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Analog to Digital Conversion


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#1 James Frank.

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:45 PM

so i've been trying to convert all my old VHS tapes to DVD's or digital copies, and i've been having one hell of a time trying to figure it out. i mean, i'm not stupid-- i know all of the standard ways to go about doing this-- but for my particular laptop, it just seems to have been a nightmare of sorts just getting one thing to connect to the other. my uncle loaned me his Canopus ADVC 110, which is considered to be one of the upper-tier connection devices to convert analog signals to digital.


the inputs/outputs are as follows: on both sides, there are s-video, dv, and component (those red/white/yellow things) connections. ideally, it's a simple set-up: you plug in your VCR-out to the inputs, and then use the DV Firewire connection to go from the output into your computer. however, anyone who's bought a laptop in the last 6 years has noticed that Firewire is obsolete, and they don't make them anymore-- nor do they make PCI slots anymore in the event that you'd want to add Firewire connectivity to your laptop. so because of this, i'm at a stalemate. i can plug the VCR into the Canopus, but there is no such thing as a Firewire/USB adapter (that actually works), so unless i figure out a reliable method of connecting the two reliably without HUGE amounts of data loss, i pretty much can't do it.


another option i've looked at is the Pinnacle MovieBox, which is basically a lesser version of the Canopus with a USB output instead of the component/s-video/dv outputs. i thought that i might buy this thing in order to jerry-rig a four-way connection between the VCR, the Canopus, itself and my laptop-- but then i realized that's stupid, and if i did buy the MovieBox i could just plug the VCR directly into it and say 'fuck it' to the Canopus haha. anyway, as you can tell it's gotten sooooooo much more complicated than it needs to be, and i'm starting to get frustrated with the whole idea of converting anything...especially since i haven't even seen what happens when one of these fucking things get plugged in to my laptop, idk if i have a program that supports conversion like that.


so anyway, i started this thread because i wanted to see if any of the more tech-savvy users on these boards knew anything that could help me out, or at the very least let me know if the MovieBox is even worth purchasing. i'm sure at least some of you guys have delved into analog-digital conversion, so what's the secret to it that i'm missing? lemme know. here's a listing for the MovieBox on Amazon, as well as a YouTube clip of a guy reviewing the Canopus ADVC-110:

http://www.amazon.co...nnacle moviebox

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BthebohwsDk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeVNid389Tg

#2 mangoes cash

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Posted 28 March 2014 - 08:58 PM

Netflix
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#3 DJ Projexion

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:09 AM

Are these home movies or actual films? I could see the need to convert old home movies but for actual films its probably more trouble than its worth.

#4 James Frank.

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Posted 29 March 2014 - 07:43 AM

Are these home movies or actual films? I could see the need to convert old home movies but for actual films its probably more trouble than its worth.


well, it's a mix of both. the home movies take top priority, but once i get all those secured i wanted to transfer some of these films that i own that aren't being made anymore (like the original, CGI-less versions of the Star Wars trilogy)...and interestingly enough, both of the converter boxes i was talking about can be used to bypass all the copyright protection stuff they encode into everything now. so feasibly, i could use it for actual films as well...but for me, i'd probably use it a lot more to convert all the old VHS tapes i used to record cartoons on as a kid.

#5 fungus

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 10:01 AM

Remember when converting anything to DVD or digital file, that those DVDs and hard drives are not going to last as long as the original film or tape. Doing digital conversion is not upgrading, it's downgrading.

I feel sorry for all those poor saps who spent hours converting vinyl to CD back in the early 00s. They're left sitting with a bunch of crap CD-R's that probably don't work in 2014, or hard drives with connectors that the tech industry phased out.

#6 James Frank.

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:26 PM

Remember when converting anything to DVD or digital file, that those DVDs and hard drives are not going to last as long as the original film or tape. Doing digital conversion is not upgrading, it's downgrading.

I feel sorry for all those poor saps who spent hours converting vinyl to CD back in the early 00s. They're left sitting with a bunch of crap CD-R's that probably don't work in 2014, or hard drives with connectors that the tech industry phased out.


i get what you're saying, but practically speaking it's probably a lot better to have a digital version that can be backed up continuously to as many hard drives as you want rather than...you know, tracking a tape in real time to another blank VHS that wears out and becomes unusable after ~1,000 plays. tbh that's a completely diff discussion from what i originally was asking about though, lol.

#7 GC90

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 01:43 PM

i wanted to transfer some of these films that i own that aren't being made anymore (like the original, CGI-less versions of the Star Wars trilogy)


I'd just download them off the internet, there are plenty of places that still have the CGI-less versions of Star Wars anyway (can prob find whatever else you're looking for too)

#8 James Frank.

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Posted 31 March 2014 - 02:07 PM

I'd just download them off the internet, there are plenty of places that still have the CGI-less versions of Star Wars anyway (can prob find whatever else you're looking for too)


yeah, that might work...but i still have to transfer all my old tapes with cartoons and shit on it. i don't think there are too many places out there that leave the old '90s commercials intact, and that's also an incentive for me to transfer these tapes as well haha.

#9 fungus

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 01:42 PM

i get what you're saying, but practically speaking it's probably a lot better to have a digital version that can be backed up continuously to as many hard drives as you want rather than...you know, tracking a tape in real time to another blank VHS that wears out and becomes unusable after ~1,000 plays. tbh that's a completely diff discussion from what i originally was asking about though, lol.

yea well this is an open forum so i can comment on what i like. Seeing a question about how to downgrade to digital format seems like the opposite of the mindset of this board, so i made a comment.

Most people I know have big music collections. Almost all of them (including me) have had drive problems, file problems, or had to throw out CDs that weren't very old. I'm not some luddite who doesn't use digital files, but I think people who care about music & media should start thinking smart when this subject of converting to digital comes up.

#10 James Frank.

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 03:41 PM

yea well this is an open forum so i can comment on what i like. Seeing a question about how to downgrade to digital format seems like the opposite of the mindset of this board, so i made a comment.

Most people I know have big music collections. Almost all of them (including me) have had drive problems, file problems, or had to throw out CDs that weren't very old. I'm not some luddite who doesn't use digital files, but I think people who care about music & media should start thinking smart when this subject of converting to digital comes up.


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unfortunately, it has barely anything to do with what i originally asked. anybody on here got any real advice?

#11 Grifty-Rodriguez

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 04:52 PM

Left a bad company record on my turntable last summer, right by a window. Forgot about it and was gone for the weekend, three whole days. Come home to a floppy warped bent up paper plate looking chunk of vinyl, totally ruined forever. Try telling phoenix residents that vinyl is so much greater than digital. Nothing against vinyl, but you don't HAVE to have HDD issues if you're a bit savvy to maintaining your computer. I've never seen any warped or dusty FLAC files, just saying

#12 Grifty-Rodriguez

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:03 PM

BTW jf a cursory Google search gave me a bunch of hits for services that'll do it like Walgreen's and Walmart. Maybe just drop em off with pros

#13 Grifty-Rodriguez

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:11 PM

Another thing real quick. How's a CD stop working?? I got CDs from the eighties still sounding nice and crispy at 16 bits 44.1 kHz. No pops or cracks. No warping. Not even a scratch!

#14 James Frank.

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 05:51 PM

yeah, not sure how this thread turned into a debate about vinyl/cassette vs. digital audio, because i was originally speaking about video.

but just to give an update, i've done my research and i think i'm going to go with either the Elgato Systems USB Analog Video Capture Device, or the MovieBox that i mentioned above...as far as the arguments about film/tape lasting longer than DVD's/digital files, sure-- i totally agree-- but in today's world, it's not practical to do that. where the fuck can you even buy a VCR or film projector? i agree that it's a downgrade, but whatever...at least i'll be able to watch my tapes/home movies on newer technology. let's face it, film and tape are obsolete genres just like Betamax or floppy disks-- if you can get your hands on them, awesome! i've ordered a Super 8 projector off eBay...but i'm not some analog curmudgeon that refuses to get with the times, cause if the tape gets eaten or wears out i'm fucked. at least i have a chance to preserve it if it is a digital file residing on two separate hard drives, and moved over to newer hard drives as the years go on. so yeah, thread over...no need to continue this inane debate lol.

#15 Grifty-Rodriguez

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 06:00 PM

There is no measure by which vhs is better than digital bro. There's no HD vhs. No 5.1 Dolby digital vhs. It's crazy talk in here! Vhs is better?!?!?! CRAZY TALK!!!!
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#16 James Frank.

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 06:13 PM

There is no measure by which vhs is better than digital bro. There's no HD vhs. No 5.1 Dolby digital vhs. It's crazy talk in here! Vhs is better?!?!?! CRAZY TALK!!!!


haha, i think fungus was referring to literal film...which yes, resolution-wise is better. also, if taken care of properly it does last longer than any singular DVD/CD could (although that way of thinking doesn't consider that someone could just press something to as many DVD's/CD's as they want and say 'fuck it' for decades on end lol)...but yeah, VHS tapes AT BEST last ~1,000 plays through before kicking the bucket. anyone trying to argue their superiority is insane, and probably the same kinda person who will argue that cassette tapes are better than everything else.

#17 fungus

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Posted 01 April 2014 - 07:07 PM

There is no measure by which vhs is better than digital bro. There's no HD vhs. No 5.1 Dolby digital vhs. It's crazy talk in here! Vhs is better?!?!?! CRAZY TALK!!!!

not arguing for VHS tapes. VHS was a mess. i'm just here to stink up James Frank's topic, talking about all these geeks who converted their music & videos & photos to CDs, DVDs and hard drives, thinking they were being SMART.

by to answer you: you aint gonna improve quality going from VHS to digital. you're just going to get the same shit, on digital. And 5.1 sound?? fuck that -- complete bullshit technology made for suckers.

#18 James Frank.

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 01:26 PM

^^^

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so what's your brilliant strategy for conserving your shit, fungus? just pray your original copies never get ruined or wear out? smh lol, the process i'm referring to is called backing up, because like it or not things deteriorate over time-- even the best vinyl and celluloid films, they all have a shelf life that expires at some point. you can leave your head in the sand if you want, but you're probably not gonna feel too smart if one of the millions of possible things that could happen to your collections does happen...and then what? i'd rather have "complete bullshit technology made for suckers" than nothing at all.




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