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Old 05-06-2014, 10:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

Hey everyone, I'm new to the forum! I'm an intern for a non-profit organization and I have a project I'm working on that I was hoping someone could steer me in the right direction with!

I have roughly 100 or so VHS tapes from the past 30 years of the organization (all the tapes are in decent condition and still work) and we are trying to transfer the VHS tapes to digital files to document/store them as the VHS tapes are part of the program's legacy which is why the organization wants them stored safely and affordably in case the VHS tapes go bad with age. We've already tried storing them on a external hard drive but the hard drive died on us and we've since figured out that this might not be the most feasible way to do this since those hard drives dont have a long life span and we dont want to continue to have to transfer the files each time it dies. Looking for a more permanent solution if you know what I mean!

My best suggestion was to upload them to the "Cloud" or something similar but the issue with that is obviously that the conversion of VHS to digital makes these absolutely huge files and therefore would be a huge cost (something that a nonprofit cant really afford to do). Also like I said, the files are gonna be huge which is another reason transferring them to an external hard drive is difficult.

Any and all suggestions would be most helpful!!! Thanks!
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

If these are just being stored then how does an external HDD die from no activity?
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Old 05-06-2014, 11:07 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

Well actually we did have one harddrive already die with about half the files already converted (was not a good day). I dont particularly know the answer why but I think we want to make sure that once we store the files we dont have to worry about that problem.
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Old 05-06-2014, 04:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

More than likely just a fluke. You've got only a couple options. HDD, or optical media.
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Old 05-06-2014, 05:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

You could burn them onto DVD and keep them as a backup, Did that for a few people for there old home movies, I had to get a decent tv card to do it, Had a cheaper one but it copied them at a real low res and didn't look good at all but once I purchased a good one it looked as good as playing the tape.

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Old 05-06-2014, 10:17 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NonProfit View Post
My best suggestion was to upload them to the "Cloud" or something similar but the issue with that is obviously that the conversion of VHS to digital makes these absolutely huge files and therefore would be a huge cost (something that a nonprofit cant really afford to do). Also like I said, the files are gonna be huge which is another reason transferring them to an external hard drive is difficult.

Any and all suggestions would be most helpful!!! Thanks!
For starters I'll give you this Capturing
They have a more expertise on media advice then tech-forums.

I suggest this card first for grabbing vcr tapes, if you have rca input this would help out.
Only problem it likes windows xp-vista w7 or w7 your asking for problems.
New Hauppauge WinTV PVR 150 NTSC FM TV Tuner PCI Capture Card 5187 7619 | eBay

I recommend this for storing your sensetive video files.
Western Digital Red WD10EFRX 1TB IntelliPower 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Newegg.com
Like pp suggested move the captured and coverted videos to a dvd-r or bd-r disc for archiving.
I don't recommend cloud for storing files such as that due to security risk and confidental information in the videos.

ConvertXtoDVD - AVI to DVD Video Converter to burn on DVD
For shrinking down any big captures lastly keep any programs from booting up while capturing.
Saves a hiccup problem while playing back to make sure everything plaus smoothly.
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Old 05-06-2014, 10:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

Sounds like OP already has the ability/materials for converting the VHS to digital. He just needs a reliable way to store them.

As for storing them... cloud storage will be expensive and take a very long time to upload, unless you store them on a local server over a LAN connection.

Your best bet would be an HDD and/or optical media like PP and Dauntae suggested. Burning to DVD's would take a very long time as well for so many videos though. An HDD would be the fastest and remain fairly cheap. You could get a couple drives for redundancy, and keep one off-site in storage.
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

In all honesty... Storage to multiple hard drives is best, have one as the normal one they can access, then have an external stored in a cool dry place.

Burnable media, well, sadly, I don't trust it as a good backup option as the media degrades over time just sitting, where as a mechanical component only wears out while in use, or when physically abused.
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Old 05-07-2014, 02:54 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

I have some music cd that are more than 20 years old, and they still work fine. I'm betting that they can last a lot longer than you might expect. Sure a cd/dvd can break while it's in use but very rare. Personally I do use dvd's and hard drives to back up and store my data, depending on the data I want to keep. ie: for backing up purchased software I use dvd's
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Old 05-07-2014, 03:45 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question regarding the transferring of VHS tapes to digital files for storage?

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Originally Posted by Joe C View Post
I have some music cd that are more than 20 years old, and they still work fine. I'm betting that they can last a lot longer than you might expect. Sure a cd/dvd can break while it's in use but very rare. Personally I do use dvd's and hard drives to back up and store my data, depending on the data I want to keep. ie: for backing up purchased software I use dvd's
What c0rr0sive is talking about is Bit Rot, a.k.a. Data Decay: Data degradation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Disc Rot: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disc_rot
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