I'm looking to digitize my old home videos. What device should I buy?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by spaceballl, May 16, 2007.

  1. spaceballl macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #1
    I'd like to digitize all of my old videos (for a fathers day present for my dad). What's the best device to buy to do the job?

    I'll be editing in iMovie. Thanks!

    I'd obviously prefer not to spend too much $...

    -Kevin
     
  2. jng macrumors 65816

    jng

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Germany
    #2
    Are they on VHS? What kind of computer do you have? I hope you have a desktop and not a mini.

    What we used to do was just buy a VCR with S-video and audio out connectors. We had some old G3s with video card that allowed s-video and audio in. So we used these machines just to import videos. It runs in real time though, wicked slow.

    That is probably relatively cheap. I'd check out newegg or something and spec the VCR and card out if you don't already have either.

    I have no idea how much those standalone devices cost. But from what I know, many copy to DVD, which means you'd still have to import into iMovie if you want to edit them.
     
  3. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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  4. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #4
    Sorry for not posting a bit more information. I have an Intel iMac. So, plenty of horsepower, but no video cards or anything. I'm looking to buy a device that hooks up via firewire or USB. The tapes are all on either VHS or on those tapes that fit inside a VHS. So i'm basically looking for something that lets me import VHS tapes.
     
  5. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    #5
    Hmmm that's more of a TV tuner. I'd prefer something that was just a basic import/export device, with no 3rd party software that had composite connections, if such a thing exists.
     
  6. dukebound85 macrumors P6

    dukebound85

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    #6
    yea i think i say some devices at sams that can do it. i dunno how good they are though. the reason i said eyetv is because i want a tuner but would be nice to know if it could back up vhs takes and the like
     
  7. danerh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #7
    Look no further....

    I've encountered the exact same problem for a very similar gift idea, but beware... your whole extended family may end up wanting the same service.

    I used a device called hollywood dv bridge... and its a peice of hardware that connects via firewire to your computer, and to any anologue device (eg vcr or any anologe camera) via a few optional connections... and you can import it directly into iMovie.

    Its as easy as plugging in your digital camera...

    Check it out... http://www.dvt.com.au/products/dazzle/dvbridge.html

    Good Luck
     
  8. spaceballl thread starter macrumors 68030

    spaceballl

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    Nov 2, 2003
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #8
    Okay that's perfect... only problem - I can't find anywhere to buy it!!
     
  9. danerh macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2006
    #9
    Amazon & Ebay

    Just found it on amazon & Ebay... there are some reveiws on there as well that may be helpfull...

    Some say that it is not so compatable with various software, though I assume you are using a mac, and it does work seamlessly with iMovie.
     
  10. xsedrinam macrumors 601

    xsedrinam

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2004
    #10
    You can find several Analog to DV Converters here. I have the Formac Studio DV Bridge which works well.
     
  11. seany916 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Location:
    Southern California
    #11
    many camcorders have AV/DV pass through capability.

    plug the A/V cable into the camcorder, record onto camcorder into DV format, upload to computer, use iMovie & iDVD.

    I would assume.
    (I don't know how to use iDVD)

    should work. have done it before, but I've never made iDVD work for me.
     
  12. 512ke macrumors 6502a

    512ke

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2003
    #12
    Here's a different POV.

    I love using iMovie to create really nice DVDs.

    However when I had to transfer about 30 of my videotapes to DVD, the process was just too time consuming for me. I had to input the material into my iMac, edit the footage, transfer it to iDVD and then wait while some of my iMac's system resources were burning the DVDs (which took forever).

    I lazily purchased at Costo a Panasonic unit (ending I think in ES46V). It has a VHS and a DVD. It has inputs for mini DV and every other kind of input you can think of. You hook up your camera, hit play and hit record. It burns the DVD as it transfers and then you "finalize" which takes about six minutes.

    The results aren't as nice as iMovie but it was a lot easier and faster in my personal opinion.

    The unit costs like $300 or $350 I can't remember which.

    Just one more choice to suggest.
     
  13. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    New England
    #13
    Definitely true for most miniDV camcorders, but stay away from MPEG-4 or DVD camcorders if iMovie/iDVD is your target.

    So one way to do this on the cheap is to find a camcorder taht is somehow broken (tape transport mechanism, lens or display) but will still work as a composite to DV bridge.

    B
     
  14. deanops macrumors regular

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    Jan 16, 2007
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    Melbourne, Australia
    #14
  15. desk003 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2005
    Location:
    Vincennes, IN, USA
    #15
    i have one of these, worked great. I actually did this for christmas for my mom a year or so ago, using imovie on an ibook. just make sure you have a ton of hd space available, dv takes about 12gb an hour iirc.

    http://www.datavideo.us/fs/products/dac200_fs.htm
     

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