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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old February 18th, 2006, 05:08 AM   #1
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4-pin firewire

hi. can i hook up a sony pd150 to a notebook computer using 4-pin firewire and capture video?

i've always used a 6-pin firewire cable with my desktop.

but now i'm having problems capturing (dropping frames by the dozens/a minute). i've tried solving the problem in many ways and have narrowed it down to being either an issue with my camera's firewire port, or my desktops firewire port, or my desktop's firewire interface, which is onboard the motherboard.

i want to test the camera on a different computer. all i have is a notebook. it's perfectly capable of handling video capture, but it only has the smaller 4-pin firewire port.

thanks
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Old February 18th, 2006, 09:39 AM   #2
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The 4 pin port shouldn't matter since the other two pins on a 6-pin cable are for power supply and not used by the PD-150. Have you tried more than one cable? And are you sure that it isn't a performance issue on the laptop, like a slow/fragmented disk drive or other software running while you capture?

Do you have another DV camera? You could try connecting them both together with the 4-pin cable. Put the other camera in VCR mode and hit record. Put the PD-150 in camera mode. You should be able to record to the other camera from the PD-150 if everything is OK with the firewire port and cable.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #3
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4 pin or 6 pin firewire have the same data characteristics. You problem doesn't come from the firewire connection, I'd guess. Any version of the IEEE-1394 interface is capable of transmitting DV data.

If your laptop or the desktop have only a single hard drive, that is very likely the problem. The OS has full access to the drive regardless of what you are asking the system to do. When it accesses the drive, you will lose frames.

Otherwise it could be a LAN or Virus protection software or some other program that is operating in the background. Or it could be your ports are sharing interrupts.

You don't give the characteristics of the computers so guesses are all we can make.
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Old February 18th, 2006, 11:59 AM   #4
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i'm sorry. i think my description of the problem i'm having was misleading.

the problem i'm having is actually with my desktop computer, which is the computer i usually use for video editing. there's a whole thread i started in the what's new in vegas forum, thinking it had something to do with software. but after formatting my drives, reinstalling windows and software, using a brand new firewire cable, and still having problems - i came to the conclusion that it must be either something in the firewire interface in my computer or my pd150.

i want to test the pd150 on a different computer - my laptop. but it only has a 4-pin firewire port. so i was curious if this would be an appropriate test. from your replies i understand that it is. thanks

adi
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Old February 20th, 2006, 03:54 AM   #5
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Which operating system are you using? (Windows XP or Windows 98, or something else?)
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:36 AM   #6
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windows xp pro
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:25 PM   #7
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I was thinking maybe if you had an older operating system the hard drives might somehow have got out of DMA mode. (I don't think that should be a problem with XP.)

Did you try using a different firewire cable to the desktop yet? So often, it's just a really simple thing we somehow overlooked (I sure do that a lot!).
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:27 PM   #8
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Oops. I just read up and saw you tried that.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:31 PM   #9
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Next step is to get that 4 pinner and give it a whirl trying to capture to the laptop. Be sure to defrag the drive in your laptop, because most laptops have 5400rpm drives, and you will get dropouts trying to capture to a fragmented 5400rpm drive.
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Old February 20th, 2006, 05:31 PM   #10
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If you determine its the firewire port on your PC, www.newegg.com has some cards for around $20
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Old February 20th, 2006, 05:40 PM   #11
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I capture to my Compaq laptop (4 pin to 4 pin FW) using Win XP Home and Canon's DVPC recorder. I always disable as many processes as possible and don't have any problems. I am capturing to the internal drive.

You might try using Scenalyzer (free demo download) and see if that helps. Sometimes, running a lean and mean capture program helps, as it doesn't have as much processor overhead.

-gb-
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Old February 20th, 2006, 09:05 PM   #12
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There's a real good freeware product that is excellent at capturing without dropouts, even if you are multi-tasking your computer (it buffers the imput in RAM, which many payware software packages just don't bother to do). You can preview while capturing and it will put time/date in the filenames of the captured files, based on the time/date stamp in the first frame of a clip too. if you want. I can't remember the name of the dang thing off the top of my head, even though I use it (it's not on this computer though) and it has a real simple name even! When I remember, I'll try to post it.
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Old February 21st, 2006, 12:34 AM   #13
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thanks everyone for the input. i'll be getting the 4-pin firewire cable today to test it out. you're right about the laptop's hard drive, it's 5400rpm. so i'll defragment it as you suggest. i'll try different capturing software, including scenalyzer (thanks, greg.... and that freeware, you were talking about robert, if the name of it comes back to you).

i'll let you know of the outcomes soon. thanks again!

adi
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