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Thread: Firewire daisychaining

  1. #1

    Default Firewire daisychaining

    I have been shooting footage on my TRV33 for a while and thought that it would be time to have a go at some editing. I connected up using firewire and was able to capture but with rather too many dropped frames. The problem is that I was using a laptop (2.4GHz P4 WinXP) which has a slow hard drive.

    I have been thinking about an external firewire drive for backups for a while and these are getting quite cheap now. This drive could also be used for DV footage. What I don't know is if the camcorder will be able to download to an external firewire drive without dropped frames? Is the bus speed fast enough to handle the data coming from the camcorder to the host and back to the drive? Is firewire a smart enough protocol to keep the data away from the host?

    Any greater knowledge would be appreciated before I waste some money

  2. #2


    The problem with dropped frames on some laptops is not really related to the speed of the harddrive. It has to do with the implementation of the firewire. IBM has on some Thinkpads fixed this in BIOS upgrades.

    External drives (you should get one with 8MB buffer) will not have any problem at all keeping up with the speed. There is a couple of settings you need to check though:

    a) in device manager, find your external Disk Drive and go to "policies" and "optimize for performance". It will be set for "quick removal" as default.

    b) I also found that letting XP take care of the virtual memory is best.

    c) Power Schemes set to "always on" while editing or capturing.

    d) check out if it makes a difference to unplug you USB mouse, if you have one.

    ...but like I said: I'm afraid you're gonna experience the dropouts with the built in firewire port unless a BIOS fix is released (or you get a PC-Card firewire card)


  3. #3


    Maxtor make an external hdd (3000dv i think) which is supposedly optimized for capture.


  4. #4


    I think anything with a firewire port is marketed as "optimized for video" nowadays

    There is a great utility to check for acceptable HDD speed on the Canopus site.
    Download the EZDVtest.exe to test. Anything above 5MB/s is acceptable for capture BUT for editing and so on you'll ned a lot more. I would be very supprised if any drive available today has less than ~20MB/s.

    The 3000DV drive you mention has only 2MB or cache and personaly I feel that this is a little low if you want to work with the drive.

    I am very happy with my Western Digital 250GB Media Center drive.
    It is very quiet and very fast. (I used to get drives from other manufacturers because of noise but these new WD drives are nice and quiet).


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