Question about Firewire Storage at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Open DV Discussion
For topics which don't fit into any of the other categories.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old December 22nd, 2016, 07:34 AM   #1
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Jamaica, NY
Posts: 11
Question about Firewire Storage

I was recently given an old Sony DSR-PD170 MiniDV cam

Mint condition with a bunch of goodies (bag, lenses, external mic, etc.)

It also came with a FireStore FS4, which is what I was really interested in because although I have no real use for the camera itself, I do have a ton of old MiniDV and D8 tapes that I've been putting off capturing.

Mainly because my other tape cams use Firewire and my current laptop isn't compatible.

Anyways, I've tested the FS4 with my older mini notebook (Sony Viao TX-770P) using Firewire and it worked great, but that notebook is very limited when it comes to editing, so I just transferred the AVI files to my current laptop via SD cards (slow process)

My question is, would I be able to use a cable like this to transfer files from the FS4 directly to my current laptop using the USB port?

https://s30.postimg.org/i0zyzct9d/usbto6pinfirewire.jpg

I know I'm not able to connect my cameras directly to USB using Firewire, but in the case of the FS4, aren't the files that are captured already converted to AVI's?

I figure it would be an easy drag and drop, but would like to know for sure before ordering the cable.
Rick Antonio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 08:58 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 778
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

No. That cable should not exist. USB and FireWire are two different protocols.

Imagine for a second you have a garden hose. You want to use it to power your electric weed whacker. You could gaff tape a plug onto the end of the hose, but the water won't magically become electricity. That's what this cable does.

USB and FireWire are very different things. Depending on the laptop, you can get an ExpressCard FireWire adapter: https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-.../dp/B000RKUKMG so you can plug your PD170 directly into your laptop.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 10:01 AM   #3
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,518
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Don't think that will work. On the Mac it is a simple matter to do this however, there are inexpensive Thunderbolt to Firewire converters. I have the Apple one which IIRC cost around $20 and it works perfectly with my Sony HVR-M15U tape deck. It is not a passive adapter however, there is some circuitry inside and it gets surprisingly hot also! There are also thunderbolt docks with firewire ports.

Have not kept up with things on the PC side, do newer machines use thunderbolt?
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 06:38 PM   #4
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Jamaica, NY
Posts: 11
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward Carlson View Post
No. That cable should not exist. USB and FireWire are two different protocols.

Imagine for a second you have a garden hose. You want to use it to power your electric weed whacker. You could gaff tape a plug onto the end of the hose, but the water won't magically become electricity. That's what this cable does.

USB and FireWire are very different things. Depending on the laptop, you can get an ExpressCard FireWire adapter: https://www.amazon.com/StarTech-com-.../dp/B000RKUKMG so you can plug your PD170 directly into your laptop.

My current laptop doesn't have a pcmcia port, so no go on the express card (that was the first thing I looked at years ago)

Now, I can understand a fire wire cable that runs from the camera to the USB port simply won't work because the footage needs to be captured and converted, however, what confuses me about the Firestore is that when I plug it into my old laptop, it functions just like an external hard drive.

All of the files already seem to be converted to AVI and I simply drag and drop them onto my hard drive.

This appears to work completely different than the way my old laptop uses a proprietary software to capture raw footage directly from the camera using firewire.

This is why I'm curious if it would actually work going from the Firestore to USB.

Thing is, the company seems to have shut it's doors, so info is very limited.
Rick Antonio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 07:08 PM   #5
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Jamaica, NY
Posts: 11
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff View Post
Don't think that will work. On the Mac it is a simple matter to do this however, there are inexpensive Thunderbolt to Firewire converters. I have the Apple one which IIRC cost around $20 and it works perfectly with my Sony HVR-M15U tape deck. It is not a passive adapter however, there is some circuitry inside and it gets surprisingly hot also! There are also thunderbolt docks with firewire ports.

Have not kept up with things on the PC side, do newer machines use thunderbolt?
I'm a pc guy and don't have a clue how anything Apple works lol
Rick Antonio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 08:33 PM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,229
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

What's on the firestore is a digital file. It doesn't need to be converted to anything, in fact, you should steer clear of programs that claim to import all video and convert it. You don't want a conversion.

The closer you get to the original file, the better. Your old PD170 *does* create digital files, that are laid out linearly on the tape. The best conversion isn't a conversion at all, just a transfer of that file to a hard disk.

I too have had good results on a mac with a Firewire to Thunderbolt adapter - it's not actually creating a new file, just giving a modern mac a firewire port.

Firewire is still in use on the PC, too, but not on laptops! You need a firewire card on a desktop PC that has card slots. There isn't a laptop solution the way there is on Mac.

So, your Firestore. That's right, it's a hard drive with firewire input, that lays down your DV files. If it has USB connectivity as well that's great - you don't need to do anything else, just plug it into your laptop via USB and transfer the files (don't convert them).

Do it while you can. When that Firestore or the PD170 stop working, you'll be out of luck. Such is life with 12 and 15 year old technology.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 22nd, 2016, 10:58 PM   #7
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Jamaica, NY
Posts: 11
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
What's on the firestore is a digital file. It doesn't need to be converted to anything, in fact, you should steer clear of programs that claim to import all video and convert it. You don't want a conversion.
The FS4 apparently has several formats to choose from:

RAW DV, AVI TYPE1, AVI TYPE2, CANOPUS AVI, MATROX AVI, QUICKTIME, QUICKTIME 24P and AVI TYPE2 24P

I have no idea which one is best, but I've been using AVI Type 1 cause that's what it was originally set to when I got it.

If I chose Quicktime instead, wouldn't it be converting the captured footage to that format?


Quote:
So, your Firestore. That's right, it's a hard drive with firewire input, that lays down your DV files. If it has USB connectivity as well that's great - you don't need to do anything else, just plug it into your laptop via USB and transfer the files (don't convert them).
That's the big question as I'm not sure if it's USB compatible or not.

The only cable it came with is a 6-pin to 4-pin Firewire.

I use it on one side to plug into the camera to save the footage, then plug it into the other side and my old mini laptop to transfer the footage.

http://www.codectest.com/productreviews/fs4/fs4-dvr.jpg


It would surely save me a ton of time if it was in fact USB compatible


Quote:
Do it while you can. When that Firestore or the PD170 stop working, you'll be out of luck. Such is life with 12 and 15 year old technology.
Yeah, my new year's resolution is to burn through a tape a day and get it all on the cloud.

Figure I should be done by the end of Summer lol
Rick Antonio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 12:04 AM   #8
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,229
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Antonio View Post
The FS4 apparently has several formats to choose from:

RAW DV, AVI TYPE1, AVI TYPE2, CANOPUS AVI, MATROX AVI, QUICKTIME, QUICKTIME 24P and AVI TYPE2 24P

I have no idea which one is best, but I've been using AVI Type 1 cause that's what it was originally set to when I got it.

If I chose Quicktime instead, wouldn't it be converting the captured footage to that format?
These are different wrappers, also known as container formats. You would choose one of the first 3 and see how that works with your editing software. They're all going to be the same quality (same video data). The differences are in how that data is organized.

Quote:
That's the big question as I'm not sure if it's USB compatible or not.

The only cable it came with is a 6-pin to 4-pin Firewire.
That sure looks like it's firewire only!

It's a bunch of steps with your old laptop. But it sounds like the choke point is using an SD card to transfer between the old and new laptops. USB3 hard drives that are also USB2 compatible aren't very spendy.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:01 AM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: LOWESTOFT - UK
Posts: 2,088
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

My firewire drive (and my JVC cameras) connects to my MacBook with just one cable - the one with the square black connector with the little notch in it (400?) Firewire is just a different protocol, that's all - what comes down it in terms of file format is not really that important - The only thing is speed. USB3 is quick, Firewire nearly as quick and USB2 a bit slower. My external recorder that's on the back of the camera is happy recording in quite a few formats.
Paul R Johnson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 05:46 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,006
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Below video might help? As far as I can see you"ll need a firewire hub that connects via usb to your laptop, these hubs have a 6pin connector so you will need a 6pin to 6pin cable as well to go from your firestore to the firewirehub

Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 08:56 AM   #11
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Portland, Oregon
Posts: 3,229
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
...As far as I can see you"ll need a firewire hub that connects via usb to your laptop, these hubs have a 6pin connector so you will need a 6pin to 6pin cable as well to go from your firestore to the firewirehub...
Perhaps you've seen one and could link to a firewire hub that converts to USB? They don't exist, I think.

There is some misinformation floating around out there on the internet:

*No, simple adapters and cables don't work - FW and USB are quite different protocols.

*No, if you have an external drive with FW and USB it won't convert. Your DV FW camera may physically connect to the drive, but, the drive doesn't have the software running to pull down the FW stream.
__________________
30 years of pro media production. Vegas user since 1.0. Webcaster since 1997. Freelancer since 2000. College instructor since 2001.
Seth Bloombaum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 09:22 AM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Belgium
Posts: 9,006
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

I could be mistaken but I found this video just now that shows a firewire to usb hub: (look from 01:40)

Noa Put is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 04:15 PM   #13
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Mays Landing, NJ
Posts: 11,518
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick Antonio View Post
Anyways, I've tested the FS4 with my older mini notebook (Sony Viao TX-770P) using Firewire and it worked great, but that notebook is very limited when it comes to editing, so I just transferred the AVI files to my current laptop via SD cards (slow process)
Why don't you just get an external drive, attach it to the old laptop and use it to capture the video directly from the PD-170? After capturing, just move the drive to your new computer. If you are dealing with any amount of footage, you will probably want it on an external drive anyway… wouldn't you?

I may be missing something, but don't see where the FS4 fits into the workflow. You would need to use the tape drive on the camera regardless. Why not just go directly from the camera to the laptop to a hard drive? Seems like the FS4 is only useful if you want to record video directly to it while shooting, as an alternative to using tape.
Boyd Ostroff is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 04:22 PM   #14
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: North Hollywood, CA, United States
Posts: 778
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding here about FireWire and capturing tapes.

The FireStore captures the video into a file. A computer can do the same thing.

The video exists in a digital format on the tape in the camera. The [computer, FireStore] will capture that linear data into a file using whatever codec and wrapper you choose in real-time (1 minute of footage takes 1 minute to capture.)

The FireStore only has FireWire ports, no USB ports. Short of taking the hard disk out of the FireStore, there's no way you can get the footage out of the FireStore using USB.

The easiest way to accomplish what you want is to capture the footage from your PD170 to an external hard drive using your laptop with FireWire. Then take that external hard drive and plug it into your main editing computer. Unless your FireWire laptop is too slow to capture the video in real time, then completely forget the FireStore.
Edward Carlson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old December 23rd, 2016, 09:35 PM   #15
New Boot
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Jamaica, NY
Posts: 11
Re: Question about Firewire Storage

Thanks for all the info

My old Vaio is way too slow to capture the footage directly from the camera.

It does work, but I end up with dropped frames from time to time (especially on a long clip), which can means having to start all over again (I'm using Vegas Video Pro 12 for all my editing btw)

On the other hand, the Firestore seems to capture the footage flawlessly every time and the files are just there to copy and paste.
Rick Antonio is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Open DV Discussion

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:48 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network