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Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes

ChrisJBrady 14 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM
Gibb Sahib 15 Apr 11 - 03:19 AM
ChrisJBrady 15 Apr 11 - 03:44 AM
nickp 15 Apr 11 - 04:52 AM
Nigel Parsons 15 Apr 11 - 05:02 AM
ChrisJBrady 15 Apr 11 - 06:18 AM
wilbyhillbilly 15 Apr 11 - 08:13 AM
ChrisJBrady 15 Apr 11 - 09:07 AM
Tattie Bogle 15 Apr 11 - 10:10 AM
ChrisJBrady 15 Apr 11 - 02:36 PM
MikeL2 15 Apr 11 - 03:01 PM
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Subject: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 14 Apr 11 - 07:59 PM

There is an urgent project - actually five - that requires some expertise or advice please.

I am currently the sole owner in the UK of a complete set of the Reading Cloggies Clog and Step Dance Festival videos.

The professional videographer of the Performers Shows and Workshop Showcase demos. - one Wizard Video - have now lost some of the U-Matic masters. However the best I have are 2nd gen. VHS copies.

I urgently now need to get these digitised and processed a.s.a.p. in order to provide dvd copies to RVWML at EFDS, British library, British Film Institute, and other archives. This I are seeking help and advice on.

The pro. studios in Soho are exorbitantly expensive. So does anyone in the London / Mudcat-world have reasonably pro. equipment to make these copies at nominal cost please?

The videos are a very precious resource since they represent a wide and comprehensive range of step and clog dance styles and routines from the British Isles and overseas.

So the above is one project.

The other four projects are to extract clips of various dancers or musicians who have now either died or become seriously ill. These clips will be compiled into further dvds and then given to their close relatives.

I applied for a grant form the Reading Cloggies Film Fund for the above projects, but this was refused. So the whole project is being self-financed by myself and likely Tony Barrand in Boston (USA).

So any help would be very much appreciated.

Many thanks.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:19 AM

Do you have a digital video camera? This is what I've used in the past. VHS player > video camera, then video camera > computer.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:44 AM

Tnank you for that idea. I do have domestic digitisation equipment. But I need a professional digitisation service to do the transfer in the highest quality possible from the bog standard VHS tapes to the dvds for the archives. The original recordings were in Umatic, but these masters have either been lost or the producing company is not amenable to letting us have access to them.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: nickp
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 04:52 AM

Hi Chris

I suspect that most "professional" transfers (as available through High Street photo shops etc) will just be done to a domestic (although maybe decent quality) domestic Hard drive/dvd machines.

Certainly many years ago I had some PAL to NTSC VHS conversion done and went to the company to pick them up (it was a rush job) and realised that they just used an ordinary multi-format Sansumg recorder - perhaps 'ordinary' is the wrong word but I went out soon after and bought myself one off the shelf.

You will certainly get better results from using a good domestic unit rather than a computer. If found that there was often a time delay on sound which became very obvious the longer the clip ran. I've not had that problem on a dometic unit.

Having said that the editing facilities are more basic. If I need more than very basic editing I will load the domestic unit copy into the pc and re-author it.

Not a great deal of help to you but it may give you a few thoughts.

Nick


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 05:02 AM

In the meantime, don't forget that being "the sole owner in the UK of a complete set of the Reading Cloggies Clog and Step Dance Festival videos" does not automatically grant you the right to reproduce these.
I'm not saying you shouldn't, just pointing out a possible pitfall.

Cheers
Nigel


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 06:18 AM

Nigel - the footage is all on Tony Barrand's Dance Archive anyway. I have been working closely with Tony on this anyway. These clips are in 'Real' format - which is not the most easiest to work with. His digital copies are for NTSC. As ex-Director of the said Festival it was my idea to film the Shows in the first place. Performers performed on the understanding that they would be filmed for archival use. Now we are in the age of digital video and dvds and copies need to be made from the poor quality VHS tapes onto dvd for archival libraries such as at EFDSS, BFI, BL, etc. Since the Reading Cloggies were long disbanded no-one seems to be bothered about these films any more, let alone to actively market them. Indeed some of the Umatic masters have been junked by the producing company. No-one has raised a complaint about this. So rather than the footage being lost for all time I am trying to bring it all into the public domain. Hence the main digitisation project.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: wilbyhillbilly
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 08:13 AM

As a last resort if you can't find any alternative and get stuck I am willing to transfer them for you.

Whilst editing etc is not a problem, I'm not saying I would be able to enhance the quality dramatically to make a "silk purse out of a pigs ear" so to speak, but can't really say without seeing the original form.

I transfer reel to reel audio, cassettes, VHS, Hi8, and old photos and slides to CD/DVD, some of which I have completed for fellow 'Catters successfully (I hope) in the past, and done a fair amount of transferring material for archiving both in the UK (PAL) and the USA (NTSC) for various organisations, so I would say I have a little idea of what is involved.

Anyway, the offer is there if you get stuck. Good Luck!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 09:07 AM

wilbyhillbilly

Thank you responding. I have sent a PM.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 10:10 AM

Not in your area, but my home Panasonic machine does a pretty good job of VHS to DVD, with the facility to add titles, etc, so I'd echo what nickp has said. For best results use good quality DVD disks and SP (Short Play) setting.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 02:36 PM

Thank you. We'll see what we can do.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Digitisation of VHS Tapes
From: MikeL2
Date: 15 Apr 11 - 03:01 PM

Hi

I second what Tattie said. I have a Panasonic VHS to DVD recorder and I get extremely good results from it.

The unit automatically upscales the output and you can pick the highest quality to record on to the DVD.

Doesn't have the ability to put in titles etc but can edit out unwanted footage etc.

Not sure what quantity you are talking about but it is a neccesarily slow process compared with a commercial enterprise.

These units can be picked up very cheaply at the moment due to the dying out of VHS.

Good luck with your project.

Cheers

MikeL2


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