Connecting a VCR to a Powerbook

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by mdzwolf, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. mdzwolf macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Hello everyone,

    I am going to try and convert the old vhs tapes of when my siblings and I were younger to DVD for my mom for Christmas. I know I need some type of device that will allow me to hook up my vcr to my powerbook and convert the analog video to a digital format on my computer. My question is does anybody have any suggestions on what device I should get. I have been looking around the forums and have found a few things. If anybody had done something similar can you tell me what you used?

    Thanks in advance for all of your help!

  2. evilernie macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2005
    I'm no expert, but I believe higher-end digital video cameras can convert analog to digital.
  3. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Yeah, most of the Sony digicams and several of the Canons and Panasonics do 'pass-through' recording. Basically, you hook up the video to the camcorder with an S video or standard av leads, then the camcorder to the Mac with a FW cable and set the camera just to pass the video through without recording to tape. It is real-time so it might take a while if you have a lot to do - bear in mind, you'll also need lots of HD space. It will be around 13GB per hour.
  4. mdzwolf thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 13, 2005
    I don't own a camera that is capable of converting analog to digital and I would prefer a cheaper option to buying one if possible.
  5. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    This product is a little cheaper than the Sony version. You can skip the converter completely, though, if you have a digital camcorder. Just plug it in to the VCR and record the video tape to the camera tape, and then plug it into the computer and import it into iMovie or FCP or whatever.
    Edit: Oops, didn't see your post stating you don't own a digital camcorder. Try the Pyro A/V Link that I linked to above. It usually goes for about $150.00
  6. MattG macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2003
    Asheville, NC
    One of these will serve your purposes quite nicely -- I've got one at work and it works like a charm. You'll plug the VCR into this unit (RCA jacks), and you'll plug the unit into your Mac (FireWire port). iMovie / FC / FCE etc. all recognize this device. Just hit "import," press "play" on the VCR, and that's it!
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
  8. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    Keep in mind that a Analog/Digital bridge will cost you nearly as much as a miniDV camcorder with A/D pass-thru. Nearly all miniDV camcorders these days have A/D pass-thru. Only the bottom of the line ones don't.

    Instead of buying anything, can you borrow a miniDV unit from someone. Buy a bunch of tapes to convert the VCR tapes onto miniDV tapes while your importing to your Mac. Give the left over miniDV tapes to whoever you borrowed the camcorder from as a good will gesture.

    In the future, when you get a miniDV camcorder, you'll have the tapes to go with it, along with the footage on your Mac.


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