I recently ordered a set of videos that I remember from a few years ago that did not make the jump to DVD, unfortunately.

I do have a VCR; however, I never have it hooked up because…why would I?

The solution here: convert my VHS tapes into H.264/MP3 mp4-contained files.

Now the question is: how?

Hardware

I managed to grab an EasyCap D60 Recording device from Amazon.

This device is supported inside the linux kernel (from version 3.18 forward…maybe?)

Once I plugged in this device, it was working:

lsusb

This bad boy:

Bus 1 Device 016: ID 1b71:3002 Fushicai USBTV007 Video Grabber [EasyCAP]

I checked out:

ls /dev | grep -i video

And I noticed a new video device video1. Easy.

Capture Software

I used VLC to caputre raw input.

  1. MediaOpen Caputre Device
  2. Video Device Name/dev/video1
  3. Audio Device Namehw:2,0
  4. Play pulldown menu → Convert
  5. Dump Raw Input
  6. Destination File/home/tyler/Videos
  7. Start
  8. Hit play on the VCR
  9. Hit the Rec. button in VLC

The auto-named avi file in ~/Videos was FUCKING HUGE.

ls -lh ~/Videos | grep -i avi

Conversion

I found a blog where a person does this. I have a vauge memory about doing this at UpSync, so I’ll give it a shot: 2-pass mp4 conversion.

Let’s see what happens!

ffmpeg -i ~/Videos/vlc-record-2016-04-22-14h47m57s-Streaming-.avi -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p -preset slow -threads 0 -b:v 825k -strict -2 -c:a aac -b:a 96k -pass 1 -f mp4 -y /dev/null
ffmpeg -i ~/Videos/vlc-record-2016-04-22-14h47m57s-Streaming-.avi -c:v libx264 -pix_fmt yuv420p \
  -preset slow -threads 0 -b:v 825k -strict -2 -c:a aac -b:a 96k -pass 2 ~/Videos/out.mp4

The settings above created an mp4 that could be played via x264 on a RaspberryPi 3.