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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:07 PM   #1
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HELP,getting old family vhs footage on my computer for fcp

So my wife's family has tons of old VHS tapes that I'd like to edit in FCP. But I have no clue where to even begin. I have a Mac Pro with final cut studio. Any suggestions?
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Old September 15th, 2007, 08:40 PM   #2
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First...You'll need to convert the VHS (Analog) to Digital using a converter such as one of these...

http://www.canopus.com/products/ADVC110/index.php

http://www.canopus.com/products/ADVC300/index.php

Both models work with Mac and FCP.

Once you have the digital files, edit as usual.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #3
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But... wait. Before you buy anything (though those would work fine), do you have a digital camcorder with video inputs? Just plug in there, record to a DV tape, or input directly to FCP (if your camera allows this).
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Old September 16th, 2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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Better yet buy yourself a DVD recorder and transfer them all as is. Then if you want to edit anything rip the DVD for the pieces you want. Most of the newer DVD recorders have excellent encoders even for long times. I have a Panasonic E15 and encode from my Edius timeline direct for over 2 hour projects and find this a quicker and better encode than all the software encoders that I have.

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Old September 16th, 2007, 01:01 PM   #5
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Thanks guys for all the help. I dont have a camcorder that can play the big ass VHS tapes. I have a Canon xha1, so no chance in logging and captuing that way. The Canopus ADVC110 looks like my best bet but I am really interested in the DVD recorder thet was mentioned. How whould that work? Do you just connect a VCR into its RCA in ports and record the tapes to dvd?
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Old September 16th, 2007, 01:22 PM   #6
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Neil, I think Daniel was suggesting that you connect your VHS deck to your modern camcorder instead of playing the tapes directly in it. You would take the analog output of the VHS deck (either s-video or composite) and plug it into the analog (standard definition) input on a DV camcorder along with the left and right audio channels.

Most camcorders on the market can do this, can't the XH-A1? Obviously you would need to set the camera for DV instead of HDV mode.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #7
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Another idea for you would be to check out some of those consumer-grade devices that provide you with RCA inputs running through a USB interface direct to your computer. I've seen them at mainstream retailers like Best Buy or CompUSA, for example. They're not very expensive, which is a plus, and easy to use.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1142291505775
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Old September 16th, 2007, 02:00 PM   #8
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The DVD recorders work by connect the output from the VHS deck to the recorder ( composite as well as S Video connections on most and iLink on some as well). Record to whatever format disc you want(depending on recorder DVD=/- R, RW and DVD-RAM). The time set will govern the encode data rate and some like my Panasonic with Flexible Record, a specific time can be set such as 2 hours and 14 mins!!! The data rate will be set to give reasonable fill for the DVD. When finalised ( for DVD-R and +R) they will play in ordinary DVD players with usually chapter marks at 3 or 5 min intervals. It is a good way to quickly convert VHS tapes to DVD. I use a DVD-RAM disc in my Panasonic then place back in the PC and author with DVDLab Pro2 to get a DVD with menus etc. Lots of the consumer editors /authoring programs like Ulead, Womble DVD, TMPGenc and Pinnacle will edit and author from the DVD recorder discs without re-encoding for the final DVD. Much quicker and less painful than using the more professional editors.

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Old September 16th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #9
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I use a cheap, $78, e-bay special, Sharp ViewCam that has "pass through"...
Any cheap camcorder with "pass through" will work...

Just connect your VCR to the camera, camera to your computer via firewire and you can capture straight DV....

Easy and works well...

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Old September 16th, 2007, 02:59 PM   #10
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Just to clarify--
yes, I mean that you connect a VCR to your camcorder (DV, etc.), then either record THROUGH THAT, FROM the VCR to your computer, or indirectly through a miniDV tape if you can't record right onto the computer (it depends on the model of camcorder).
Easy and cheap.

The other methods are fine, but unless you plan to do this a lot or like spending extra money, I don't see the point.

Now, if your camera DOESN'T have inputs, then go with one of the other methods.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Anderson View Post
So my wife's family has tons of old VHS tapes that I'd like to edit in FCP. But I have no clue where to even begin. I have a Mac Pro with final cut studio. Any suggestions?
I don't like doing this, but I've played the VHS into my DV camera and made a DV copy, then dumped the DV into the computer. It's very time consuming, but you end up with a DV copy for the files, and the process works! If I were going to do lots of tapes, I'd probably spring for a converter like's described above.

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Old September 18th, 2007, 02:06 PM   #12
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I think some of us missed Neil's point. HE NEEDS TO EDIT the footage! He needs to get it on his computer in the highest possible quality - so direct DVD burners are out of question.

Basically you have two options, both of which use a VHS player. If you care about quality I would personally suggest using a high quality player with S-Video output - there is a lot you can improve on your old VHS footage if you capture it this way. As far as the actual digitizing, the two options already mentioned are a Canopus box (or something similar; there are also some internal capture cards available at least for PC, not sure about Mac) or the camcorder.

I did lots of these projects and the quality of the DVD can be significantly better than the original VHS footage, so it's worth editing as opposed to directly recording to DVD.
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Old October 4th, 2007, 11:40 PM   #13
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Niel
It depends on how good you need the results to be - there's several ways you can achieve this, but like most things, you get what you pay for. If you're after the best quality, see if you can get hold of a Super-VHS machine to play your tapes. Connect this through the S-Video output into an A/D video converter such as the Canopus ADHC300 - this is an excellent unit that provides a number of controls for improving the image such as saturation, brighness, contrast, audio volume, picture sharpness etc.

One of the biggest problems with capturing analog video to your PC, is dropped frames - and the only way to solve this is with an A/D converter that has a built in time base generator (such as the Canopus unit). I did a whole lot of tapes last year for a friend, using a cheap capture device, and on every tape, I lost frames - up to 40% on some of the older tapes, and even a new tape would drop 2 to 3% of the frames.

The other big problem is keeping the audio in sync with the video. Again, the cheaper capture units often loose sync where as the Canopus unit always kept the audio in sync with the visuals. (I think EDIROL also makes a good capture unit - probably more expensive than the Canopus though....)

hope this helps.
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