VHS Backup

  GPa 10:23 29 Mar 2006

I have installed this program on my Dell 4600 desktop but cannot open it. When I try,I see an error message saying:

"Initialisation of the video capture device failed! You need a video-in capable graphics card with its drivers installed. please consult your hardware manual for further details"

My graphics card is a 64MB DDR NVIDIA GeForce4 MX420 and the latest driver makes no difference.
Is there anything else I can do without replacing the graphics card as I wouldn't know how to find that is compatible with my PC.I am out of warranty so Dell can't help.

  [DELETED] 10:38 29 Mar 2006

You mean you have a program to back up on to VHS tape?

If yes, forget it. I tried this system some years ago. Total waste of time. Remember that VHS is an analogue system. Placing digital data on an analogue tape is fraught with problems - all of them coming through when you try to restore from the backup.

You will be far better getting a more usual backup method. There are plenty of them around.

  [DELETED] 10:39 29 Mar 2006

If you only want to backup VHS tapes then it may make sense to buy a DVD Recorder with SCART sockets and just connect the VCR to it. However as many commercial VHS include copy protection (Macrovision) you might have problems. But 'time shifted' home records would copy OK. I've done dozens this way.

  [DELETED] 14:10 29 Mar 2006

Your graphics card does not have a video-in function (hence the message.)

A VHS backup facility clearly would need that - as you need to be able to read from the VHS device into the system for checking, and reading backups back into the system.

It's not a backup facility I would choose, as VHS tape is very unreliable for data. For the cost of a video capture card, you could probably get a DVD/CD recorder, which would be much better.

For not much more you could get an external hard drive, and backup to that, which would be even more convenient.

  GPa 14:11 29 Mar 2006

No, I want to back up my VHS tape recording onto my PC and thence onto disc.Thanks for your interest

  GPa 14:14 29 Mar 2006

Thanks for the suggestion, it may have to come to that. Until then, I am looking for a cheaper option.

  GPa 14:24 29 Mar 2006

I have VHS tapes, such as my son's wedding, which I want to put onto my PC and thence onto disc.
I already use an external hard for my regular PC backups, so this sounds interesting. How would I connect this to the Video recorder?

  [DELETED] 15:24 29 Mar 2006

You need a video capture card for what you want to do. When you capture the videos, they will become normal files, which you can save to or copy to your external drive in the normal way.

Video capture devices can be internal or external - for examples click here

  [DELETED] 15:32 29 Mar 2006

Just type VHS to DVD in the search box, there should be loads of info there ;-)

  [DELETED] 15:50 29 Mar 2006

If you don't to manipulate the contents of the tape (e.g. add posh captions, apply video effects or 'clean up' a patchy image etc) then buying a cheap DVD recorder may be the simplest option.
I bought a Technika DVD+R recorder from Tesco for under £70, connected it to the VCR, put in tape pressed play and left it running for 3 hours, hey presto, video now on DVD. For 'cheap' unit it has limited editing facilities (e.g. can split a title into seperate chapters (though it automatically creates a chapter every 10 mins (allowing you to jump through the disk in 10 min segments), hide chapters (good for stopping the particulary wobbly shots of the floor/carpet).
It has a TV Tuner/Timer so can also use to record straight from TV (a la VCR) and also has Dolby 5.1 and 2 scart sockets (have got ours set up so can even record stuff from the PS2, though main reason for this is the TV only has 1 Scart, and this means I don;t have to keep swapping sockets). Composite input sockets mean I can just plug the camcorder in and record stright to disc.
Having this as seperate unit also means that I don't incur the wrath of the kids tying up the PC when copying stuff!

  [DELETED] 16:07 29 Mar 2006

I suspect a cheap DVD Recorder (£50) may be cheaper than a video capture card and in the end a great deal more useful as it replaces your VCR in your home entertainment centre.

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