[mythtv-users] VHS to DVD

Scott Alfter mythtv at salfter.dyndns.org
Tue Jan 2 18:00:42 UTC 2007

Brian Wood wrote:
> But if you have a lot of time on your hands it can be done with a  
> computer that has a capture device and a DVD burner. By the time you  
> add up the cost of your time, the cost of the blanks you will  
> inevitably "coaster" and the aggravation, this is probably a more  
> expensive way to go :-)

Another consideration is if you need to convert from (for instance) PAL to NTSC
as well as from tape to DVD.  My parents had some tapes they had picked up in
England years ago.  They still have multisystem TVs and VCRs around the house
that can play them, but DVD is just more convenient than VHS and it won't
degrade any further.

I borrowed one of the VCRs and some tapes, plugged it into an MPEG compressor
board, and grabbed the video.  The tapes I did were of movies that had been
telecined by playing film at 25 fps instead of 24, so it was a simple matter to
slow the video down to 23.976 (24000/1001) fps, adjust the audio accordingly,
scale the video from 720x576 to 720x480, and reencode as film-rate NTSC.  The
reencoded video was then authored to DVD, and it looks about as good as any
other VHS-to-DVD transfer.

I don't think an off-the-shelf (in this country, at least) DVD-R/VCR combo will
do that.

(Converting interlaced 25-fps video (as from a video camera) would be a bit
trickier.  If I ever find the handful of tapes with Spitting Image episodes on
them (recorded OTA), I might have to give it another whack.)

 / v \ Scott Alfter (remove the obvious to send mail)
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