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How To Watch DVDs, Videotapes


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#1 Diddums

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 04:38 PM

Mod Edit:  Changed title to reflect topic - Hamluis.

 

 

I live in the bush and just no longer want to do battle with my service provider.  What do I need to watch DVD's and even old VCR tapes?  Anything beyond a monitor and the two players?  (Probably.   :)


Edited by hamluis, 27 August 2015 - 05:40 PM.


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#2 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 06:43 PM

First of all - welcome to BC !

 

VCR tapes you can play through a computer with a little extra hardware but you would be better using a purpose built VCR. I don't think anybody is still making them but there are plenty around second hand. As usual with any second hand equipment give it a trial - or at least see it working before you buy it.

 

Assuming you are talking about using a computer for DVDs you need a DVD player, a standard fitting on very many models, and a 'player'. One of the best around is the VLC player from VideoLan. It will play virtually any format you throw at it and is a free download if you still have your connection !  It's a free download from here :-

 

http://www.videolan.org/index.html

 

Of course, if you don't want to fool around with a computer just buy a standalone DVD player and plug it into your TV along with the VCR !  Speakers - quality and cost is a matter for your taste. Again, if possible, listen to them before you buy them.

 

Chris Cosgrove



#3 Diddums

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Posted 27 August 2015 - 07:10 PM

Thank you, Mr. Cosgrove, for a fulsome response.  It would seem I failed to make clear that I haven't a TV.  Just a monitor (and a netbook and tablet.)  Surely I'm going to need some tech between stand alone DVD player and monitor?  Preferably something I'll not have to purchase new.  



#4 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 05:29 AM

Really silly question !  Do you have a computer ?  Come to think of it, that was a silly question unless you are using a mobile phone for your  link to BC !

 

OK, if you don't have a TV then it depends on what connections you have on the monitor, almost all have VGA, newer ones have either or both of HDMI and DVI as well. If you have some matching connector on your DVD player then you can connect it directly to the monitor, or at least try it and see if it works.

 

If you have a computer then it will certainly connect to your monitor and the majority of computers have a CD/DVD player built in and you can certainly buy second hand computers and if you have to fit a DVD drive into a computer (1) they are not very expensive, and (2) very easy to fit into a tower. If you have a laptop without one then you will need a USB connected player - a bit more expensive but not outrageous.

 

To play VHS tapes through a computer you need a digital converter. I bought one for a - slowly - ongoing project to convert tape to DVD. What you are looking for is something called  a 'USB video capture' device. I have one made by Climax Digital and you can always do a search for either of these terms. It will play video on a monitor via a computer. How well I don't know since I have never looked at this video at full screen, only used it in its window for recording purposes.. Again, if you have an output on the VCR that matches an input on the monitor you may not need the computer !

 

Chris Cosgrove



#5 OldPhil

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 07:49 AM

Your tapes using the VCR will only work for so long before it starts eating your tapes, invest in converter software.  Each tape will take about an hour and a half to convert to a but well worth the time.  I start one when I am going off to do other things, thus far I have done about 15 tapes.


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#6 mjd420nova

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 11:18 AM

A little care in cleaning will keep your VHS transports working fine.  With a PC and monitor, there are a few external tuners for input to a PC.  They would also require an outside antenna, depending on your location and the distance to the broadcasters.  Other sources would be a ROKU or Slingbox to follow broadcast series and movies.



#7 Diddums

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 11:26 AM

THANK YOU, Everyone.  Edifying and most helpful.  Think I can take it from here.   :thumbup2:



#8 Chris Cosgrove

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Posted 29 August 2015 - 04:36 PM

Enjoy !

 

Visions of you sitting back on the veranda, tinny in hand, surrounded by a monitor, DVD player and a VCR !

 

Chris Cosgrove






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