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Old 05-15-2006, 07:40 PM   #1
DarinP
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Anyone use TiVo to vidcap VHS tapes?

For some time I've been meaning to transfer some video I have on VHS tapes to digital, maybe do some editing, etc. I've done a little research in the past on video capture devices (external boxes, internal PC cards like ATI all-in-wonder), but I've pretty much been putting the whole thing off.

A couple days ago it popped into my head that with my TiVo now being networked I could capture the video by recording the output of my VCR and then transferring to a PC.

Has anyone tried doing this? I'm guessing that the image quality won't be nearly as good as the input from my cable box, but will it be any worse than capturing it directly on my PC? How does TiVo's encoder HW compare to that of something like the ATI card or one of those Pinnacle external devices?

Another issue seems like it would be that the resulting video would be in MPEG2 format (assuming the conversion that I'm not supposed to mention) rather than in some uncompressed format that might be available through other capture HW. My understanding is that this could be a problem when editing.

So maybe the main question is, should I bother going this route?
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:13 AM   #2
classicsat
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You can try. I never done it myself (yet).
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:15 AM   #3
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I've done it. But this was before you could transfer to PC. So I burned it to DVD since I have a DVD Tivo. I don't remember any quality issues, but I haven't looked at them since.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:03 PM   #4
gwb2004
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarinP
For some time I've been meaning to transfer some video I have on VHS tapes to digital, maybe do some editing, etc. I've done a little research in the past on video capture devices (external boxes, internal PC cards like ATI all-in-wonder), but I've pretty much been putting the whole thing off.

A couple days ago it popped into my head that with my TiVo now being networked I could capture the video by recording the output of my VCR and then transferring to a PC.

Has anyone tried doing this? I'm guessing that the image quality won't be nearly as good as the input from my cable box, but will it be any worse than capturing it directly on my PC? How does TiVo's encoder HW compare to that of something like the ATI card or one of those Pinnacle external devices?

Another issue seems like it would be that the resulting video would be in MPEG2 format (assuming the conversion that I'm not supposed to mention) rather than in some uncompressed format that might be available through other capture HW. My understanding is that this could be a problem when editing.

So maybe the main question is, should I bother going this route?

Question: Would you use TTG + Sonic to burn DVDs? If so, you should be fine. Points to consider:

- If you don't plan to use Sonic, you won't be able to burn DVDs after the TTG xfer
- By using TTG/Sonic, you're limited to Sonic for editing. IMHO, its editor is average. Personally, I prefer VideoRedo (the best $40 I've spent in a long time).
- I tried a Hauppage TV capture card, but it was too much work finding the best compression codecs that gave me good quality without compromising disk space.
- I now use an AverVideo DVD EZmaker USB 2.0 capture device. Works like a charm. Got it at Fry's for about $20 on clearance. Check around, though.

L8r
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:23 PM   #5
AllAboutJeeps
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarinP
Has anyone tried doing this? I'm guessing that the image quality won't be nearly as good as the input from my cable box, but will it be any worse than capturing it directly on my PC? How does TiVo's encoder HW compare to that of something like the ATI card or one of those Pinnacle external devices?

Another issue seems like it would be that the resulting video would be in MPEG2 format (assuming the conversion that I'm not supposed to mention) rather than in some uncompressed format that might be available through other capture HW. My understanding is that this could be a problem when editing.

So maybe the main question is, should I bother going this route?
Darin,

I have done this with the VHS tapes of our Sonograms. It works well. I just set my TiVo to channel 0 (maybe Ch 1, can't remember which), hit the record button and then play on the VCR. Works like a champ. I then pull them using TTG and trim/edit them with Video ReDo. I then burn them to a DVD using whatever software package I feel like using. The parents love getting the DVDs of the sonogram in the mail.

I am getting ready to experiment with another method using my Sony camcorder, it's firewire DV port and it's video pass through feature. Essentially the camcorder acts as digitizer and passes the signal out the firewire port where it can be captured using a program like WinDV.

I say give it a shot, I think you will be pleased with the results.

...danny
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:28 PM   #6
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If the original Video is protected with Macrovision Tivo will detect the Macrovision and sucessfuly record the video to disk, but mark it as copy protected preventing TTG from extracting the file.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petew
If the original Video is protected with Macrovision Tivo will detect the Macrovision and sucessfuly record the video to disk, but mark it as copy protected preventing TTG from extracting the file.

Good to know Petew. Thanks for the heads up.

...danny
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:22 PM   #8
DarinP
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Thanks for the replies.

I'll give it a test run and see how it works out.

These are home videos so I won't run into the Macrovision problem. Not sure what I'm going to use to edit it yet. I'd just like to get them captured so I don't have to worry about the tapes degrading.
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Old 05-17-2006, 08:11 AM   #9
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Our wedding video was on VHS, so I played it on my VCR and had Tivo record TV channel 4. I took the Tivo recording and transferred it to my PC. Took that file and burned a DVD using Sonic MyDvd. The resulting DVD was exactly the same quality as the VHS tape, except I added a nice opening menu to it.

I also have a tuner card and a digital camcorder. I really think the Tivo surpasses the PC for capturing video. Maybe a better and faster PC would work better, but the Tivo does a great job of capturing video. The hardest part is figuring out the how to connect the VCR to the Tivo for the capture.
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Old 05-17-2006, 09:01 AM   #10
AllAboutJeeps
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Good idea. I need to do that to our wedding video also! Sounds like an affordable anniversary present!

...danny
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Old 05-06-2007, 05:39 PM   #11
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Transferring your analog VHS or digital DVDs to TIVO is difficult indeed. I bought an RF modulator so I could take my DVD/VHS combo output signal and feed it into the TIVO. The hope was that I could then transfer it to my PC and edit the content. It did not work and I was told by TIVO technical support there was a way to do this but, because of copyright concerns, they could not tell me. When you plug in the signal from the modulator, you get the blue screen telling you that TIVO could not locate a proper TV signal. This is most strange as TIVO allows to hook up an antenna and I pondered, what is the difference?

My conclusion is that there has to be a filter from the TIVO input that excludes anything but a proper cable/antenna signal. If anyone has found a way to get around this, I would sure like to know.

In the meanwhile, I am off the usual hacking sites to see if someone there has found a way to do this.
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Old 05-07-2007, 08:32 AM   #12
Bai Shen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vince997109
Transferring your analog VHS or digital DVDs to TIVO is difficult indeed. I bought an RF modulator so I could take my DVD/VHS combo output signal and feed it into the TIVO. The hope was that I could then transfer it to my PC and edit the content. It did not work and I was told by TIVO technical support there was a way to do this but, because of copyright concerns, they could not tell me. When you plug in the signal from the modulator, you get the blue screen telling you that TIVO could not locate a proper TV signal. This is most strange as TIVO allows to hook up an antenna and I pondered, what is the difference?

My conclusion is that there has to be a filter from the TIVO input that excludes anything but a proper cable/antenna signal. If anyone has found a way to get around this, I would sure like to know.

In the meanwhile, I am off the usual hacking sites to see if someone there has found a way to do this.
What channel was the mod set to? did you set your tivo to the same channel? Also, why don't you just use rca jacks instead of a mod? I've copied tapes and dvds with no problems.
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