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VHS capture using PRE : still possible!

Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2019

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Capturing the content of VHS tapes has been the topic of numerous discussion threads on this forum. One of the issues is that most of these contributions are rather old and that suggested equipment is difficult or impossible to obtain today, at least in France. Nevertheless such task is still an important one, especially when VHS tapes reading equipments are getting quite old and are likely to stop soon operating. Managing digital files is and probably will be maintained for some time, at least with external hard disks.

Having examined numerous discussion threads on this topic, both within this forum and outside, I have found that the most comprehensive and popular one was created by Hunt in 2010: Analog to Digital A Primer. 8 years after his original article, I have found that it was still the most helpfull one. Indeed it helped me greatly to transfer easily VHS tapes into .AVI files and to create Premiere Elements projects, enabeling all possible edition and production features which were not possible several decades ago.

As mentioned in some other discussion threads, I have discovered that one of the key issue in the procedures suggested by Hunt is to use an "old" version of Premiere Elements, in my case PRE11. Indeed more recent versions, such as PRE 14 and PRE 2019, appear to have lost their ability to import signals from DV video cameras: the Import function do not have any more the "DV camescope" possibility (using FireWire or USB 2.0 connection).

First, I have faced difficulties in finding suppliers of Analog to Digital bridges in Paris shops (except for VHS to DVD ones, such as Dazzle which are not recommended): I prefer to avoid on-line orders for equipment. I finally followed the first method suggested by Hunt in 2010 Analog to Digital A Primer, using a digital video camera with pass-through capabilities. Indeed I discovered that my "old" Sony DCR-PC350E camera presented such "pass-though capability", although the Mini-DV recording function of this camera was no more active and thus the camera no more used.

Here are the components of my capturing chain which I am currently using:

  1. Old VHS Tape deck: JVC HR-DVS1MS (double deck with Mini-DV - no more operational - and VHS tapes) using its S-video and audio outputs
  2. Old digital video camera: Sony DCR-PC350E, using S-video and audio inputs and one i-Link / IEEE / FireWire output
  3. Old computer: operating under Windows XP, I installed an old PRE11 version and used an i-Link / IEEE / FireWire input connector.

After the production of AVI files, I transfer them on a more modern and powerfull Windows 7 Pro (64 b) computer and use the present PRE version (2019) for edition and production/export.

At this point I have 3 conclusions:

  • The discussion thread created by Hunt in 2010, Analog to Digital A Primer is really helpful: thanks to him!
  • It is quite wise and helpfull to keep old equipment alive together with their cables and manuals,
  • Why is it that present Premiere Element versions have lost their ability to import signals from DV video cameras?

Thanks for your comments and suggestions,

Daniel-T

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VHS capture using PRE : still possible!

Explorer ,
Feb 06, 2019

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Capturing the content of VHS tapes has been the topic of numerous discussion threads on this forum. One of the issues is that most of these contributions are rather old and that suggested equipment is difficult or impossible to obtain today, at least in France. Nevertheless such task is still an important one, especially when VHS tapes reading equipments are getting quite old and are likely to stop soon operating. Managing digital files is and probably will be maintained for some time, at least with external hard disks.

Having examined numerous discussion threads on this topic, both within this forum and outside, I have found that the most comprehensive and popular one was created by Hunt in 2010: Analog to Digital A Primer. 8 years after his original article, I have found that it was still the most helpfull one. Indeed it helped me greatly to transfer easily VHS tapes into .AVI files and to create Premiere Elements projects, enabeling all possible edition and production features which were not possible several decades ago.

As mentioned in some other discussion threads, I have discovered that one of the key issue in the procedures suggested by Hunt is to use an "old" version of Premiere Elements, in my case PRE11. Indeed more recent versions, such as PRE 14 and PRE 2019, appear to have lost their ability to import signals from DV video cameras: the Import function do not have any more the "DV camescope" possibility (using FireWire or USB 2.0 connection).

First, I have faced difficulties in finding suppliers of Analog to Digital bridges in Paris shops (except for VHS to DVD ones, such as Dazzle which are not recommended): I prefer to avoid on-line orders for equipment. I finally followed the first method suggested by Hunt in 2010 Analog to Digital A Primer, using a digital video camera with pass-through capabilities. Indeed I discovered that my "old" Sony DCR-PC350E camera presented such "pass-though capability", although the Mini-DV recording function of this camera was no more active and thus the camera no more used.

Here are the components of my capturing chain which I am currently using:

  1. Old VHS Tape deck: JVC HR-DVS1MS (double deck with Mini-DV - no more operational - and VHS tapes) using its S-video and audio outputs
  2. Old digital video camera: Sony DCR-PC350E, using S-video and audio inputs and one i-Link / IEEE / FireWire output
  3. Old computer: operating under Windows XP, I installed an old PRE11 version and used an i-Link / IEEE / FireWire input connector.

After the production of AVI files, I transfer them on a more modern and powerfull Windows 7 Pro (64 b) computer and use the present PRE version (2019) for edition and production/export.

At this point I have 3 conclusions:

  • The discussion thread created by Hunt in 2010, Analog to Digital A Primer is really helpful: thanks to him!
  • It is quite wise and helpfull to keep old equipment alive together with their cables and manuals,
  • Why is it that present Premiere Element versions have lost their ability to import signals from DV video cameras?

Thanks for your comments and suggestions,

Daniel-T

TOPICS
Tips and tricks

Views

308

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Feb 06, 2019 1
Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2019

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Thanks for the informative post!

Indeed, why do current PRE editions not support VHS?

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Daniel-T LATEST
Explorer ,
Mar 18, 2019

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Thanks pixelized007 for your comment.

This loss of features of recent versions of Premiere Elements is not well documented and, as usual, not justified, although capturing old VHS tapes is still an important issue for many Adobe consumers.

Sincerely,

Daniel T

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