Tractor Forum banner

1 - 16 of 16 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Is there an easy way to convert footage from the little "C" sized tapes to an .avi file or something that is supported by Windows?

I called a local camera store, and they said they could put up to two hours of tape onto a DVD for like $50, but I don't think that will help me much.

What can I do? Do I need to buy cables and a bunch of software or what?

Thanks,
Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
Greg,

You need an analog to digital converter to get your VHS footage into your PC. There are two ways you can do this. One is buying or borrowing a stand-alone analog to digital converter. Or you can use the "pass-through" feature on a Digital Video camera.

Dazzle makes a A/D converter. I think. I use my DV movie camera to get video footage into my computer. You will need cables with RCA type plugs to run audio and video from your VHS "Out" outputs.

You will also need editing software on your PC, like Windows Movie Maker, or something similar from a 3rd party vendor.

I think there are some threads on this topic in Bits & bytes - The Computer Forum! on this site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Wow...that sounds a little more involved than I thought it was. With modern day technology, I thought it would be a little simpler.

On the Windows media player, there is an option of playing a CD or DVD. If I had the film converted to a DVD, would that work then? Or are the CD's they are talking about just for audio?

I thought $50 sounded expensive, but if it would work, that might be the way to go.

Thanks guys...I will do a little reading, now that I know what direction to look.

Greg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,173 Posts
fusion does your pc have a dvd player or dvd burner?
I would assume if you had a lot of videos you'd want to convert them to a dvd a dvd can hold 10 times as much data (i think its 10) but more data.. so if you were to make a lot youd want a dvd burner...
they are really cheap nowadays... 39-59$

tiger direct



Jody do you burn your videos to a DVD? or to a CD?

how much video can you get on a CD or DVD in terms of hours?
 

·
EX Super Mod
Joined
·
5,317 Posts
SJ i cant get much on a CD i know there is a way to do it i just don't know it. On a DVD i get two hours of movies from my Camcorder. My camcorder is JVC mini DV and it hooks to my computer by way of a fire wire. But two hrs is all i have been able to get on a DVD but if anyone know how i could use the Cd's I'm all ears.:D

This place sells this soft ware that allows you to burn DVDs on Cd-r i guess i need to invest in the soft ware.

http://www.replicant2.com/index.asp
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
499 Posts
If you have a player which will allow you to send the signal to a TV, then you could use a TV card to get them into your computer. (Under $50, but you might need a new video card compatible with the TV card) ATI makes good ones, so does AverMedia.

Then you could use Movie Maker, the software that came with the TV card or some bought software to put the feed into a format you could save on a CD or DVD.

An alternative is to get a digital video camera like Jody's with a firwire output and a firewire card to get it in to your machine. More money, but a neater solution. Though as Jody said he only gets about 2 hours per DVD in native format.

As people have said above, DVD is larger and will get you more on a disc.

Clear as mud, right? Ask away if you have questions
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
674 Posts
I wonder how many minutes could actually be burned onto a regular cd rom as opposed to a dvd. Sears sells a vhs/dvd burner all in one deal that is a stand alone unit. Just put your vhs in one side and your dvd in the other and hit record and it copies your vhs tapes onto dvds. It costs $399.00 Just go to www.Sears.com and hit the dvd/vcr link on the left side of the page. It is a Sansui model.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
849 Posts
HI
I use Dazzle from Pinnacle. It comes with the converter and software. You do need the cables ( most cameras come with them) then plug into the converter that will plug in to your USB.
Quality varies depending on your tape and copy settings. 1-1/2 to two hours is about all I can get on a DVD and still have quality.
I still am experimenting with it. The Dazzle package costs about $60 from Best Buy. I bought blank DVDs on sale 100 for $100.
Rendering takes forever so I copy the tape and then before I go to bed I let it render and burn so when I get up the DVD is done.
The thing I noticed with Dazzle it that if you want more than one copy it does not seem to work without doing it all over again. I have another program that came with my computer that lets me copy if I want more copies ( Sonic). You will need hard drive room and the more Ram the better.
Rodster
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
I'll echo what Rodster said about ram and hard drive. Digital Video clips take a huge amount of hard drive space. I use an external Firewire HD for video, as well as for backup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
The Dazzle thing from Best Buy sounds decent, but I was just hoping it would be a little simpler. I borrowed the camcorder from my sister to take to a car show. If it were mine, the purchase would be a little more justified.

I was thinking about what MowHoward said about the VCR. I think I can at least use the camcorder for a VCR to run through the TV. My TV in the garage has a built in VCR, so maybe I can play it from the camcorder, onto the TV, and tape it on a regular size VHS tape. I still wont be able to accomplish the .avi thing, but again, at least I could make a back-up of the tape.

Even getting it on DVD would be cool, as my DVD player in the garage runs through the stereo...the built in VCR is only mono, and does not run through the stereo.

Maybe I can ask my sister if she would go in half on the software. My neighbor has all kinds of video surveilance equip., and he might be able to help me. I will just have to ask him when I see him outside or something.

As for my computer, I have a CD burner, but not a DVD burner.

Thanks for the help, everyone. I'll see what I can do.

Greg
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,786 Posts
Sorry, I have been out last couple of days --- very busy...

Sorry, Fusion --- no "easy" way to convert your videos. It is still a ardious process --- no wonder why so many people stop using their camcorders after a couple tapes ---- kinda a hassle! I use my digital camcorder and attach via firewire to my PC and edit em out with a commercial grade film editor program that our media department uses at the office. Seems to work fine for me, but I have have friends use the dazzle project with good success.

Keep us informed --- lots of good information in this thread.
Andy
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
Greg,

Yes, taping onto a full size VHS from your camcorder will work as well as being a quick simple solution to getting your footage archived.

But what I was getting at is that for .avi conversion or other computer format, you can use a Digital Video camera as a "pass-through" converter. You would do this by hooking your camcorder into the DV camera, which in turn would be hooked into your PC. You would also have to have a firewire port or card, or maybe USB 2.0 on your PC.

So yeah, the computer way is initially more complicated, but being able to edit footage on your PC is pretty cool, if you want to take the plunge to get it set up.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,711 Posts
Let me also add, for digital video editing you can't beat the ease and simplicity of a Mac. Besides not having to deal with spyware and viruses, digital editing and graphics is were a Mac really shines.

I got a DV camera 2 years ago, and plugged it into the firewire 400 port (which was built in) of my 4.5 year old (I guess then it was 2.5 yrs old) iMac. When I turned on the camera, iMovie opened up, I hit the play button with my mouse pointer, and there I was importing video. It was pretty easy to figure out how to edit.

Now with iMovie 4 and iDVD2 , I can grab from my digital photo library for stills (and moving stills like Ken Burns does) and my entire mp3 music collection and integrate them, or grab from them, while only running one program. I can still edit video on my 400mhz iMac. I use an external Firewire drive for files, as my kids LCD iMac can burn the movies to DVD. It also renders faster, so I've hijcaked their computer recently for my last few projects.

No, I don't get paid by Apple for this, just wan't to reiterate that for some people a Mac might be a better alternative.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
477 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Just for gits and shiggles, I plugged the digital camera wire into the camcorder. It didn't work, and I did not expect it to really. I can't even get still pics.

I have a Labtec webcam, but it has a USB plug to plug into the CPU. Seems there would be a way to just substitute the camcorder in place of the webcam. I mean, the webcam is only a lens. You'd think since the software is on the computer itself, it would work. Does a firewire have a USB connector on one end?

Thanks,
Greg
 

·
EX Super Mod
Joined
·
5,317 Posts
The firewire kind of looks like a USB but its different.
 
1 - 16 of 16 Posts
Top