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Old 01-17-2010, 03:41 PM
 
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I'm wondering if there is a way to do this WITHOUT buying expensive equipment.

I have family videos on VHS tape, and I would love to transfer them to DVD. I do have a DVD burner on my PC (Dell XPS-420)

Anyone know of a cheap way? Is it even possible?
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Old 01-17-2010, 03:57 PM
 
2,884 posts, read 5,666,710 times
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It is possible. You will need some kind of equipment.

You'll need a working VCR on one side. And you need something in or connected to your computer to receive the display from the VCR. This could be a multimedia capture device or a TV card in your computer.

If this is something you want to do regularly, the hardware will be worthwhile. But if this is a one-shot where you just have some old videos on tape you want to convert and once those are done you're finished, there are services around that can do it for you and will probably cost less than buying the equipment and doing it yourself. I did a google search for VCR to DVD service and came up with several. Looks like the going rate varies from 6 to 20 bucks a tape, approximately.
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Old 01-17-2010, 04:17 PM
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Location: Ohio
17,104 posts, read 36,079,702 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scarmig View Post
I did a google search for VCR to DVD service and came up with several. Looks like the going rate varies from 6 to 20 bucks a tape, approximately.
I have had this done at both Costco and Wal-Mart (in the photo processing departments) for $20/tape. Both stores send the tapes off somewhere for processing and you get the finished product back in about a month. I was satisfied with the finished product from both stores.

I have years of experience both with computers and video editing and this was not a chore I wanted to mess around with. It would take many hours of work per tape for me to do this and I figured the $20/tape was a better value, considering the cost of the software; the cost of my time to learn and use new software; and the trial and error it would take in order to get a good finished product.
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Old 01-17-2010, 05:20 PM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,683 posts, read 9,346,190 times
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If all you want to do is transfer the videos to DVD, I'd say don't bother with the computer at all and use either a service, or a standalone combo VCR/DVD burner that burns DVDs from VHS tapes.

It can be done cheaply using your computer, if you don't count the cost of your time to install the hardware, learn to use the software, and then do the work. You could use a TV tuner card to do the capture (since they have composite and S-video inputs in addition to the tuner), or an external device that captures the video and compresses it in hardware, passing the compressed data to your computer over USB (Pinnacle DVD Creator and ADS DVD XPress for example).

Another option would be to use a DV camcorder, if it has pass-thru capability for external video sources. This would be an inexpensive solution, assuming you already have the camcorder. However, if you have a lot of tapes to transfer, I don't think there is a solution that is both cheap and easy. You'll either have to spend a lot of money (service or VCR/DVD recorder), or spend a lot of your own time figuring out how to do this (video capture and edit).
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Old 01-18-2010, 04:33 AM
 
41,816 posts, read 47,573,868 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bowie View Post
I have had this done at both Costco and Wal-Mart (in the photo processing departments) for $20/tape. Both stores send the tapes off somewhere for processing and you get the finished product back in about a month. I was satisfied with the finished product from both stores.
Most of those services just use DVD recorders, nothing spectacular. Worth it if you only have a few tapes but if have many tapes you might as well go get your own DVD recorder. Note that not all DVD recorders are equal, the encoding chip makes big difference and some have additional features for analog cleanup like LTBC's which can help with problems like horizontal skew.

There's good list here with ratings and comments: DVD Recorder and Blu-ray Recorder list - VideoHelp.comt
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Old 01-22-2010, 07:19 AM
 
2,884 posts, read 5,666,710 times
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Woot today (01/22/2010) has a VHS to USB converter for thirty bucks.

Woot : One Day, One Deal (SM)
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:32 PM
 
Location: Arizona, The American Southwest
53,887 posts, read 32,263,537 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikky77 View Post
I'm wondering if there is a way to do this WITHOUT buying expensive equipment.

I have family videos on VHS tape, and I would love to transfer them to DVD. I do have a DVD burner on my PC (Dell XPS-420)

Anyone know of a cheap way? Is it even possible?
Quote:
Originally Posted by scarmig View Post
Woot today (01/22/2010) has a VHS to USB converter for thirty bucks.

Woot : One Day, One Deal (SM)
That's what I was going to suggest also. I have a USB device I plug either my VCR, or my Sony 8mm cam-corder, and convert everything on the tapes to DVD. It also comes with software you can use to edit videos.

You can find those in most electronics stores, like Best Buy or Fry's Electronics.
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Old 01-24-2010, 01:11 PM
 
29 posts, read 117,933 times
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OP here.

I am very much NOT technically inclined. Does this USB device just plug in between my VCR and my computer tower? So that I could play the tape in the VCR and have it be recording onto my hard drive, then burn a DVD? Is that what it does?

For $30??

That would indeed be a wonderful thing, since I have probably 20-25 VHS tapes of family videos I'd like to convert.

If I go to Best Buy (or buy online) what do I ask for??? What is the device called?

thanks!
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Old 01-24-2010, 03:42 PM
 
Location: God's Gift to Mankind for flying anything
5,796 posts, read 12,775,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikky77 View Post
If I go to Best Buy (or buy online) what do I ask for??? What is the device called?
OK, go to Best Buy. Then ask for a doohicky called *Dazzle*.
There are at least two versions, but the low end unit is probably good enough for you.

Ask what the cost is, then check the on-line stores for a better price,
but .... remember that there will be shipping charge added.

The VCR out puts plug into the Dazzle, and the Dazzle plugs into your USB port.

The package contains basic software to *make* movies that you then can run on your DVD player.

go here to check it out first.
Dazzle DVD Recorder makes DVD burning and DVD transfer simple and easy (http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSite/us/Products/Consumer+Products/Dazzle/Dazzle+Video+Archiving/Dazzle+DVD+Recorder.htm - broken link)

If you need to *edit* your movies, contact me via DM, and I will advice which programs are easy to work with.
Read this:
http://www.pinnaclesys.com/PublicSit...ia%2balert.htm

Whatever you do On-Line, DO NOT buy from Dino.
Their unit is some cheapy Chinese product that does not have a good rating at all.
And ... no support !!!

The Dazzle unit is from Pinnacle (One of the best video editing software companies).
and their support is superior.

Last edited by irman; 01-24-2010 at 03:51 PM..
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Old 01-24-2010, 10:12 PM
 
41,816 posts, read 47,573,868 times
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Pinnacle software and devices are some of the worst on the market... Any USB device ranges from junk to usable and if you're paying $30 it's probably junk.

Since it's home footage do it right and do it once.

Do you have mini-DV camcorder? You might have everything you need and can get superior captures to anything a USB device is going to produce.

List the model if you do or look it up in the manual if it has "pass through"
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