Converting VHS to DVD

vbimport

#1

Hi all,
I just inherited an older Sylvania Model SSD800 combo VHS/DVD player. I have a TON of old VHS tapes that need to be converted to DVD and was wondering if this model would do that. It isn’t designed as a dubbing device, only a player, but I see various inputs and outputs in the back of it and was curious if it could be used to convert. Would be nice if it could because it’s in good working condition and I am dreading using some rinky dink converter, putting a digital file on my computer, then burning a DVD from that…that whole routine sounds like a pain. There must be a way I can use this VHS/DVD player as a converter… maybe all you tech gurus here can give me some hints or tips? Thanks!


#2

The DVD drive in this unit is a “player” that means it doesn’t record .
The VHS unit will record but even if a DVD can be dubbed to a VHS tape with this unit .That’s not what you are after.
Theres a lot more to this if you have commercial movie VHS tapes.


#3

What type of VHS tapes are you referring to? Are these home-made, or are they commercial movies?

Commercial VHS tapes have a type of protection called Macrovision on them, which causes unwatchable interference in playback. There are devices that can remove Macrovision when you try to copy a movie, but they don’t work on VHS/DVD writer combos. I do not know if it would work in your case. Does this machine even record to DVD’s? Or is it just a player on that side?


#4

@ Kerry , I looked up the model # the OP posted. The DVD drive is a player only.
At least according to the online manual I found.

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736698]There are devices that can remove Macrovision when you try to copy a movie, but they don’t work on VHS/DVD writer combos. [/QUOTE]

That should be don’t work on some VHS/DVD writer combos.
This is from the dimax grex site.

http://www.xdimax.com/grex_faq/faq_vcrdvdcombo.html#mwr20v6


#5

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736698]What type of VHS tapes are you referring to? Are these home-made, or are they commercial movies?

Commercial VHS tapes have a type of protection called Macrovision on them, which causes unwatchable interference in playback. There are devices that can remove Macrovision when you try to copy a movie, but they don’t work on VHS/DVD writer combos. I do not know if it would work in your case. Does this machine even record to DVD’s? Or is it just a player on that side?[/QUOTE]

My tapes are homemade, taped off television movies, etc. So, no problems with copy protection issues. This model does appear to be a player only, on both sides, so I’m assuming that this means it is unable to do any form of copying from VHS to DVD, since the DVD is a play only and has no way to write to a DVD.

So, assuming this to be the case, let me ask about a second option. If I bought a cheap DVD recorder, would i be able to hook it up to this unit via a line out from the VHS side so that I can copy my VHS tapes onto DVD?

All I want is a dubbing/conversion setup and I’m trying to hold my costs down. I have priced new VHS/DVD recorder combo units and most are $100+ which I am trying to avoid just to do copying from VHS to DVD. I’m also not too impressed by some of the reviews of the converter programs that require use of a computer, burning a DVD, etc. Many of those seem glitchy or very time consuming with all the extra steps involved. So, since I have this working VCR (albeit, the DVD side is player only), I am trying to utilize it somehow if possible in the copying process. I would prefer a direct VHS to DVD type of setup since I have a LOT of VHS tapes to copy, at least 300 or more, each with 3 movies apiece, taped over many years from television for my own personal enjoyment and use. It just seems the fastest and easiest to copy direct from a VCR to a DVD recorder. I have a dubbing cable, but not sure if that’s sufficient (it doesn’t have a white plug like I see on the three-plug input/output devices sold to do VHS/DVD copying. Thanks for your further input on this!


#6

Since they are home-made tapes, copying from the VHS side to the DVD side in a VHS/DVD recorder is the simplest method. You have limited control on filtering or trying to improve the picture this way, but it should work.

I’m not sure you can find a stand-alone DVD recorder without VHS that is any less expensive. If you do, you’ll need to hook it up via composite, component or s-video. You’ll need an audio line as well for component and s-video. The component lines will give highest quality, but may not matter at all for VHS.


#7

I didn’t look up a unit like Kerry did but my experience with combo units is the VHS part is usually poorly made. Not like older just VHS units.
I going to assume that most of your homemade VHS tapes were not recorded on an SVHS unit . So having one SVHS to output won’t improve the quality.

If the VHS part of your combo plays well then you should be able to output from it.
Just but a DVD standalone recorder it should be fine . If you watch for a sale even the refurbished ones are good. I would use s-video cables for the best Video quality & standard RCA audio cables. If you have that.
Just remember at best the quality will be the same as the VHS tape & may be slightly less. This is due the the lines of resolution output of a VHS player . Add to that the VHS tale was also recorded at that resolution.

@ Kerry , Some units have component out so they can be played on a TV with that feature. Very few have component in . With most it will be Composite out & in . Some units will have s-video . I have done this & it is better.


#8

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736757]Since they are home-made tapes, copying from the VHS side to the DVD side in a VHS/DVD recorder is the simplest method. You have limited control on filtering or trying to improve the picture this way, but it should work.

I’m not sure you can find a stand-alone DVD recorder without VHS that is any less expensive. If you do, you’ll need to hook it up via composite, component or s-video. You’ll need an audio line as well for component and s-video. The component lines will give highest quality, but may not matter at all for VHS.[/QUOTE]

Thanks so much. I have shopped around a bit and found a few somewhat cheaper stand alone DVD recorders on Ebay. In looking at the connections on the back of this Sylvania, I see an area that says “component” so I presume I could use those outlets. I don’t see anything that says s-video. My dubbing cable has a video prong (red) and an audio prong (white). Not sure if that will be the proper style needed. The connectors I’ve seen for the computer type dubbing always have three, I presume one is an s-video or something…should I buy a particular cable? Thanks again for your help!


#9

As cholla stated earlier, your DVD recorder will have to have component input connections in order to use this type of cable. Some will, some will not. Component input will be red, green and blue. All these carry video, so you would need a separate cable for audio with RCA white and red plugs, which you already seem to have.

The lowest denominator in cable connections would be composite, which is a yellow RCA connector. Composite cables often have the yellow RCA plug, plus the white and red plugs for stereo audio.

S-Video is a different shape entirely. It will provide better video quality than composite, but not as good as component. You will need to use your audio cable as well when using this type of video cable.

http://www.pimfg.com/ifaq/faq_av.htm


#10

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736761]As cholla stated earlier, your DVD recorder will have to have component input connections in order to use this type of cable. Some will, some will not. Component input will be red, green and blue. All these carry video, so you would need a separate cable for audio with RCA white and red plugs, which you already seem to have.

The lowest denominator in cable connections would be composite, which is a yellow RCA connector. Composite cables often have the yellow RCA plug, plus the white and red plugs for stereo audio.

S-Video is a different shape entirely. It will provide better video quality than composite, but not as good as component. You will need to use your audio cable as well when using this type of video cable.

http://www.pimfg.com/ifaq/faq_av.htm[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the info and the link. The cable I have was one that I used in the past to dub VHS tapes between two VCR’s, so it carries an audio and a video signal (the red is labeled video). You indicate that this cable could be used for the “audio”…am a bit confused on that point, because it has been used to copy audio and video, but hopefully I’ll get it figured out as I go along.

For now, I guess the bottom line is deciding what model of DVD recorder to buy (if I decide to go with a stand alone unit), and make sure that it has the component inputs that you indicate. I’d be fine with a refurb, but a lot of them are older models and could end up creating more problems than they’re worth, if they won’t play certain DVD formats or don’t have standard connections that will work with my Sylvania. I can upload a pic of the connections on this Sylvania if that would make it clearer as to what I should keep in mind re: cables, etc.


#11

RCA plugs/connectors are physically alike. So the color coding is to help remember which one goes where. White and red RCA are usually used for audio connections on composite cables that have three plugs.

It is possible to have a composite cable that only has the yellow plug on each end. In that case you could use your current two plug cable as the audio side.

Virtually every VHS/DVD machine made will have composite input and output if they are capable of recording anything. So this is the safest bet on connections.

I looked at the online manual for your Sylvania, and it does have component and s-video out, but there is a line in the manual that says they are only used in DVD mode. This means you might be limited to composite connections to a DVD recorder.

http://upload.cdfreaks.com/Kerry56/ssd800.pdf

Of course I might be wrong in that. It says the s-video and component output jacks on the SSD800 are only “useful” in DVD mode. They might simply mean that VHS doesn’t really need more than composite to give an adequate picture. Really, if the machine outputs to TV’s in component or s-video, this should work to go to a DVD recorder, provided that the DVD Recorder has s-video or component input jacks.



#12

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736765]RCA plugs/connectors are physically alike. So the color coding is to help remember which one goes where. White and red RCA are usually used for audio connections on composite cables that have three plugs.

It is possible to have a composite cable that only has the yellow plug on each end. In that case you could use your current two plug cable as the audio side.

Virtually every VHS/DVD machine made will have composite input and output if they are capable of recording anything. So this is the safest bet on connections.

I looked at the online manual for your Sylvania, and it does have component and s-video out, but there is a line in the manual that says they are only used in DVD mode. This means you will be limited to composite connections to a DVD recorder.

http://upload.cdfreaks.com/Kerry56/ssd800.pdf

Of course I might be wrong in that. It says the s-video and component output jacks on the SSD800 are only “useful” in DVD mode. They might simply mean that VHS doesn’t really need more than composite to give an adequate picture. Really, if the machine outputs to TV’s in component or s-video, this should work to go to a DVD recorder.[/QUOTE]

Thanks so much, this is clarifying things for me. Attached are two views of the back of my VCR and a pic of the cable I have (hard to see, but red says video, white says audio). Hopefully the pics further clarify the various connections on this particular VCR. Thanks again for the assistance and info!





#13

As you look at the connections on your machine, on the far left side of the connections, you see the component input into the VHS section of the player. White is left speaker, red is right, and the yellow is video input.

Right next to the input column are the three output composite jacks, with the same color coding.

The next column of jacks has the audio output, white and red jacks for stereo output when you use either the s-video or component video jacks.

Then you have component video out, red, blue and green, which only carry video signals.

And last you have the s-video output jack.

I believe you can use any one of the three types of video/audio output you want. Depends on what input jacks you get on your DVD recorder.


#14

[QUOTE=Kerry56;2736767]As you look at the connections on your machine, on the far left side of the connections, you see the component input into the VHS section of the player. White is left speaker, red is right, and the yellow is video input.

Right next to the input column are the three output composite jacks, with the same color coding.

The next column of jacks has the audio output, white and red jacks for stereo output when you use either the s-video or component video jacks.

Then you have component video out, red, blue and green, which only carry video signals.

And last you have the s-video output jack.

I believe you can use any one of the three types of video/audio output you want. Depends on what input jacks you get on your DVD recorder.[/QUOTE]

Thanks again. It sounds like I have various options for making this machine work with a DVD recorder, as long as the recorder I buy is able to utilize what’s there and isn’t some weird or outdated model. Now to find a reasonably priced one! thanks for all your help, very appreciated and clarified a lot for me!


#15

I thought I would jump in with this :
I only see component out .

I have quite a few standalone DVD & DVD/VCR combo & VCR recorders.
I only have 2 that are DVD Players only.

Of all the units I have only one has component in.
It’s a Poloroid DRM-2001G .

I don’t think this feature is even legal for new players.
I think that the MPAA & the other DVD standards no longer allow this.


#16

I want to answer this in a separate post to keep down confusion.
The reason that your red & white cables are labled this way is they were made for a mono Audio unit. Even the red should be an improper color code.
The unit type you need to work with the one you already have & one you can still get . Needs to be a standalone DVD recorder with a s-video [B]In or input[/B].
Then use the red/white cables you have for Red/white audio.
This online site has about the best price for s-video cables.
You will need one.
http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10207

If you use a composite set the quality will be some less. Yellow Video ,Red/White R/L stereo .
If you plan to use RF cable just don’t use it . COAX


#17

Looks like there is a composite video / left & right audio output, next to the input in that first block of phono connectors - the standard red / white & yellow plug AV lead for these is the most common type of connection.

If you have any decent DVD software on your computer, I’d be more inclined to go with an AV in device - eg. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815153019&cm_re=video_capture--15-153-019--Product (needs USB2)

VCR to DVD recorder, you are doing a pretty much 1:1 transfer - no edit, no split, no titles - that might be enough though - I was thinking you’d need the computer for anything other than 120 minute standard per DVD, but most DVD recorders offer long play modes - 4 hours to a DVD would probably still be more than enough for VHS quality.


#18

@ Matth , I bought another brand of the type USB capture device you posted a link to. Mine didn’t work well & was almost incompatible. Some people have better luck.
Also anytime you are dubbing from a VHS tape it is going to be 1:1 transfer.
If there are VCR units that will “Play” a VHS tape at a higher speed & dub let me know.I probably won’t get one but I would like to know they exist.

On DVD recorders some allow pause during recording. Then you can edit anything you don’t want from the VHS tape by FF . Then start the DVD recording again.
I did something similar but from DVD to DVD when I edited the Star Trek Enterprise series I recorded form TV with commercials. That’s been some years ago & I would do it differently now but it was the best I could do then. They turned out very watchable.


#19

From reading somewhere else, it looks like if you want create a chapter mark, then stop and restart the recording, rather than pausing - this creates rudimentary menu entries.


#20

The pause caused no problems I detected & no “rudimentary menu entries” I noticed.
For chaptering I set the recording DVD standalone to chapter every 10 minutes.