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Unable to use firewire Sony handycam DCR-HC 54E (mini DV)

Hi ,
I am using a sony Handycam DCR-HC 54E (mini DV ) . It works well but i am not able to transfer it to the comp using the firewire (iLink). I bought a firewire cable (4 pin-4 pin) ( not Sony's iLink cable as it is 15 times costlier than other local brand available) and connected to a sony Vaio laptop which had a 4 pin firewire connection. I had installed the handycam software which came with the camera (picture motion browser). But when i connect the camera using the firewire i get the message " Cannot find Handycam (tape).Check the iLink connection to the camera" in the import from tape window.
I tried all sorts of things to trouble shoot.
Switched off the comp and restarted.
Swiched off the camera and started.
Closed the software and restarted.
Reattached the firewire cable . Exchanged the computer and camera ends of the cable.
Changed the firewire cable ( although i could not check this cable also with another device.)
Tried in another laptop.
Used other softwares like Sony's Click to DVD and Adobe
Attached USB cable simultaneously
There is an option in the camera ( from menu in Play/edit mode) called USB streaming . I tried both the 'on' and 'off ' positions of this option.
After all this no result !

I always used AC power for the camera. I used to switch on the camera and go to play /edit mode and play the recorded clip. But all i am seeing is a blue screen in 'Import from tape' window with all the buttons disabled.I am able to transfer the images to the laptop using the USB cable (through picture motion browser) but i am not satisfied with the quality. I heared that it is much better with iLink so i tried . I have not gone to the sony dealer as i am afraid he may ask me to buy Sony iLink cable and want to keep this as the last option

Can anyone please help ?

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  • 5 more comments 
  • paulose Dec 10, 2008

    One more thing, . I searched about this problem and one of the suggestions which i saw was that some of the handycams needs to be set up to allow transfer using iLink and directs to refer the manual for the same. I recieved a manual with the camera that is same as the manual available in sony site for this product but it does not provide any clues to this set up.

  • Adityabansal Dec 26, 2008

    I have the same problem.When I connect my sony handycam DCR-TRV33 to dell laptop throgh firewire it is not detected.

  • Anonymous Jan 04, 2009

    i found the same problem!

    still no answer


  • larink Jan 16, 2009

    I have the same problem with my Sony Handycam DCR HC42E

  • ANT473 Jan 25, 2009

    GUYS SHOULD WE ASK FOR A REFUND?
    I THINK THIS IS A MAYOR SCREW UP.

  • sunnytn Feb 14, 2009

    I have the same problem with Toshiba notebook. please let me know if any one posted here any ans. sunnymtn@gmail.com

  • paulose Mar 21, 2009

    Hi avg4,
    Did you use an iLink cable for transfer ? You have mentioned only about the usb cable. I found the quality of usb transfer unsatisfactory


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My HC96 firewire ilink port went dead over a year ago. I bought a second HC46 just recently to transfer tapes and such from my other camera and just on a whim, I set the HC96 onto the HC46 dock. Well holy ****, the speakers dinged and the screen asked if I wanted to transfer the video. Looks like the docking station was the whole problem of the firewire ilink connection not working all this time.

Posted on Dec 06, 2009

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Anyone try this on Windows XP? Apparently firewire doesn't work with Vista.

Posted on Feb 14, 2009

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I have a Sony Camcorder DCR-HC62E with same problem and found a workaround. The iLink seems not to be enabled in the camcorder except for only one of the working modes: setting PLAY/EDIT and then choosing STREAM. Once you get to this condition with the provided USB cable properly plugged at both ends, Windows recognizes a new device and asks for a driver, so you insert the provided Handicam Application Software disk and make Windows install it (I got a Windows message saying the driver is not safe but went on anyway).

Of course that in such a mode the Sony application "Import from Handycam (tape)" cannot and does not work, but using Microsoft Movie Maker and selecting File->Capture Video the camcorder is shown. Select it by clicking its icon and Next. On next screen Captured Video File define the required info and press Next. On next screen Video Setting select Best Quality.. and Next. On Captured Video screen be sure to have checked Create clips when wizzard finishes and proceed manually as follows: go to the beginning of the tape (or of the part you want to download) using the rewind/forward/play/stop controls in the camera. Once ready press Start Capture in Movie Maker and simultaneously Play in the camera, the filemed movie will show in the preview as it is played. When you're done stop camera play and press Stop Capture.

Posted on Mar 19, 2009

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