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Old August 27th, 2005, 08:13 PM   #1
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How do I bring VHS footage into Mac & FCP

I have some VHS footage that I want to import into Final Cut Pro. How do I do that?
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Old August 27th, 2005, 08:22 PM   #2
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you will need to transcode it to dv. If you have a deck or camera that will do this, then use that. The DSR 11 for instance, will transcode. Many cameras have a 'pass through' feature, that will transcode for you. Also, you can buy a break out box like the canopus advc 100 or advc 110 to do this.
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Old August 27th, 2005, 08:23 PM   #3
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I'm going to reply to my own thread and beg forgiveness for my laziness. After looking around at other threads and doing a search I found out a lot. Please feel free to hurl rocks for my ignorance! LOL
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 03:37 AM   #4
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Quality of Transcoding

I was wondering if anyone would comment on the difference in "quality of transcoding" amongst devices. For example, I am currently using a Plextor ConvertX PVR (it's the PX-TV402U), along with a pretty standard 4 head VHS Player to get VHS footage into my G5. Most of the time the quality looks pretty similar to how it would look when viewing the VHS tape itself. I am always concerned about degradation of video. Although I realize that it's going to happen anway going from analog to digital, I want to make sure it's as minimal as possible. Any thoughts or comments would be interesting. Thanks.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 07:34 AM   #5
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I'll make so bold as to say that no decent capture system is likely to butcher the video worse than VHS recording has already done. I would recommend a S-video connection between player and digitizer - no point in going through remod/demod if you don't have to. Obviously this is a must if the source is an S-VHS tape.
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Old September 2nd, 2005, 09:02 AM   #6
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I think the canopus advc300 has a time base corrector built in, helps stabilize those old vhs, also improves chroma. It's pricier than the 110, but if you plan to transfer a ton of VHS, especially really old stuff... might be worth it. Drop over to the canopus site and check it out.
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Old September 4th, 2005, 02:36 PM   #7
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Quality of Transcoding

The device (ConvertX PVR: PX-TV402U) I'm using now seems to do ok. I was wondering if anyone else out there was also using it and had something else to compare it to. I didn't want to buy another piece of hardware if I didn't have to. It's difficult for me to tell how much, if any, "significant" degradation is occuring with my current set up. I'm not doing a ton of VHS tapes at the present time. I maybe do one every other month...if that. Thanks for the input, and of course more input is always appreciated.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 11:25 AM   #8
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This may or may not help...

When I was using a capture device like that I was using Premiere Pro 1.5 on a PC. I used an Aver USB capture device first and then a TDK IndiCapture which I believe is somewhat similar to the ConvertX. I had problems with audio sync on the Aver because it used the soundcard for the audio. The TDK had an onboard MPEG encoder which made capture easier (not so much demand on the computer to do the encoding) but then I had to transcode it to AVI to edit with Premiere (I used VirtualDubMod). What I always found was that anything less than full quality at any of these stages ended up with kind of a background pulsing on the video... kind of like when you try to film a TV and you see the refresh, but not as noticeable.

I switched to using a standalone DVD recorder to capture the VHS. This seemed to work much faster and there wasn't so much transcoding going on, but the video quality was pretty much the same.

I haven't noticed a difference in quality after moving to the Mac and FCE... I use a different app (MPEG Streamclip) and transcode to a different format (DV), but otherwise the same.

What AJ said was right... nothing butchered the video as much as recording it on VHS. In my experience, unless you're really trying hard to mess it up (a ton of filters, etc) pretty much any method is going to capture VHS just fine.

FWIW, the reviews I've read of the ConvertX seem to indicate that it's near the top of that type of device.
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Old September 5th, 2005, 11:52 AM   #9
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How do I bring VHS footage into Mac and FCP

Thanks for the input everyone. I originally bought the ConvertX because of it's strong reviews, and ease of use. It really is pretty easy to use. I'm using the Elgato EyeTV software the ConvertX came with. Basically I hit record on the ConvertX and then play on the VCR. When the VHS tape is done, I export the captured video as a QT movie and then can edit in FCP or iMovie.
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