If I connect my 8mm camcorder to the AV socket on my Sony Mini DV camcorder, then the DV out on the Sony camcorder to my FireWire port on my Mac, I can get pass through on the Sony camcorder and capture the video footage in iMovie by just playing the 8mm camcorder. I am now trying to do the same but with a VHS machine in place of the 8mm camcorder, but I cannot get pass through. I have to record the VHS onto Mini DV tapes and then play these back and capture them in iMovie. I have a task to import 3 full VHS tapes and this will take ages with this two step process and I will also have to patch together all the breaks for each 60 minute DV tape. Any idea why this works with an 8mm camcorder and not with the VCR?
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I don't know which version of iMovie you're using, but I've read posts at Apple Discussions where iMovie HD won't capture video from a low-quality source such as VHS recorded in an extended play mode. So maybe it is the video quality of the source that is the problem here.
I am using iMovie 4.0.1. I will try with a different video tape which is of better quality, but it seems as though the camcorder isn't providing pass through and i cannot think why this would work fro an 8mm camcorder and not VCR.