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Preserving VHS Recordings For Another 20 Years?

Cliff posted more than 11 years ago | from the keeping-the-memories-alive dept.

Hardware 605

efedora asks: "I have about 650 hours of VHS tape going back about 20 years (no, not my porn collection) and the tape is starting to deteriorate. What are the best options for preserving the contents? Quality is important but not critical, so long as it's close to the original. Very low labor cost/time and simple operation. are important. Is there an easy way to do this?"

"Some of the ideas I've had so far are:

  • VHS to VHS tape with an analog 'clean up' box between the VHS machines. This would give me the same number of tapes but should last another 20 years. Quality will degrade.
  • Burn DVD's direct from VHS tape. I have software that will do this. Expensive and the DVD's won't even hold a VHS tape if it's 2 hours long. Good quality with no degradation.
  • Burn VCD's. I don't know of any simple direct-to-VCD software that will do this so there would be a large labor overhead. Good quality with some degradation. Cheap.
  • VHS direct to cheap IDE drives. Good quality with no degradation. Relatively cheap. Probably could use the same technique as burn-to-dvd."

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jon katz (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896474)

jon katz t0sses teh salad.

FRIST PSOT

First post? (-1, Offtopic)

Natestradamus (527591) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896476)

Ew, I feel dirty.

dvd (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896479)

copy them to dvds.

or vcds.

or laserdiscs.

DVD (5, Informative)

Kai_MH (632216) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896496)

I've really found that getting a Pinacle Video-editting compatible card and software is helpful. I've converted the majority of my VHS collection to DVD for a relatively low price... WHich comes out to be less than I spent on all the VHS.

Re:DVD (4, Informative)

rkz (667993) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896777)

I agree with the DVD idea. get one of these http://www.dvdrecorder.philips.com/ [philips.com]
hook it up to your VCR. Most people are suggesting stupid solutions with Video cards and Video editing software which end up costing around the 600$ mark anyway so for this extra ease of use you cant go wrong. Hey and its Phillips a cool electronics company.

So you admit it... (5, Funny)

Realistic_Dragon (655151) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896500)

You do have a porn collection then, just not on 20 year old VHS? Presumably you had the good sense to write that to something durable, like microfiche, or laminated paper.

Re:So you admit it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896721)

...they're called "moving" pictures... not stills of newspapers.

Robinson Crusoe on Mars (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896504)

Robinson Crusoe on Mars is one movie that has never been released even in VHS format to my knowledge. It is one of the best science fiction movies ever and I think the only release was to the old large laser disc format. Has anyone preserved this great old movie to mpeg or other computer media? Please let me know.

Old axiom (4, Funny)

Bendebecker (633126) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896506)

If it ain't porn, it ain't worth it.

ATI All In Wonder (4, Informative)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896507)

Buy an all-in-wonder card, hook up your VCR to the video in, and you're on your way.
You can pick up an 80 gig drive for very little money these days, so just divx the video up.

Should cost less than 200 bucks, maybe more if you really want to preserve every pixel of visual integrity.

Re:ATI All In Wonder (2, Insightful)

bananaape (542919) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896541)

Chances are DivX won't last 20 years.

Re:ATI All In Wonder (5, Insightful)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896580)

true, but neither will most storage media.
they can store the player software and codecs on the same hard drives, and when the next leap is required at least they'll be ready.

Re:ATI All In Wonder (5, Insightful)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896587)

But, what *will* last 20 years?

Re:ATI All In Wonder (5, Funny)

dirkdidit (550955) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896661)

This is crazy but it'd work. Print every frame out one by one. This comes out to something like 70,200,000 pieces of paper, which as long as kept away from open flame, sunlight, moisture, wind, etc will essentially last forever. Plus the bragging rights for having a huge pile of paper is cool. (23,400 feet high to be exact given that paper is 0.004 inches thick, of course quality of paper will affect this.;-)

Flip Book! (5, Funny)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896750)

Oooh... Giant Flip-book!

Re:ATI All In Wonder (5, Funny)

jspoon (585173) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896773)

Modern paper is too acidic, it will just eat itself up given enough time. I'd opt for inscribing it in tablets of lead, myself. That would sacrifice color, but you could make three tablets for every frame...

Re:ATI All In Wonder-Double-Helix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896675)

"But, what *will* last 20 years?"

DNA

Re:ATI All In Wonder (1)

betis70 (525817) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896712)

Newspaper [alaska.edu] in a dump?

Re:ATI All In Wonder (1)

The Turd Report (527733) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896788)

Hmmm... Maybe, but, I wouldn't want my archive to smell like a trash heap.

don't get TV Wonder VE (2, Informative)

1nt3lx (124618) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896560)

As the subject says. The card just doesn't work for more than 10 minutes. Value edition, feh.

Otherwise this is a really good idea, I thought about doing it myself. I was trying to record the simpsons but my whole system just froze up. Tried all the drivers, different video cards, not worth it.

My boss purchased a unit which has VHS and a DVD burner on it for around $600. Very high quality recordings too. He found it in an electronics catalog or something, he talks a lot though so I don't remember the specifics.

Nothing I'm sure Google can't help you with.

Re:don't get TV Wonder VE (1)

Cruciform (42896) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896627)

yeah, good point there. The VE edition I bought before went right back to the store.

plus if you want to play a console on your monitor using the video in of the All-in-Wonder the VE has noticeable lag.

RE: All in Wonder (1)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896510)

The simplest solution is to take a video-in card, for example any of the All-In-Wonder series form ATI, and transfer it over to either VCD (since its likely you already have a CD-burner) or DVD (which is more universally readable in home theater players.

http://www.ati.com

Re: All in Wonder (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896682)

I used an ATI 8500 AIW and a Sony DVD burner to convert my home movies (only about 60 hours of vhs-c). One important lesson I learned was to go through the whole process for a couple of tapes before capturing them all. What looked good on the computer screen looked like crap on a TV. Tweaking a few capture settings made all the difference (most notably the field order, AIW seems to use B first).

It did take a good bit of time to clean up the lead-in/lead-out of all my videos, but was well worth the effort. Now I have all my old home movies on DVD, with chapters and menus. The software I used (Ulead DVD factory) even puts slideshows of all my digital pics on the DVD.

Kinda simple eh? (2, Informative)

Cylix (55374) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896511)


Grab a capture card that can capture to divx format. Since it is vhs, I don't think you would notice much of a problem.

It doesn't take a studeo genious to use that technology and all that is really required is to choose which medium you want to store it on. Divx solves the basic problem of getting it managable.

You can toss it on cdr, dvdr, or create a HD storage solution with protections and capacities for your needs.

Re:Kinda simple eh? (1)

micahmicahmicah (600841) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896668)

Yep, another thing, redundant copies If you make a copy, make more copies every once in a while. Redundancy is your best option, it might cost double or triple, but it is for lack of a better word, fool proof. Then again, corrupt data is corrupt data, even when it's redundant.

Re:Kinda simple eh? (1)

aggieben (620937) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896825)

DVD's are the way to go. And you can get more than 2 hours on one if you use divx (like Cylix said) or some other compression technology. There's a million ways to skin this cat, but in the end, you want to store them on DVD's. Even IDE drives are far more likely to fail than DVD's.

Hard drives or DVD's (1)

damiam (409504) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896516)

HD's cost much less per megabyte, but won't last for more than a decade or two. DVD's should last longer than you're gonna live, but they're more expensive. Take your pick.

Re:Hard drives or DVD's (1)

jayratch (568850) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896585)

Go for the best of both worlds. Hard drives are the cheapest solution for now, but true, good for ten years or so. Buy a pair of 80s, stor it on that for 5 years or so until the cost of DVD comes down. Or better yet...
Do you have the burner yet? Having a professional backup company (I'm assuming such companies exist) copy those hard drives onto DVD as DIVX is probably your most cost effective solutoin in the end. You could even wait for the next generation of DVDs (saw something here about 30/60 gig discs...) and save even more.

But for now just the hard drives and divx :)

Re:Hard drives or DVD's (1)

Uncle Gropey (542219) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896641)

The HDD's should last just about forever if they are simply storing data and not in regular use. Shouldn't they?

Re:Hard drives or DVD's (1)

Fzz (153115) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896747)

In 10 years time you're going to have a really hard time finding a machine with a parallel IDE interface.

Re:Hard drives or DVD's (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896874)

Magnetic media are usually cited as having about a 10-year shelf life. It's a fairly common practice to refresh the data on such media every year or so, just to be sure. An operating hard drive lasts much less time, of course. But the bits will fade all on their own.

Optical media (CDs, DVDs, etc) are usually cited as lasting for 30-100 years.

There's also the factor of technological obsolescene. Will you still be able to find a, say, IDE interface to make the drive go in 10 years, or 30? (What if I told you I had an MFM or RLL or ESDI drive here with my data on it?) I think it's at least slightly more likely that a new device will exist to read obsolete media than will a controller for an obsolete device. But it's still a risk.

Where (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896517)

Transfering (5, Informative)

Subnirvana337 (572385) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896519)

Well, DVDs are said to have a shelf life of 50 years, VCDs I would not recomend, VHS tapes and Beta also become brittle. Multi-media backups wouldnt hurt, but if you're on a budget DVD and IDE HDs would probably be best. Remember, DVDs can be scratched so they must be preserved in pristine condition...well, thats my take (no pun intended)...

good luck

2 phase (1)

geekBass (665923) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896520)

copy to tapes to vhs now (or wait) as the dvd burning option will get cheaper day by day.

You still need to spend time to copy them (1, Redundant)

Blaine Hilton (626259) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896523)

There is no quick and painless way to do this. The biggest tips I could offer if you are going more for the perseverance angle is to transfer it in the highest quality settings, you can also compress them more at a later date. My other suggestion would be to be sure to use a high quality transfer device, don't use a 10 year old VHS deck, and make sure it is cleaned before you start, and perhaps in the middle too.

Digital Anything (1)

iomega (470848) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896524)

Any digital format would do, whether its simple mpegs on a harddrive somewhere, or DVDs.
I think in the end DVDs are the way to go.
Get a good capture card (::ati::), get those vhs on ur computer, and burn some dvds, its the way to go and will last for many decades.

Then tie up you spouse with the tapes and make new videos :-)

Try (1, Funny)

Timesprout (579035) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896526)

Not to keep rewinding on the money shot... I mean the good parts

yeah, right... (0, Redundant)

carpe_noctem (457178) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896529)

I have about 650 hours of VHS tape going back about 20 years (no, not my porn collection)

Yeah, that's another 1,300 hours....

go digital (1)

Haveck (648021) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896531)

tons of software out there to make it a dvd/vcd/etc.. digital is the way to go for more details than you need: http://www.dvdrhelp.com/ [dvdrhelp.com]

DV (5, Informative)

captaineo (87164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896547)

I would consider DV as a good format for this purpose. Sony makes a series of combo DV/VHS decks (WV-DR5, WV-DR7, and WV-DR9). These have "one touch" dubbing from VHS to DV. You just insert both tapes and press "dub."

2 hour DV tapes? (1)

bani (467531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896606)

only problem is that if theyre minidv (almost all consumer DV is), he wont get 2 hours.

Re:2 hour DV tapes? (2, Informative)

captaineo (87164) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896855)

The Sony decks I mentioned also accept the large-size DV tapes, which go up to 3 hours.

If you want more reliability than DV, you could use DVCAM (or heck even BetaSP), but that's a LOT more expensive.

The story sounded like this person doesn't think magnetic tape is the right way to go, but in my experience tape has been a lot more dependable than any digital format. (I've lost countless hard disks but I've only lost one or two tapes, and those were mostly my fault :)

mpeg 4 - harddrive (4, Interesting)

JamesSharman (91225) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896550)

You say quality is not critical. I would recommend using an mpeg4 codec (proberbly divx or xvid), if you capture at full vhs resolution (352x240) then you can store image quality that far surprises vcd (and your slightly degraded vhs) quality at about 300meg per hour. 650 hours of tape will bring you upto 195gig. How you store your data is really up to you, but I would recommend getting a couple of 200gig hard drives and keeping two copies for safety reasons.

You might want to read this article [divx-digest.com] on capturing from vhs.

352 x 240, not a good idea (4, Informative)

bani (467531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896632)

if you capture 240 lines you are effectively throwing away half your vertical resolution.

Re:352 x 240, not a good idea (5, Informative)

Duncan3 (10537) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896849)

Actually he did that when he put it on VHS.

"Typically VHS and 8 mm tape are rated at a vertical resolution of 240 lines, 3/4 inch SP at 325 lines, S-VHS and Hi8 at approximately 400 lines, Betacam SP and MII at close to 400 lines, and DVC at 500 lines (although some tests point to effective resolutions of around 400 lines)."

Re:352 x 240, not a good idea (2, Insightful)

juuri (7678) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896869)

do you want to think about that some more?

Ars Technica has a guide on this (5, Informative)

EMIce (30092) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896551)

How about the recently made Ars Technica Guide to Capturing, Cleaning, & Compressing Video [arstechnica.com] ? It was made with exactly what you want to do in mind.

Re:Ars Technica has a guide on this (1)

Monkelectric (546685) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896765)

I dont know about this -- I had the Hauppage WinTV card and it was *HORRIBLE*. The sound distorted, the software locked up and the signal was noisy. I'll never buy a Hauppage product again.

Re:Ars Technica has a guide on this (4, Informative)

JoshRoss (88988) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896806)

I would have to say the Ars dropped the ball with this article.. I would have suggested using a DV bridge, then compressing the DV stream into something like ISO MPEG2 or ISO MPEG4.

Dazzle has a $99 Bridge that works great. Composite in, DV out or DV in, Composite!

http://www.dazzle.com/products/hw_bridge.html [dazzle.com]

And, no I do not work for Dazzle.

For that much, send it out. (4, Informative)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896552)

Plenty of compaines will put them on DVD for you and go thru the process of cleanup..

Sure its not cheap.. but your time is worth something and 650 hours of stuff would take forever...

Re:For that much, send it out. (2, Funny)

nomadic (141991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896740)

Consider the amount of time I spend on pursuits like nethack, I've discovered my time really isn't worth much...

Re:For that much, send it out. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896821)

> What part of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" do you not understand?

The bit that says 'arms = assault rifle'

Re:For that much, send it out. (1, Funny)

JW Troll (607432) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896852)

...your time is worth something ..

Excuse me, but you've accidentally stumbled onto slashdot, where everybody claims to run Linux and posts compulsively 22 hours a day espousing Free Software, which nobody actually uses. Time here is worthless. Please take your posting elsewhere if you want to make inflammatory statements.

It can't be done simply, cheaply, & with low l (5, Insightful)

fmaxwell (249001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896553)

Quality is important but not critical, so long as it's close to the original. Very low labor cost/time and simple operation. are important. Is there an easy way to do this?"

No. There is no way that you can copy 650 hours of VHS video simply, inexpensively, and with little labor. It's going to be time-consuming, expensive, and labor-intensive.

That said, making more VHS copies seems like a poor idea as they, too, will degrade and machines to play them will cease to be available long before 20 years is up (remember Beta, 8-track, U-matic, and Elcassette?)

You need to get them into the digital domain and, once there, moving them from format to format is relatively easy.

you can't... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896562)

burn to IDE if you value the stuff. hardrives aren't meant for backup. They stick if they're not used and won't give you anywhere near the 20 year life expectancy of vhs tapes.

DV to HD or DLT (2, Insightful)

bani (467531) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896564)

DV capture device (sony dvmc-da2) and a couple 160-200gb hard drives. Should do the trick. (Does for me)

Store what you can that will fit onto DVD-RW now, and save the rest for later when larger capacity DVDs come out.

You can also get a used 35gb DLT drive off ebay and store DV onto that. Tapes are pretty cheap and DLT is pretty rugged.

Tricky decision.. (5, Informative)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896566)

Stick with well known formats that have a future.

DIVX, XVID etc.. could easily be forgotten in 20 years time, DVD and MPEG2 probably won't be.

Re:Tricky decision.. (1)

homer_ca (144738) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896731)

DIVX, XVID are just different implementations of the MPEG4 standard. Sure, the AVI container that most Divx files are stored in is specific to PCs, but MPEG4 is as much an industry standard as MPEG2. Of course if the archiver wanted to play those videos on a standalone DVD player rather than a PC, MPEG4 is not an option.

Read Doom9 (1)

Hiro2k (264020) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896568)

Read the Forums on Doom9.org. They have allot of great information on how to capture video. Also any video card with VIVO or the ATI ALL IN WONDERS can capture video.

VHS may last only 20 years... (2, Funny)

Capt'n Hector (650760) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896577)

Your best option is flash media or a bunch of IBM minidisks. I've had mine for over 50, and they still work like new.

But seriously, nothing digital lasts long. Your (seriously now) best option is to engrave all your data into granite. I hear you can buy the stuff in bulk now.

Hey, it's the Time Traveler! (1)

Migrant Programmer (19727) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896798)

Andrew Carlssin [slashdot.org] , good to hear from you!

Tips-line. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896588)

Well I'm using a Pinnacle card to get everything off VHS and onto CD (you don't really need anything bigger, remember it's VHS). Edit out anything unnecessary (commercials), clean up defects (noise, color problems). I also was planning to do this years ago by having more than one copy to draw upon. Also I had all my VHS tapes stored properly (NOT in the cardboard sleeves they came in). Take your time to do it right, and you may still want to hang onto the tapes (personal choice).

grab a hauppage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896599)

grap some hauppage compatible card and start
dumping that shiznit to AVI, boyeee :D .. thats
what i'm doing soon

Terapin Video Recorder (2, Informative)

HouseOfMisterE (659953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896601)

I don't know how great the quality of this device is, but you can get a Terapin VCD recorder. Has Audio/Video inputs as well as RF/coax input. Link to webstite:

http://www.terapintech.com/

DVDs, but (1)

anotherone (132088) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896602)

Why not convert the whole mess to XviD and burn the XviDs to DVDs?

Preserve them forever (1)

EvilNTUser (573674) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896604)

It's called "P2P" :-)

Seriously though, all the stuff you mentioned degrades, so you need to calculate what would be the easiest over time.

You could put everything on a RAID setup and just keep swapping disks when some inevitably fail. That would be expensive, but would probably involve the least amount of time.

On the other hand, when the DVDs eventually fail and you have to reburn everything (assuming you have backups), we'll probably have a system that can store everything on one disk.

Tough call, it depends too much on what'll be happening in the future.

Re:Preserve them forever (1)

jTurbo (35048) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896811)

You need to repeatedly over the years lets say every 3-5 years take a hard look at which storage technology is cheap, durable, likly to be around in 3-5 years time etc (you get the picture) and if needed migrate all your stuff.

dvd recorder (4, Informative)

XO (250276) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896613)

Panasonic DVD Recorder [radioshack.com] .. I bought one of these bad boys at their original retail of $700... still well worth it. At $400, only a few months later, it's practically a steal. Media's still fairly expensive, about $3-$12 per disc, in singles.. though I haven't looked around too much for multi-packs.. I mostly have just been using 1 or 2 different DVD-RW discs with it...

Don't do it yourself (2, Interesting)

ObviousGuy (578567) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896616)

There are lots of companies that will do this (I did a quick google search and the results were good). Save yourself the hassle. Pay someone else to do this.

Long term solution (5, Funny)

skinfitz (564041) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896618)

Encode them to DiVX / Quicktime / etc and give them the name "Last Flight of The Osirisxxxx.divx" Where xxxx relates to your program contents.

Leave them on a P2P file sharing network and watch them fly - they will still be around in 20 or so years doing the rounds- whenever you need them again just download them using any P2P client...

Hello Gentleman, (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896623)

Are your VHS are belong to us.

[User] Whaa?

Your VHS is on its way to old-age destruction.

[User] What you say?

Make your time. HA Ha ha...

[User] Make my time? Hey...That's a great idea! QuickTime is the format I shall use! Now, just one medium should I choose? Should I use a CDROM or DVD? Should I use Toilette Paper or SCSI-3? I know, I should store it in my Pee[DA].

MPEG, not divx (4, Insightful)

PapaZit (33585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896636)

One of the biggest problems that you'll face a few years down the road is finding a player that'll read the format that you choose today. Do you really believe that $TrendyCodecDuJour will be around in 5 years, let alone 20?

MPEG-2 is used in current DVD players. For that alone, if you go digital, you should store the data as MPEG-2. It's also supported by pretty much anything that's capable of playing video.

If it were me, I'd use the copying sessions to decide what video really mattered to me. It's a chance to weed out some junk. Anything that I'd keep, I'd burn to DVD-R.

bttv + mencoder (2, Interesting)

ddbsa (526686) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896639)

cheap hardware, Free Software

lock in your quality with a high bitrate codec
or compress with divx and get about 2 hrs / gig

you can then burn to vcd, divxd (there are players emerging) or just feel good about having them all backed up til you decide you want change media

Better imaging through chemistry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896654)

(Tongue in cheek!) Locate a super-8 camera and a lot of Ektachrome film. Figure out how to handle the 30 frame/sec to 24 frame/sec conversion. Figure how the 4377 you're going to handle the audio tracks. The good news is that with proper storage (cool, dry place) the film will far out-last tape or DVD, and you'll get about the same resolution (better, if your tapes are SLP). The bad news is that in the not-too-distant future, projector lamps will probably become about as rare as flash bulbs are today. So quit messing with the MPAA, get out your wallet, and buy all new copies, you cheapskate! Remember, "This thing is going to replace the CD. We'll all have to buy the White Album again."--Agent K. (/tongue in cheek)

Tape = Linear (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896658)

VHS is not random access. Whatever you do it will take somewhere close to 650 hours, unless you've got a VCR that can play a tape at double-speed. There are tape to tape VCRs that will go this fast, but you won't find any way to do VHS to digital in less than 650 hours. This will require a human effort every one or two hours depending on which method you choose.

You're boned.

Pull my brain stem out and unplug myself (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896660)

Don't like to think too much It makes me think too much It keeps my mind on my mind
Don't want to see too much It makes me see too much Sometimes I'd rather be blind

All the things that they're saying and doing
When they pass me by just fills me up with noise
It overloads me I wanna disconnect myself
Pull my brain stem out and unplug myself
I want nothing right now I wanna pull it out, yea
I wanna pull it out, yea I wanna break it on down, hey I wanna pull it out, yea, yea
Disconnect myself Disconnect myself
I wanna see it go down, yea Disconnect myself

A thousand miles an hour going nowhere fast
Going through the details of your past
Talk about your damage and you're wasting my time
Wanna be the king and queen? stand in line
All the numbers and the codes and the facts
Backed by the rumors and the figures and the stats
I think I'm going to download my mind

I wanna pull it out, yea I wanna pull it out, yea, hey I wanna break it on down, yea
Disconnect myself I wanna pull it out, yea, yea
I wanna pull it out, hey, yea Disconnect myself
Disconnect myself, hey

I wanna disconnect myself (do it) I wanna disconnect myself (get it) I wanna pull my brain stem out (do it) I wanna disconnect myself right now

Too damn bad if at the end of the day
The only thoughts in your brain are the things that they say What a waste Too damn bad if at the end of the line You got no idea of what's on your own mind You got no one to blame but yourself
Too much to know too much to see It might mean something to you but it's nothing to me

Just another ad for someone's version of how they think it should be I wanna disconnect myself
Pull my brain stem out and unplug myself
I want nothing right now


I wanna pull it out, yea I wanna disconnect myself
I wanna see it go down, yea Disconnect myself
I wanna pull it out, hey, yea Disconnect myself
I wanna see it go down, hey I wanna disconnect myself, yea

I wanna pull it out, yea I wanna pull it out, yea, yea Disconnect myself I wanna see it go down, hey I wanna disconnect myself Disconnect myself I wanna break it on down, yea Disconnect myself, yea

Tradeoff (2, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896664)

I think you're going to have to make a tradeoff between something like this [ebay.com] (easy, but expensive) or something that requires a bit of work (like All-in-Wonder or Pinnacle capture). I have yet to see a solution that is easy AND cheap...

What I did. (3, Informative)

RatBastard (949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896671)

I went out and got me a Dazzle 2 board and plugged my best VCR into it and ripped my VHS tapes to DVD. Thr prcess was painfully easy. The only thing I didn't like about it was the DVD authoring software. It was crap. I ended up using A program from ULead. It's not feature rich, but it's reasonably quick and it actually works.

This is not the BEST solution, but it is a very cost-effective solution, especially if you have an aversion to ATI produtcs like I do.

I did try using my Hauppauge Tuner card for recording, but results were less than what I liked and you had to convert to MPEG2 on your own.

DVD (3, Informative)

midifarm (666278) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896672)

I got a Phillips DVD-R for Christmas and I can honestly say that tape sucks. I've been able to transfer my old tapes to disc quite easily and it's not expensive. DVD-R's are like $.20 a piece, a small price to pay for long preservation and the ability to set up index points etc.

Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896693)

I have about 650 hours of VHS tape going back about 20 years (no, not my porn collection)

I have about 648 hours of porn and a single 20-year-old tape.

Convert it... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896695)

to ASCII, print it out, and then flip the pages.

Freenet (0, Redundant)

Atomizer (25193) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896700)

1. Video capture card
2. Upload to Freenet for "safe" keeping
3. ???
4. Profit

Time Base Corrector (5, Informative)

markrages (310959) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896706)

I do this for a living [homemoviedepot.com] .

Between the VCR and the capture card, second deck, etc, make sure you use a time base corrector. Don't trust the TBC supposedly built in to the VCR or capture card, get an external unit. Otherwise, audio sync problems will haunt you forever.

The broadcast video processor [elitevideo.com] (also from b&h) [bhphotovideo.com] is also useful for this application. I like to put it before the TBC.

Regards,
Mark
markrages@mlug.missouri.edu

Re:Time Base Corrector-camcorders. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896814)

Don't some pipe the VCR output into a (for example) Sony DV camcorder then from there into the computer for processing?

VHS is Dead (0)

joelil (605463) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896708)

If you want to stay on VHS tapes. You need to buy a couple of new vcr's and sick them away. You won't be able to find parts or anyone to repair them in the near future. Manufactures don't repair vcr anymore exchange defective unit for warranty period. if it breaks out of warranty buy a new one you will spend less than a repair if you can find parts. Most manufacturers are trying to get rid of there vcr stock. In my humble opinion transfer to DVD These will be around for a long time and the media is a lot more stable. If you transfered to an IDE drive and it crashed you could loose some Irreplaceable movies.

whay about macrovision? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896714)

yes, convert to digtal by all means,
but try to use a decent vhs deck,
preferably one with timebase correction,
unless your cheap capture card can handle it.
macrovision is another potentional problem
if any of these were purchased after mv
became popular (ie not 20 years ago) so
this won't be a problem. Home made tapes
won't have mv protection of course.
Anyone out there had mv copying problems?

archival encoding (2, Interesting)

Herr_Nightingale (556106) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896729)

capture it to disk encoded with something lossless (huffyuv springs to mind) then archive using DivX 5 Pro CBR encoding. Set DivX to 1-pass, quality-based encoding; set the quantizer to 2 or 3. You should definitely be able to fit a video on a DVD this way.
I've found VirtualDub to be nice for DivX compression, but VegasVideo has a vastly better interface for 95% of users.. also, the standard compression profiles in VV are OK for non-space-critical applications (eg. burning to DVD) and should replicate your VHS source with no noticeable degradation.

If you want to take a bit more time and care with your tapes, you might want to create some SVCD sets by running the huffyuv-encoded source through TMPGenc.

Make your collection Open Source! (1)

Lieutenant_Dan (583843) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896751)

I think you would be pleasantly surprised to hear that the Open Source developer community could help you out here. By making your library Open Source they would guarantee that your video would survive in some shape or form for years to come.

The Open Source developer community in turn would be able to vicariously experience your past and create a closer bond with you.

Only when we defeat DVD protection can be unlock the stranglehold that Universal has on forced previews on purchased movies.

Related Question (4, Interesting)

suwain_2 (260792) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896762)

I've had this long-standing theory that you could play a video multiple times, and merge them to get a higher-quality signal. Obviously, VHS has it limits, but in theory, with the right magic, you could filter out some noise and stuff?

One time I saw something on a TV show where detectives took a video from a store CCTV system that was almost COMPLETELY unusable. They took it to some experts (at NASA, actually, IIRC), who were able to work out a formula for the horrible noise almost completely obscuring the video, and get pretty good quality video from it.

Now I realize the original post here wanted a *quick* way to to do, so taking his home cassettes to NASA isn't quite what he wants. But what I'd like to know is... Is there stuff out there that can do what I've described (play a video multiple times and take the best parts from each), or is this just some insane, impossible idea I dreamed up?

Try.. (2, Interesting)

Paladin84 (176257) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896768)

Try getting rid of it all. Do you really need every Star Trek and Quantum Leap episode on tape?

Hmm... like old records. (1)

oaf357 (661305) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896775)

>>> Burn VCD's. I don't know of any simple direct-to-VCD software that will do this so there would be a large labor overhead. Good quality with some degradation. Cheap. >> VHS direct to cheap IDE drives. Good quality with no degradation. Relatively cheap. Probably could use the same technique as burn-to-dvd." Remember during high use you'll probably only get 5 years of use out of an IDE drive. But as a storage, "once in a while" usage thing you should be okay. I'd recommend a few HUGE drives (200+ GB) just because lugging a bunch of IDE drives around would suck. This would probably also be your best movie quality option.

Some advice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896779)

If you truly do have 650 hours of VHS tape, you seriously need to cut that down. I mean really, how much of that will you actually watch in the next decade? You need to stop living in the past and get rid of some of it. Of course, this means you might have to actually watch a bit of it to decide what is worth keeping and what is just taking up space. Personal videos (i.e. family, weddings, etc) are probably worth keeping. Recordings of old TV shows are probably safe to get rid of unless they happen to be exceptional episodes. I think you should seriously consider what tapes you really want to keep and which ones can be thrown away. It will make your job that much easier in the end.

P.S. Please send me any porn you are considering throwing away.

MPAA (0)

bobertlo (605030) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896786)

whichever way you choose you should watch out for the MPAA :P

ReplayTV (3, Informative)

Arthur Dent (76567) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896820)

Low labour, cost, time: pick any two :)

If you picked low labour and time, try a ReplayTV [sonicblue.com] . Hook up your vcr to your replay, click record on the replay, start vcr playback, come back 2 hours later. Then get DvArchive [sourceforge.net] and stream the recorded show off the Replay onto your pc. The stream is an MPG2 format. Use VideoLan Client to view the stream. Archive as desired.

Have fun!

DVD Recoding Deck (3, Informative)

parawing742 (646604) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896841)

The fastest and easiest way would be to use a DVD recording deck. I have a Samsung (Panasonic) unit that works just like a VCR. Decent quality too, much better than your VHS tape and it's very fast and easy!

Sue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896845)

It's obvious that the vhs tape manufacturers purposely did this. They made bad media for the obvious reason of making you spend more and they didn't offer a patch. I'd sue them and make them give you new copies /joke

VHS to DVD and Sonic MyDVD (4, Informative)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896861)

I've consulted for video applications for a while now, and I found the best solution is:

* Relatively fast PC - Athlon XP1800+ or faster roughly.
* Decent video in card - ATI All-In-Wonder Card (even the non-Radeon AIWs are good for this).
* Good DVD Burner - Pioneer DVR-105 or DVR-A05 that burns DVD-R. Don't worry about the +/- debate, -R media is cheaper and has virtually the same compatibility as +R.
* Easy software - Sonic MyDVD is great software that you can capture from and burn to DVD in one app. Plus, if you buy the A05 above it usually comes with this software in a bundle.
* (the trick) Solid long-lasting archival media - Mitsui Gold Archive DVD-R for longevity.

I cannot stress the last one enough. It's so easy to get a great system only to flounder on the choice of media because the goal is to keep the videos. The best DVD-R media generally are Mitsui, Verbatim, and TDK. I wouldn't trust anything else. Just capture in 640x480, and you can burn up to two hours at a time. If you want to get really fancy, you can delve into more advanced software, cut bitrates to get additional time, and do ultra slick menus.

Caveats on the above... (1)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896885)

I should mention that this is the simplest turn-key solution. It's not necessarily the BEST solution, but for the average schmoe who doesn't want to recreate broadcast archives, it's good.

Also, get a reasonably fast hard drive. 7200RPM with a decent capacity, preferrably dedicated for capture.

If your willing to wait another 15-18 months ... (5, Interesting)

jrl87 (669651) | more than 11 years ago | (#5896878)

Blue laser DVD burners [com.com] will be readilly available and probably cost about the same amount as the current DVD burners. This gives you two options:

1) You could buy the standard DVD Burner for around a $100(??) and use something such as the All-in-Wonder (~4.7 gigs per disc)
or
2)You could buy the blue laser burner for around $350(??) and use the same capture device (~24 gigs per disc)

Your VHS tapes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5896888)

represent a several thousand dollar investment.
Write them to DVD. Buy the blanks in lots of 100
so you can shop for a good price.

Ten years from now you may not be able to get annother DVD player for your disks so plan on buying a spare and after checking to see if it works carefully put it away.
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