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  1. Member
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    Apr 2020
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    Hi, I have mini dv tapes that I need to transfer to my pc. Had a firewire port on an old PC but not on my new one. Is there a way I can transfer them using a USB cable? Also some are SD and some are HD. Not sure if it matters what camcorder I use to transfer. They are getting old. Have to use what works best.

    I have the dvds that were burned from the mini dv tapes, but I heard that is a lower resolution than if I just transferred it directly to the PC. Also when I copied the dvd to the hard drive it did it in VOB format. Had to convert to MP4 which hurt the quality even more.

    Thank you,

    Cathy
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  2. Formerly 'vaporeon800' Brad's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by c-leigh View Post
    some are SD and some are HD. Not sure if it matters what camcorder I use to transfer. They are getting old. Have to use what works best.
    That complicates things. But you currently have a functioning camcorder that can play back all of the formats you used? As long as the camcorder can play the tape properly, it doesn't matter which one you use. The output from the Firewire port will be the same.

    You have three options, I believe:
    1. Add a Firewire card to your PC. The PCI boards are cheaper than the PCIe ones, if your motherboard has those old slots. TI chipsets are recommended, but they are rarer than the extremely common VIA chips used in most cards.

    2. A tiny handful of devices made by Pinnacle many years ago can convert the Firewire signal to USB correctly, including camcorder controls:3. Capture through the "analog hole". This is the worst option by far, unless you encounter some damaged tapes that require it.
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  3. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Paris Ca, 92345 Mexico
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    I want to add that if your tapes are DV and HDV, ScenalizerLive I believe can handle both while WinDV handles only DV tapes, You would need a HDV camcorder, As Vaporeon mentioned you can use a computer with firewaire or an external Pinnacle device, See also this recent thread:

    https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/396471-help-with-capturing-dv-footage-from-sony-handycam
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