Just bought a new Macbook, would this plan work for transferring video?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by brnbshuffle, Oct 20, 2008.

  1. brnbshuffle macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2008
    Hi everyone, it's my first ever post here on MacRumors :)

    I'm not very informed on video editing (yet) and I have a question:
    I just bought the 2.4Ghz MacBook. I have a 1 year old mini DV Sony HandyCam DCR-HC46 that uses an i.Link port. Now, seeing as my MacBook doesn't have a FireWire port, I was thinking of buying a PCI expansion FireWire port for my old PC desktop.

    I'm wondering, would it then be possible to plug my camera into my desktop, transfer the miniDV video files (into a .dv format from what I've heard?) onto the PC, transfer that onto an external USB HD, transfer it to my MacBook, and then edit it on iMovie 08?

    If it is indeed possible, then are there any cons to it? Thanks in advance, and sorry if it's been asked before; I checked around and couldn't find anything like it.
  2. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'm not entirely sure if that's possible because DV needs to be captured and you can't just transfer the files off...

    Now if you "captured" the video on the PC into DV format (using some other editing software on the PC), then transfered those files onto a external HD. you could edit those in iMovie.

    I've never used HDV though so i could be wrong with this.
  3. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    You can capture the video in DV codec with a .avi wrapper.

    Problem is that you need to convert it to .mov so you may have to transcode it anyway even if it's using the DV codec. This will effect the quality of your image.

    If you capture with a Fat32 formatted drive it will not work well because of general slowness and file size limits. You can't use NTFS or OS X format because the two are not compatible.

    Also putting your footage on a USB 2.0 drive will cause you to drop frames and you will not be able to play many streams of video at once, making you have to render more.

    You might be better off returning the Macbook to get a White Macbook or a Macbook pro.... something that has firewire.

    Either that or buy one of those crappy USB cameras that Steve Jobs loves so much.
  4. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    I'm pretty sure a NTFS drive would work because OS X can still read them, It's just can't write to it.
  5. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    and everyone knows that you don't need to write to a drive to edit on :rolleyes:

    You have to capture to NTFS then transfer to a different drive formatted with OS X Extended.

    Either get Mac Drive for Windows, or use your mac to transfer the footage to the other drive.
  6. NRose8989 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 6, 2008
    He's only using iMovie, so he wouldn't need to use the drive as a scratch disk. Just capture the files using the PC, then use the hard drive to transfer those files onto his mac. He then can discard the raw video files when he's done editing and keep his final exported video. There's no need to buy extra software when he really doesn't need it.
  7. Exman macrumors member

    Oct 6, 2008
    OS X can read and write NTFS partitions. Install macfuse and NTFS-3G and you're ready to go ;)
  8. ibglowin macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2005
  9. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    The amount of misinformation in this thread is staggering.

    Those "adaptors" won't work, I guarantee it. USB versus Firewire is much more than just changing the pin connections. The protocols are entirely different and require totally different chipsets.

    As to the OP's question -- yes, you can capture DV video onto a different computer, then copy the clips over to the MacBook over an external hard drive or shared network drive. The disadvantage is that you need to take all these extra steps, and you'll need quite a bit of disk space for the DV capture. One hour of captured DV (one 60-minute tape) would take up 13 gigs of hard drive space. That's a lot of data to move onto a USB drive and then off again, it will take quite a while.

    Now, the one hitch is that your PC will capture DV but wrap it into .AVI format. I'm fairly certain that iMovie can handle that just fine and it will just convert the clips to a QuickTime wrapper. I'm sure I've done it before. Remember that DV is DV -- whether wrapped in an AVI or a MOV format, the data's still the same and there won't be any quality loss. (There is the question of Type 1 versus Type 2 DV, but this is not an issue here.)

    You can use any capture tool on your Windows desktop, but I have always loved Scenalyzer Live. One great feature is that it will automatically split clips into individual files, which are each relatively small (depending on how long you recorded each clip for). This will get around any FAT32 4 gig limit (provided any one clip is no longer than about 15 minutes), and reduce the time you spend transferring files back and forth. I would recommend the following workflow:

    1. Capture your footage onto your PC using ScenalyzerLive.
    2. Go through all the captured clips and delete anything you don't need (junk clips, outtakes, etc)
    3. Copy the remaining files to your MacBook by way of a USB/network drive.
    4. Import into iMovie and edit away.

    Do not try to edit the files directly from the USB drive, you will be disappointed by the results as the bandwidth won't be enough to keep up. You'll definitely need to copy the clips from the USB drive onto your MacBook.

    I hope this is helpful!
  10. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
  11. brnbshuffle thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 15, 2008
    Hey, I just wanted to thank you all for your time and help. I'm gonna be buying the FireWire expansion port for my PC from Newegg over the weekend and hopefully everything'll go off without a hitch. I think I'll try Scenalyzer Live as well, so thanks for that notjustjay :D

    Thanks again, everyone ^_^
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why would you bother with an external disk drive? Don't you have a network? Let the PC write it's data directly to the Mac's hard drive.
  13. peeeter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2005
    iMovie and DV video quality

    If you don't know yet iMovie ’08 is proving poor quality results from DV formatted material, because it doesn't have proper de-interlacer. So it's better to convert your videos to different format before importing to iMovie. You can find guidelines from http://imovietricks.blogspot.com/
  14. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    Frankly, I'd sooner use iMovie '06 if working with DV. (I just can't wrap my head around the new iMovie and how it catalogs your projects and clips, anyway.) Converting from DV to the AIC is going to take an extra step, extra time, extra hard drive space, etc. Personally I'd sooner just use a different tool than force my workflow to conform to iMovie. That said, I haven't actually tried editing DV in the latest iMovie (like I said, I really don't like the interface) so I can't vouch for the quality difference.

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