8 Replies Latest reply on Jun 14, 2011 10:07 AM by julianelliott

    Transfer and edit of VHS tapes

    julianelliott Level 1

      I am re-starting a delayed project I began several months ago, transfering and editing VHS tapes to DVD.  The support from the forum was extraordinary, and I'm recreating what I learned to begin anew.


      There is one item that I never was clear on, but would be key as I manage the initial transfer process:


      Would it be overall more efficient to (1) transfer each VHS in its entirety, and then select/edit digitally clips that will find their way into a final file for DVD, or (2) go thru a painstaking process of choosing and transfering individual clips directly from the VHS player?  Note that I'll probably wish to transfer the tapes in their entireity anyway for archival purposes.


      I have upgraded to WD Caviar Black drives to reduce latencies, etc. but am not sure that working on large files will be efficient.  Also, I'm currently using PE ver 4.  Is there annything in later versions that would make an upgrade compelling?


      Some real-world perspective would be much appreciated.





      PS:  I'm discouraged to not be able to find a record of my prior communications with all the fine advice from the forum.  Am I missing something?

        • 1. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
          John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          >discouraged to not be able to find a record of my prior communications


          Create a new text file or Word document and copy/paste the discussion link


          Since you will be converting VHS to DV AVI (I hope... converting to MPEG is a bad idea!) you should do just fine with PE4


          I don't know how you will be converting, but some ideas

          Old forum discussion, message now gone, but here's the summary
          Matt with Grass Valley Canopus in their tech support department stated that the model 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 model 300
          Both the 110 and 300 are two way devices so you may output back to tape... if you don't need that, look at the model 55
          http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc55 One Way Only to Computer
          http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc110 for good tapes, or
          http://www.grassvalley.com/products/advc300 better with OLD tapes
          ADS Pyro http://www.adstechnologies.com

          As far as drives...

          My 3 hard drives are configured as... (WD = Western Digital)
          1 - 320G WD Win7 64bit Pro and all program installs
          2 - 320G WD Win7 swap file and video project files
          3 - 1T WD all video files... input & output files
          Search Microsoft to find out how to redirect your Windows swap file
          Depending on your exact hardware (motherboard brand & model AND USB2 enclosure brand & model AND external hard drive brand & model) AND the type of video file, you may... or may NOT... be able to use an external USB2 hard drive for video editing
          Steve Grisetti in the Premiere Elements forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856208?tstart=0 and Jim Simon in the Premiere Pro forum http://forums.adobe.com/thread/856433?tstart=0 use USB externals for editing
          A USB3 hard drive connected to a motherboard with USB3 is supposed to be fast enough for video editing (I don't have such, so don't know) but eSata DOES have a fast enough data transfer for video editing... I have not used this eSata Dock... for reference only, YMMV and all the usual disclaimers
          http://www.amazon.com/Thermaltake-BlacX-eSATA-Docking-Station/dp/B001A4HAFS/ref=cm_cmu_pg_ t

          • 2. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
            Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

            Great list, John!


            Also, Julian, if you click on your name to the left of your posts it will bring up your profile. Then click on the Julian's stuff tab and it will bring up all of your old posts.

            • 3. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
              julianelliott Level 1

              Thanks, guys.  Steve, it seems my old posts are not in "My Stuff" in my profile.  Adobe must do a periodic attic cleaning (?).  However, I'm surprised I did not save or print the info.  I'll dig thru my files tonight.  It would be unlike me to rely solely on the web to save the info.


              John, thanks for the backup.  Based on this advice, I have moved from USB2 external drives to two 1TB internal eSata WD Caviar Black, and am impressed with the speed gain.  I have looked at the GV 110 A-D transfer product; may pick up next time in the States (now in Victoria, BC).  Currently using a low-end Diamond transfer device that is medium quality transfers with limited capability.


              In the meantime, anyone have experience with the 2 options for tape transfer I referred to?

              • 4. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
                Steve Grisetti Adobe Community Professional

                The only capture devices we know for sure will work are those that produce DV-AVI files from the capture. We recommend a pair of affordable ones in the FAQs to the right of this forum.


                • 5. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  >my old posts are not in "My Stuff" in my profile


                  Hmm... were thes "old" posts over 2 years ago?


                  Adobe had a MAJOR forum change about 2 years ago, and not everything from the old forum was moved to the new forum


                  Anyway, I still say that any discussion link that is important to YOU should be copied to a "notes" file

                  • 6. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
                    julianelliott Level 1

                    My posts were only 6 months old; who knows where they are.  Re video capture,  B&H has a pretty good deal (relatively) on the GV ADVC 55, which seems to do all I want to do for less than the 110.  Plus, they ship to Canada inexpensively.  Think I'll go that route, given the expense and time I'll be putting into this.

                    • 7. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
                      John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      The one drawback to the model 55 is it is one way from tape to computer


                      If that is the only direction you wish to use, you don't need the more $$ two way model


                      Do also plan ahead for offline storage... IF you think you will ever need the AVI files again


                      DV AVI is about 13gig per hour, and 1 or 2 Terrabyte USB drives are a good way to store many hours of files when you are done (if not edit, due to transfer speed)


                      Also... use that USB external to make a FULL backup of your boot drive


                      Hardware crashes or virus infections happen, so you should buy AND USE software to make a full backup of your hard drive to an external USB hard drive... plus, making step-by-step backups during a new install or major program addition makes it easy to go back a step if something doesn't work
                      This backup and then restore is, of course, only to the same computer with a new drive (or the same drive as long as you don't mind writing over everything) since doing a restore to a new computer won't work due to Windows and many programs having activation information that is keyed to your hardware (which is why Windows will force you to RE-Activate if you change very much hardware)
                      The product I use is at http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/image-for-linux.htm
                      Image runs off of a bootable CD via Linux (the Zip you download includes a program to make the bootable CD) and it reads EVERYTHING on the drive, even the hidden registration information, so everything is restored when needed... and you may restore the image to a brand new drive in case of a crash, and not have to re-install anything
                      Please note that I own no part of Image, and I don't get a referral fee (that is just a plain web link) but I use the program and it has saved me a LOT of trouble when I had a hard drive die... and I was able to restore everything and not have to re-install or re-activate a single program, from Windows on up

                      • 8. Re: Transfer and edit of VHS tapes
                        julianelliott Level 1

                        Thanks for the pointers.  I use Norton Ghost which performs a full image backup weekly to external storage, and a backup of my personal files every 2 days.  Learned the hard way. I also have a dedicated 2TB USB drive which I will probably use for archiving purposes. Storage is so cheap these days, I cannot pass up a good deal.


                        Note:  I found my old posts; turns out they were in my profile after all.  Life is good.  Now to school myself in video editing.