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  1. #1
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    How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I have lots of home videos made on VHS cassette tapes... I'm wondering how to get these onto my computer somehow? Not so much to edit them, but so that I can email them, or just watch them wherever I want (and dont have to use the old VHS player!)

    Anyone know how to do this?

  2. #2
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    USA
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    You need a TV Tuner Capture card and hook the VCR up to it.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    ok...I have that! how do I do it though? Just hook it up and it will transfer? any help would be appreciated...

  4. #4
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    First, you should have a manual with the video capture device. Those would help you to connect the cables and so on. Most can be download (in PDF or whatever).

    Then you would run a capture software. Best to browse at the videohelp (lots of good free download software). That would give you a good head-start.

    Chuck

  5. #5
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    Hamilton, New Zealand.
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    925

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    With the winfast tv2000xp (blah blah) tv tuner i use, the winfast software has a PVR (personal video recorder) function that records to a user selctable format like mpeg1 or 2 etc...
    All i do is start the app and select the source ( like channel) and start recording and then press play on the vcr. Let it run till its finished and stop the recording on the pc and edit it with a suitable app. Nero vision can do this among others.
    You dont have to have a tv tuner card as such though, any vivo capable video card will be fine and im pretty sure thers a good selection of free apps that'll record from many sources.
    Last edited by -=SparX=-; 07-13-2007 at 03:38 AM. Reason: more...

  6. #6
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I wonder though. Never done it but wont that conversion be a long and extremely demanding process? Dont they have...like at Best Buy...stand alone units that will create a disc from the VCR tape?

    Like so

    samsung hd conversion dvd recorder vcr


    My thought is.... man if I had a large collection of stuff on vcr Id really think about alternatives.
    Like perhaps replacing some of the stuff simply by buying the dvd if it were priced right.
    Im imagining a convert to dvd and then store on HD is gonna require alot of storage.
    I might settle to just convert everything to disc from the original vcr tapes.
    Last edited by jimzinsocal; 07-13-2007 at 02:24 PM.

  7. #7
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    361

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    ok...so VHS to DVD is the best bet (not straight to hard drive). what is the best way to do VHS to DVD? I have a vcr...and I have a computer with a DVD burner on it...

    suggestions? appreciated

  8. #8
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I haven't experience any with VCR-to-DVD directly.

    You can just buy a 250G HDD (it can be either internal or external HDD), capture the video onto the 250G (best to have the capture drive alone, with all regular software, including the capturing software, on the C Drive). Then you can cut boring parts, fuzzy image, or whatever.

    Then create to DVD (that process is called 'authoring').

    You can study what video capture is out there by going to the videoguys. BTW, I am going to be buying the ADS PYRO A/V Link API557 (which also includes very good software!) later this year. This can capture any analog (such as VHS, Hi8, etc) as well digital you might encounter. Just me... I suggest you not to bother with Pinnacle products (I didn't listen to others at first, now know only find problematic issues).

    Chuck

  9. #9
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    361

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I'm confused...I want to get an old VHS tape onto my computer. If it must be via DVD first, fine. I have a VCR. what will get this VCR to burn to a DVD or to my computer hard drive?


    Quote Originally Posted by CNT View Post
    I haven't experience any with VCR-to-DVD directly.

    You can just buy a 250G HDD (it can be either internal or external HDD), capture the video onto the 250G (best to have the capture drive alone, with all regular software, including the capturing software, on the C Drive). Then you can cut boring parts, fuzzy image, or whatever.

    Then create to DVD (that process is called 'authoring').

    You can study what video capture is out there by going to the videoguys. BTW, I am going to be buying the ADS PYRO A/V Link API557 (which also includes very good software!) later this year. This can capture any analog (such as VHS, Hi8, etc) as well digital you might encounter. Just me... I suggest you not to bother with Pinnacle products (I didn't listen to others at first, now know only find problematic issues).

    Chuck

  10. #10
    Joined
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    Australia
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    14,221

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    Hey Hubie, have a look at these threads. Some good info in there. If you have any more questions beyond what's in those, ask away

    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=424877
    http://forums.pcper.com/showthread.php?t=424601

  11. #11
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    Brookfield, WI
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hubie View Post
    I'm confused...I want to get an old VHS tape onto my computer. If it must be via DVD first, fine. I have a VCR. what will get this VCR to burn to a DVD or to my computer hard drive?
    Sorry if this is overwheling. Yes, there's are "many" different ways to do with copying videos between mediums. So, it would be best if you could post what you have (motherbaord, video card, how many HDDs and spaces, etc) (most of us in here use a 'public profile' to type in their system specs so we can better help each other). Let us know if you have a USB port or a Firewire port.

    Now, as to coping VHS to DVD, generally, you need a VIDEO INPUT (with RCA jacks) to capture the video/audio to the Hard Drive. You will want to use the highest quality capture.

    Once you have the videos on the Hard Drive, then you can do many things. You can delete, crop, adjust color/brightness, etc. While doing that, be aware that some will take a long time to update the video (that process is called rendering). Finally save the work.

    Lastly, export to DVD or VCD or even to another VHS (to give to grandmother), that process is called author. You can use Nero or any other software (including the video editing software) to create DVD.

    We can't explain the every step to do this because there's many ways (with different opinions). My suggest is when using a software, stay with that software from start to finish (because sometimes using different software or company can cause problems with frame, copyrights, and other issues). It's best to browse in www.videohelp.com and start with "How To" on the left-side. Start with "CAPTURE" and then read various topics in there.

    So, for us to better help you, let us know what computer you have. Example, if you have Firewire port (and it's working), I would suggest to get ADS PYRO A/V Link (link in 8th post). If you have USB port (is it 1.1 or 2.0?), maybe ADSTech Instant DVD 2.0 or Canopus. It's best to use Firewire when possible.

    Again, use the left-side menu www.videohelp.com for what to buy (under LISTS, Capture Cards), edit (under HOW TO, Convert), etc.

    Did I said too many thing or was it helpful?

    Chuck

    ADDED : Forgot to mention that capturing videos onto the HDD requires A LOT of HDD space. This is why you may need another HDD (internal or external) to save videos (MPEG or AVI), then you go on from there. It's fun, really!
    Last edited by CNT; 07-17-2007 at 11:03 AM.

  12. #12
    Joined
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    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    390

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I've done this a time or two before. It is a very time-consuming process. If you have a decnt pc with a modern processor, just get an inexpensive capture card (like the winfast SparX mentioned above)that uses your cpu to do the processing. More expensive video capture cards (Happauge) have good chips onboard that don't use all of your cpu clocks. However, that might be overkill in your situation. Its not like vcr tapes have great quality anyway. Just make sure you don't try to do anything else while you're recording or you'll get choppy playback.

  13. #13
    Joined
    Jul 2005
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    361

    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    I have a Haupage PVR 150. Is this what I need? What do I do to get it working...I can probably figure out how to get the video/audio to appear via my computer, but how do I record/save it onto my hard drive? do I need a special program?

  14. #14
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hubie View Post
    Haupage PVR 150
    According to images I see of that device, it does not have composite cable. Looks like you can use the yellow jack for video and then use the sound card for audio inputs (white and red jacks). That's one way, if you can get to that far. If not, then not much left with given device.

    Yes, you will need a software to capture, edit, export videos. Some are free (maybe included with Windows XP or Vista, something like 'MovieMaker').

    Did you look in videohelp.com?

    Chuck

  15. #15
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    Re: How to get a VHS tape as a file on my computer?

    Your card should have come with a CD.
    Install WinTV2000 - this is your capture program.
    Follow the setup directions.
    Use the record button on screen or on the remote and it will save the video to your HD in MPEG format.
    To burn an MPEG to DVD you will need to install Movie Factory.
    This is from the manual for your card:

    Record your TV programs or home videos onto DVD or CD, and play them on your DVD player! If you have a DVD burner in your PC, use the WinTV-PVR’s MPEG files with the included Ulead DVD MovieFactory™ to author your own home DVD’s. Turn your TV shows or home videos into DVD movies!
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