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Thread: Ultimate Tape to Digital Procedure

  1. #1
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    Nov 2020
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    Default Ultimate Tape to Digital Procedure

    Looking for advice on stepwise approach to getting old home movie on VHS-C tapes to digital. I have approximately 100 of these & don't want to realize when I get to number 71 that I should have done something differently.
    I have an Corsair Elgato Video Capture Card https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B0029U2YSA/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_image_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 on the way.
    My plan is to use this to get everything onto a hard drive via the S-Video out and to buy new video editing software to edit these. I have use Pinnacle & Video Studio in the past for editing from my digital camcorder.

    Is there anything in particular that I should be careful of?
    How much will using the S-Video instead of RCA (red/white) cables improve picture quality? (Having trouble finding a working VHS VCR with an s-video out)
    Will an RCA to HDMI cable improve quality, or at least be as good as or better than RCA cables only or S-Video?
    Will a VHS VCR with HQ (High Quality) improve picture? (Everything was shot on a JVC VHS-C HQ Camcorder...like the one in Back To The Future)
    Should I copy to the computer Hard Drive, an external HHD or SSD?
    Other suggestions????????

    I know the picture quality is going to be awful to start with. I just want to squeeze the maximum quality out of these that I possibly can.



  2. Default

    There's no good reason to go from analog to HDMI, then capture the HDMI. Just go straight from analog to an appropriate dimension (perhaps 320x240 for standard VHS/8mm, 525 lines for S-VHS/Hi.

    S-Video connection will get you somewhat better color clarity.

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bouldersoundguy View Post
    There's no good reason to go from analog to HDMI, then capture the HDMI. Just go straight from analog to an appropriate dimension (perhaps 320x240 for standard VHS/8mm, 525 lines for S-VHS/Hi.

    S-Video connection will get you somewhat better color clarity.
    Thanks.
    What about the fact that the camcorder used was HQ. (High Quality). Would using a HQ VCR help at all?

  4. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by habb View Post
    Thanks.
    What about the fact that the camcorder used was HQ. (High Quality). Would using a HQ VCR help at all?
    I suspect an HQ deck will have slightly better video playback quality than a non-HQ deck. I would definitely use a deck with VHS Hi-Fi that can play back tapes with Hi-Fi audio tracks. If the tape has a linear track, the Hi-Fi deck will still play it back.

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks. So still wondering;
    - Should I copy to the computer Hard Drive, an external HHD or SSD?
    - Is getting them into a Video Editing Software Suite straightforward or in any way complicated?
    - Can I chop these up in the software, since I will probably be transferring them in a full SP mode of 1 hour/tape (a single scene for each tape in other words)?
    - Ideas on organizing these videos

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by habb View Post
    Thanks. So still wondering;
    - Should I copy to the computer Hard Drive, an external HHD or SSD?
    If possible, transfer to a separate drive from your system drive.

    Quote Originally Posted by habb View Post
    - Is getting them into a Video Editing Software Suite straightforward or in any way complicated?
    I don't know about other NLEs (nonlinear editors), but in Vegas Pro you can simply drag and drop the file onto the timeline. Sometimes there are formats that the software doesn't accept. I'll use Handbrake to convert those, setting it to convert at the original file's resolution and audio type.

    Quote Originally Posted by habb View Post
    - Can I chop these up in the software, since I will probably be transferring them in a full SP mode of 1 hour/tape (a single scene for each tape in other words)?
    Certainly, that's one of the most basic functions of editing software.

    Quote Originally Posted by habb View Post
    - Ideas on organizing these videos
    I guess that's a matter of personal preference. One thing I do is put each project in its own folder. I name the folders starting with the date in the format YYYYMMDD of the original event so they alphabetize in chronological order. After the date I give it a description that will help me find it with a search.

  7. #7
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    Default

    All sound (no pun intended) advice from BSG
    Tim

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