Capturing from a miniDV to a PC

Well this is sort of a short review and a tutorial on how to capture from a minDV Sony handycam to your PC.

But before that here are some background. I still have this Sony DCR-HC48 camcorder that I bought couple of years ago back when HD camcorder were still pretty expensive about $800-$1500. With the Sony DCR HC series you can transfer video only with a i.LINK cable to firewire. The USB cable is only used to transfer still images. Firewire offers the best quality video transfer unlike USB methods for capturing from still tapes.

To get started on a PC you need to an i.LINK cable, a good capture card and a good capture software, I suggest you go for the PCI-Express capture cards and not the PCI version as it would soon be obsolete, plus PCI-E is more faster.

The one I bought is a Belkin 3-Port firewire PCI-E. So just open up your pc and install it on the PCI-E slot. It’s plug and play so no required drivers when you start your PC.

Belkin 3 Port Firewire PCI-E Card

Belkin 3 Port Firewire PCI-E Card


Belkin 3 Port Firewire PCI-E Card

Belkin 3 Port Firewire PCI-E Card


Installation

Installation


i.LINK Cable

i.LINK Cable

For the capture software I used the software that came with the Sony DCR, I found that it offers better depth than Windows Movie Maker. I didn’t try it yet on commercially sold video editors which has built in capture features.

Below is a sample video captured then I re-saved the file using Windows Media Player to reduce filesize but with a bit of quality loss. (btw the one with fairy costume is my daughter)

Overall that is how to get started. The firewire PCI-E is amazingly fast and produced no drop frames. Windows Media Player capture quality is kinda poor so go look into other capture software.

On a different note I used to use an MacBook Pro before for capturing videos. Another reason why I love a Mac which by review comes with almost the complete ports which includes the i.LINK firewire port plus comes with a free powerful software iMovie for capturing and editing movies.

Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 is out

Finally the first ever Sony Ericsson to run on the open source Andriod OS is here. Codenamed Rachel, Xperia X10 is here.

X10-specifications-sensuous~black

With a wide array of features with bells and whistles some of them are

  1. Built in camera for photo and video recording. What is a Sony Ericsson without the camera.
    • 8.1 Megapix
    • Autofocus
    • Digital Zoom up to 16x
    • Face recognition
    • video recording
    • Image stabiliser and alot more
  2. MP3 Player with Bluetooth stereo
  3. Video Streaming and Entertainment
  4. Connectivity GPRS/EDGE/HSPA/WIFI
  5. And ofcourse touchscreen
  6. Amazing Email and SMS UI.

This is just one of the slew of mobile phones release this part of the quarter of 2009.  First phone to grace the Andriod OS is the HTC Dream last year.

I need to get one of these phone and start the trip on mobile development. I wanted to get an iPhone but due to lack of resources to get an Apple hardware so I can learn xCode. Developing apps on Andriod seems to be the most realistic approach and not too much investments on hardware.