Converting Sony DVD403 DVD to iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by cherokee, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. cherokee macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Hi all,

    I've used a Sony DVD403 camcorder for the past 6 months. It records directly to a minidvd and is playable in a DVD player. The files on the minidvd are .vob files.

    I've recorded everything in widescreen format 16:9. I now wish to begin working with the video in iMovie. Can someone give me the specifics on how I can convert the miniDVDs to a file format I can work with in iMovie?

    Retaining picture quality is paramount.

  2. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    im not 100% sure if there is any difference between the way the minidv and DVD units are set up but if its the same, you take a firewire cord and attach it to your camcorder and then to your Mac. Once you run iMovie, it will detect your camera hooked up. You then go to the begining of the DVD lets say and go in VCR mode or whatever on your camcorder to view it and you click play on your camera and click record/capture on iMovie
  3. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    If you do a search for something like "MiniDVD" you'll find more specific info, but basically you have to rip the footage from the MiniDVD onto your Mac then transcode it into a format iMovie will recognize (such as DV).

  4. tdhurst macrumors 601


    Dec 27, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ

    I believe that TRAY LOADING Macs can read the miniDVDs (well, Mac the Ripper might be able to rip them), but besides that...miniDVDs just are not compatible with macs. Sony's format can only be translated with windows only software.
  5. bootedbear macrumors 6502


    Sep 13, 2004
    Austin, TX
    If you're going to be doing this even moderately often, put the camera on ebay and get yourself a camera that records to miniDV tape and has firewire output. You'll be much happier.
  6. cherokee thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 19, 2006
    Hi all,

    Thanks for the great advice. I have a firewire cable coming today (the Sony only came with a usb cable) and will try my conversions that way.

    As for getting a new video camera - way ahead of you. I ordered a Sony FX1. I'll keep the sony403 as the quick camera. The FX1 will require a tripod.

    Will report back.

  7. Rod Rod macrumors 68020

    Rod Rod

    Sep 21, 2003
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've extracted video from a relative's Sony miniDVD camcorder to my Mac. USB does the trick, as does using a tray loading drive.

    Use MPEG Streamclip to get the files ready for iMovie. It's free but requires the $20 QuickTime MPEG2 Playback Component.

    If the miniDVDs have been recorded in that special Sony format (the name of which I forgot), then you won't be able to access the files at all. Otherwise you will be able to access the files. If you recorded using the "long play" option, the native resolution of the video will be 320x240. My relatives used that option and the quality of video was crap.
  8. NumberS1x macrumors newbie

    Sep 6, 2006
    DVD403 preserving the 16:9 aspect ratio and 5.1 sound in iMovie:

    Use a tray loading DVD and copy the .VOB file to your hard drive.

    Demux the vob file, you can use FFMPEGX to do that.
    In FFMPEGX goto the tools tab, then the demux tab, find your .VOB file and
    hit demux. This will give you an mpeg2 file and an ac3 file.

    Download and install this AC3 component for QT and CoreAudio.

    Next you will need Quicktime Pro and the Quicktime mpeg2 component.
    Combined $50. Find them at the apple store.

    Open the AC3 file in QT and under edit, select all and copy, then open the
    mpeg2 file and under edit, add to selection and scale. Then goto Window
    and Show Movie Properties. Click on the Video Track and goto the visual
    settings tab, uncheck Preserve Aspect Ratio and change the scaled size to
    853x480. Check Deinterlace and High Quality.

    Save and then import into iMovie HD 6.

    That will give you 16:9 and 5.1 in iMovie HD 6, and the video only gets
    converted twice, once into DV in iMovie HD 6, and again in iDVD 6 back
    out to mpeg2.
  9. Victory macrumors newbie

    Feb 15, 2006
    Eastern NC
    Unfortunately, I'm in the same boat as well. That being said, I use the method Rod Rod mentioned. Stay away from "VR" mode when filming with the camera.

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