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Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:14 PM

Need advice: Having VHS tapes transferred - do I ask for DVDs or USB?

We have 40+ videotapes of our family dating back to 1988 (we rented that camcorder, I'm sure of it!) Our daughter and I just went through and labeled all of the tapes and I've found someone locally who will digitize them. I'm not sure if I should ask for DVDs (old technology, I know) or USB/thumbdrive. I have a newer computer with a built-in DVD so I can easily watch them. We also have a few DVD players in the house.

Can I transfer them to USB by myself? Has anyone done this before? Thanks in advance for advice

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Reply Need advice: Having VHS tapes transferred - do I ask for DVDs or USB? (Original post)
phylny Apr 2018 OP
Angry Dragon Apr 2018 #1
phylny Apr 2018 #3
northoftheborder Apr 2018 #2
Hokie Apr 2018 #4
phylny Apr 2018 #5
Hokie Apr 2018 #6
brush Apr 2018 #7
Hokie Apr 2018 #8
csziggy Apr 2018 #14
Eko Apr 2018 #9
Hokie Apr 2018 #10
Eko Apr 2018 #11
Eko Apr 2018 #12
Hokie Apr 2018 #13
Eko Apr 2018 #15
Susan Calvin Apr 2018 #16
Hokie Apr 2018 #17
Susan Calvin Apr 2018 #18
hunter Apr 2018 #19

Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:22 PM

1. Do both?? One for back-up

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Response to Angry Dragon (Reply #1)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:24 PM

3. That's what I'm thinking, too.

I'm looking at DVD ripping software now. I have the time to do this. I can also store on the cloud for family.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:23 PM

2. Also have similar situation; help please from anyone with advice.

It is so expensive to have them transferred; there are some machines out there for purchase to do these transfers, which although expensive, would still be less expensive than getting them done commercially. Any experience with those??????

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:37 PM

4. Do them yourself with a good video capture device

I have digitized about 15 VHS videos using a Hauppauge USB Live 2 video capture device. It sells for around $50 on Amazon.

http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/site/products/data_usblive2.html

It comes with all the software you will need. I put my videos on an external hard drive but you could also burn DVD's, put them on a USB stick, or even upload them to YouTube. You have to be careful not to have any copyrighted music or video. YouTube can detect that and will remove the video.

I would not mess with the cheaper ones. I tried one for $20 and it was junk. It used free software that was awful and the video would not sync (it had the streaks that you used to get with bad VHS tapes). I tried several VHS machines and it would not work with any of them.

The Hauppauge USB-2 Live performed flawlessly using my Hitachi VHS VCR.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:47 PM

5. This is perfect advice - thank you! n/t

Edited to add - this will save a ton of money. A ton.

Editing again to ask - do I need DVD ripping software to transfer from DVD to USB?

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Response to phylny (Reply #5)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 04:58 PM

6. You shouldn't

I am pretty sure you can find software to do that. The Hauppauge software saves the captured video in MP4 format. You can do about anything with that with the right software.

Edit: I read that wrong. The Hauppauge software does not burn DVD's but you can download programs like FreeStudio to do that.

Here is a list of free DVD burning software:

https://www.techradar.com/best/the-best-free-dvd-burner

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Response to Hokie (Reply #4)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 05:12 PM

7. They will open and play if stored on a usb thumb drive?

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Response to brush (Reply #7)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 05:20 PM

8. Yes, on a PC

Windows or the Hauppauge software will play the MP4 files stored anywhere.

If you want to play them on a DVD player you need to find software that will burn the files to a video DVD. The link I posted has several programs that will do that.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #8)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:27 PM

14. My newer TVs will play videos from USB files

In fact it is easier to play from a USB file than it is to play a DVD.

The brands include Visio and LG.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 08:10 PM

9. depends,

USB sticks can last for 10 years, DVD's for about 20. Their are gold DVD's that can last for 100 years, kinda pricey and they only hold 5gb of almost always compressed data. Here is a link to one http://www.mam-a-store.com/mam43437.html. They can also be error prone and expensive to replace if they do get errors. I would go with a usb drive, you can store them on your computer and drive at the same time, easily transfer them, load them on another drive and give it to your family cheaply.

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Response to Eko (Reply #9)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 08:59 PM

10. Another option is YouTube

I uploaded some family reunion videos I had digitized to YouTube and made them private. You can share the link with whomever you want but they aren't searchable or available to the public.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:05 PM

11. Thats a good one

or use a cloud, I do all the time.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #10)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:07 PM

12. The problem with that

is you have to convert them to a horrible quality. Even the HD coder takes away info, whereas the original file is still the original, it also depends on what they are converting them to in the first place. I would have them do the highest possible.

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Response to Eko (Reply #12)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:22 PM

13. Most of the ones I digitized were the recorded in original VHS format and were copies

I think the original VHS was only 250 lines. I had one that was from 2002 that was recorded in S-VHS, which is double the resolution. Neither of these showed any degradation on YouTube that I could see.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #13)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:31 PM

15. Each time you recode something

you loose information.

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Response to phylny (Original post)

Sat Apr 7, 2018, 09:44 PM

16. Semi-related question.

I want some of my commercial VHS converted. Specifically, those that were never released in any other format.

Does *anybody* do this? Or is there a way I can do it myself?

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Response to Susan Calvin (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 8, 2018, 02:30 PM

17. You should be able to digitize them the same way

Since any VHS player or VCR puts out analog signals for video and audio it should not matter whether it is a commercial video or not. A video capture device just converts the analog signals into a digital format like an MP4 file.

The Hauppauge video capture device I mentioned above will connect to either the yellow RCA NTSC analog video or S-Video connector on a VCR. S-Video would provide the best results but the yellow NTSC works fine. The audio uses the red and white stereo RCA connectors that about all VCR's use.

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Response to Hokie (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 8, 2018, 02:38 PM

18. Thanks! nt

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Response to Susan Calvin (Reply #16)

Sun Apr 8, 2018, 03:24 PM

19. Commercial video cassettes usually have copy protection.

It's designed to ruin most sorts of video copying.

The copy protection on Disney video cassettes is especially aggressive.

Some video transfer devices will detect video cassette copy protection and refuse to work. Some will make unwatchable copies. A few will quietly remove copy protection, but none of the name brand devices that did this advertised the fact.

At one time I had a Linux machine I'd built with some no-name brand video digitizing card that would make flawless copies of any video cassette, copy-protected or not, but that's not what I'd built the machine for.

Supposedly it's legal to make copies of commercial video cassettes you own, but it was never easy.

DVDs were meant to be as difficult to copy as video cassettes but the digital copy protection scheme used on DVDs was soon broken.

Not all commercial video cassettes have copy protection, especially older titles.

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