How to Connect a VCR to a Mac

By John Ford

VCRs can be connected to Mac computers.
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Connecting your Mac to your VCR is a pretty painless procedure, as long as you have the right connections and cables. All you need to do is find the DVI port on your Mac, connect the Apple DVI-to-video adapter to the port and then connect an S-Video cable to your VCR.

You'll need an Apple DVI-to-video adapter for your Mac. Some MacBooks and older iBooks and PowerBooks were shipped with the adapter, so you may have one available. The DVI-to-video adapter is a small device that essentially makes it possible to feed a signal to the VCR or any device with an S-Video port.

Different Mac models require different video adapters. The good news is that the adapter is relatively inexpensive. iMac models have a mini-DVI port and will use the Apple Mini-DVI-to-video adapter. The MacBook and the 12" PowerBook G4 also use this adapter. The Mac Pros have a standard DVI port and require the Apple DVI-to-video adapter. MacBook Pro, Mac Mini and Power Mac G5 computers will also use the latter adapter.

Connect the DVI adapter to your Mac, then connect the S-Video cable to the S-Video output port of the DVI adapter. If you have a VCR with an S-Video input, simply connect the S-Video cable to the VCR's S-Video input port. Most new VCRs are S-VCRs. Your S-VCR is now ready to record input from your Mac.

If you are using an older VCR without an S-Video input, you will need to purchase an S-Video-to-component video converter. You also might be able to use a digital camcorder as a pass-through device, connecting the S-Video to the camcorder while it is paused in record mode and running S-Video out to the VCR.