DAT/VHS Video Tape Conversion Suggestions

Gus Wirth gwirth79 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 8 08:37:25 PST 2014

On 2014-12-05 21:28, Mark Schoonover wrote:
> I'm staring at a large pile of DAT video tapes, VHS/C and VHS tapes. I have
> the camera that took the DAT videos and all associated cables. Still have a
> good VHS deck too.
> Anyway, I know there have been discussions here on MythTV so I'm hoping
> someone could give me some suggestions on a video capture card. I'm using
> Ubuntu Studio for the conversions I've already done and that's working very
> well. Since I'm converting standard def, I don't think I need anything that
> extreme. All these devices have S-video output & R/L audio.

I've been using  Hauppauge video capture cards in my MythTV setups with 
great success. Most of the cards are already supported in the Linux 
kernel. The reason I like the Hauppage cards is because they provide 
hardware encoding of the NTSC analog signal to an MPEG-2 format which is 
then easily converted to VOB file suitable for producing your own DVD.

The cards I have are the PVR-150, which is an analog only card, a 
HVR-1600 dual tuner (NTSC and ATSC), and a HVR-2250 quad tuner (2 NTSC, 
2 ATSC) but only two at a time can record. All these cards have regular 
composite video inputs as well as S-Video inputs. The PVR-150 and 
HVR-1600 are PCI bus and the HVR-2250 is PCIe. Hauppague also has some 
USB based capture devices but I don't have any experience with them.

You don't actually need MythTV to capture the video stream. There are 
some small utilities available to select the input source and record the 

> This all got started because I've been converting mini-cassettes and
> regular cassettes of family interviews and such to mp3. I have a 70s era
> Sony reel-to-reel with a large box full of recordings of my grandfather and
> his cronies in various jam sessions. I'm in the process of building up a
> variac to slowly fire up the Sony. It's been in his home study since the
> 70s and hasn't been used since the mid 80s.

If you just need to use the variac for a little while I have one that 
you could borrow.


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