How can I digitize old MiniDV video tapes?

Episode 1096

Libby from Claremont, CA

Libby has some miniDV tapes that she wants to make digital copies of. She wants to know the best method for doing this, and what format she should use. Leo says that miniDVs are already digital. So that saves a step. Since the service Libby took them to made DVDs, she can rip them and get MPEG2 files. Leo uses HandBrake and VLC Media Client, which work together to rip DVDs. Leo says to just rip it. Don't reencode it.

How can I transfer MiniDV tapes to a PC without Firewire built in?

PCI Firewire Card

Episode 983

Alan from Long Beach, CA

David has a Toshiba Satellite laptop and he wants to capture video from old MiniDV tapes. Leo says that David needs a Firewire card because USB just isn't fast enough. His laptop also doesn't have a PCI card slot.

An analog capture device like the ADVC110 from Pinnacle would be ideal if he were dealing with analog video, but his camera is digital, so it would downgrade the signal. David would be better off getting a PCI Firewire card for his desktop, and transfer the video to that.