VHS to iMovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by thesdx, Dec 30, 2007.

  1. thesdx macrumors 6502a

    Jul 12, 2007
    I have tons of old, home-made VHS tapes that I'd like to save to my computer before they go bad. I know they sell little boxes that will let you plug in a VCR, and import the video through FireWire. What's the best, Mac-friendly, most inexpensive way to do this?
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem


    Feb 19, 2005
    I don't know if this is the best or most inexpensive but I used my Eye TV 200 to do this and it worked well. Then again, I assumed VHS to DVD on a home computer would look semi bad so I wasn't expecting great HD like quality and I don't think that is what I got. I'm happy with it though.
  3. Gentile macrumors regular


    Apr 29, 2007
    Another option is to hook up your VHS to a camcorder and the camcorder to the computer using firewire. You have to make sure the camcorder has the pass through option and need to turn it on.

    Many Cannon camcorders have this option.
  4. ftaok macrumors 603


    Jan 23, 2002
    East Coast
    There are lots of options for you. The "best" one depends on what you intend to do with the video after you digitize it.

    If you intend to edit it using iMovie or Final Cut, you would want to import the tapes as DV footage. A miniDV camcorder with A/D pass-thru will work for this. Another option would be a DV Bridge, like the Canopus products.

    If you intend to go straight from VHS to DVD (or at least as direct as possible), you might want something that will use hardware encoding to produce MPEG-2 files. The EyeTV 250 does this as well as some other products. Then you can use Toast to create DVDs. EyeTV will allow some rudimentary editing (i.e. cutting out commercials).

    Lastly, if you just want the video on your Mac and you want to save HDD space, you might want something that has hardware encoding for MPEG-4. I'm not sure which devices do this, but I think that the newer EyeTV units support MPEG-4.

    Personally, I'd use a miniDV camcorder because I want the best possible quality and DV has it all over MPEG-2/4. Downside is that you need tons of HDD space for DV.

  5. barijazz macrumors 6502

    Dec 29, 2007
    I got a VHS and DvD R/W and it works well if you just have footage you want into a dvd format. But for some reason it won't work on my mac. :( so definately don't get the JVC one it sux
  6. WildPalms macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2006
    Honolulu, HI
    jessica.'s suggestion is what I would also recommend. The EyeTV 200 has an analogue in and works at capturing just fine. While all the suggestions of DV, etc are great, dont forget that VCR quality is low to average at best so using more expensive methods to capture wont improve the quality of the original.

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