Jan 212009
 

Overview:

  • I am a shutter bug and I have spent much of my personal time behind a camera, still or motion, shooting pictures of my family and related events.
  • I want to get this transfered to digital media to preserve, edit and reduce storage space needed to keep our families memories. A fact of life is that we all die and some sooner than others, so it is great to be able to put on a video of a loved one at special times and reflect and enjoy them.
  • I have tried several methods, but I really found this to work well as it is easy, fast and takes only five steps to get a VHS to a MPG file on your Windows PC.

  • This is a hardware solutions, so you don’t have to have a tricked out PC or MAC to work with the video to get it converted. After you get the DVD produced from the VHS you then can use Movie Maker, Adobe Premier, etc to edit and post to YouTube or make new videos in new formats and on multiple media.
  • I am only going to cover the first four steps in this article. I will make other posts on the how to edit and what I have found to be the easiest, most professional, etc.

Quick Recap:

  • Why: I have a personal Santa Project as well as I wanted to get into Vloging for my consulting firm without having to buy all new stuff right up front
  • What is it: It is a hardware transfer component that will transfer line 1 to DVD or VHS media, so you can transfer VHS to DVD, or DVD to VHS, or External input to DVD or VHS
  • Where did you get it: Costco Link to Costco Site
  • How Much: $199.00USD + Tax
  • What does it look like:
  • My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars – I didn’t need the manual, but it is a good read and is a resonable manual. I personally think they should have sent a DVD with the how to basics, but thats me 🙂 I think it would have saved the negative comments at Costco where people didn’t finalize the DVD
  • Pros: Easy and great quality upscale quality from VHS
  • Cons: Negative reviews are mostly from many people that did not finalize the disk, it is good idea to read the manual.

Setup:

  1. Unbox and read the Manual (link provided so you can review before you buy)
  2. Let the unit get to room tempature – No mosture prints from your fingers left after you touch it
  3. Connect to Monitor (TV or PC) via RCA, Component, HDMI output
  4. Plug in power cord
  5. Turn Unit on – It will come up to a blank gray screen by default
  6. Put batteries into remote, but you won’t need the remote till you name the DVD Title and Chapters

Transfering a VHS Tape to DVD at default of 720P is a one button operation:
(Page 83 in printed Manual or Page 81 in online user manual.)

  1. TAPE IN:
    Place tape with record tab removed into VHS player bay on right side when facing the front. Make sure it is rewound to the begining. It will normally start to play by default so use the stop button under the VHS bay behind the manual controls panel.
  2. DVD IN:
    Place unformated DVD+R disk into DVD Player bay on the left side if facing the front.
    Wait till it says it is finished formating the DVD
  3. PUSH VHS-to-DVD Record Button:
    Press the Red and black VHS to DVD dubbing button. It will start the VHS Player and display Copy Playback in the status display. It will automaticly make chapters based on the “index” on the tape as it senses a change in the video scene.
  4. Finalize the Disk:
    Use the remote control to select the DVD button and then the System Menu button.
    Use the arrows and the return buttons to navigate the menu to Titles Menu and edit the Chapter Title names and then goto the disk setting to give the DVD a Title and finialize the disk. Do not be afraid to take the disk out if you can’t dub and edit in the same session as this player has recordered all the info in its format to the disk. When you edit the Chapter Titles and the DVD Title and Finalize the disk it will then be playable in a DVD or PC DVD player. I personally now just take the default video x chapter titles and name the DVD title and finalize, as I do the editing on the PC, so this disk is just a RAW unedited DVD for me to make final cuts from.
  5. Convert VOB to MPG:
    So that is how I get the disk, then I copy the VIDEO_TS folder to my PC in folder and use a great conversion utility to turn the VOB’s into a MPG called VOB2MPG. You can download the conversion utility file from the authors site here. Select the folder where the file(s) are and select the folder where you want the converted file be.

Now you can use your favorite Video editing software to make a final cut that has the titles, intro, transition effects and credits 🙂

I am going to upload a video on these steps and will update the blog with the final YouTube video.

Here are two examples of my work so far:

  1. Matt Brands Racing
  2. Aunt Gloria

Here they are in a Custom YouTube Player:

And here is a great Indie Site for budding movie makers!