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Activity Forums Tape-to-Digital Mini DV tapes transfer through thunderbolt dock????

  • Mini DV tapes transfer through thunderbolt dock????

    Posted by Cortney Hamilton on January 7, 2024 at 8:18 pm

    Hi, I’m trying to transfer a bunch of mini dv tapes that were recorded on a DVX100a a dozen years ago. The problem is I own a 2021 macbook pro and the dongle to connect a Firewire 800 to a thunderbolt 2 (which then connects to thunderbolt 3 on my computer) has been discontinued. I can’t find it anywhere online new or used (all the posts them for sale are very old and the sellers don’t respond to my requests.) So, I’m seeing a few older thunderbolt docks for sale on these used sites, particularly ones that have firewire 800 ports and thunderbolt ports and I’m wondering if that would work for a transfer. It would seem that it would, but I don’t want to buy an old dock and have it not work. Anyone have thoughts? Or other thoughts about where to purchase the firewire–thunderbolt dongle or other workarounds?


    An example of the dock I’m looking at:



    Cortney Hamilton replied 3 months ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • Alessandro Machi

    January 7, 2024 at 11:15 pm

    I did find a youtube video that might help. Additionally, check out the comments and if that does not help, I would suggest asking in their comment section.

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  • Cortney Hamilton

    January 8, 2024 at 11:05 pm

    Thanks for this video. I really appreciate it. It was helpful. Might look into a OWS adapter. Since the firewire is discontinued, that is my main problem. I’m looking for a cheap solution for this one thing I need it for (I won’t use the adapter for anything else.) Might look into using the A/V outputs on an HVX camera and using the Elgato video capture. Think that would be the cheapest option at this point since I can’t find a firewire adapter.

  • Paul Carlin

    January 10, 2024 at 2:22 pm

    Even after you find this adapter you’re looking for you may discover that there is no modern driver to support the device you are connecting. The best way to do this is to also find an old computer that is running an OS from the era of the adapter. The other issue is dealing with how to capture the video (DV deck, dropouts and cleaning the video heads and tape path), obsolete software needed to capture DV, how to convert the DV once you do (Mac no no longer supports this codec natively) and so on.

    I would strongly recommend you consider farming it out to a company that does this and have them make NTSC 29.97i ProRes 422HQ movies for you. Your time is too valuable to attempt doing this yourself. You will need that time to learn how to properly deinterlace the footage and upscale it. I recommend interpreting the footage as interlaced and dropping it into a square pixel 59.94p comp in AE and setting the comp size to crop out the blanking. Then use Neat Video in AE to remove the noise and render this out as ProRes 422HQ. Take this 59.94 clip into Topaz AI and upscale it. You will need to test the different algorithms to find one that works best for the content you are dealing with. Good luck.

  • Cortney Hamilton

    January 13, 2024 at 10:39 pm

    Thanks for the input. I was worried about the things you mention. However, I don’t have a grand to shell out to a company. I received the Elgato video capture today and tried it out and fortunately it works. I don’t know if I’d recommend it if I was going to use the footage professionally (in a doc or something), but for my purposes it’s perfect and it was only $87. So I’m very happy about it. Thanks to both you and Alessandro for chiming in. I appreciate your time and thoughts.

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