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Converting VCR Tapes to DVD on Combo unit


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#1 norms

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Posted 25 March 2013 - 11:14 PM

I've gotten plenty of help before from the virus and malware forum. I hope to get the same quality help here because my luck with electronic equipment hasn't been that great lately. Both my VCR & my DVD player died at the same time.  So now I'm thinking is a good time to convert my tapes into a digital format. Since I am going to have to buy both a VCR & a DVD player, I was thinking about just getting a combo unit and just converting my tapes on that. Eventually I would like to get the converted tapes and the DVD's on to a large USB Drive and play the media from there. Half the tapes I have are from recordings from a DVR and the other half are prerecorded tapes with possibly DRM on the tape; don't know? Is there a middle of the road combo player that will:

 

1. Record my tapes to the DVD player, including the pre-recorded tapes with possible DRM.

2. Have a USB port to plug a USB drive into to play this digital media when the converting is done.

 

THIS IS ALL FOR MY PERSONAL USE.

 

Just trying to get everything into a more user friendly format for myself and keep the original "stuff" as backup.


Edited by Orange Blossom, 25 March 2013 - 11:28 PM.
Moved to more appropriate forum. ~ OB


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#2 MrBruce1959

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:01 AM

Hello norms and welcome to Bleeping Computer.

 

I like yourself have a lot of video tapes of movies and shows I recorded off of television.

 

I want to start off by saying most of your store bought Home videos will cause recording errors not allowing you to record them.

 

This is the work of Marcovision copy guard encryption at work, there are devices on the Internet that can circumvent the STOP recording code, but the flashing of the video is hard to remove and it requires two separate machines patched together through the device.

 

When you record make sure you use DVD+R discs, those are more compatible than DVD-R discs.

 

Also if your movie is 2 hours or less, use the 2 Hour recording speed, the more data you try to fit on one disc, the lower the quality your picture and sound will be.

 

If you live in the US, I can suggest Walmart as a cheap source for one.

 

Now it is important to ask you if you intend to record television shows with your machine.

 

They come with both a built in Digital-Analog TV tuner and just a simple machine requiring an external TV tuner or Cable-Satellite related channel selector. 

 

I own this one below for machine to machine video dubbing purposes.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-Dvd-Player-Vcr-Combo/11319408

 

Another unit which is less expensive because it is a refurbished unit.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-ZV427MG9-DVD-Recorder-and-4-Head-Hi-Fi-VCR-with-Line-In-Recording-Refurbished/21579003

 

Also, both of these units require an RF modulator for RF signal out, however if your TV has HDMI or COMPOSITE OR COMPONENT input connections then you do not need an RF modulator.

 

I have the Magnavox ZV457MG9 unit and I bought it at Walmart and sadly they no longer carry it anymore but it has a built in TV tuner, these units above do not.

 

Radio Shack also used to carry it but no longer does and their units do not include a TV tuner either.

 

Also hope this link helps: http://www.ecoustics.com/articles/dvi-hdmi-component-video/

 

If it was me, I'd go with HDMI.

 

Kind regards...

 

 

Bruce.

 

 

Edited: to correct machine model number.


Edited by MrBruce1959, 26 March 2013 - 12:40 AM.

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#3 norms

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 12:51 AM

Thanks foe the response,  I'm with Dish and have a DVR so I don't need the tuner.  Also my TV has HDMI & Composite. I had looked at the ZV427MG9 at Walmart but wasn't sure about the USB drive part of my needs. After I convert everything and put it on a USB drive, would I be able to access and play the movies from that drive by plugging it into the combo.  Also, since I would be buying a combo unit, if I had trouble converting VHS to DVD directly through the machine because of the DRM, what do you know about a product like this (http://www.xdimax.com/common/default.html). I guess I could go from the outputs on the back of the VCR side of the combo to the inputs on the DVD side of the combo although this Dimax unit is a little more than I wanted to spend. But if it works...it's a possibility I guess.  Do you know anything about it?



#4 MrBruce1959

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 04:40 AM

I know nothing about the xdimax products. I am sure they will allow your copy guard compliant DVD recorder to record, but I am not sure how much of the Macrovision mess it will filter out.

 

Most compliant DVD/VCR recorders have to follow a rule of not recording if it detects HDCP  here's a link for more information on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-bandwidth_Digital_Content_Protection

 

If I attempt to record a video tape with Macrovision copy guard protection on it, the machine simply throws an on screen error code and refuses to record the video. Every unit sold in the US has to abide by this Governed rule or it can't legally sold in the US.

 

To add to this dilemma, they mess with the video gain control of the recording device by adding noise that causes your machine's gain control to go nuts. The result is a flashing effect and color saturation, one moment the video is very dark and the colors bleed or its very bright and the colors are completely bleached out.

 

The object of the device needed would have to know when to change its status to stay ahead of the noise impulses. That's not easy to do since there is no set pattern to follow.

 

You may have a gem there, but I personally can not offer a knowledgeable answer about either of those xdimax devices.

Truth be told, not even my unit removes severe traces of flashing and it is very annoying and hard on the eyes to say the least.

 

The laws do state you are allowed to copy what you have paid for as long as it for your own personal use, however they sometimes leave you with no choice but to buy it again already on DVD disc or blue-ray and in 16:9 wide screen.

 

To answer a question you have asked me--the Magnavox ZV427MG9 does not have any adaptable USB capabilities. I also just looked and see that it is currently out of stock. Now I am wondering why all the stores have stopped carrying these units-- yes I realize Blue-ray is taking over the market and so is soon to be the end of media on discs all together, but there should be a sizable market out there of family related VHS home movies that need transferring to DVD.

 

If you was to use a USB device you could purchase an adapter that could fulfill this ability, I would search the web and see what options are available.

 

These are the only inputs and outputs this machine is capable of:

 

 

Connector Type:

 

Composite video/audio input ( RCA phono x 3 ) - rear

 

Composite video/audio output ( RCA phono x 3 ) - rear

 

S-Video input ( 4 pin mini-DIN ) - rear

 

S-Video output ( 4 pin mini-DIN ) - rear

 

Component video output ( RCA phono x 3 ) - rear

 

Audio line-out ( RCA phono x 2 ) - rear

 

SPDIF output ( RCA phono ) - rear

 

HDMI output ( 19 pin HDMI Type A ) - rear

 

S-Video input ( 4 pin mini-DIN ) - front

 

Composite video/audio input ( RCA phono x 3 ) - front

 

 

Bruce.   

 

Edit: Better aligned the text above for clarity.


Edited by MrBruce1959, 26 March 2013 - 04:52 AM.

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#5 MrBruce1959

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Posted 26 March 2013 - 02:55 PM

Norms if I was you, I would order a few machines if you can afford it.

 

Since I bought my machines about 3 years ago. I have seen a drastic decline in availability.

 

The market is saturated with DVD/VCR players, but the recorder units are vary sparse to say the least.

 

I checked quite a few popular web sites that sell new electronic hardware and I have not found anything on those sites that have a built in tuner.

 

True you can always use a converter box for OTA or Cable/Satellite services, but it's always nice to have that extra feature built in specially if the built in tuner has a clearer digital picture quality.

 

I found another unit on tiger direct: Toshiba DVR620 DVD Recorder/VCR Combo - Tunerless, 1080p Upconversion, HDMI, S-Video Input/Output http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=4499098&CatId=4677

 

Whatever you do, when the hardware is referenced on the Internet, make sure you read the product reviews. Granted some people post that the device is crap... crap... crap! But then again not everyone is electronically inclined and its user or owner error not the hardware.

 

Somethings are easier figured without a confusing instruction manual involved, that was written by staff who speak another language and know very little English, you can tell by the bad translation.

 

So you simply can't go by a few bad reviews on any product. As an example my two Magnavox units had quite a few bad reviews and they were called worthless junk.

 

They have served me well from day 1, I do realize the mechanical parts and the laser will eventually start waring out, I can either have it serviced or by the parts myself.

 

Also be careful buying a used unit, if has a lot of ware and tear, you may not get much use out of it before it dies.

 

There are a lot of mechanical moving parts in a combo unit and one failed part, fails the whole unit and the purpose of having this type of machine. 

 

Let me know if you have come across a machine in your queries and I'll take a look at it. 

 

Any other questions please feel free to ask.

 

Bruce.


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#6 norms

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Posted 01 April 2013 - 12:07 PM

Thanks for the help. I went and purchased this unit.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-Dvd-Player-Vcr-Combo/11319408

 

So far it works great for the uncopyrighted tapes.  When I get those done I will move on to the copyrighted ones.  I will try the Grex unit to do that. After looking through the reviews online, I seem to have found more good reviews than bad ones so... I guess I will purchase it and give it a whirl when I'm ready to move on to those tapes which is liable to be a while (very time consuming) so this topic can probably be closed.

 

Thanks again



#7 TechnoNinja

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Posted 05 April 2013 - 12:55 AM

does it really have to be a combo unit? cause i use the roxio vhs to dvd converter and it is by far a lot cheaper. and it works perfectly for me.



#8 MrBruce1959

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 01:44 PM

@ TechnoNinja: No it does not have to be a combo unit, and like you, I also have Roxio's VHS to DVD converter. I mostly use the

 

included Roxio Sound Editor for splitting up full MP3 albums into separate mp3 files or use it for burning my vinyl records to

 

my computer as MP3s. It is an excellent program for the price.

 

The Magnavox DVD recorder/VCR combo is also an excellent product, specially the unit I have, which includes an NTSC Digital

 

and Analog RF tuner for OTA  television recording. Sadly this unit is no longer available, however the unit norms bought has

 

inputs for attaching an external Digital RF converter or Cable/Satellite receiver. 

 

By the way, if the Central Processing Unit (CPU) is not powerful enough to handle large packets on the USB ports, the videos can

 

end up with the audio running many seconds ahead of the video. There is nothing more annoying than a video where the

 

words spoken do not match the mouth movements. The DVD/VCR combo does not suffer from this type of problem.

 

Bruce.


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#9 lti

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:04 PM

You could also connect a DVD recorder to your old VCR, but they are expensive. You can also use any video capture device with your computer, not just one specifically sold as a device to convert tapes to DVD.

 

I see that the VCR/DVD combo you recommended has a fan. That's good. My DVD recorder probably wouldn't have died if it had a fan... or heatsinks.


Edited by lti, 08 April 2013 - 04:11 PM.


#10 norms

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 04:33 PM

Look at my first post. My VCR & DVD player/recorder died at the same time so Roxio won't work for me and it is almost impossible to find just a "new" VCR unit only.



#11 MrBruce1959

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Posted 08 April 2013 - 09:28 PM

I see that the VCR/DVD combo you recommended has a fan. That's good. My DVD recorder probably wouldn't have died if it had a fan... or heatsinks.

lti just for your understanding, Magnavox made two identical units, one with an NTCS TV tunner and one with just Component Line IN and S-Video inputs. I have had the ZV427MG9 unit longer than the ZV457MG9 unit and bought it in January of 2010, it still plays and records all DVDs and the VCR unit still plays videos flawlessly. I mainly use the VCR portion to play a COMMERCIALLY bought tape into an external device and into the second unit's VIDEO INPUT. The audio output goes directly into the second unit's input--however--if I wished to, I could pass the audio through an graphic equalizer to enhance the audio quality. The point I ma trying to make to you is that this unit has lasted this long and I have recorded roughly over 12,000 DVDs with this unit and it still works well. 

 

If you intend on dubbing copy guarded video tapes--to which YOU LEGALLY OWN--Two units will be needed, one for playing and the other for recording the unencrypted video stream.

 

The link is being pasted again below for the Magnavox ZV427MG9 Buy two if you can because once they are gone, they are gone. Blue-ray is slowly killing off VCR and DVD media and thus the hardware will go the way of the 8-Track tape player/recorder.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Magnavox-Dvd-Player-Vcr-Combo/11319408

 

Lastly: If you use devices to record VIDEO TAPES to a computer system such as USB devices, and your computer's processor is less than 2.5 GHz, you are going to have major video freeze and lag and the audio running several micro-seconds to 2 seconds ahead of your video, I have seen this happen often on computers running 2.0 GHz Single core CPUs as well. 

 

Bruce.

 

Edited: For word spacing error.


Edited by MrBruce1959, 08 April 2013 - 09:46 PM.

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#12 lti

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 05:46 PM

I'm confused now.

 

If you don't already have a VCR, a VCR/DVD recorder combo (like the Magnavox unit) is your best choice. I don't like electronics from Walmart, but it sounds like it is better quality than my old DVD recorder.

 

I haven't converted commercial tapes to DVD. The video quality of my USB capture device isn't good enough for that, and I don't know if it can decrypt the video anyway. I'm using a laptop with a Core i3, and I have no issues with lag.



#13 norms

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 07:29 PM

Already bought the Magnavox from Walmart. Just about done with my uncopyrighted tapes. So far, so good. The Macrovision copyrighted ones will be another story. I've read more good reviews than bad ones on the Dimax Grex so I guess I will buy it and give it a whirl. It appears that I can defeat the Macrovision copy guard by not "dubbing" the tape through the machine internally. Looks like you can attach the Grex to the video output on the back of the machine, therefore avoiding the machines HDCP copyright protection, unscramble the signal, and run it back into the video input to the DVD recorder. Once I get the Grex and try it, I will post back on how it works.  



#14 MrBruce1959

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 08:30 PM

Fantastic norms! I understand what you are talking about and I am also interested in what the outcome is. I just never attempted to use the VIDEO OUT to the VIDEO IN of the same machine and can NOT think of any reason why it wouldn't work.

 

Bruce.

 

To all others reading this topic, this discussion is limited to making personal backup copies of materials that you have already purchased and do not have any intent to share publicly for a fee or otherwise sharing over a public per to per network or domain of any kind.


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#15 norms

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 11:00 PM

MrBruce, 

 

The Grex arrived yesterday and I'm on the way to putting my video cassettes on DVD. It's not quite as simple as hitting the dubbing button on the remote and letting the machine do it internally but once I figured out how to do it, the process takes me a minute or two longer per DVD verses the dubbing. I don't see any difference in quality either compared to dubbing. Of course you have to take into account the source is tape so the quality is not going to be all that great anyway, but it's good enough for me.






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