|2008/10/28 Digitizing Old Videos
π 2008-10-28 01:01 in Public
I've been sitting on 4 old VHS tapes I filmed in 1992-1993 when I was an exchange student in Missouri. It was about 14-15 hours of footage in PAL, which was a problem since I had nothing to read those tapes here.
I ended up asking coworkers if someone had a tri-standard VCR lying around, and sure enough someone did and nicely offered to lend it to me (those things used to cost $500, considering that they were triple head VCRs with built in digitizers and digital converters, something that is trivial to do today, but cost a lot of CPU and money back then).
As a result, I've been spending the last 10 days or so trying to re-read those old tapes and encode them to mpeg2 and then divx. It's been a painful process because the tapes are obviously not in pristine condition and each time the picture skipped, the encoder on my mpeg2 card in my mythtv got out of sync and the rest of the recording was crap. As a result, I've had to watch the recordings, stop when bad, rewind and digitize in a new file until I got to the end, and do this again until I was done with all the tapes (I ended up with around 35 chunks that I had to hand paste together).
If you are curious, the magic incantations are: