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Thread: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    75

    Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Hello everyone,
    I have some VHS tapes that I'd like to digitize, and I need help finding a program that can capture the video to Ubuntu (I'm running 10.04). I have USB capture-box, which connects to the player via composite RCA, then goes to the computer. Can anyone direct me to some Linux software that can help me with this? The video editing programs which I've found in Ubuntu so far don't seem to support real-time capture; it seems like you have to import your digitized file into the program. Thanks in advance.

    Deer Hunter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    South America
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    22
    Distro
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Just a guess here but I think if you have video coming in via USB here's a couple of links with programs you might find useful:

    https://help.ubuntu.com/7.04/musicvi...o-editing.html

    http://alicious.com/2008/videomovie-...-ubuntu-linux/

    Hope they have what you need
    TEFL certified English Teacher
    Registered GNU/Linux User #491032
    Registered Ubuntu User #27631

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Magic City of the Plains
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Simplest way is to use cat, cat /dev/video0 > foo.mpeg for example. I've also used vlc for this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    75

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    I tried VLC and it couldn't detect my capture device. Neither could Kino, Pitivi, or DeVeDe. I wonder if that's part of the problem. But the device was seen alright in my XP virtual machine on this computer, so apparently Ubuntu could see it well enough to do that much. Here's a link to the capture device, maybe you can tell if it is the problem: http://www.staples.ca/ENG/Catalog/ca...affixedcode=WW

    Thanks for the advice so far.

    Can you elaborate on "cat," what it is and does? It sounds interesting but I'd like a little more info before I jump in blindly. Thanks.
    Last edited by Deer Hunter; February 8th, 2011 at 07:27 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    75

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Of course, I am also able to make this work just fine in Windows, but that kind defeats the purpose, as I want to be able to do it all in Linux.

    Any other ideas anyone?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Northern VA, USA
    Beans
    1
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Have you checked the manufacturer of the device to see if they have some real linux drivers?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
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    75

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Quote Originally Posted by sunnymolini View Post
    Have you checked the manufacturer of the device to see if they have some real linux drivers?
    Unfortunately, no they do not have linux drivers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    Magic City of the Plains
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    Hidden!
    Distro
    Xubuntu

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    http://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

    cat is a CLI app that captures output from a file or device and redirects it to your screen (e.g. cat /etc/apt/sources.list, a command you see frequently in the forums) or to a file.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Beans
    235
    Distro
    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    I am trying to do exactly this. I have found that streamer can capture the audio and video from my device. In my case the command is:

    streamer -C /dev/dsp1 -c /dev/video1 -iComposite1 -s 720x480 -n ntsc -t 9:00:00 -f jpeg -j 100 -F stereo -o Video.avi

    Here's where I run into issues:

    1) The *only* modes listed in the (extremely sparse) documentation that works are jpeg avi, and raw. This means I have a choice between huge files, and even more huge files. Which means that none of the video editors I can find can process them. The best is Openshot, which will load the first 15 minutes before dying. Pitivi is at least kind enough to tell me that it's timing out on processing the file, but there's no way to tell it that it's ok to try longer.

    2) The A/V sync is off by approximately .25 seconds. It annoyingly doesn't stay completely constant and bobbles around between .19 and .30. XawTV can record just fine, with only between .06 and .09 offset, but its resolution maxes out at 384x288, which makes things awfully fuzzy. And no, kicking streamer down to that resolution doesn't get rid of its audio lag.

    So, it looks like I'm down to ffmpeg for trimming, which is fine, I've done that before, but I need a way to resync the audio (and preferably a trick to make streamer try to keep the audio offset more constant, even if it's larger.) The documentation on these things is awfully sparse.
    bIlujlaHbe'chugh, bIQaplaHbe' --tlhIngan vIttlhegh.

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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
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    3,713

    Re: Want to capture VHS tapes to Ubuntu.

    Have you tried using FFmpeg directly?
    FFmpeg Documentation: 7.7 video4linux and video4linux2

    You can then output to a more suitable output format.

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