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Topic # 127254 4-Aug-2013 10:24 Send private message

We have just started converting our large collection of home movies to digital - VHS, Video 8, mini DV.  The process that we are using is:

- record the tape onto dvd - using the original camera to play the tape and a sony dvd recorder
- copy the video-ts files from the dvd to pc
- convert the video-ts files to mp4 format using handbrake.

Before we get too far into this (we have well over 100 tapes), I'm keen to know what the potential pitfalls are and whether there is a better way.

Also the process takes an age to complete - although we do end up with three copies.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 871523 4-Aug-2013 10:39 Send private message

Have you looked at the software and lead packages which negate the need for a DVD recorder and go straight to the PC.

What are your PC specs?
Whatever software you choose depends on the price and with price comes quality (sometimes).
The software needs to also be 'sweet' for your PC as its not worth having a PC which wont be able to handle large amounts of data to convert.

You might find your current process is actually ok with regard to time vs your triplicate copies.

Heres a quick 'link' to some of the popular brands
(Use this link to further google some reviews etc. Use price spy or the geekzone price comparasion for some rough ideas about local sellers and pricing).

"Roxio" are not too bad given their reviews and Im currently considering this VS the "ELGATO".
"VHS 2 DVD from Avenquest" - seems to have been around for awhile.

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  Reply # 871527 4-Aug-2013 10:58 Send private message

You're going from original to mpeg2, then to mpeg4. I'd try to find a way to get movies from the original format directly onto the PC, then use handbrake on whatever format it arrives in.

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  Reply # 881071 19-Aug-2013 15:50 Send private message

mini DV should go directly into a computer via firewire. Don't do the DVD route first, that's simply nasty. DV is not particularly compressed, so there can be a decent amount of detail to play with.

VHS etc is really low quality/resolution to start with, so there's not a lot of info there in the first place.

If you've got film content then technically this could be scanned at a very high resolution given it's optical to start with.

A lot can be done in post production to reduce noise and to make the colours pop a bit hopefully.

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  Reply # 881125 19-Aug-2013 17:02 Send private message

timmmay: You're going from original to mpeg2, then to mpeg4. I'd try to find a way to get movies from the original format directly onto the PC, then use handbrake on whatever format it arrives in.

Get a video capture card/stick, ( something like this

You will then be able to suck the VHS and video 8 content straight to you HDD, ( it will still have to be done in real time as those are both Analog formats), but once you have a bunch of them copied, just get Handbrake to Batch convert them.

This cuts out the "burn to DVD" step,

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