An easy way to transfer old VHS and DVD video to digital

I bought a previous version of something like this and it never worked. The hard part is finding a VHS deck now

1 Like

“boingboingshop” offerings are actually offered and sold by 3d party embedded marketing company StackSocial. It’s unclear to me how much input or review, if any, BoingBoing has on the listings they put their name on or who writes the ad copy.


Quicktime 7 was before Apple iPhoned the Quicktime player (and iMovied FinalCut Pro 7) and removed many of the useful features, but use it while you can. It will no longer work on the next MacOS upgrade, but not just the player, the files themselves :open_mouth:

Apple has now confirmed that macOS 10.15 won’t support 32-bit software, which includes QuickTime 7 and all media formats and codecs relying on it. Mojave currently includes legacy support for QuickTime 7, so if you have old media files which rely on that and its codecs, now is the time to convert those to formats which will be supported in macOS 10.15.

Oh man. I suppose I should check my archives and convert/backup and quicktime formated files as mpegs… I don’t think i have any recent ones, but my archives go back to the 90s, so…

Yeah, mine, too. I don’t even know how many different CODECs I used because the quicktime container always just says “.mov” on the outside - I’d need to check each one individually. Lots of animation CODEC for lossless graphics… And even old Media100 and other specialty CODECs :-/

You probably got better quality video than you would from this thing.

USB capture dongles can be really questionable. They often compress the video with a chip that redefines the meaning of the term “low-end”. Dropped frames and macroblocking galore, and they really don’t like the unsable sync you get from VHS. A DV camcorder is going to give you uncompressed, stable D1 video over Firewire, and you can do whatever you want with that on the computer.

1 Like

I’ve digitized VHS and 3/4 by feeding it through a broadcast grade Sony DV deck - it still needed a stable signal and I had to feed the 3/4 through a frame sync to make it work.

1 Like

I’m surprised a broadcast deck didn’t have a TBC built in.

1 Like

It’s been a while, a long while, so IIRC it has gen lock, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can handle an un-syncronized signal. My edit suite wasn’t gen-locked, lacking scopes and a proper engineer needed to for such things, and since it was a post suite not a live broadcast suite. My understanding of the difference between a TBC and a frame synch is vague, and mostly forgotten now that I don’t deal with NTSC SD anymore… (Which I guess I’ll have to revisit if I want to re-archive videos that the abandonment of QT7 CODECs…)

I seem to recall that the big problem with these USB video capture widgets (and I assume there’s really not much to differentiate one from another) is the lack of 64-bit Windows drivers. Or is an open source alternative finally available?

1 Like

Crap. Quicktime 7 is the best for someone like myself- has the features I need without a lot of clutter for the stuff I don’t need. The sweet spot of features and ease of use. Annoying I’ll have to spend the effort finding and learning something else for the few times a year I need it.

1 Like

It looks like it’s the exact same USB 2.1 video capture device that I tried to use a few years ago:

A single piece of 20th generation photocopy for documentation and a tiny mini-CD for the drivers - that were XP only.

I dug out an old laptop I keep around for when I need a serial console connection that dual boots to Ubuntu/XP, Installed the software and drivers, plugged it into the laptop, connected it it to a VCR I hadn’t thrown away yet, ran the software, hit play on the VCR and saw absolutely nothing on the software.

Don’t waste your time people, this stuff is unsupported junk.

Last summer (or so) someone had recommended a device which syncs with each video frame. (I somewhat recall it was in the context of an earlier plug for this same, or similar, USB adapter). They must’ve pointed me to this, because I saved the link (no way I would’ve come up with this on my own):

OTOH I can’t find the old thread searching the BBS. These devices appear to run cheaper on eBay than on Amazon, but my question is whether anyone is currently making such a device (other than for professional use, which I assume could run 4 figures)

Looks like a firewire based DV converter. Seems like video converters have run into the same issue as slide scanners in that we reached peak consumer/prosumer interest years ago and the industry has not kept making new, quality products for the purpose, but crappy, out of date ones are still available. I still have a computer with firewire somewhere, I may have to dig it out if I need to digitize anything… :-/

1 Like

This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.