Digitizing Video

These instructions use equipment found at various stations in the Knapp Center, located on the first floor of Clapp Library. If you have any questions, ask a consultant at the Knapp or Clapp service desks for assistance.


Setting Up

VHS cassettes Stations 28-32
PAL cassettes Station 26
DVD Stations 23-32
Region Free DVD Stations 23-27
DV Tape Stations 30, 31
  • Make sure the Extron box's power is turned on - see image below. If the green light is off, it may be that the box is unplugged. See the computer consultant on duty for assistance. Ensure the green light next to the button for the equipment you're using (it will be labeled either "DVD", "DVD/VCR", or "VCR", depending on what equipment is at the station) is lit.

    Picture of the Extron boxes for switching between media inputs

  • Make sure that the Sony box's power is turned on. The Sony box is located on top of the computer tower. If there are no green lights, press the power button on the top of the box.

Sony box that allows communication between external media equipment and computer

  • Set the Sony box. Make sure the green light is showing on the Analog In button. If it isn't, press the button.
  • Check to make sure the volume on the computer is turned up before digitizing. Press up and down buttons on the keyboard, and adjust the slide next to the speaker icon on the desktop.
  • Turn on the TV.
  • Turn on the correct player and insert the tape or disc.
  • Use the player controls to navigate to the part of the video that you want to digitize. Pause the video a few seconds before you would like your digitized clip to begin.

If you have questions about using one of the players, please see a consultant for help.

If the movie is not being displayed on the TV or in QuickTime, follow the troubleshooting directions at the end of the documentation.

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Digitizing Video Clips in QuickTime Player

After you have set up the DVD or VHS and paused it at a point that is before the point where you want your clip to begin:

  • Launch Quicktime player using Search in the top right-hand corner.
    Spotlight search to open QuickTime Player 7
  • With Quicktime open, select File  →  New Movie Recording
    A new window will open… you may see camera footage of whoever is sitting in front of the computer!
  • Towards the bottom of the window, you should see a control panel. White arrow in QuickTime control panel to open recording menuSelect the small arrow on the right side of the panel.
  • This will bring up a few options. You will need to select DVMC-DA2 for both the Camera and the Microphone. Recording menu with DVMC-DA2 selected as camera and microphone
  • Now you can select the red record button from the control panel and press play on the DVD or VHS player. Red circular record button in QuickTime Player
    • You should start to see the video play.
    • While recording, the control panel will hide if you move the cursor off the player window.
  • To stop the recording, press the gray square stop button on the control panel. Grey square stop button in QuickTime Player control panel
    • The control panel will change, allowing you to play, pause and navigate your new video recording.
  • You will need to save your recording by selecting File -> Save. To save your recording at a specific quality level, select an option from the File -> Export menu instead.
    • Be sure to give your video a recognizable title by entering a name in Export As:
    • Also save your video in a location you’ll have access to (Desktop, etc.)

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Trimming Video Using QuickTime Player

  • Open your video in Quicktime by holding control on the keyboard and selecting the video file. Now select Open With  →  QuickTime Player.
    Right-click menu to Open With QuickTime Player
  • With your video file open, select Edit  →  Trim (or pressing Command+T on the keyboard).
  • You’ll see a new control panel along the bottom of the window. Yellow selection bar for trimming video file in QuickTime
    • The left and right edges of the yellow bar represent the selection of video you want to keep… the rest will be discarded.
  • Click and drag the edges of the yellow bar to adjust this selection.
  • Once you have made the selection you wish to keep, click the Trim button on the right side of the control panel. Yellow Trim button in QuickTime control panel
    • If you’ve made an error, you can undo this process by selecting Edit  →  Undo Trim.
  • Now you can save your trimmed video by selecting File  →  Save. To save your video at a specific quality level, select an option from the File  →  Export menu instead.
    • Be sure to give your video a title that is different from your original file by entering a name in Export As:
    • Also save your video in a location you’ll have access to (Desktop, etc.).
  • You can make another trimmed video file by opening the original file and repeating the steps above.

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Troubleshooting

If you do not see the video on the TV

  • Open the front panel of the TV (under the screen)
  • Press the TV/VCR button until you see Video 1 in the upper right corner of the screen.
  • Make sure that all of the settings are correct in the Setting Up section of the instructions at the top of this page.

If you do not see the video in QuickTime or receive a blue screen in QuickTime

  • Make sure that the correct player is turned on and that it is playing.
  • Make sure that the TV is set to Video 1.
  • Make sure that all of the settings are correct in the Setting Up section of the instructions at the top of this page.
  • Make sure that you have pressed play.
  • If you are at stations #30 or 31, and trying to digitize from the VCR or TV, make sure the DV tape player is turned OFF.

If the video is still not showing in iMovie

  • Quit out of iMovie.
  • Turn off the SONY box.
  • Turn on the SONY box.
  • Launch iMovie.
  • Turn off the Mac.
  • Turn off the SONY box.
  • Turn on the SONY box.
  • Turn on the Mac.
  • Launch iMovie.

If you don't hear any audio in QuickTime when you are playing back a captured clip

  • Check to see if the audio on the computer is turned up and not muted.
  • If the computer has sound, in QuickTime:
    • go to File -> New Movie Recording
    • click the small arrow on the right side of the control panel
    • ensure that DVMC-DA2 is selected for the Microphone
  • Recapture clip

If this doesn't work:

If these steps don't work, see a consultant for help.

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