4 Replies Latest reply on Jul 1, 2013 1:25 PM by joshweiland

    Mac or PC notebook to capture HDV via Firewire


      I've been using a Macbook Pro and Premiere Pro 6 to capture HDV for a project that requires numerous short on-location interviews. After capture via Firewire, I do a rough edit and then transfer the project to my Mac Pro tower later in the studio for finishing. About a third of the captures I do in Premiere Pro result in the Spinning Beachball of Death on my Macbook. Admittedly it is a late 2008 model but is running the latest Mac OS and with 6GB of RAM I've not experienced any other issues. My Macbook motherboard has now packed it in and I'm looking for a replacement field capture/edit solution. A new Macbook is out of the running for reasons of both cost and lack of a Firewire 800 port. Anyone have experience using a PC notebook to capture via Firewire? I realize it's a seldom-used workflow these days and it's tough to find a PC notebook with Firewire 800. However, I thought I'd best ask as someone out there just might be having better luck using a Windows notebook, seeing as my present Macbook solution requires a Force Quit after every third capture.

        • 1. Re: Mac or PC notebook to capture HDV via Firewire
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          DV capture may well only work over FireWire 400, which is the most common on a Windows laptop anyway, so...that works out.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Mac or PC notebook to capture HDV via Firewire
            Biggles Lamb Level 3

            As you have probably found out finding a laptop with a firewire connector will be very difficult.


            I suggest that you contact a specialist PC builder, I do not know where you are but in the UK we have a company called DVC who make systems and supply custom Laptops


            I have recently bought a fairly cheap ASUS N56 and that does not have a firewire but works OK for full HD AVCHD files, they do a G750 model which is a gaming machine so a look at its specs may help.


            Good luck and do advise the outcome



            • 4. Re: Mac or PC notebook to capture HDV via Firewire
              joshweiland Level 2

              Several years ago, I would connect a HDV camcorder to my Windows laptop via firewire and use Adobe OnLocation to record the footage directly to disk.  (I could also record to the tape simulatenously, as a backup, but capturing to disk prevented having to ingest the tape.)


              OnLocation is no more, and it's very difficult to find a laptop with firewire built-in these days. Machines from a specialist builder will probably be pricey.


              My camcorder had an HDMI out, so I experimented with a Blackmagic Shuttle (USB 3.0 version) and a laptop with USB 3.0.  The Shuttle is very finicky, works only with certain USB controllers, and ultimately did not work for me.


              I ended up selling my HDV gear and have switched to DSLRs.  Any decently fast laptop with a card reader works!  My current laptop is a Surface Pro, and even it can edit decently using a USB 3.0 card reader.


              I know this isn't exactly what you were asking about, but thought I would mention because it is an option.  Moving to a file-based workflow was a big improvement for me...no more firewire or ingesting tapes!