General Question

Tennis5tar's avatar

What is the best way to get the contents of a VHS saved on my computer?

Asked by Tennis5tar (1260points) October 8th, 2007
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

2 Answers

bpeoples's avatar

Well, there are services that’ll do this for you. That’s probably the best way.

The other options include getting some sort of adapter (This one: would do), and record into your computer that way. It’ll take at least linear time (e.g., you will not be able to record the video any faster than watching all the tapes), but you will have them in the computer.

Another option, depending on your purpose, would be to buy a DVD recorder (like a VCR, but for DVD’s), and record all of your VHS tapes into that, and then rip the DVD into your computer. Since it’ll take linear time anyway to record into your computer, if you just want to make backups of everything, that may be the way to go. OTOH, if you’re looking to pull VHS tapes in and then edit the content, and then burn it off (or send to youtube), you’ll be better off with the hauppauge adapter.

(There are cheaper USB adapters out there, but I’d recommend the hauppauge one, they make good gear)

One note is if you are trying to record commercial VHS tapes, they probably have a copy protection scheme called Macrovision included. I don’t remember if the hauppauge thing bypasses that, but if you try to record into a DVD recorder, it will likely not let you. (Macrovision shows up as a periodic lightening and darkening of the scene, it’s pretty crafty actually)

kevbo's avatar

Run the VCR through a camcorder that has a FireWire output and into a computer with firewire in.

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