HDD Camcorder...firewire vs USB - Sony

petereh

Standard Member
Hi,
I am thinking about buying an HDD camcorder. I want to burn DVD's from the output on my PC, with little editing. I have heard that Firewire is much better than USB for uploading the video (by way of format/resolution), but was interested in the Sony SR190 and note that Sony HDD cams do not use Firewire? Should I be concerned? Thanks in anticipation,
Peter
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
And there is no reason to be concerned.

The reason you have heard that Firewire is better than USB for video capture is specific to DV (and Digital8) formats... with these generally the only way to copy the video in full quality is Firewire - it has to do with how these standards were defined.

With a HDD cam, you are simply copying a file; just like from an external hard drive. There is no quality loss with the USB transfer.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
The JVC HD7 is one Hi Def HDD camcorder that has USB and firewire but it is the only one and I dont think there would be any difference using either method TBH
 

petereh

Standard Member
Thanks and thanks to others who replied. I also have a Sony HDD/DVD recorder which has Firewire (iLink) input, so that's another attraction for Firewire for me. Seems strange that if I go with a Sony HDD Camcorder, I can't transfer data easily and directly to a Sony DVD recorder (RHR-HXD710). Or am I missing something? Thanks in anticipation! Peter
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
Thanks and thanks to others who replied. I also have a Sony HDD/DVD recorder which has Firewire (iLink) input, so that's another attraction for Firewire for me. Seems strange that if I go with a Sony HDD Camcorder, I can't transfer data easily and directly to a Sony DVD recorder (RHR-HXD710). Or am I missing something? Thanks in anticipation! Peter

That Firewire input on DVD recorders is again designed for DV camcorders; it's often called DV-input. Even if a HDD camcorder had Firewire output as well I don't think it would work with your DVD recorder as it's not expecting MPEG2 input over that connection. You would have to use the analogue connections to record from the camcorder to your DVD recorder.
 

petereh

Standard Member
Thanks Mark, though that would surely mean no high speed transfer? It seems perverse that I would have to play at "real time" via analogue connections when the source video is on HDD in digital format and I want to transfer it to a similar (digital) destination. Makes me wonder if Sony have considered this requirement, (which surely is not so unusual)?
Thanks again,
Peter
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
Peter,

Well that's a good idea. I've not been following recent developents of DVD recorders very closely... it would be technically possible to create one which would dub the MPEG2 from a HDD camcorder over USB faster than real time, but as far as I'm aware this doesn't exist today.
 

rhubarbe

Banned
Yebbut, which device would be the USB host? If you are transferring from HDD cam to PC, then the PC is host and cam shows as a drive. If you were to try to transfer from cam to DVDP, tnen the DVDP would have to be host, unless the cam had host and client buiilt in, which I don't think they do.

I don't think that the SOC's currently employed as the basis for most DVDPs include a USB host controller on the chip. Ergo, you can't do it.
 

petereh

Standard Member
Yebbut, which device would be the USB host? If you are transferring from HDD cam to PC, then the PC is host and cam shows as a drive. If you were to try to transfer from cam to DVDP, tnen the DVDP would have to be host, unless the cam had host and client buiilt in, which I don't think they do.

I don't think that the SOC's currently employed as the basis for most DVDPs include a USB host controller on the chip. Ergo, you can't do it.
Thanks.....that's why use of Firewire to achieve the connection would be useful. Especially as both my PC and my HDD//DVD recorder has a firewire port. A shame....as Senu suggests, JVC seem to exploit this, (but I'm a bit loathed to buy another JVC as my DVL100 suffers from the dreaded "E04 Unit in Safeguard Mode" error which appears to be a common dare I suggest "design fault"?.....this makes me reluctant to buy another JVC unit, but that's doubtless another story for another thread)!
Regards,
Peter
 
A

Abayomi2007

Guest
I have a Sony HDR-SR5E 40GB High Definition Camcorder and discovered to my greatest surprise that it does not allow me to use a firewire, which is the only way I can capture directly to my Pinnacle Titanium Video editing software and burn a DVD on the fly. Using older versions of Sony camcorders which do have firewire ports, the DVD is ready a few minutes after the event. With my new device, I have to transfer the file after the event, and then burn the DVD, by which time, everyone is back in their homes drinking tea. Is there a way around this? Please help.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
I have a Sony HDR-SR5E 40GB High Definition Camcorder and discovered to my greatest surprise that it does not allow me to use a firewire, which is the only way I can capture directly to my Pinnacle Titanium Video editing software and burn a DVD on the fly. Using older versions of Sony camcorders which do have firewire ports, the DVD is ready a few minutes after the event. With my new device, I have to transfer the file after the event, and then burn the DVD, by which time, everyone is back in their homes drinking tea. Is there a way around this? Please help.
Probably not

TBH doing it this way should not add more than 10mins to your time
Having said that, the method of making a DVD on the fly while convenient is probably best on a settop unit. PCs ( and the software) can throw a wobbly without warning and spoil the whole project as you are asking a fair bit of processing power and relying on the stability of the system
Unless you don't want to Edit at all ( understandable if you have a "perfect" footage)
The advantage of having the footage on the HDD and then making a DVD is that
1) you can disable reencoding if you think the Camcorder has done a great Job
2) you can Author a DVD with Menu: shouldn't take that long
3) you can control encoding parameters: change the audio to ac3 ? sor round ect
You may want to try Ulead Movie Factory and see if it will support a USB type transfer for DVD making "on the fly"
 
A

Abayomi2007

Guest
Thank you Senu for your kind advice, I'll try out the software from Ulead. Most times, we have to make our footage available in its unedited form, as people are not really interested in the tweaked versions; that's why we tend to use hardware like Copywriter Live and software like Pinnacle to do that. Many thanks!
 

RegTheDonk

Standard Member
Hi, sorry to ressurect this thread, but I have a similar question and I'd be grateful for any advice on this "what to buy" problem.

I work in an education establishment with about a 14 classrooms, each is equipped with a projector, windows XP computer, and a VHS/DVD combi player.

For about the last 20 years we've used full sized VHS camcorders for students to record classroom sessions, role plays, tutorials etc. We've stuck with VHS because its easy to use - the users simply take the tape out and stick it in the classroom player. These camcorders are now well old and unservicable, hence we are looking to buy 3 or 4 new ones.

The dilemma we face is we need something VERY simple for the user...we don't want to have to keep holding their hands every time they want to record or play something back. So we've discarded a DVD type, to save having the users mess about finalising discs (and disc stock costs). We've also discarded DV tape - the cost of buying DV players for all classroom, or having a camera booked to just one classroom for who knows how long while they play all their material back using the camcorder as the source, isn't practical.

Hence, we think the best solution would be to invest in some camcorders with hard drives that are plug-and-play compatible. Once the filming has been done, the files could hopefully be easily drag-and-dropped to the classroom PC via USB, freeing up the camcorders for use elsewhere.

The files would need to be something that Windows Media Player recognises so it could play them without having to install any extra software. Our users will have basic computer literacy, they will know what to do with standard XP components like USB cables and Media Player - but give them anything else will create problems.

Editing isn't required, just playback of original files on the PC. Real-time playback isn't required either, so we don't need to upgrade every computer with a firewire card.

Thats briefly it, if anyone could suggest a model of camcorder that can do this (up to £1,000), I'd really appreciate it

Reg :)
 

redsox_mark

Distinguished Member
A standard definition HDD cam will probably work best for you then. With high def ones, the files are harder to play - needs a fast PC, the right software and codecs. A standard def HDD cam records in MPEG2, the same format as used for DVD, and it can be easily played.

There aren't any standard def HDD camcorders anywhere near your budget though. The Panasonic SDR-H280 is a good standard def HDD cam. Or the Sony SR190.
 

senu

Distinguished Member
You could buy a Hi def Sony HDD.. and use it in SD mode
Only because
1) the hi def capability exist if you ever get curious to exploit it
2) The manufacturers seem to be rather keen on loading the newer hi def models with enhanced features ( sensors , digital processing ect) which you can benefit from even if you shoot in SD

3) still within your budget

I wonder how the Sony Sr 12 sounds?
Canon and Panasonic don't seem hot on HDD models and Canons excellent HG10 ( which you could get 2 for £1000 ( with canny shopping) sadly does not do SD ( an omission IMHO)
 

RegTheDonk

Standard Member
Thanks for the response guys. I'll look into those in more details, hopefully one of them will be suitable.

Cheers :)
 

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