New ADVC110 or used ADVC300? Good VCR?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ab2650, Sep 2, 2007.

  1. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #1
    Hi Folks,

    I'm about to embark on a sizable VHS to Digital task moving about 20 or so VHS tapes onto DVD; The tapes are about 15 to 18 years old and have probably degraded significantly over the years; I don't know *how much* because, well, read on... Here are the issues that have presented themselves to me so far.

    First, I've been looking and comparing the Canopus ADVC110 to the DAC-200 and I have the feeling they are essentially the same caliber solution, as well as both being around $200. However, I have a lead on a used ADVC300 for $300. I understand it has better results in stabilizing image and syncing audio, especially to more degraded VHS. Is it worth the extra $100 to go for the ADVC300? How much better is it than the ADVC110?

    Second, it's been years since I've owned a VCR, and amazingly all of my friends and family have tossed their's out long ago. So in addition to getting the analog/DV transfer device, I need to get a VCR to play the original VHS tapes. Is there one that can be purchased reasonably that will give good results? It's interesting shopping for a device so antiquated that most electronics stores have 1 or 2 models at best, if at all...

    I appreciate any advice on the subject as well as suggestions; I do have a Mini DV cam but (shocking, again) it doesn't have any AV inputs. I figured the outlay for a Analog/DV transfer box would be worth it for this project, even if I don't have long term plans for it. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. mintlivedotcom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #2
    What about getting a recordable DVD / VCR combo to transfer?
     
  3. ab2650 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #3
    That's true it would "save" me from getting an ADVC110/300 but I was concerned about loss in re-compression. Unless I'm wrong, wouldn't the process be "Record tape to DVDR, take it to editing in FCE, re-compress back to DVD?" Most of the things I'm trying to transfer are brief 10-or-so-minute shorts; The idea being not only to preserve them, but to author and title a DVD appropriately.

    And now I have just found out that the Mini DV camera is able to record from an input (as the input/output line is shared, who knew!). Now I'm wondering if the ADVCxxx is even necessary at all. It still leaves me needing a VCR however.

    So without making a new post, where I stand now is, what will give me the best results?
    • VCR/DVD recorder stand-alone unit
    • VCR to ADVC110
    • VCR to ADVC300
    • VCR to Mini DV tape

    And, what any recommendations as to where I can get a VCR with decent quality playback nowadays.
     
  4. millap macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2007
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Copied from another thread...


    I use a Canopus ADVC300 for this type of work, which although is more expensive than the other products mentioned here, it does produce the best results. This unit includes a built in line timebase corrector, which makes a big difference if the VHS tapes are quite old, or starting to flicker into B&W. You also get a control panel which allows you to adjust various settings including video noise reduction. In some cases, I've managed to produce a better quality output, than you can get from the original tape.

    Whichever option you go for, you will probably need to apply a small letterbox effect to the imported footage afterwards to mask out the thin strip of garbage that will appear at the top of the screen.

    Edit: One thing I forgot to mention, was that in my experience with some of the cheaper A/D convertors, iMovie will sometimes stop importing if the source tape has a patch of noise or a bad tracking signal. This is particularly annoying as it means that you have to babysit the entire import process. I have not had this problem with the ADVC300.
     
  5. mintlivedotcom macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    #5
    No, you just record directly from the VHS to DVD, no editing or further transferring involved. The quality is as good as it gets.
     
  6. ab2650 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #6
    I think you misunderstood me. I will be editing the videos, not out of desperation, but out of willingness. The tapes are essentially home movies that need to be trimmed, titled and chaptered anyhow. Since a vob is an mpeg stream, I'd import in the recorded DVD, do my editing and re-burn to a DVD. Doesn't *that* produce loss? DVD is not lossless.

    I've read that thread; In fact I've searched the forum for about every instance of ADVC110, ADVC300, and DAC-200.... I've read the tips on best transfer methods, advantages, pitfalls... The two things I haven't seen someone present are:

    1) If they don't have a VCR, like me.

    2) A direct comparison of the ADVC110 and ADVC300, and if said differences are worth $100 or not.
     
  7. glitch44 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2006
    #7
    ab2650,
    i'm curious which way you went-- advc110 or advc30-- and how it worked out for you?
     
  8. big dainjerus macrumors regular

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    Nov 9, 2007
  9. ab2650 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2007
    #9
    I haven't actually gone with either (yet).
    I will probably be buying an ADVC110 in September when I'm in NYC. Hopefully the guys at B&H will help me decide once-and-for-all.
     

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