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Media Hardware Technology

Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy? 201

Posted by timothy
from the and-which-8-track dept.
stkpogo (799773) writes "I have several old VHS tapes that I'd like to digitize but my old VHS machine died years ago. What's a good VHS player to get so I can make nice clean digital videos from my old tapes before they're gone? I have a few TV -> USB adapters." How would you go about this, especially with tapes (like old home movies) you might be worried about sticking into a low-end VCR? And with what number of tapes does it make sense to outsource the digitizing?
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Ask Slashdot: Which VHS Player To Buy?

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  • Bees knees (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:25PM (#46908963)

    Buy a broadcast-quality Sony player from eBay.

    BTW remember to retension the tapes, which means to rewind the tape, then wind it to the end of the reel, then rewind it again.

  • Do the math (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:25PM (#46908967)

    And with what number of tapes does it make sense to outsource the digitizing?

    evaluate the cost of a vcr and the amount of time you have to transfer, I cannot provide a value to your time then compare it to the cost of outsourcing and make choice.

  • Re:Bees knees (Score:5, Insightful)

    by arth1 (260657) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:30PM (#46909003) Homepage Journal

    Buy a broadcast-quality Sony player from eBay.

    "Broadcast quality" Sony players run Beta, not VHS.

  • Re:Do the math (Score:4, Insightful)

    by damn_registrars (1103043) <damn.registrars@gmail.com> on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:52PM (#46909151) Homepage Journal
    That, exactly. I can't really imagine how it could be worth your time and effort to do it yourself, unless you have VHS tapes that have material on them that you don't want a third party to see. Send your tapes to someone else to have them transfered to DVD and spend the extra time you just bought yourself doing something enjoyable.
  • by Ungrounded Lightning (62228) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @01:56PM (#46909179) Journal

    evaluate the cost of a vcr and the amount of time you have to transfer, I cannot provide a value to your time then compare it to the cost of outsourcing and make choice.

    Include the cost of your time in dealing with the outsourcing service, too.

    There's also the issues of:
      - what values you put on letting others see your tapes,
      - the risk of them making copies,
      - whether anything you want to tansfer is copyright-encumbered and the service wouldn't copy that for you.
      - the relative likelyhood of quality transfers and tape damage when done by a professional service versus do-it-yourself. They have the experience but you have the personal involvement.
    You need to evaluate these as well.

    (I often do things myself rather than hire them done because I'm more comfortable blaming myself than someone else if something breaks - even if breakage due to my efforts may be more likely. I also enjoy learning new skills and technical trivia, even if I'm unlikely to use them again later, and surprising situations keep coming up where some tidbit turns out to be useful.)

  • Re:Do the math (Score:1, Insightful)

    by nowsharing (2732637) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @03:14PM (#46909553)

    VHS > DVD: Why go from one horrible format to another? It would be a complete waste of time transferring VHS at all if the source format is DVD. These are old memories that will probably never be transferred again, so the least I'd do is a high profile h.264 or something similar. If you've watched a DVD lately, you'll notice that they look like complete shit.

    It's kind of shocking to me that people still feel restricted by physical media's limitations.

  • Re:Send them out (Score:2, Insightful)

    by JaneTheIgnorantSlut (1265300) on Saturday May 03, 2014 @03:35PM (#46909651)

    Must be nice to be part of the 1%.

    It is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 04, 2014 @12:39AM (#46911511)

    Not always. Heads are used for many things. The first 4 head units were done for better pause action not for better EP mode.

    Was this right after "Basic Instinct" came out on VHS? ;-)

    If you want porn, watch porn. What the point on pausing a movie to hopefully see some cunt's crotch.

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