8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 13, 2009 4:29 PM by Steve Grisetti

    Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?

    Daffypuck Level 1

        I'm just trying the most cost effective way to transfer all of my old VHS & HI-8 material to a digital format for better preservation. Since, why I do not know, PE doesnt allow for analog capture, I need a converter like Dazzle to get my analog source to digital. Or do I?? Can I not just use Windows Movie Maker to capture then import into PE?  Doesnt my capture card do convert?? I have my VCR hooked up via S-video to the card. Is the card not the same thing as an external converter? I just want to know the best way so I dont waste my time only to have to go back and redo everything. Thanx yall

        • 1. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
          Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

          There are many ways to capture video, Daffy -- but they all don't create video you can do much with.

           

          Lower end capture devices, including Dazzle and Plextor, are designed pretty much to be used with the software that comes with them. If all you're planning to do is capture video and go right to a DVD with minimal editing, the Plextor ConvertX will work fine.

           

          Likewise, capture cards that are built into computers (like the All in Wonder) might digitize the video -- but because of the formatting and codecs used to create the video, the captured files will likely give you a lot of problems in Premiere Elements.

           

          So, if you just want to capture and burn a DVD, then any of the cheaper devices will do.

           

          But if you plan to do any editing of your video in Premiere Elements, you need to capture your video as quality DV-AVIs.

           

          Devices which can capture analog to DV-AVI can cost a lot -- but one of the best for home use costs less than $150. The ADS Pyro AV Link interfaces beautifully with Premiere Elements and produces great video that you can edit easily and output as pristine DVDs.

          • 2. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
            gpecht

            I have a 5years old Sony Vaio computer that came  with a build in TV/capture card ( Giga Pocket). I have serveral options to connect a VCR ( coaxial, S-video and RCA cables).It works very well to capture old VHS tapes and digitize them.

            Once they are captured I can import them into PE via the media downloader. The files are in mpeg2 format. But usually I don't import directly, because you get one long continuous file, no fun to edit this way. My computer came also with DVgate Plus,  which I then use to convert to AVI format for further editing in PE.

            DVgate will also split the file in smaller chunks that you can set to what ever length you would like to have. It all works amaisingly well and I'm also quite pleased with the quality of the output. But if you expect to get hidef from your VHS tape you will be diappointed!

             

            Gerlinde

            • 3. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
              Daffypuck Level 1

              Thanx y'all. Thats where I'm a bit confused. You mentioned "quality DV-AVI". I'm under the assumption that when I capture an analog signal that I set at 720x480 is a "quality DV-AVI". After I have captured and rendered to an .avi file I then import that into PE. Is that what you are meaning? Or is that an inferior quality video file? The capture card I have is a Legacy capture card that came with Pinnacle Studio ver 9. Pinnacle is a great intro level editor, but it sucks because it's slow, unstable and captures out of sync audio which I have to go in and manually sync. I shouldnt have to do that. I'll spend $100-$200 if thats what I have to do to get the results I want. I'm not looking for HD quality here. I simply want to capture all my old analog media, edit it, and burn to DVD and keep on my HD to preserve it all. I want it to be the same quality as it appears on its original medium.I also want to continue to edit and burn stuff using my Mini DV camera as well. I just want an editor thats above intro level, but not as complex as Premieire Pro. I feel that PE will do the job well. My capture card has S-video, firewire & composite inputs. Is my card not what I'm needing??  Or, do I need an analog to digital converter to get the analog material into a raw digital format thats the same quality as the original?

               

                To help in my endeavors i recently upgraded and built anew PC so that I would have no problems, seeing that video editing does tax a computers resources. My new build is a Quad core 4 gb of RAM system. So my computer power should not be an issue for home editing and what not.

              • 4. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
                Ed.Macke Level 3

                Steve,

                 

                What about just using a digital camcorder?

                 

                I know with my current digital Sony Handycam, I can just pop a Hi8 tape in, connect via iLink (FireWire), and voila!, PRE captures the Hi8 tape as DV-AVI.

                 

                My Sony doesn't have a analog pass-thru, but my prior camcorder (JVC?) did which similarly allowed me to connect my VCR to the camcorder and PRE would capture that as DV-AVI as well.

                 

                I'm not sure how that process rates on the quality scale, but at least the output would be DV-AVI. If the OP has a camera with these capabilities it should work, no?

                 

                Even if the OP didn't have such a camera, it might be easy to borrow one from somebody who did... and a temporary hookup would be easy.

                 

                Thoughts?

                • 5. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
                  Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                  Yes, doing a "pass through" through a miniDV camcorder will work too. Although not all camcorders will do this. But it's worth a try.

                   

                  Also, not all newer camcorders can record in VTR mode but, if you have a miniDV that does, you can record onto a miniDV tape and capture the miniDV into the computer.

                   

                  In fact, practically any idea, short of a capture card or cheap Dazzle-style thingee, will work. Particularly if it produces DV-AVI video files.

                  • 6. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
                    Daffypuck Level 1

                      Well, Ive crossed that bridge already. Would'nt ya know that the camera I bought last year so happened to be the model that they stopped the A/D passthrough feature. Still though, please define "quality DV-AVI". When I capture using my current card, what format am i capturing in? Will Windows Movie Maker capture this format? Actually now that I think about it, I believe it captures in .WMV format. So basically I need to spend more money to get a converter. You mentioned one above, any other suggestions before I fork over more cash for whats been a 3 year ordeal. I only wanna do this once, so for $100-$200 can I get what I need to capture analog media in raw digital format? Then import into PE, edit it, add titles, fades etc. & burn to a DVD and it look just like it would If I was watching it on my Super VHS player? I dont mean to sound unappreciative. It just irks me that one pays good money for stuff that doesnt perform as advertised. Again, thanx y'all.

                    • 7. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
                      Daffypuck Level 1

                        I beleive this is the converter you mentioned. Will it do what want well?

                      • 8. Re: Do I even need an analog to digital converter for old VHS?
                        Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                        Definitely looks like the right one, Daffy.