Some EyeTV products, like EyeTV 250 Plus
, are able to take
the output of a VCR, and bring the video into your Mac, for viewing
and/or recording. These products have an encoding chip inside, to
maximize encoding quality and efficiency.
A product like EyeTV Hybrid
does not have an encoding chip, and may offer lesser encoding
quality. EyeTV Hybrid
cannot use the VHS Assistant, but you can use
Manual Recording for that product.
To capture video from a VCR, you have three options:
1) The EyeTV VHS Assistant,
with a product like EyeTV 250 Plus
2) Manual Recording
, with a product like EyeTV Hybrid, EyeTV 250 Plus
or EyeTV HD
3) Elgato Video Capture
, a product dedicated to capturing video from sources like a VCR
EyeTV VHS Assistant
You can find the new EyeTV VHS Assistant in the Help menu, when
using EyeTV software 2.2 or later.
It will walk you through all the
necessary steps to bring video into your Mac; for example, it clearly
shows how to connect the video and audio cables to get a good picture,
and how to start recording for a set length of time.
When the recording is finished, you can automatically send it to
Toast 10 Titanium or iDVD to make a video DVD, or to your video iPod.
The VHS Assistant can be used by any EyeTV compatible hardware that has a MPEG encoder, like EyeTV 250 Plus.
You can manually record from a VCR, using a product like EyeTV Hybrid, EyeTV 250 Plus
or EyeTV HD
Typically, one would use the coaxial, composite (red, yellow and white) or S-Video inputs of the EyeTV hardware.
• If you’re using a VCR connected to EyeTV via a coaxial cable, then
Auto Tune using Analog - Antenna NTSC
. EyeTV will find the signal on channel 3 or
• If you’re using a VCR connected to EyeTV via composite (red, yellow
and white) or S-Video, then go to the Controls
menu and choose the
Once the VCR is correctly connected to EyeTV, then you will see the video in the Live TV window.
To record, you have a few options:
1) Press the red Record
button on the on-screen remote, or the
physical remote. Press it again when you’re done. That recording will
be limited to 3 hours.
2) Use the New
button in the Schedules
section of the EyeTV Programs
window, to schedule a
new recording, starting and ending when you like. That recording would
be limited to 12 hours.
Once a recording starts, then you can extend it up to 12 hours, by
editing its info. Usually the Info
button in the EyeTV Programs
can help you with that - highlight the recording in the Recordings
section, then use the Info
Elgato Video Capture
Elgato Video Capture
is a hardware and software bundle that is focused on capturing video from composite and S-Video sources, like a VCR.
It is inexpensive, very easy to use, and uses high-quality software encoding.
It can capture directly in either H.264 or MPEG-4, depending on the speed of your Mac. Those formats can be immediately given to iTunes or iMovie.
More information about that product can be found in the Elgato Video Capture Knowledgebase
When the recording is finished, you can watch it or edit it in
EyeTV, or you could export it to other applications.
EyeTV can’t make
a video DVD on its own - you need to move the recording to other
applications ike Toast 10 Titanium or iDVD for that. Using EyeTV video with Toast
If you are using EyeTV 250 Plus, then you can use the Devices
section of the EyeTV Preferences
to edit the
settings. That will allow you to fit more (or less) in the
same hard drive space. There are presets to fit a certain amount on a
You can also use Custom
to make more fine grained
changes. For example, setting “GOP Structure = I Frames Only” would
allow a somewhat better quality and performance for VHS recording,
especially if the tape is older.
In short, only certain EyeTV products have hardware encoding chips that can be used
to digitize VHS tapes, including EyeTV 250 Plus.
Some products without hardware encoding chips can be used, but
the quality of the video may not be as high, depending on the speed of
EyeTV Hybrid is an uncompressed analog video products that doesn't use the VHS Assistant. Record manually, as described above.
No DVB/DTT product can be used to convert
You can also use Elgato Video Capture, which is a great choice for capture from a VCR. It can even record directly into a format ready for iTunes or iMovie.