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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    PowerBook G4 15"
    help for newbie: non-digital 8mm & videotapes to PowerBook G4
    hi all. i'm new to the forum and a total non-techie. i know this has been asked a billion times but i hope you can help...

    i've got tons of home movies/tv shows on 8mm tapes, vhs AND beta tapes that i'd like to convert to digital. the goal is to either burn them on DVD or share with family online (youtube and/or facebook). what exactly do i need?

    my computer is a 2005 PowerBook PowerPC G4 1.5 (don't have a clue what that means). the entire laptop is standard w/o any hardware upgrades. still on OS X 10.3.9. it came with iMovie but it's never been upgraded either. it comes with a SuperDrive (?) and not a Combo Drive, whichever is the one that doesn't burn DVDs.

    video stuff: old SonyBetamax VCR; old JVC DVD/VHS combo player bought in 2001 w/o burning stuff; old Sony Camcorder CCD-TR9 (circa 1992) with only Audio/Video plugs. also have a Motorola DVR from Comcast. dunno if that helps.

    lots of threads talk about Elgato Eye, then some say just buy a Digital Movie Camera. and then say don't use USB but do use Firewire.

    i'm totally clueless to ALL of these things so any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

  2. #2

    xstep's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2005
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    2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
    EyeTV is a nice little package, but the current version requires a higher version of OS X. Read up on that kind of stuff before purchasing anything. Also note things like the USB version or Firewire requirements.

    The Combo Drive is the one the does NOT burn DVDs. So you are good to go with that.

    You need several things... A hardware device that allows input from your source device to the computer. Software to accept the signal and write to a file. Hard drive space to deal with the large files that get created. Software to convert the imported version to something friendlier for your audience. Perhaps software to do light editing. iMovie might be the answer for one or both of the last two points and will likely be able to directly import for a device that uses firewire to connect to your computer.

    DVDs and VHS movies put out a signal that makes it difficult to copy their content. Some older hardware devices would strip that, but now days the devices are designed NOT to bypass the DRM technology.

    People would suggest a camera because some of them have the ability to take an input signal from something like a VHS machine, pass the signal through the camera's electric brain to pass it out through the firewire port to your computer using the DV format. iMovie could then import that directly into a project. I'm not sure of the status of this any longer.

    To be honest, it is difficult to help 'the clueless' because they simply do not retain the connected information in their brains long term. You sound better than clueless.

    You'll have to be in a learning mode to figure out all the bits of the path.
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

    When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

    Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Sep 30, 2008
    Location
    USA
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    Specs:
    Power PC G4, 867 MHz, 640 MB of memory, Bus speed = 133 MHz, GeForce2 MX video card by NVIDIA
    Hi, I have the same camcorder you have. And I bought a Sony Media converter to convert VHS tapes to digital. I bought the media converter in 2001, so I'm not sure what model is available now. My model is DVMC-DA2. I copied all the video onto my hard drive, and with Adobe Premiere, I was able to take the digitized material and put it on a CD or DVD. But you can use iMovie.

  4. #4

    KeithTeeple's Avatar
    Member Since
    Sep 02, 2008
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    2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM MacBook, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    Have you ever got any software updates?

    Press any key to continue, or any other key to cancel.

    There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary
    and those who don't.

  5. #5


    Member Since
    Oct 01, 2008
    Location
    bay area, ca
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    Specs:
    PowerBook G4 15"
    thanks to everyone for the great advice. i will surely read up so i can understand more about the different things i need to get started.

    keithteeple: the only upgrades made are the ones suggested by Apple's Software Update function. i never paid for the upgrades. also tried going from 10.3.9 straight to the current Leopard, but apparently i can't do that unless i buy 10.4 first. do you recommend i do that first? would that help?

  6. #6

    xstep's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 25, 2005
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    2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
    Quote Originally Posted by scorpioneyes View Post
    also tried going from 10.3.9 straight to the current Leopard, but apparently i can't do that unless i buy 10.4 first.
    When you purchase Leopard you receive a full OS version, not an upgrade disc.

    So, why do you think you would need a 10.4 version first?
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

    When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

    Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    PowerBook G4 15"
    Quote Originally Posted by xstep View Post
    When you purchase Leopard you receive a full OS version, not an upgrade disc.

    So, why do you think you would need a 10.4 version first?
    oh i didn't know that! a friend had tried to upgrade my laptop to Leopard but it said it couldn't upgrade unless i already had the previous version. maybe he had an upgrade disk instead of the full version.

  8. #8

    xstep's Avatar
    Member Since
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    2011 MBP, i7, 16GB RAM, MBP 2.16Ghz Core Duo, 2GB ram, Dual 867Mhz MDD, 1.75GB ram, ATI 9800 Pro vid
    Without knowing the exact message from the attempted upgrade and when it appears, it is impossible to tell. Anyway, I won't concern my self with it further since you were clearly trying to skip paying for the upgrade.
    CameraTime - Time lapse photography for novice and advanced users.

    When asking questions, post the version of your software. You'll receive better answers.

    Please post your results to the thread as it is good feedback.

  9. #9


    Member Since
    Dec 13, 2008
    Posts
    3
    Do you still have the players for these? If not get them done by a service company - I got mine done to AVI for editing but it was the same price to have them put onto DVD try here

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