Importing DVD footage into Final Cut

“How can I import footage that's on a DVD into Final Cut?"

If the footage on the DVD is not copy protected, material you shot, or otherwise have rights you, then there are a few different ways to do this.

One way is to use the hardware route. This is pretty straight-forward.

You can either connect your DVD player video and audio outputs to an analog/digital converter and capture your DVD material through that. You could use a DV camera that will convert material as it passes it through; if your camera has that capability. The third way is to record your DVD output on DV tapes, and then capture the tape into Final Cut. The advantage of this last method is the DV tape you create is a master you can hold and accurately recapture from again and again if necessary.

The second method is the software solution.

There are a number of different ways to do this. One of the best ways is to use Brad Wright's DVD conversion software called DVDxDV to pull the material directly off the disc and convert it to the right format. This is a high quality conversion, but it is not free. The version 3.0 of DVDxDV allows you rip a a standard definition disc and uprez it to HD format. Obviously this works best with widescreen media as HD is only widescreen. There is no 4:3 High Definition. There is other commercial software that does this too, Toast 7 from Roxio, and Cinematize from Miraizon.

Another software solution is to use MPEG Streampclip. This is fairly simply to use software that lets you rip the Video_TS files and convert them to DV. You can find a basic guide to working with Streamclip here.

If the material cannot be copied with these methods you will probably need to rip the files first because the camera or converter thinks the material is copy protected even when it's not. 

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