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I tried the crudest approach imaginable, taking a digital photo of a large-screen TV playing the tape. It actually worked very well (for my purposes) with one exception - there was a noticeable hotspot in the center of the image. This is no doubt an artifact of the projection process - it isn't visible while watching the TV, but it's enough to mar the photo.
Any other ideas for this that don't require exotic hardware? Or is there some kind of service provider likely to be equipped to do this?
Those graphic cards usually cost less than US$ 100.
There's also USB-grabber-boxes for FBAS or S-Video, which usually bring their own drivers and editing applications. Also for less than $100.
You can control the lighting in your "studio" and work out any problems in Photoshop. I use a pro digital SLR with flat-field macro lens and an 85mm "portrait" lens on a tripod, in a dark room, and a flat screen CRT. Between the camera exposure settings and digital ISO control, the monitor's controls, and Photoshop (minimal need, truthfully) I am very happy. PS techniques are very capable of eliminating most scan lines. Avoid Sony trinitron monitors since they have 2 very uniform horiz lines across them (a product of their Trinitron technology). Uniform anything is hard to eliminate, although I am working around it myself.
Use as large a monitor as you have (I have 21" flat) and shoot it full-frame max resolution. When you shrink it down to web size, it looks mahvellous.
Video card drivers are a nightmare, even today. I own Matrox Parhelia, Nvidia 9600, 9700, and 9800 pro cards, Matrox G200 and G450's, ATI All-in-Wonder Pros (2 generations) as well as Pinnacle, ATI, and Matrox video capture systems, and an ADO (?) USB capture device. What a waste of money and time. I will now do most anything to avoid changing anything on my ssytems related to those drivers... stability is very very hard to achieve IMHO and very valuable.
Lots of history in there... I hope this helps.