Tuesday, 1 March 2011

The trip from paper to digital media

As part of my promotional efforts for my series of books (Adam Cranford) I’m beginning to look at the production of video material  to be held on Youtube.com and other locations such as Vzaar.com.  I’d discovered on investigation that my old Sony digital handycam provides a fast “Firewire” connection through it’s DV (Digital Video) link.  My PC was set up using Microsoft Vista and has a powerful processor – 4 core Intel (it was on sale cheap "end of range" at the store honestly). Downloading  DV through the Firewire should be straightforward!

First snag:
I’d lost the Firewire cable for the camcorder. Searching on the internet quickly sourced an alternative for a couple of pounds. It arrived two days later.

Second snag:
The firewire port was labelled on the back of my PC. When I tried to plug in the cable to the socket it felt very loose. A bit difficult to see in the dark under the desk what was happening so I sighed, switched off the PC  and grabbed a screwdriver. After some rapid unplugging of various other cables, the PC  lay on my desktop, its insides exposed to the eye of this author. Lo and behold! Despite the manufacturer specifications for the mother board it was obvious that no firewire socket had been installed on the motherboard or in the PC casing. 

More rapid searching on the internet (after reassembling the PC) located a suitable four port Firewire interface card priced at a few pounds. It arrived a couple of days later. Despite there being no software CD in the package I was pleased to see it worked without problem. Fitting it into the appropriate motherboard PCI slot took a couple of minutes. The card was automatically recognised by  Microsoft Vista and the appropriate software drivers were automagically installed. With no great expectations I plugged the cable into the back of my PC and into the socket of the digital video camera. As soon as I switched on the camera power a message flashed up on the screen announcing the recognition of the Sony DCR-TRV20E and asking if I’d like to download video using a standard Microsoft interface. It worked!

It was now time to start looking at the software needed to produce video clips...

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