capturing standard def via firewire on a mac

Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Figured someone might find this useful.  A client recently purchased a refurbished 2017 macbookpro which only has usb-c/thunderbolt ports.  She wanted to capture some hi-8 tapes.  She has a sony hi-8 camera which does not have a firewire output but has composite and svideo outputs.  She also has an sony hdv deck which has svideo input and firewire out.  And she has a blackmagic intensity usb3 device.  

 

The macbookpro came with high sierra installed.  I wanted to be able to run premiere 2021 on it, so did the simplest thing which was to update to big sur.  Unfortunately Blackmagic does not support the instensity usb3 device anymore so I had to revert to hi sierra and then update to mojave (apple does not make these things easy - if anyone needs instructions on how to do this - post back and I'll walk you thru it) in order to find a version of the blackmagic desktop video utility that would work with the intensity.   If anyone wants the correct version number of the blackmagic desktop video utility, post back and I'll figure it out.  Spent a few hours walking back thru the versions til I found the one that works.  But gotta say Blackmagic doesn't throw any unnecessary barriers to finding and installing the earlier versions.  

 

And then discovered that the output of of the hi-8 camera was not stable video and would not work with the intensity.  running the hi-8 output via s-video to the hdv deck stabilized the video (I'm guessing the hdv deck has some sort of tbc built in) but the hdv deck does not have composite or svideo output, but does have firewire.  So, got the apple firewire to thunderbolt 2 adapter....  which of course does not plug into the usbc/thunderbolt ports on the macbookpro.  Then got what apple calls the thunderbolt 3 adapter to thunderbolt 2 (although in my head it should be called a thunderbolt 2 to 3 adapter, bwdik) and tried to capture in Premiere 2021.  Didn't work.  Installed Premiere 2018 (which adobe does not make easy - anyone who needs help with this post back...) and everything is working.  

 

Not simple, but did get everything working.   Took about a week of intermittent concentration and the client was suitably impressed.  When I get back to her studio, will update the bootable clone from the macbookpro so we'll have back up for this setup in case we need to update something else and lose this capability...  

 

Haven't had a chance to test HDV capture, but I imagine it will work.  Will test it somepoint soon.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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My wife has several old VHS tapes made with a very early video camera... she remembers it as being so big it had to be carried on a shoulder

 

To be able to convert to digital and then make a DVD I bought a Grass Valley ADVC-110 to go between a VCR and my computer (Windows) which was easy to do and worked well enough to make make several discs

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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Mac does not make live easy.

I have a relative new custom Windows machine with a FireWire card installed.

Capturing with 2021 is with no issues.

As for Hi8 tapes I use a D8-camera.

For mini DV tapes I have an HDV camera.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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what firewire card do you have installed?   Just in case I have to deal with that...  thanks

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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QuickTime Player and iMovie will capture DV via the firewire-->TB2-->TB3 rig you described. If it's not too steep for you or your client's budget, so does FCPX and a nifty little utility called LifeFlix.

 

I have many hours of trial and error sunk into my major DV Hi8 and VHS capture project, and I have a lot of lessons learned if you're interested. I have it working very well now with only a few hiccups that I can work around without too much trouble. 

 

Once the files are captured to the MBP, Pr will ingest and edit without any difficulties. If using FCPX for capture, it may be easiest just to edit them there.

 

2019 MacBook Pro 16"

Big Sur 11.3.1

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I have posted time and time again that the Intenisty Shuttle needs a TBC. The Firewire based DV converters are easier to use. No need for drivers or a TBC.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 04, 2021 May 04, 2021

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I was just posting my experience dealing with the equipment that I had available and I thought that might be helpful for some people here.  The HDV deck worked as you suggest a firewire based dv converter would.   

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 05, 2021 May 05, 2021

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I agree. A Sony Digital 8 cam, HDV cam and Mini DV cam will all be able to make use of the the generic DV-25 protocal.

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