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  1. Member
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    Hello all

    I have an old Sony Digital 8 (DCR-TRV355E) that I want to transfer the tapes to digital files. I've been doing a lot of reading and understand an IEEE 1394 (Firewire / i.LINK) card in my PC will be the best method of transfer.

    Could someone please recommend a card (with PCI Express connector) that is available that they know comes with a driver that works with Windows 10? I'm spoilt for choice when I search.

    I acknowledge a few threads on this, like this one from 2017: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/384804-Any-firewire-capture-software-for-Windows-1...-actually-work, but the Firewire recommendation in that thread is no longer on Amazon.

    I appreciate any suggestions

    Thanks in advance

    C
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  2. Member DB83's Avatar
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    Someone may correct me on this but if you have Digital8 tapes then, yes, this is the best method of transferring their contents to a PC. If you have Hi8 tapes, ie not recorded with this camera, then there are other options available via the s-video connector on the camera.


    As with the topic you linked to any rec should come from someone who has recent experience - I do not have to rely on Win10 or a card from my DV transfers - and when you read the reports of these cards they work for some but not for others even when they follow the proper route with Win10.


    So, basically, you might find yourself trying several cards before getting one that works for you.


    Now some caveats. Most cards, including the one in that topic, use a VIA chipset and these can be more hit and miss. More expensive cards will use a Texas Instrument (TI) chipset and these tend to be more accommodating. I found one on Amazon UK which sold for 35 compared with sub 20 one using VIA chipsets.


    No card comes with a driver for ieee1394 transfer. They are all plug 'n play relying on Windows own drivers for the host controller. The topic does indeed mention the driver that should work since all support for ieee 1394 was removed from Win10 after some update(s)


    I trust that these comments will help you. There are many topic in these forums, some quite recent, and they might also assist.
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  3. From your perspective it may be more reasonable to buy old used notebook equipped with FW (ThinkPad T400, W500 etc), without problems you should be able to install Windows 7 (SLP license for MS Windows 7 is embedded in BIOS SLIC table) and use them for transferring data.
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    Originally Posted by Voltaire1694 View Post
    Hello all

    I have an old Sony Digital 8 (DCR-TRV355E) that I want to transfer the tapes to digital files. I've been doing a lot of reading and understand an IEEE 1394 (Firewire / i.LINK) card in my PC will be the best method of transfer.

    Could someone please recommend a card (with PCI Express connector) that is available that they know comes with a driver that works with Windows 10? I'm spoilt for choice when I search.

    I acknowledge a few threads on this, like this one from 2017: https://forum.videohelp.com/threads/384804-Any-firewire-capture-software-for-Windows-1...-actually-work, but the Firewire recommendation in that thread is no longer on Amazon.

    I appreciate any suggestions

    Thanks in advance

    C
    A firewire card with a Texas Instrument chipset has the best reputation for compatibility with older firewire devices. The Syba SY-PEX30016 Firewire card has a TI chipset as well as both firewire 400 and firewire 800 ports. Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com.au/Profile-PCI-Express-Chipset-Regular-SD-PEX30009/dp/B002S53IG8/ Similar card with Amazon.com.au link: https://www.amazon.com.au/Syba-SY-PEX30016-Firewire-XIO2213B-Chipset/dp/B006DQ0KD2/ that requires legacy drivers.

    I recommended the first card to a Windows 10 user in 2019 and it was plug-and-play for him using WinDV for DV transfer. If you find that you need to install the Legacy Firewire Driver required for either card manually, see https://www.startech.com/en-us/faq/firewire-cards-windows-legacy-driver-swap
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 24th Jun 2021 at 22:41. Reason: Edited with options for Australian buyer
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    Thank you to all above.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    Someone may correct me on this but if you have Digital8 tapes then, yes, this is the best method of transferring their contents to a PC. If you have Hi8 tapes, ie not recorded with this camera, then there are other options available via the s-video connector on the camera.
    All my DV tapes were recorded with the Digital 8. I'll have to use s-video or RCA when I get around to the older VHS collection (a later project).

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    No card comes with a driver for ieee1394 transfer. They are all plug 'n play relying on Windows own drivers for the host controller.
    Ok, didn't realise that. In one thread, it was mentioned the cards sometimes come with software, but that might be for capture / editting.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    More expensive cards will use a Texas Instrument (TI) chipset and these tend to be more accommodating.
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    A firewire card with a Texas Instrument chipset has the best reputation for compatibility with older firewire devices.
    Thanks, that helps narrow the choices.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    The Syba SY-PEX30016 Firewire card has a TI chipset as well as both firewire 400 and firewire 800 ports. Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002S53IG8/

    I recommended this card to a Windows 10 user in 2019 and it was plug-and-play for him using WinDV for DV transfer. If you find that you need to install the Legacy Firewire Driver required for this card manually, see https://www.startech.com/en-us/faq/firewire-cards-windows-legacy-driver-swap
    Thank you, I'll give it a go.
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    You are welcome. Re-read my post. I edited it to improve its usefulness for an Australian buyer. Initially, I missed your location.
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  7. Member DB83's Avatar
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    The card later referenced to by u_q is the one I found on Amazon UK. Not sure if they also ship to Oz.
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    Great, thanks. Purchasing through Amazon US can often be cheaper than Amazon AU, but I can compare.
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    Many thanks for the above. I received the firewire card through Amazon AU and will be trying soon to install in a PC with Windows 10 (just need to find some time to do so). I see it's plug and play. Windows 10 is not listed in the instructions as a supported operating system but still worth a try (my ancient Office XP suite still works fine in Windows 10). If it doesn't I have another PC with Windows Vista i can try.
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    I have since seen reports that WinDV doesn't always work with Windows 10 now but ScenalyzerLive (also good) still works.
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  11. Member DB83's Avatar
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    As has already been discussed more than once in this topic, if the card does not work in Win10 re-read the topic and get that Win8 legacy ieee1394 host controller driver. All should be well then.
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    A couple of more modern choices I recently used are:

    1. Apple Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) to Firewire connector

    2. An old Pinnacle USB 2.0 to Firewire connector

    The first you can buy new and since Thunderbolt is essentially a Serial PCI bus connection direct from the motherboard to the Firewire chip, it appears as directly attached to the PC and then any software that works with DV video can copy the content.

    The second has a system bus driver that masquerades as a PCI attached device direct to the motherboard and presents the USB 2.0 attached Firewire port as an Imaging device which works with any software that works with DV video and can copy the content. This is a little more difficult to set up because you have to download and install the 64 bit device driver from Pinnaclesys, and find one of the Pinnacle hardware boxes with the Firewire port. A USB-500, USB-510, USB-700 or USB-Deluxe box. A gazillion were made and sold at Bestbuy.. now they float along on eBay. - More convenient than a Thunderbolt device since USB 2.0 is available on almost anything, the downside is a. you can't buy it brand new anymore b. it doesn't support every Firewire non-video device.

    DV-25 Video transfer is lower bandwidth than Full Firewire speeds, so the Pinnacle USB to Firewire method only works with Camcorders and Video capture devices with a Firewire connection. A Firewire hard drive for example does not work.

    Like any compressed video transfer, the audio and video were taken care of at the point of compression.. in the attached device, so there is no lag unless that device has a problem.

    And unlike RAW uncompressed video transfer, the full bandwidth of the USB 2.0 connection is not maxed out or burst over its ability to maintain the transfer stream.. so no artificial dropouts and disconnect and reconnect issues.

    DV also doesn't require super fast or buffered hard disks to catch the slightly compressed video. Its also better for editing later than something compressed with a much more complex compression algorithm.. although that's not as big an issue as it used to be.

    DV is old.. its very old.. MPEG2 is better for a lot of reasons.. but in your situation its fine.

    There aren't a lot of MPEG2 over firewire or USB2.0 solutions available.. it got by-passed pretty quickly for h.264 in later PVR setups. But that's not an issue for you.

    The DV co-sites were aligned for MPEG2 conversion, so converting to MPEG2 in a DVD recorder from a Firewire Camcorder works pretty well.. it was designed with that conversion in mind. There are quite a few DVD recorders supported by Isobuster which will let you copy the MPEG2 file direct from their hard drive to a PC.

    It depends on whether you prefer storing really large DV files, or plan to compress them down to MPEG2 or greater anyway. It sounds like you haven't really thought about it and just want to take the first step of copying your files to a PC.
    Last edited by jwillis84; 24th Jul 2021 at 11:47.
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    Hi all again.

    Just to update on my adventure. I looked at installing the card into my Win10 PC, but the bracket wouldn't easily fit and I didn't have the right power (4 pin) connector available. So I pulled out and dusted off the old Win Vista PC. Installed the IEEE1394 card in an available PCIe slot, fixed the bracket no worries and connected the power cord.

    Then I had a better look at the connection options on this Vista machine and, darn it, found an existing IEEE1394 (6 pin) connection. A few colourful words and a big smile. But the journey was worth it as I had to learn a bit more about computers.

    Anyway, I have it working! Watching my then 2 year old son back in 2005.

    I'm using WinDV to watch and capture. Captures as an .avi file, video res 720x576, at about 200MBs per minute, so that's 12GB per hour. Lucky I don't use this PC for anything and it has a 1TB HDD available. I see in WinDV it even shows the original recorded date and time and this is used as the default file name.

    Anyway, many thanks again.

    A quick question if anyone knows. When capturing is the date and time saved in metadata in the digital file?
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    When capturing is the date and time saved in metadata in the digital file?
    Could be. This info is from a DV file of mine shot back in the day (2005). I can't recall if it was captured with WinDV or Scenealyzer.

    Mediainfo:
    General
    Complete name : F:\Family Videos\2005\20050318.avi
    Format : AVI
    Format/Info : Audio Video Interleave
    Commercial name : DVCAM
    File size : 565 MiB
    Duration : 2 min 43 s
    Overall bit rate mode : Constant
    Overall bit rate : 28.9 Mb/s
    Recorded date : 2005-03-18 18:36:23.000
    Windoze:
    Image
    [Attachment 60116 - Click to enlarge]
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  15. Member DB83's Avatar
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    ^^ Glad to read that you have it working. A few things 'puzzle me'


    1. Looking at the various cards that were linked to in earlier posts. Most came with detachable brackets with a spare one for larger/smaller cases whichever was required.


    2. Most cards do not come with a power input and I question whether you actually needed that just for DV transfer.
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    Video files didn't really standard on metadata in the file until the .mp4 "container" format.

    Before that everything was ad-hoc and somewhat proprietary. All the DV formats had competing and branded metadata formats.. you couldn't rely on them. It depended on the player or file manager to interpret and present the metadata. As long as you used that hardware manufacturers viewer or player it was correct.. but chagne to a different one and no go.

    Microsoft came up with ASF as the ActiveMovie Streaming Format (container format), then .dvr-ms format then .wtv and Tivo the .tivo format ect.. ect.. it got kinda nuts.

    Apple came up with .mov

    Once the dust settled .mp4 or .mkv was left as the container formats of choice since they are kind of video files with metadata.. standardized.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    2. Most cards do not come with a power input and I question whether you actually needed that just for DV transfer.
    I agree. As I understand it, the Molex power connection is only needed for devices that are powered by their firewire connection. However, cameras have their own power supply so they should not need to draw power from the firewire card.
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    Originally Posted by Voltaire1694 View Post
    I'm using WinDV to watch and capture. Captures as an .avi file, video res 720x576, at about 200MBs per minute, so that's 12GB per hour. Lucky I don't use this PC for anything and it has a 1TB HDD available. I see in WinDV it even shows the original recorded date and time and this is used as the default file name.
    You are actually transferring data from the DV tape rather than capturing video in the usual sense. The DV data normally consumes around 12GB per hour, so all is as it should be.
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    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    1. Looking at the various cards that were linked to in earlier posts. Most came with detachable brackets with a spare one for larger/smaller cases whichever was required.
    Yes, but the bracket was the right size for the Win10 PC but the screw position wasn't exact. Looked a bit more fiddly. The bracket fitted perfectly in the WinVista PC. Then there was the power issue.

    Originally Posted by DB83 View Post
    2. Most cards do not come with a power input and I question whether you actually needed that just for DV transfer.
    Possibly not. But this card came with a 4 pin power socket. I couldn't find an exact answer online whether the card needed power or not (other than that supplied through the PCIe connection). The card instructions say "To power USB devices, connect the 4-Pin power cable to the controller card from the power supply unit (PSU) of the computer". So I went with the PC that would give me the option to have that if needed. I'm actually using the existing connection but I can see the card I installed is also available in Computer Management.
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  20. Member DB83's Avatar
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    ^^ Even more confusing since if you got the one card from the above links that has the 4-pin molex there are no usb ports on it !!!!!!


    Never thought about asking about that in this topic ?


    But maybe you can get a firewire to usb cable, connect it to some device........


    But why when most PCs have plenty of usb ports.


    These comments imo are important should others who are looking for such cards find this topic.
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    Agree, I didn't understand why the instructions for a Firewire card referred to powering USB devices, unless, as you say, there is a firewire to usb interface.
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