Struggling to get analog in from VCR

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by Zooks527, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    Good evening.

    Recently, I've been trying to move our old home videotapes from the masters to a longer lasting / copyable media.

    Running the capture through my PC has been problematic. Over the course of a full 2 hour tape, there are usually some missed / dropped frames due to other hard drive activity, resulting in audio sync and other issues.

    I thought about using the antenna input function on the Premiere, getting them onto the TiVo and then using Desktop to pull them over to my PC, where I could get them onto other storage media. I did a scan to establish the analog channel, hooked our old VCR up, set the appropriate output to match the TiVo input, and gave it a shot. Nothing.

    OK, try the other TiVo. Nothing.

    Well, both TiVos are unlikely to be broken simultaneously. Must be the VCR.

    Drag our old video camera out of storage. Hook it up through its analog output setup. Give it a shot.

    OK, something comes through. Choppy, scrambled, no real audio, but something. Try the other Premiere. Identical results.

    Flip the camera from playback mode to camera mode. Perfect picture and sound shows through the TiVo, with the rather disconcerting 1 second delay. Back to playback mode and the tape (any tape), and it's all garbage again.

    It reminds me of old analog copy protection results. However, I'm not trying to transfer pre-recorded stuff that would have Macrovision or the like, just our own movies using the camera on which they were recorded.

    Anyone have any idea what's going on here?


    Thanks,
    George
     
  2. Apr 2, 2011 #2 of 14
    qz3fwd

    qz3fwd Member

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    Jul 6, 2007
    I dont think the Tivo has the kind of A/D converted you need. To do what you want the premiere would have to have an onboard mpeg encoder to take the analog input from your VCR, convert it to digital, encode(compress) it to mpeg2, then write it to disk.

    Maybe the older series 2 is more appropriate for what you want?
    Good luck
     
  3. Apr 2, 2011 #3 of 14
    DonaldBurns65144

    DonaldBurns65144 Member

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    Jan 10, 2011
    USA
    Might be hard to find one new, but I have a VHS/DVD recorder. Look on eBay or maybe still available from places like Geeks.com. You can copy from tape to disk or for some crazy reason disk to tape. Simple to setup and I've used it to copy to disk from a VHS tape that was originally made from of old home movie 8mm films. Yikes!
     
  4. Apr 3, 2011 #4 of 14
    Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    No, the Premiere has it (that's why it can record OTA) and can run it to a TiVo file, which I can then drag over and convert to MPEG.

    "Analog" may have been the wrong way to describe it. I'm coming in over the antenna input, which is being screened as though it is Macrovision enconded.
     
  5. Apr 3, 2011 #5 of 14
    Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    I have several ways in, but all have some real issues (primarily sync). The prepackaged "straight to DVD" seem to run everything through a VOB file, which means I need to back convert to some other format before I can edit it, then recompress it back to DVD format (which results in even more signal loss).

    TiVo CS said they don't support this mode, but gave me an "off-label" suggestion of trying to input straight in over the cable line instead of antenna, Sadly, that didn't work any differently.
     
  6. Apr 3, 2011 #6 of 14
    steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
  7. Apr 4, 2011 #7 of 14
    Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    But there isn't a Macrovision signal to get rid of. I noted that it looks "as if it has Macrovision", but these are video tapes that I recorded using the camera. There's no Macrovision circuit anywhere in the loop.

    I might try a TBC as a last shot, but a $250 bet on it seems like a stretch.
     
  8. Apr 4, 2011 #8 of 14
    GeorgineVJ

    GeorgineVJ New Member

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    Jan 1, 2011
    Is your PC a Mac or Windows machine? I think you'd be better off either investing in conversion/capture software on your computer, or getting a VHS->DVD machine. They're very inexpensive these days. You could try playback through your VCR to the TV and hook up an output to a digital video camera's input to try and record digitally that way, but I don't know if the quality would be there or not. It probably wouldn't be bad.

    Let me know what works for you, I'd like to convert some stuff also.
     
  9. Apr 4, 2011 #9 of 14
    jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

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    What happens when you use playback mode directly to the TV? Does that work?
     
  10. Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    Well, I've got video input to my PC at any number of resolutions. However, over the course of a 2 hour tape, there's inevitably dropped frames and the like.

    The TiVo would be a nice way to go straight to high res MPEG with a dedicated chipset, but the TiVo won't take anything off a tape. Live camera feeds, no problem. OTA coax from another TiVo, no problems. Anything from a video tape, no go. :confused:
     
  11. Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    Looks great. Just freaking wonderful. No color bands, no sound drops, just fine.

    To the TiVo - garbage.
     
  12. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX
    What file format does your camera output? Tivos are optimized to use Mpeg 2, although they will also play mp4 (IIRC).
    If your camera outputs some other format, that may be why it doesn't work on Tivo.

    / Speculation.
     
  13. Zooks527

    Zooks527 New Member

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    Oct 19, 2010
    Mansfield, MA
    Super VHS video tape (I said they were old tapes). The camera is putting NTSC out over a coax on either channel 3 or channel4. I'm trying to use the "antenna in" function of the TiVo (which works fine in camera mode, but not playbnack mode).

    If I had it in digital format already, I'd be set. I'm working for a clean way to ultimately get it to the computer , using the TiVo along the way.
     
  14. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    Super-VHS, not just plain VHS?

    Is your old VCR an S-VHS machine as well?

    Have you tried putting a new blank tape in the camera and recording a few minutes of whatever it's pointed at and seeing if the TiVo will accept that?

    What about recording something onto a new blank tape in the VCR and seeing if the Tivo can see that?
     

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