Help me transfer some video, then muck with it.
December 1, 2010 8:36 AM   Subscribe

Help me transfer some video, then muck with it.

I have a stack of a bunch of old TV commercials I've written and directed. Like 100 or so. They're all on VHS. I also have a Sony DVD Direct machine. So, yeah, I know I can now put them all on DVDs. But once they're there, I want to be able to rip that video off the DVD and reassemble them using iMovie. I can get them on the DVDs but am clueless how to pull them from the DVD once I pop them in my macbook. I mean, the DVD plays on my computer but there's no file or icon to access the video so I can apply mac the ripper or something. Any help from people far more adept than I will me greatly appreciated. Mrs. lpsguy is staring menacingly at the fort of tapes on the dining room table.
posted by lpsguy to Technology (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
With this many tapes, I'd recommend getting a Canopus ADVC-300. It talks directly to iMovie. Less futzing required, and you'll get through the stack faster than you might have thought. It will cost you less than $4 a tape.
posted by zippy at 8:54 AM on December 1, 2010

(but you need a firewire connection)
posted by zippy at 8:54 AM on December 1, 2010

I assume since they're on VHS, you're not too concerned about quality (VHS is awful), but just in case... You'll probably get better results (and save a step) by going right from VHS to a file on the computer (which you could then burn to DVD if you really wanted to). There are many devices that will let you connect a VHS deck to a MacBook. For example, I use a Grass Valley AVDC 110. I just capture directly from tape in Final Cut Pro (I assume you could do the same in iMovie, but I haven't played with iMovie since its first version).

Handbrake is one way to get the videos back off the DVDs, if you really want to take that route.
posted by sharding at 8:56 AM on December 1, 2010

Oops, I typed too slow, and zippy said basically the same thing :-p
posted by sharding at 8:57 AM on December 1, 2010

Have you tried using Handbrake yet?
posted by General Malaise at 9:07 AM on December 1, 2010

Response by poster: Zip, I'd kind of like to resist spending the $400 on the Canopus. I mean, these tapes each contain 30 seconds of video.

GM, I didn't try Handbrake. I tried MacTheRipper but it said it couldn't find the video. Is Handbrake different? Or does this Sony DVD thing just slag the video onto a DVD using some weird format?

Finally, I like sharding's idea, but do I need an intermediary piece of equipment? Anyone just get the right cable and blow from a VHS player right into iMovie?

Thanks, this is helping.
posted by lpsguy at 9:20 AM on December 1, 2010

I've never used MactheRipper, but from my use of Handbrake, and thinking that if it plays in a DVD player, it can't be that weird of a format, Handbrake should be able to pull it. Worst case scenario, you're out the couple minutes it would take to download and try it.
posted by General Malaise at 9:39 AM on December 1, 2010

DVDxDV has always worked for me. It converts the video into easily-editable DV files. I think you'll be fine with the $29 non-pro version.
posted by leebree at 9:40 AM on December 1, 2010

WinX DVD Ripper Platinum
Works great and comes with a disk copy program also.
posted by Freedomboy at 9:55 AM on December 1, 2010

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