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Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 13, 2005 09:36PM
I've got a bunck of VHS stuff that I'd like to convert to DVD. I've got Final Cut Express on the Mac side and know how to use it. The big question is how best to get the source material into the Mac. I want high quality video, recognizing this is difficult because the source is old VHS and VHS-C tapes... The options I can think of are:

1. Buy a cheap Mini DV camcorder with pass-through. Amazon has a Canon ZR100 for $230. I'm thinking this would work...

2. Buy a cheap A/D converter box. Canopus ADVC55 is running $170. (A/D in only) ADVC110 $240 (A/D in/out). Miglia Directors Cut Take 2 is running $260 (Macrovision removal, though I don't think if this is an issue...)

3. Buy a high end A/D converter box. Canopus ADVC300 has a lot of top-notch video cleaning and stabilization functionality, and will lock video and audio. This would be the best quality. But like, #2, it is a single purpose box. $400

4. Buy a high end MiniDV of the kind I would buy if I wanted to do video. I would want low light capability, so I'm thinking Panasonic PV-GS150 $540 with $50 rebate

I don't really need the camcorder...

5. Is there some other option?

What would you recommend?





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: Paul F.
Date: December 13, 2005 09:54PM
I can't give you a relative guage, but my Canopus ADVC100 works just fine...
It also features "locked" audio/video.





Paul F.
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A sword never kills anybody; it is a tool in the killer's hand. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca c. 5 BC - 65 AD
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Good is the enemy of Excellent. Talent is not necessary for Excellence.
Persistence is necessary for Excellence. And Persistence is a Decision.

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Eureka, CA
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: Bubba3K
Date: December 13, 2005 10:39PM
My experience using a canon camcorder as a pass-through has been pretty poor. The quality is OK, but the audio and video go out of sync after a little bit of time. If your videos are longer than 10-15 minutes, you might want to consider another option.

-Bubba3K
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: Fred_Also
Date: December 13, 2005 10:40PM
I have the Canopus ADVC55 that I bought new a couple of years ago. Gets pretty good quality IF your original is good quality (not low light, etc).

I do have a problem with iMovie recognizing that it is connected to the firewire port. Says no camera connected. I turn everything on and off & restart iMovie a number of times and all of a sudden it works. It seem like once it connects, it stays connected during that session but may not connect the next day.

One revision of 10.3 broke it on my G5. Just would never connect. The next revision fixed that though. I'm on 10.4.3 now and only problem is the one listed above.

Fred Also
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: incognegro
Date: December 13, 2005 11:03PM
integrity of source tape has a lot to do with quality. i have a datavideo DAC-100 and i need to test it on a master-quality VHS tape. in fact, i just got 2 Bauhaus tapes via ebay that I'm going to use to make my own DVD, so i'll report back on the quality. i'll probably use iMovie to capture, and possibly dig into Final Cut Express if needed.



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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 14, 2005 02:15AM
How about this-

Buy one of these set-top DVD Recorders, well under $200 for a competent model, you can record all of your VHS tapes straight to DVD.

Now you can either leave it at that and be done, OR
you could then import the video from the DVD's to your mac for editing.

I haven't gone this route, but it would probably require you to 'rip' the DVD video from MPEG-2 format to some other quicktime format first, which will take time, but depending on your mac might be faster than the real-time import speeds from tape.
Another idea would be to somehow connect the DVD Recorder to your mac via Firewire, which some models have. I just don't know if that is even possible.
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 14, 2005 09:23AM
mikebw, an interesting idea I hadn't considered. My biggest concern is that it would add an Mpeg-2 compression-decompression step, and I don't know how much degredation that would cause. I'd have to take the DVD through something like MPEG Streamclip to convert the DVD files into DV files for Final cut.

Also, and I don't know if this would be an issue, but I've had difficulty doing this with Sony DVD-Rs from their camcorders. The audio and video get out of sync. and the timecode is very messed up. The resulting DV streams are pretty bad.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: mikebw
Date: December 15, 2005 04:08AM
I'm sure it would take a few attempts before you could get it to work right, but in theory it seems plausible.

If I can get my hands on a DVD from a stand alone recorder like the one I mentioned I could try a few things out myself. so many projects....
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Re: Video A/D conversion recommendation
Posted by: sscutchen
Date: December 17, 2005 11:02PM
OK... for anyone that might STF...

I bought the Canopus ADVC55.

I PM'd with Fred_Also and he thought it did a good job. I don't really see a need to go from digital to tape, so a one-way converter is OK.

I got the box from Academic Superstore. $170.

Setup was just plugging in. Once I got the setup right in Final Cut Express (Easy Setup as a DV converter so it doesn't look for timecode) it was a simple and flawless install. Quality on the digital side is identical to the analog side as far as my eyes can tell. I'm quite happy.





Don't ask who the bell's for, dude. It's you.
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