Capture Quality...camcorder or VCR? Which is best? : LUSENET : Video CD : One Thread

I am in need of some help. I am looking to create VCD's from some rare VHS tapes. I was going to hook my VCR up to my PC and then record the video onto my hard drive. I just purchased a Sony digital high 8 camcorder and I was told that to get the best quality that I need to hook my VCR up to the camcorder and record the video there.I would then need to hook the camcorder to my PC and capture it that wat through the S-Video plug. Is this the best way to do it? The VHS tape is in mint condition and is ion stereo but my VCR doesn't have s-video. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Cale

-- Cale Ferguson (, March 04, 2000


i dont see how. The reason being is your still going to loose some quality copying first from your vcr into your hi8 then into the PC. Even though you supposedly will loss very little quality going from a lower source into a higher one (vcr to hi8) Your best bet would be to own a supervhs. I have made video cds from 14 year old exrental master tapes and i still get a damn good picture. Recopying onto your hi8 is just an unnecsessary extra step you would be creating foryourself. All in all just run your vcr into your PC directly. Skip the hi8 transfer. NOTE: also though i would highly reccomend gold plated cables (monster cables makes tons of these available all over the place) or even radio shack sells heavy duty, gold plated, video and audio cables. Their not that expensive either and will keep the video signal high

-- Doug (, March 04, 2000.

Don't re-record VHS. It will *never* improve your picture to make a dub at this level of equipment... VHS is so low on the "food chain" that you will lose more than you gain.

S-video can offer marginal savings in image quality (i.e., less loss due to crosstalk), so you could hook up your VHS VCR to the 8 camera and have the camera's super cable running to your capture device. This would treat the camera only as a converter of sorts while you play from the VCR through it to the capture card. You may actually get a picture you like better, if you can see a diference.

Then again, even this is subjest to intriducing more noise in the signal by virtue of hooking of yet another device.

So do a test (a) from VCR to capture, (b) from VCR through 8 to capture, and see what the results are.

Until we reach a truly digital all-throughput age, adding more devices or more processing will only serve to degrade the signal a bit more with each extra step.


-- kirkhere (, March 05, 2000.


If you mean you have a Sony Digital 8 camera that uses hi8 tape then I can comment as follows.

1) you are not using the capabilities of Digital processing, everything is still in analogue and at each stage a loss is introduced.

2) the first loss is in the VCR to camera connected via the composite connectors. There is a further smaller loss when the camera must convert the digital copy of your tape to analogue on the fly to feed it out thro' the svideo connection to the card.

3) its likely that the best result you can hope for is to connect direct to your capture card and cut out one conversion loss.

The capture card and the data rate of capture you use will also dictate what quality you get. Full frame captures at high data rates will give the best end result as a source for the VCD.

-- Ross McL (, March 07, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ