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RPM CHRIS 11-12-2014 06:10 PM

Hello, I am considering purchasing one of the ADVC products for my wife (who is very computer savvy but not video conversion savvy) to change over old VHS and some 8mm cassettes to digital DVD format.

Basically, I want to maintain as much of the original quality as possible. Price is not a concern, however, having options we'll never use is (but we don't mind a learning curve in order to achieve our goal here).

I started looking at more "generic" and less expensive Analog to Digital converters, but somehow ended up looking at the CANOPUS products for higher quality video transfer.

My questions:

1. Would the ADVC 55 be my best choice, understanding that it will not feed backwards (no outputs as on other models)?

2. What other video software will I require to get the job done, (such as an Adobe editing software, which we do have access to)?

Thank you


dpalomaki 11-15-2014 09:53 PM

There are a number of issues in the VHS tape to DVD conversion process that need to be addressed, especially if maximizing quality is high on your list, and cost is not an issue. It boils down to how good is good enough. Do you just want to dump analog tapes to DVDs? do some simple editing to exclude unwanted material? add simpler or complex menus? do color correction and/or image restoration, etc.

If you have a good and stable NTSC (or PAL) SD video signal already, then the ADVC 55 will give you a nice capture into DV format (much like video from a MiniDV camcorder) but limited to what ever quality the source player put out. You can then use what ever editing and authoring tools you have available to created a DVD from the material. Recent versions of Adobe Premiere Pro have the built-in tools to do that, as does Edius, and a number of other products ranging from the Nero suite to the TMPGEnc line. However, many argue that the DV file format is not optimal if you plan any appreciable restoration work on the capture video, and something like the BlackMagic Intensity Pro might serve better by allowing uncompressed capture formats

The first issue is to be sure you have a good tape player that can do a decent job playing back the tapes you have. Keep in mind that TV sets usually are more forgiving of tape playback problems than video capture hardware, and some tapes may play better in one VCR than another. You may find you need additional gear such as time base corrector and/or frame synchronizer to get a satisfactory stable signal for capture. And many if not most consumer VCR's from the '90s are poor sources if they still work.

The fastest and potentially the least cost is to hire it out, especially if you have a relatively small number of tapes and not much gear on hand already.

If this is a DIY labor of love and you are obsessed about on quality and want to do restoration as well, visit: The folks there are pretty obsessive about conversion and have clearly stated opinions about VCRs, capture gear, and software.

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