Copying old mini-dv tapes to my computer (camcorder uses firewire) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 11-14-2013, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
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hey guys, i have an old camcorder (panasonic pv-dv103) which uses firewire only. this was ok back in the day but firewire doesnt seem to be supported much.

i have windows 7 and my machine has a firewire port, however, when i plug in the device nothing happens (no "device found" etc.). a year or two back when i first saw this problem, i picked up a firewire to usb converter. nothing happens when try this route as well.

at this point, i'm not sure how i can get my files to my computer...at least without paying someone and doing so cheaply.

any suggestions?
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post #2 of 14 Old 11-15-2013, 05:35 PM - Thread Starter
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looks like nobody deals with mindvs anymore? smile.gif
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post #3 of 14 Old 11-15-2013, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesto View Post

looks like nobody deals with mindvs anymore? smile.gif

Nope..miniDV is pretty much like the horse and buggy. biggrin.gif


I am not very familiar with miniDV..but some things I would try:
- go into device manager/properties of card and see if "device is working properly"
- if your firewire is a separate card, turn off PC and try re-seating the card into its slot.
- update the firewire card's driver or the firewire built into your PC/if need be.


Don't know if this is relevant to what software you use during capture, but Win 7 has a compatibility mode: right click on application file>compatibility/check box>choose an OS, i.e. Win XP. (As if running the program in XP instead of Win 7.)

It may also be a problem on the camera's end/firewire port..or even a bad firewire cable.
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post #4 of 14 Old 11-26-2013, 09:36 AM
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Hey Cesto:
I have a PV-GS300 and the only way I could import data from the camera was by using the Panasonic software that came with the camera
MotionDV Studio v 6.0E LE which you can get here:
http://shop.panasonic.com/resources/pub/Panasonic/call_center/Software/CAM_DVC/MDVS600E/Vista/MDVS600ELE_Setup.exe
I am not sure that it will work for your camera but you can give it a shot.
Regards,
Stuart
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post #5 of 14 Old 11-26-2013, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cesto View Post

hey guys, i have an old camcorder (panasonic pv-dv103) which uses firewire only. this was ok back in the day but firewire doesnt seem to be supported much.

i have windows 7 and my machine has a firewire port, however, when i plug in the device nothing happens (no "device found" etc.). a year or two back when i first saw this problem, i picked up a firewire to usb converter. nothing happens when try this route as well.

at this point, i'm not sure how i can get my files to my computer...at least without paying someone and doing so cheaply.

any suggestions?

I have a Panasonic PV-GS150 It uses USB to get transfer from the tapes. HOWEVER, there are no drivers for Windows 7, and on panasonic's website, it simply states "windows 7 not supported". I have had to keep Windows Vista on a separate partition and dual boot just to be able to transfer the videos to my PC.

You might have an issue with panasonic not making a windows 7 driver for your camcorder.
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post #6 of 14 Old 11-26-2013, 01:44 PM
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What kind of PC is it? What kind of FireWire port? 6-pin or 4-pin? If you go into Device Manager, can you see your FireWire (IEEE 1394) port device? If this is a desktop PC, is it an OEM (Dell, HP) or a home-built? Is this a front-panel FireWire, or it is on the back of the PC? If it's a front-port, but motherboard does not have a header for it, it could simply be not connected. If it's a laptop and only has a 4-pin port, I found that those 4-pin ports on PCs never worked right. You generally want a 6-pin.
What USB-FireWire adapter did you get? Just a pin-adapter you can get for about $5 or an actual conversion box? Proper FireWire operates at a much higher voltage, and those pin-adapters are strictly special-application stuff.
In any case, if this is a desktop PC, and the port is on its back, you need to make sure in the device manager that the port is active. Ditto if this is a front port and actually connected to a proper i1394 header. Otherwise, you will need a FireWire add-on PCI Express card.

Panasonic may not have released camcorder drivers for Win 7, but you should not need them. There are generic DV device controller drivers that come with Win 7. If anything, download Live Essentials, including Movie Maker - it should have the driver. I have a Sony camcorder that is over 10 years old, and Win 7 recognizes it. Btw, you DO turn on your camcorder into 'VCR' mode when you connect it, right? Windows will not recognize a turned-off camera.

I recently went through my miniDV archive, and captured all my taped to hard drive. I used Scenalyzer to capture. It is a very handy and easy to use bit of software. Breaks up your video into individual scenes, and includes the date/time of the recording in the file names. Adobe Premiere also can capture and break up, but it does not save the date/time of the recording.
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post #7 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 06:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorrpio View Post

Panasonic may not have released camcorder drivers for Win 7, but you should not need them. There are generic DV device controller drivers that come with Win 7. If anything, download Live Essentials, including Movie Maker - it should have the driver. I have a Sony camcorder that is over 10 years old, and Win 7 recognizes it. Btw, you DO turn on your camcorder into 'VCR' mode when you connect it, right? Windows will not recognize a turned-off camera.

No matter what I have tried, I cannot get Windows 7 to recognize my PV-GS150 I've tried generic drivers, Vista's drivers, XP drivers. Other Panny Drivers. Nothing will recognize that camcorder. I've tried accessing it through Sony Vegas and through Movie Maker. I couldn't get Panasonic's software to play nice with Win7 either. I should note that I'm using Win7 Ultimate x64 Maybe it works on th 32-bit version... So until I upgrade (which will be soon, to either a G6 or if I wait long enough, whatever replaces it, though at $498 on amazon, it's tough to pass up), I'll be in my dual boot mode.
Quote:
Originally Posted by scorrpio View Post

I recently went through my miniDV archive, and captured all my taped to hard drive. I used Scenalyzer to capture. It is a very handy and easy to use bit of software. Breaks up your video into individual scenes, and includes the date/time of the recording in the file names. Adobe Premiere also can capture and break up, but it does not save the date/time of the recording.

Thanks scorrpio for that link!!! I'm going to grab that Scenalyzer software and give it a try! That'll make my video editing SOOOO much easier!
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post #8 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 09:26 AM
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Personaly i am lucky in that my PC has a firewire input so i can capture SD or HDV if i need to,older software like older pinnacle numbers have no problem,i also keep all my tapes as none have ever failed unlike the external drives which which easily fail,i have had drives fail several times and it meant having to have the material transfered to a new drive which cant be done easily and the old drive is then useless,
http://www.wisegeek.org/what-is-minidv.htm
https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=a+widget+for+mini+dv&oq=a+widget+for+mini+dv&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i64l3.10558j0j8&sourceid=chrome&espv=210&es_sm=93&ie=UTF-8#es_sm=93&espv=210&q=++mini+dv+to+pc+transfer
Old stuff but may help
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post #9 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 09:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

No matter what I have tried, I cannot get Windows 7 to recognize my PV-GS150 I've tried generic drivers, Vista's drivers, XP drivers. Other Panny Drivers. Nothing will recognize that camcorder. I've tried accessing it through Sony Vegas and through Movie Maker. I couldn't get Panasonic's software to play nice with Win7 either. I should note that I'm using Win7 Ultimate x64 Maybe it works on th 32-bit version...

I run Win7 Home x64, and it can see my old Sony miniDV camcorder just fine. Never needed to install anything, it simply recognized the camera. Did you make sure that your FireWire port is actually functional? Is there an IEEE 1394 device in the device manager? It should be in either ports or system devices

Try to ask around if anyone has a Sony miniDV camcorder you can borrow, and see if your PC works with that. Sony seems to work better with those DV generics.

Worst case scenario, you can use AV output from the camcorder along with a video capture device

The one I linked will allow either component or S-video capture. S-video (or composite) will trash your video quality, however.
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post #10 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorrpio View Post



I run Win7 Home x64, and it can see my old Sony miniDV camcorder just fine. Never needed to install anything, it simply recognized the camera. Did you make sure that your FireWire port is actually functional? Is there an IEEE 1394 device in the device manager? It should be in either ports or system devices

Try to ask around if anyone has a Sony miniDV camcorder you can borrow, and see if your PC works with that. Sony seems to work better with those DV generics.

Worst case scenario, you can use AV output from the camcorder along with a video capture device

The one I linked will allow either component or S-video capture. S-video (or composite) will trash your video quality, however.

OOOHHHHH!! Maybe THAT is the difference!! Mine uses USB instead of FireWire!!! It's not too much of a pain booting to vista....it just hurts my soul a little every time I am forced to boot into that awful OS!


Back on the original topic...

My father in law got one of these VHS to DVD Recorder unites to put his old camcorder VHS tapes onto DVDs, and now uses it to just do a direct transfer of his DV tapes to DVDs
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post #11 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 10:46 AM
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According to PV-GS150 specs, it should have a FireWire port.

I have dealt with a number of miniDV camcorder models (Sony, JVC), and all of them had both FireWire and USB ports. USB, however, was mainly for getting stills off the memory card. The video capture from a miniDV camera via USB has never been an industry-standard, and would usually only work with proprietary software/drivers from the manufacturer. It also tended to be unreliable and quite slow.

FireWire, on the other hand, is an industry-wide standard for DV control and transfer. There may be two or three DV API versions, and your camera is certain to comply with at least one of them.

If your PC does not have such port, I suggest you get an add-on FireWire card., along with a decent 4-to-6 pin cable.

Once you hook your camera via FireWire, you should be able to capture video using about any software.
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post #12 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorrpio View Post

According to PV-GS150 specs, it should have a FireWire port.

I have dealt with a number of miniDV camcorder models (Sony, JVC), and all of them had both FireWire and USB ports. USB, however, was mainly for getting stills off the memory card. The video capture from a miniDV camera via USB has never been an industry-standard, and would usually only work with proprietary software/drivers from the manufacturer. It also tended to be unreliable and quite slow.

FireWire, on the other hand, is an industry-wide standard for DV control and transfer. There may be two or three DV API versions, and your camera is certain to comply with at least one of them.

If your PC does not have such port, I suggest you get an add-on FireWire card., along with a decent 4-to-6 pin cable.

Once you hook your camera via FireWire, you should be able to capture video using about any software.

huh. how bout that! It came with a USB...and I was probably too cheap to shell out the $40 they wanted for a firewire cable back then! oh well. i'll be moving on soon anyway! :-P
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post #13 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 11:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pezgod View Post

My father in law got one of these VHS to DVD Recorder unites to put his old camcorder VHS tapes onto DVDs, and now uses it to just do a direct transfer of his DV tapes to DVDs

He is losing a helluva video quality doing that. The unit you linked only accepts composite or S-Video in both of which are quite a bit worse than regular miniDV. The frame is roughly 480x640, and that's 480i. Sound has to convert to analog. Video on the miniDV tape is essentially uncompressed 480p (480x720), with digital PCM sound. For DVD recording , this video is MPEG-2 compressed.
Overall, these units work well for converting old VHS tapes, as well as CHS-C and 8mm camcorder tapes, but miniDV is best transferred to PC via FireWire, kept in its uncompressed AVI form for editing, and then exported to DVD using a quality encoder.
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post #14 of 14 Old 11-27-2013, 03:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorrpio View Post

He is losing a helluva video quality doing that. The unit you linked only accepts composite or S-Video in both of which are quite a bit worse than regular miniDV. The frame is roughly 480x640, and that's 480i. Sound has to convert to analog. Video on the miniDV tape is essentially uncompressed 480p (480x720), with digital PCM sound. For DVD recording , this video is MPEG-2 compressed.
Overall, these units work well for converting old VHS tapes, as well as CHS-C and 8mm camcorder tapes, but miniDV is best transferred to PC via FireWire, kept in its uncompressed AVI form for editing, and then exported to DVD using a quality encoder.

agreed, but his camcorder isn't top notch...and its less 'tech support' for me! :-o
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