Digitizing VHS Tapes and MORE
I’ve spent the last month resting after a tough semester implementing distance learning as well as finishing up my masters degree. In some of my free time I have been working on personal projects here and there. For my birthday my family gave me a little bit of money to go towards digitizing old home movie tapes (VHS, Hi8, MiniDV).
To start this journey I luckily had a Elgato EyeTV Hybrid already in my possession. I spent a few weeks combing eBay and finally snagged a Philips DVD Recorder/VCR DVDR 3545V. With these two devices I’ve been able to convert all VHS tapes while simultaneously dubbing DVD backups. I’ve also utilized the EyeTV Hybrid to record a .mp4 of each MiniDV tape [and will do the same for Hi8 once I find a camcorder].
The following is a digital procedure for digitizing and DVD Dubbing tapes using my setup. If recording from another device record as usual and follow conversion steps onward.
- Place in VHS player and rewind.
- On Remote: SETUP -> RECORDING
- Set Dub to VHS -> DVD
- No Chapters
- Make Compatible (Still need isobuster)
- Put blank DVD into player
- Goto DVD
- On remote check REC MODE for dub type or length
- Set eyeTV buffer to 0 MB
- Press RECORD in eyeTV software
- Press DIRECT DUBBING on remote to begin VHS->DVD Dub.
- End recording on eyeTV
- Let DVD Finalize
- RW VHS
- Eject DVD and label immediately
DVD File Rip(if eyeTV fails)
- Load DVD into PC
- Open DVD in isobuster (paid software)
- Navigate to “Video.vob” and extract
- Either, find eyeTV recording in package contents of recording
- Or, find “Video.vob” extracted from DVD
- Open file in Handbrake
- Convert to .mp4 or .m4v, 480 Fast or Standard Quality is fine, HQ Surround is a pain when clipping videos for iOS
- Load .mp4 into Subler on OS X.
- Add chapters every 30 minute, then delete all but one
- Add chapters at times as needed, include titles
- Save to save chapters into .mp4
Splitting Chapters into individual files for mobile or family sharing
- Open .mp4 saved from Subler in Handbrake
- Queue up conversions of specific chapters one at a time, Fast 480 is fine.
- Files will be saved as Title > Chapter Number unless settings are changed.
- Rename files as needed
Please note I have not found a good way to automate the last step of splitting a .mp4 based on chapters. Instead I’d rather spend my time just getting everything digitized. Let me know if you find a better solution!