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New Project - Converting Old Home Videos to DVD


RickR
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Here's my story.  When my kids were babies, we had a camcorder that used 8mm tapes.  Later, I upgraded to a digital-8 camcorder.  Many years ago (probably 2003 or so), I attempted to convert all that to digital and ended up making several "S-VCD" disks.  My memory isn't too clear, but I remember having some serious issues with the computer horsepower needed to do the conversion.  In many cases, a disc would burn but not really work (with lots of fuzzy pixelization).  I remember trying to make DVD's too, but my computer kept erroring out on needing a DVD encoder.  The SVCD's still work, but the quality is terrible and I only converted a few of the tapes.

After that, the 8mm camcorder got destroyed by the kids.  I think they forced a tape in backwards and ruined the mechanism.  Meh, things happen, it wasn't too big a deal.  Later, I found a nice replacement at Goodwill, but never spent much time with it.  The idea was to have a way to play our old tapes.  

Enough backstory.  I've decided to try the conversion again.  I want to keep it simple.  No editing.  Just make a DVD of every tape I have.  

I'll document my process here as best I can.  I have no idea what I'm doing, so this is going to be a learning experience.  

Here's my theory of what to try:  

I have no way to get the 8mm camcorder output (composite) in to my computer.  So I'll either have to buy a composite adapter/card/whatever, OR I thought maybe, just maybe I could output from the 8mm as input to the digital 8.  The digital 8 has a firewire output, so that one will go into the computer just fine.  This will be step one.

I've found a freeware program called "Open Broadcaster Software" (OBS) that should do the work and burning for me once I get the video to the computer.

PLEASE...if you have any tips, any advice, any help at all, let me know!  

Actually, step one will be gathering the machines and tapes up.  Fortunately, I know right where they are....on a ceiling shelf in the garage.  So the real step one is getting this down:

More to come....

 

stuff 002.JPG

Edited by RickR
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I have never done this before, but I am interested.

Is your 8mm tape more in line with B-Day 3 4 or is it more akin to MTT the Video size-wise?

If it's the former (bigger tape) they make these adapters for typical VCRs. If you have a way to convert a typical VHS tape to digital format then you might find luck using an adapter like this one. The former tape size my family used from 2005 to 2008 before we moved on to the smaller size in MTT the Video, so its close to the same era as 2003.

Hope this helps.

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so, I have been doing the same!  I bought a USB adapter off Amazon that has composite and S video.  hook up a higher end VCR (4 head stereo) That  I found at Goodwill and I feed that into OBS to capture it.  It seems to work pretty great for me.  Before I got the USB adapter - I tried a Hauppage card in my desktop, but the USB adapter works much, much better.

Here is the one that I bought - it works great on Windows 10 with OBS

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E5ITE2W/

 

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for slides (remember slides??) I bought a special slide scanner, but that was incredibly hard to use and I always got mixed results with it.  I had much better results setting up a clean screen in a dark room, using my projector, and taking pictures with a good camera that let me control the focus and exposure (Nikon D60)

As an added bonus - I didn't have to unload the slides from the drums that way.

 

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17 minutes ago, MaliciousCarp said:

so, I have been doing the same!  I bought a USB adapter off Amazon that has composite and S video.  hook up a higher end VCR (4 head stereo) That  I found at Goodwill and I feed that into OBS to capture it.  It seems to work pretty great for me.  Before I got the USB adapter - I tried a Hauppage card in my desktop, but the USB adapter works much, much better.

Here is the one that I bought - it works great on Windows 10 with OBS

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01E5ITE2W/

 

That is so helpful.  I appreciate it.  Thanks.

That USB device looks perfect.  And it's good to know someone else has tried OBS and likes it. 

 

 

Edited by RickR
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When Windows 7 was still a thing - I used Windows Movie maker because it let me add menus and stuff (and publish a DVD image)

OBS can be tricky because you have to center the capture window and smartly choose your audio sources.  Once you get it set up though - I really like how simple it is to actually use.

It may be an extra step, but I usually run them through Handbrake to make the files a little smaller before I archive them.

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What about getting a video capture device for your VCR to hook up to a computer? That way, you can stream your home movies through the device to the computer. ElGato sells them, so does Roxio, and they are all over Amazon. Some can get pretty cheap in price. The ElGato device is expensive, I will warn you, about $80.00-100.00. But, if you can afford it, then it's worth it. 

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