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The hardware that we use to convert VHS tapes to DVDs is on Stations 3 and 4 (two full complements of the hardware)

The Quick Steps

Converting Directly to a DVD

  1. Be sure the RCA cables are connecting the VHS player to the white Sony DVD Recorder.

  2. Power-up the VHS player, Insert tape and rewind.

  3. Power-up DVD Recorder and insert blank DVD

  4. Press play on the VHS player and then the Red Button on the DVD Recorder.

  5. When the recording is complete, choose Finalize Disc.

  6. Test the DVD in both a computer and a DVD player to ensure it works correctly.

Importing into Final Cut Pro

  1. Unplug the RCA cables from the Sony DVD Recorder and plug them into the Canopus box if needed.
  2. Open up Final Cut and select Import > Media
  3. Under Devices (top left) in the import window, you should see Canopus
  4. Once you select it, press import in the window and then play on the VCR
  5. Wait for the tape to finish, then press stop/finish in Final Cut, and stop on the VCR.  Be kind, rewind the tape.
  6. Hopefully, the above steps worked.  However, you'll likely be going through some troubleshooting.

Troubleshooting / Alternatives

The Recorder shows the VHS playing, but when I press record, nothing happens

  1. This is a sign that it has DRM on it.  Test it on the other recorder to be sure, if you get the same result, talk to Dan.

Canopus-related problems

  1. The import repeatedly stops and starts, generating a bunch of 1 or 2 second clips.
    1. This Tape is not going to work with the Canopus.  If you haven't tried it with the Sony DVD Recorder, see The Long Way below.
  2. The VCR says it is playing, but the Canopus isn't showing anything
    1. Plug the VCR into the TV and play the tape.
    2. If it works on the TV, then the tape probably isn't compatible with Canopus.  If you haven't tried it with the Sony DVD Recorder, see The Long Way below.

The Long Way

If it has gotten to the point that you have to use this, I am truly sorry - the troubleshooting probably took forever.  If you are saying that you having done any troubleshooting, go back and do that first.

This is only for if you need to digitize a VHS tape, that is to create a video file but not a DVD.

On a related note, please read through all of the steps before starting - things will make much more sense if you do that first.

  1. Convert the VHS to a DVD as per the steps in Converting Directly to a DVD.
    1. If this step fails, the VHS won't be able to be digitized.  Let Dan and the client know.
  2. Put the DVD into any of the computers and rip it to a file using Handbrake.
  3. That's it!  You're done, and are now the proud creator of a nice digitized copy of the VHS tape.