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  1. Greets all;

    I'm trying to get my newly acquired Sony HVR-A1U to go directly to firewire capture, using it in camera mode, capturing directly to hard disk - without tape. I can't get passed the annoying 'insert a cassette' menu message.

    I don't know what I might have missed in the manual. Is it just not possible to run this unit without the tape inserted? (No, I have't tried it with a tape - I don't have one - and that's not the idea, anyway). I don't want to be transport/tape-based).

    Thanks in advance!
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  2. I don't have that camera, but I do have an HDV camcorder, and AFAIK the F/W is only for HDV out, in other words for transferring tape to computer. If you want to be able to record the video directly from the camera without hitting the record button, you need to use the A/V out. Mine has an HDMI out and that is what I use to record to an external recorder, not the F/W. Surely yours has HDMI or component? So use that.
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  3. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    no HDV cams and miniDV cams can be used to record live over F/W. some of them you had to leave the tape door open on if you didn't want to insert and record to tape.
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  4. I have both a Sony DV (TRV-11) and Sony HDV (FX-1) camcorder. I use them both, all the time, to "pass through" video and also to record live video, all without any tape in the tape transport mechanism.

    Are you attempting to press the "record" button on the camcorder, either by physically pressing it, or by asking your capture software to "record?" My guess is that you have your capture software configured to start and stop the camcorder.

    You do not want to do that!

    You didn't say what capture software you are using, so I cannot give specific recommendations on how to avoid this. In Scenalyzer there is an option in the setup menu to "use device control." That must be turned off, or you will get the error you described.
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  5. @johnmeyer

    Thanks, I knew it was possible - just didn't know how. I have the Sony FX1 as well - but just started on this venture of trying to use without tape - and haven't taken the FX1 out of the box for years. Interestingly, I tried Scenaylzer and WinDV found the device once, and never again. Scenalyzer found it but I haven't learned to use it properly yet. My Sony Vegas 13 capture can't find the device. I have one hi end computer for audio recording / production but found the addition of another firewire device confuses the hell out of it and crashes. Am moving the video capture to a different computer but will post my results.

    I don't usually use cameras except for tape supplied by other shooters- but wanted to move out of something that has a tendency with drop-outs, moving parts. Looking into Firestor options but dang, expensive in Canada.
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  6. Originally Posted by CanuckProducer;2477554My Sony [url=
    Vegas[/url] 13 capture can't find the device. I have one hi end computer for audio recording / production but found the addition of another firewire device confuses the hell out of it and crashes. Am moving the video capture to a different computer but will post my results.
    I own all versions of Vegas from 4-13. Use it every day. If it doesn't find your device, then you need to figure that out and fix it because it indicates that you likely have other issues. I have stayed with Win XP and Win 7, and refuse to install Win 10 on anything. Of the ten dozen reasons for this, one of them has to do with drivers, especially legacy drivers. Many people have had problems getting Firewire/1394 to work properly.

    You should be able to find advice on how to solve "device not found" issues over at the Magix Vegas forum. I posted about 10,000 times over my dozen years in that forum when it was still run by Sony, but it went downhill rapidly about two years ago, during Sony Software's demise, and I realized I was wasting my time there. I haven't posted in almost two years.

    The new forum lacks a competent search feature (the morons who run it decided to build their own forum software, and never got around to "minor" features, like search) so you may have a little bit of a tough time finding the answer. However, I'm quite certain it is there.
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  7. I moved the task to my capture computer (old single core Pentium 4 but dependable ol' unit). Capture apps (various) found the camera, and yes @johnmeyer, Vegas 8 found it too, no problem. But... found another problem with this Sony HVR-A1U. I hadn't tried shooting on it as I just got it. But using tape, I shot about 3 minutes in my studio, and it dropped frames like crazy via firewire. Unpacked my old FX1, stuck the tape in that camera and no dropped frames.

    Am at a loss as to why it would record seemingly properly, yet play back with imperfections. Methinks it's nit a firewire problem but something else.
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  8. A decade ago I wrote a capture tutorial which started with something like, "how many dropped frames is acceptable? Answer: none." This is especially true with a Firewire "capture" (it is actually a copy, not a capture).

    However, you said you shot on tape, and then transferred from the tape. Did you play that tape back on the camera, and watch via the viewfinder? Old equipment sometimes sometimes gets a little funky from lack of use, and you might have problems with the tape transport. You can often fix that by fast forwarding and rewinding one or two tapes.

    The FX1 shoots either HDV or DV and can output either (you can get DV output from an HDV tape). Sony Vegas uses completely different capture applications for HDV than it does for DV. So, depending on the Vegas capture settings, you might get one to work, but not the other. Since the FX1 can output in either HDV or DV, you could do a test by capturing HDV content as DV (you'll find the setting in the FX1 setup menu). Then capture the same content as HDV. If you can capture them both without problems, that eliminates the capture application software.

    One usual piece of advice is to try a different Firewire cable, if you have another one. Both the cables and the Firewire connectors are very easily damaged. I had to have my Sony TRV-11 repaired after a funky cable broke off one of the connectors in the camcorder's jack. Expensive lesson. I threw out that cable before it damaged another camera.
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