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My DV camera is not recognised by my computer when attempting to download video from the tape ? what do I do to attempt to resolve this? The software I am using reports an error saying that no camera was found.
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Please check the following items, in this order:

1. Make sure your DV camera is set up properly for video download. On cameras equipped with a memory card, there will be a switch that allows you to swap between ?card mode? and ?tape mode? - ensure that the camera is set to ?tape mode?. Also make sure that the camera is switched on and set to ?Play/VCR?. Ensure the battery is fully charged, or better still, connect your camera to an AC adapter if available for your camera.

2. Make sure the cable you are using is properly connected at both ends. Ensure the cable is suitable for DV data transfer. If possible, test with an entirely different cable as the cable you have may not be suitable, or could be faulty.

3. Check that your Firewire port is installed and configured properly. There are no drivers required for the camera itself, as DV download support is built in to the Firewire port drivers. This step will differ depending on the operating system on your computer;

Windows PC's

Check 'Device Manager' to see if the Firewire port is listed. Navigating to Device Manager will depend on the version of Windows you are running;

  • Windows 2000 / XP: Right-click My Computer and go to Properties. Click on the Hardware tab, and then click on the Device manager button.
  • Windows 98 / ME: Right-click My Computer and go to Properties. Click on the Device Manager tab.

If the Firewire port is correctly installed, there will be an entry listed as ?IEEE 1394 Bus Host controllers?. Clicking on the ?+? sign will also reveal ?OHCI compliant IEEE1394 Host Controller?. If you do not see this listed, or there is a question mark or exclamation mark next to it, it is either not installed properly or is faulty. If the port is on a ?PCI Card? ensure that the card is seated correctly in to an available PCI slot on the motherboard of your computer. If the port is a modular addition on your motherboard, check the motherboard user guide as you may need to enable IEEE1394 in the ?BIOS?.

As far as drivers are concerned, all Windows versions from Windows 98SE upwards will have the necessary drivers built in to the operating system. Only in Windows 98 first edition will you need to provide drivers from the manufacturer of the Firewire port. Please note that Windows 95 and Windows NT are not compatible with Firewire.

If you continue to experience problems with the Firewire port, please contact the manufacturer of the port for further assistance.

Once the port is configured correctly, you should see the camera appear under ?Imaging Devices?. This will be listed as 'Microsoft DV camera and VCR' on operating systems Windows 98 to Windows XP pre service pack 1. Computers with Windows XP service pack 1 and above will show your specific camcorder. See below for examples of this.

 

 




Macintosh Computers

Firewire ports are usually not as problematic in the Macintosh environment as Firewire has been a standard inclusion in Macintosh computers for several years. However, if you experience difficulties, you will need to eliminate this as a possible cause of the connectivity problems.

Check the ?Apple System Profiler? to see if the Firewire port is listed.

  • OS8.6 ? OS9.2: Make sure you are ?booted? in to this operating system and not using it in the ?Classic? environment as Firewire will not be listed even if it is present. Click on the Apple Menu and navigate through Apple System Profiler > Devices and Volumes. Firewire will be listed as a port, and if the camera is recognised, it will also be listed.
  • OSX10.1x: Go to the Desktop and click on the OS10 Hard Drive. Navigate through Applications > Utilities > Apple System Profiler > Devices and Volumes. Firewire will be listed as a port, and if the camera is recognised, it will also be listed.
  • For OSX10.2 and above: Click on the Apple menu at the top left hand corner of the Desktop. Navigate through About This Mac > More Info > Devices and Volumes. Firewire will be listed as a port, and if the camera is recognised, it will also be listed.

As far as drivers are concerned, Macintosh OS9.1 and upwards will have the necessary drivers built in to the operating system. Only in OS8.6-9.04 will you need to download drivers from the Apple website. If you continue to experience further problems with the Firewire port, please contact Apple support.

If your camera is one as having USB video download support, please follow the steps below in this order;

1. Make sure your DV camera is set up properly for video download. On cameras equipped with a memory card, there will be a switch that allows you to swap between ?card mode? and ?tape mode? - ensure that the camera is set to ?tape mode?. Also make sure that the camera is switched on and set to ?Play/VCR?. Ensure the battery is fully charged, or better still, connect your camera to an AC adapter, if available for your camera.

2. Ensure that your computer meets or exceeds the minimum specifications for USB download. Your computer must be running Windows XP with Service Pack 1 or above with built in USB2.0 ports with Microsoft drivers. Furthermore, you should use Windows Movie Maker 2 for download. This application is available for free from the Microsoft website. To check your computers? service pack status, right-click My Computer, and go to Properties. The Windows version will be listed on the General tab. Once this is confirmed, go to the Hardware tab, and click on the Device Manager button. Go to ?Universal Serial Bus Controllers? and make sure ?USB 2.0 is listed?. If USB 2.0 is not listed, you either do not have USB 2.0 ports installed, or they are not configured correctly in the BIOS of your computer ? check the manual that came with your computer for information on how to access the BIOS.

3. Check that you have correctly installed the drivers for the camera from the installation disk shipped with your DV camera. Device Manager should list the camera under ?Imaging Devices?. If there is a question mark or exclamation mark next to the camera, the driver is not installed correctly. Disconnect the camera, and reinstall the software.

If there is still a communication error, a hardware malfunction may have occurred. There are basically three components which could represent the broken link ? firstly the port on the computer, secondly the cable, and lastly the camera itself. The best way to start eliminating components as the cause is to test on a different PC with the same cable. If the problem persists, it is likely to be the camera or the cable. Eliminate the cable by testing it with another one.

Last update: 05:46 PM Tuesday, August 8, 2006

 



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