Digitizing DV Tapes

Capturing Mini DV Tapes: Premiere

Overview

Do you have dozens of Mini DV tapes in some closet at home, documenting your childhood? Would you rather have that video in a digital format that isn't prone to being dropped on the floor and shattering into hundreds of pieces? Then you're going to have to do some digitizing. You could pay a company hundreds and hundreds of dollars to do so, or you could come on over to the 8th Floor of Ansin and do it yourself for free!

Check your settings:

  1. On Sony SD Decks:
    1. Switch should be set to Remote
  2. On Sony HDV Decks:
    1. Switch should be set to iLink
    2. “Mini DV” should light up once the tape has been threaded
  3. Make sure the Canopus (the small black box for digitizing VHS tapes) is powered on.
  4. Ensure the deck is physically connected to the computer. RCA cables should run from the deck to the canopus and a firewire should run from the canopus to the computer. If it is not, ASK A LAB ASSISTANT.

DV Deck and Monitor

HDV Deck

Canopus

Capture Your Tape:

  1. To capture your tape:
    1. Create a new Bin for capture
    2. Insert tape into deck
    3. Go into Capture mode (File > Capture)

    1. Name the tape you inserted
    2. Check your Settings (Capture > Settings):
      1. Under Capture Locations, Video and Audio will generally be “Same as Project”
      2. Under Device Control, the Device will generally be set to “DV/HDV Device Control.” Under this section, click “Options…”
        1. Video Standard = NTSC
        2. Device Brand = Generic
        3. Device Type = Standard
        4. Timecode Format = Auto Detect

  1. To Capture the entire tape at once:
    1. Go into Capture mode (File > Capture)
    2. Rewind tape to the beginning of your recording
    3. Press “tape”
    4. The red record button in the bottom of the Capture window should automatically activate
    5. Watch media play until finished
    6. Hit the stop button, or “esc” key to stop the capture at any point

  1. To Capture sections of the tape and label for later use:
    1. Go into Log mode
    2. Scrub through the tape until the beginning of the section you want to capture
    3. Set an “IN” point by pressing the “I” button on your keyboard
    4. Scrub to the end of the section
    5. Set an “OUT” point by pressing the “O” button on your keyboard.
    6. Click the “In/Out” button in the bottom right corner. The red record button in the bottom of the Capture window should automatically activate. The capture will stop once the recording has reached the out point.
    7. You will be prompted to name your clips each time the program stops recording.
    8. Repeat above steps for ALL clips.
  2. Don’t forget your tape once you’ve finished capturing!

Common Problems

If tape is not displaying on the monitor:

  • Trying pressing the “Line A/B” button below the monitor’s screen. This toggles the input between the DV deck and VHS player.

If tape is displaying on the monitor but not in Premiere:

  • Turn the Canopus off, then back on again. I know. But sometimes it can be finicky and this usually works.

 

If the current menu is not displaying on the monitor:

  • Press "MENU".
  • Use Up/Down and Left/Right arrow keys to navigate:
  • Menu > Display Control> Character Display > ON
  • Press “SET (YES)”.
  • Interface Select> Remote I/F > iLink

If the firewire link is not working:

  • Press "MENU"
  • Use Up/Down and Left/Right arrow keys to navigate:
  • Interface Select> Remote I/F > iLink
  • Press "SET (YES)".