Video Capture Devices for Mac?


#1

I just came across a bunch of VCR Tapes of my childhood stuff. I’m looking to transfer them. I tried to use an old Mini-DV firewire camera which I found, but my iMovie stops prematurely and has issues with it (i believe). So I’m looking to purchase an adapter. Although I found a few on Amazon, I’m looking to see if anyone has any recommendations.

I have 3 Macs with every type of adapter that I can use (Firewire, USB, USB-C, etc.).

Thanks in advance!


#2

I assume you have a working VCR. I was in the same predicament as you and my VCR croaked it on the first tape. I was pressed for time, knowing that capture devices in stores are a mixed bag, so ended up buying a combo VCR DVD recorder. This was about 5-6 years ago and I had to ingest about 20 tapes. This machine made light work of transferring everything without tying up my Mac. I then copied the dvdmedia files to the Mac. As I’ve needed them, I have used handbrake to convert, otherwise I just watch the files in DVD player.

A side benefit is that you get the DVDs as a backup. Some non technical members of your family might appreciate them too, because you won’t need them once you have the dvdmedia files on your Mac and backed up.

If had to do it today I would pay someone to convert the tapes to DVD. I want to be in charge of transcoding so that I don’t end up with some wacko windows format. Probably less likely in 2019 than 2011 or whenever I undertook this project.


#3

I just did this, but with Mini DV tape.

I opted for this USB device. The software in the box was ancient but their site has something that worked for me.


#4

You may just find it cheaper in time+$$ to have it done for you - often you’ll find it as an available service at a local video rental store or Costco, or copy-shop, or computer-repair shop. Also lots of listings on Craigslist (at least here in NYC).


#5

I echo Stephen’s recommendation for the Elgato device. Back in 2012 or so I was able to seamlessly transfer hours and hours of video from ancient VHS tapes to my MacBook Pro and this device worked a treat.


#6

So, I listened to Stephen and purchased the Elgato adapter. I have to admit it is pretty painless and works awesome. The software is pretty basic and very easy to use. All in the All it definitely is the most cost effective solution that I came up with to transfer the tapes.