I want to transfer laserdisc to my macbook pro

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by iHumanoid, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. iHumanoid macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2010
    to start please do not comment if you are just going to tell me to buy them on dvd, that really doesnt help. some of the ones i want to transfer arent avail anywhere else, and the most important ones are a trilogy of sci-fi films where a certain smuggler still shoots first.

    i searched "laserdisc" and only come up with a few threads, and one was pretty much people who didnt know what they were, so i decided to start a new one.

    anyway so the title says it all. i have a late 2008 macbook pro and of course my laserdiscs and two players. Pioneer CLD-D406 and CLD-D501. and i want to transfer them at the highest quality possible without spending a ton.

    i know i need an analog to digital converter like the ones Canopus make but i was hoping i had other options as far as brand and price goes.
    ive been googling for days and i cant really find any info after 2007, and im sure products have come out since.

    help and or advice would surely be appreciated.
  2. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Like the last original Star Wars releases, for example (damn you Lucas).

    You'll have to get something that supports video in on your Mac, like this from El Gato.

    RCA and S/video in through USB (they used to have FireWire ones I believe) and runs for about $100. Their company has a good track record from what I've heard and seen, but I have never used them personally (they are pretty much the main company releasing such products for the Mac for several years now).

    I don't know about their software, but you may even be able to record it directly through iMovie with that adapter.
  3. iHumanoid thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2010
    thank you so much for responding, i was getting kinda worried.

    i did hear about the elgato but just from the looks of it i assumed the transfer quality wouldnt be quite what i was looking for. but i will def look up some reviews of it.

    again thank you
  4. iHumanoid thread starter macrumors newbie


    Feb 7, 2010
  5. sushi Moderator emeritus


    Jul 19, 2002
    I've the Datavideo DAC-200 Bi-directional Converter.

    It works okay. But sometimes there is a band on the bottom or top like the old VCRs when importing LD's.

    And yes, I have the original three where a certain smuggler shoots first. Ha ha!

    I also have some LD's that are not available on any other format, but want something that works better than the DAC-200.
  6. Bonch macrumors 6502


    May 28, 2005
    I have the trilogy on laserdisc as well and want to transfer but have not got around to it. Even though it is a digital source, the output is through analog, so you have to go: digital to analog to digital. That's the part that sucks because you always lose quality when you do that. But it's still worth a shot, let us know how it turns out.

    FWIW, there is a rumor that the BluRay release in 2011 will have an option to watch the original theatrical versions.
  7. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Heh. I have one of the Star Wars sets on LD, too, although I've never bothered to digitize it.

    I've used an old Sony analog-to-DV-stream converter to do this on other analog source material, the DVMC-DA2. When connected via Firewire to a Mac it is recognized as if it were a firewire video camera. You can use iMovie to record the video stream off of it at quality about as good as you're going to get from an S-Video source.

    They don't, however, actually make this device anymore, and the fact that they're listed for $200 on eBay (that's about what it cost new) tells me that it must have been pretty good at what it did. Hopefully the newer Elgato products are equivalent--I always hear good things about them.

    I don't know how many laserdisc players with component video outputs exist, but I'd assume that if you have one it would provide somewhat better video quality than S-Video out, if you have a device that can capture component video.

    Funny aside: The DVMC-DA2 has a little "copy protection" light on it that goes on when the source you're feeding into it has Macrovision protection on it. According to the manual, while you can watch such a stream it's supposed to prevent you from actually recording it... except iMovie doesn't seem to care, so you can record a perfect de-macrovisioned copy without issue. Go Apple!

    Common mistake; LaserDisc is NOT a digital video source. LDs can include a digital audio track, but the video is actually analog--that's why you get the color bleeds on red, for example. If anything the format is a little more analogous to a record than a CD. Wikipedia, as usual, will explain more if you're curious.

    The analog-ness of the format is why, for all the pooh-poohing by LD fans of DVD when the format first came out, DVDs ended up being significantly better looking on all but a very narrow range of source material. Compression artifacts beat composite analog video unless it's a stream of single images. (Remember those LD bonus features where a CAV disc would include hundreds of stills done as video that you could step through one frame at a time to watch?)
  8. LimeiBook86 macrumors 604


    May 4, 2002
    Go Vegan
    I have the same Sony DVMC-DA2 adapter, I love it. :D I use it to copy my family's home videos, some pre-recorded tapes, and currently (as I type this) a LaserDisc. I've also noticed iMovie doesn't care about MacroVision, even if the DVMC-DA2 light for protection lights up, which is good for me. :D I have an old VHS that is unavailable elsewhere, so I'm happy to be able to have a digital copy saved.

    I also have a Samsung DVDR-120 set-top recorder, however I find that I get better results from the Sony Analog to Digital converter and iMovie. Too bad iDVD is too glitchy to use as effortlessly. From there I can trim, adjust, and export as I wish. Set-top DVD recorders use slightly off-standard formatting when recording to discs, so duplicating these home-made DVDs can be a bit of an issue. Copying these often gives you read errors, which are actually nothing at all. The software just doesn't expect the DVDs to be made in such a way. Software like MacTheRipper will let you copy these discs, it'll tell you they have errors, but they're a false alarm and they'll play back A-OK.

    I have the Star Wars 2006 DVD re-issue (with the non-special edition original films on DVD), they're just a transfer from the laserdisc masters, and they look pretty good. I was just watching the laserdisc and they do play well, however the DVD is more convenient. Too bad it's been denied that the Blu-Ray release of SW will include the original releases. :(

    The thing with most Laserdisc players and S-video is the comb-filter used by the laserdisc player's s-video port is often outdated compared to the filter used by modern TV sets. So often you're better off using a composite connection even if you have an S-video connection. Unless you have a very high-end player. Unfortunately the only LD player I have with an S-video port seems to not play the audio back properly (sounds like 1 channel is silent). So I'm using my other Pioneer player to convert them digitally. My current disc is 'It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World', only released on LaserDisc and VHS with the restored 3 hour + version. The DVD version has the extended uncut content missing, only given as an unorganized set of clips on the "extras" side of the disc.

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