VHS

In my spare time I digitise video from magnetic tapes. I have the equipment to copy from VHS, Hi8 and Mini DV.

These days it is relatively cheap to digitise VHS tapes especially if you have some old equipment still stored away.

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I first started with television and FM radio capture cards in 2003 with a Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Deluxe on Windows XP. I also used a Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert.

Leadtek were good in updating drivers and software at the time and were early to support 64 bit drivers for Windows XP and Vista. Even though Leadtek no longer make capture cards and removed all references about them on their website the software and drivers are still available on their FTP. They still work on the latest operating systems even Windows 10.

Equipment

This is some of the equipment I use.

Equipment

This is some of the equipment I use.

Capture

I use Leadtek PCI capture cards which still work on Windows 10.

  • Leadtek WinFast DTV1000 S for Digital TV, composite and s-video. I have about 5 of these cards made from 2008 to 2010 both revision A and revision B.

  • Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 DS Plus for digital TV and DAB+ made in 2010.

Playback

VHS players:

  • Sharp VC-H710 manufactured approximately 2001

  • Sharp VC-H730 manufactured 2002

Both have S Picture which sharpens the image which I enable on both units.

I originally got these without a remote but found one later on that works with both units. A remote is needed to turn the on screen display (OSD) off for digitising.

I clean the players when they start to struggle with tracking which can be between 10 and 30 VHS cassettes depending on the condition of the cassettes played.

Some of my older recordings were with a Samsung or LG DVD/VHS units I had in the early 2000s. Both of these were 6 head Hi-Fi Stereo units.

Audio

I use audio mixers to balance the audio as I am recording. Many VHS tapes loose signal over time and so one side can be quieter. I have also had tapes where the volume of the source was turned down and so the lower audio setting was recorded.

Using a mixer at the time of digitisation is much easier than trying to fix the audio in post editing.

Mixers

  • Behringer XENYX 502

  • Behringer XENYX Q1202USB

USB sound cards

These are only used for the Behringer XENYX 502 as it does not have built in USB.

  • Behringer UCA200

  • Behringer UCA202

  • Behringer UCA222

Hi8 and Mini DV

Handheld video recorders are used for digitising home videos.

  • Sony CCD-TRV428E which uses Hi8 tapes and has composite and s-video output.

  • JVC for Mini DV using IEEE 1394

Originally I had a JVC-GR-DX77 that malfunctioned.