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Old Oct 31, 2011, 11:26 AM   #1
photogpab
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Transfering VHS to iMac

hey all! hoping someone can help me out here... I have a bunch of home movies on old VHS tapes from the 80's that I'd like to transfer to my iMac for various formats... apple tv, digital backups, etc...

i did this several years ago (like 10 years ago) before I was a mac user. I had purchased this little electronic device (dazzle? i think it was called) that connected my VCR to my PC and captured the video for me, transferred it, etc...

but to be honest the video captures kind of sucked. quality was pretty bad and i lost those recordings when my old PC died.

whats my best solution now that i'm an iMac user? I'm assuming i still need some sort of device to help capture the video from the VCR to my iMac? whats going to give me the best quality, etc...? I want to backup these videos before the VHS tapes fade forever. some of them are already in really bad shape...

also... is there any way to restore the videos? or am i going too far at this point? haha
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 01:44 PM   #2
Dave Braine
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Have a look at one of these:
http://www.grassvalley.com/products/converters

or this:
http://www.elgato.com/elgato/na/main...oduct1.en.html
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 01:50 PM   #3
photogpab
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thanks! i also saw Roxio makes one but none of them specify what type of files I can create with them... will they be HQ, etc
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 05:49 PM   #4
cgbier
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Don't you know anyone who still has a (H)DV camera? Most of them allow for video dubbing/transfer. Just borrow one for a couple of days.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 06:16 PM   #5
mrderik
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Greetings -
I did a couple hundred of my old vhs using the Elgato mentioned in this thread. It's dirt simple to operate and works pretty well. I did notice that the processor (or 2gb memory) in my 11" MBA wasn't able to 'keep up' and I would end up with freeze frames or audio drops in my recorded video. So you may want to pay attention to that and try a few first with whatever equipment you have. I didn't have any issues recording on my 2gb 13" MBA or the iMac. I switched to Lion and last week used the same equipment and software and it still worked fine. I imported directly to iTunes and playback video quality through the AppleTV seemed like an accurate reproduction of VHS, eh hem, quality.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 06:51 PM   #6
nateo200
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrderik View Post
Greetings -
I did a couple hundred of my old vhs using the Elgato mentioned in this thread. It's dirt simple to operate and works pretty well. I did notice that the processor (or 2gb memory) in my 11" MBA wasn't able to 'keep up' and I would end up with freeze frames or audio drops in my recorded video. So you may want to pay attention to that and try a few first with whatever equipment you have. I didn't have any issues recording on my 2gb 13" MBA or the iMac. I switched to Lion and last week used the same equipment and software and it still worked fine. I imported directly to iTunes and playback video quality through the AppleTV seemed like an accurate reproduction of VHS, eh hem, quality.
Yeah I would definitely close out of other programs if you can when capturing...I mean my MBP can handle capture nicely but I tried it on my older windows machine with about 2GB's of RAM and giant blocks the video would freeze up which corresponded to when I would open firefox :/. Just something to be aware of.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
Don't you know anyone who still has a (H)DV camera? Most of them allow for video dubbing/transfer. Just borrow one for a couple of days.
Just curious how would this work? Would you plug the cam in via RCA and while capturing with iMovie via Firewire? I secretly wish there was a way to get DSLR's to have HDMI INPUT to capture to the card >
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 07:23 PM   #7
cgbier
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Originally Posted by nateo200 View Post
Just curious how would this work? Would you plug the cam in via RCA and while capturing with iMovie via Firewire? I secretly wish there was a way to get DSLR's to have HDMI INPUT to capture to the card >
You plug your VHS into the RCAs, connect the cam via Firewire to the computer and simply capture the VHS stream. Works perfectly with my Canon HV30 and Sony A1.

Additionally, I have the Canopus/Grass Valley 110 - great machine and very versatile, but not really cheap.

With some of the digitizers you might run into trouble with audio synch. Best, affordable solution I've found is the Canopus thingie and my HDV cam.
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 08:08 PM   #8
nateo200
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Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
You plug your VHS into the RCAs, connect the cam via Firewire to the computer and simply capture the VHS stream. Works perfectly with my Canon HV30 and Sony A1.

Additionally, I have the Canopus/Grass Valley 110 - great machine and very versatile, but not really cheap.

With some of the digitizers you might run into trouble with audio synch. Best, affordable solution I've found is the Canopus thingie and my HDV cam.
Cool cool. I don't have an HDV cam (Yet ) but that's interesting to note...I need an excuse to use my Firewire port :O lmao..I've done some TV capture with some cheapo cards and I always find the soft where to be the limiting factor....finally found a capture software by the name of VideoGlide and now it won't work > only program to capture 960x720 with ZERO audio sync issues..it was great because I could max out the resolution and regardless of the aspect ratio of the numbers I put in it would maintain 16:9 pretty well and I would throw it all in final cut and adjust the resolution and what not...HDV cam capture sounds more bullet proof though thanks...As for the Grass Valley 110...it looks solid but I ask why are these things SO expensive? I mean I get that taking a raw video stream off a TV box regardless of whether its SD or HD is pretty bandwidth heavy but you would think someone would find a way to have an HDMI in connection regardless of encryption or whatever then outputted to a high performance mac or better yet have some of it decoded in house first...
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 08:48 PM   #9
cgbier
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The Canopus only does SD. What you are talking about exists from AJA, Matrox and Decklink - now even in Thunderbolt...
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 08:52 PM   #10
nateo200
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The Canopus only does SD. What you are talking about exists from AJA, Matrox and Decklink - now even in Thunderbolt...
Yeah I got screwed with Thunderbolt getting the 2010 MBP > it seams to have such great potential too :/ Firewire seams like a complete and utter dead end...am I correct in thinking this?
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Old Oct 31, 2011, 10:52 PM   #11
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I have the 2010 MBP too, but haven't missed TB yet. I'm still doing fine with F/W. I mean it'd be nice to have somewhen, but just for the sake of TB switch models? I don't know.

F/W is losing it's market share, but as long as there device out there relying on it, it won't be dead completely.
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