RE: Help converting VHS to DVD - Money in YOUR pocket

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Postby Paul Critelli » 01/23/10 04:21 PM

Hello,

I am requesting some help converting my VHS tapes - quite a few - to DVD so that I can view them on a "regular DVD" player (television) as well as on a computer. I don't have the time to do much of this - or the inclination to get all the knowledge, but I am willing to see if any MAGICIAN can do this - with, of course, a fee per tape, etc. I really don't want to send these VHS tapes to a "non-Magician" run commercial company as I am very "old school" in terms of NEVER exposing and NEVER copying stuff that I did not buy. That said, I would totally expect whoever does this to be as ethical and "old school" as I - hence personal knowledge of that person works very well, but having some good references would be fine.

OK, long story short - any folks out there who can do this for me? I am not very familiar with "chapters, etc." so the level of sophistication need not be super high -- but quality is expected. Sure if the new "DVD" can have some way to see what is where -- that would be great.

So, email me at: MagicPaul@aol.com with suggestions or, even better, what you can do and what the costs would be.

Thanks so much!

Paul Critelli
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 01/23/10 09:36 PM

It will cost you less to buy an inexpensive DVD recorder and do the dubbing yourself than it will to pay a third party to do it.
Been there, done that.
You can buy the machine for about $100:
http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-DR420-DVD ... b_title_ce
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Postby Bill Mullins » 01/24/10 12:55 AM

You might also want to consider this recorder .

Not only does it have a DVD recorder, it also has a 160 GB hard drive, so you can use it like a Tivo. Very handy. And it has a tuner, which the Toshiba does not.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/24/10 06:20 AM

For true luddites, the simplest solution is to get a combination VCR and DVD-R. The systems I have seen all had a 'dub' button which would automatically transfer the video to DVD. I seem to remember that one of the models did so at an accelerated rate, which meant that it was possible to record at faster than real time.

Having said that, it's not impossible to hook up a VCR to a DVD recorder, but anytime you add in another component you inctrease the hassle factor by several steps.

Although this list is a UK site, you may be able to find some of the model in the YooEss.

http://www.ciao.co.uk/Combined_AV_Devic ... _vcr_combo

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 01/24/10 06:22 AM

YOu don't need any of that. Just get this

http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/mainmen ... t1.en.html

Its a little dongle that plugs into your computer, and you plug the scart/arial out from the VHS deck into it. Bingo bango bongo.

My brother just archived a 1000 gigs of juggling tapes using this.

It looks great.

Bonus is that it's also a TV tuner/HD tv tuner so you can watch/record live tv on your computer. (I have this plugged into one computer that is always plugged into my telly, very good).
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/24/10 09:54 AM

Dongles are fine for most people (I use a similar setup for archiving), but Paul strikes me as not too tech savvy (and he would need to burn the MPEG2 files to DVD to watch on TV) and would probaly want the simplest solution.

Which is one button transfer.

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 01/24/10 10:49 AM

Ian Kendall wrote:Dongles are fine for most people (I use a similar setup for archiving), but Paul strikes me as not too tech savvy (and he would need to burn the MPEG2 files to DVD to watch on TV) and would probaly want the simplest solution.

Which is one button transfer.

Take care, Ian


Fair point. The elgato comes with all the software to get the mpeg2 files onto a DVD. But I concede, you are correct.
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Postby Barry Shifrin » 01/25/10 08:34 PM

Do any of you know if many magic VHS tapes contain copy protection coding ? I would like to convert several of my old commercially produced magic VHS tapes to DVD, but have not purchased a DVD burner to do so as I was advised that they will not make copies of any purchased VHS tapes (such as most all movies that were transferred to VHS) without adding a "black box" to the system to defeat the copy protection on the original tape.
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Postby mrgoat » 01/25/10 09:01 PM

AFAIK VHS copy protection was to stop VHS to VHS copying. If you are playing the VHS signal out into a DVD recorder, then there is no way it can stop you doing that, technically. You are doing the equiv of pointing a camera at a cinema screen.

AFAIK.
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Postby erdnasephile » 01/25/10 11:09 PM

mrgoat wrote:AFAIK VHS copy protection was to stop VHS to VHS copying. If you are playing the VHS signal out into a DVD recorder, then there is no way it can stop you doing that, technically. You are doing the equiv of pointing a camera at a cinema screen.

AFAIK.


If a VCR tape has Macrovision copy protection, most standalone DVD recorders will detect this signal and will not record the program in question.
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Postby Jeff Haas » 01/26/10 04:58 AM

However, most magic video companies didn't encode their VHS tapes with Macrovision, because there is a licensing fee involved per tape. This is a small, niche business and although I've never discussed it with them, I'm sure that they couldn't afford Macrovision.

I've backed up my magic VHS tapes to my computer and burned DVDs from them with no problem at all. Your main issue is going to be the learning curve of making a DVD if you want to do anything other than copy the VHS straight to DVD using one of the combo VHS/DVD recorders.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 01/26/10 05:36 AM

Guy's original Reformation video had macrovision, as does Tony Clark's Paper Balls over the Head 2000 (the latter I found out as I was trying to convert it).

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 01/26/10 06:57 AM

http://www.amazon.com/Sima-CT-2-Digital ... B000AEFVVE

that strips out the macrovision, I believe.
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Postby Paul Critelli » 02/01/10 06:28 PM

Hello,

Progress update!

I did buy a new DVD VHS recorder, and I did learn how to copy VHS to DVD - when we meet, ask about how temporary idiocy happens.

I also did get a "Dazzle" which is really unneeded, but I wasn't quite sure of that when I got it. I do NOT have have good sense of how to "make a movie"or whatever.

However, some of my VHS are MacroVisioned - NO GO on the copy to dvd. I will try some of the suggestions given, and am interesed in the simplest way to do this -

Still a Luddite? Well, maybe not soooooo bad!!!

Thanks, Friends!

Paul Critelli
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/01/10 06:57 PM

From VHS through the dazzle into a file on your PC.
no putting shoes in the drives. ;)
Mundus vult decipi
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Postby Ian Kendall » 02/01/10 07:15 PM

On the whole, Dazzle products don't rip macrovision. At least mine didn't.

There may be a patch available.

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 02/01/10 07:19 PM

What is the make and model number of the machine you bought Paul?
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Postby Paul Critelli » 02/01/10 11:53 PM

Hello,

You folks give new definition to The Brotherhood! Many thanks!

OK, it is a Panasonic DMR-EZ48V

It seems to work OK, but I am open to any suggestions you all may have -- especially as to how I might copy the "protected" VHS to DVD. The irony is that I, and I suspect all of you, would NEVER be the ones that such "protection" was designed to foil. However, should the march of technology penalize those of us who were adults prior to such marvels? Oh well, I am just very glad that I have been able to move quite a few masters to a more stable medium.

Tech on, my friends!

Paul C
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Postby Bill Mullins » 02/02/10 01:13 AM

Look for something called a "video stabilizer" to defeat Macrovision. Radio Shack used to sell them. They tend to run $30 or so. Put it in line between the VCR and the DVD recorder.
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Postby MagicBilly » 02/02/10 02:28 AM

I too have been looking for a device to archive tapes (audio and video) to a digital format.

I've been relatively apprehensive about dongle devices I've seen on the net, but want one given their compact size. You've got the windows only, win/mac and mac only devices, so which you choose I've found to be based on what you really want/need.

I've looked at reviews for elegato, dazzle, toast (leader in audio/video conversion) and pinnacle. The reviews are weighted negatively with respect to video quality, video/audio lag and output options - kinda consumer vs. prosumer level devices. The most concerning for me is video/audio lag, second is a toss-up between video quality and output formats. I'm having a tough time sorting out all the "review" noise. Some Mac versions require you to import into iMovie immediately before saving in a compatible format. So a 2hr video could take 4 hours (2hrs from the device and 2hrs in iMovie) to recompile into a workable solution. I have found similar probems with Win only or Win/Mac.

Not to be a Donnie downer, make sure you know what your needs are: good video quality, minimal or no video/audio lag or flexible output. Most out there are consumer level (little or no experience working computers). I have found few that are considered prosumer with more positive feedback. Lots of reviews out there, you just may need to separate the wheat from the chaff to find what's best for you.

Elegato I believe is Mac only and has the fewest "bad" reviews, but only exports to mpeg-4 or x.264 format which is small resolution primarily used for portable devices (iphone, ipod, etc.). I like Richard and Ian's solutions even though they export for viewing on a DVD compatible device only.

Just another rant from me. Hope this adds valuable input for your decision.
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Postby Ian Kendall » 02/02/10 05:05 AM

Reading through the page, this device should work, and your system is listed in the supported devices:

http://www.xdimax.com/grex/grex.html

I know you have a combo unit - it may be worth sending them an email to see how you would hook it up (I imagine a simple loop through) and what extra cables you might need.

If they are a halfway professional organisation they should be helpful to you.

Take care, Ian
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Postby mrgoat » 02/02/10 08:21 AM

MagicBilly wrote:I
Elegato I believe is Mac only and has the fewest "bad" reviews, but only exports to mpeg-4 or x.264 format which is small resolution primarily used for portable devices (iphone, ipod, etc.).


a) it is the best device for this imho

b) mpeg4 or h264 are certainly not "small resolutions primarily used for portable devices". They are just codecs, you could have 1080P h264 or 1024x768. Makes no odds. Depends what you tell it. It's like saying a jpeg is small. It can be. It can also be large.

c) the eye250 I suggested records to MPEG2 or 1. NTSC resolutions: up to 720480, 30 fps

Hope that helps.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 02/02/10 09:18 AM

Remember, it's still not okay to go selling copies of the videos you clean up and backup to recover costs (unless you can take folks at their word they already own copies of the protected VHS tape)...

and so on down the slippery copyright slope.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/02/10 09:26 AM

I don't think anyone is suggesting anything about pirating these VHS tapes Mr T.
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Postby MagicBilly » 02/02/10 10:42 AM

Thx mrgoat, you've helped me in figgering out all this stuff.

Jonathan - for me, I am archiving 1) primarily for longevity (tape degredation and stretch) and 2) to avoid dragging a VHS machine where ever I want to watch them.
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Postby mrgoat » 02/02/10 07:45 PM

MagicBilly wrote:Thx mrgoat, you've helped me in figgering out all this stuff.


Pleasure and happy to help. Feel free to contact me off the board with any more questions.

Damian
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Postby Paul Critelli » 02/13/10 01:05 AM

Hello,
Project update:

I have done about 60 tapes - no problems generally, but have not done the "Macrovision Protected" ones yet. I will be looking into the "thing" that some of you have mentioned.

HOWEVER, I have encountered two tapes / dvd that are causing problem. It seems that when I put them in to play, they start somewhere NOT in the beginning, and I cannot "move" the play button anywhere. In fact, the picture sometimes goes away and I have to kill the whole DVD application to eject the dvd! Now, both are from series by Daryl: Encyclopedia of Card Sleghts - Vol 8 and Card Revelations Vol 4. Yes, I have tried to copy them again -- same problem. No- I haven't tried to view the VHS, I MAY try that to see if there is anything on the tape up to the point where the dvd starts. Ideas?

Thanks.

Paul Critelli
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 02/13/10 01:30 AM

The video may be dead in that spot, or those tapes might have some protection or something else.

The blank DVDs you've tried might also be defective. You'll find that there are a few like that in almost every large box you buy. Just toss them and try again.
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Postby Magic Newswire » 02/13/10 07:38 PM

I'm a Mac guy. I have both a USB and MAC Elgato device. The Firewire box shows as a firewire camera allowing me to import directly into my video app. Haven't tried the USB box, but assume that it will do the case given the prevalence of USB connected cameras these days. Personally, I'm thrilled with the quality of both Elgato products and EyeTV. Make sure that the software that you are using is up to date as I believe that there are in fact HD settings for import & export these days.
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Postby MagicBilly » 02/14/10 01:30 PM

For what it's worth...

An brief update on my adventures in VHS/audio tape -> digital conversion.

After talking briefly with Damian off-line, reading more and contacting Elgato sales, I took the leap and purchased the EyeTV250 Plus - first considered Elgato's Video Capture device. It does everything I need and then some (DVR). Sales confirmed there is greater flexibility in input/output solutions, including different resolutions. Audio/video lag appears to be hardware driven caused by slower CPU's and minimal memory. Their breakout cable pretty much covers all external analog and digital devices (USB, coxial, composite, even headphone jack).

I am glad to hear Dodd's positive comments too and look foward to driving it soon.

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