HOW TO DIGIT AN OLD VIDEO CASSETTE UNDER HOME
VHS video cassettes and VCRs designed for playing them first appeared on the market in 1976 and successfully outlived Sony Betamax and Video 2000 technologies. In the 1990s and 2000s they were replaced by DVD discs, and today users even prefer to watch video online . If you still have old films on which family events, important as memory, are recorded, it is quite simple to convert them to digital format: we will tell you how to digitize video tapes at home.
Why digitize a video?
The main reason for converting analog VHS video to digital formats may be the lack of a VCR to watch them periodically or problems connecting such a device to a modern TV. Interesting moments of life – birthdays, weddings, holidays, vacation trips – are still stored on film. And for viewing on a computer, media player or TV receiver with HDMI and USB connectors, the videos must be digital.
But even if you have a tape recorder and a suitable TV, there are several more reasons for transferring video to a “digit”:
deterioration in the quality of recording on VHS cassettes over time – the clarity of sound and image decreases, “noise” and distortion appear;
the film is rather fragile: it can stretch or tear, making the transfer of information impossible;
the still working VCR is also far from eternal – and it can fail even before the cassette;
digital video is easier to process – if you have a modern video editor, not only a professional, but an ordinary PC user can do this job.
Digital recording is stored almost forever (while the medium is alive) and does not lose its quality. Transferring information to disk, you can count on 20-25 years of use and more than 50 years of storage. The cloud can store as much data as the storage will exist. Depending on the intensity of use, SSDs live on average for at least 10 years.
How to convert analog video to digital format
There are many ways to transfer a recording from a tape to a “digit”. Data can be captured from a TV, digital video recorder or camera. Regardless of the method, digitization inevitably leads to a deterioration in the quality of the video, however, the resulting digital video can be rewritten as many times as you like without loss of quality.
Capturing content from a TV
The easiest way to digitize a video tape does not require the use of special equipment. To transfer, you will need a VCR, a special application (“Screen Camera” or “Video MONTAGE”), almost any TV and PC with a discrete graphics card that has an HDMI connector.
If you do not have the old VCR, look for it from friends – for sure, someone on the mezzanine dusts a rare cassette. In extreme cases, rent a device for a day or a few hours – in every major city there are similar services.
The digitization process consists of 4 steps:
Connect a VCR (or analog camera) to a TV receiver via an RSA or SCART connector. It is also possible to connect a tape recorder with a coaxial cable to the antenna, but the video quality may deteriorate.
Connect the TV to a computer or laptop using an HDMI cable.
Setting up the program and capturing images from the TV.
Running video on a tape recorder and transferring it to a computer with saving to disk.
In this case, the TV replaces the video capture card. For digitization, you do not need to buy additional equipment (although sometimes you may need the cables missing in the kit), but the image quality is lower than average. Among the problems are inconsistent screen resolution, incorrect aspect ratio, image and sound out of sync. Nevertheless, this is the easiest and most accessible way for most users to digitize video at home.
Using an external or internal board
Using technology specifically designed to capture video from external devices improves the quality of digital recording. However, this will require additional costs for its purchase: to transfer several video cassettes, you can buy an inexpensive external board such as Rombica Pro Studio, the cost of which does not exceed 1500 rubles. All the necessary software and the free Xvid video codec are already included with the device.
The internal cards suitable for video capture are distinguished by rear-mounted colored tulip-type connectors. External boxes that can be connected to a PC through the FireWare port (IEEE 1394) provide excellent quality when transferring from any medium, but to use them, you will need to install a special FireWire St-Lab PCI-E COMBO CARD controller on the PC.
Of course, professional equipment can also be used for video capture. For example, an internal card for capturing AVERMEDIA CL334-SN – it costs about 100 thousand rubles, but provides the maximum quality of digitization without lowering the resolution compared to the original.