Rescue Your Video Tapes V8

Rescue Your Video Tapes V8Recover and convert those old video tapes into a digital formatIthink it’s fair to say that we’ve all embraced digital technology in just about every form. The most visible is the mobile phone, a device encompassing everything from a camera to a GPS, media player organiser and web browser. And it also makes phone calls. Yet there are people still hanging on to analogue devices, simply because they have media recorded on them. This is particularly true of video tapes, either recorded on tape-based video cameras or on VHS tapes (remember those!).If you happen to fall into this category, you have two options: either to keep a player in working order to play them on or to re-record them onto digital media. The second option is the more permanent solution, because nobody makes VCRs anymore, and decent secondhand units are becoming scarce.
This latest product from Magix offers a quite inexpensive method of transferring those sometimes irreplaceable memories, as long as you still have (or can borrow) a device that will play them.
The Magix Rescue Your Video Tapes V8 package is a hardware-software solution that includes a USB based capture device, a SCART to RCA phono conversion cable and the latest Video Easy HD software. It’s worth mentioning here that the quality of the recording you make will ultimately depend on the quality of the original footage. The fact that you’re using a software product capable of HD output doesn’t mean that you’ll end up with HD quality video. Having said that, once the video has been transferred to digital media, it will not degrade over time as tapes surely will.
Installation is straightforward, other than the usual moan from Windows about unsigned drivers from the capture device. Once you ignore that, installation continues as normal. In use it’s simply a matter of playing the tapes while recording them onto your hard drive. The software has built-in scene recognition that creates new clips for each new scene, making it much easier to sort them into the appropriate running order. I don’t know about you, but I tend to take video when the opportunity presents itself, not in any particularly planned order, so these individual clips allow me to fix that.
The supplied software when compared to most of Magix’s other range of video editors is what you might call adequate. It’s a no-frills video editing suite that includes transitions and titles, with the facility to add still images, audio files and voiceovers to the video before saving it. Naturally, the program includes rudimentary editing tools, so you can clip away those wobbly or out-of-focus bits. It also included quite a nice correction tool under the adjustments menu,  providing manual or automatic correction for colour, brightness, contrast and saturation. There’s also a range of effects templates that can fix things like border distortion or removing the black bars you sometimes get above or below the frame. Other effects include old movie, zoom in or out, and fades to black for the start and end of your movies. They’re simple to use; you simply drag and drop them onto the clip to apply the effect.
Output options include DVD, Blu-ray and WMV, although DVD would be the obvious choice for footage recovered from VHS tape. Saving your video onto Blu-ray media would be somewhat pointless, unless you were simply using the extra storage space the media provides.
Considering the size of the unit compared to some of the capture devices I’ve reviewed in the past, the output is remarkably good. There’s very little in the way of introduced artefacts, and the colour correction allows you to significantly improve the original footage. Admittedly, the video editing is a little basic but it does the job, and that is ultimately what matters most. Joe LaveryEasy to use and does what it aims to..

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