Originally posted by cacarr1:
How do I transfer a VHS video onto my computer to edit it? I know this has probably been addressed here several times, but I need to know. What equipment will I need and/or can I go somewhere and have it transfered onto a CD (no DVD...this is afterall one of the new G4's with the CD-RW). Also, will a 30 gig HD suffice? Any help or suggestions would be great. Thanks.
You'll need a Firewire-DV converter box, available from many companies. It basically takes RCA video input from any source, converts it to DV, and spits it out to the Firewire port. You hook the Firewire port into your computer and you can then use iMovie or Final Cut Pro to edit it.
Cheapest and most accessible box is the Dazzle Hollywood DV-Bridge, $299 from Best Buy stores. Available from the Apple Store and other places is the Sony Media Converter which basically does the same thing for $399 (you may be able to find it elsewhere for $329-349). Finally, the most "exciting" box coming soon is the Formac Studio for $499. This box even has a TV tuner and Radio Tuner, web streaming software (to stream and publish movies more easily), and Formac's TV software. With their TV software, you can supposedly setup a timer to record specific shows.
FYI, check the reviews for all three boxes to see how satisfied people are with them. The Sony is the oldest model and I haven't heard any major problems with it, the Dazzle should be available at most Best Buy stores in stock, but the Formac Studio is still listed as pre-order.
As for space, I'm guessing that 30GB drive is the standard drive so you've probably got about 24-25GB left eh? DV takes up about 11GB/hour or thereabouts, so you've got enough for about 2 hours, not including editing space for transitions, effects, etc. Good thing you've got a PowerMac, the extra space for internal HDs comes in handy. I'd say if you're serious about doing this on a more than casual basis, get another HD, say 40-60GB. It's recommended that you capture to a different hard drive than the system drive anyway.
And finally, don't know about any places that will transfer video onto Video CDs (I'm assuming you're referring to VCDs, as most video formats are too big to fit VHS length stuff onto CD.). However there are places that will transfer video to DVDs, so you can check with those companies to see if maybe they can help you. The cheapest I found was $50 to transfer to DVD.
If you're looking to transfer video onto VCDs yourself, the upcoming Toast 5 Titanium is supposed to have built-in software to create and burn VCDs. You just go into iMovie, select "Export to Toast VideoCD" and then let it do its work. It would take a few hours, I remember reading 10 seconds for every 1 second of video.
Oh yeah, there are other solutions too. There are USB video input devices for about $99, but the quality is much lower than VHS. There are also dedicated analog input PCI cards that are much higher end than DV, Firewire. It just turns out that DV, with the addition of the converter box is the cheapest solution which also provides very good quality. The neatest thing is that you can hook up a TV to the box, and as you edit the video on your computer, you can see the video playback on the TV instead of a 4" square on your screen!
One last thing: the Canon ZR10 video camera is now available for around $699-$799 and can also function as a Firewire converter box. So if you're looking to buy the converter box $299-399, but you also wanna start doing video, this may be an option for you.
Anyway, hope this all helps! If you have any other questions, or if I've confused you more than helped, feel free to write back!