DAT/VHS Video Tape Conversion Suggestions

Mark Schoonover mark.schoonover at gmail.com
Sat Dec 13 17:44:42 PST 2014

On Dec 13, 2014 5:07 PM, "Tony Su" <tonysu at su-networking.com> wrote:
>  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
> conversions.
> 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.
> Tony
> 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
> >> 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
> >> 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
> > 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
> > 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
> > dual tuner (NTSC and ATSC), and a HVR-2250 quad tuner (2 NTSC, 2 ATSC)
> > only two at a time can record. All these cards have regular composite
> > inputs as well as S-Video inputs. The PVR-150 and HVR-1600 are PCI bus
> > the HVR-2250 is PCIe. Hauppague also has some USB based capture devices
> > I don't have any experience with them.
> >
> > You don't actually need MythTV to capture the video stream. There are
> > 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
> >> 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
> >> variac to slowly fire up the Sony. It's been in his home study since
> >> 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
> > could borrow.
> >
> > Gus

Thanks Gus & Tony. I wasn't sure I would need a full Myth install to do
what I need. Totally agree on command-line driven. I ran into a situation
at work were an op used just the gui to configure a management system for
about 15K routers and switches. The corrupt database of the app needed to
be reset and he was over the top on doing the configs all over again. I
told him never to use a gui for admin tasks. Always script it.

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