Converting Beta and VHS Video Tapes to Digital Format


Today, it’s relatively easy to convert VHS and Beta video tapes into digital forms. With various products in the market, the process should be relatively easy. However, if it’s not done correctly, then it’s possible that the quality will degrade. It’s important to retain the original quality as much as possible. Even if you use Blu-Ray technology to store the digitalized results, you will still get poor results if the conversion process isn’t adequate. There are various software that you can use for converting video tapes, such as Roxio VHS, Homestech and Dazzle DVD Recorder. These software packages are very popular and should be able to get the job done. Check the latest versions of these software solutions online and you can download them for quick installations. They may come with a USB device that can connect your computer with the VCR.

The USB device is needed to convert analog information into digital formats that can be processed more easily with computers. After being digitalized, the audio/video information could also be stored in various devices. It’s tricky to find out the reason why the quality of the digital format is lower. As an example, the USB device may not be fully capable of retaining the original quality. So, it’s important to ask experts and watch user reviews. Here are things you should do to minimize quality degradation when converting VHS tape:

Use dedicated digital video converter to convert output from VCR to a digital format. Make sure to use at least Firewire connection to the computer.

Install Win DV, a free software that can capture the digital video signal and convert it into an AVI file. You should know that AVI files have very large size, but it can retain much of the information from the original analog signal. You can use other software to convert the file into different formats that have smaller sizes and easier to play at other devices, such as smartphones and DVD players with USB port. As an example, TMPGEnc MPEG Editor is useful for converting AVI files into MPEG, which can be transferred more easily into DVD format.

A digital video converter should have multiple built-in filters that can reduce noise and improve the overall quality. However, you need to be careful when using filters. As an example, the 3D filter could leave a ghost trail when the camera pans. Y/C separation and 2D filters have no effect at all. You may test by using no filters at all and if you find that the quality is acceptable, you may not need a filter at all. Each VCR recorder has its own noise characteristics, so you need to be familiar with it.

You should use specific details, such as VBR or Variable Rate for Bitrate Type and 2 Pass for Number of Passes. To get acceptable quality, the minimum bitrate should be 2000 kb/s and the average should be around 4500 kb/s. However, you should avoid using more than 7000 kb/s of bitrate, because it may become non-compliant with DVD standards.