Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

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Rhedosaurus
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Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby Rhedosaurus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:45 am

I have quite a lot Showa era Godzilla movies-and Zilla '98-that I'd like to transfer to DVDs. There's an electronic place not far from where I live (I technically live in a small town, but in reality, I'm near the border of it and another town that's fairly large and is still pretty close.) that not only fixed up my original laptop twice, but also does VHS to DVD transfers.


Here's my list of Godzilla VHS tapes.

Simitar VHS tapes

1. Godzilla: King Of The Monsters

2. Godzilla vs. Mothra

3. Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

4. Godzilla's Revenge

5. Terror Of Mechagodzilla


Starmaker Tapes
6. 7. and 8. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla I actually have 3 of these. 2 of them being solo tapes, one from 1992 and the other from 1997. The other came in a twin set with Godzilla vs. Gigan, but I got two of the Kraken Entertainment versions of that movie. I just need Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla. The 1992 VHS tape barely looks like it got played by the looks of the cover box, so I'm leaning on having that as the one to get transferred.


Video Treasures tape

9. Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster. This one is a whopping 30 years old (!) now. And is my very first Godzilla movie I ever saw. Yes, I got the one DVD that Sony made, but I want to save this one as a back up.


Sony Tape

10. Zilla '98. Maybe I'll have this set with Godzilla's Revenge as a crappy twin set I case I want to torture myself.


Is it worth transferring the tapes to DVD's compared to buying the one new set by Criterion? How good are these tapes compared to other made by other companies? If the one place can fit multiple movies on a blank DVD, then I want to have at least one or two more copies. Has this been done by people on this group?

If it helps I can say that I've watched 1,3, and 9 many times, but not to the point where I've played them a lot and the cover/case of 6 looks quite pristine so the actual tape doesn't look like it was played much, if any. I saw 4 once or twice and Zilla '98 just as much or slightly more. I've seen Godzilla vs. Mothra at least once, and the quality looks good. I haven't seen the tape of Terror Of Mechagodzilla yet.

It would be much appreciated for answers about this.

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Zarm
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Re: Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby Zarm » Thu Aug 22, 2019 2:53 am

It depends on what equipment you have available, but the Criterion set are blu rays, which would be two generations of quality above VHS. Transferring VHS to DVD isn't going to actually make the film's look any better... in fact, putting several onto a DVD, even a dual-layer DVD, may result in a quality downgrade even further, as it gets blocky uncompressed.

Whereas Criterion is going to look a lot sharper, clearer, better colors, etc. than the VHSs ever have. But, it will undoubtedly be a lot more expensive than transferring the tapes.

A third option might be tracking down the individual DVDs or Blu-Rays off eBay or somewhere, as I would imagine they're going cheaper now that the Criterion release has come out.

Either way, I think only you can determine whether it's worth it, especially depending on what you're looking for most of all (quality, affordability, long-term investment, etc.)- but those are just some of the factors to consider.
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Re: Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby goji1986 » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:17 am

As Zarm said, VHS is much lower resolution than Bluray and no digital transferring will compete, plus the films have been telecined from the cinematic 24fps to 30fps in order to playback properly on television. If you don't care about all of that, well, have at it, but personally I find that to be a waste of money since better elements exist on more contemporary formats.

If you're trying to preserve or have access to the dubs that won't be available on the upcoming Criterion set, you are far better off tracking down the Classic Media DVDs for 2-5

The Criterion set will have the dubs for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla, as well as Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The transfer for the last one is the absolute best that version of the movie has ever looked period, and you can get it separately on Criterion's standalone release of G54 from 2012.

The 98 Zilla has been available on all formats and is pretty cheap to buy new.

That leaves Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster out of your list, which, if you note my signature, I have done a reconstruction of the dub found on the Video Treasures release using the Kraken Bluray as a video source and it is 1:1 compression - meaning you can burn it to a bluray and have the same exact quality as the original disc - so you are welcome to a copy if you PM me.

If you want higher quality versions of many of the dubs reconstructed in a similar way, head to the Fan Art thread and find Red Menace's reconstructions of Godzilla vs. The Thing among several others. And yes, there is more coming in a direct response to the Criterion set.

There's nothing wrong with keeping your VHS copies (I've still got mine) but I largely just have them for the sake of of display. Again, if you feel that spending money to digitize and compress them onto disc is worth it for you, have at it, but to me there are better avenues to pursue.
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Rhedosaurus
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Re: Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby Rhedosaurus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:16 am

Zarm wrote:It depends on what equipment you have available, but the Criterion set are blu rays, which would be two generations of quality above VHS. Transferring VHS to DVD isn't going to actually make the film's look any better... in fact, putting several onto a DVD, even a dual-layer DVD, may result in a quality downgrade even further, as it gets blocky uncompressed.

Whereas Criterion is going to look a lot sharper, clearer, better colors, etc. than the VHSs ever have. But, it will undoubtedly be a lot more expensive than transferring the tapes.

A third option might be tracking down the individual DVDs or Blu-Rays off eBay or somewhere, as I would imagine they're going cheaper now that the Criterion release has come out.

Either way, I think only you can determine whether it's worth it, especially depending on what you're looking for most of all (quality, affordability, long-term investment, etc.)- but those are just some of the factors to consider.



goji1986 wrote:As Zarm said, VHS is much lower resolution than Bluray and no digital transferring will compete, plus the films have been telecined from the cinematic 24fps to 30fps in order to playback properly on television. If you don't care about all of that, well, have at it, but personally I find that to be a waste of money since better elements exist on more contemporary formats.

If you're trying to preserve or have access to the dubs that won't be available on the upcoming Criterion set, you are far better off tracking down the Classic Media DVDs for 2-5

The Criterion set will have the dubs for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and Terror of Mechagodzilla, as well as Godzilla: King of the Monsters. The transfer for the last one is the absolute best that version of the movie has ever looked period, and you can get it separately on Criterion's standalone release of G54 from 2012.

The 98 Zilla has been available on all formats and is pretty cheap to buy new.

That leaves Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster out of your list, which, if you note my signature, I have done a reconstruction of the dub found on the Video Treasures release using the Kraken Bluray as a video source and it is 1:1 compression - meaning you can burn it to a bluray and have the same exact quality as the original disc - so you are welcome to a copy if you PM me.

If you want higher quality versions of many of the dubs reconstructed in a similar way, head to the Fan Art thread and find Red Menace's reconstructions of Godzilla vs. The Thing among several others. And yes, there is more coming in a direct response to the Criterion set.

There's nothing wrong with keeping your VHS copies (I've still got mine) but I largely just have them for the sake of of display. Again, if you feel that spending money to digitize and compress them onto disc is worth it for you, have at it, but to me there are better avenues to pursue.


I already have the Criterion version the original Godzilla and KOTM. The problem with tracking down individual DVD's is that many of the ones I want are pricey on Amazon and Ebay and trying to find them at the flea market is hard. I was lucky to find Rodan on DVD, G vs M, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (the first VHS I got for free when I got GvM) and Terror of Mechagodzilla years ago. I haven't found any Godzilla/Toho DVD's since...when 2014 I think? I just want to use the old VHS tapes for one more use before I donate them to charity or keep them as backups.

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Re: Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby o.supreme » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:59 am

You can actually do it yourself, with your own PC/Laptop & VCR

https://www.amazon.com/REDGO-Video-Capt ... way&sr=8-2

There are dozens of devices like these, that are fairly inexpensive, and quality will vary. Most local places/ national chains will not convert VHS to DVD of copyrighted material. It's mostly for those who want to convert their home made/family movies to digital format for preservation (everything from super 8 to VHS etc...) .

There was one company I found online though that did convert my PAL copy of Ebirah Horror of the Deep to a standard NTSC DVD (that was one I could not do myself). I had to mail it away, and got the original VHS tape and a DVD copy back in a couple of weeks. IIRC it was a little pricey (maybe $30?), but it was worth it. I probably have their info at home in that Ebirah VHS box, ill see if I can dig it up later.
Last edited by o.supreme on Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:06 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Rhedosaurus
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Re: Transfering Godzilla movies to DVD's.

Postby Rhedosaurus » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:22 am

o.supreme wrote:You can actually do it yourself, with your own PC/Laptop & VCR

https://www.amazon.com/REDGO-Video-Capt ... way&sr=8-2

There are dozens of devices like these, that are fairly inexpensive, and quality will vary. Most local places/ national chains will not convert VHS to DVD of copyrighted material. It's mostly for those who want to convert their home made/family movies to digital format for preservation (everything from super 8 to VHS etc...) .

There was one company I found online though that did convert my PAL copy of Ebirah Horror of the Deep to a standard NTSC DVD (that was one I could not do myself). I had to mail it away, and got the original VHS tape and a DVD copy back in a couple of weeks. IIRC it was a little pricey (maybe $30?), but it was worth it. I probably have their info at home in that Ebirah VHS box, ill see if I can dig it up later.


I got something like that, but I think I tried and failed due to it being the wrong one. I have a newer laptop now so I'll try that one if the local shop won't do it.


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