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david van brink // Tue 2009.04.7 21:05 // {qt_tools}

Snagging Video from Home Dvd’s

My dad recently transferred all his (our!) old 8mm movie reels to dvd. We’re talking 1957 to 1972 for this first batch. He sent me copies, three dvd’s worth.

It was pretty painless; he used yesvideo.com, which distributes through Costco. I think the pickup and delivery was at Costco. Quality seems a bit blurry, but maybe that’s the source.

Of course, I want to reedit the content a bit, in Final Cut and After Effects and all that. Turns out it was very easy to import the DVD’s into the Mac, in a usable format, with qt_tools!

(Download my command-line qt_tools here.)

The catch is, you need the Apple MPEG-2 Import Component either for $19.99 from Apple, or installed with Final Cut.

All the video lives in a .VOB file. The biggest ones are usually the content you want; the littlest ones are usually menu loops. Using qt_tools, we convert VOB to quicktime. Well, mp4, anyway.

qt_export --dodialog VTS_01_1.VOB ~/mp4s/VTS_01_1.mp4 --savesettings=mp4_pretty_good.st

I found mp4 at about 5000 kbits/second looked ok.

This only works on personal dvd’s, of course. Unencrypted.

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