Recording from VHS ???
Apologies if this has been brought up before - I have limited connectivity at the moment and simply haven't got the opportunity to search through the forum (this is a copy and paste of a previously written piece!).
I was just curious as to how (if possible) people go about backing up their old VHS tapes into Digital Format.
Is it possible without a dedicated machine (VHS to DVD, for example)?
What I mean is is it possible for me to buy some extra hardware/hookup my existing VCR for my PC (Linux/Unix compatible), install the appropriate software and start backing up all my junk!
Although most of the stuff I have is simply laughable, I do have a number of worthwhile things stored on ye olde VHS that it would be cool to back up and playback at ease on my PC.
It's certainly possible. Just buy a PCI TV tuner card and plug it into your computer and connect your VCR to it. Remember to check so that the TV tuner card is Linux compatible (I recommend one with a Brooktree BT848/BT878 chipset).
After that, you can use mencoder to encode the TV tuner input to whatever format mencoder is capable of, which is, well... most formats. =)
As the previous author said, a PCI TV Tuner and mencoder is all you need. I've been using the Hauppauge Win TV PVR 150 which I got a Circuit City for about $100. I got a cheap coax video splitter and split the signal right before the TV. So basically everything that goes to my TV also goes to the Hauppauge.
Technically, you don't even need mencoder. To capture video off the card you simply start the video and on the Linux box type:
cat /dev/video > video.mpg
Hit ctrl-c when it's done and you have a playable mpg file. Granted, this will consume a good deal of disk space which is why you'll probably want to use mencoder to transcode the video into mpeg-4 (Divx, XviD, etc)
I knew it was going to something as simple as that..!
:-) Muchos Gracias guys, much appreciated.