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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Art & Graphic Design > Best DV Converters for Mac

Best DV Converters for Mac
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woleary
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Sep 18, 2003, 11:36 AM
 
I am a teacher that is ready to take my VHS tapes and convert them to digital video and burn them onto DVD's. What is the best product with the least heachaches? Formac? Canopus? Just shoot me q quick feedback please.

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Tom N
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Sep 18, 2003, 01:14 PM
 
Canopus 100 is what I've been using. If I had to buy a converter again, it would be the same one a Canopus-100.

Have had no problems with it, able to maintain sync over long imports (the longest so far was 2.5 hours).

I don't think you can go wrong with this gem.

Tom N.
     
edavis
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Sep 18, 2003, 02:32 PM
 
The Dazzle DV Bridge has worked well for me over the last two years... for what its worth!
     
Uncle Skeleton
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Sep 18, 2003, 05:46 PM
 
if you have a tower, I would recommend the Televio card sold by Dr Bott. It has the best picture (better than EyeTV, comparable to firewire) for the price (less than any firewire option, more than the USB options). The only drawback is that it is probably still backordered for a few weeks.

I also own the Dazzle product (which is good) and the Belkin USB Videobus 1 (which is bad, and I can no longer get the drivers to function at all)
     
Mark E
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Sep 18, 2003, 06:29 PM
 
Originally posted by Tom N:
Canopus 100 is what I've been using. If I had to buy a converter again, it would be the same one a Canopus-100.

Have had no problems with it, able to maintain sync over long imports (the longest so far was 2.5 hours).

I don't think you can go wrong with this gem.

Tom N.
ditto.

as a side note (to the original poster), if you have a miniDV camcorder with video inputs, you can capture with this as well..

-Mark

in case of accidental ingestion, consult a mortician.
     
HamSandwich
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Sep 19, 2003, 03:39 PM
 
If your editing needs are simple and you don't want to tie up your computer for hours while it's encoding your DV files into MPEG2, consider the USB Instant DVD from ADS:

MacWorld review

AMUG review

USB Instant DVD specs

If you don't mind dealing with DV files and you have lots of hard drive space, consider Formac's Studio TVR (or the Studio DV, if you don't need the TVR's built-in TV tuner):

Formac Studio TVR

MacWorld review

[Note: There is also a new review of the Studio TVR in the October 2003 issue of MacAddict. They gave it a 4/5 (ie., 'Great') rating.]

And as others have already mentioned, the Canopus ADVC-100 should also be considered:

MacWorld review

ADVC-100 Info

If you have an available PCI slot, you may want to consider the ADVC-50 instead (it's similar to the ADVC-100 but internal).
     
tr
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Sep 20, 2003, 01:27 PM
 
i'll have to say canopus ADVC-100 also. great little box, and it has audio lock, so no audio drift during long captures.

i use one at work, but for home, i have and ADS USB InstantDVD (mentioned above). i think this may be your fastest route to VHS to DVD, because it can capture mpeg-2 in real time. what i've been doing is capturing shows in mpeg-2, do some light editing (commercials and such), then dropping the file in toast 6, and it burns a DVD with menus and stuff. works really well.

tr
     
pead
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Sep 20, 2003, 07:08 PM
 
If you're not interested in editing, just trying to get the VHS to DVD, you might consider the Panasonic HS-2. Has RCA, SVHS analog input and Firewire. Can dub straight to DVD-R in real time.
     
piracy
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Sep 20, 2003, 07:48 PM
 
Canopus all the way. It's the most reliable FireWire <-> analog converter out there.
     
zeldman
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Sep 20, 2003, 09:56 PM
 
I've been using the Hollyood Dazzle DV-Bridge for two years. It works great. Never had any sync problems, works with iMovie. Also allows control of the video device through the LANC port. Good deals can often be found on eBay.

It's simple, small and portable. I've heard good things about the Canon as well, but given my success with this, if I had to buy another I wouldn't tamper with success and would indeed buy one again.

Az
Az
     
HamSandwich
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Sep 20, 2003, 10:13 PM
 
The Formac's have audio lock, too, BTW.

If you're going the standalone DVD recorder route, consider the Panasonic DMR-E80 and E100 instead of the HS-2. The newer Panny's don't suffer from the black level bug and they allow for lossless dubbing from the HDD to DVD-R. With the HS-2, there is some MPEG re-encoding when dubbing from the HDD to DVD-R, and therefore, some loss occurs.

The E80 model lacks FireWire input, while the E100 has one. The E-80 has an 80 GB HDD, while the E100 has a 120 GB HDD. Neither one will give you nice menus like iDVD or DVD Studio Pro, but for archiving old VHS tapes without tying up your computer for days on end, this might be the best way to go.

Another reason this might be better is that DVD recorders such as the Pannys have built-in time base correctors and 3D digital comb filters which might actually make your videos look better than before. To take advantage of this, make sure you go through the DVD recorder's composite input, not the S-Video input. That way, you will use the recorder's superior TBC and 3D comb filters to improve the picture...
     
Nap
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:58 AM
 
tr,
Does any store in Columbus stock this type of product? I've tried the usual suspects (MicroCenter-Bethel, CompuTrade,etc) with no luck. Or is this too much of a niche product for local stores to handle?
     
drewbert
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Sep 21, 2003, 02:33 PM
 
I've got a Dazzle DV Bridge which works fine except for when the source video is poor quality. Then I get lots of dropped frames. Is this true for most converters or are others more tolerant?

I'm looking at the Formac TVR as a replacement... is it any better?
     
ronjamin
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:19 PM
 
This converter connects either S-video or RCA type (VID, RIGHT LEFT AUDIO) types to DV.

It also exports to analog (or to a vcr.)

Its great but it does have something that detects macrovision, yet I have yet to have any trouble withit.
     
ronjamin
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Sep 21, 2003, 04:20 PM
 
Sony DVMC-DA2 Media Converter --- This converter connects either S-video or RCA type (VID, RIGHT LEFT AUDIO) types to DV.

It also exports to analog (or to a vcr.)

Its great but it does have something that detects macrovision, yet I have yet to have any trouble withit.
     
nforcer
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Sep 21, 2003, 06:16 PM
 
Originally posted by edavis:
The Dazzle DV Bridge has worked well for me over the last two years... for what its worth!
Likewise.
     
keynoteuser
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Sep 21, 2003, 06:58 PM
 
Originally posted by Nap:
tr,
Does any store in Columbus stock this type of product? I've tried the usual suspects (MicroCenter-Bethel, CompuTrade,etc) with no luck. Or is this too much of a niche product for local stores to handle?
You can get both the Dazzle and the Canopus at the Apple Store at Easton. I had a Dazzle and it finally went belly up. I'd go for the Canopus even though it's $299 (the Dazzle is $249).
     
dansulvn
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Sep 21, 2003, 09:41 PM
 
Hi,
My Hollywood Bridge is OK, but when I went from a 2 firewire port Pismo to a single port PowerBook G4 12", I could not capture video to an external hard drive. Sharing the firewire bus with the external HD and the Bridge caused lost video signal.
If you have a 2 FireWire port Mac, or enough HD space on your Mac so an external drive isn't necessary, than the HollyWood bridge is fine.
That being said, anyone want to trade mine for a USB MPEG2 Instant Capture package?
Would a powered firewire hub (which I thought was the case by using the ports on my external HD case) like the Hubzilla solve my problem?
Daniel P Sullivan
     
Mr Yuk
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Sep 22, 2003, 10:34 AM
 
I had to archive a bunch of 8mm tape, did a bunch of research and bought the DataVideo DAC-100. Simple, no frills, works great:
http://www.datavideo-tek.com/navigat...100/entire.htm

B&H stocked it for less than $200 last time I checked. The only downside is that it isn't bus powered, but I figured chances are that by the time you set everything up you'll have access to AC.

There are some specialized video forums where they discuss these issues ad nauseum. It cam down to the Formac and the DataVideo; and it may be that the formac is just a datavideo with a pretty exterior.
     
ryecob
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Sep 22, 2003, 02:32 PM
 
i used the dazzle dv bridge (w/final cut pro v3) and had nothing but problems. i've heard that it works better with imovie but quality is still lacking on import. plus, their customer support is the worst!

i currently use my canon zr40 camera as a converter and it works well.
     
nredman
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Sep 24, 2003, 08:13 PM
 
do any of these converters you guys are talking about have any software..i would like to take some seinfeld episodes and make some dvds out of them...but i need something to compress the video down after importing...i used to have a hollywood dv bridge but i sold it...looking for something new...possibly better then the hollywood dv

"I'm for anything that gets you through the night, be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel's."
     
Tastannin
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Oct 6, 2003, 02:21 PM
 
This has been a great thread - but does anyone have any opinion on Miglia's Director's Cut Take 2? Apparently it has a second analog output to allow you to view your video on a preview monitor to ensure you are getting an accurate edit for video. Is it worth the extra money?

Thanks!
Ryan
     
memento
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Oct 6, 2003, 08:03 PM
 
Originally posted by ronjamin:
Sony DVMC-DA2 Media Converter --- This converter connects either S-video or RCA type (VID, RIGHT LEFT AUDIO) types to DV.

It also exports to analog (or to a vcr.)

Its great but it does have something that detects macrovision, yet I have yet to have any trouble withit.
Ditto on the Sony. I've been using it since it first came out (the DA2 model). I'd say the Sony is the most reliable unit out there.
"Destroy your ego. Trust your brain. Destroy your beliefs. Trust your divinity." -Danny Carey

MacPro Quad 2.66, G4 MDD dual 867, 23" Cinema Display and 17" LCD, G4 Quicksilver dual 800, 12" Powerbook 867, iMac 300 Grape, B&W G3/300 with G4/450 running yellowdog, iPod 5GB, iPod mini, PowerCenter 150, Powercenter 132 tower, Performa 6116, Quadra 700, MacSE, LC II, eMate 300
     
daydream
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Oct 11, 2003, 02:06 AM
 
Have to go with the Sony as well, exporting to VHS looks great and captures great as well.

I believe it is discontinued??
     
   
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