VHS video into iMovie?

Discussion in 'Mac Help/Tips' started by MacDuff, Dec 10, 2002.

  1. MacDuff macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2002
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    San Francisco
    #1
    Can anyone help me with finding the best way to input vhs video (such as home videos) into iMovie on my Powerbook? Is there a cable I need or a converter that will plug from my VCR into a usb formatted output? Is this possible or am I dreaming. I'm a graphic designer not a videographer so it's new territory.

    Thanks a lot for any help.
     
  2. gotohamish macrumors 65816

    gotohamish

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    #2
    Re: VHS video into iMovie?

    I use the Canopus ADVC-50 with my PowerMac tower. It's a PCI card, but comes with an internal drive bay bezel for PC enclosure. BUT, before you think - I SAID POWERBOOK, here's the good bit.

    It is a PCI/bezel for cost cutting only. It doesn't actually use the PCI bus, it just takes it's power from it. Also, it has a 4-hole power socket like all IDE drives have, so you can power it using any 5 1/4" drive enclosure - USB or Firewire or even an old SCSI one I think - you won't be using anything but it's power so it doesn't matter. Once receiving power it connect to any Mac with iMovie or FCP3 via the supplied Firewire cable.

    It has S-Video and composite inputs and does VHS very well - espeically since it only costs $199!

    I can use it powered of my PM to capture on my PowerBook - cool!

    They also do a ADVC-100 which has an analog output to go back to VHS, and it's a self contained external unit so is plug and play with any firewire computer.

    I hope I helped, good luck!
     
  3. irmongoose macrumors 68030

    irmongoose

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2001
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    Sometimes Tokyo, sometimes California
    #3
    The easiest way I guess would be to just record the VHS off from your TV onto a digital video camera, and then import that video into iMovie or Final Cut Pro or whatever you're using.

    But, as gotohamish(?) said, if you want to pay a little extra, there are devices that will make the job easier and less time consuming...



    irmongoose
     
  4. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Jan 11, 2002
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    #4
    I have to agree with both posters. If you already have a MiniDV camera record from the VCR to the Camera and then from the Camera to the PB via firewire.

    If you don't have a camera I'd suggest the Canopus ADVC-100 'cause the 50 will only let you get analog video onto yer PB.


    Lethal
     
  5. Swinny macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2002
    Location:
    Oxford, UK
    #5
    As well as the canopus options, Formac also have the Studio series that allow analog input using an external, firewire connected box. Available with or without a TV tuner as an optionial extra (www.formac.com).

    Miglia also have the Dircetors Cut series (www.miglia.com)

    Not all DV-camcorders support analag in, so check first that your's does. (Or get one that does)

    USB Capture is possible using the Eskape Labs (www.eskapelabs.com) products I believe, but isn't likely to be of the highest quality.

    -----------------------------
    Swinny
    Webmaster, www.iMovie-user.com
     
  6. drastik macrumors 6502a

    drastik

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    #6
    I am in the process of doing this with my Canon Elura, and let me tell you, it eats a lot of time. Of cours, I am also trying to edit out the commercials as I go, so that eats a big chunk of recording time.

    Just remember if you go this route, get your best VCR for the set up. I took an old one of mine out of the closet and it really distorted the video, not even worth keeping really. Anything that has a degradded video quality will come into iMovie that way. Also, ge a lot of hard disk space. I am just doing transfers to VCD, but I've filled half my 80 gig media drive in two days, DV is big.
     
  7. MacDuff thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 17, 2002
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    San Francisco
    #7
    thanks

    Looks like I should get a new DV camera. I'm not too thrilled about having distorted picture quality from VHS. But then the option of importing the VHS to the camera then into my powerbook will be nice. I wish I had the cash flow, I just spent top dollar on the new Tibook now I want all the bells and whistles. Hmmm. Thanks a lot for all your help. If there are any other tips I'd love to hear them. :D
     
  8. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    Location:
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    #8
    You don't have to go with the digital camera, it's just easier for some people.

    Best thing to do is get an analog to firewire capture device if you just want straight imports. Don't go USB, it is bad quality. Someone mentioned the Formac, but Sony (if you can find theirs)and Dazzle both have nice ones too. You can buy the Dazzle Hollywood DV Bridge at all sorts of places, but you can buy it directly from Apple for $279. Much cheaper and easier than a camcorder.

    The Formac Studio is $399 from Apple, but it also has a tuner and AM/FM stereo. There is a more expensive model with a built in hard drive for about $999. Some people don't like Formac though because their support isn't that great. They promised OS X support for their PCI-TV device, but have since recinded. I'm also wondering where the promised OS X drivers for the Matrox RTMac and Creative Labs sound card are?

    I'm considering the same type of thing when I get my new Mac (one of these days), because I need analog in and might want to set up a TiVo like system.

    Too bad ATI doesn't make ALL-In-Wonders for Macs.
     
  9. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #9
    I don't know why I didn't think of this before. If you go the DV camera route most DV cameras can act like a analog<->digital converter. You can hook yer VCR to yer camera via analog, and then hook yer camera to yer computer via Firewire and record to the computer that way. That will save you time because you won't have to copy everything to DV first.


    Lethal
     
  10. MacDuff thread starter macrumors regular

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    #10
    I'll check all of these out. I wish there was a cheap firewire converter, but that's okay. I have a lot to look at. Thanks a bunch. And thanks Lethal for the added tip.
     
  11. vniow macrumors G4

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    #11
    Threre's this really long review at xlr8yourmac about this USB capture tool/DVD creator.

    It looks similar to the EyeTV box except no tuner and it captures MPEG-2 (hardware so it can actually get through the USB bus with no frames dropped)
     
  12. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #12
    All of the above stuff will work, but they're all pricey.

    For VHS video (which isn't the best of quality anyways), there are 2 cheap USB solutions.

    One is the Belkin Video Bus II .

    The other is the InterView . Just click on the InterView link on the left.

    Both are under $100 (the interview is $40) and capture at 30fps. For VHS tapes, this may be the best, affordable solution.

    NOTE - I have not tried this myself. I have no idea how cleanly the video comes out, but at $40 (or $99), it's a serviceable option to the DV bridges.
     
  13. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #13
    Unfortunetly ftaok these devices will only capture at half resolution.


    Lethal
     
  14. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #14
    I realize that the video that these devices capture at is lower than MiniDV, but the source material isn't at DV standards either.

    Basically, if all you're doing is capturing VHS, a full-out DV bridge is overkill. If you have something like Digital Cable (or DSS) or Hi-8 tapes, then maybe a DV bridge is suitable.

    Anyways, I just wanted to present all of the options.

    BTW, if you want to use these mpg's in iMovie, you'll need to convert them from mpg to dv. If you have Quicktime Pro, that'll take care of it for you.
     
  15. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #15

    The devices you listed don't caputre at full screen/full res (640*480 in this case). They capture at 352 x 288 (so it will only capture roughly half the video information from the VHS tape) which is fine if yer compressing the movies for the web or something like that, but if you try to play a 352*288 movie back on yer TV it's gonna look like crap.

    The device edvniow linked to looks like it might work, but I'm always skeptical of using USB for video.

    I forgot to mention before that you can find a Dazzle Hollywood DVBridge for $250 or less (I bought one for $250 in april). It's not as good as the Canopus ADVC-100, but the canopus is overkill for what you need. The Dazzle has some issues under windows, but I never had a problem using it w/my Mac.

    Lethal
     
  16. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #16
    Are you sure that TVs are at 640x480? I thought that TVs were in the somewhere in the 400x300 range.
     
  17. kenkooler macrumors regular

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    Jan 2, 2002
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    Mexico City
    #17
    I remember a Sony device that helped you do that in the Apple online store some time ago...
    Maybe its still being sold
     
  18. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #18
    Positive. NTSC analog video is 640*480. NTSC digital video is roughly 720*480 (varies slightly by format). You might be thinking of lines of resolution, and not overall picture resolution. IIRC, analog NTSC TVs (like we have here in the states) have 525 horizontal lines of resolution.


    Lethal
     
  19. jelloshotsrule macrumors G3

    jelloshotsrule

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    #19
    yeah,lethal knows his video stuff.


    just an added input. you can get the formac studio without tv capability for 269 via macmall. that's what i did

    it's bus powered, so you'll probably want to get a power supply for it (good luck finding one with the right specs though, except for 30 dollars plus 17 for shipping through formac themselves).

    mine was defective, and i sent it back this week. hopefully i'll have it back soon enough to review and give better input on how well it works.
     
  20. railthinner macrumors regular

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    Jul 1, 2002
    #20
    already stated but I must add....

    I got the Dazzle dv bridge and it works great. Super easy.
     
  21. PeteyKohut macrumors member

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    Earth
    #21
    Go with the Formac......I use mine all the time and it is so easy. The picture quality is GREAT! I highly recommend it. It is the best $400 bucks that I have ever spent.
     
  22. BenderBot1138 macrumors 6502

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    Oct 28, 2002
    #22
    Good Suggestions All...

    ... not a bad word in the post... I love learning new stuff!!!

    :cool:
     
  23. benixau macrumors 65816

    benixau

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    #23
    AVDC-100 is the way to go for most things. really. it isnt like he wont ever capture DV. if he can afford the money now then he should get it. it isnt like apple is going to drop firewire anytime soon.
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    Los Angeles
    #24
    :confused:

    I don't understand yer post, everything we mentioned allowed him to capture DV. The ADVC-100 is the best of the bunch when it comes to converters, but you can get a Dazzle for at least $50 less and it will servre his needs fine. When I was shopping around for converts in April I choose the Dazzle over canopus and never had any problems. But, like you said, if he's got money to burn why not get the best?


    Oh WTF! I just went to Formac's site and they describe their converters as having "S-VHS" i/o's!!! It's S-Video you morons! Argh.


    Lethal
     

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