Sony handycam UBS stream is low quality

Posted on 2007-04-05
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
The Sony Handycam (model DCR-HC22E) is a MiniDV tape camcorder.
The USB streaming video capture software produces a small AVI file of the video coming off the tape. this seems to be low quality.

Two questions:
1. Is this the best I'm going to get?
2. What software could I use to UBS stream the video off into a higher quality file?

Question by:sheepfarmer
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Assisted Solution

fredshovel earned 500 total points
ID: 18860988
Generally the USB port on these camers is for transferring only the digital still pics. Sony have an iLink port on the camera, which is a Firewire port IEEE 1394 -- and this is the port designed to stream the video to your capture software. You'll need a Firewire port on the PC, if you don't already have one, they're cheap to buy -- and you need the cable.
LVL 22

Assisted Solution

fredshovel earned 500 total points
ID: 18861047
I should clarify that USB2 is a fast streaming port, but your camera spec only states USB. And just for the record, MiniDv tape records at an exceptionally high quality, much higher than most domestic DVD or HDD camers, which have to compress 'on the fly' to MPEG-2. The video when streamed to your PC software will show up as a high quality AVI.

Author Comment

ID: 18861218
Thanks great news.
Do you think that once I get the Firewire port that the Sony software will support it, or is there some additional s/w I should look at for the transfer process.

LVL 22

Accepted Solution

fredshovel earned 500 total points
ID: 18870258
I think Sony still use VideoImpression as its video editing and capture software. It's a bit of a Mickey Mouse toy like Windows Movie Maker. If you want free professional video editing software you can download Avid Free DV. This is the company that makes the software that mainstream movies are cut on. There's no catch; they just want everyone to learn to use Avid. The only thing is that you have to spend some time learning to use the software to get the best out of its editing potential; for this they allow you to download a free tutorial, which is very good. But it's going to take you a few days to become proficient. At the very least you can simply capture your MiniDV in full resolution and keep the file if you're not ready for some in-depth editing.
If you want something very simple, there's a free  MiniDv capture software here:
Notice it saves to an AVI file, which (in this case) is a very high quality file. In fact higher than DVD quality, because when you eventually make a DVD the DVD software (you can use Nero) will compress your file to MPEG-2, and make VOB files (which are MPEG-2 files that are being told how to behave on your DVD player).

Author Comment

ID: 18870486
Yr der man - thanks a lot - very useful.


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