Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Chelleparti5, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. Chelleparti5 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2009
    I recently bought a new 13" Macbook Pro, and now I think I can tackle a chore my Dad's been on me about for quite some time: converting our old home movies to DVD. They're still the camcorder tapes, but my Dad has a converter that lets it go into our VHS player. I was wondering what the cheapest, best hardware would be to get them onto my Mac. I know I will probably need an external hard drive. Do I need additional software besides iMovie and iDVD? Thanks!
  2. Alucardx03 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2008
    If you really care about the quality of the video (home movies, for example), I would recommend investing in any Canopus product. Personally, I used the Canopus ADVC-300 to convert all of my old Hi-8 and VHS tapes. It's a little more expensive (they can be had for around $300), but I would HIGHLY recommend the investment.

    Before I knew what I was doing, I purchased a number of conversion products (Pinnacle Dazzle, DVD Recorder, etc.) and the quality was always disappointing. I heard about the ADVC-300 and snatched one up. Not only does the quality make up for the price, but it also retains it's value. So, if you wanted to, you could sell it for what you paid when you're done converting.

    As far as a HDD, don't go crazy. Since you're only capturing standard definition material, a USB 2.0 drive will be perfectly fine. I would think about the WD 2TB USB 2.0, which is a steal on Amazon, especially if you have a lot of tapes to convert.

    I used iMovie HD (don't use iMovie '08 or '09 as the image capture is not as good), which worked perfectly fine. Output at "Full Quality" directly to the HDD.

    Personally, I'm a little torn on iDVD. The compression quality leaves a lot to be desired, even at the highest quality settings. I use DVD Stdio Pro myself, but that's a significant investment. As long as you're not intending for the iDVD discs to be your archived versions, the DVD's are alright for a quick watch on television. If you're serious about preserving quality, just store the original files on the HDD, and redundantly archive the data files to DVD's or Blu-ray discs.
  3. TheNightPhoenix macrumors 6502

    Dec 16, 2005
    You might wanna look at the ADVC-55, which will do the same job as the 300 but a bit cheaper.

    If your not going to fork out for FCP Studio, use iMovie and look into Toast for the DVD. I found it's a bit better then iMovie but nothings beats using compressor and DVD studio Pro.

    I usually capture in FCP with Apple Pro Res, so I can resize and run filters on without degrading it anymore, however iMovie and iDVD will give good enough results if your not too anal on the results.
  4. dlegend macrumors 6502

    Jan 11, 2009
    Northern VA (outside DC)
    you can use the advc 55 without any problems. I'm doing it now with iMovie and it's going fine.

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