Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Family Videos

With my new computer has come a new project.

A while ago, I decided I was going to convert my family's entire VHS collection of family videos to DVD. Luckily, my grandpa had a VCR converter I could borrow. It was a challenging project. I ran into a bunch of snags that at times frustrated me.

First of all, I didn't have a TV. My grandparents again helped me out by loaning me a tiny pink TV that connected to the VCR, but it was so old that though it allowed me to watch the VHSs as they were playing, it didn't hook up to the newer converter or allow me to watch the finished DVDs on the converter. So, I basically was working blind. Though I could see the video as it was playing, I didn't know if it was actually being written to the DVDs and I had to wait to find out until I could visit my parents and hook up the converter to their TV, finalize the discs, and then watch them. After I finally figured out how to hook up the converter correctly, I then had to have the VHSs running constantly.

In order to converter a VHS to a DVD you basically have to play the whole thing while the DVD is recording. My family had over a hundred VHSs and most had at least two hours of footage. The actual converting process took me well over two hundred hours.

It actually ended up taking longer because at one point I took the converter to my parents' home to finalize the DVDs (you couldn't watch them on a regular machine until they had been finalized.) However, when I took the machine back to my house, I hooked the chords from the machine to the converter incorrectly. So, I did hours of DVDs that had nothing on them. I ended up having to start those ones over completely. That was very frustrating.

Then, once I'd finished the DVDs, I tried to start working on the videos by uploading them to my computer on Adobe Premier. However, it didn't take much footage before my computer began crashing. I decided I would have to wait until I had a better computer.

Over the last couple of days I have been downloading the videos from the DVDs to the computer. I finished that part of the project last night.

However, as I went to bed, I couldn't go to sleep. My head was buzzing with too many ideas and I ended up having to come back out and start working on the video files. I was pleased to see that we have video footage starting from 1985 when my oldest brother was born. I don't think I'd ever seen this footage before. It was awfully cute, but it was even more adorable to see my parents in their role as new parents. They were so cute and at one point my dad got super embarrassed. I don't know as I've ever seen him be super embarrassed before.

Again, we have to thank my grandpa (the same one who built me this computer) for having the extremely advanced technology at the time to record these events. Most people didn't even have the opportunity to do so at that time.

I had to laugh because at one point in the video, my teenage aunt comes walking out with a boom box on her shoulder. It was such old technology, but you could tell she felt awesome as she jammed out to the monster she was carrying.

It's been a fun project. Yes, it's been frustrating at times, but it's been a lot of fun to watch the videos. I'm so grateful that my parents took so much footage and that the VHSs survived until now. That's why I felt so driven to complete this project. Grig told me that their VHSs deteriorated and didn't live very long. I didn't want to lose this priceless footage.

Projects are fun, and Kevin likes watching the videos too.