View Full Version : VHS video to linux

November 17th, 2005, 03:07 PM
I've just completed setting up an ubuntu / mythtv box, and now it's time to digitis my video archive (yes, I know the quality sucks and, yes, I have considered searching for torrents instead). I bet I'm not the first person to do this, so I'm hoping for some good advice:

1. What's the best program to capture the video input? It needs to be easy to use so that my wife can do the recording for me when I'm in work - and she only discovered the purpose of the <enter> key a few days ago.

2. Is there any smart software that can clean up the worst of the image noise?

3. What software should I use to trim the start and the end of the files?

4. What's the best format for saving the final video?

I know that I should really google for this information... but I'm hoping that a few of you have some favourite software that you'd like to promote.

November 18th, 2005, 05:49 AM
Yes I'm very interested in this as well, although my source will be from a live security camera.

The tools should be the same though, hopefully

November 18th, 2005, 11:30 AM
Security cameras are usually lower res - there is a useful package called 'motion' that I use which records as JPEG or MPEG and works with most video grabber cards incl. those 4x input ones you can get. The name comes from its ability to sense motion and only record when it sees some, but it can also grab a frame to disk every second. Not useful for VHS to video use, but for security cam use it is ideal as you don't usually need the full 25fps.

For VHS to disk, as you've set up MythTV do you have a PVR card, and if so isn't this what MythTV does anyway i.e. record any input to disk? I've never used it (so may be completely wrong!) but as it is designed to record, just conect your VHS upstream of it, play the VHS and record in the normal way?

November 18th, 2005, 12:32 PM
I can use MythTV, but it stores recorded TV shows in an unusual format that can't be read by other programs. I'd have to do a whole load of faffing with the command line to convert the files if, for example, I wanted to use Totem to watch the videos. Having said that, it's the best solution that I've yet found.

MythTV is an incredibly cool bit of software - everyone that I've shown it to has been blown away by its capabilities, both techies and normal human beings alike. If it weren't for the legal issues with proprietary codecs, someone could make a fortune by selling pre-configured MythTV boxes - most of my mates are desperate for one, but don't have the technical skills or the time to build a box and install the software.

November 21st, 2005, 03:28 PM
Are there any guides to follow?

I was thinking of using my video card (Geforce 4 Ti 4200) as it has TV in and TV out to capture stuff from the video surveillance.

Although motion sounds cool, I think i'll need something that captures the full thing. The camera won't be on 24/7.