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
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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.
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.
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 buyerIgnore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
Thank you to all above.
You are welcome. Re-read my post. I edited it to improve its usefulness for an Australian buyer. Initially, I missed your location.Ignore list: hello_hello, tried, TechLord, Snoopy329
The card later referenced to by u_q is the one I found on Amazon UK. Not sure if they also ship to Oz.
Great, thanks. Purchasing through Amazon US can often be cheaper than Amazon AU, but I can compare.
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.
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.
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.