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Best Way to Transfer MiniDV tapes to PC

Hello,

I have a large library of miniDV tapes (likely 40+) that were shot using a Sony DCR-TRV20 camcorder.  I would like to digitize these tapes and store them on DVDs using the highest quality option possible (which I assume means using the camera's DV in/out port). I have misplaced the DV cable that came with the camera.

I want to process and edit these videos on a new custom-built PC with the following key specs:

CPU - Intel Core i7-3770K
RAM - 16GB DDR3 1600
HDD - Two WD Caviar Black 1.5TB drives for data storage and a Crucial 128GB SATA III SSD for the OS and digital processing
Video Card - EVGA 01G-P3-1361-KR GeForce GTX 460
OS - Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

I would be using PowerDirector 10 to capture and edit the video

1. What is the best way to transfer the tapes to the PC?
2. Am I better off plugging the camera into the Video Card or the motherboard?  The PC has USB 3.0 and eSATA ports.  The graphics card has a mini-HDMI and two DVI ports.  
3. The PC does not have a Firewire port, but I could purchase a Firewire PCI card or pull a 5 year old Firewire PCI card from another computer.  

In your answer, please include recommended cables.  If you suggest Firewire, would a new card be faster?  I have no problem paying for a new card if it will make this go faster.  I prefer to purchase from NewEgg, if possible.

Thanks!!
Chip

PS. Link to camcorder manual:

http://www.docs.sony.com/release/DCRTRV20.pdf
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MrChip2
Asked:
MrChip2
3 Solutions
 
Michael-BestCommented:
Your sony dcr-trv20 supports iLink (firewire)
This is the best way to transfer to PC & yes a new card will make this go faster.

Suggested card: (it comes with a 1.5m firewire cable included)
Rosewill 2+1 Port Firewire/1394a Low-Profile PCI Card (Cable Bundle) Model RC-501
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815265002

Otherwise see:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=100006640&isNodeId=1&Description=FireWire+PCI+Card+&x=12&y=13

Cable needed: (if you do not get the Card + Cable Bundle)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA07R07U8748
Presently out of stock, so see:
http://www.amazon.com/IEEE-1394-FireWire-iLink-DV-Cable/dp/B003ZZXPD6

See page 55
http://www.retrevo.com/pdf/204ci457/39/Dubbing+a+tape#q=Sony+DCR-TRV20

If you dont have the manual you con download it.
SONY DCR-TRV20 MANUAL:
http://www.retrevo.com/support/Sony-DCR-TRV20-Camcorders-manual/id/201ag200/t/2/
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garycaseCommented:
1. What is the best way to transfer the tapes to the PC?  ==>  Definitely via firewire (direct digital transfer with no intervening A/D conversion)

2. Am I better off plugging the camera into the Video Card or the motherboard?  The PC has USB 3.0 and eSATA ports.  The graphics card has a mini-HDMI and two DVI ports.   =>   Neither.   The video card ports are OUTPUTs ... not inputs;  and your motherboard (as you noted) doesn't have any firewire ports.

3. The PC does not have a Firewire port, but I could purchase a Firewire PCI card or pull a 5 year old Firewire PCI card from another computer.  =>  Your old firewire card will be fine IF your motherboard has a PCI slot --- a new card will NOT be any faster, as the camera doesn't support Firewire-800.     However, many new motherboards do not have PCI slots ... so you may have to buy a new PCI-e firewire card anyway.    This is a good PCIe card:  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815166018

The cable you need depends on your firewire card.    The cable suggested in the post above is a 4-pin to 4-pin cable.    While the camera needs a 4-pin connector, many cards use 6-pin connections.    If that's the case, you'll need a 4-pin to 6-pin cable, such as this:
http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10301&cs_id=1030102&p_id=38&seq=1&format=2

You can choose from a variety of lengths in both 4-4 pin and 4-6 pin cables at a very good price here:  http://www.monoprice.com/products/subdepartment.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10301

[Note that Monoprice is a much better place to buy cables than Newegg]
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Michael-BestCommented:
"While the camera needs a 4-pin connector, many cards use 6-pin connections. "
Yes, agreed, but:

The card I suggested has both 4pin & 6pin & comes bundled with a cable, thus I suggested options from the question askers prefered shopping site.

I consider it faster & easier to make just one order of a (low profile plug & play card that comes bundled with a cable) rather than to remove a (5 yr old possibly high profile card which may not fit / be incompatible or even be faulty?. )
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garycaseCommented:
Michael -- I don't disagree that it's probably easier to just buy a new card.     But the question was whether the transfer would be faster with a new card -- the answer is it will not be.     Also, the card you suggested is a PCI card -- it's VERY likely that a new socket 1155 motherboard for an Ivy Bridge CPU will not have any PCI slots.    As I noted above, if that's indeed the case there's no choice but to buy a PCIe card.
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MrChip2Author Commented:
Thanks everyone.  Here is what I did:<br /><br />Ordered  Michael-Best's suggested card<br />Could not determine if the bundled cable is 4 pin or 6 pin, so also ordered a 4p to 6p Firewire cable for a few bucks.<br /><br />My PC has two open "PCI" slots.  I cannot find a mention of is these slots work with what version of PCI these slots support.  Am hoping the card will work.  I will test it tomorrow or Saturday.<br /><br />Thanks!
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Michael-BestCommented:
Some concerns appear after reviewing all comments / info.
Please consider that all EE input to be subject to the questions info.  

"I could purchase a Firewire PCI card or pull a 5 year old Firewire PCI card from another computer.  
My PC has two open "PCI" slots."

This led me to believe that you indeed have PCI slots?

You also said:
 "I cannot find a mention of is these slots work with what version of PCI these slots support."

Also garycase pointed out that:
"it's VERY likely that a new socket 1155 motherboard for an Ivy Bridge CPU will not have any PCI slots. "

I first believed that you had confirmed that you have a PCI slot...but this may be  incorrect.

Thus I checked your  EVGA 01G-P3-1361-KR GeForce GTX 460 specs:
http://jp.evga.com/products/moreInfo.asp?pn=01G-P3-1361-KR&family=GeForce%20400%20Series%20Family
Which is; PCI-E (thus the other slots are likely PCI-E)

My first comment:
Suggested card: (it comes with a 1.5m firewire cable included)
Rosewill 2+1 Port Firewire/1394a Low-Profile PCI Card (Cable Bundle) Model RC-501
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815265002
(conditional to the availability of a PCI slot)

Otherwise see:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&DEPA=0&Order=BESTMATCH&N=100006640&isNodeId=1&Description=FireWire+PCI+Card+&x=12&y=13
(if the slot is PCI-E)

From my second link the cheapest PCI-E card is:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815150160
This requires a 6pin to 4pin cable

I had hoped that you would have confirmed that you have a PCI slot & not only PCI-E slots before you went ahead with your purchase.

PCI slot info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PCI_Express
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