Input needed. Trying to convert VHS. Buy old Camcorder or ADVC110 or something else?

looking4anotebo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2007
295
30
I am brand new to video editing and I will soon be buying a new MBP. One thing I really want to do is take old VHS tapes, mainly past sporting events, and transfer them to a computer to then edit and burn onto dvd.

I have been researching and I think I know what I need, but I have two big concerns, cost and quality.

From what I understand, I can find an old dv camcorder on ebay that has the pass through function and use that to transfer the tapes, and I have also heard about the ADVC110.

What is the best option? Is the ADVC110 worth the extra $100-$150 for what I want to do or should I just go with the used camcorder?

Also, I understand firewire > USB but what about expresscard34?
 

greendj

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2007
13
0
Convert VHS

Use a camcorder with AV to DV analog passthrough. Run from the VHS player out (white and red RCA out - sound) and (yellow RCA out - video) to the camcorder input and firewire out to the computer.
 

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
The DV passthrough function would probably be good enough for home videos. The ADVC converter runs your video through filters to clean it up a bit, so whether or not that's worth the extra is up to you. :)

I'm pretty sure ExpressCard is faster than Firewire.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
Go for the DV passthrough option. VHS quality is poor by digital standars anyway, and you can run filters on the video on your computer once you've imported the video.

You'll have a VCR (aka "VHS player" :)) going to the camcorder's analog-in port, which varies depending on the model. Make sure those cables are included when you buy the camera. Connect the camera to your computer via FireWire. iMovie or Final Cut will recognize it and allow you to import the video. You will need to press play on the VCR first, then start the capture. The computer can control the camera, but not the VCR.
 

Mechcozmo

macrumors 603
Jul 17, 2004
5,215
2
I'm pretty sure ExpressCard is faster than Firewire.
Wikipedia said:
The ExpressCard has a maximum throughput of 2.5 Gbit/s through PCI Express or 480 Mbit/s through USB 2.0 dedicated for each slot
Linkety

The MBP's have their ExpressCard slots wired via PCIe. Thus, 2.5 Gigabits per second is ~0.3125 Gigabytes per second. FireWire 800 is 800 Megabits per second, or 100 Megabytes a second. Thus, ExpressCard/34 runs at 320 Megabytes a second, or 2.2 times faster than FireWire 800.

This is all for naught if your computer has the ExpressCard slot connected via USB 2.0, of course, but thankfully Macs aren't like that.
 

sandman42

macrumors 6502a
Oct 23, 2003
950
57
Seattle
Another option

...is Elgato's EyeTV 250. The camcorder option might be better for you, though, depending on whether you'd rather end up with hardware that you can use to record your own video or record live TV off the air.
 

looking4anotebo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2007
295
30
Thanks for the replies everyone. I will begin looking on ebay for a good, used dv camcorder to do this.

As for the Eyetv. I was considering that until I heard about the skipped frames, because it is usb.
 

tuokaerhp

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2007
4
0
Anywhere, Michigan
It doesn't seem to matter that much which method to go with. The price difference will be close to the same whether you go an EyeTV-like interface or a firewire camcorder. As for the frame drop problem, as long as you use a firewire EyeTV model, you won't notice it that much. I still use an old EyeTV USB v.1.1 that works great on my Pismo running Panther and/or Tiger with 1GB RAM.

73s :D
 

looking4anotebo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2007
295
30
Not saying nobody does, but I never have a problem with this. Just out of curiosity, where did you hear about a frame skipping problem?

I can't remember specifically but I have read it on multiple websites. When I was researching it I was jumping around all over the place, and I remember someone saying that firewire is better because it transfers data continuously while usb transfers it in waves.