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Converting VHS tapes to DVD' using an iMac G5

by hkpyles / October 18, 2004 3:33 AM PDT

We have about 70 VHS tapes that are up to 17 years old and need to convert them to DVD's to reduce the risk of age degradation. At some point we want to edit them, as well.

We are contemplating buying an iMac G5 with 768 Megs of RAM and 160 Gigs of ROM with the attendent hardware and software needed.

Does anyone have any experience with this equipment in coverting VHS tapes to DVD's?

Does the amount of RAM and ROM seem sufficent?

Our plan is to transfer all the VHS tapes to DVD's and then from there, later on edit the raw DVD's into short and interesting DVD's.

Appreciate that this will use up some 70 DVD's for the raw data- but once all the raw data is on the DVD's we can resell the hardware for coverting the VHS's plus deep store the VHS's which would be convenient space wise.

Any pitfalls in this program that we haven't foreseen?

Thank you.

Best regards,

Knick Pyles


[Edited by: admin to remove personal information]

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Re: Converting VHS tapes to DVD' using an iMac G5
by runstand1 / November 12, 2004 1:12 PM PST

Hi there ;-D

The system that you will be buying will have enough ROM and Megs of Ram for you to work with. I have a iMac w/superdrive and have done some editing from VHS to DVD. Using iMovie which is very easy to use. So I will try and give you the basis and hopefully with trial and error you will at least be able to some importing to your computer desktop.

So here goes it.

To import the footage from old videotapes into you Mac, you'll need a MiniDV camcorder with pass-through features (if you don't have one. You would transfer video from the VHS recorder to your MiniDV camcorder then to the Mac desktop) or an analog-to-digital converter. To set up your transfer station, connect your VCR 's video output to the video input of your camcorder or converter box. If your hardware supports an S-Video connection, use that instead of composite video (which is the yellow phone jacks).
Next, run audio cables from your VCR's audio outputs (which is the white and red phone jacks) to the audio inputs of your camcorder or converter box.
finally, connect the camcorder's or converter box's FireWire jack to the FireWire on you Mac.
If your're using a MiniDV camcorder to convert your video, you may need to adjust a menu setting to activate its pass-through features. Once everything is connected, turn on each device, open a new iMovie project, and begin importing your footage.

If your still having trouble, there's an article from Macworld magazine June 2004 which show you a complete step-by-step guide, p.68

Hope that will help you out

Mac & PC User

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Vhs to DVD
by sham1313 / July 16, 2006 5:46 AM PDT

Hi, I've found that DVDs are not as reliable as you might think. If you do this, make 2 copies to be sure.
Colin.

PS. Uncompressed video is huge, anything upto 30 gig for some long films. Just a thought.

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Some advice
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 16, 2006 7:23 AM PDT

Knick,
It is never a good idea to post your email address on an open forum such as this. CNET offers you a way to make your email address available to anyone who wishes to email you, without that email becoming public knowledge.
As for the mailing address, also not a good idea. I can't see why you would have thought this was a good idea.

I will get your email and mailing address removed.

P

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Question.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 16, 2006 7:36 AM PDT

Why are you contemplating an iMac G5 and not an Intel model?

Has someone offered you a "good" price on a new one or is this one used?

I note that nobody has answered you question regarding the machine so here goes:
The amount of RAM is adequate, I would increase the RAM by as much as I could afford though. At least 1Gb and possibly 2Gb.
The 160 Gigs that you refer to is Hard Drive size and not ROM, which is something else entirely.
Once again, adequate. Consider purchasing an external, Firewire, hard drive of at least 250Gb or greater. As you can appreciate, once you get into the editing side of this project, you will need lots of space.

As mentioned, you will need to convert the Analog VHS video into Digital Video so that the computer can recognize it and process it. A DV Camcorder will do this as will an Analog to Digital convertor such as the ones produced by Dazzle. Conversion is reasonably straight forward and will take as long as the contents of the VHS tape takes to play in real time.

Remember that DVD's are not a "Live happily ever after" type of Archive medium. Expected life span of a Home produced DVD is around 5 years and may even be less. Plan to copy each DVD every 2 years if you intend for the video record to remain intact.

P

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Converting VHS to CDs and DVDs
by taboma / July 28, 2006 4:24 PM PDT

Knick Pyles,
Go to the CNET SEARCH screen above CNET FORUMS at the top left corner of this screen. Type in converting VHS. All CNET Forums and Click Go!
The archives will come up and show you how to do it. There are many links to your question and they work. Check them out. Many posts.
Both for PC and Mac. You will get the answer and how to do it regardless of what you use for a computer.
G3, G4, G5 or Gee Wizz! :

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I've done this to hundreds of VHS
by Dan Filice / July 30, 2006 4:42 AM PDT

I've imorted hundreds of VHS tapes, old VHS-C and 8mm videos of family events, etc., and for what it's worth here is my 2-cent recommendation: First, buy a good Analog-to-Digital converter. I bought a Canopus and it's been one of the best investments I ever made. Importing your VHS tapes may not be the last time you use the converter. I still use my converter when I record a TV show that I want to save and watch on DVD for a later time, like when on vacation. If you buy a converter, buy the model that allows you to also export back out of the computer via Firewire and record into a DV camera. You could certainly use a mini-DV camera to do the convesion if it allows "Passthrough", but a stand-alone converter to me, is more streamline. I have a VHS/DVD combo player and a converter connected to my Mac permanently. Anyways, the converter takes the output of your tape player and converts it to a digital signal to import via Firewire. Second, I would recommend that you try to import and edit as you go. Recording the VHS to DVD then re-editing the DVD video will highly degrade the image quality. Converting VHS to digital is bad enough, but if you go to DVD first (which is MPEG2 compressed video) and then re-convert this MPEG back into a DV stream for editing, isn't the best. It can be done, but it's a multi-step process that requires some add'l software. Third, buy a large external hard drive. I bought a 250 GB LaCie for $189 and what a boon this is. You can store a decent amount of raw footage for future editing, but keep in mind that video eats space like my kids eat cookies. Try to edit as you go along.

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I think it is safe to assume
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 30, 2006 8:26 AM PDT

that this post is now a done deal.

Note the original posting date, 10/18/04, and the fact that there was never a response from the original poster.

However, this is some very useful information contained in the thread, thanks to everyone who responded.

In view of the above, I will lock this thread

P

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