03-21-2021, 12:28 PM
SteveC SteveC is offline
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VHS/Hi8 to digital on Mac (via HDMI ‘capture cards’)?

Please help a Mac user wanting to transfer VHS/Hi8 and 8mm tapes to computer. I realise these basic, oft-repeated questions ‘releases the Kraken’ but here goes…

I’ve about 50 tapes I want to transfer to digital. Most are VHS (both NTSC and PAL), a few Hi8 (NTSC) and a few 8mm (PAL). Reasonable quality is the goal not archive grade. (They will not be ‘inherited’.)

I have the following kit: DCR TRV-320 (NTSC), TRV-730E (PAL), Panasonic NV-HS950EG (S-VHS PAL [and NTSC playback?] deck with S-video SCART out, s-video out, composite out), Canopus ADVC-300. Macbook Air and MacMini (and old intel MacMini). This project has been on hold for years, though five years ago I did do a couple of friends’ wedding tapes with the ADVC-300. They were ok-ish.

It seems options might have changed. I have read critical reviews of the ADVC-300. Also, I have seen a number of S-video/composite to HDMI out one-box solutions (ie, conversion ‘upscalers’) on Amazon. These plus an HDMI ‘capture card’ (aimed at gamers) to USB imply to me that I can indeed drop the ADVC-300, avoid DV and go tape to MPEG.

I am confused as to whether to use DV out or go S-vhs (for sd-vhs tapes) out (to ADVC-300 or to try S-vhs to hdmi box/capture card) whether to try pass through (into what, with what?).

Basically, if you had my kit, what combination will give the best transfer result? (I do have Adobe Premiere but have never used it…). If possible I do not wish to purchase anything more than the s-vhs to hdmi upscaler and hdmi capture card (up to $100 in total on Amazon).

Thanks for your time reading this!
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Someday, 12:01 PM
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03-21-2021, 12:57 PM
latreche34 latreche34 is offline
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You will be better off using DV over firewire than HDMI, Most HDMI capture devices over process the signal and they don't follows analog SD video standards (read about D1 video standard).
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03-21-2021, 01:57 PM
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lordsmurf lordsmurf is offline
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HD cars screw up SD signals. Don't do that.

The Canopus box is better than anything HD. Not great (when NTSC, fine for PAL), but better than an HD mess. ADVC-50, 55, 100, 110 more ideal than 300. As you saw, just "ok-ish" (loss of color, hue shifts, sometimes blocks).

There are some non-DV lossless or near-lossless (ProRes422), but depends on OS. So what version OS. Newer is worse, not better, much like how Win10 nukes capture cards.

Bootcamp to Win7 is also another ideal option.

This all said, it's just the capture cards, you cannot forget the VCR and TBC. Random gear results in random (and lousy) quality. Your VCRs (950) and Hi8 should be fine. Frame drops are still a concern, and the ADVC-300 masks you from insert/drop data, as will Premiere usually, and HD cards are infamous for lack of reporting.

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03-22-2021, 03:39 PM
SteveC SteveC is offline
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I'm using Sierra on my main machine. My Intel MacMini is Lion, if I remember correctly (it's in a drawer...).
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03-23-2021, 09:46 AM
SteveC SteveC is offline
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I've checked the Intel MacMini, it's running Tiger 10.4.11.
I can swap the ADVC-300 for a 55 or 110. (My ADVC-300 came with component cables.) Any software I should try to get on the Mac or is that era iMovie adequate?

With regard to the PAL camera, the TVR-730E, it has a micro usb socket as well as DV but from the manual it seems to be for use with a memory stick and stills only.

For the vhs tapes should I try pass through via the 730E and out via DV to the Mac Mini or use the Canopus with S-video and composite?
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hdmi capture card, hi8, s-video to hdmi, vhs

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