VHS and VHS-C tapes : Your challenge with these source materials will be to convert them to a digital format, since video information going into the computer must arrive as a string of "1"s and "0"s.
There are devices on the market that will do the digitizing for you. Plug them in to your VCR -- you must have one of these, of course, to play your tapes -- and into a USB port on your computer. These devices are readily available on line. A product, with which we have no experience, is made by Elgato and seems to be very popular (Elgato 1VC104001001, for example).
At VideOccasions, our solution is to use digital cameras which we purchase on Ebay for a few dollars. The Sony DCR-TRV530 is a digital8 camera that works well. This camera, and there are several like it, has a "pass-through" feature. Video from the VCR player goes into the camera as an analog stream and exits the camera to the computer via Firewire, as a digital stream.
For a setup such as this you'll need the camera's propriatery cable to connect VCR to camera , the appropriate Firewire cable from camera to computer, and an inexpensive Firewire card for your computer.
If the tape source is digital -- e.g., a MiniDV tape from a digital camera, or files from a camera with a hard drive or memory card -- there is
no problem. Simply follow the manufacturer's directions carefully and download, typically via a USB cable that came with the camera.
No longer have a MiniDV camera. You'll either have to try to find a player on Ebay -- $200 to 6 or 700 hundred -- or a MiniDV camera.
None of this seems cost effective? Sounds too complicated? Bring your analog tapes (VHS, SVHS, 8mm and Hi-8) and 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm film to VideOccasions and we'll convert them to a digital format suitable for home editing on a PC or Mac. An hour of converted video in the AVI format, best for editing, requires about 14gb of storage space, so for long projects an external hard drive is the only practical means.
Last updated 3/29/2020