how do i convert from DV to mac (new mac user)

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by alexpoke, Aug 12, 2008.

  1. alexpoke macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2008

    I have a simple problem and i need a simple solution:

    I have a DV casette filmed during my vacation. I want it converted in some computer friendly format (avi, mpeg, whatever).
    I managed to capture the film with iMovie, but when i try to encode it i get lousy results.

    I did the same thing before on a PC using winDV and it worked fine.

    Note that I am a new mac user.

    Note that i dont need/want it to be exported in a DVD format. just one ore more avi or mpeg files in oreder to fit either a CD or a DVD

    Thank a lot.
  2. alexpoke thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2008
    one more thing...

    i found the.dv files that iMovie captured. they sum to about 13Gb for about 60 mins recording. Is this a good capture.

    A friend told me that a good capture is about 1G per minute.
  3. Poeben macrumors 6502

    Jul 29, 2004
    Your capture is fine. DV, as you found out, is about 13GB/hr or roughly 200MB/min.

    Can't offer much help with iMovie. Sounds like you're using a preset which encodes to low quality.
  4. huntercr macrumors 65816

    Jun 6, 2006
    Encode to mpeg4 or Quicktime with H.264. There's a bit of a learning curve to get things to look good vs. file size.

    Good luck!
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    It's not the software, it's the compression settings.

    There are a lot of presets. Each is a set of "knob settings" that some one thought was best for some purpose. Best to just go in an make the settings yourself. Look at the result and see if it is good enough and small enough. I think the result is good when it is h.264, 2 pass and about 1GB per hour. To my eye that looks about as good as DV but with a 10X reduction in size. Others will disagree so you have to judge. It also depends on your intended use of the video file. Viewing 18 inches away on a 24 inch iMac screen is a very tough test and your camera may be the weak link there.
  6. mwchris macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2008

    One you have imported the tape into iMovie - which the way you did it is about the only way for a consumer - Edit the clip if you so desire, then go to the "Share" menu and selected export using quicktime. You can adjust the setting using the drop down menu below the title box. Note that the higher the quality the larger the file and less chance of getting the entire movie on a cd or dvd without using IDVD to compress it. Also by exporting this way you will be able to access the newly created file from any application.

    Other choices include "Export Movie" by exporting this way the file will be encoded using h.264 and only available for other iLife applications (iweb, idvd, garage band, and I believe keynote.)

    Hope this helps!

  7. alexpoke thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2008
    thanks a lot ppl

    i know the tradeoff is quality vs filesize.

    my pb is to get the right settings.

    now i.m trying with h.2xx :d 8000kb/s 30fps... should have about 3Gb..

    thing is it takes about 300minutes to do it...

    i guess i could always try just a small part:D
  8. ZballZ macrumors regular

    Nov 11, 2006
    Also, you could download FFMPEGX - it is a freeware opensource video-conversion tool. It converts almost all formats, and I personally use it frequently.

    Also, what you should do if you are unsure and new to this, is to export a 30 sec. chunk of your media. Then convert that bit to a couple of different formats, at different settings. It should be quick. When you find something suitable, convert the whole ting.

    BTW; DV standards at 13 GB / hour, so your capture is good.

    good luck.

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