Converting MPEG to VHS: how?

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Hello,

I downloaded footage from my digital video camera into a computer program (VideoWave III, which came with the fire wire) that enabled me to edit the footage, save to CD-ROM MPEG, and burn the MPEGs to CD. I need to take one of those MPEG files (15 minutes long, 158MB in size) and somehow put it on VHS tape. I did find one place online that can do it for me...for only $100!!! There has to be an easier, less expensive way to do this...does anyone know? The VideoWave help files were not helpful, and I've found plenty of resources for converting VHS to MPEG, but none for the reverse process. (Please be patient with me, I'm a relative beginner when it comes to "tech-talk.")

Thanks a lot!

Heidi McDonald Pittsburgh, PA

-- Heidi McDonald (whistlingthis@yahoo.com), December 06, 2001

Answers

After you have edited your clip, Video Wave allows you to send it back to your DV-camcorder. You can then record that clip from your camcorder to VHS. Hope this helps.

-- Jamst (jamst2000@yahoo.co.jp), December 06, 2001.

If you didn't save the original video tape then to do it cheaply you will have to have a "video out" on your computer. See if you can patch it directly to a VCR "video in". If not you would have to record from your TV by connecting the computer to your TV through your "video in" and "Audio in" jacks and your VCR recording through the line out. Quality will suck but it would suck anyway because you're recording from a compressed video file. Good luck

-- George Nonomura (gonono@altavista.com), December 12, 2001.

I know another way to convert the MPEG to a VHS tape (You must have a CD-Burner and a DVD player. If not, then borrow a friend's.). First, get an evaluation copy of NERO from http://www.nero.com . Then choose to burn a VideoCD. Add the files you want to burn, then write the CD. After this, just put the CD in your DVD player and record the video from there. The quality would probably be lacking.

-- Jeff Cook (bulletwithbutterflywings33@hotmail.com), June 08, 2002.

It might be a bit of overkill, but I just purchased the Dazzle DCS2000 (not related to the Nimbus 2000). It has flexible input capabilities, including directly from VHS and provides multiple output options.

The Dazzle folks have bundled in MovieStar 5 with the product. While the documentation is lousy, the product appears to have high end frame x frame editing capabilities, including the ability to place voice overs and/or substitute the audio track that comes in.

Check out http://www.dazzle.com - they have a number of different products that you can compare for VHS in/out (http://www.dazzle.com/products/dvc100.html) from $169 to $229.

The ability to archive the family videos onto CD looks to be well worth the cost once I figure out how to use the whole system.

Hope this helps.

-- Eric Staffin (staffin@optonline.net), March 07, 2003.


I wanted to have too many options and needed to find a golden midway. Please be patient:

1) I wanted to be able to copy VHS (analogue) video to a computer to enable editing, mixing etc. 2) I further wanted to keep the info digital to be able to write VCD's, DVD in future. 3) I also wanted to write back the edited versions to VHS.

The way I did it was to buy a Pinnacle DC10 made specifically for analogue video. This way I can record the VHS clips to computer and output it again to VHS. The problem is space and therefore I needed to find a way to save my digital data on CD-R for future use without loosing too much quality. In Studio 8 (the software shipped with the card) I was able to capture VHS clips onto computer using the "best" quality option. Unfortunately this creates very large AVI files (more or less 14 giga bytes for 2 hours). This makes it too expensive to copy small chunks to CD-R because you'll end up having not more than 5 minutes per CD- R, requiring 12 CD-R for 60 minutes. The reason for this large file size is mainly due to the following:

Video Resolution Video Bit rate(3000 to 4000 kbps)

I then decided to cut down on the bit rate as well as resolution and created MPEG-2 files with the "multimedia" option in Studio 8. This option results in a lower video resolution but still adequate for TV viewing and full screen viewing on my PC (17" monitor) the bit rate is also lower at just above 1150 kbps. This allowed me to fit between 45 and 60 minutes on a 700 MB CD-R for storage.

To copy back to VHS you have to regenerate an AVI file from the MPEG- 2 while keeping the MPEG-2 settings for resolution and bit rate the same as the original (not less).

To make VCD's you need to convert the MPEG-2 into VCD format. Fortunately Studio 8 makes this possible and cuts the bit rate down to 1150 kbps and the resolution is also reduced from the MPEG-2 to the VCD standard. Studio 8 also burns the VCD directly from this conversion.

You'll have to live with the fact that if you need the exact same quality as your source VHS you'll need space and much of it.

If you took the option I took, your quality from the MPEG-2 cannot deteriorate which is a possibility when keeping your clips on VHS tape for storage. To cut VCD's from the MPEG-2 results in the same quality as you would have from the original AVI that was created from the source. To go back from digital (MPEG-2) to VHS results in a poorer quality than the original but is still usable.

I guess that when DVD writers and disks become more common and CHEAPER I'll be sorry that I kept all those MPEG's since it is a somewhat reduced quality from what I could have had. Space considerations does not allow for it.

An option I pondered on is to Capture VHS at the highest quality possible and backup the large AVI's to digital tapes. Still even with that the quality would be nowhere comparable to DVD because the source was not digital in the first place.

I suppose Iíll never be really happy until I can write DVDís from VHS even though I know that the quality will never be very good. Many people still owns analogue equipment and should not be dissuaded to use it in the digital age.

-- Beste Proffessor (besteproffessor@hotmail.com), September 24, 2003.



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