Best method to transfer analougue to digital?



When I first looked at moving VHS coverage to a DVD and editing it I thought that moving the film (if that is the correct term) from VHS tapes to DVDs and then editing it would be simple even though I have never done it before but I was wrong.

I started by connecting a VHS player to a DVD recorder and played the VHS taped while they recorder to a DVD. No problem, because they played on a TV when I tried them out. The problems started when I attempted to move the files that I had capture on the DVDs onto my computer to edit and it was then that I discovered the complexities and diferencies of VOB, AVI and MPEG files.

After looking at various forums I discovered that there is software that will convert the VOB files to AVI and MPEG but there were as many threads that were critical of that method as there were supporting it.

Then I was given a box with "Xpert DVD Maker USB 2.0 written on it. This cost about £30.00 and it came with instructions that promised that all I had to do was to connect it to my VHS player and computer through a scart lead and a USB and all would be well but I could not get it to transfer the VHS content to my computer. A friend told me that he uses a Canopus ADVC110 (analogue to digital video converter) into the Fire wire but that costs £200.00 more or less. Is one more effective than the other?

I then read that a USB connection is not as good as a fire wire connection.
I also read that I should use the computer video capture card but I am such a novice that I don’t know if I even have one.

So, with that rambling description does anyone have a suggestion as to what is the best method to capture VHS tapes to my computer?


I think you had it right the first time. The DVD recorder will generally do a fine job. Editing those DVD’s won’t be any simpler if you capture on the PC. All you need is the right tools.

VOB files already are MPEG, no conversion is required. Just find yourself a good editing program that will do what you need and re-author the DVD’s for burning.


Very easy to do.

I do it all the time. First of all, avoid COMBO VCR/DVD recorders at all cost, because the VCRs used are CRAP. I use a JVC VHS player, those are the best players for your VHS tapes - And I use a Toshiba DR4 recorder - Once I finish my recording I use a GREAT piece of software called DVD Author Pro ( you know the makers of the popular TMPGenc. The DVD Author software allows you to IMPORT your DVD VIDEO, from there you can EDIT (remove material, add material, edit chapters, add cool menus, etc.) and it is totally lossless, since there is NO re-rendering. Only thing that is rendered is the menus. There is another cool feature too in the software, it also lets you convert any specific title on a DVD into a single MPG file, should you need more advanced editing with titling and special effects (in womble mpeg video wizard or dvd wizard), then you simply export back the MPG and bring it back into DVD Author. I have used other editing progams and authoring programs that screw up the audio / video sync - but with DVD Author I have NEVER had ANY problems. I have recorded 3 hour prorams that I edited and exported back to DVD and it was in perfect sync all the way. There is also VideoRedo, another good program for cuts only editing.