Reviving Home Movies with kino and ffmpeg
I've tried digitizing movies before, but the codec puzzles were overwhelming. This year, Kino pretty much Just Works. After one permissions issue with /dev/raw1394 , it ate hours of video and produced nice collections of DV files with SMIL wrappers (hmm... I wish SMIL were an XHTML microformat... more on that another time). And it exports not only ogg but also consumer technology: youtube-style .flv and XVid that works with the $20 DVD player I got via craigslist. (Thanks for the clues, longtail video.)
One reason I swapped this task back in was that we ran across home movies on decaying analog media when cleaning up the basement. Another reason is all the storage space I have since I couldn't pass up a Micro Center hot deal: $70 for 640GB of disk. That's 11 cents/GB.
update: kivo is flaking out, as is dvgrab.
It's sorta silly to use DV format to capture video off VHS. It's also silly to capture all the uninteresting bits at high bit-rate. Better to make a cheapo FLV of the whole thing and then go back over the interesting parts.
ffmpeg to vcd works; to do svcd, need unstripped libs per medbuntu bug info
$ ffmpeg -t 2:00:00 -f dv -i /dev/dv1394/0 -target ntsc-svcd russia-vhs-capture.mpg
p.s. note Video Pain by Tim Bray, May 2008.