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Ok, I've done all the searching & researching I can stand! I'm pretty sure I've got this down now, but before I go buy hardware I want to be extra sure. I'm not that tech savvy, so bear with me if I'm asking something silly. I'm not in the stone age either. Given a good explanation I can make sense out of it all.

I'm running a Pentium 4 2.8GHz, 760MB of RAM, Windows XP Professional SP2. I have one 160GB WD hdd & one 320GB WD hdd, both internal. I have no video or firewire cards. External Sony DRU-830A DVD-RW drive with a USB connection. I am only looking to transfer home videos, nothing fancy. May do slight editing (cutting, basic transition effects). Camcorder is Canon HV10.

I figure I need the following:

-3GB of RAM total (would 4 really make a difference? Seems like overkill since some of that won't be recognized, iirc from other research into XP & RAM)


-firewire PCI card

-4 pin to 6 pin firewire cable. hdv/dv out port uses 4 pin firewire cable, right?

-do I need a video card? If not, how would I benefit from having one? A video card only speeds up the processing, right? Am I mistaken in thinking that since the HV10 video capture is in real-time anyway a video card wouldn't speed anything up?

-bigger hdd? My WD320 is partitioned with the larger one showing 298GB capacity. The 10GB partition I created only shows 7.35 MB capacity for some reason, with only 4.78 MB free, even though I haven't used it for anything yet. But never mind that... The WD160 is older & I'm worried about it going bad. I got the WD320 to store important files just in case, so much of the capacity is used up. I don't plan on keeping the captured files on the hdd since I'll have tape & dvd backups, but how big do these captures get? Are external hdd's with firewire connection fast enough for this application? Is internal faster?

-the DVD-RW drive on USB connection is fine, right?

-blank dvds (duh

That's all I can think of, based on all the info I've gathered. Any additional useful info is much appreciated.

Also, this setup would be sufficient to capture and burn standard def video (sdv?
) from other camcorders, right? Hoping to be able to help a friend backup his videos too.
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