Want to Transfer VHS Material to DVD

Hello all, and let me say I do really enjoy having my questions answered by such a large number of knowledgable people.

Ok, here is the deal; I have a lot of things on VHS tape that I would like to eventually put onto DVD. Can anyone tell me what I need to do this ?? I have a nice DVD burner, but what software and equipment to interface VCR with my computer will I need ?? Is it simply a matter of getting a Video card with RCA inputs ?? Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated !

Thank you all for your help,

You need:
A good VCR.
A capture device.
The right cables/adapters.
Software to run it.

Some video cards do have video input, but audio is still done by your sound card’s line in port. Often you will need an adapter, to go from the composite out of the VCR to stereo micro on the sound card.
You’re much better off with a dedicated capture card, not a combo-video card.

If you have a digital cam, you can use that to capture video, by running the VCR to the cam’s inputs, and the cam to the PC, usually via firewire.
This can be very high quality (as good as it get’s with VHS), because the CAM does the analog to digital conversion for you.

What sort of price range are you looking at?
How many tapes have you got to do?

There are desktop units that with a touch of a button, copy a vhs to dvd, or dvd to vhs. These cost around $250.00. There are numerous hardware/software solutions for PC, depending on how professional you want to get. You can get into it for anywhere from $100.00 for everything, up to thousands of dollards. I would recommend you do some reading at www.dvdrhelp.com and then come back here and ask more questions. They cover everything from tv tuner cards for capturing, to Canopus PCI cards that are professional quality. They also have forums like here, that give opinions on what to use and why. Just remember, that opinions are like assholes. Everybody has one, and most of them stink. :slight_smile:

This is something I wanted to do, my TV just seems to have a scart out, and some S-V ports at the front (problem is that there are for input, not output, I dunno) so I really just want to know what the cheapest way I can trasfer VHS to the computer would be, I wondered about Adaptec Video-Oh (of course, I would use VDub instead of the bundled software).

Any ideas?

Ben :slight_smile:

I’m not very familiar with adaptec videoh, so you should search for information about it on www.dvdrhelp.com. You will find reviews (pros and cons), from people who actually use that particular device. From all my reading, most people prefer the slightly better hardware (plextor, ADS Pyro, on Canopus) solutions. With the better solutions you get higher quality captures, and less if any dropped frames. There are others who swear by the ATI AIW solutions. All that information is on the link I provided. I personally use the ADS Pyro both an internal and an external, and I’m extremely happy with the results.

Thanks, will look there.
If I dont want to use the bundled software with it, will they all work with the VirtualDub capture?

Ben :slight_smile:

It might! Most decent capture devices support quite a few different softwares. It’s just a matter of it being able to detect your device.

Ok, basicly my worry is the outputs on my TV/VHS player, on the VHS there is only a SCART port and a old fashined areal, on the TV it then has Video, Left audio and Right audio (yellow, white and red ones) and then a S-Video but I dont know if these are output out or in, I know the S-VIDEO works as a input for the TV card.

Ben :slight_smile:

Harley2Ride, thank you for the quick and spot on information. I am not looking to spend a fortune to do the VHS to DVD transfer, if I can get good equpiment for around $100-200.00 that would be great. Nothing I have on VHS is that prized a possesion, it’s just that most of it is out-of-print or was never released on DVD–(and probably never will be) :slight_smile: So if you could recommend some equipment in that price range that you know produces watchable material, please do, I am listening :slight_smile: I will also check the link you suggested and see what I can find there !

Thank you and all the best to you,


I would recommend a hauppauge pvr 250 does a great job of vhs to dvd and It encodes to mpeg (hardware not software) so you can still do what you want on your computer while it does its stuff…
bundled software is not the greatest but theres plenty around…
tv tuner and remote included

I’ve seen quite a few people that like the hauppage. It’s a low end solution, but it should be quite sufficient for home use. Does the hauppage bypass macrovision? I know that both of my ADS cards do…

If I get the WinTV, will I be able to use just the areal out from the VCR to conect it from, so no need to go through the TV also?

Does anybody know if it would also work with both PAL and NTSC tapes, and use VDub capture (I want to encode it myself with CCE, so idealy the input video should be uncompressed or lossless.

Ben :slight_smile:

Most articles I’ve read recommend capturing from the VCR, using the rca connections for video out and audio out, and saving as an AVI. HUFFY UV is highly recommended by www.dvdrhelp.com as a very good lossless codec. I’ve been capturing from VCR using RCA cables for quite some time, and I don’t have any complaints about the quality.

I use huffy for most video editing, so it would be great. Problem is the VCR doesnt have RCA out, only old coaxial. Is it possible to capture using the WinTV card, it looks like it has a coaxial conector, if not, are tere any (cheap) coaxial to RCA converters around, or would it be better just to connect through the TV? The problem is, the TV is quite a way away for the computer, so it would be better to just put the VCR by the computer and connect it direcly. Oh, it also has a scart out, and I have what appears to be a SCART to RCA converter that looks pretty much like this:
would I be able to just use this for RCA out?

Would the WinTV bypass the Macrovision btw?

Ben :slight_smile:

I’ve been using a Leadtek Winfast PVR2000 card with a hardware MPEG-2 encoder which seems to give quite good results. With the hardware encoder there should be any dropped frames when recording from VHS. I use the scart output from the video to composite input on the card. If I had s-video on the video I could use the s-video input on the card for even better results. Going thru’ the aerial is not really an option. The quality is pretty dire plus you might not get stereo sound.

I have decided to go for the WinTV, are there any bettefits of the PVR-250 over the PVR-150?

Ben :slight_smile:

Most every article I’ve read states that using the RCA connections will get you the best quality results. But if you don’t have them, you have to work with what you have. I would just buy another VCR for $39.00 that has audio/video out.

[QUOTE=bcn_246;1022913]Ok, basicly my worry is the outputs on my TV/VHS player, on the VHS there is only a SCART port and a old fashined areal, on the TV it then has Video, Left audio and Right audio (yellow, white and red ones) and then a S-Video but I dont know if these are output out or in, I know the S-VIDEO works as a input for the TV card.

Ben :)[/QUOTE]I used a Lifeview TV PCI tuner and captured via the aerial connection from the VHs recorder. Lifeview Tuner software converted it to MPG and VideoRedo suite edited and converted it to DVD