Any difference between Mini DV to AVI vs MOV?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by topherman, May 18, 2014.

  1. topherman macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2014
    Is there any difference in video quality between converting mini DV tapes to AVI files with Windows or to a Mac Mini? (i.e. Should I bother buying an adapter or cable to access the 9 pin Firewire on my Mac Mini?)

    I have a 4 pin and a 6 pin firewire cable, but not a 9 pin.

    Therefore, I'm converting my Mini DV tapes with Windows and a 4 pin firewire connection. After transferring the AVI files to my Mac Mini they get converted to MOV when I play them.

    Second question: If I want the best video quality, should I keep the files in AVI or convert to MOV?

    I'm assuming the video quality will be the same regardless of file type, since the source is the junky mini DV tapes. The MOV file takes up less space than the AVI files, but the quality when I watch them side-by-side is the same (MOV actually looks better, if that makes any sense). Therefore, I'm thinking about using Windows/4pin Fireware to convert the tapes, then transfer to MacMini and convert to MOV and deleting the AVI.

    Any thoughts? Any advice is appreciated. BTW, this is for home videos.
  2. mtngoatjoe macrumors regular


    Jun 10, 2008
    Can you capture directly to your Mac? I wouldn't want to deal with AVI on a Mac. I'm not saying that you can't, but that if you import to iMovie, then you can Share to iTunes and then to whatever device or system you want and things will work pretty smoothly.
  3. topherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2014
    at the moment i can't capture directly to my Mac because i don't have the correct FireWire connection. is it worth getting the 9 pin adapter or is the quality just as good if i convert from AVI?
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Junky? DV is actually the BEST format for standard definition video. If you need the best quality keep the video in DV format and import direct from the camera to your Mac.

    The DV format does not use any "key frames" and each frame is independently compressed.

    MOV and AVI are just container files and each can store different formats of video. what matters is the codec used or the "payload" placed into the MOV or AVI files.

    What is your goal? Best quality, smallest size? ????
  5. topherman thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2014
    ty for the reply. my goal is quality.

    It sounds like I should buy the 9 pin FireWire cable and re-transfer the DV tapes directly to the Mac. My hang ups are that it is still SD and the cable is $40 or so. I doubt I will ever use it again. The iPhone takes great videos for me these days compared to anything else that I have.
  6. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    For consumer video I suppose?

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