Video to PC

Discussion in 'Video Cameras' started by Margaret Willmer, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. I have just discovered (oh dear I hear you all say) that video capture
    is possible straight from the camera without having to record a tape
    first. That means I can have a go at capturing direct from 8mm cine film.

    But, how long can a firewire cable be? I want to set the camera and
    cine projector a few metres away from the PC. I've found 4.5 metre
    cables advertised is this as long as they can be?

    Many thanks

    Margaret Willmer, Nov 27, 2006
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  2. Margaret Willmer

    Jerry Guest

    100 meters, 200 meters, 500 meters (with the correct repeaters), it's
    down to what you want to spend vs. the cost of getting someone else
    do the conversion, how many feet of film have you got to convert -
    you might find this URL useful in deciding if it's worth the bother
    of trying to do this yourself,
    Jerry, Nov 27, 2006
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  3. Thank you for your reply. We had thought of getting them transferred
    professionally but have left it too late for this Christmas.

    We thought it might be fun to do a few ourselves as we do want to see
    them. If it proves too difficult or time consuming we'll revert to the

    I suspect that the fps issue will arise - we can but try.

    I'll go out and buy a long firewire cable and I've ordered a huge HD

    Margaret Willmer, Nov 27, 2006
  4. Margaret Willmer

    Jerry Guest

    [ re cine transfer to video ]
    Jerry, Nov 27, 2006
  5. Margaret Willmer

    Tony Morgan Guest

    I'm afraid you're wrong there Jerry.

    The specification for FireWire (also known as or IEEE 1394)
    states that the maximum length of a FireWire cable is 4.5 meters (14.5
    feet). As a result, you cannot extend the distance of your FireWire
    device more than 14.5 feet without using an "active" extension cable.

    There is, however a new 1394b standard. 1394b cables use a new 9-pin
    connector and newer cable specification and are capable of longer cable
    lengths, even up to 33 feet. Unfortunately even with the higher gauges
    and better performance of the new 1394b spec cables, interfacing 1394a
    components over long lengths is still a hit or miss proposition without
    using fibre optic or cat5 extension solutions.

    No currently available consumer Firewire ports are 1394b, nor do any
    current video cameras offer 1394b.

    So the bottom line is that you can't connect current video cameras by
    firewire over longer distances than 4.5m unless you use an active
    Tony Morgan, Nov 27, 2006
  6. Margaret Willmer

    Jerry Guest

    <snip your ignorance>

    Try reading what I said, then try Googleing for long firewire cables,
    or follow this URL, I respectfully
    suggest that you keep up with what is happening in the real world...

    OK, I might have been pushing the envelope at 500 meters!
    Jerry, Nov 28, 2006
  7. Margaret Willmer

    BlahDiBlah Guest

    Hi Margaret,

    just a suggestion, in case it slips your mind or you han't though of it -
    when capturing, you might want to consider setting the focus and exposure
    manually on your DV camera, if it's possible. Otherwise, you *might* run
    into problems with the end result.

    BlahDiBlah, Nov 28, 2006
  8. Margaret Willmer

    RobDee Guest

    I have 2 that came with my MoBo.

    RobDee, Nov 28, 2006
  9. Margaret Willmer

    Just Di Guest

    Exactly! There are many 1394b on market now, most of them should be working
    only with 64 bus, but some of the very wide range are able to use 32 bus.

    There is another funny joke. Almost all electronic store managers tell that
    Firewire is much better and faster than USB. But that's not correct because
    current USB2 which is very popular is 480 mbit/sec. Firewire without any
    chars - means 1394a - it's only 400 mbit/sec. :) 1394b is more expensive and
    can be sold for sure but should be discussed separately.

    Just D.
    Just Di, Nov 29, 2006
  10. Margaret Willmer

    Nik Guest

    Google for "firewire vs usb2 actual throughput" to see why this isn't
    the case. Or, since this is a video newsgroup, try connecting your DV
    camera via USB2 and capturing from it.

    Nik, Nov 29, 2006
  11. Margaret Willmer

    Just D Guest

    Well, instead of bla-bla-bla, just one link:


    I'm not offering to use USB2 to connect your Firewire device, maybe you
    didn't understand that. :)

    Regarding the actual... The standard means that you'll never get higher,
    lower - easy. Depends on many conditions. I don't want to explain that in
    detail, wrong NG.

    Just D.
    Just D, Nov 29, 2006
  12. Margaret Willmer

    Jerry Guest

    Which is correct, in a real world situation.

    But that's not correct because
    Perhaps on paper, but once the real world starts intruding USB2 is
    worse than 1394(a).

    1394b is more expensive and
    In the context (video transfer), no, 1394b can be discussed in the
    same breath as 1394(a) - without context, sure, they should all be
    discussed as separate protocols.
    Jerry, Nov 29, 2006
  13. Margaret Willmer

    Nik Guest


    Oh, and please don't top-post.

    Nik, Nov 29, 2006
  14. Margaret Willmer

    Jerry Guest

    Jerry, Nov 29, 2006
  15. In this case, the figures lie. Use Firewire.
    Laurence Payne, Nov 29, 2006
  16. Margaret Willmer

    G Hardy Guest

    OK - what's the "AT" mean? :eek:)

    I think everyone's getting worked up about USB2 vs 1394a unnecessarily. The
    focus of this newsgroup is recreational video - which means we're most
    likely to be using our 1394 ports for DV video transfer.

    We're all intelligent enough on this list to minimise PC activity during
    video capture, even though 3½ MB/second is pedestrian by today's PC
    standards. In the same vein, we're likely to disconnect unnecessary USB
    devices if we feel a need for speed. I tested (using DiskSpeed32) the
    throughput of my external drive, which has both USB2 and Firewire, and found
    no difference between the two - both were 30 MB / second. I captured ten
    hours of video via 1394 expresscard direct to the USB drive without a single
    dropped frame.

    OK so _sustained_ throughput of USB2 might be lower than 1394a, but on this
    group, does it really matter?
    G Hardy, Nov 29, 2006
  17. Margaret Willmer

    Nik Guest

    "A troll"
    Interesting. I'm just about to acquire an external drive for video
    storage (which may or may or may not include capture), so I'm pleased to
    know I don't need to spend extra for a firewire-enabled device.

    My (PAL) camera has both USB2 and 1394 connections. Before I obtained a
    1394 card, I captured one scene via USB2 and it limited the resolution
    to 640x480. I had assumed that this was due to the speed limitation of
    USB2, but you would suggest otherwise?

    Nik, Nov 29, 2006
  18. Margaret Willmer

    Jukka Aho Guest

    Even if USB 2.0 cannot quite handle sustained 480 Mbps transfers, a
    measly 25 Mbps DV stream should be a piece of cake for it.

    Camcorder manufacturers, however, seem to regard USB as something that
    is best left for webcam-style (square-pixel) video streaming at VGA
    resolution and still images. I'm not sure why, but that's what they do.
    Jukka Aho, Nov 29, 2006
  19. Margaret Willmer

    Tony Morgan Guest

    But (in the context of the OP's question) are there any video recorders
    which support 1394B?
    But unfortunately, USB2 is a step-down protocol, which means that if
    there are lost bits at the sink end, the speed steps down progressively.
    With 1394(whatever) there is no step-down protocol, so (in the context
    of video capturing) it's left to the video editor/capture software to
    count the lost (or defective) frames.

    Where a USB2 port is driven by a card with no direct power feed (other
    than the PCI power rail), it's not uncommon for the speed to step down.
    Tony Morgan, Nov 29, 2006
  20. Margaret Willmer

    Tony Morgan Guest

    In message <ekjs5h$6p$>, Nik <>
    It's worth looking at your USB2 PCI card to see if there is a 4-W power
    socket (like on your HDD), and see if it is connected to your PC's
    power supply. You may have a daisy-chain power connector with spare
    plugs that can be used (maybe by moving your USB2 card), though Maplins
    (for instance) can supply and extender connector.
    I haven't seen any video cameras with USB2. But most manufacturers seem
    to associate their USB connector with still and/or webcam, which maybe
    accounts for the resolution restriction that you have (which also seems
    to suggest that you have USB(1) and not USB2 on your video camera). And
    of course some video editor/capture software doesn't support USB for
    Tony Morgan, Nov 29, 2006
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