VCR to digital file

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VCR to digital file

Lynda Cook
We have a bunch of VCR tapes of our kids when they were young.  I have a working VCR player, but can’t figure out a way to convert the tape to a digital file.  Since VCR is basically a dead medium, tI want to try to recover the data and store on an external HD.  

Anyone have any suggestions, other than sending them Costco or other service that will charge about $18 each?  I have some out with them now, but found a bunch more and many just have short clips I’d like to retrieve.

Lynda


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Re: VCR to digital file

Paul Chernoff
I have done these transfer with Elgato's EyeTV. I've converted videos on both VHS and Hi-8 tapes. My model is no longer made, the demand for a product to watch standard TV on a computer is greatly diminished. But The Elgato Video Capture Device 10020840 looks to be good for doing the job. I have used their software for very basic editing. I then exported from EyeTV to MPEG-4 files for editing in other products and then created DVDs in both Toast and Apple's no defunct DVD software.

What is realy nice is creating movies of just the good parts so it is interesting for others to watch, rather than fast forwarding through a hour long graduation ceremony to the 30 seconds that you child walks up and grags his/hers diploma.


Paul Chernoff
Director of Information Technology
Washingtonian Media
202.862.3504

On Aug 7, 2014, at 3:08 PM, Lynda Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:

> We have a bunch of VCR tapes of our kids when they were young.  I have a working VCR player, but can’t figure out a way to convert the tape to a digital file.  Since VCR is basically a dead medium, tI want to try to recover the data and store on an external HD.  
>
> Anyone have any suggestions, other than sending them Costco or other service that will charge about $18 each?  I have some out with them now, but found a bunch more and many just have short clips I’d like to retrieve.
>
> Lynda
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
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Re: VCR to digital file

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by Lynda Cook


> On Aug 7, 2014, at 12:08 PM, Lynda Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I have a working VCR player, but can’t figure out a way to convert the tape to a digital file.

Years ago I bought a cheap DVD/VCR combo unit at Walmart (I think it was about $50). They probably don't carry such a beast any more, but you can probably find a used one online cheap.

You just put a blank DVD in one side and the videotape in the other and there a button that plays the tape and records it to the DVD.

It's handy in two ways: you get a DVD version, which is much more useful and has a longer life, and you can easily rip the DVD to a digital file with free software such as Handbrake. Then you can edit it to chunks.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher
xDev Magazine





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Re: VCR to digital file

Chris Poterala
I didn't think those types of playback units offered any sort of write
capability on the DVD side of things. I thought it was just to offer
the convenience of playing back both types of media as people
transitioned from VCR to DVD.


chris poterala - [hidden email]
http://twitter.com/potsie


On Thu, Aug 7, 2014 at 3:30 PM, Marc Zeedar <[hidden email]> wrote:

>
>
>> On Aug 7, 2014, at 12:08 PM, Lynda Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
>>
>> I have a working VCR player, but can’t figure out a way to convert the tape to a digital file.
>
> Years ago I bought a cheap DVD/VCR combo unit at Walmart (I think it was about $50). They probably don't carry such a beast any more, but you can probably find a used one online cheap.
>
> You just put a blank DVD in one side and the videotape in the other and there a button that plays the tape and records it to the DVD.
>
> It's handy in two ways: you get a DVD version, which is much more useful and has a longer life, and you can easily rip the DVD to a digital file with free software such as Handbrake. Then you can edit it to chunks.
>
>
> Marc Zeedar
> Publisher
> xDev Magazine
>
>
>
>
>
> ____________TidBITS Talk Participation Guidelines____________
> Post only when you have something substantive to contribute.
> Be polite and constructive, and comment on posts, not people.
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Re: VCR to digital file

Dr Digby L. James
> I didn't think those types of playback units offered any sort of write
> capability on the DVD side of things. I thought it was just to offer
> the convenience of playing back both types of media as people
> transitioned from VCR to DVD.

I have a Toshiba VCR/DVD that does this that I bought about 3 years ago. Works well, except on commercial copy protected tapes, where the Elgato route is a better option. I now have a spare VCR sitting here and will eventually get round to reviewing all the old tapes before disposing of the - and the Betamax too.

Dr Digby L. James
Quinta Press
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Mobile (44) (0)7970 678144





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Re: VCR to digital file

Marc Zeedar-2
In reply to this post by Chris Poterala


> On Aug 7, 2014, at 12:38 PM, Chris Poterala <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> I didn't think those types of playback units offered any sort of write
> capability on the DVD side of things.

Ah, good point -- there are those kinds, but mine is a DVD writer. You'd definitely want one that burns DVDs for this use. It's actually a handy device. Only burns in real-time, so a 2-hour video takes two hours to burn, but it's easy to set it up before going to bed or something.


Marc Zeedar
Publisher
xDev Magazine




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Re: VCR to digital file

John Burt-2
In reply to this post by Lynda Cook


John

> On Aug 7, 2014, at 12:08 PM, Lynda Cook <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> We have a bunch of VCR tapes of our kids when they were young.  I have a working VCR player, but can’t figure out a way to convert the tape to a digital file.  Since VCR is basically a dead medium, tI want to try to recover the data and store on an external HD.  
>
> Anyone have any suggestions, other than sending them Costco or other service that will charge about $18 each?  I have some out with them now, but found a bunch more and many just have short clips I’d like to retrieve.
>
> Lynda

I have used both EyeTV and a DVD recorder depending on the results I wanted. You should be able to hook the VCR output to a DVD recorder input via composite or S-video connections. The Toshiba DR420KU will work that way. That would probably be the least expensive if still available. Other models do the same thing & more. They have deletion style editing on some media types. There is even a Magnavox DVR with Toshiba hardware inside, I think, that should do it. You can usually find users manuals online to confirm the features. Amazon still had some models available as of this year.

The EyeTV has the advantages of both deletion and cutting into clips. Direct burn of edited EyeTV files via Toast sometimes has sound sync problems but they burn OK if exported first. Burn time is just as long as playback time when exported though. The EyeTV-HD can also record the picture from a cable set top box if you are interested in that kind of thing. I use it almost daily!

Ask off list if you want more details. (Unless Adam wants it on here.)

John


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Re: VCR to digital file

Randy B. Singer
In reply to this post by Lynda Cook

On Aug 7, 2014, at 12:08 PM, Lynda Cook wrote:

> I want to try to recover the data and store on an external HD.  

Have a look at:

http://www.macworld.com/2004/05/features/fromvhstodvd/index.php

http://answers.google.com/answers/threadview?id=91153

One solution is Elgato
https://www.elgato.com/en/video/video-capture

___________________________________________
Randy B. Singer
Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)

Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance
http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html
___________________________________________





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