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Camcorder Meets Mac > Camcorder Meets Mac - Pg. 117

you'll have the footage in digital format now forever, ready to make as many copies as you want with no further quality degradation. 4. Press the Record button on the DV camcorder, and press Play on the older cam- corder or VCR. You can monitor your progress by watching the LCD screen of your camcorder. Remember that the DV cassette generally holds only 60 minutes of video, com- pared with 2 hours on many previous-format tapes. You may have to change DV cassettes halfway through the process. When the transfer is fnished, you can rewind the newly recorded DV cassette in the DV camcorder and then import it into iMovie exactly as described in this chapter. Importing Footage from Non-DV Tapes Approach 3: Use a Media Converter If your DV camcorder doesn't have analog inputs, you can buy an analog-to-digital converter--a box that sits between your Mac and your VCR or older camcorder. It's an unassuming half-pound gray box, about 3 by 5 inches. Its primary features include analog audio and video (and S-video) inputs, which accommodate your older video gear, and a FireWire jack, whose cable you can plug into your Mac. Your options include the Canopus ADVC-55 (, $215, shown in Figure 4-16), and the Director's Cut Take 2 box ( html; about $280). In either case, you'll be very pleased with the video quality. And when it comes to converting older footage, the media-converter approach has a dramatic advantage over DV camcorders with analog inputs: You have to sit through the footage only once. As your old VCR or camcorder plays the tape through the converter, the Mac records it simultaneously. (Contrast with Approach 2, which requires you to play the footage twice: once to the DV camcorder, and then from there to the Mac.) Figure 4-16: The Canopus box requires no external power because it draws its juice from the Mac, via Fire- Wire cable. It also offers double sets of inputs and outputs, so you can keep your TV and VCR hooked up simultaneously. And it can handle both NTSC (North American) or PAL (European) video signals. chapter4:camcordermeetsmac 117