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VHS to DVD Conversion


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19 replies to this topic

#1 palliser

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 02:17 PM

From the ads on television, it appears that home DVD recorders which will permit one to copy analog VHS tapes to DVD are now available. Since tape is such an unstable medium and those of us who collect ballet tapes have some over twenty years old, I am wondering if anyone else has been tempted and if so, has any information to share regarding the best DVD recorder to buy.

#2 rg

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Posted 09 October 2002 - 06:54 PM

from my more knowledgeable friends i hear that yes the technology is indeed here. blank disks i gather can still be rather pricey, AND i'm told that a better method - something called 'blue somethingorother' - is just around the corner and that it might be worthwhile to hold off still more and get this improved method of transfer from video tape to CD. but as i say i have no first hand info. i think there are some on this site who are already making transfers from tape to disk so they might have far more reliable and helpful information.

#3 palliser

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 12:00 AM

Thank you, RG. I have heard of a kind of wireless connectivity called "bluetooth". Is that perhaps what you have heard of? The available recorders are in the $800 range, so there is reason enough to wait a while, as these prices always drop. I am really in the information-gathering stage and grateful for you input.

#4 Mel Johnson

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Posted 10 October 2002 - 02:37 AM

One problem with all electronic measures for recording information, whether audio or video, is that no medium is truly archival! Film can last for a very long time, but tape is only good for about ten years, tops, before massive losses in fidelity happen, and CDs have a longer life, but not that much longer. Alas, the archival digital medium has yet to appear.

#5 photoguy

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Posted 16 October 2002 - 04:41 AM

Following on from Mel Johnson's post regarding CD life...

This web page has some surprising information regarding CD's (and, I guess, DVDs):

http://www.archives....l/careofcds.htm

#6 Bayadere

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Posted 30 November 2002 - 03:53 PM

I would not invest any time or money in DVD burners right now. Indeed, DVD burners transfer VHS to DVD. So far, I have only experimented with VHS to CD (which holds only a fraction of data). I would hold off on buying a DVD burner as the formatting is not consistent between brands. So, you may burn a DVD today and not be able to play it except on your current system. And if your current system breaks down, you may not be able to play your DVDs elsewhere. I've read that the manufacturers are close to standardizing the formats. That would be the time to buy and invest the time to transfer your priceless VHS collection to DVD.

#7 palliser

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Posted 01 December 2002 - 02:32 AM

Thank you, Bayadere. That sounds like prudent advice. Perhaps next year . . .

#8 citibob

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Posted 01 December 2002 - 05:55 AM

Today's iMacs with SuperDrive can burn DVD's; a system with such capabilities costs about $2000. You can also do it with PC's, but the PC is more trouble than it's worth compared with the iMac.

To burn the DVD on the iMac, you have to first get the movie into a digital form. That can be done by many Mini-DV cameras today. You plug the VCR into the analog input of the camera, and you plug the camera into the computer with a FireWire cable. Again, it's easy with an iMac. The camera will cost you about $500 today.

So with those two pieces of equipment --- a camera and an iMac --- you can do VHS-DVD transfer. This is the system that many professional videographers and moviemakers use these days; it is a WHOLE lot cheaper than the old methods involving film.

Since the format of the DVD depends on the software in the iMac, I would expect that future DVD formats could be supported by a change in the iMac software.

That is a lot to spend just for transfer. But the combination can do a whole lot more, as well: make home videos, read email, store your CD collection, word processing, etc.

#9 Bayadere

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Posted 01 December 2002 - 06:38 AM

It sounds like you need more equipment to do a video transfer with an iMac. PCs just require a Video Recorder to be plugged into the PC for VHS to DVD transfer. I don't even own a camera, and I have already done transfers directly from my VCR to my PC (and CDs) using Videowave.

#10 citibob

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Posted 01 December 2002 - 07:04 AM

I see. So the setup you have on the PC does analog-to-digital transfer right on some card you have plugged into the PC? In that case, I suppose a camera would not be needed.

#11 Guest_ajoyjoie_*

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Posted 09 December 2002 - 07:04 PM

I own a stand-alone dvd recorder. I have many figure skating tapes dating back to 1984 that I'm transferring to dvd from vhs at the moment. I have made copies of my dvds to other people around the world, and they can play the dvds fine without any problems. I like the dvd format b/c in figure skating and in ballet, you can rewind and rewatch certain parts of a program/performance over and over and not worry about the tape wearing out and becoming blurry like what a vhs tape does. most newer dvd players out there (up to 2 years old) can play the dvd-r format. But you have to really make sure that your dvd player can play a dvd-r disk. It usually says so in the front of your dvd player and in the manual somewhere. Also, take into account the different dvd media--- dvd-r, dvd+r, dvd-ram, dvd-rw, dvd+rw, etc. Most of the players in the US play the dvd-r format. Also certain brands of the dvd media don't work on certain dvd players. I own 2 dvd players. I have had this happen to me twice where if I rented a dvd from a video store and tried to play it on one dvd player, it wouldn't play. But if I played it in my other dvd player, it did play. All dvd players will have some type of compatibility issue. That's just how they are designed. That's b/c there isn't one univeral model/type of a dvd player/recorder out there. So be careful on that one. And if you look really well, you can purchase a dvd recorder online for half the cost that they sell in the stores. I bought my dvd recorder online for $325 USD. This was a NEW dvd recorder in its still unopened box. It retailed around $799 in the stores. Definitely a great buy!

#12 Jack Reed

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Posted 19 December 2002 - 04:41 PM

ajoyjoie, would you like to tell us what make and model DVD recorder you bought and what online vendor you bought it from? It looks like you got a great buy all right!

Also, I understand new eMacs start at about $1300, and I would think they had video inputs, making a third piece of hardware unnecessary. But a friend has recently bought a DVD recorder for $300, so it appears the time has about come.

#13 Guest_ajoyjoie_*

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Posted 31 December 2002 - 01:45 AM

>>>ajoyjoie, would you like to tell us what make and model DVD recorder you bought and what online vendor you bought it from? It looks like you got a great buy all right!>>>


I bought a Panasonic DMR-E30. It's the greatest/best thing that I ever own! LOL!

#14 BilboBaggins

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Posted 08 January 2003 - 02:58 PM

Looks like all the technology experts have commented, so I'll only add a few brief facts:

"Bluetooth" is a standardized way of allowing devices to communicate (usually two way) via infra-red beams, so you don't need the various specialized cables, connectors, etc., and so speed and compatibility become much easier to deal with. There are already bluetooth compatible cell phones, printers, scanners, digital cameras, videocamera, etc. Bluetooth is not unique to the video / CD conversion process, but obviously makes it much easier to do ...

The format issue of the CD (if you're recording audio only) or DVD is critical to compatibility and also to economy. Basically, almost every CD/DVD player will play DVD-R, so that is the format you will be most successful with ... The others, DVD-RW, etc. -- proceed at your own risk. It may work with the equipment you have today, but there is no guarantee it will play on your friend's system or on the bigger, better system you buy in 3 years ...

BB

#15 Giannina

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Posted 21 January 2003 - 07:54 AM

This thread is so technical that I can't understand half of it so forgive this question. I hope I can phrase it so that it makes sense.
I have a new Panasonic DVR-E30. In transferring tapes to discs I get a wide range of quality, from great to ho-hum. I'd like to know exactly what I'm recording: the actual tape itself or the quality of the recording my VCR provides?

Giannina


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