VHS Video Capture - Connecting to the Mac

AAAD readers probably know I'm working on a couple of iMovie home video projects. 

Since most of the source material is on VHS, we needed a high-end VCR. I bought a JVC HR-S9600, which is one of the best ever made. 

We also needed a way to connect that VCR to the iMac, and capture the video at the best possible quality. 

We chose the elgato Video Capture

It arrived last night, and I'll put it through its paces tonight.     

The elgato Video Capture is a typical USB-to-Composite/S-Video adapter. 

It's a lot more "substantial" than the video capture adapter that I used the last time I attempted this. It also cost quite a bit more. 

I hope that the improved fit and finish translates to improved output quality. 

The included video capture software was available as a free download, which surprised me - I was expecting a disc. But the download and install worked with no issues. 

The Projects

This is the second post on the Video Capture subject - but just to bring everyone up to speed, here is some background on the ongoing video projects. 

The first project is a remastered and expanded version of a "40 years of home movies" short film I made for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary. 

That video was a huge hit at the party, but looking at it with the benefit of hindsight.... it had some issues. 

The first problem was the video quality. We used still photos, VHS sources, and Super8 film which was transferred to VHS back in the '90s. 

The second problem was general failures in execution. It was a bit long at 30+ minutes, and could be broken up into multiple "episodes". There were times when I forgot to delete the random "classical music" audio that was attached to the original Super8-VHS transfer. 

I can do better VHS captures, and I can do full-HD transfers of the Super8 film. 

I'll break the movie into a series of 20-minute episodes (adding new material), 

I'll add some "talking head" voiceovers, and I'll export the whole thing in HD to blu-ray.  

I'll also probably post the videos to YouTube, so that my sister and her family can see them in London without worrying about region codes and PAL/NTSC. 

The second project (which remains a minor secret) is our wedding video, which could use some substantial editing. I'm hoping to have it done before our anniversary on July 10. 

I'm not even sure where to start here - we didn't go with a videographer, so we had friends and relatives videotape at different times.

There is a lot of raw material to work with., but no shot that will work for more than a couple seconds at a time. They isn't much usable audio, either. 

I'm thinking that I can get 15 minutes worth of video and photos from the rehearsal dinner, ceremony and reception, and use the music from our first dance,  

Export it to Blu-Ray, and have it ready for the 11th anniversary. That's the plan, anyway. 


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