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Old forum message, message now gone, but here's the summary - I have not used, only made note of the product "Matt with Grass Valley Canopus in their tech support department stated that the 110 will suffice for most hobbyist. If a person has a lot of tapes that were played often the tape stretches and the magnetic coding diminishes. If your goal is to encode tapes in good shape buy the 110, if you will be encoding old tapes of poor quality buy the 300"
Tom, I use PRE4 also and since you likely have a firewire connection, the best choice is to use a firewire analog to digital converter. I looked at the Canopus device but it was expensive here in Canada so I ended up buying a used ADS Pyro API-557 A/V Link from E-Bay for about $125 dollars. Also, you don't have to install any additional software to use it or the files it produces.
I have connected both an old analog Hi8 camcorder to it and a VCR and been able to easily make digital files that work nicely in PRE.
Avoid any USB type analog to digital conversion device. Being the occasional miser I bought one of those first and it was a big waste of time and money, producing low quality files that didn't work in PRE. The firewire conversion devices (Canopus or ADS Pyro) will give you DV-AVI files allowing you to work with them easily in PRE.
Thanks for the tips on the conversion hardware. Like you I am looking for an economical solution to a problem that has a short life since I am not really in business and don't expect a steady stream of VHS conversion situations. Its more to just deal with the material we have here at home.
I'm wondering a bit more about the details of how you manage your conversions. For instance. If you have a long continuous scene can you break it up into individual clips by pausing the conversion? Or do you have to convert the whole, larger scene and then break it up in PE?
Also, the though occured to me that I have a VHS/DVD recorder. Is there another way to DV/AVI files off of the DVD? I suppose that if all I wanted was an archival transfer from VHS to a digital format, the transfer to DVD would suffice, but there is so much useless material that really could be edited out that pushes me towards a way to utilize PE.
Finally, have you had any experience with digital movie cameras that offer analog to digital conversions? I don't have a camera presently of that quality but would like to get something going forward and wonder if that is a feature that is still available and a viable alternative... Thanks Tom T
I haven't tried pausing the conversion to break up clips and so far have been splitting clips in PRE instead and doing all my editing there. So far I've used the WinDV program for the capture, and it has worked great. One thing it does, and I don't understand why, is it seems to automatically create a clip every 12 minutes or 2.66 GB in size. This is probably for the best as otherwise I'd have a single monster 26 GB file from the 2 hour Hi8 tapes I am transferring.
I considered the VHS direct to DVD route also but from the little I do understand about video editing (the rest of which I've learned here ) is that the files it produces can be used in PRE, but only after a long and messy conversion. I had a huge amount of frustration working with files from a DVD-camcorder in the past so I decided to avoid working with any files that weren't DV-AVI's, as they are the only format that have worked smoothly for me and I believe only firewire type capture devices are capable of producing DV-AVI files.
Some camcorders still do have an analog to digital pass through, like the Canon HV40, and work well from what I have heard, but short of buying a new camcorder, I have found the ADS Pyro device to work great for me. People often buy them or the Canopus device on eBay and then resell them when they are finished with all their analog conversions. One thing the ADS device has that camcorders with pass through don't have is it has an S-video input which I wanted so that I could catch as much of the video quality from the analog Hi8 tapes that I'm transferring.
And here's a link to the ADS website showing what the device looks like.
Hope this info helps.
Many thanks for you insight. I have spent most of the summer upgrading my computer memory and internal drive space with a great deal of help from the folks on this forum. I also have set up a good system for converting vinyl albums to digital audio files. I am shopping for a large external drive now to backup all the media files that I will be working with. So this dialog is my first step in understandint the ins and outs of VHS transfers.
I have been working with PE for awhile editing clips from a small digital camera that we have. Its been fun and very rewarding. Again this forum has been of great assistance in converting files to DV/AVI files which PE seems to thrive on, which I have acquired from other various sources.
This is the last piece of the setup I will need to move most of what we have here to digital formats. Again sincere thanks for your comments...Tom T
Tom, what setup are you using for digitizing your records? I have a brother with a large LP collection who wants to digitize some of it and it would be helpful to be able to pass some tips onto him.
I am using Acoustica's Spin It Again Ver.2.
It has a very easy to use interface and has a host of cleanup combinations to minimize clicks and pops and tape hiss. Its only tricky quality is the feature that auto sets its recording level. In order for the auto feature to set itself properly you need to play the loudest passage of the record your transferring. That isn't always easy to either remember from having played it or finding it on the record without some sampling.
If you already have a stereo with a record output, turntable and a cassette tape deck its almost plug and play. You can begin transferring almost immediatly. The computer also needs to have an audio input as well. I've had two computers dating back to the late ninteys and both had them.
The only other feature that can be a little troublesome is the feature that breaks the recording into tracks. That requires a break in the audio. But all is fixable after the transfer. I like playing around so I don't mind going in and adjusting as necessary but for most albums it works just fine.
If your hooked up to the internet while your transferring it also has a nifty lookup feature that will automatically plug in all the track titles from what must be the largest database of recordings in the world. This is really neat and saves a lot of typing.
It has a voice prompt setup wizard, which you can turn off once you get the hang of everything and a fairly decent instuction book plus a users forum as well to help with any difficulties with setup and operation. There are other softwares on the market but this one gives the best performance for the non audio engineers among us, and for the cost. Even they, who populate the forum like this product for its diversity, ease of use, and quality of transfers.
I hope that this helps. Hollar if you need more details.......Tom T
That's great. Thanks.