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Registered: ‎05-18-2020
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ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

Hey all,

 

About 15 years ago, I somehow connected my camcorder to my Win 7 computer and was able to get the video off of the cassette.  I don't remember if I used the USB cable that comes with the camcorder or not.  I vaguely remember pushing the Play button on the camcorder, then using some other program on the PC that recorded it into .wmv or something while it was playing.

 

Fast forward to 2020 and Win 10.  How do I do this again?  I don't remember the connections, what program to use, what cable to use...  nothing.  All I know is that these MiniDV cassettes won't last forever, and I want to be able to pull the videos off of them and burn them to DVD.

 

Any help is appreciated.

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Posts: 56
Registered: ‎05-02-2014

Re: ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

[ Edited ]

Presumably your Win7 computer had a PCI card with firewire 400 (IEEE 1394) ports and you connected your ZR70MC with a mini (4-pin) to 6-pin firewire cable ?

 

As for PC software, back in the day I always used WinDV for native DV transfer, formatted as Type 2 DV AVI files. That way you preserve the quality of the original DV recordings i.e. there is no codec conversion. I don't know what program you used for capture before (Windows Video Maker ?) but you will certainly lose quality converting to .wmv.

 

Not sure if by 'burn to DVD' you mean creating an authored DVD (i.e. conversion to MPEG-2) or burning the capture files as a 'Data' DVD disc, but if you have sufficient storage capacity I'd suggest archiving the original DV transfers.

 

WinDV should still work on Win 10. The greater issue is making sure you have Win 10 compatible drivers for the firewire card. Might involve installing 'legacy' drivers. 

 

Hope that helps.

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Re: ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

I meant I burned the .mpeg or whatever it was to DVD media for archival purposes.  Which is a good thing because the hard drive in that computer ended up crashing later on.

 

So you're saying I will definitely need a Firewire card or similar to connect the camcorder to the PC?

 

Do they make external ones that connect via USB 3?

 

Thanks,

 

Blake

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Registered: ‎05-02-2014

Re: ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

[ Edited ]

Yes, the only way to 'data transfer' DV recordings from tape to PC without any loss in quality is over firewire; so you would need a firewire port (with compatible drivers) on your PC and Firewire 400 cable - 4pin to 6-pin, or 4-pin to 4-pin if you have a laptop with a mini-firewire port, like the port on the camcorder. Although there are Firewire-to-USB cables they cannot be used for this purpose. The USB port on your ZR70MC camcorder only allows transfer of still images from the memory card.

 

If you don't have firewire ports, you would need to use an external video capture/conversion device that has firewire input and USB output e.g. Pinnacle Movie Box, or Dazzle DVD Recorder HD as I believe it is now called.

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Re: ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

[ Edited ]

@Inapickle wrote:

If you don't have firewire ports, you would need to use an external video capture/conversion device that has firewire input and USB output e.g. Pinnacle Movie Box, or Dazzle DVD Recorder HD as I believe it is now called.


Correction - the original 'Pinnacle Studio Movie Box' had a Firewire ('DV') input port, but the 'Dazzle DVD Recorder HD' that replaced it doesn't -  only has Composite Video (RCA and S-Video) and Stereo Audio (RCA) inputs.

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Re: ZR70MC - How to get video off of MiniDV Cassette?

Perfect.  Thanks for the help!

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