17GB VHS Transfer?! How did this happen?



I was capturing a couple of VHS’s onto Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 the other day (this being my first time ever doing this, by the way), and when I finally went to make an AVI of each movie (both clocking in at around 80-90 mins apiece), they came out to be around 17 - 18GB respectively!

Now I know for a fact that this isn’t right, since most movies of this length are only around 1-2GB - or less!

I don’t really understand video compression that well, and when I try to make a copy of the movie, the duration comes out to somewhere around 30-40 hours.

As a sidenote, I use XP. If that helps.


You captured as uncompressed avi. I’ve done that by mistake once using Vdub to convert something to avi…just forgot to set the compression codec, and it filled my hard drive.

Try again using huffyUV or MJPEG if you want an editable avi file. If you are trying to capture to a final format, you can use mpeg2 or xvid or divx mpeg4. Depends on what you are trying to do with the video and where you want to play it.


So basically, I need to do it all over again? There’s no way to edit existing data?


Well, I suppose you can use the uncompressed avi, but I thought you were having problems with it? What format are you trying to go to?


I’m trying to compress it and get it on a DVD. The reason I can’t capture it again right now is that I captured it on the school’s capture stations.


Well, I don’t use Premiere Pro…bit too expensive for me as an amateur, so I don’t know the program.

Coming from VHS tape, the quality isn’t going to be tremendously good any way, but you can preserve what you’ve got. You’ll be encoding to mpeg2 and I’d set bitrate at something around 5000kbps, and if you are using NTSC (US) settings, you’ll be at 720 x 480, 29.97fps. Does Premiere have templates for dvd-video?

Coming from a better source I’d use larger setting on bitrate, but I think this will be ok for vhs source.
Does Premiere have filters for sharpness and noise? That sometimes helps coming from vhs, but you’d need to test it, and it increases encoding times by quite a lot.


If your goal is to create simple DVDs from your captured videos, you can try using The FilmMachine, which automatically converts from AVI (among other formats) to DVD. For best results, try not to put more than about 2 hours onto a single disc, although most VHS tapes normally only hold about 120 to 160 minutes anyway on standard settings, so it’s probably not an issue for you if you’re putting one tape onto one DVD.