Way OT.. Advice on transferring old VHS-R camcorder video tapes to a computer
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    Default Way OT.. Advice on transferring old VHS-R camcorder video tapes to a computer

    I did do a search of the site before starting this thread and didn't find anything. I realize this is WAY off topic to ask here but you guys know everything so here goes.

    We have about 15 or 20 old VHS-R camcorder cassette tapes of when my kids were little that I'd need to somehow transfer to my laptop then backup on a external hard drive. The camcorder has female red, yellow and white RCA jacks to use with a male RCA cable so you watch the tapes on a TV. I'm going to buy a male RCA to male USB cable to hook to the laptop but how do I capture or record the video on the laptop? Will Windows media player record the video or do I need some video recording/editing software? Has anyone ever done this? This is the cable I was going to order will it work? Thank you!

    Brent

    StarTech.com Composite to USB Video Capture - S Video Converter / Analog to Digital Video Adapter with TWAIN and Mac Support (SVID2USB23) Amazon.com: StarTech.com Composite to USB Video Capture - S Video Converter / Analog to Digital Video Adapter with TWAIN and Mac Support (SVID2USB23): Electronics

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    Quote Originally Posted by yardbird View Post
    I did do a search of the site before starting this thread and didn't find anything. I realize this is WAY off topic to ask here but you guys know everything so here goes.

    We have about 15 or 20 old VHS-R camcorder cassette tapes of when my kids were little that I'd need to somehow transfer to my laptop then backup on a external hard drive. The camcorder has female red, yellow and white RCA jacks to use with a male RCA cable so you watch the tapes on a TV. I'm going to buy a male RCA to male USB cable to hook to the laptop but how do I capture or record the video on the laptop? Will Windows media player record the video or do I need some video recording/editing software? Has anyone ever done this? This is the cable I was going to order will it work? Thank you!

    Brent

    StarTech.com Composite to USB Video Capture - S Video Converter / Analog to Digital Video Adapter with TWAIN and Mac Support (SVID2USB23) Amazon.com: StarTech.com Composite to USB Video Capture - S Video Converter / Analog to Digital Video Adapter with TWAIN and Mac Support (SVID2USB23): Electronics
    Uhhhh.. Hong Kong.. and the way its better-off folks travel globally.. the "good stuff" to have, and we HAD it "in depth".. were multi-protocol boxes.

    We had to handle US NTSC, British PAL, German PAL, French SECAM, and some other SECAM (I think there are SEVEN flavours?).

    Media included the big Laser Disk, Video CD, CD-Video, DVD, VHS and Beta-Cam. Just in the family.

    "At the Office?" OTOH? We sent all that stuff out to a studio that specialized in converting "whatever you HAD" to "Whatever you WANTED".

    That pro third-party route is the better way to go if you have 20-odd to convert. You can get it back on more than one storage medium, for example, DVD AND a USB stick, CF, or USB/Thunderbolt HDD or SSD.

    Folks who do it all day, every day, will be better able to handle the protocol conversion as well as the storage media conversions.

    It's one of those things as was worth messing with when all that gear was in side-by-side use or in gradual transition 'coz the cameras and such were very expensive, and we were all buying different ones, or more than one.

    It is NO LONGER worth "tooling up" for it, cheap as the new stuff is today, and as readily transferred as modern file formats are with software tools that recognize and auto-adapt to make if JFW even in a handheld.

    So yah, you can do it, but when, next, will you need to do it again, and is it really worth the learning-curve and overall bother?

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    Canopus had a variety of cards that would do this for you - analog-to-digital. A couple that sat in an expansion slot and a couple that were external. The externals were just the same thing in a box with a power supply. Pretty simple.

    There were a few competitors too but I forget the names. You can probably find one on fleabay or craigslist for a hunnerd bucks or so. The better ones cost more (as usual).

    Anyhoo, search 'analog-digital video' or 'a to d video' and you'll come up with several choices.

    Or, as therm says, have someone do it. 15 to 20 might be the borderline of making sense to do it yourself ...

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    Or, as therm says, have someone do it. 15 to 20 might be the borderline of making sense to do it yourself ...
    The MAIN driver for third-party isn't the protocols or file-formats or encoding or compression or compensation or ... schemes.

    It's that you've "rediscovered" the media of Beta-Max, VHS, mini-wotever versions years AFTER the hardware to even MOUNT the obsolete media has gone dead, scrapped, or of degraded performance as is going to diminish the quality of the transfer.

    A "studio" has a revenue stream as makes it worth keeping what was usually a higher-grade professional rig to begin with in working order.

    Cost? No Fine Idea.

    Novation of Salon Films first Digital Multi Media studio, Hong Kong, technical build out, then finding a competent Director to RUN it, was one of my first Consulting Projects after leaving C&W. Done well enough to sort of get meself "adopted", so I didn't really even have to ASK!


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    well, would appear having one tape transferred costs more than buying the widget

    read the reviews of the various devices on amazomn, many of them are junk with fake puffed up reviews.

    many identical ones have better apparent reviews than the one you chose

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    Quote Originally Posted by gustafson View Post
    many identical ones have better apparent reviews than the one you chose
    Could be ... but I figured a recommendation to pick up a real TBC and a Tezro-based Inferno would be overkill

    The mid-range Canopus is common and available and by all accounts does an okay job. I am sure there are other a-to-d converters around now that are as good or better. yardbird, if you find something you like, post back !

    I remember that ATi made some graphics cards with s-video input but I never messed with them. All-in-Wonder ? No drivers. Might be another choice, they'd be newer than the Canopus. And you could capture uncompressed, which would be better. Once it's compressed you can't uncompress, and disk space is cheap now.

    The tbc is more of a problem with tapes than anything else. That may be something to look into.

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    Used this with a laptop using VCR to run VHS tape (link below)

    My skillset is weak with this type of stuff but after receiving it had first tape transferred to digital in about an hour. Basically time to transfer is the run time of the tape.

    Reproduction quality seemed to exceed original tape. You get some editing options. Another words you can edit and cut all the time wasting stuff on the VHS tape if you like.

    Nice feature is, after conversion to digital, you have option to post vid on a platform like Youtube with pretty much a click of a button icon.

    Read the reviews. They are accurate. And, with Amazon if it does not fit your requirement just return it.

    Amazon.com: Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0): Electronics

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardparts View Post
    Used this with a laptop using VCR to run VHS tape (link below)

    My skillset is weak with this type of stuff but after receiving it had first tape transferred to digital in about an hour. Basically time to transfer is the run time of the tape.

    Reproduction quality seemed to exceed original tape. You get some editing options. Another words you can edit and cut all the time wasting stuff on the VHS tape if you like.

    Nice feature is, after conversion to digital, you have option to post vid on a platform like Youtube with pretty much a click of a button icon.

    Read the reviews. They are accurate. And, with Amazon if it does not fit your requirement just return it.

    Amazon.com: Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0): Electronics
    Dunno why we've missed it. Looking at "laptops", I guess.. but.. AFAIK, ether of my DVD-Blu-Ray player or either of the TV's can already take those cables off a VHS gadget. And even came WITH the cables.

    If I still HAD a VHS anyway... and spit it back out on USB or HDTV socket as well as the screen, and at the same time. To other TV's. Newer stuff can do it without wires, too.

    Might be all yah need is already in the house?

    Bigger issue here is old Betamax & camcorder mini Betamax tapes, actually.

    Then again.. nobody has cared about OUR ones for 30 years already, so.. not really a priority?


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    Here is an article that explains the process.

    Transfer VHS tapes to your computer - CNET

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    Go to Walgreens and have them to transfer VHS to DVD..

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    Quote Originally Posted by EmanuelGoldstein View Post
    yardbird, if you find something you like, post back !
    Absolutely! I'll be back one way or the other. btw I screwed up the title. They are VHS-C tapes

    Quote Originally Posted by standardparts View Post
    Used this with a laptop using VCR to run VHS tape (link below)

    Amazon.com: Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0): Electronics
    Thanks everyone! I ordered this one that standardparts linked in his post. 3 or 4 years ago I watched some of these tapes on the original camcorder that recorded them so that is what I intend on using to transfer them. If not I'll find a VCR and get a VHS to VHS-C tape adapter.

    Legacy Box is about $600 for 20 tapes which seems a bit much. lol could end up being cheap after the headache factor and time is figured in. Haven't looked into CVS

    It seems I remember camcorder having two recording speed settings, I think I could get two hours on one tape but I don't think any of them are completely full.

    Brent

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    There are full size VHS "tapes" that are holders for the little C (for compact) tapes to be used in standard machines. That way you can play the camcorder tapes on a std VCR and not mess around with hooking up camera to TV to play it back. One of these might help if you only have a VCR that can play back, or hook to computer. Or, if you're like me the camera is long gone but I still have the tapes...

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4GSR View Post
    Go to Walgreens and have them to transfer VHS to DVD..
    I'll be damned. Again.

    Transfer Videotapes to DVD

    Didn't have the least klew it was that close, nor covered that many formats!

    Big "Thank you!" Texase-rations-size, even!


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    Quote Originally Posted by yardbird View Post
    Absolutely! I'll be back one way or the other. btw I screwed up the title. They are VHS-C tapes



    Thanks everyone! I ordered this one that standardparts linked in his post. 3 or 4 years ago I watched some of these tapes on the original camcorder that recorded them so that is what I intend on using to transfer them. If not I'll find a VCR and get a VHS to VHS-C tape adapter.

    Legacy Box is about $600 for 20 tapes which seems a bit much. lol could end up being cheap after the headache factor and time is figured in. Haven't looked into CVS

    It seems I remember camcorder having two recording speed settings, I think I could get two hours on one tape but I don't think any of them are completely full.

    Brent
    Actually all my tapes were in the reduced "C" format. And, dug out the original camera I had not been used in 15 years and it worked just fine. (complete camera setups on Ebay are cheaper than an adapter.)

    Once setup and you start the transfer process no need to baby sit it.


    And.....To run the gismo you need to do a driver download online. Just follow the directions.

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    Good thread. Seems there are plenty of solutions.

    Now I just need to get of my procrastinacious ARSE and take that nice wedding tape of 29 years ago earlier this month over to Walgreens so as to have it for our 30th.

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    Quote Originally Posted by thermite View Post
    Now I just need to get of my procrastinacious ARSE and take that nice wedding tape of 29 years ago earlier this month over to Walgreens so as to have it for our 30th.
    What's the rush ? You've got another 11 months ...

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    Given standardparts' experience, I'd guess the Elgato will do everything you need, and as long as you are on Windows (or maybe Mac), the included software sounds easy to use.

    But just in case, here is an answer to your original question:

    how do I capture or record the video on the laptop? Will Windows media player record the video or do I need some video recording/editing software?
    The answer is VLC. This is an all-format, multi-platform, open-source media player that generally outperforms anything else I've ever used. And unlike many other media players, VLC has full ability to record a video stream as well.

    I bought an inexpensive RCA-video-to-USB converter, similar to the Elgato and to the one that you linked in the OP, but quite a bit cheaper - basically an eBay special that was so cheap (< $8) that I just took a chance on it. Actually, I bought two different ones. The first one worked for many video streams (e.g., a DVD running through the analog RCA outputs), but it had trouble with the signal from VHS tapes - seemed to struggle to hold the v-sync. The second one, maybe a dollar more expensive, has worked quite well even with VHS tapes. I think both came with some sort of software - at the least, a Windows driver? - but I run Linux, so neither Windows nor Mac software was going to work for me. No problem - Linux recognized the converter automatically, and VLC handled the recording with no fuss.

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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    Actually, I bought two different ones. The first one worked for many video streams (e.g., a DVD running through the analog RCA outputs), but it had trouble with the signal from VHS tapes - seemed to struggle to hold the v-sync.
    That's where the tbc comes in. Analog video is not picky about time, but digital is. So if op were going to get serious about this, the first necessary purchase is a time-based corrector.

    Next would be a nonlinear editor and a disk array for storage with an optical interface and ....

    Maybe not worth it for 15 or 20 tapes

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    Again I ordered the video capture device that standardparts linked in his post. Thanks again btw!

    The video capture thingy showed up a few days ago and had time to fool with it today. It came with female RCA jacks on the thingy and both camcorders also had female jacks but they included a cable that had male jacks on both ends so so that was cool. The S-video cable jack was also female on both the thingy and the camcorder so it's a good thing both camcorders only needed the white and yellow RCA jacks to transfer the video. All was good.

    Had to go to their website to download the software and drivers for windows 7, did the install and everything worked as it should.

    I ended up having 24 VHS-C tapes and 12 8mm tapes also. With the VHS-C camcorder I did about 4 tapes and the eject door on the side quit opening when the eject button was pushed. Almost didn't get that tape out of the camcorder and was dead in the water with that machine. So now Im on the hunt for a VCR to finish transferring with it.

    For shits and giggles I pulled the white and yellow jacks out of the VHS-C camcorder and plugged them into the 8mm camcorder and the damn thing worked perfectly. So Yeehaw back in business!!

    Software works as they said it would. The video quality seemed to be as good as if I just wanted the tapes on a TV. All videos were in MP4 format and played on windows media player. Two hours of transferred video was a 1 1/2 gigabytes of of space witch seemed small but it's probably lesser video quality than a high end cellphone. I guess if I had one bitch it'd be this take forever but I expected that.

    I was going to upload a couple pictures but I'm unable to for some reason? Anybody else having trouble posting pictures?

    Brent

    Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0) Amazon.com: Elgato Video Capture - Digitize Video for Mac, PC or iPad (USB 2.0): Electronics

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    I just put our VHS player in storage but still have a few tapes I would like to convert and save. Good post, thanks.

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