I can blame a lot of things on my anime habit.
For example, when I was first introduced to anime back in 1990 or so, I had a 13″ Thomson monitor, with a composite input, that I had a Sega Genesis hooked up to, and I had the audio out from the Genesis going through an all-in-one record player / dual cassette deck / AM/FM tuner unit. I also had a CD player. That was the extent of my home entertainment center.
I was content.
Then came the start of the anime habit, and I realized very quickly that borrowing or renting VCRs was just not going to cut it. Also, I got some VERY odd looks at work when I’d use the TV/VCR in the break area.
So I bought my first VCR in the summer of 1991. It was somewhere around $250 for a mono 4-head Samsung VCR, and it had problems playing back certain brands of tape, but damnit, it was mine and I could now watch anime in the privacy of my own home.
Of course, once I had a VCR, I started accumulating videotapes.
Then, a year or so later – after banks had been foolish enough to issue me credit cards – I bought a laserdisc player, and I started collecting laserdiscs. This wasn’t the best idea ever, really, but they were the best thing going at the time.
The problems with having a whole lot of videotapes and LDs around are many. They’re bulky. They’re prone to degradation, they’re sensitive to heat and – for videotapes – magnetic fields, and it’s kind of annoying to have to keep players around for them.
So, several years ago, I set myself a goal of getting everything converted to, or replaced with, digital versions.
The majority of the tapes and LDs had been reissued in DVD format. Those weren’t too bad. Expensive, sure, but not too hard to replace.
The remaining analog media presented a bit of a problem. Even getting as much as I could on DVD, I still had over 200 tapes and LDs that I couldn’t easily replace.
I bought an Adaptec VideOH! capture board, and very quickly learned some of the hassles of video capturing and format conversion and transcoding and compression and blah blah blah and on and on.
Honestly, it’s been a pain in the arse, and I’ve put it aside on several occasions because it’s been such a huge project to get through.
I finished converting the laserdiscs last August, but the tapes were just not getting done, so a few months ago, I decided I needed a way to set myself a deadline.
I get cold very easily, so I took all the remaining videotapes and stacked them up on the heater in the computer room.
Then I taped the heater control in the “off” position so I couldn’t accidentally turn it on.
And I shivered a whole bunch in the first few months of the year.
But, it did the trick. Faced with an impending return to Fall weather, I finally managed to get myself back on task, and today I encoded the last bloody tape to MPEG-2 format and the last batch of MPEG-2 to divx conversions is running as I type this.
I am DONE.
Life is good.