O/T Capture Problem

markrad wrote on 7/13/2010, 9:07 PM
My computer will no longer capture video from my Sony TRV-720 (Digital8) vidcam via firewire cable to my WindowsXP desktop. It has worked previously without a hitch. I don't know what has changed but on a good day the capture process will start but then lock up about 20 seconds into the capture, the entire computer will freeze and I have to do a forced reboot. Sometimes the computer will toggle back and forth even detecting the camera. I borrowed a different camera (Canon ZR900 Mini DV) using the SAME firewire cable and the capture process works fine. I then tried my vidcam on my laptop and capture works fine on that machine. Also my desktop problems show up using Vegas capture as well as Windows Movie Maker. Any ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance.


farss wrote on 7/13/2010, 9:16 PM
Try a different firewire cable.

I know, I know. It probably will not fix the problem however more than once we've found that it will and it's not an expensive thing to try.

markrad wrote on 7/13/2010, 10:31 PM
I've tried multiple firewire cables all with the same result. Problem remains constant.
farss wrote on 7/13/2010, 11:51 PM
Sorry then, I'm totally out of ideas.

One thing I'm a little curious about is you said in your original post that you're captruring to the Windows Desktop. That doesn't seem like such a good idea to me as the desktop is a folder on the C: drive. Maybe that's the problem, perhaps you've run out of space on the C: drive.

markrad wrote on 7/14/2010, 12:05 AM
sorry I was unclear. I said 'Windows Desktop" to indicate type of machine and the operating system. Desktop as opposed to laptop.
farss wrote on 7/14/2010, 1:21 AM
I only hope someone has some better ideas than me then. Nothing makes much sense analysing the problem logically.

Rory Cooper wrote on 7/14/2010, 2:04 AM
I have the same problem with one of the older cams, I have to fiddle with the DV input connection into the cam. Once connected, don’t breath or move . It’s a hassle when you are in a hurry.
Grazie wrote on 7/14/2010, 2:16 AM
Is the - Sony TRV-720 (Digital8) - a hybrid analogue<>digital? Does the VidCap program NEED to be in analogue mode? Meaning NO DV Scene detect and NO DV Control? OR is it fully DV and you haven't date/time stamp?

As your MINI-DV cammie works then there has to be another variable, eg the hybrid thing, coming into play.

As I haven't had a Sony TRV-720 (Digital8) I may very well be speaking from out of my Rectum!

markrad wrote on 7/14/2010, 10:00 PM
Rory- It could well be the firewire connector on the cam but it's strange that it works fine with the laptop.

Grazie- In the past DV Scene detect and DV control have had no bearing on my captures, works either way. Or at least used to work. And again the problem also exists even using Windows Movie Maker to capture.

Thanks to all of you who have chimed in so far, I'm open for more suggestions.

Grazie wrote on 7/14/2010, 10:10 PM
Is your Laptop 4<>4 pin and your PC is 4<>6 pin?

Steve Mann wrote on 7/14/2010, 10:23 PM
Try using Scenalyzer Live. It's free and just works with DV capture over Firewire.
Laurence wrote on 7/14/2010, 11:24 PM
Camera firewire ports are extremely easy to fry. All you have to do is attempt to plug in the cable backwards. The voltage will jump over the data lines and fry the circuit board. Hopefully this isn't your situation, but it is very likely.

I always have the camera powered off and double check the orientation before plugging it in. Then I power up the camera after the cable is connected at both ends.

Camera firewire ports are most likely to be blown when you have a six pin connector at the computer end. The smaller 4 pin connections don't carry power, but if you have a larger six pin connector at the computer end and a smaller 4 pin connector at the camera end and you have the 4 pin connector plugged into the camera first, then attempt to plug in the larger six pin connector into the computer second, if you accidentally try to make the connection upside down, your camera firewire circuit board will automatically fry. The connector doesn't need to be fully seated. It just needs momentary contact and pow, the port is blown. This is a big problem with Macbook users since the include six pin firewire ports, and with desktops because they have the larger firewire connector.

This is also a problem with early Canopus firewire to DV boxes. I know because I fried one.
farss wrote on 7/15/2010, 12:06 AM
" It could well be the firewire connector on the cam but it's strange that it works fine with the laptop. "

The firewire buss uses a differential line circuit. One half of the differential pair can fail and the interface can sort of still work, most likely cause of this is an open circuit wire in the cable but that's been eliminated. The actual ic in the camera could have failed or the power to it could have developed some fault. These things can be marginal such that they'll work with a different device at the other end (PC).
Also some of th earlier firewire contollers were a bit suspect. Trying to use them with other devices (HDDs etc) on the same buss was pretty hit and miss.
Another complication is that Windows also enables network connectivity over firewire.
I'm inclined to suspect something low level within Windows itself as the problem is causing a system crash and with two different applications. Have you recently applied any updates to the desktop PC, changed anything on that PC, installed new apps etc.


Tinle wrote on 7/15/2010, 4:24 AM
Trying the free Trial Version of Scenalyzer may be a good idea, but its not a free program. Currently $34 US

"Buy Online - Thank you for your interest in buying ScenalyzerLive!

. Because of the high complexity of the program and the hardware used with it, we cannot guarantee that this or a future version of ScenalyzerLIVE works with your setup and we don't refund for that reason. If the trial-version doesn't work, the registered-version will not work either! Also check that the files written by ScLive work fine in your editing-application. Make sure the trial version works on your system! "

rs170a wrote on 7/15/2010, 4:35 AM
Scenalyzer (the old version) is a free download.
It's under the User Manual download link.
WinDV (also free) is another utility to try.

markrad wrote on 7/15/2010, 11:01 PM
Bob- That is some good Firewire info, thanks for that.
I'm beginning to think I have a damaged firewire output on the camera itself.

Grazie- my laptop is 4<>4 pin my PC has both 6 AND 4 pin connectors. Both connectors fail to work though.

This vidcam is the only playback I have for my substantial Digital8 tape library. I could always capture on my laptop and then move the files over to my desktop. I'm also on the lookout now for a used Digital8 vidcam. Its really too bad because I'd rather be putting money towards a more current camera .
ushere wrote on 7/16/2010, 12:21 AM
buy an ex hd and capture via laptop to that. you can then store, and even edit from the files on it....