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Why need to convert videotapes to digital?
People convert VHS to digital because of various reasons. Maybe you want to save some family old movie or hate the new digital remaster of Star Wars. VHS degrade over time, so if you're going to archive, please switch to digital now.
Sounds complicated, right? But you need some tape, VCR, and a capture card. All these devices are not expensive.
Prepare the VCR
You need a VCR still working on converting tapes into digital files. Here are some suggestions to buy a VCR and preparations to convert the video:
- Find VCR and buy it: You can buy VCR equipment in stores or from eBay. Or if your friend has, borrow them.
- Check VCR: When you bought the VCR, check it with the tape.
- Clean the VCR: After checking and know it still works, you need to clean the engine. The dust on the locomotive could damage the image of the band.
Your videotape may have some problems because it was at least 20 years old. Therefore you should check each tape and see we have no problem.
Let's look at the window of the cassette. You will immediately see if there are problems such as mold. Then, open the top of the video cassettes to see the tape better clearly. You can press the button next to the cassette to open the head. If the tape tangle, moldy, or damaged, you should use the technique TLC.
Here are some of the problems and how to fix them:
- Videotape is bent or brittle: This is not a severe problem. You can tape by using a finger to enter the circle and rotate. If only a bent clip, you can gently straighten it with a microfiber cloth. If the entire videotape bent, it was broken.
- Tape tangle: To fix this problem, open the videotape with a screwdriver and troubleshoot it manually. This way is effortless but a little time-consuming.
- Videotape is mold: This problem is not uncommon for old VHS tapes. It would help if you did not play the moldy tape in the VCR; clear it manually first. If the VCR and tape away after making it digitized, you can skip the stage of cleaning.
Now your videotape is no longer a problem, and you are willing to convert, it's time to prepare your computer and capture card and video capture software.
Preparing the computer
Computer to receive and decode the video signal from the player, follow the steps below:
- Buy Capture card: It is responsible for sending VCR audio and video signals to the computer via USB. The capture card supports s-video to transfer digital highest quality (s-video image better than RCA).
- Download software video: When the video is played on the computer, it must be recorded in real-time by software. Capture Card has CD software or links to download, but you can use OBS Studio if there none.
After all the preparation is done, it's time to convert VHS. This process takes place in real-time, so that it may take a period.
Convert VHS videotape
To start recording a VHS tape, plug the capture card into the VCR and the computer, launch the software and start the video recording process of digitization.
Card recording software will guide you need. If not, follow these steps:
Step 1. Open a new project.
Find software around until you see the option to open a new project.
Step 2. Set the video frame size
It would help if you did not record at a resolution of Blu-ray. Set frame size is 320 x 240 for better imagines.
Step 3. Turn on Interlacing
Find the software until you find the option and enable Interlacing (which simulates how videotape is shown on TV). Typically, this option will appear when starting a new project file.
Step 4. Set the refresh rate
Have you ever heard of the NTSC and PAL? These are two different TV standards, and we decided on the refresh rate of your tape. If the refresh rate setting is not accurate, the image will deteriorate. If using NTSC, set the speed of 60Hz, and PAL set it to 50Hz.
Step 5. Follow the instructions video
After setting up the file, use the instructions to record a video. One thing to remember is, the tape is recorded in real-time, so do not skip ahead.
If you have any issues when using the card recording software, refer to the user guide or email the manufacturer for assistance.
Secure storage of digital files
Do not let your digital files on a computer hard drive because of the risk of losing them. Instead, let's back up this video on an external hard drive and then upload them to a cloud storage service like Dropbox, Amazon Drive, iCloud, or Google Drive.
You should be in a dry, cool place with the videotape if you want to keep them. You should put them in plastic containers or bags of ice to prevent dust, mold, or water damage. Choose your Best VHS to digital converter for mac, window, Linux.