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Thread: More on Firewire problems

  1. #1
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    Default More on Firewire problems

    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 ?
    http://support.microsoft.com/Default.aspx?kbid=885222
    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.
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Put very simply, a miniDV camera is designed to use firewire as the transport mechansism. Forget about theoretical transfer rates, the only way to transfer from miniDV camera to PC is via firewire. You will get the same quality as that filmed.

    I recommend you try your DV camera in a friends PC. It could be that he DV out has been fried. You have set your camera to play when transferring?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Peters View Post
    Put very simply, a miniDV camera is designed to use firewire as the transport mechansism. Forget about theoretical transfer rates, the only way to transfer from miniDV camera to PC is via firewire. You will get the same quality as that filmed.

    I recommend you try your DV camera in a friends PC. It could be that he DV out has been fried. You have set your camera to play when transferring?
    OK Marc,
    Thanks for that. I understand the first bit and a process of elimination is clearly the next step.
    However, I am still a little confused. My procedure for transferring video is as follows
    1. Connect the PC & Camera with the appropriate cables, Firewire in this case.
    2. Switch the camera on to the Play/Edit position. (tape not running)
    3. Open my Editing Programme on the PC. Go to File – Create new project – and select the parameters I want to use
    4. Start playing the tape on the camera.
    5. Start the capture on the programme.
    Is this correct ?
    To quote you
    "It could be that the DV out has been fried. You have set your camera to play when transferring?"
    Well yes I do set it to play, Play/Edit in my case but I do not start the capture until the tape is running. How else can I do it ?
    Am I being remarkably "THICK" and missing something here ?
    At the risk of trying your patience a bit more and being the sort of person who likes to know why – Why does such a procedure cause burning of the connections ? Is there some voltage surge involved here ?
    Thanks again, R.

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    Yes, there us a voltage surge. It is recommend that you power down equipment before connecting / disconnecting. Have you tried other combinations... i.e. using your camcorder on another port, or another cam with your port?

  5. #5
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    I have tried all the ports on the card (3x) However, there is an internal port on the top of the card but I have not had the time to try this yet. One or two other options to try yet - I have three PCs knocking about here so intend to try the card in those if all else fails -
    I do have a friend who has a similar camera to mine and he uses firewire. Unfortunately he lives 40 miles away - Time- Time -Time !!
    I will let you know how things progress. Thanks again - R.

  6. #6
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    Have you turned the DV output on in the camera's settings?

    EDIT: Just read the manual, and it doesn't seem to be a switchable thing like other Sony's.

    Do you see the DVout logo on the camera's screen when the firewire is connected and set to 'play'?
    Last edited by Jerry Hill; 08-31-2008 at 01:03 AM.

  7. #7
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    Yes Jerry, Well I do now thanks ----

    I solved the problem ---- I bought a new firewire cable, all now works fine . So no "fried" connections or great expense !!
    Quality much better also, as opposed to USB -----

    Thank you all for your help ---- R.

  8. #8
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    Ahh, relief!

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