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Discussion Starter #1
The other day I decided to watch one of my purchased movies "Trinity Is Still My Name" and the quality of the movie has degraded severely over the past 10 years. I have many VCR tapes that I paid allot of money for and I need to preseve the movie on them before it is lost.

I need to get a solution to convert the VCR tapes into digital so I can store them on my computer before they all are lost.

What do you use/would you use to accomplish this task?
 

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Although available as video cards that drop into your computer, some of the best converters made are external and are manufactured by Canopus (which is now a division of Grass Valley). The ADVC 110 is an excellent little converter. It has video and audio inputs, and a firewire output connection which goes to your computer (you can get a firewire card for your computer for just a few $$). The files generated are DVI files which can be translated to any number of other video file types, including MP4 (software required - some conversions are supported by Windows and don't require any additional software).

In your case, a VCR would feed the converter, and you capture the digitized video with your computer (it takes quite a bit of disk space per minute so be aware). Those files are then converted to the desired final form. If you convert to MP2, you can put them on a DVD (DVD authoring software required). Otherwise, they can be converted to forms compatible with handheld devices, etc., etc.

The Canopus converter is described here:
http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110

I believe the ADVC300 is still available which is bidirectional and allows computer DVI files to be converted back to playable video (analog NTSC) using the same firewire connection. I've tested the ADVC300 and it gets every bit of detail typical of NTSC video, and can support DVD 480x720 (not HD) quality.

Both are available through Amazon and other sources.

http://www.amazon.com/Canopus-77010150100-ADVC110-Converter/dp/B00030ATTO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1346182918&sr=8-1&keywords=ADVC110
 

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The best conversion software I've found for video and audio is "Super". Just google it.

It will also compress your movies to reduce space.

Another one I use mainly to join avi's is "VirtualDub". A word of warning on this one though, the default output for avi is RAW format. This creates the biggest files, you won't believe the file size.

If you want to play a better range of formats on your computer look at getting "Shark007" for a complete set of codecs.

HTH
Cheers,
 

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MishMouse, how much time do you want to spend digitizing/converting a movie? Do you want to play the digitized movie back on a computer or burn it to a standard DVD to play back on a regular set-top DVD player?

While this is a very subjective area most feel that you can compress a digitized VHS capture quite a bit before you begin losing visible detail or generate compression artifacts. That is a moot point however if you want to make set-top playable DVD's which require specific codecs to play correctly, the details can be adjusted a bit, but you don't have near the leeway you do for files for play back on a computer.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Actually I do have a Samsung DVD/VCR combo which can record non-copyrighted VCR tapes. Problem is I own allot of copyrighted material that is starting to degrade. What is a big pain about this Samsung is that I does even allow you to record shows off HBO/Showtime etc.. due to copyright. I also own an RCA DVD/VCR combo that is having serious issues.

Now, if someone knows a DVD/VCR combo that doesn't have all those restrictions it would be a good way to go. Once I can convert it to a DVD I can then convert it to MP4 with Leawo DVD ripper. Also having a DVD copy would be a good idea since hard drives can crash.
 
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