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  1. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: South Africa
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    Hi, I'm looking for advice on capturing my Sony DCR-TRV330E DV camcorder to my new laptop. The camcorder outputs DV via firewire/IEEE 1394/i.Link, but it's likely my new laptop will have neither firewire port nor ExpressCard slot for adapters. It also won't have free internal adapter slots, but will have USB ports (USB 2.0 at least). It will be running Windows 7.

    1) Is it possible to use a firewire-to-USB cable for transferring DV off the camcorder? There seem to be quite a few of these around (e.g. http://www.wantitall.co.za/1394-usb-cable/All/p1), surely they must work for something?
    2) Up to now I've been using Windows Movie Maker 2.1 (XP) and Stoik Capturer for capturing via firewire. If a firewire-to-USB cable can be used for transferring DV material, what currently available software is capable of capturing that via USB?
    3) If this approach with firewire-to-USB cable isn't feasible for some reason, what else do you suggest for this equipment combination?

    Many thanks,
    Francois
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
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    1) no
    2)none
    3)buy a computer with a firewire port or buy a new camcorder.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Hell, I have got the same problem with my Sony DCR-PC120 Camcorder and VIA VT6306 firewire card, which is perfectly installed and cabled to my camera, yet non-of the video softwares show the Firewire as capture Source !!!
    Q: Which software works reliably with Firewire??
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  4. Thank you for the good advice... but (would you believe?) I tried them both and it's all dead. I never get the video source showing up, even though I have the Cam running. I wished I knew how to "force" the firewire driver into action...
    The card has 4 firewire ports and non-of them shows up as source.
    It's either the card's or the software's fault.
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  5. Do the firewire ports show up in Device Manager?

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    When you plug the camera in (or switch the camera on) does Windows make the connect sound?
    Last edited by jagabo; 15th Feb 2012 at 20:54.
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  6. Yes, it shows exactly (!!) the same wording in my hardware manager.
    When I plug in the cable or switch on the camera I don't hear any connect sound or click. It should, if Firewire transfers video & sound. I have got two new, pretty good and short Firewire cables, I can use for connecting the Firewire card to the iLink of the camera.
    What could it be now? Is there something on the camera I should adjust?
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  7. Could be cables. But if you've tried two that's not likely. Could be a bad firewire port on the camcorder.
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  8. BuskerAlley.com zoobie's Avatar
    Join Date: Feb 2005
    Location: Colorado Rocky Mountains
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    Ports go bad all the time. Take it to a camera shop and see if they can get anything out of it.
    Author, Producer, Composer, Director - Canon HDV, Konica SLR, LG BD burner
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  9. The camcorder fireport has never been used since I bought the camcorder new several years, ago. Sony user manual mentions that the cable has to have 4 pin; both have 4 pins. Yet, you are right, it must be the ports on the card, the cable or the port on the camcorder, which is flawed. It could also be that Sony forces consumers to only use their equipment... and so, they introduce these sorts of chicaneries.
    I thank you for kicking me to the possible problem, because I don't know a thing about using firewire.
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  10. While trying to swap the cable from one to other ports, suddenly (down on the right on PC screen) the taskbar shortly showed "New hardware found...", yet it didn't install, because it was only an intermittent connection.
    Tomorrow I take the firewire card out and solder the cable directly onto its tracks. No problem, since I'm into electronics. If that still doesn't work I throw the card into the garbo. It has cost me only $4. Then I have to go for USB Capture card, such as EasyCap and forgetting about firewire and iLink problems... Thanks again to zagabo and zoobe!!
    It's already 1:45 after midnight in her and I have to go to bed... Good Night and greetings from summery Santiago de Chile
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  11. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    DON'T USE USB. Quality will be MUCH worse. Get your port problem fixed first and you'll probably be fine.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  12. Thx for the good advice Cornucopia...
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  13. A little historical perspective will help regarding USB.

    In 1995, when DV camcorders first hit the market, firewire ports ran at 400 Mb/s. USB 1.0 entered the market in 1996 at 1.5 Mb/s. In 1998 USB 1.1 was introduced at 12 Mb/s. DV transfer requires about 29 Mb/s. So USB 1.0 and 1.1 were too slow for DV transfer. Camcorders that offered USB ports used them for still images or highly compressed and downscaled (typically ~352x240 MJPEG) video, not for full DV (720x480) video. In the year 2000 USB 2.0 was introduced at 480 Mb/s. That was fast enough for DV transfer but few camcorders were ever manufactured that could take advantage of it.
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  14. A friend of mine has got that EasyCap USB-card, which comes with ArcSoft video software. I tried to run my Sony DCR-PC120 HandyCam with it and the result was quite good. Yet, I never used a firewire card and that's why I have no idea if it's any better.
    So, whether firewire or USB capture, it's merely a matter of data speed in MB/s. I don't know why I allowed myself being carried away by these fancy names. Sony promotes this kind of consumer confusion, by calling firewire "iLink". I wouldn't mind if it would at least work! Sony support was not helpful either, in providing advice, which software works best with my (almost $4000) camera.
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  15. Capturing via firewire (really just a digital data transfer) will give you an exact copy of what's on the DV tape. Using an analog capture device will give lower quality because the digital data on the tape is converted to analog (quality loss), sent over an s-video or composite cable (quality loss), digitized again (quality loss), and probably compressed again using a lossy codec (quality loss).
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  16. Thanks jagabo, that's good to know. That's important to know. Sorry, I forgot to look it up on the Internet.
    I'm using the Internet to check medical doctors. My friend had duodenum problems and after 6 months he still had pains. I googled for it and asked him if his doctor to gave him the two antibiotic medications. He mentioned it to his doctor and the doctor replied: "Oh, they didn't give you these antibiotics...!" Weird that I forgot to google about "what is firewire?"

    My Soundblaster Audigy4 Pro soundcard came with two firewire slots, yet I can't get them working either.
    So, if the firewire sockets, plugs, cable and electronics are OK than the video source should appear in any video capture software. Thus far, I only suffered hopeless attempts to my firewire cards work. Amazing that so many other people have similar problems. too.

    I wished the video source would be listed in any video software as available source. It's, because I suspect that firewire driver is too lazy to be appear as source. - How can I kick it.. to appear??
    Last edited by jjj333; 16th Feb 2012 at 17:15.
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  17. Member turk690's Avatar
    Join Date: Jul 2003
    Location: ON, Canada
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    Although FireWire is a standard (which means all parties follow the rules), after having owned more than a dozen DV and D8 camcorders (and borrowed more), used all manners of mainboards and PCI FireWire cards, Premiere 6.5 to Pro CS5, WinDV, and MS Moviemaker XP, experience shows that for some reason Texas Instruments chipsets are more likely to make connections, and reliable ones at that, than those from VIA and Promise (SI). That said, I also have an ancient Panasonic NV-DS28 whose 4-pin FireWire connector has a chipped plastic thing (where the 4 tiny conductors lie) such that a connection is made only if the plug is pressed a certain way.
    Stop feeling suicidal just because he unfriended you on fezbuk.
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  18. Originally Posted by turk690 View Post
    experience shows that for some reason Texas Instruments chipsets are more likely to make connections, and reliable ones at that, than those from VIA and Promise (SI).
    Yes. I've had the same experience. And seen many people say the same.
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  19. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by turk690 View Post
    experience shows that for some reason Texas Instruments chipsets are more likely to make connections, and reliable ones at that, than those from VIA and Promise (SI).
    Yes. I've had the same experience. And seen many people say the same.
    I partially agree but I've had 3 VIA Firewire boards/mobo chipsets work fine when used with VIA drivers. No problems here. TI is top line.
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  20. Thanks for that Info. That makes me almost confirm my suspicion that despite having the firewire card installed, a good cable and connections... the firewire setup might fail. That explains why the Internet is full of "cannot make firewire work..."queries.
    Hell, what are these firewire card and programmers not doing something about it?
    Yes, I also read that TI chipsets are more likely to connect. Yet, nearly enough is just not good enough!
    After plugging in the firewire cable and turning on the camcorder, my ignorant NeroVideo Express software merely shows the Desktop Cam as the only video source.
    Now, after having wasted money on all that garbage, now all I can do is to chuck it in the garbo...
    So, now have to (whether I like or not) get a VidioCap, because I'm tired of "fire-wiring my money" out of the window and ending up with nothing at all!
    My conclusion: Better a not as good video transfer than nothing at all!
    The way things go, I'll should give firewire another try in about 10 years (at 80, if I'm still alive).
    Last edited by jjj333; 16th Feb 2012 at 18:05.
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  21. If Windows doesn't see the camcorder (ie, if you don't get the connect sound and see the camcorder in Device Manager) it won't be available to any program.
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  22. The thing is... Window "sees" the firewire card, but not the camcorder. Yet, with my friend's EzCap USB capture device my camcorder is at least transferring recorded videos from my camcorder and dare I say, I did not notice any deterioration in quality.
    He told me to watch out, for there are various types of these EzCap; some are called "EasyCap" etc. Some have got lesser quality chipsets. The better ones costs around $30, like this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/EzCAP-116-easycap-DC60-XP-Vista-Windows-7-/200623434994?pt=LH_...item2eb616acf2
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  23. This one has got T1 chipset. I that what the chipset which works reliably, edDV?



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    Last edited by jjj333; 16th Feb 2012 at 18:51.
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  24. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
    Location: 666th portal
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    check your via firewire port driver, it should be listed like this.
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    --
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  25. Member edDV's Avatar
    Join Date: Mar 2004
    Location: Northern California, USA
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    If the mobo has a VIA chipset, like the one shown below, the VIA 4-in-one driver installs the IEEE-1394 driver and it shows like this. You need to install your mobo drivers.

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    All my PCI card IEEE-1394 cards have TI chipsets. Windows seems to see those.

    None of this applies to the OP who refuses to ID his laptop model and visit the HP support site to complete his Win 7 install.

    PS OP was without a Firewire option.

    jjj333 need s to talk to support site for his VIA PCI card.
    Last edited by edDV; 16th Feb 2012 at 20:16.
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  26. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: South Africa
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    @jjj333,

    Have you checked your camera's configuration? The details escape me now, but there's some configurability around the output of my DCR-TRV330E. If I remember correctly you can specify whether output goes to the IEEE 1394 port or to the analogue output. Maybe your camera's IEEE 1394 isn't enabled?

    @all,

    I was fortunate to end up with a Dell Latitude E5420 which has a built-in IEEE 1394 port that works perfectly. Not only that, but the PCMCIA Firewire adaptor I'd bought for an older Dell years ago also works on it perfectly .
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  27. I gave up hope with SONY products and its customer service. I bought about 6 different firewire cards and non works!! Sony service is unable to advice me, which software works with their Cam. I had the same problem with their service, when I couldn't play my (wav formated) PC recorded CD on my expensive Sony Stereo unit. Their service is just futile and fake! On one hand they trying to build great machines and on the other hand they treat their customers ungratefully.

    For (me at least) "It's a SONY" now got a totally different meaning: "Stay away from that pricey garbage!" and those of us, who still trust Sony... will soon come to the same conclusion the costly way.

    Now, that almost all Sony products are "China made consumer products with inbuilt obsolescence timers", it's no point to spend big money on Sony products. We may as well join the Chinese "buy & throw-away mentality" to which Sony now subscribes. No wonder they going down, fast...
    Last edited by jjj333; 15th May 2012 at 10:08.
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  28. Originally Posted by jjj333 View Post
    it's a SONY, now means: be aware, stay away! - No wonder they going down, fast.
    Exactly. Sony has become one of the most consumer unfriendly companies.
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  29. Member
    Join Date: Aug 2007
    Location: South Africa
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    Originally Posted by jjj333 View Post
    I gave up hope with SONY products and its customer service. I bought about 6 different firewire cards and non works!! Sony service is unable to advice me, which software works with their Cam.
    In my experience, whatever IEEE 1394 interface I used on the computer (built-in or adapter), ALL firewire-capable Windows software that I tried worked with my Sony camera. Windows XP's Movie Maker, all the popular DVD authoring suites of the day, Stoik capturer, even Windows 7's Windows Media Center.

    It's a real pity therefore that you seem to have gotten poor service, more so since the 6 different cards not working also point to the issue likely being with the camera. Something like the port as has been suggested or perhaps configuration. Less likely firmware.
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