VHS

For more information see Video.

Equipment

This is some of the equipment I use.

Capture

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

Photo of Leadtek WinFast PxDTV2300 H capture card.

Leadtek WinFast PxDTV2300 H

Playback

Video Cassette Recorders

The Panasonic DMR-EZ48V is used from 2023 with the Sharp units as backup.

Spares

A remote is needed to turn the on screen display (OSD) off for grabbing.

I clean the VCRs when they start to struggle with tracking or pops and clicks on the Hi-Fi audio which can be between 10 and 30 VHS cassettes depending on the condition of the cassettes played.

When linear audio is muffled I adjust the tracking head.

Some of my older recordings were with a Samsung DVD-V7000 (manufactured 2002) and LG DC593W (manufactured September 2002) units I had.

Photo of Panasonic DMR-EZ48V

Panasonic DMR-EZ48V

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

USB Sound Cards

These are only used for the Behringer XENYX 502 and 802 as it does not have built in USB.

Software

VirtualDub2 is used for all grabbing, filters, encoding and final output.

Capture is grabbed lossless for easy post editing.
Filters such as deinterlace are used when needed and a final encode is produced. A separate job is made for all YouTube versions to work around YouTube's strange processing.

VirtualDub2 is also used in distributed mode as a Beowulf cluster for larger job lists.

Older captures were made using WinFast PVR2.
While Handbrake is excellent it has never been required.

Other

Speed Winder SF-2000 Video Cassette Winder.

Good for moving stuck film and winding cassettes without wearing out any VCR.

Speed Winder VHS cassette times.

E180 = 3m 41s
E240 = 4m 34s
E300 = 5m 40s

Speed Winder SF-2000