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Thread: VHS to DVD

  1. #1

    Unhappy VHS to DVD

    I recently bought Pinnacle's "Dazzle DVD Recorder". It's the USB 2 version, which will record straight to DVD, with reasonable quality. However, when I use it in conjunction with Pinnacle Studio (10.5) for editing, the image quality is REALLY bad, after writing to DVD.

    I'm using an HP Pavilion dv8000 laptop. AMD Turion 64 (1.8GHz) with 1GB RAM. Graphics: ATI Radeon Express 200M

    I'm trying to transfer an old hour long analogue (VHS) video of a school panto production. I've burnt several DVDs, using different approaches:

    1) Recorded the video straight to the hard disk, using Dazzle's "DVD Recorder" software. I then burnt the disc using Nero. Quality was comparible to the VHS source.

    2) Recorded the video straight to Pinnacle's "Studio 10.5" software, using AVI format. Some minor edits made, just to crop a few seconds from beginning and end, and to add chapters and menu. Burnt the disc using "Studio".
    Quality was terrible. Not only was the video image very poor, but the video "jumped" every few seconds.

    3) Recorded the video straight to the hard disk, using Dazzle's "DVD Recorder" software. I then converted the .VOB files to mpeg 2 (using MOVAVI). I imported this video into "Studio", and performed the same edits and menu creation as attempt 2 above. Finally I burnt the disc, again using "Studio".
    Quality was still very poor. The "jumping" had gone, but the image was really bad, especially during clips with quick motion.

    I just don't know whether to scrap my Dazzle and/or the "Studio" software, and start again. I will be purchasing a new desktop PC soon which will have a SATA hard drive and Intel Core2 Duo processor E4600 & 2 GB RAM.

    Any advice would be welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    N. florida


    I've used Dazzle exernal dongles for analog video input/output and they are a pretty good interface. Your finished dvd quality should be about the same as your original VHS so please consider the following.

    Remember that VHS is possibly the worst quality video format ever used so if possible always record into your PC playing the original or 1st generation tape for highest possible quality.

    Next, use a VHS player that has S-Video output - doesn't your Dazzle I/O include a S-Video input? All the ones I have seen include S-Video input.

    Some will tell you to set your capture settings for .avi type video files. My personal experience is that when dealing with VHS you will get about as good a quality as your are going to get using S-Video and capturing as 720X480 (NTSC)resolution mpeg2 video files or 720X568 (PAL). Do not allow the Dazzle software to capture as dvd .vob.

    There are a variety of editing software programs with free trials available as online downloads - Pinnacle, Adobe and Ulead are 3 well known - I have always preferred ULead Video Studio - full version eleven now on sale for about 45 pounds/$89 US.

    I suggest you use your Dazzle capture device but under the control of one of the editing programs. Open your Pinnacle Studio and select Capture Menu and the Capture Settings and set capture for a trial as 720X480 or 720X568 mpeg2. If your VHS player is turned on, plugged into Dazzle and the tape is playing your editing program should "see" the Dazzle device.

    Since you are experimenting consider also capture as .avi.

    Then open the Pinnacle Editing Mode and open your video in the timeline and make whatever scene cuts or add whatever affects and/or titles you care to and then Finish or Render your project as mpeg2 720X480 if US or for PAL 720X576 - these are the standard resolutions for standard definition dvd.

    Now you can open your finished/rendered video program into a DVD Authoring program - create your menus and chapter points and when ready render as a dvd disc or dvd file for burning later which will transcode your program to the necessary .vob file format.

    Good Luck
    Ask question as you care to need to.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    North Wales


    Hi there,

    I don't wish to hijack this thread, but I also am looking for the best solution for transferring VHS tapes to DVD.

    At the moment, I am transferring them to DVD by conecting my VHS player to a DVD recorder, recording onto the hard disk and then transferring to DVD. I can then load the files into Adobe Premiere V3 and carry out any editing and add menus.

    Am I doing it the best way or should I be using some external peice of hardware to go directly to the PC, and if so, what if the best kit to use?




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