It would seem that this Firewire issue is quite a problem.
Recently I purchased a Sony HC35E (second hand) . This camera uses a Handycam Station which has USB out and DV input/output IEEE1394 Firewire or i.Link as Sony call it.
My first bit of footage, I downloaded to my PC (using a USB cable as this was all I had at the time.) The quality when viewed on my PC CRT monitor was fair to reasonable. However, when I viewed the same footage directly from the camera connected with an AV cable to my old analogue TV. The quality was noticeably superior.
With this in mind I removed a Firewire card from an old PC, purchased a new Firewire cable (6-4) and wired it all up to my present PC hoping for better results. But here the problem begins –
The PC recognises the Firewire card in Device Manager (Win XP Pro sp2) as a Texas Instruments OHCI Compliant IEEE 1394 Host Controller but no matter what editing programme I use (Ulead Video Studio 10 / Microsofts Movie Maker or Nero) they all indicate that "No device is connected". I’ve tried uninstalling, re installing and connecting every which way but to no avail. I have USB streaming turned off, (as it should be as I understand it) in the camera.
Win. XP Device Manager gives me the option to manually (install from list -) a Sony 8032 OHCI i.Link(IEEE 1394) Host Controller but I have no luck with this either, but then as Windows auto detects, (default) the card as Texas Instruments, I suppose that is what it is !
There is an article "Microsoft Help" which states that Win XP with sp2 added, defaults the BIOS to Firewire S100 settings but as (according to my Camera Manual) the HC35E only uses S100 speed anyway, so it shouldn’t, I wouldn’t have thought, make any difference ?
Referring to my quality issue again :-
Could it be the fact that a standard PAL TV uses Non Square Pixel Rendering ?
Even if I can get my Firewire to work, will the quality be any better on the PC monitor ? (Before any editing has taken place by the way)
I am getting a bit out of my depth here, but as the signalling rate of the Sony DV camcorders is only 100 Mg. Bits p/sec. (not 400) would USB2 not be better? (Having said that I believe there is more to this than just "speed" i.e. USB & Firewire handle the way data is packaged in different ways)
If this is so, then why do many new Mini DV camcorders not have Firewire connections ?
I notice several people mentioning that "Hot Swapping" of Firewire connections can "fry" the terminals. Would this only apply to 6-6 cables, not 6-4 as the former carries power, the latter doesn’t.
Perhaps some of these issues should be in a different thread, my apologies.
I look forward to replies from you more knowledgeable people.