Simplest way of transferring VHS to Mac?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by StephenCampbell, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. StephenCampbell macrumors 65816

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    #1
    I have a pile of VHS tapes I need to import to my Mac simply for viewing purposes. What is the simplest system possible, in terms of the connection from the VHS to the Mac, as well as the software used. I don't need anything at all other than to view them and store them digitally.

    Thanks!
     
  2. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #2
    There are several analog capture devices ~$80 that connect to the computer via USB. Not sure which is the best one to use now days. I have a sony firewire box. Most of them come with capture software, or you can use iMovie. I think Elgato makes one thats pretty much plug and play on a Mac.

    You cable the video/audio output of your tape player to the capture device and plug it into the mac. Set your Mac software to capture and hit play on your VHS player. Let it run to the end of the show/tape and stop recording, repeat.
     
  3. pukifloyd macrumors 6502a

    pukifloyd

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    #3
  4. dwig macrumors 6502

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  5. StephenCampbell thread starter macrumors 65816

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    This looks good. I would still need a VCR though, right? What exactly does this product come with? Do I need anything other than a VCR and power cable for it, in addition to what comes with this item?
     
  6. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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  7. cdcastillo macrumors 6502a

    cdcastillo

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    Or you can use one of the services enumerated here, you send them your tapes and they send you back the video digitized.
     
  8. ColdCase macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Yes, this has been proven to be the best and most reliable approach.
     
  9. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

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    #9
  10. waloshin macrumors 68040

    waloshin

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    #10
    I would like to mention that the vidbox works okay, doesn't drop frames, but the quality in the video recording is kind of weak.
     
  11. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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  12. kumquat macrumors regular

    kumquat

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    #13
    I encoded about 80 VHS tapes using the ElGato video recorder adapter which gives you a usb on one end and female ports for component and s-video on the other, which then plug into your VCR. It's dead simple. The software requires you to press like one button to record. The quality is....passable, if there's no other alternative. However, unless you use a very old tv or monitor, the resolution of VHS, even with a professional 1:1 transfer, is just not up to the standards of what we're visually used to at this point. There is software, specifically from Red Giant, which claims to be able to up-res SD footage, but I can't vouch for it. Of those 80 or so tapes I converted, I have replaced the ElGato encodings with DVD and Blu-Ray rips on all but about 10, which are simply too rare to be found in modern formats.
     

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