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Thread: Convert VHS tape to mp4

  1. #11
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    The answers so far are very "US-centric", as US consumer devices have no AV outputs (why should consumers have a choice?), forcing the use of UHF output/tuner, which is totally mindless. In the rest of the world, CVBS/Audio in the form of RCA or SCART connectors are the norm.

    I don't know where you are in the world, and you say nothing about your video format (PAL/SECAM/NTSC, 50/60 FPS).

    Generally, VHS or V8 analog video is converted using the kind of dongle you show (differences in quality are immense!) with CVBS and Audio inputs. The dongle outputs a USB bitstream, which your PC converts to a video format (usually MPEG-2). Converting that to something else is easy. The dongle is basically just an A/D converter.

    If you have the original V8 tapes, the best option is trying to find an old camera or player that will play them. The conversion from V8 to VHS will already have caused a quality deterioration.
    But if you only have the VHS tapes, buy a VHS player off ebay or wherever. First run a test tape to make certain that the player doesn't shred it.

    Good luck.
    Last edited by ml9104; August 3rd, 2021 at 11:27 PM.

  2. #12
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    The answers so far are very "US-centric", as US consumer devices have no AV outputs (why should consumers have a choice?), forcing the use of UHF output/tuner, which is totally mindless. In the rest of the world, CVBS/Audio in the form of RCA or SCART connectors are the norm.
    I don't know about that... VHS players came in all sorts of makes and models. Some only had RF output, mainly because some people only had TV's with RF input. Some had AV Out... Some had AV Ins and Outs. And even some of the later models had S-Video. When they started doing DVD/VHS Combo units you could find some of those that had Progressive Scan YPbPR (Component Video) outputs, and the player would internally upscale the video.

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    I don't know where you are in the world, and you say nothing about your video format (PAL/SECAM/NTSC, 50/60 FPS).
    Good point.

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    Generally, VHS or V8 analog video is converted using the kind of dongle you show (differences in quality are immense!) with CVBS and Audio inputs. The dongle outputs a USB bitstream, which your PC converts to a video format (usually MPEG-2). Converting that to something else is easy. The dongle is basically just an A/D converter.
    I think if you take it to these conversion places (WalMart, Walgreens, Etc.) they will give you a DVD in your local format. For America that's 720x480(i/p) NTSC. At this point, you could rip the DVD to your Hard Drive, and the convert it to whatever format you like.[QUOTE=ml9104;14051663]
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  3. #13
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Re #10 I'm doing this at the moment - after some testing I use OBS Studio as my first piece of software to convert the vhs output from my vhs player to a mp4 file on my pc. vhs player - cable - pc (pc = capture card - obs studio)

  4. #14
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Quote Originally Posted by Quarkrad View Post
    Re #10 I'm doing this at the moment - after some testing I use OBS Studio as my first piece of software to convert the vhs output from my vhs player to a mp4 file on my pc. vhs player - cable - pc (pc = capture card - obs studio)
    Yes, but this skips the crucial point, which is: which hardware do you use to go from analog video to a digital format. Which dongle/AV-card etc.
    As soon as everything is digitized it's easy.

    I've yet to see one of the cheap AV/USB dongles offering Linux drivers, so that's out. Perhaps a video card for a desktop might work, no idea (I only have laptops).

  5. #15
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Quote Originally Posted by Shibblet View Post

    I think if you take it to these conversion places (WalMart, Walgreens, Etc.) they will give you a DVD in your local format. For America that's 720x480(i/p) NTSC. At this point, you could rip the DVD to your Hard Drive, and the convert it to whatever format you like.
    Again, a very US-centric answer. Walgreens operates only in the US, Walmart in the Americas, India and South Africa.

    Digitizing NTSC video results in 480i, PAL/SECAM in 576i.

  6. #16
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    Again, a very US-centric answer. Walgreens operates only in the US, Walmart in the Americas, India and South Africa.
    Oh... that's what you meant. Ok. For some reason I thought you were talking about regional differences in the signals.

    Yeah, WalMart and Walgreens are pretty specific to the USA. I'd imagine there are similar services at similar types of businesses in other countries, but I supposed I could be wrong. I'd ask photography studios, or search online for a place that you could mail your tapes to.

    This reminds me of an old Stephen Fry Quote from a British Episode of "Who's Line is it Anyway." He looked at the American Guest and said "You do know there are other countries, right?"
    I laughed pretty hard at that, because, true to form, most of the time we (Americans) are really oblivious.

    Fortunately, I am from Alaska. We're American, but very akin to Canadian as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    Digitizing NTSC video results in 480i, PAL/SECAM in 576i.
    Spot on! If the OP can do it themselves (on their own computer), I am sure the results would be better. But finding a working VHS player, as well as taking the time to record, clean, and re-encode, can be time consuming, and spendy.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    All you need is a secondhand VCR probably €30 about on Ebay or elsewhere OR borrow one for this task then a scart converter (enter this name in your search: "1.5M Scart to 3x Phono RCA AV Cable IN OUT Switchable Triple Lead Switch") €4 or so and using ffmpeg the way it is shown here
    Fairly easy ...
    Last edited by shantiq; October 3rd, 2021 at 12:10 PM.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Hi all,

    Lot of thanks for your advice.

    I sent 2 VHS tapes to 2 companies, offering service ripping VHS to DVD. The final outcome makes me very disappointed.

    Certain sections of video on the DVD are not very clear, blurred. I'm now searching technical information how to enhance the quality of the video.

    All my VHS tapes were converted from V8 tapes. I captured video with a Sony V8 video camera while traveling worldwide. I still have all original V8 tapes. I took an original V8 tapes to a shop to rip the video to DVD. Unfortunately the V8 tape can't work, unable to rotate. The V8 tape was broken by the shop.

    That is the present situation.

  9. #19
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Sorry to hear about your bad results.
    But perhaps your expectations are too high. VHS quality corresponds approximately to 380 x 280 resolution, which is not very good. No real way to enhance this, it's a bandwidth problem.

    In your case, I'd explore the path of digitizing the original V8 tapes. Any analog copying degrades video/audio quality.
    Players are hard to find, though, and really expensive. A Sony EV-C20 seems to have a market price of around $500.

  10. #20
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    Re: Convert VHS tape to mp4

    Quote Originally Posted by ml9104 View Post
    Sorry to hear about your bad results.
    But perhaps your expectations are too high. VHS quality corresponds approximately to 380 x 280 resolution, which is not very good. No real way to enhance this, it's a bandwidth problem.

    In your case, I'd explore the path of digitizing the original V8 tapes. Any analog copying degrades video/audio quality.
    Players are hard to find, though, and really expensive. A Sony EV-C20 seems to have a market price of around $500.
    There are
    1)
    Sony 8mm Video8 NTSC stereo VCR EV-C20 player

    2)
    Sony Ev-c200 Hi8 Video 8 8mm Player Recorder VCR Deck EX

    both not available.

    Before I have sent one V8 tape to a shop ripping it to DVD but the shop returned it to me saying the tape unable to rotate with tape broken as well. I hesitate whether to try another shop? If failed again another V8 tape may be broken.

    Regards

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