archiving VHS tapes to digital media

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krabapple
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archiving VHS tapes to digital media

Postby krabapple » Fri Oct 21, 2005 11:21 am

I really need to get around to doing this. But what's the best hardware and software (PC, WinXP ) for getting the best quality archival transfers -- which I can then copy and digitally edit later? I'd prefer breakout box hardware with S-video in and USB 2.0 connection out to the PC. Anybody here doing this?
"I recommend that you delete the Rancid Snakepit" - Grant

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balthazar
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Postby balthazar » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:18 pm

At a previous job I worked with some equipment and software from Canopus (www.canopus.us). This is a few years ago now, but the kit came with a VGA card (in case yours didn't have the right kind of muscle), the appropriate software for capturing and editing, a capture card, and a breakout box. It required a pretty speedy harddisk, and plenty of harddisk space.

The card may not have had the muscle of something from ATI or nVidia, but it was better than what came with the Dells we had. The software was usable, once you got used to it. It was a little quirky, but it allowed you to use the video from one clip and the audio from another, allowed the importation of other image and audio sources (gif, wav), and could provide transitions.

The capture card was installed in a PCI slot, and the breakout box could be attached to the card externally or internally by mounting it in a 5.25 in drive bay. The box had connectors for S-video, RCA (including composite video), optical, and FireWire.

Check out http://www.canopus.us/US/products/index ... meuser.asp.
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Rspaight
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Postby Rspaight » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:21 pm

From what research I've done, it looks like Canopus is the heavy hitter in this arena as far as quality goes.

http://www.canopus.us/US/Products/index ... _index.asp

You'll need a Firewire port if you don't already have one (unless they've added USB 2.0 recently). Firewire is pretty much the standard for DV work, anyway.

I've done a few LD-to-digital transfers, but with an el cheapo KWorld USB-based converter. They came out OK, but with so-so quality and occasionally dodgy A/V sync. The Canopus boxes would have done better.

With the KWorld POS, CPU horsepower was very important. A 1.7GHz P4 was completely incapable of a capture with no dropped frames. A 3.2 GHz P4 had no trouble whatsoever. The Canopus boxes might assume that load themselves, though.

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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Rspaight
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Postby Rspaight » Fri Oct 21, 2005 12:25 pm

Looks like Balthazar and I are on the same page.

Any ATA/100, 7200RPM or better (SATA or modern SCSI would be great) HD *should* be able to keep up with a DV capture, but it can't hurt to make sure.

If you do a lot or captures, defragging becomes a religion.

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney

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krabapple
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Postby krabapple » Sun Oct 23, 2005 10:22 pm

I'd probably be capturing to a laptop HD, for starters. Mine has this:
1.6GHz Intel Centrino Mobile Technology featuring Intel Pentium M Processor 725

So it looks like I'm lacking in CPU horsepower for faultless transfer, unless the outboard box bears some of the load.
"I recommend that you delete the Rancid Snakepit" - Grant

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Rspaight
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Postby Rspaight » Mon Oct 24, 2005 8:09 am

The Pentium Ms pack significantly more oomph per GHz than the Pentium 4s, so you might be OK. I'd be more worried about the HD, since those are sometimes low-throughput compared to desktop models. Nose around here:

http://www.videohelp.com/capture

for lots of helpful info, including what kind of disk bandwidth you'll need to pull this off.

Ryan
RQOTW: "I'll make sure that our future is defined not by the letters ACLU, but by the letters USA." -- Mitt Romney