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You've got a Dish Network's HD DVR and a Toshiba 720P HDTV - so this part of the mix will maintain the HD pictures and high quality digital audio that you're used to seeing.
The trouble begins when you introduced the Magnavox VCR / DVD device. The highest quality video content that this device can record is the 480 type, regardless of the input or source quality - which in your case would be 720P via HDMI cables. 480 is considered "SD" or "standard definition". This is the weakest link in your setup and is responsible for your unsatisfactory results.
The Magnavox will "upconvert" to 1080 lines of resolution. The key here is the term "upconvert" True HD recordings are taken of a scene and capturing either 720 or 1080 lines of resolution in the image or video (such as a camera taking a photo or video); or recording the playback of a previously recorded 720 or 1080 lines of resolution source. Recording a 480 lines of resolution source with a an 720 or 1080 lines of resolution device will not make the image HD. The recording can not possibly be better than the original. In fact, due to losses, each generation of copy becomes worse and worse. Upconverting simply "fills in" the missing parts between the 480 source and 720 or 1080 output with what it "thinks" is missing data. The results are what you see on the screen. The original capture did not save more info that 480 lines of resolution so it is really impossible to improve it.
The recording can not ever exceed the quality of the original (the Dish Network DVR at 720 or more) and will only be as good as the weakest link (the Magnavox DVD / VCR at 480). Additionally, the moment you change from digital to analog, you lose quality instantly. Digital signals - both video and audio will always be faithfully reproduced do to error correcting technology, etc. that simply isn't available in the analog world.
You need to use a digital recorder capable of capturing and playing back of 720 or 1080 lines of resolution video and AC3 audio for optimum video and audio on a Blu Ray recorder or other device with hard drives or memory such as MP3 recorder. Otherwise you'll have to accept reduced quality of standard L & R analog audio and 480 lines of resolution of SD video. You can not expect HD audio and video if you try to save to equipment designed for SD / analog.
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You can connect the Camcorder to the Computer using A/V interface to transfer the recordings to Computer.
Once you transfer the recordings from tape to computer, you can use any burning software to burn the recordings to DVDs.
In order to capture the analog videos, you can use the Windows Movie Maker available in the Computer.
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HOping a positive thump after your issue is solved.
You can use VHS-C (C for compact) or S-VHS-C cassettes. The S-VHS-C is Super-VHS, for better quality recordings, but there isn't that much in it compared to digital. I'm assuming your camera has the S-VHS capability, as the title, otherwise stick to VHS-C.
You need to have capture card in your PC, you can buy PCI TV Tuner, usually it has video input. Connect your VHS or any analog source to that input and a little exploration on its software. But video quality is not as good as digital to digital connection. Second, if you have digital video camera that is capable of analog A/V input option, connect it there and transfer your VHS or any analog recording to mini dv or digital 8 format(whatever you have) and transfer it then to your pc. Quite complicated but probably you already have the resources. Good luck
Then all you need to do is get a pair of VHS machines and connect them via a scart lead. However if you want to copy a film or something which has macro-vision, then you will need a box between them that will correct it. Some people do/did make them but I can't tell you as it is illegal to copy them. You can of course get a video processor to improve the image, probably from places such as Maplin Electronics.
But to be honest you would better to have the recording etc converted to digital first, then you could transfer it back to VHS using just one video machine for uploading to and recording back. Computer shops sell these USB machines and they include the software to improve your recordings.
Connect it as any other analog cassette deck, to the Tape In and Tape Out to provide monitoring of the recprding. If you have the right types of digital connectors and cables you can use them, too, for digital sources but you maye have to still Monitor recordings via analog or else you may disconnect the desired input.
Details about your receiver would allow me to be mor specific.
if you want to transfer from VHS or an analog camcorder you need a capture card or TV card (some mother borad and graphic card have this on board).but if you have a DV camcorder check this:
if your computer and camcorder have fire wire port (IEE1394) use it and otherwise use USB (low qualty).
for software I could suggest video studio, adobe primaire (full or element) windows movie maker, or any othe program which comes with you camcorder.
I hope this helps...
Color: Black Part No.USBG-VX3VISTA COMPATIBLE USB Video Adapter USB 2.0 Audio/Video Grabber S-video& Composite AUDIO AND VIDEO GRABBER FOR WINDOWS VISTA GrabBee X+ USB 2.0 Audio/Video Grabber New Generation USB2.0 Audio/Video grabber is the best ideal companion for your portable audio/video application. Real-time MPEG 1/2/4 recording make you have powerful video application on hand. GrabBeeX+ USB 2.0 A/V Grabber is the bridge between your computer and analog camera, VCR, camcorder or other video source. GrabBeeX+ USB 2.0 Video Grabber is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and is ideal for both notebook and desktop computers. Applications : Video recording & editing Take photo Video email Security monitoring system Features : Small Wonder--Dimensions are (L)81mm x (W)30mm x (H)15mm Audio and video go though USB 2.0 bus (WinXP) to make best performance High speed USB 2.0 data transfer rate for best video recording Encoding MPEG 1 or MPEG 2 format directly use InstantMPEG Technology, Ideal formats for creating VCD or DVD movies Up to 25 fps motion capture capability at 720x576(PAL) & 30 fps at 720x480(NTSC) SnapShot function support Composite, S-Video analog input, NTSC, PAL and SECAM multi system support Recording period setup Composite, S-Video analog input, NTSC, PAL and SECAM multi system support Support Brightness, Contrast, Hue, Saturation, Sharpness control Powerful video editing function include Motion Video Special Effects/ Title Effects/ Picture-in- Picture Effects/ Slow & ast Motion Video Effects/ background music/?color background/ Transitional Effects Plug & Play Low power consumption. Ideal for portable computer too No Battery---No need to install batteries or run off the wall adapter
Specifications : Video input : One RCA composite, One S-Video.
Video system : NTSC, PAL and SECAM multi system support Audio input : in WinXP, go through USB; in Win2000, go through sound card
Motion capture : AVI format from 160x120 to 720x576 resolution MPG format from 320x240 to 720x576 resolution Still image capture : BMP/JPG/TIF/PCX/TGA file format
Performance : Up to 25 fps at 720x576 for PAL, 30fps at 720x480 for NTSC Power Source : 5VDC,300mA(max) through USB port Minimum System
Requirements : USB 2.0 equipped computer Pentium 4 1G or above 128MB of RAM Windows 2000/XP Sound card
Package Contents :
GrabBeeX+ USB 2.0 Audio/Video Grabber
GrabBeeX+ drivers CD
Ulead VideoStudio editing software
I have heard this works, going to try one today, I have tried EVERYTHING else, downloading drivers, diffferent programs, firewire cords, so I think this will work, when I googled our specific camcorder, this matches, also, some people are selling the exact sony camcorder on ebay with this included, stating they have used it to connect to their pc. Hope this helps.