DAT/VHS Video Tape Conversion Suggestions

Tony Su tonysu at su-networking.com
Sat Dec 13 17:06:55 PST 2014

 More or less agreeing with Gus,
When I looked into this about 7 yrs ago, graphic cards were only
barely adequate or practical to do this kind of stuff.
Nowadays, I'd expect <every> modern video card with several megabytes
of VRAM to be able to do things like conversion at a practical rate.

And, I agree with what Gus said about possibly using small utilities.
Although on my openSUSE Forums discussions people typically ask about
GUI apps, I feel those suggestions are more for the "sometime" video
If you're going to do the same conversions repeatedly, I'd recommend
you take a look at the capabilities of the standard command line
utilities like mpeg. Once you set up your command and can just
re-invoke with minimal changes, it runs <very> fast.


On Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 8:37 AM, Gus Wirth <gwirth79 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 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 data.
>> 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.
> Gus
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