Possible To Digitize Video From 1970s Reel to Reel Video Recorder/Player

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    • #95815

      I am looking for some guidance on how to digitize video recorded on equipment from the early 1970s. The recorder/player is a 1971 Panasonic NV-3020 EIAJ #1 black and white standard reel to reel video recorder. I would like to digitize the content on the tapes so that I can burn them to DVD.

      There are services that can perform this task, and I have had a tape digitized. But I would like to know if this is something I can do myself, and what software and equipment would be needed. Would a Canopus ADVC-100 Analog to Digital Video Converter be usable for this task?

      Any advice would be appreciated.


    • #277838

      Buy an inexpensive Digital-8 camera on eBay. Go from your VHS player into the Digital-8 camera via SVHS, out of the camera into your computer via firewire. Passing the VHS signal through the Digital-8 camera digitizes it. It doesn’t matter whether or not the camera is in working order for taping; all it’s doing is creating a digital signal for your computer.

      There are several dedicated devices on the market that will do the digital conversion, but the digital camera works very well at a third the cost.

    • #277847

      Jack, the device the OP is referring to precedes VHS by more than a few years. I know because I “edited” a show using two of these machines in the early 70’s (yes, I’m old!!). Mine were Sony but basically the same machine.
      Having said that, your suggestion should work ok.
      If I was the OP I’d try and find and ADVC-300 for it’s TBC functionality.

      To the OP, given the age of the tapes, I sure hope they’re still playable. I had some at my old work place and we considered doing what you’re doing but found that the heads plugged constantly during playback. In my opinion, it’s worth the money having an outside company who does this all the time to do the job for you.


    • #277848

      The output was composite, so the canopus should be happy(ish) with the colour subcarrier being missing and sync up OK. With old tapes it’s common to have a bit of a bar veery top and bottom where the head switching might go adrift, but you can always zoom in a tiny bit in the editor and trim it out. We had a few of these when I started work in 1975, and we transferred quite a lot back then to Phillips1500 series.

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