVDs look better than most of the average, clear VHSs I copied from. Of course, if it's a bad VHS, DVD won't make it superior.
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Old Nov 27, 04, 9:49 am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagold
What is the best way to convert VHS tapes to DVD or VCDs?
For DVDs, the easiest by far is to purchase a stand-alone DVD recorder. Just plug in the cables from the VCR into the DVDR, hit play on the VCR and record on the DVDR and off you go!

Much, much easier then copying them to the computer, first. While the computer lets you do fancy menus and such, it's just such a pain compared to doing it direct.

Not sure if all DVD recorders can also record VCDs. I have an early Phillips model (DVR-985) and I am pretty sure it cannot. So you might have to use a computer for that.


Quote:
Between DVD and VCD, is the end picture quality the same?
VCD uses MPEG-1. DVD uses MPEG-2. MPEG-2 is much better quality then MPEG-1. Now, we're talking VHS masters, here, so quality is probably not going to be that different between the two, but the advantage of DVD is it will play in most DVD players. While most DVDPs also play VCDs (since they are huge in China and that is where most of the DVDPs are manufactured), I'd recommend sticking with DVDs.


Quote:
We don't have any desktop computers just laptops with CD-RWs and external DVD burner. So we CANNOT buy a PCI graphics that would feed a VCR signal in.
You can use the ATI USB Wonder video tuner/grabber. Also, Haupauge (sic) makes external USB 2.0 tuner/grabbers. Heck, you can even get external USB 2.0 HDTV tuners, now.
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Old Nov 27, 04, 9:54 am   #5
 
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VCD is a format

VCD is a recording format, that is all. You can put them on CD's or DVD media, depending on how much space you need.

I would go with above poster and pickup a relatively nice DVD recorder. You can get these now for 200$ or less. In addition do helping do this one time task of copying your VHS tapes to DVD, you can then use the device for recording shows, using it like a TIVO (in fact, many DVD recorders come with TIVO functionality built in)

A step up, would be to find one with a hard drive, that can store like a TIVO AND record to DVD media.

for the 50$ you might pay for a device to do the recording, that could be applied to a real usefull appliance.

If you want to, there is a PCMCIA card for the laptop that would allow you to input the RCA cables to the laptop from the VCR, and play THROUGH the laptop and burn TO the DVD recorder you have. A google search should yield a result.

Last edited by nmenaker; Nov 27, 04 at 9:56 am. Reason: missed infor
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Old Dec 1, 04, 7:51 am   #6
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions!

Went out and bought a DVD recorder. Now I tried to record and it says the input is copy protected. We have a bunch of legit VHS tapes that we are trying to convert to DVD and throw away the VHS tapes.

Any thoughts on how to get around the copy protection? The message comes on when I hit the record button on the DVD recorder.
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Old Dec 1, 04, 8:17 am   #7
 
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bagold - try this: http://www.xdimax.com/dvd/dvdredpro.html
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Old Dec 1, 04, 8:33 am   #8
 
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Thanks Steve 100

I too would like to transfer some "protected" movie video's to DVD. Have you used this yourself? Is it simple and failproof - or do some movies have blocking programming that it can't ignore? I do have one of the listed Philips recorders so would expect it to work.
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Old Dec 1, 04, 10:40 am   #9
 
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ah, macrovision

Quote:
Originally Posted by bagold
Thanks for all the suggestions!

Went out and bought a DVD recorder. Now I tried to record and it says the input is copy protected. We have a bunch of legit VHS tapes that we are trying to convert to DVD and throw away the VHS tapes.

Any thoughts on how to get around the copy protection? The message comes on when I hit the record button on the DVD recorder.

Ah, you have discovered macrovision. This protects content in a coupon of ways, sometimes locking out the outputs, sometimes, making the image all blurry or BLUE.

You can defeat this with a computer, easilly but I do not know how to do it simply between two devices. VHS to DVD recorder.

if doing it with a program like dvddecrypter one simply cracks the macrovision for the time of tranasfer.

Now, from a DRM or MIAA standpoint, this is illegal. However, as an owner of the product, I still have the opinion that I can manipulate it for personal use only.

decrypting works nicely with "owned" DVD's, but I have never tried it with VHS tapes.
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Old Dec 1, 04, 12:18 pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bagold
Now I tried to record and it says the input is copy protected. We have a bunch of legit VHS tapes that we are trying to convert to DVD and throw away the VHS tapes. Any thoughts on how to get around the copy protection?
As nmenaker noted, the DVD Recorders will not work if they receive a Macrovision-encrypted signal.

So, as steve100 noted, you need to get a device that will strip the Macrovision signal from the VHS tape before the signal gets to the DVD Recorder so the DVD Recorder assumes it is receiving an un-protected source.

The devices probably run afoul of some anti-piracy/copyright act or another, but if you own the original content and it is not available on DVD yet, I don't see a problem. I recorded my LD of "Shoes of the Fisherman" to DVD+R because it is not yet available (I am hoping now that Sony bought MGM for their film library, both "Shoes" and "The Wind and the Lion" will quickly be released to DVD). Same with the "Mk I" releases of the Star Wars trilogy, since they will never be released on DVD.

Oddly enough, ßeta decks ignored Macrovision, even though they did encode the signal. So I could make ßeta copies of Macrovision-encypted VHS tapes with no issue, but my DVD Recorder barfed when I tried to record the ßeta copy since the signal was still there.
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Old Dec 1, 04, 6:18 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GDIW
I bought a DVD recorder for the same purpose. It works great. Time consuming to copy all the VHS tapes - but the end result is good.
Remeber this just a few days ago..........well Murphy must have been reading FT because the DVDR will no longer record! Says Disc Warning then Disc Error then forgets what ever it had been putting on the disc. The Phillips Customer Service tells me it needs new heads? Thought the thing worked with a laser? Probably more expensive than it is worth so am considering a new one.

So many of you that have replied here seem to know all the details of these things so please advise -

I have come across this DVD information at Best Buy that I will paste below. It claims to record to a hard drive and then to the DVD+R disc. It doesn't mention needing a Tivo subscription or similar. Does anyone have any information about this type of unit? And/or recommendations of which one to buy?

Thank you.

Philips Progressive-Scan DVD+R/+RW Recorder with 120GB Hard Disk/i.LINK DV Input

Model: HDRW720



This DVD recorder lets you store up to 190 hours worth of your favorite TV shows, movies and sporting events on the hard disk drive. Record the programming onto DVD+R/+RW discs and you'll compile a DVD library for the ages.

Built-in 120GB hard disk drive (HDD) for up to 190 hours of TV recording
Pause live TV or watch an instant replay at any time without missing any of the programming
Progressive-scan video output maximizes the picture quality when used with a digital TV or monitor


Last edited by GDIW; Dec 2, 04 at 6:52 am.
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