How do I transfer video from a Sony MiniDV Handycam to my PC?

I want to transfer video to my PC, which has XP Pro SP2, from a borrowed Sony DCR-HC40 MiniDV camcorder.  The footage is on a MiniDV videocassette and I only have the camcorder, USB cable and software.  What would be the best way to get the video transferred?  I've been trying to use the USB streaming method while capturing it in Windows Movie Maker, but don't think I have the correct driver for that.  The camcorder was powered up, in playback mode and set to USB Streaming.  I read in the online manual that the driver that supports USB streaming has to come off of the software provided with the device when purchased.  Is this true?  Is there somewhere that I can download this driver without having to order the actual CD?  Thanks.
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has to come off of the software provided with the device when purchased. << yes also you need to capture the video
Does your computer even recognise the camera?<< need to know.

try getting some drivers here you'll need the model number

get in contact with the owner and ask him/her for the necessary software and cables.
Import video by using i.LINK ( IEEE1394 / Firewire) port
Your camcorder is a MiniDV.
Use a firewire cable to connect it to your PC. An IEEE 1394 port (also called firewire) is needed in your PC. If it doesn't have one, you can get a PCI card with such a port.
Using the USB the video lacks quality.
Make sure you use the camcorder power supply, not just the camcorder battery.

Google search comes in handy :)
Looking at the manual you should  have the software cd, when you install the Picture Package software you'll have everything you need.


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If you have a vcr you can plug the DV cam into the VCR
 yellow/red left n right audio, white video in.. using those simple cables and record to VHS. using the avs2 station.
Hey AmericanMobile,
You should be ok with the USB2 port, of course provided your PC port is also USB2. I did find on one occasion that I used USB2 instead of the IEEE 1394 Firewire that you don't get the control of the camera as well. Anyway let's deal with what you have. Did you get the driver from Merete's download link.
Here's the snapshot of the page.
Also you can try the free trial of  Ulead Video Studio for the capture and edit, as they should have most of the Sony drivers already loaded. There's a free trial here:
You should capture MiniDV as "AVI DV" for maximum quality -- Windows Movie Maker supports this -- also use it for the export in WMM, which is allowed.
You can also capture in MPEG-2, but you have to get all the settings correct.
Just to qualify all Sony cameras have iLink, which is Firewire 4 pin; so if you want to use iLink, you get a Firewire card (IEEE 1394) for your PC, and a 4 pin to 6 pin cable.

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Digital Cameras / Camcorders

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