VHS to Digital file
@ Adrian Tritschler · Monday, Jan 1, 0001 · 2 minute read · Update at Jan 1, 0001 ·

The following are some notes I cribbed from the Audio/Visual forum of arstechnica.net’s openforums. My apologies to the original author, but the links on Arstechnica don’t exactly prompt you to link to original articles. I’ve got a stack of VHS tapes at home, no video player, and a vague wish to transfer them onto CD or a suitably large part of my harddisk….

  1. Get at least a GOOD VCR, as that helps immensely with captures… SVHS ones are rather nice. Esp. if the tape is old. You want the cleanest captures you can get.
  2. Get a Hauppage WinTV GO. $40 USD. Cheap, cheap, cheap. Better have a free PCI slot.
  3. depending on how long the clip is, you’ll want, say at least 4 Gigs free for every 30 minutes of capture.
  4. Make sure your HD can do at least 6MB/sec. or so to be safe. Sure helps. Any new HD can do that easily. Also you’ll want at least a PII 300-400.
  5. Using the free PIC Video codec from www.jpg.com you should be able to capture 640x480 at high quality. Also if your computer is fast enough, try capturing straight to HuffYUV lossless (this will take over 10MB/sec. HDs)
  6. Use Virtualdub and everyone’s favourite filters, 2D Cleaner, SmartSmoother, et al. to clip, clean up and de-interlace, and perhaps resize the capture.

Comments and forum addendum

  • Poppy recommends resizing to 480x360 and rendering ot MS MPEG-4 v2 codec (install Windows Media tools to get it) at Sharpness 83 and bitrate 3000 or 6000. You ca fit about 45 min on a data CDR this way. Audio to Microsoft ADPCM.
  • It’s possible to make a SuperVCD out of it too, using Tsunami MPEG encoder http://www.jamsoft.com/tmpgenc/ and NERO http://www.ahead.de/ to burn it. SVCDs should play in any DVD player that supports them and can read burned CDRs.

In this case you would resize to 480x480 and render to HuffYUV lossless then run Tsunami SVCD on it. I don’t know too much of the details now, you could try here for more:

Update

  • [2018-05-07 Mon]: You can tell by the terminology “Pentium II” how old this must be! No, I still haven’t got around to digitising the old video tapes.
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