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I have a number of old VHS tapes, as well as some analog 8mm tapes. I still have a working VCR, as well as the camcorder that recorded the tapes. I'd like to convert these on a Mac (MacBook Pro) - what do I need in order to digitize these tapes?

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I do this with a cheap FireWire gadget called Dazzle Hollywood - it takes analogue video and converts it to FireWire and then to iMovie it just looks like you have a digital camcorder connected. This is a pretty old device though, so there may be newer/better options out there, e.g. various products from ElGato ?

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The El Gato video capture (…) seems to work, and has the bonus of working with both Windows and Mac. – chris Oct 13 '10 at 16:32
@chris: thanks for confirming that - it may be time to retire my old Dazzle Holywood box and get something better such as the El Gato solution. – Paul R Oct 14 '10 at 8:01

If your camcorder has a firewire port, there may be a switch on the camera to switch it to output and connect it to the Mac.

Alternatively you could use An Elgato product and as a bonus get a TV tuner too.

As @PaulR mentioned, Dazzle also has firewire or USB video capture dongles.

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No digital output on the camcorder - it's about 10 years old. – chris Jun 15 '10 at 14:30

It's called a USB video capture card. Capture cards rather than TV tuners are hard to find. Here's one that I've tested:

and another I have not:

The software included is VideoGlide, which also supports other devices such as EasyCap.

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