Sunday, February 08, 2009

Sony MiniDV camcorders and firewire – and how Google can be counterproductive

*** One of my geek interruptions. Apologies. ***

I’ve got a Sony camcorder (not recent, but good enough) with USB 2.0 and firewire (iLink) streaming output. The USB 2.0 is useless for grabbing video, it can’t handle the stream amounts, but iLink should do it OK. I’ve got an Adaptec combi USB 2.0 and firewire PCMCIA card I’ve been using for hard drives for quite a while, so I got the cable (big 6 pin firewire to tiny 4-pin iLink) and had a crack.

Unfortunately, while the camera is recognised wonderfully by Windows and can be controlled and captured in Nero 6 (which I’m using) the video has small pink blocks every few seconds. Damn.

I looked into the firewire drivers windows installed and found microsoft had patched XP (labelled SP4, no less) for those drivers and unpdated them yesterday: still no dice.

After a LOT of googling – this was a hard one to track down, I finally used the search terms “mini dv streaming blocks” and found a forum entry with some solutions – I think it may be to do with the speed of the PCI bus, or possibly the cardbus, in the laptop.

This is the first time I think I’ve come across hardware limitations in the machine I want to use for a specific task: pain in the arse!

So I’ll go and look for better drivers for the lower subsystems now. Gulp – do I want to go down this road???

Backup time I think!

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