Unless you have a special video capture card built into your computer you will need a FireWire cable. FireWire is also referred to as Sony iLink or IEEE 1394. You can easily add a FireWire port to your computer via the PCI (desktop) or PCMCIA (laptop) slot. Check out our Fire wire Guide for all the details.
A USB cable, or USB to FireWire adapter will not work for transferring miniDV video because the transfer rate is too slow. MiniDV video is transferred to your computer in real-time as the video plays back on your camcorder. It the cable connecting your computer and camcorder can not transfer the data fast enough you will loose audio and video frames resulting in a really poor video capture.
An alternative to adding a FireWire port to your computer is to have a video transfer service transfer your miniDV video to DVD or a digital file for you. At StashSpace we can transfer your miniDV tapes to DVD for just $8.95 tape, and you can add a digital file to your order for only $9.95 per tape.
- Video Archive DVD- Convert your miniDV tape to DVD directly for just $8.95 with a Gold Account. Enjoy playback on your computer or DVD player.
- Digital Files- Get the raw digital file created when we transfer your miniDV tape to digital. A digital file in .avi, .mov or .mp4 format can be added to your DVD order for $9.99 per 2-hour tape, or can be ordered as a standalong service for $14.99/tape with your Gold Account. You will need to send us a new or reformatted Hard Drive with your order.