Digitizing VHS


Video station

In order to move VHS video into the computer you first need to transfer the video to mini DV tape and then capture the mini DV tape with Final Cut. Two stations in the Grad Lab have VHS decks for this purpose.

The most important part is setting up the DV deck prior to recording the VHS onto the DV. Capturing the DV in Final Cut works like any mini DV tape. Below you see what the display of the DV deck should look like when capturing from VHS.


DV Deck Display

DV deck display

  1. Make sure the following settings a set on the DV Deck:
    • Input is set to "A1." This can be changed by pressing the "INPUT SELECT" button on the right panel of the DV Deck. If you want to capture from a source other than the VHS deck you can set the input to "A2" and plug the RCA and/or S-Video cables into the plugs on the right panel of the DV Deck.
    • Audio is set to 16 bit. (If it isn't you may have problems with the sync between your audio and video.) Press "SET UP" on the center panel and navigate to "AUDIO MODE" then select 16 bit.
    • The record mode should be set to SP.
    • Set both audio record levels both to 5. The sliders should be centered.
    • Both audio channels are set for output. Press audio out until both "L" and "R" appear in the boxes next to the time code. 
  2. Make sure your mini DV tape is rewound to the point you want to begin recordings. (Probably the beginning of the tape)
  3. Make sure your VHS tape is cued up to the point you want recorded.
  4. Press Record on the DV Deck. Record button DV Deck.
  5. Press play on the VHS Deck. Play button VHS Deck.
  6. When your done, press stop on the VHS Deck.
  7. Press stop on the DV Deck.
  8. You can now use Final Cut to log and capture your mini DV tape.