Capturing "time" issue

I have a Leadtek capture card and would like to know if there is any way to “auto” stop capturing when a video is finished? Most of the times when I am capturing from VHS, I won’t know the length of the video so I can’t set a time on the card to stop recording, I don’t wish to set a very long “safe” time becuse then I will record a lot of empty space on the video file, how do you guys deal with this issue?

Use a VCR that has a realtime counter and fastforward the tape to see how long your segment of interest runs for.

I never understood the counters on vcr’s and never paid attention to it all these years, looking at it now, this is confusing, when I place a video tape in, I see the numbers 9999, I then forwarded this tape all the way to the end and it now reads 5741, can you or anyone else clear this up for me please? Meaning, what do those numbers mean or how can I convert those numbers to hours and minutes?

The old “numbers only” counters are just a counter, and non-linear at that. If you really wanted to, and had the time, I suppose that you could draw up a table of what counter number equated to what tape time, [I]for a given tape length and recording speed.[/I]

The newer method, which has been around for a while, is to count the pulses from the actual tape. If you have a lot of tapes to do, maybe you should buy a new VCR?

Maybe I had better ask another question, since my vcr’s don’t have a realtime counter, what are my best options [aside from getting one with a realtime counter]?

I don’t have many tapes to do, only 20 or so

Then maybe this would be worth doing…

If you’re lucky, all 20 or so tapes will be of the same tape length and recorded at the same speed. If not, best to do this for each type:

Rewind tape to beginning.
Reset counter to “0000”.
Press play.
Note counter reading every 5 minutes (for example).
If you graph the results, that’ll help you to interpolate.

Well yes, I see what you mean [thanks] but I think I will let it run and manually stop it at the end, I had intended on doing the capturing overnight but think I will tough it out and do maybe one a day for 20 days.

Look for a display key or something similar to that on your remote. You may have a real time counter and not know it as some units will never show it unless you tell them too (they can show onscreen).