For my brother-in-law.
He and his wife have a stack of VHS tapes that they've wanted to get archived to DVD for quite some time now. I loaned them one of my "spare" VCR's so they could sort through their tapes after the VCR they had died, and I couldn't fix it.
They went through ALL of the tapes they had, and found the ones with their kids growing up, and brought them over before I went out on the last launch.
Since I have professional ("Studio Quality" as of 2005) video capture equipment, and a couple of studio-type editing decks with S-VHS outputs, I got started on the project Thursday afternoon.
I hadn't fired up the PC that runs my audio and video capturing software since last January when I digitized a whole stack of LP's I have, so I spent most of Friday just updating all the software. The PC is running Windows 7 Professional 64-Bit, and after I hooked everything up and powered up the PC, Windows informed me I did NOT have a "Genuine" copy.
Then I realized I had no network connection, having plugged the cable into an "Uplink" port on the router.
Once I got an Internet connection, it called home to the mothership, and the "NOT GENUINE WINDOW$" warning was replaced by a "Validation Period Has Expired. Would You Like To Validate This Copy Of Windows?", which is a whole lot better than "contact us to buy a new serial number"!
Turns out the PC hadn't been online in so long, and was missing so many OS updates, that Micro$oft didn't know what to do with it.
SO.....after spending most of yesterday updating the OS and most of my utilities, I had things running smoothly again.
Then I realized I *really* need two monitors to do video capture and editing with, so off to Best Buy. I lucked out on the monitor, and was able to get a 27" LG that they had just put on the shelf for $100 off! It had been a return from somebody who bought it, didn't have the right hardware to use it with, and dragged it back to the store for an exchange.
It "only" does 1920 x 1080 (they made the pixels bigger), but it's beautiful, and has an LED backlight, so it's very light, thin, and puts out practically no heat.
And while I was there I picked up a newer video card, an ATI Radeon HD7700.
I usually get NVidia-based cards, but ATI/AMD has a very slight edge in displaying video, as opposed to NVidia, who rocks the gaming world, and has FAR better Linux support.
So I've now captured about half the tapes, and have a rough idea how I'm going to organize them on the DVD's I'll author using all the Adobe software I have.
I might even get creative, and add some period-correct music for the opening titles, as each tape has the date on it.
I won't be done by Christmas, but I should have a nice stack of DVD's for them for the new year.
And yes, they both realize that just because it's on a DVD doesn't mean it will be "DVD Quality", although I'll clean up the color balance and fix as much as I can.
I've done video capture and conversion for people before, and some of them simply didn't understand that you're strictly limited by the quality of the source material. Somehow they thought that putting their old tapes on a DVD would magically make them "DVD Quality".
The old adage of "Garbage IN => Garbage OUT" definitely applies!
Back to work......