No Firewire Port on Computer

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    • #48289

      I have a Sony TRV27 camcorder that usesa IEEE1394 Firewire connection to transfer my video tapes to the computer. Unfortunately my new computerdoes not have a Firewire port to connect to. It also does not have a spare PCI slot to add a Firewire card. I’m using Windows 7 and using Pinnacle video software.

      Is there any way to download my videos to this new computer? Is there a Firewire to USB adapter available? If available, will it work?

      If I’m forced to use an anolog connection, will I loose video quality?

    • #198486

      There is no such thing as a firewire to usb or usb to firewire converter. You may see advertised as such but these are misleading.

      You can find digital/analog converts like the Canopus ADVC100 which can take your firewire output from your camera and convert it to analog.

      If you go analog from your camera to computer, then your video quality is dependent on how good your camera’s video hardware is. If you go firewire to a digital/analog converter, then your video quality should be fine.

      Just my two cents, hope this helps

    • #198487

      Correction, that should have read “Canopus ADVC 110 not 100.

    • #198488

      YES, there ARE firewire to/from usb connectors, converters, adapters … whatever a person wants to call them, there’s a cable that will allow connectivity between one and the other. That being said …

      There will probably be some potential for information degradation (not image, per se, as it is a digital thing and not analog we’re talking about) and most definitely, unless you’re going from firewire to usb3, well probably most definitely, a slower connection and that might have some negative effect on your editing efforts.

      Even Walmart has a multi-adapter cable made by Sima that allows for interconnecting between firewire and usb, for less than $25. advertises usb firewire adapters and shows a usb 2.0 to ieee 1394 4-pin extension cable, as well as some other multi-connection options if you search.

      Question is, how well does any of these work? That, my friend, I cannot say as I’ve not attempted this, nor do I have any friends in the video business who can vouch for them. Other places to check might be B&H Photo Video and MarkerTek.

      Maybe somebody with some serious engineering knowledge in this area will come on and give some real and informed input.

      Finally, wiseGEEK dot com says the two bus technologies are “not integrated” and that it’s not possible to connect one to the other “directly”. Then the writer goes on to say “A Firewire to USB adapter cable for transferring digital video (DV) IS available from at least one manufacturer, but it can be expensive and difficult to find.”

      So, what kind of answer is that: You can’t do it, and here’s how you can do it?

    • #198489

      If your new computer is a desktop, you might be able to plug a card reader type device directly into your motherboard. There are plenty of those with firewire. They don’t use a PCI slot or connect directly to USB, although they often provide extra USB ports, too.

    • #198490

      Check out the Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Plus USB. It has firewire, composite, s-video and L&R audio inputs on one side and USB, composite, s-video, and audio outputs on the other side.

    • #198491

      Thanks everyone.

      I did some more research on the web and re-looked at my desktop and I think I may have a PCI Express slot availableafter all. I didn’t originally recognize it as such. I’m only familiar with the old full sized slots. Anyway, it looks like a Firewire card that uses the PCI Express slot is a valid product.

      Anybody have experience with the PCI Express cards? Anything I should look out for?

      Thanks again for the advice.

    • #198492


      Unless you are horrifically clumsy or have no mechanical gene whatsoever, installing an expansion card is fairly easy. Just make sure you match up the number of PCI pins in the slot on your MoBo with the card you’re looking to get. Stick with firewire only cards as having a USB/Firewire combo card defeats the whole purpose of getting a firewire controller card. Make sure your card is compatible with 32 or 64-bit operating systems or at least has the latest drivers to be downloaded that will make it so. Here’s a spot where you can get a controller card without going broke:

      BH Photo-Video Firewire PCI controller cards

    • #198493

       Just to add to what Composite1 said, depending on your OS, finding drivers that allow full control might take some doing- Windows 7 seems to be problematic for folks (though not for my desktop, it worked on perfectly on day one) so you may want to look for ‘legacy drivers’.

    • #213900

      Why does a combo card defeat the purpose as H Wolfgang states? I only have one slot available and sonnett makes a u.s. 3.0 firewire combo card.

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