video_ts into imovie

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by pforst, Feb 2, 2010.

  1. pforst macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    Forgive me because I am a newbie, but I have a headache from this problem. I took my wedding tapes and had it converted at the local photography store to dvd. They are in video_ts format. I wanted to convert them into a format that can be used in imovie and edit them. I bought toast, but it looks like it wants to copy the video to a dvd, not convert it. Of course the dvd player has the video info on it that i am trying to convert so it says that it can not write to the dvd?
    I confess that I am an idiot when it comes to this stuff, but if someone could help me over this hurdle I would be eternally grateful.
  2. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Copied from my list of already answered questions.

    Mroogle will have answered that question for you many and plenty of times.
    MRoogle is quite a good tool to search this forums.

    There is MacTheRipper, RipIt and Fairmount to rip (copy the DVD to your HDD while removing the copyright protection) the video DVD to your HDD.

    Then there is Handbrake to convert the ripped DVD to a file like .mkv, .mp4 and .avi with MPEG-4 codecs like Xvid and H264, which are not meant for editing though, as they don't store every frame of the video (video DVDs use MPEG-2 as a codec, which also only stores every 15th frame and the frames in between are approximations).

    After that you can use MPEG-Streamclip to convert the compressed video file to a .mov file encoded with the DV codec, a codec iMovie can read and is meant for editing, as it stores every frame and takes up approx. 220MB/min.

    You can also skip Handbrake and use MPEG-Streamclip for converting directly to a DV encoded .mov file from the ripped video DVD, but you need the QuickTime MPEG-2 component (19USD) to be able to access the MPEG-2 encoded video DVD footage via MPEG-Streamclip.

    But it would save one encoding process.


    In order for you to edit your videos stored on the video DVD, you need to rip it via MacTheRipper / RipIt / Fairmount, if the video DVD is copy protected (all commercial video DVDs are).
    If it is not copy protected, you might be just able to copy the Video_TS folder onto your HDD.

    Now there are two ways to convert the MPEG-2 compressed footage.

    1. Get Handbrake and convert the footage to either an .avi file with the Xvid codec (2-pass or Constant Quality of 100% and highest bitrate for video and audio) or an .mp4/.m4v file with the H264 codec (the same as with Xvid).
    Then use MPEG Streamclip to convert/export the .avi or .mp4/.m4v file to a QuickTime (.mov - CMD+E) file encoded with the DV codec or to a DV file (CMD+OPTION/ALT+E).
    Both, .mov and .dv, can be read by iMovie.

    2. Get the QuickTime MPEG-2 Playback Component from the Apple Online Store for 20USD, open MPEG Streamclip, in there go to File > Open DVD and select your Video_TS folder on your HDD.
    Then either export it as QuickTime with the DV codec or as DV file as explained in step 1.
    This saves you one encoding process, therefore time and image quality loss.

    Btw, SD is short for Standard Definition, meaning the broadcast systems PAL and NTSC, which has a pixel resolution of 768/720/640 x 576/480.
    HD is short for High Definition, the new fancy high resolutions like 720p or 1080i/p.
    A video DVD stores its video in SD.

    Have fun.


    MPEG Streamclip export options

    Handbrake export as .mp4 - example
  3. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Below Sealevel
    Spinnerlys is quite right when ripping the dvd. I use mpeg streamclip for that, works great (with the quicktime extension).

    But you say you got your wedding tapes converted to dvd. Do you still have the tapes? What format are they? Because if it is for instance mini-dv, then you can connect a camera directly to your computer and import the tapes directly into imovie. That will give a better result than converting a compressed dvd But this depends on the tapes, if it is vhs, there will not be a lot of quality difference.

  4. pforst thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 2, 2010
    i have been married 20 years - I am old!

    Thanks for the responses. I am going to try these ideas out right away. My original tapes are on VCR. I do not know what format this would be, but maybe there is a way to feed them into I movie if the other ideas don't work.
  5. martinX macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2009
    I use an ADVC 110. There are cheaper options today. I think this converts them to H.264 which you can then bring in to iMovie.

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