I purchased a used Sony DSR-1500A tape deck via eBay, in order to capture MiniDV videotapes bit-for-bit over Firewire. I am using Final Cut Express 3.5.1 on an old iMac with Snow Leopard and Firewire. Old software, and an old iMac with Firewire, on purpose! Final Cut Express was a pared-down version of Final Cut Pro 7, and it seems to have been designed specifically for working with DV video, the video format on MiniDV videotapes.
The unit is equipped with Firewire, referred to as an i.LINK/DV interface. Over a decade ago, I learned about DV Analyzer from VideoHelp forum. DV Analyzer reads through metadata within every frame of a DV video file, including Rec. Date / Time. However, I understand it is necessary to capture over Firewire in the first place in order for this metadata to be captured. At first, I was going to use a service to capture the MiniDV videotapes, until discovering that services transcode the video over an SDI connection, and loose this metadata. I came to understand why they do it that way. But it lead to my decision to purchase the Sony DSR-1500A and do the capturing myself.
The deck works splendidly, except that I haven't been able to figure out how to do one thing. I am using Final Cut Express' Capture Now feature. I think that I should be able to control the Sony DSR-1500A from the Capture window. But I am unable to do so. I have to press Capture Now, and then press Play on the deck. What am I missing? Is anybody here familiar with the equipment and process?
I did find the manual online. But I'm not sure where to find the answer to this question in the manual.
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I guess you are connecting the deck directly to the iMac ? so that would not be the problem, you could do a (google) search for: if there's a plug-in for your software that will take control over the functions you want, otherwise you should find an other "transfer" app that will have this control, iLink/DV/Firewire is not well supported on the MAC OS, a windows pc/laptop will give you better options is my guess.
Thank you. Actually, I figured out the problem. There is in fact a locale/remote switch on the front panel of the deck, which needs to be set at remote to control the deck from Final Cut Express. I had seen it, but didn't realize it is to be used with Firewire. Yes, I have a Firewire cable directly connecting the deck and the iMac.
I want to keep this thread open, though. I will have another question about using the Sony DSR-1500A deck shortly.
The Sony DSR-1500A deck that I bought came with a DSBK-1504/1504P Analog Input Board. Although I bought the deck primarily for capturing MiniDV videotapes, I could also use it for digitizing analog video. Does anybody know whether I could pass through the video? Or would I have to write to tape, and then capture the tape?