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Old 05-31-2016, 05:13 PM
 
79 posts, read 92,042 times
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ok, let me first start off by saying I dont know a whole lot about computers. I want to transfer/copy the contents of over 35 miniDV tapes that were originally filmed on Sony PC109. I would obviously filling up external hard drives with the material and not trying to store any of it on the desktop. Many people tell me that a macbook is what i would really want, but im pretty anti Apple for a variety of reasons.

I also dont have any sort of functioning computer at all anymore since my old HP laptop recently died. It was old and served me well for the last 9 yrs. I pretty much just use my tablet to surf the net and whatnot.

I know I dont want any of the garbage that usually comes loaded on computers from the big box stores. Ive seen the microsoft signature series of PCs and laptops are free from such garbage. So what sort of machine and or components would be required to extract the film at the highest quality?
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Old 05-31-2016, 07:31 PM
 
Location: SF Bay Area
13,343 posts, read 17,786,285 times
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You're going to buy a computer just so you can xfer the tapes to file? What is your budget?
It might be less expensive and trouble to hire one of dozens of people who do this professionally (or even semi-professionally, look on craigslist).
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Old 05-31-2016, 08:26 PM
 
79 posts, read 92,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaypee View Post
You're going to buy a computer just so you can xfer the tapes to file? What is your budget?
It might be less expensive and trouble to hire one of dozens of people who do this professionally (or even semi-professionally, look on craigslist).
Yes, im buying a computer to xfer tapes. I need a desktop for other things, but the transfer and maybe some basic editing will be its sole purpose. I have A LOT of tapes that would likely cost way more than a computer would cost me.

Im thinking a budget of ~$1200- $1500 should be able to get a reasonable machine??

Buy Dell XPS 8900 x8900-3756BLK Signature Edition Desktop - Microsoft Store

This is what I found that looks like a decent machine, but I dont really know by looking at the specs
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Old 06-01-2016, 09:26 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,978,818 times
Reputation: 8083
I can't believe someone told you a Macbook is the way to go for this. A Windows computer is more then capable of doing this. Heck, a Linux system could probably do it well, too. with a bit of searching around for the right apps.

Quote:
Im thinking a budget of ~$1200- $1500 should be able to get a reasonable machine??
You obviously don't know a lot about computers. And I don't mean that as an insult. Because for that budget range you could buy a very high end PC.

Like this:
ASUS Desktop Computer G11 Series G11CD-US007T Intel Core i7 6700 (3.4 GHz) 16 GB DDR4 2 TB HDD 8 GB SSD NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 4 GB Windows 10 Home 64-Bit-Newegg.com

Now, I know you aren't a gamer, but if that's your price range you are in gamer rig territory. And a gaming PC like this one is going to last a non gamer freaking FOREVER. Or at least 6-8 years. Minimum. This thing will make mincemeat of any video editing or copying you throw its way.
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Old 06-01-2016, 02:31 PM
 
Location: USA
701 posts, read 994,547 times
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I hope you've done some research on how to transfer video from the Sony PC109 to a PC.

I think you need a computer that has a Firewire port for that Sony camcorder to plug into. Most new computers don't come with Firewire anymore. Maybe that's why you were advised to get Mac - it would have to be an older Mac, that came standard with Firewire.

It's not a straight plug-n-play situation. You might need a video capture card on the computer too. And for good quality DIY transfers, you might even need a Time Base Corrector (TBC). Which can get really expensive.

I explored the DIY video transfer project before, having about 25 Hi8 digital tapes then. My initial attempt resulted in videos that I wasn't happy with. After researching as much as I could, I ended up getting it done professionally, mostly because of all the hardware and software I would have had to buy. Not even accounting for the time I would have had to spend.
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Old 06-01-2016, 03:18 PM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,849 posts, read 13,978,818 times
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I've done this with a slightly older Sony. All I needed was the fireware PCI card for$20. Windows Movie Maker was more then good enough for what I was doing. Nothing high end.
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Old 06-02-2016, 09:10 PM
 
79 posts, read 92,042 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastninja500 View Post
I hope you've done some research on how to transfer video from the Sony PC109 to a PC.

I think you need a computer that has a Firewire port for that Sony camcorder to plug into. Most new computers don't come with Firewire anymore. Maybe that's why you were advised to get Mac - it would have to be an older Mac, that came standard with Firewire.

It's not a straight plug-n-play situation. You might need a video capture card on the computer too. And for good quality DIY transfers, you might even need a Time Base Corrector (TBC). Which can get really expensive.

I explored the DIY video transfer project before, having about 25 Hi8 digital tapes then. My initial attempt resulted in videos that I wasn't happy with. After researching as much as I could, I ended up getting it done professionally, mostly because of all the hardware and software I would have had to buy. Not even accounting for the time I would have had to spend.
Im aware I need a firewire card to capture from my camera. Thats actually the main reason im getting a new desktop vs buying a laptop. I guess its difficult, if not impossible, to put a firewire card into a new laptop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post

You obviously don't know a lot about computers. And I don't mean that as an insult.
nope, but im learning!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
I've done this with a slightly older Sony. All I needed was the fireware PCI card for$20. Windows Movie Maker was more then good enough for what I was doing. Nothing high end.
This is what I did about 9 years ago when i dumped some footage from the same camera on my old desktop....way before GoPro cameras. lol

So after going down to Best Buy and a local Frys and talking to some people I discovered that the Dell XPS thst i linked to earlier from the microsoft store was a good deal. So I ordered one I really like the idea of them selling a "clean" machine without all the crap that infests the computers you get from all the big retailers. Im sure its no big deal for someone more computer saavy than myself but, I would not know what is garbage and what needs to stay.
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Old 06-03-2016, 07:41 AM
 
1,294 posts, read 630,977 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fueler View Post
Im aware I need a firewire card to capture from my camera. Thats actually the main reason im getting a new desktop vs buying a laptop. I guess its difficult, if not impossible, to put a firewire card into a new laptop.
You can get external firewire cards. A USB to Firewire adapter costs like $10.

If you want a computer that you can play games on, maybe learn to do some video editing and be very future proof for your needs, then $1200 could be a reasonable range to look in.

From what I've gathered though, your sole purpose for this computer is transferring files. You could buy a $200 notebook and be able to do this. At this point your restriction is not the processing power of the computer, but the transfer speeds of the various technologies you'll use.
If you're okay with a longer wait, then a USB to FireWire and an external HDD would be fine. If you want it to go fast and you're willing to invest then Peregrine's suggestion of a PCI/PCIe FireWire card are good.

Also, as a sidenote, You may have a computer that has 3 separate USB controllers (Front, Rear and 3.0 seems typical.) You will get the best speeds by splitting everything up. Have Mouse/Keyboard plugged ONLY into rear ports. Plug external HDD into 3.0 with no other device connected there and then either use a USB->FireWire adapter connected in the front or a FireWire PCI card (PCI card will perform better.)
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Old 06-03-2016, 10:15 AM
 
40,296 posts, read 41,850,213 times
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Any desktop going back to about 2002ish should be more than capable of transferring DV, you need a firewire port. That's an absolute and the only issue. Your camcorder may have USB on it but that's for transferring pictures or some really low quality video. If you just need this to transfer the video find some cheap PC on Craigslist with XP on it. Something with a p4 3.0ghz or higher should be more than suitable.

I'd probably avoid any type of Firewire >> USB adapter if for example you were going to get a laptop. You probably won't have any trouble but transfer from tape needs to be realtime, there is very little margin for error. USB may be faster especially on newer machine but it's also erratic, that's why camcorders came with firewire because it's very stable.

Make sure you transfer as DV-AVI and the program you are using is not doing any on the fly conversion. It's going to be just under 14 gigs per hour. If you are given a selection between type 1 or type 2 use type 1. There is only some minor technical differences between these files in how the audio is stored that are irrelevant, type1 is slightly smaller. DV is bit for bit copy of what is on the tape.

Windows Movie Maker or any other editor will work, that capability is almost universal. There are simple utilities available just for this.


WinDV 1.2.3 - Download

Last edited by thecoalman; 06-03-2016 at 10:32 AM..
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:02 PM
 
79 posts, read 92,042 times
Reputation: 162
Quote:
Originally Posted by thecoalman View Post
Any desktop going back to about 2002ish should be more than capable of transferring DV, you need a firewire port. That's an absolute and the only issue. Your camcorder may have USB on it but that's for transferring pictures or some really low quality video. If you just need this to transfer the video find some cheap PC on Craigslist with XP on it. Something with a p4 3.0ghz or higher should be more than suitable.

I'd probably avoid any type of Firewire >> USB adapter if for example you were going to get a laptop. You probably won't have any trouble but transfer from tape needs to be realtime, there is very little margin for error. USB may be faster especially on newer machine but it's also erratic, that's why camcorders came with firewire because it's very stable.

Make sure you transfer as DV-AVI and the program you are using is not doing any on the fly conversion. It's going to be just under 14 gigs per hour. If you are given a selection between type 1 or type 2 use type 1. There is only some minor technical differences between these files in how the audio is stored that are irrelevant, type1 is slightly smaller. DV is bit for bit copy of what is on the tape.

Windows Movie Maker or any other editor will work, that capability is almost universal. There are simple utilities available just for this.


WinDV 1.2.3 - Download
Thanks for all that! This is just the type of info i was looking for. I new that no USB-firewire adapter was going to work as it needed to be captured in realtime so desktop it was. I ended up buying a much more powerfull machine than i really need for this particular task, but Im good with having TOO much computer.
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