Suggested Remedies for DVD Problem

Three of our PMUG members have responded to the earlier post today, "Transfer Video to DVD."

Bill Williamson asks, "Have you tried MPEG Streamclip? It's freeware and converts almost anything to anything and can be downloaded from the web."

John Carter offers, "I can certainly help with this. I am a volunteer with the Prescott Library and I do Mac mentoring there. I have had similar problems with my video camera. I believe that converting the video files can be done with Final Cut Express, and there are plenty of other applications that can do the job as well, and some of them are Windows based - I have a few of those applications. Email = John Carter

David Passell explains his remedy, "Hello Arti: Welcome to Prescott, and I hope you will be able to become a member of the Prescott Macintosh User's Group. I see two ways in which you can get your video content into the Mac.

1.  Get an external DVD drive with a drawer rather than a slot. You may be able to find a used one. It should accept the mini-DVD. It must have a USB or Firewire port and be compatible with Mac. The .vob, .ifb, and .bup are files commonly found in all DVDs for home and commercial use.

You shouldn't need a ripper for your non-commercial recordings from the Handy Cam. Rippers are a quasi-legal way to duplicate commercial DVD movies with copy protection schemes. (As an aside, you may have noticed that a DVD player cannot play a movie properly through the input connections of a VHS or another DVD recorder.)

With a drive that doesn't "choke" on the mini-DVD  you should be able to read it with the Apple DVD Viewer or the more versatile VLC viewer. You can use the Apple Disk Utility to burn a direct copy or create a disk image from which you can burn full size DVDs.   I have  done acceptable DVDs by just copying a .vob file to a blank DVD. You have to experiment. It is unlikely that any of the mini-DVD files are larger than the 4.7GB capacity of the full size DVD. You don't want to put .mpeg or .avi on the DVDs you give to the veterans, if they are to be played on standard DVD players. You want the same DVD format as you would find on a DVD Movie (less the copy protection).

2. The second method is klunky and slow: If the Handy Cam has the usual video and sound "RCA" output jacks (so you can cable them to the external line inputs of a TV or VCR), then you can obtain a device which accepts these outputs and digitizes them to a form that you can view on your computer with the Quick Time Player. The "Elgato" is one such device. If you have QuickTime player 7 (Snow Leopard) or QuickTime player pro ($29.95) you can  Select File > new movie recording. You then will have to play back your recording from the Handy Cam to create the file you can duplicate to another DVD. I have one ADVC110 (which I don't think is any longer made) through which I have copied full length VHS tapes and TV programs. I still partly live in the stone age:).

3.  I believe that SONY makes a recorder that is designed to make DVDs from the output of their cameras.

David concludes, Hope this is helpful, I am sure there are members of PMUG including myself who can provide hands-on assistance."