Recording is black when recording from mini-DV cassette with MAGIX Movie software

Iskren

Novice Member
Hello,
I've got this old camera or camcorder might be a bit more accurate (I'm not into cameras too much so sorry), it's the JVC GR-D270 and I want to get the videos from it onto my PC. I searched around and found this tutorial Two Ways To Transfer Mini DV Tapes To Computer. - VHS CONVERTERS. There I found that I need a Firewire card. Fair enough, I got one and installed it. Then I installed the MAGIX software because the guy in the tutorial is using it. I've connected the camera to the Firewire card with a mini-DV cable and I'm following the steps in the tutorial. I choose a name, I choose location, etc. But when I press record.. it's black. And no data seems to be written at all as the file size is at 0. So then I stop recording and here's another thing, the file ends with .avi.H0 and has a size of 0 bytes. The camera is indeed in playback mode and you can even see on its little screen that the video is played. I can use the playback controls in the MAGIX software just the way I'm supposed to and also if the camera mode is changed to the one which is used to shoot, you can see the camera output in the MAGIX software's preview. I have updated the driver for the Firewire card and I don't see a reason for this to not work. Have you guys got a clue how to fix this? I've got a lot of videos on these old cassettes and it would be great if I can get them out of there before it's too late.
 

Emerton

Active Member
Are you using the Magix transport controls when you capture the tape? The stream will stop recording if there are any spaces in the recorded tape.
 
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Iskren

Novice Member
1. yes that works
2. I found a solution, actually. Turns out that all I had to do was disconnect the mini-DV cable from both devices, plug it into my PC and after that plug it into the camera. I'm quite mad that I spent hours looking for a solution just to find out I need to plug it into the PC first and then the camera. Why does no tutorial say this??? But anyway, it's solved and thanks for replying.
 

noiseboy72

Distinguished Member
I really don't think the order you plug in the cable matters, but more what order things are switched on.

Firewire is known to be temperamental so you might well find similar problems in the future.
 

Emerton

Active Member
Glad you sorted it out. As noiseboy72 says, I would certainly connect a firewire cable before switching the camera on. I've heard many horror stories of firewire ports being ruined (apparently by static) after being hot-swapped.
 

DocJackal

Well-known Member
Glad you sorted it out. As noiseboy72 says, I would certainly connect a firewire cable before switching the camera on. I've heard many horror stories of firewire ports being ruined (apparently by static) after being hot-swapped.

Canon cameras were awful for that. I've seen many XL1s's and XL2's with melted firewire ports. Always camera first, then computer.
 

J4vaman

Novice Member
Hi All, I realise this is an old thread but someone with a similar problem may stumble across it.
Until half an hour ago, I had exactly the same problem as the OP and I am using Magix Movie Edit Pro 2016 Plus/Windows 7 64-bit
After connecting my Panasonic DV camcorder by firewire, I could use the Magix software to control all aspects of the camcorder but when I attempted to play video in the preview screen, it simply turned black. As per the OP, when recording, it also remained black and the resulting file contained "0 bytes".
I tried the OP's solution and it didn't work. I also tried another new Firewire card - same result. I tried every permutation of connecting the cable first to the computer and then camcorder and then in reverse with both switched on, off etc etc - literally every permutation possible . . . nothing worked, UNTIL I eventually struck gold . . . . . . .

In my case, it doesn't seem to matter if the computer is running or not when connecting the camera but as per the above comments, I would ensure the camera is powered off when connecting the firewire from the PC and thereafter . . . .

1. Switch on both the camcorder and computer (if the latter is not already up and running)
2. Now switch the camcorder to VCR mode and start it playing using the "play" button on the device itself.
3. With the Recorder playing, now launch Magix Movie Edit Pro and select the record button, followed by the "DV Camcorder" option and the movie will both display and record.

In my case, it seems the picture will only display and record if the Magix software is receiving an active video signal at the time the software launches. This is a bit of a pain but recording can be accomplished by rewinding the camcorder to the start of the tape, pressing play and immediately pressing pause. If I now launch Magix and start recording from within the program, it works and I'm in business.

I hope this solution works if there's anyone else out there specifically looking to recover their old DV tapes was the OP and now myself a year later.
 

J4vaman

Novice Member
OK - I shot my bolt before taking aim. . . .
I saved an entire tape to my PC and then loaded the next and I was back to a black preview screen and "0 bytes" when recording. This did happen a few days ago as well when the software suddenly started to work and I switched everything off and rebooted in order to verify it was working but then it reverted back to not working again. So, as of an hour ago, I was back to square one and making friends with Google yet again but . . . . .
This time I have it sorted - at least for me.
I am running Windows 7 64-bit and so this might not work for everyone but ultimately the problem was down to the 1394 driver. I picked up a suggestion to install a 1394 legacy driver and this worked perfectly.
Go to Device Manager and scroll down to IEE 1394 Bus host controllers and double click it. Now double click on 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller which shows underneath. Click on the "Driver" tab and then the option for "update driver". Now select "Browse my computer for driver software" and in the next window "click on "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
Finally, select "1394 OHCI compliant Host Controller (Legacy)" and then "next". The driver will automatically roll back to the legacy driver and you will be in business.

In order to make sure I wasn't being premature, I changed tapes, rebooted and relaunched Windows and connected and disconnected the camera several times. It's fixed - it worked perfectly every time.
Strangely, the advice I was following related to someone recording DV via Firewire onto a Windows 10 computer but I decided to follow the advice anyway and it worked and so I suspect this fix is good for both windows 7 and 10.
Strangely, with the later driver to which Windows updates when installing the Firewire card, Magix appears to work intermittently but only perhaps one in every 50-60 attempts when the software is launched - I assumed it was a bug in the Magix software but roll back to the legacy 1394 driver and it works flawlessly. Jeez, Windows . . . . . . . . .
 
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