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Help with Sony DCR TRV30

by Winkybok / August 23, 2010 11:09 AM PDT

I need a cheap camcorder with night shot. I have read great reviews about this older camera,Sony DCR TRV30. I have an opportunity to buy one extremely cheap, the problem is all it comes with is power cord/charger and 1 battery.My question is what else do I need to buy to be able to load videos onto pc? I found manual online and I have batteries and external charger that will work with this camcorder. I am currently running windows vista home edition. I don't understand too much about camcorders so I need someone to hold my hand and give a list of what I will need. It is such an incredibly good deal I hate to pass it up. I can start list I know I have to buy tapes,but thats about all I know. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank YOU.

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Firewire.
by boya84 / August 23, 2010 10:50 PM PDT

The Sony DCR-TRV30 is a miniDV tape based camcorder. Connect the camcorder's DV port (not USB) to the computer's firewire port (not USB - the firewire port was not included in the box).

Link to the manual (even though you said you have it):
http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DCRTRV30.pdf
See page 5 for what was included in the box.

We know nothing about your computer.

From the digital tape to the computer:
With the camera connected to the computer with a firewire cable, and the camera in "VCR" mode, launch the video editor in the computer and Import or Capture the video. The high quality DV format from the camcorder will import assuming the DV port still works (and the computer's firewire port is working properly).

From the Memory Stick to the computer:
Recording video to the memory card will result in less-than-standard definition (generally very low video quality) compressed video that will be in MPG format. If you go this route, the video needs to be transcoded before many video editors can deal with it. There are lots of transcoders out there.

My opinion: If a deal seems to good to be true, then it probably is.

But we don't know what you know about the camcorder.

Good luck.

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Firewire
by Winkybok / August 24, 2010 10:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Firewire.

So if I understand correctly I just need a firewire assuming my firewire port works on computer which it should as it is brandnew. I have no idea what that port is but I'm sure it only fits one place so i can figure it out. Now I have no software. Do I need some kind of video software? Also, Im still waiting for my questions about the camcorder to be answered all I know is that it works but the battery might not hold a charge which isn't a problem because I just bought 2 compatible batteries. It does sound too good so we shall see,but I can get money back if it doesnt work so its a win win situation. Thanks for your help I soooo appreciate it.

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The firewire port can be different
by boya84 / August 24, 2010 11:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Firewire

depending on the computer.

Firewire, IEEE1394, DV and i.LINK are essentially all the same thing.

A computer can have no firewire port, 4-pin, 6-pin or 9-pin. Most traditional Windows based computers from the mid-range down usually have no firewire port. Most Macs do (exceptions are MacBook Air and certain versions of MacBooks) have a firewire port.

Windows Vista is bundled with MovieMaker and that generally can "Capture" video, over firewire, from miniDV tape based camcorders. Sometimes it throws up. WinDV can do the job.

Good luck!

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Hmmm
by Winkybok / August 24, 2010 5:15 PM PDT

If my computer throws up on me...it is going out the window!LOL. I have a compaq presario laptop. I read about firewire a little and I don't have a firewire port.Would the best thing be to buy a firewire installation card and cable?( do they even make them so i can install it on this laptop? There isn't anything that uses a usb port?I don't mind spending a little bit of money I am going to be buying several camcorders and need to transfer video as quickly and effiently as possible. I am going to have many hours of video to review. Thanks again for your help.

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well...
by boya84 / August 24, 2010 11:02 PM PDT
In reply to: Hmmm

Apparently *some* (?) Compaq Presarios have a 1394 port
http://www.compaq.com/country/articles/desktop_feature_glossary.html
In case yours is one that does not, I think all have an expansion slot (either PCMCIA or ExpressCard). In this case, a firewire expansion card works. Belkin or SIIG seem to be easiest (Dynex should be avoided).

Not recommended, but if you go the USB route, rather than a digital connection from the camcorder to the computer, you will use the camcorder's AV cables
Yellow analog composite video (RCA)
Red right audio cable (RCA)
White left audio cable (RCA)
to connect to an "analog/digital converter", and the A/D converter connects to the computer. So you drop from digital on the tape and through the camcorder to analog only to re-digitize in the converter. Roxio, Hauppage, Pinnacle (Dazzle) and a few others make them.

The cheap DV-to-USB cable/adapter/converter things don't work.

If you are indeed "buying several camcorders" you might also consider an external drive or some sort of Networks Attached Storage (NAS). 60 minutes of decompressed, standard definition, video will use about 14 gig of computer hard drive space and you normally do not want the video being edited on the same drive as the start-up volume (the operating system virtual memory access and video file access will fight for hard drive read/write access and slow things down on the computer).

And research... importing DV is not much more time compared to copying from flash memory/hard disc drive and transcoding for editor use - then decompressing (and don't forget archiving). With miniDV tape, don't re-use the tape - it is the archive.

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Cable for connecting Sony DCR -TRV30 to Mac Powerbook
by Laine681 / December 4, 2011 1:17 PM PST
In reply to: Firewire.

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">The only cable that came with my camera is the USB cable connector (No. 8 in the manual) but the above reply in the forum says not to use that (also, the camera has no USB port). The camera has a DV, S-video, ID-2 and Lanc ports. What is the cable I need for transferring the videos I have on my mini discs to my laptop hard drive, running Leopard?<span id="INSERTION_MARKER"> <span id="INSERTION_MARKER">

<span id="INSERTION_MARKER">Thanks, if anyone comes across this thread from last year.

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The Sony DCR-TRV30
by boya84 / December 5, 2011 1:59 AM PST

miniDV tape based, standard definition video, camcorder's "DV port" is a IEEE1394-compliant, 4-pin, firewire port. DV, IEEE1394, firewire and i.LINK are all the same thing. Page 180 of the camcorder's Operating Guide shows the location of the DV/i.LINK port... on the right side of the camcorder body under the cover.

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Cable for connecting Sony DCR -TRV30 to Mac Powerbook
by Laine681 / December 5, 2011 3:55 AM PST
In reply to: The Sony DCR-TRV30

Oh wow, thanks so much for your replies but I've really put you on the wrong track - my computer isn't a Powerbook, it's a MacBook Pro! So unfortunately the appreciated help isn't helping. It looks like there's an 800 Firewire port and another small port but I don't know what that one is.
I've looked up my computer on Google (I don't think I got a manual of any kind with it. I wanted a matte screen and the computer came directly from Japan.) Google says "S-video capability can be attained through the use of a DVI to S-video adapter." The DCR -TRV30 has the S-video port. Would getting the adapter mentioned be the best way to download the videos?
Your advice about downloading to an external I'm sure is good advice and I do have an external with an 800 Firewire port.
Many thanks in advance for leading me on from here.

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Your MacBook Pro
by boya84 / December 5, 2011 4:14 AM PST

has a 9-pin firewire 800 port just like the PowerBook's - so no difference there. In the paragraphs I provided in the earlier post, just replace PowerBook with MacBook Pro. ALL Apple MacBook Pro laptops have a firewire 800 port. For that matter, the only Apple Macintosh computers in the current crop that have no firewire port (and no way to add one) are the MacBook Air and the MacBook. All other Macs currently available - including the MacMini, iMac, MacPro tower, and MacBook Pro - come with at least one firewire port.

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Cable for connecting Sony DCR -TRV30 to MacBook Pro
by Laine681 / December 5, 2011 6:18 AM PST
In reply to: Your MacBook Pro

Okay, all understood except for the bit about "there are no mini discs." I guess I'm calling the tapes I have in error. They're miniDV 60/90 minute tapes. What is the difference between that and mini discs?
Thanks so much for your patient help!
(I changed the subject line to MacBook Pro on this reply in case someone else is looking for similar help with this computer. I hope that doesn't make this a new entry. It's my first time on CNET Forums.) Grin

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There was a very poor technology
by boya84 / December 5, 2011 2:56 PM PST

used in camcorders that recorded directly to 8cm DVDs. The video was very compressed, the recording time short, required a finalization step, did not work with all the different DVDs or players available and there was lots of confusion... conceptually a good idea, but poorly executed when brought to market.

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