My family have a lot of old video recordings on VHS tapes which we would like to digitialize for the sake of preserving their content. I do have one of those USB tuners made for this, but I'm not satisfied with the output and since I have worked with image restoration I want to try to develop something better.
What I want to do is to get as close as possible to the signals on the tape. This is in order to:
- Better understand how errors occurs in recordings
- Avoid the constraint of having to process the signal in real-time
- Fix errors before they have been processed and become hard/impossible to fix
I believe this can open up for a lot of possibilities for improving the quality of the recording and restorative work. For example I want to see if it is possible to fix broken tracking by recording it multiple times with different tracking offsets and merge them on a line-per-line basis.
However while I'm pretty confident I can develop the software (a bare bone version at least) I have very little experience with electronics and thus no clue on how to best get the signals into my computer.
I'm probably looking after something like a digital oscilloscope and record the signals directly from the heads, however something which can handle a 8 MHz signal continuously appears to be pretty expensive. So I'm wondering if I could use a SDRplay to pick up the antenna signal from the VHS player somehow.
- Is the SDRplay a sensible approach to record PAL signals from a VHS player?
- What kind of setup would I need to have to transfer the signal from the VHS player to the SDRplay?
- How much quality degradation of the signal should I expect?
- Is there some cheaper or better approach than SDR that I'm overlooking?