Downloading from DV firewire 1394 camcorder with dvgrab

Written on August 25, 2012 by Kev

I’ve always had trouble downloading footage from my old DV camcorder using desktop tools like Kino, with it often locking up when I leave it to download a full tape.

I prefer to use OpenShot for editing, so all I really need is a simple tool to allow me to download footage from the camcorder. I’ve recently discovered the command line tool dvgrab, and it works wonderfully!

Once installed (apt-get install dvgrab on debian/ubuntu) the following command will rewind the tape and start to import footage. A new file will be created for each ‘break’ on the tape. The files are written with the recordings date/time as the filename and a prefix as specified on the command. Just remember to cd to the folder you want to have the files written to before running the command.

dvgrab -a -format raw -rewind -t holiday-

Where holiday- should be replaced by whatever you want to have as a prefix on each filename.