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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Smile S-VHS to Digital - Advice Needed
    Hello All!

    My first post and not very computer/video literate, so bear with me and thanks in advance for any and all help!

    After reading lots of info from various sites, I still have unanswered questions. I have several dozen 20 to 25 year old Super VHS (SVHS) home movies that I want to save to digital sources before they degrade. The tapes have been properly stored and after watching a 25 year old one a few months ago, the video and audio appears intact. I'd like the transfer to be of high quality without having to spend more than a few hundred on equipment or have them professionally done.

    The equipment I have on hand is as follows:

    JVC SVHS HR-S3902U HiFi VCR (Composite video/audio, S-Video and AV Compulink)
    MacBook Pro 13" (3 months old with firewire)
    Canon Vixia HV30 HDV Camcorder (A/V Out, Component Out, HDV/DV, HDMI Out)
    Sony DCR-TRV140 Digital8 Handycam (S-Video Out, A/V Out, DV In/Out)
    Pinnacle Dazzle DVC 170

    I bought the Dazzle product a year or so ago, at an Apple Store but cannot find online instructions for it and nothing indicating it can be used for Macs. Even if it does, is it a capable device? Many reviews of it seem to say it is marginal. I believe, but am not sure, that the Sony does not have pass thru capability. Is that true? Does the Canon have it? If so, will the picture be degraded since the HV30 does not have a S-Video connection? Should I try and get another camera with pass thru AND the S-Video? There is a Sony DCR-TRV530 available for $100 OBO on Craigslist locally, which seems to have pass thru? Go for it? Otherwise, seems like the only other option is a Canopus 110 (about $220) or 300 ($400). Many say the 300 is the way to go as it supposedly ensures proper video/audio syncing. Some indicate that the syncing on older tapes may be degraged? One more question....using HV30 to backup the SVHS tapes. Suggestions? Thanks again for your responses.....I will be deeply grateful if I can get this off the ground!

    Patrick

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Elgato Video Capture - Hardware and the software you'll need.

    $80 at Amazon
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  3. #3


    Member Since
    Dec 14, 2010
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    Thanks for the link to the ElGato device. I would probably pass on trying it out, though, due to many negative reviews. Quite a few folks say it drops frames, and/or the video quality is badly degraded from the original, plus the audio is sometimes out of sync. Also, your link to the software is bad.....takes me to a page to order HP ink cartridges.

    I don't mind (too much) spending the $400 for the Canopus 300, if that is what it will take to ensure a clean result. Many say the camera route is the best way to go. Anyone concur?

  4. #4

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    I would say that the best way is to get a DVD recorder, and use your SVHS machine connected via Scart, S-Video or composite and record direct. Given the cost of DVD recorders these days it's probably the cheapest way to get good quality. I have used mine to copy some older VHS and they come out fine.
    The Dazzle device is Windows only btw, sorry, but there are many like it for Mac, but they don't tend to be that good.
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  5. #5


    Member Since
    Dec 14, 2010
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    Thanks, Kevriano, for your suggestions. My DVD recorder is home and I am traveling but will check out the prices at Fry's later today. Otherwise, I am still considering the Dazzle unit as it is, indeed, designed for a Mac. Here is the link to the unit I have:

    Macintosh Video Capture made easy with the Pinnacle Video Capture for Mac

    The install CD it comes with is labled "pinnacle video capture for Mac". The unit looks like the one in the link above except mine has "Dazzle" engraved to the left of the "*" icon. From the reviews I read about Pinnacle products, however, it appears it might not produce acceptable results.

    Otherwise, I guess I could try and use my Canon HV30 as a pass thru? Would you consider buying the used Sony TRV-530 for $100 or less? Would it produce equal or better results to using the HV30 or the direct method you recommend? Thanks!

  6. #6

    Kevriano's Avatar
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    I think the DVD recorder option is the better in terms of quality, as there is no transcoding of any sort, you get a copy of the source as is basically. Even a mid range recorder will cost you less than $100 now, and a cheap but good model probably $60 at most.
    That Dazzle will indeed work then, but as you have noted, results are not too good. They are cheap(ish) for a reason I guess.
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