Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › VHS transfer method › miamivice25 the best transfer
miamivice25 the best transfer method is to use a S-VHS player as the playback device. From here you can connect the player by S-Video get the cleanest analog signal from your tape, plus if your tape was recorded on a VHS or VHS-C camcorder or on a S-VHS deck in VHS mode, even one of the old vacuum-tube models of the late-70’s/early-80’s camcorders, the recorder recorded the signal as two seperate signals. Most people, if they dubbed from another VHS, Betamax or hi8, would use the yellow composite cable that mixed the signals and added noise to the signal (plus this is how most VHS-To-DVD recorder combo units transfer the VHS signal, not to mention the amount of compression that gets added to the signal). And using a yellow composite on a normal VHS or S-VHS VCR would just add noise.
The S-Video cable should be connected to an analog-to-digital converter or a Digital8/Mini-DV camcorder that goes into a computer by FireWire. I tend to use a Canopus ADVC-300 or 700 for VHS transfers. This way I can control how much compression is added to the final DVD.
And forget those VCR-To-USB/MP4 things at stores, they capture at low quality and very low bit rates. Sure VHS may not have the best picture quality, but when you capture a VHS at low bit rates, watch out for poor performance. Plus a number of them, especially with MP4’s do a poor job at de-interlacing.
Of course, depending on how many tapes you have, you might want to just send your tapes to someone, like me who already has the equipment, who can transfer to DVD or even just put the DV-AVI’s/DV-MOV’s on a hard drive that would allow you more freedom as to what you want.