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  1. #1

    Default How to digitize VHS tapes?

    I have a TwinHan EyeTV tuner connected to an iBook G4 running OS 10.4.11 - everything works well! I now wish to digitize some old VHS tapes.
    According to info from Elgato (manufacturer), I simply "connect [my] recorder's video output to the EyeTV hardware, then start playing a tape ...". However, the fittings on the EyeTV tuner and the VCR are not the same and (I have been told) are incompatible.
    Can anyone help, please?

  2. #2

    Default

    Hi Blinky, and welcome to MacTalk.

    I can't say I'm familiar with the TwinHan... and looking on their website, doesn't offer much assistance.

    What "ports" are there on the tuner? Is it just a coax port? If so, you could try hook the "To TV" antenna port on your VCR into the tuner device, then tune the software to the frequency that the VCR broadcasts on?

    Failing that... I use a Canon MVX430 handcam, which can do "Analogue to Digital conversion". You plug the VCR into the camera, then the camera into your Mac via the firewire port. Adjust a setting on the camera, and it converts the signal from the VCR into a digital format so that iMovie etc can understand it.

    There are a number of cameras that can do this... though a lot of the more modern cameras can't. Go to cashies and pick up one... a Sony PC104e can do it as well.
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  3. #3

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    Default

    Can you specify what the connectors are, as in the type of VHS output and eyeTV input?

    I thought the Twinhan had only an RF/antenna input, meaning your connection would need to be over RF, so once connected, press plan on the VCR and start tuning with the eyeTV.
    www: robv.net | twitter: @robvnet

  4. #4

    Default

    Hi cosmichobo, and thanks.
    There are 2 ports on the tuner, a USB (> iBook) and a coax (> VCR, according to Elgato).
    The problems appears to be that the coax video-out on the VCR is not the same size as that on the tuner.
    There is also the question as to how the sounds gets out of the VCR into my Mac???
    I have emailed Elgato, of course, but as yet no response.

  5. #5

    Default

    Hi vargz,
    Unfortunately, I do not know specifically what type the coax connectors are - I believe they are RCA.
    It seems, at first glance, that a simple "male-to-male" cable would do but, whilst the inner male fitting is the same on each unit, the outer shields differ by about 1mm in diameter.
    Without measuring the fittings and/or photographing them, I don't know how to be more specific. Sorry.

    EDIT: They definitely are RCA fittings.

  6. #6

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    Default

    Bill, the coax connector on your TwinHan is an antenna socket, not a composite-video input. Vargz is right, to use the Twinhan to record from a VCR, you are going to have to use a lead from the VCR's antenna-out (or "To TV") socket (that's the one just under where your TV antenna would connect to the VCR) and not the VCR's yellow "video out" sockets. You will then need to use the EyeTV software to "tune in" to the VCR's output, just as if it were a TV station.

    Doing it this way will unfortunately result in a small but notcable loss of quality of the resulting video signal. For best results, you will need to change the TwinHan unit over for one that has a proper composite video or S-HVS input socket.

  7. #7

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    If you have a camcorder, it is possible to hook this up to the tv and record the tapes onto the camcorder. You can then import them into imovie or idvd on the mac.... I have used this method, as well as a DVico Fusion MPeg box for the PeeCee. That is a little box that converts the signal from your VCR or old camcorder to MPEG2 video files.

    Time consuming, whichever way.

    Good luck,
    Deb
    Macintosh SE (OS 7.1); 15" MBP Intel Core i5 2.4ghz (Snow Leopard); too many iGadgets

  8. #8

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    Are you sure your tuner supports analogue? I have an Eyetv hybrid and it came with an RCA adapter especially for VHS. Maybe your tuner is digital only.
    Something about Jimby.

  9. #9

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    He's not using EyeTV hardware, just something that happens to be compatible with the EyeTV software.

  10. #10

    Default

    Thanks all!
    Unfortunately, the Elgato info available online is unclear as to whether the TwinHan unit can be used to digitize VHS tapes.
    The elgato site <http://support.elgato.com/index.php?_m=knowledgebase&_a=viewarticle&kbarticl eid=3> does not mention the unit.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brains View Post
    He's not using EyeTV hardware, just something that happens to be compatible with the EyeTV software.
    I understand that it isn't elgato hardware, but does the twinhan support analogue in? The only Twinhan listed in my EyeTV software is the DTV Alpha, and it only supports digital, not analogue, therefore VHS recording will not work.
    Something about Jimby.

  12. #12

    Default

    Thanks leon,
    The unit I have is a TwinhanDTV Alpha MAC so, if what you say is correct, I shall have to find some other way.
    Can you tell me where the info that "it only supports digital, not analogue" came from?

  13. #13

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    Right here. What you have is a Digital Terrestrial Tuner, which is only good for receiving Digital Television. You need a unit that also has an analogue tuner such as the EyeTV Hybrid or Pinnacle Hybrid.

    Twinhan
    Something about Jimby.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by leon View Post
    Right here. What you have is a Digital Terrestrial Tuner, which is only good for receiving Digital Television. You need a unit that also has an analogue tuner such as the EyeTV Hybrid or Pinnacle Hybrid.

    Twinhan
    Not quite, you need something with AV input - an analog tuner has nothing to do with it.
    I suggest getting this: Blackmagic Design: Video Recorder
    Will be much better quality than a TV tuner with an AV input feature tacked on and the software will be much better also.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by decryption View Post
    Not quite, you need something with AV input - an analog tuner has nothing to do with it.
    I suggest getting this: Blackmagic Design: Video Recorder
    Will be much better quality than a TV tuner with an AV input feature tacked on and the software will be much better also.
    i second that. the blackmagic product was designed to do just this job and encodes into h264 on the fly. Fantastic product and from an aussie company.

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