View Full Version : vcr-dvd camcorder-dvd?

07-06-2004, 05:13 PM
Hi. I have a vcr, a digicam and various dvd burning apps on my PC. I want to convert vhs tape to dvd. Can I record to digicam then transfer via firewire to dvd on the PC? In short, what is the easiest way to get our vhs collection from tape to dvd? Ta.

07-06-2004, 05:17 PM
As far as i know you can use your digicam to re-encode the anologe signel from the vhs into the computer on the fly.

Indeed,Many people recomend this as the preferred way of doing so,As long as your cam has av inputs you shoulkd be able to tranfser the vhs signel with excellent results.

www.dvdrhelp.com probally has a faq on the subject,and if not a seacrh of their forums is bound to turn up some results.

08-06-2004, 01:41 PM
So, the idea is hook up the VCR to the digicam and the digicam to the PC firewire port, push play on the VCR and capture direct to the PC? No "recording" to the digicam first? Once the video has been captured, I assume I can use Ulead or Sonic or Nero to create a DVD? It seems pretty easy (without actually trying it). Do you have any idea how long it might take to capture, say, an hour of vhs and how much space I will need on the PC?

08-06-2004, 02:04 PM
Indeed, that is the theory.

Personally I feed an old analogue camera into a capture card so I am of little use as to the finer points of using a cam to convert the analogue signal into digital and capture it onto the harddrive

However, it will be done in real-time, an hour of footage will take an hour to capture, as to space, that would depend on format used, and i know little about digital camera formats.......

08-06-2004, 02:56 PM

The pass thru is the best method. Just be sure to remove the tape from the camcorder before you try to use the pass thru feature..

It's also best to convert the files from captured DV to DVD before you load them into the DVD authoring program..

09-06-2004, 01:50 PM
Pass thru? What? ?:| Remove tape? Convert DV to DVD? What? ?:| Please explain. ?:| Ta.

09-06-2004, 02:03 PM
> Pass thru? What? ?:|

Pass the VHS signal through the Digicam.
Connect the VHS player to the digicam and the digicam to the PC.
Play the tape. Record the output from the digicam. It should show in the manual how the digicam is set to do this.

>Remove tape?

You do not want to record the VHS onto the digicam, so removing the tape stops that.

>Convert DV to DVD?

The video stream from the digicam should be recorded on the PC. Then using your supplied software, convert it to a DVD.

09-06-2004, 04:06 PM
If you're willing to spend a little money you can buy a graphics card for your computer that supports VIVO, or Video-in, Video-out. What VIVO does is it allows you to connect your computer directly to your TV or VCR, and you can send the video signal either from your computer to your TV/VCR, or from your TV/VCR to the computer. Just like the video-in/video-out cable that connects a VCR to the TV.

What you do then is to play the VHS tape in the VCR and send the video signal to the computer. The video playback can then be viewed in your computer's video-editing software and recorded. A graphics card with good VIVO functionality can cost a hundred or more dollars, but if you spend much time with video and editing it will save you lots of time. It cuts out the step of recording the VHS tape to the camcorder beforehand.

Using my own experience in converting home video to DVD, 30 minutes of video roughly equates to 1GB of hard drive space using the MPEG format. Since a single-layer DVD holds 4.7GB of data, you can fit 2 hours of video onto a single DVD.

09-06-2004, 04:11 PM
The problem in that sugestion is that the pass-thru method will give better results(for example it locks the audio and video into the same timeframe,and dropped frames are not a concern) and he alrerady has all the required gear for it.

The camera does the exact same job as a quite pricy digital conversion box,somewhere in the 500 to 1000 dollar mark.

Miami Steve
09-06-2004, 04:48 PM
> The problem in that sugestion is that the pass-thru
> method will give better results(for example it locks
> the audio and video into the same timeframe,and
> dropped frames are not a concern) and he alrerady has
> all the required gear for it.
> The camera does the exact same job as a quite pricy
> digital conversion box,somewhere in the 500 to 1000
> dollar mark.

Is that true, metla? I have a VIVO card (FX5900) but I also have a DV Camcorder. I'd be interested in knowing for sure which will produce the better results.


09-06-2004, 04:53 PM
Of course its true,would i lie?

At least thats the word round the campfire amongst those in the know.

Not that i would count myself as such,but thats what i have picked up on my travels.

14-06-2004, 10:09 AM
Hi. Well we tried it in the weekend. Didn't work. We hooked up the VCR to the camera using the Line out sockets (there doesn't appear to be anything labelled video/audio out on the VCR??). We connected the digicam to the PC via firewire, loaded the capture software, pushed play on the VCR/record on the digicam and nothing happened (surprise!). I think the problem may be we're trying to use a pretty ancient VCR - I think it's about 7 years old. I think our next move might be to get a card for the PC. But the old boy is (unfortunately) looking at one of those analogue/digital converter thingies. I say unfortunately because they're bloody expensive!

14-06-2004, 10:54 AM
You may have to use the DV cams menu to switch the plug which you connected it to the VCR to line in mode? On my camera (and many/most others?) the line out socket (for playing back from the Camera to a TV) doubles as the input socket - it needs to be swtiched between the two settings using the menus. It could also be affected by whether you have the camera switched to Camera (record), or VCR (playback) mode?

You might be able to isolate the source of the problem by forgetting the firewire-PC connection for a start and seeing if you can get the picture from the VCR to show on the camera, once you have that sorted (presuming you can), then connect to the PC.

Good luck.

14-06-2004, 12:34 PM
Thanks for that. We did try hooking up only the VCR/camera to see if we could view the VCR output on the digicam. No luck. I had a fiddle with menu settings but could find nothing obvious. The manual isn't very helpful in that regard either. Grateful for any advice on what to try, thanks very much. If it's any help, the digicam is a Sony TRV 19 something-or-other. The VCR is also a Sony. Sorry to be vague - I'm at work now and the gear is at home.

Miami Steve
14-06-2004, 12:46 PM
Hi karent,

AFAIK, the TRV19 only has firewire input. The S-video and RCA connections are output only. That being the case, I think a capture card may be your only option.


14-06-2004, 01:58 PM
Yes the TRV19 does not have RCA/S-video inputs (only firewire), so you won't be able to use the pass thru option with that camera.

Depending on how much analogue you want to convert there are various options open to you. You're already considering the "capture box". You could also look at a capture card (they can be picked up reasonably cheaply, but do a bit of checking online for reviews of what the quality of capture is like).

If you don't have too much, and you only intend it as a once off to get your old tapes converted to digital you could look at hiring a digicam that does have analogue inputs/pass-thru capability (confirm with whom-ever you rent off and ask them to show you how to set it up), then spend a weekend transferring it all to the PC and burning to DVD. If is just once off then you might find this will give you the best quality and be reasonable cost?