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Turn Down Your Lights (Part 2)

December 4, 2009 at 9:53 pm

So, last time I posted, forever ago, I said I thought it would take 5-6 weeks for me to convert my entire collection of MST3K episodes from videotape to DVD.   Turns out that was about right.  I finished the final successful conversion around 10 this morning.  Whew! 

November passed in a blur.  All I remember of the past month is (1) running downstairs every two hours to swap out DVDs (and VHS tapes every 6 hours), and (2) Thanksgiving.

But for the most part, it was worth it.  I'm very pleased to have my personal collection on both VHS and DVD now.  The stats:

  • 102 episodes burned to DVD
  • All but 2 of the Joel episodes, including
  • Complete seasons 1-4
  • Complete first half of season 5, except 510 and 511 (Joel's last was 512)
  • 18 Mike episodes, randomly scattered through seasons 5 (9 eps), 6 (5 eps), 8 (1 ep), 9 (1 ep), and 10 (2 eps). 
  • 5 failed transfers owing to very low quality recordings, including my 3 KTMA episodes (season 0)

The original videotape quality varies widely, from very clear to very poor.  Unfortunately, a substantial fraction of the DVD transfers exhibit major audio/visual dsynchronization, which happens regardless of the quality of the original recording.  Probably 20% or more of the transfers suffer from this problem to some extent.  This is apparently a well-known software/firmware problem that happens when the audio and visual components are transmitted separately.  Or so the smart folks tell me. 

Well, rats.

I haven't systematically cataloged which DVDs have problems.  That will have to wait for another time.  But, if I can find a solution to the audio desynch problem, I'll probably go ahead and try this again, at least with the worst transfers.  At the same time I might be able to get the KTMA episodes to transfer.  (The KTMA episodes are very grainy, but the videotape itself is surprisingly watchable, considering the episodes are copies of copies of copies of copies...)


Patricia December 5, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Well done!!! Movie night soon?
Ian December 5, 2009 at 4:54 pm
You know it!
TEngland December 5, 2009 at 11:03 pm
An MST3K obsessive. Just what the world needs.
Ian December 6, 2009 at 9:23 am
Only a little bit...
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