VHS to DVD stand-alone boxes - how to record 6 hr VHS tapes ?

Discussion in 'DVD Video' started by - Bobb -, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    On these stand-alone ( non-PC ) recorders ... The ones I've seen have a
    button that you press and it copies the VHS to DVD. What do I do when I
    have a 6 hr VHS and it won't fit onto DVD ? would it "fail" or would it
    record only 4 hrs ( or whatever fits) then close the DVD so that at
    least the first 4 hrs is usable ? How to capture that last 2 hrs ? Any 6
    hr DVD media out there yet ?

    I also have a lot of camcorder ( VHS-C ) video. Rather than buying full
    size 4 hr DVDs , could I buy physically smaller DVD's for less money ?
    ( do they exist ?) The point in asking is this is a LOT of family video
    ( boxes full) that are maybe 20-30 minutes long and I'm wondering if
    cheaper /easier to store the smaller dvd's since even one the "full
    sized 4 hr DVD'd" it's still only gonna store only one vhs tape when I
    hit the VCR =>DVD "record button". So it'll record 20 minutes then
    "waste" the rest of the DVD.

    - Bobb -, Jan 1, 2007
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  2. - Bobb -

    The Wizard Guest

    Well firstly, I think you're forgetting most DVD Recorders have a LP/XP etc
    mode Usually 1 hour,2 hour,4 hour and 6 hour.
    To be honest the 6 hour mode is pretty poor, I usually use the 4 hour mode
    on mine (2 hour for a normal movie)

    The quality goes down as you select the longer mode, 1,2 and 4 hour are o-k
    but the 6 hour is definately noticably poor!
    No need to to, The Standalone DVD recorders won't play in a normal player
    until you have finalised them, So you can make several short recordings on
    one disc :)
    Depending on the recorder, It makes a simple menu for each recording and on
    most can be renamed to wahtever you like,Some have a simple thumbnail type
    menu,The more expensive ones have animated pics of the movie you've
    I'd just record as normal from tape to DVD, press stop,Let it write to the
    disc then record again on the same disc only finalising when you've filled
    the disc, Assuming you have 8 hours to record, I'd split it to 2 x 4 hours
    or for better quality 4 x 2 hours.
    Just imagine the standalone recorders as a disc based VHS system with LP
    mode just lowering the quality as it does with tape.

    The Wizard, Jan 1, 2007
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  3. - Bobb -

    Stan Guest


    The quality of a 6hr VHS recording is quite poor. The quality of a 6hr DVD
    is quite poor. Recording a 6hr VHS in 6hr DVD mode will give you a picture
    I don't think you are going to like. In order to maintain anything like the
    original VHS quality you are going to have to use the 1 or 2 hour DVD
    recording mode.
    Stan, Jan 1, 2007
  4. - Bobb -

    Pinto Alegre Guest

    which is still poor

    Pinto Alegre, Jan 1, 2007
  5. - Bobb -

    Guest Guest

    All the stand-alone DVD recorders I've run across have a 6 hour mode, so try
    it. You don't have anything to lose.

    Consider this: A 2 hours videotape can be successfully copied onto a DVD in
    the 2 hour mode, so why shouldn't a 6 hour tape copy just as well to a 6
    hour DVD? (Yes, I know the logic is faulty, but it's certainly worth a

    Norm Strong
    Guest, Jan 2, 2007
  6. - Bobb -

    Jack Yazel Guest


    I record a lot of 6-hour VHS and 6-hour DVD (-R and -RW).

    The quality of both depends on the viewer. I can't see any difference between
    the TV, VHS and DVD.

    Test a DVD recorder and decide for yourself.


    Jack Yazel, Jan 3, 2007
  7. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    I guess I misunderstood ( I don't yet have a DVR) The ones that I've
    seen ( like panasonics for instance) have a rocker-switch that is
    labelled VHS- DVD or DVD- VHS and I was told ( by a few sales reps at
    different stores) that there's nothing to do - hit the button and it
    copies the tape. Specifically I was told that I could not pause - change
    tapes - continue - but it seems like that is incorrect ?? Or maybe it
    has simply changed in the past 6 months since I looked. As for setting
    the speed on the DVR , again I thought the only variable here was 4/8gb
    DVD media. Wrong also ?? I do "get it" as far as more hrs = lousy
    quality , but I thought since the only option that I had was to hit the
    "copy" button. So in my example earlier, I can FF the tape to 3.5 hrs
    ( the start of home movies for instance) THEN hit the VHS - DVR button
    and it will start from there ?? That makes sense but according to the
    sales reps at Best Buy, Circuit City etc I didn't think it was an
    option. I thought It rewound the tape and starting playing at the BOT -
    or I just misunderstood all of them.
    OK - sounds like I've got some homework to do.

    Any advice on brands to choose. Last I saw there was a lot of Panasonic
    ER models -15,25,35,etc - OK ? or Samsung or any other recommendations ?
    I'm looking to spend ~$200-$250
    I'll do some more homework/shopping and report back . Thanks very much.
    - Bobb -, Jan 3, 2007
  8. - Bobb -

    BR549 Guest

    Yes you can FF to anyplace on the tape and the hit the record button on the
    DVD recorder. I have 2 DVD recorders, an older Panasonic E85 with 120 gb
    hard drive and a newer Zenith DVD/VHS recorder combo. I love them both.
    The hard drive on the Panasonic is great because you can record first to the
    hard drive and then to a DVD, pick and choose what goes where. We never
    watch live TV anymore and record any shows that we like to see to the hard
    drive and then just pick from the menu.
    I would have to agree with Jack about the 6 hour mode, I've used it on my
    Zenith to record TV shows to DVD+RW and can't tell the difference between it
    and the better quality modes. Of course if I was archiving some home videos
    I would definitely use a higher quality setting.
    Good luck on you quest.
    BR549, Jan 3, 2007
  9. - Bobb -

    Buchetamo Guest

    I have a Pioneer DVD Recorder & it has three options for recording, I gather
    you could fit a 6 hrs VHS in the XL option... but quality wise I think I'd
    prefer not to do it. I'm in the process of recording in DVD format a couple
    hundred VHS but in some cases the results have not been the best as far as
    picture quality. But then again, it depends entirely on the individual. I
    just read a posting here from someone saying he can't notice the difference
    between VHS & DVD picture quality!! I totally disagree but everyone is
    entitled to his opinion!!
    Buchetamo, Jan 3, 2007
  10. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    I will thanks. I was asking first though, since we have a library of
    300+ homemade VHS tapes ( a lot are 4-6 hrs each) and if only 2hrs per
    DVD - aside from the time/effort - that's 900+ blank DVD's to buy ! So
    that would be a factor also into the decision to do them all too - so
    maybe only old footage of the kids ??
    One other thing ... DVD +R and -R - any recommendations/preferences or
    is that still a box of worms we'd rather not get into here ?
    - Bobb -, Jan 3, 2007
  11. - Bobb -

    T Shadow Guest

    2HRS is at full resolution. Half resolution 352X480 is good for 4HRS. This
    is adequate for SLP VHS. A 6HR tape is going to have even less quality. The
    2&4 hour settings are MPG2. The DVD spec allows for standard mpg which
    allows smaller resolutions and heavier compression.This will probably be
    adequate quality for a 6HR tape. Home movies should be captured to
    uncompressed AVI then encoded to the compressed format after editing. Have
    no idea if boxes can do this but my computer can.
    digitalfaq.com has all the info needed.
    T Shadow, Jan 3, 2007
  12. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    I'll check it thanks. Since these home movies are on tape , I was trying
    to go right from tape to DVD, but maybe the quality will be
    unacceptable. So you're saying to skip the entire " VHS/DVR combo deck"
    idea and recording each tape to PC; then burn to DVD on PC ?
    - Bobb -, Jan 3, 2007
  13. - Bobb -

    T Shadow Guest

    That's how I would do it, but I'm already set up for it.
    T Shadow, Jan 4, 2007
  14. - Bobb -

    Jeff Guest

    Many of the recorders will only work with +R _OR_ -R. Choose the
    recorder according to the features you want then use whatever type DVD
    that works in it.
    Jeff, Jan 4, 2007
  15. - Bobb -

    Guest Guest

    If these are home movies, chances are they could use a little editing--if
    only to insert chapter marks and title pages. So yes, I'd recommend copying
    the tapes to your computer|editing|copy to DVD at whatever resolution you
    desire. Burning the DVD can take place at 16x.

    Guest, Jan 4, 2007
  16. - Bobb -

    - Bobb - Guest

    One other question then :
    to get a 2 hr VHS tape onto my hard drive - how much disk space ?
    - Bobb -, Jan 4, 2007
  17. - Bobb -

    kitekrazy Guest

    Each hour will take up about 4GB of space if you record in the highest
    quality DVD mode. I don't know what editing software you are going to use
    but after editing you might want to convert video to smaller formats.
    kitekrazy, Jan 4, 2007
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