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Import DV video from camcorder tape to a single DV file?

9315 Views 62 Replies Latest reply: Feb 8, 2014 2:12 PM by robertlloydsharp RSS
  • thesurreyfriends Calculating status...


    Out of curiosity are the data rates the same in your test with QuickTime Pro 7 and iMovie 11?


    I have also done a test and QT7 Pro is typically 30.3 Mbit/sec and iMovie 11 is showing 57.2 Mbit/sec.


    I thought that DV was 25 Mbit/sec so am somewhat confused with both results.


    Any thoughts to put me out of my misery?

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)

    The data rate for the QuickTime .mov is 30.31.


    The data rate once converted to .dv and the data rate from the iMovie .dv filas are both 57.55.


    I assume the higher rate on the .dv files is because there's two separate DV tracks for video and audio.


    My only thought to help put you out of your misery is that you may be over thinking this a bit!




    Message was edited by: Matthew Morgan

  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)



    But specifically, there seems to be a large amount of confusion about how to get maximum import and export quality out of the iMovie, Final Cut, and Quicktime/Quicktime Pro applications.



    We've only be talking about the import part of the equation in your case which makes it a tiny bit easier.


    I'm now thinking that Apple software simply may not be the way to go for what I want to do, which is a simple archiving task with no quality loss.  DV file in from tape, DV file out to disk....with the same quality.



    I assume we're talking about a consumer grade video camera so there are quality compromises across the whole process from acquisition to final output. I think that either of the methods I mentioned will work for you.


    If you do want to go the extra mile, Final Cut Pro X ($300.00) has a "camera archive" feature that is designed to do exactly what you're trying to do - make an exact back-up of the footage from your camera.


    Using the the feature is discussed in this article:




    Are the Adobe software suites (e.g., Premiere) any better for this simple task? 


    I haven't used any of Adobe's offerings, but I don't think you'll find a magic bullet there.



  • Matthew Morgan Level 7 Level 7 (22,420 points)

    You're welcome. Happy to help.


    I look forward to your comments on the results of your experiment.



  • thesurreyfriends Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)


    This may be of some use to you ,depending on what you finally decide  to do with your archived DV import.


    Via Finder go to your iMovie Events.

    Open up one of your Event Folders and you will see a Folder called " iMovie Movie Cache "

    In this folder you will see a QuickTime movie called "


    This "" is very small ( only KB in size) and is a reference file for the DV import.

    If you double click on this it will play your import back as one whole piece. ( You may have to download QuickTime 7 for this, free from Apple Site, you dont need to buy the Pro 7 for this.)


    You can copy this to your desktop etc and rename if you wish.


    You should be able to use this in the same way that you would use your single DV file. For example you could drag this into iDVD and produce a DVD of your import, (un-edited of course )

    As you have not created a Project and exported then this will not suffer from iMovie 11 single field processing .


    As this is a reference file it is not "stand alone" If you delete the imported DV clips from your event then this will affect the .In other words don't delete the imported clips from the iMovie Event.


    I know this is not what you are exactly after but thought you might like to experiment to see if it gets you a little closer to where you want to be.

  • thesurreyfriends Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)



    Just had a thought

    The second drawback is that this play-as-one-file playback approach depends on that file.  If anything ever happens to it (perhaps it could get corrupted somehow or maybe even accidentally deleted) then I'm stuck with a bunch of clips that would then need to be fiddled with to get them to play back as one.  I'm a little concerned about that because it could occur far down the road.

    Sounds like you have decided to invest in QT7 Pro


    If you open up the in QT7 Pro >File>Export. In the Export option choose Movie to DV Stream and then set your options as required (make sure Scan Mode is set to Interlaced).

    This shoud give you a stand-alone (Self Contained) DV file.It's size will be equivalent to the addition of all the single .dv clips.


    By doing this you should get the best of both worlds.


    You end up with individual clips if you should ever need them.


    You get the single single clip that you can use.


    Thirdly you get the self contained .dv file ( single clip) that you can use independently of iMovie and copy to  another hard drive if you are woried about it being corrupted or accidently deleted.


    The file and the self contained file should behave in the same way.

  • thesurreyfriends Level 2 Level 2 (260 points)

    I think it safe to say that David Babsky knows what he is talking about.


    So yes, as I see it, it will be the same quality as what you import into iMovie from your cam' .


    Before committing yourself to hours and hours of importing you will no doubt do a short test to see how it turns out quality wise .You will obviously want to compare your final output, as above suggestion, with an original .dv clip/clips imported into iMovie.


    Will be very interested to hear how you get on and your thoughts on quality achieved.


    Good Luck

  • Maccanaut Calculating status...

    Hi JohnNY123,


    I completely understand ur dilemma because I too have been trying to do PRECISELY the same as u. I thought I had succeeded but discovered after capturing over 120 hours of DV tapes and storing them on an external hard drive, that the capture method messed up the fields and I had lines running through video in playback. To be honest, given my experience, that was a pretty dumb error on my part. Anyway so I had to start all over again. I read the posts here just this morning and purchased QT7 Pro immediately. Its currently capturing the second video and its a success. File sizes are almost exactly as per original file size and I can export the file in so many formats I think I'm complete. There IS an issue with the fileds again but its fixed immediately with the click of the 'deinterlace' button (which is somewhat obscure but it is there). Im using a 2012 iMac with mountain lion.

    Hopefully u get urs sorted. What I find with full size DV files is that the image quality when streamed to a HD TV is amazing. This is one reason I wish to keep the original file size as is.



  • robertsharp3 Calculating status...

    The LifeFlix MiniDV Converter will do exactly what you need for only $9.99.  Available as a download on the Mac app store.


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