transfer vhs to dvd

lokofan12

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#1
Is anyone aware of a combo unit that will copy VHS protected tapes to DVD and DVR (cable box) to DVD ? I OWN many old tapes that I want to preserve onto DVD - and most combo recorders can't get past the VHS tape (Macrovision?) copy protection. I'm not doing anything illegal - I purchased ALL of these VHS tapes want to make a copy for myself.
 

Orrymain

, Blogger: Orry's Orations
#2
There is not, to my knowledge, a legal unit that will do that. I detest Wal-mart but I think they have a program going where you can take copies in and legally pay to have them converted. You'd have to verify that. I just recall seeing commercials for this earlier this year.
 

MrPogi

Moderator, , Webmaster of Cache Free TV
Staff member
#3
There is not, to my knowledge, a legal unit that will do that. I detest Wal-mart but I think they have a program going where you can take copies in and legally pay to have them converted. You'd have to verify that. I just recall seeing commercials for this earlier this year.
Orry,
I checked and Walmart doesn't do it. Perhaps you are thinking of Walmart's "DVD to digital" conversion program? It's really a rip-off, what Walmart does is give you online access to Vudu's online copy of your disc. There is never an actual conversion done. You can only access your "copy" online, you can't download it, and if Vudu goes belly up, you have nothing.

The only way I know to copy macrovision protected VHS to anything is a computer with a capture device. You need to connect a VHS player to an analog video capture device, be it USB or an internal capture card. I found one inexpensive converter / software bundle on Amazon that has good reviews: Ezcap116 USB 2.0 Video Capture Device. You will also need to buy a digital video stabilizer to remove the macrovision. I believe you could run the output from your VCR through the stabilizer and into a standalone DVD recorder, also. No, it's not push button easy like a DVD recorder/VCR combo *could* be, but there aren't any combo units I know of out there that will copy a macrovision tape.


Either way, you're looking at about $100 in hardware and/or software, and your time. You might try looking for cheaper stuff on eBay. The people over at VideoHelp.com - Forum, Guides, Tools and hardware lists can help you with this, and there's a discussion on this subject here: Copy Copy-Protected VHS to DVD

Luckily, I only have to convert old home videos on VHS and analog 8mm to DVD, much easier except for the "finding a working 8mm camcorder for cheap" part!
 

terry

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#4
I've run into this problem myself. MrPogi is correct. You need to set up your own (very time-consuming) method to capture your VHS tapes by way of your computer, then you can burn a dvd. Most video capture devices require some sort of video editing software, though. Many of these programs also split the video you are capturing into segments, so you end up spending lots of time re-connecting the segments in order to burn a dvd. And just be forewarned, many of the devices sold online don't work very well, though I don't know anything about the one MrPogi mentions. You also have the option of going to a professional conversion service. These places are legally allowed to convert commercially sold VHS tapes to DVD, but they have to charge the customer a copyright fee, which (if memory serves me correctly) runs about $20 -25, just for the copyright fee - the conversion and burning charges are added to that. I know how you feel, as I have 50 or so VHS tapes that I purchased over the years, and just need them in a modern, viewable format. I've decided that it's cheaper and easier just to buy the dvd and throw out the old vhs tapes. The time it takes to convert, download, re-connect, and burn a VHS tape to my computer just wasn't worth it to me. Remember, the VHS tapes downloads in real time - two hours per tape to get it on the computer. Wish we had better news for you...
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#5
All Macrovision does is insert some pulses in order to trick the AGC into screwing up the picture's luminosity (brightness). In fact, for macrovision to work, a recording device had to be designed to respond properly to the macrovision pulses. (most) TVs don't have a problem with Macrovision because their AGC is not designed to respond to the pulses. When you think about it, compared to modern copy protection, Macrovision is quite crude.

In the digital domain this is not really a problem UNLESS the card's driver is designed to respond to macrovision or another rights management method such as CGMS-A. The chipset itself doesn't. This has to be implemented in software (the driver).

Every capture card I've used works fine with macrovision, EXCEPT for ATI cards. However even with an ATI card, if you use a driver such as BTWinCap and not the stock driver that came with the card it will ignore the macrovision signal, even without a stabilizer.

I am pretty much old school. For capture I like VirtualDub. I think there are plugins to encode it to MPEG on the fly now. I haven't done this stuff in such a long time.
 
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