Analog Video to DVD

Hi folks,
After spending the day researching this, I wanted to bounce this off this group. You all seem to know your stuff. I’ve built my own computers, but digital video is something that’s new to me…

I want to convert our 25 or so Hi8 analog tapes to DVD. It looks like sending them out will cost $600 or so, therefore I’m looking for an in-home, low-cost solution. Also, since our Hi8 camcorder is working fine, I’d like to keep it. So… here’s what I’ve come up with.

My PC is a P4 3 Ghz with 1GB of RAM. I have an ASUS P4C800 Deluxe MB w/ on-board firewire, shown here:
I also have a Audigy 2 ZS (not platnium), with its own firewire port. I’ve read that the on-board ASUS firewire has problems, so I may default to this one. I don’t plan on buying a new firewire card.

So…I plan to buy a Canopus ADVC-50 to plug in my Hi8 camcorder and let it convert the video to *.avi files on my harddrive:

Then burn it with whatever DVD burner is a good deal. Here’s one I have in mind:

I have some OEM software for burning DVDs…Intervideo WinDVD creator…but I haven’t used it yet, because I don’t have a DVD burner yet. I assume it’ll convert whatever the Canopus dumps onto the harddrive into whatever file format has to be dumped onto the DVD in order to play the DVD on a regular DVD player…uh…right?

As you can tell, I’m sort of winging it here. Any “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” or suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks.


I use InstantTV by ADS tech, it is the total poor man’s tivo. But it can take almost any analog video and dump it to you harddrive then DVD. It also hooks in with a free tv scheduler so you can record shows etc. It is only about $80.

It takes all of 10 seconds to setup and install. Does require USB 2.0, but if you have firewire onboard, I imagine you have usb2.0.


Yeah, I am in the same boat. I bought a TV capture card (Hauppauge) for way too much money last year to encode my analog video.

After doing a proof of concept to make sure it all works, I have yet to actually encode any of my analog video. :) But I have the hardware to do it when I get the time. The nice thing is I occasionally do watch some TV with the tuner card and have burned cartoons to disk for long trips with the kids. If your Canopus product doesn’t let you watch and burn TV, too, it’s probably not worth it.

Why do you even need the firewire port? If it’s an analog camera and you want it to go to a DVD disk, is there any reason to put it on DV? Isn’t DV the tapes that digital video cameras use to capture content? I just glanced at that Canopus product, so maybe I’m missing something. I would think you would just convert the analog to an MPEG file on the computers file system, then convert that file using the OEM software, then burn it to the DVD. No firewire needed in that operation.

Tim, that is a very similar card - cable input was a big must have for me. Mine hooks in with Titan TV ( ) Titan Tv has some very cool things - I can walk through my TV schedule online, choose to record something later (crab fishermen next week), remind myself of it, or join a discussion on it - which i avoid. It even has direct - Burn to DVD but I have yet to use that.

It also has an amazing search etc. Maybe you fancy kids with your TIVOs are used to this stuff. But for $80 and no monthly fee, and the ability to burn to DVD, and the ability to edit video etc, it was a pretty fantastic deal for me.


I have a $50 Hauppage WinTV card from about five years ago. I can plug my VHS or DVD player directly into it via coax or RCA type plug and then run an audio line into my SB Audigy. Then I run the WinTV tool that came with the card and record it using DiVX compression. Works like a champ. I can also use DVD Shrink or other tools to then master the recordings onto DVD with menus and the whole nine.

I imagine a similar setup would work for you as long as you have a Hi8 player with “standard” video/audio out cables.

Thanks - - if these TV capture cards work, then you guys have saved me about $70.

I saw these cards, but was under the impression that the quality of the resulting DVD video was poor compared to a dedicated analog-to-digital converter. Sounds like that may not be the case - - are you guys happy with how the final DVDs come out when you transfer analog tapes? I’m not interested in doing the TV thing w/ my computer.

But for $80 and no monthly fee, and the ability to burn to DVD, and the ability to edit video etc, it was a pretty fantastic deal for me.

When I think of the cash I spent on this TV card and my Tivo. You can get a lifetime thing on the Tivo, but it costs way more than 80 and you can’t do as much.

are you guys happy with how the final DVDs come out when you transfer analog tapes

Havent’ made a DVD yet. I have made SVCDs which came out great. Since DVDs are a standard, I think you don’t have to worry too much about quality. The thing they mention about voice getting out of sync with video might be a problem, but I haven’t ever seen it happen with my card.

Maybe technology is catching up and bypassing the need for the computer…

Is there any reason I can’t just bypass the whole computer thing and go with a straight TV Set-Top DVD recorder, such as:

I was ruling these out because I thought they were going for about $1000, but many now go for < $200 - - about the same as the card I was looking at originally. Plus I don’t have to buy a DVD burner for my PC, and I get another DVD player for my TV.