Question about Panasonic NV-GS5B Mini DV Digital Camcorder

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Camcorders problems I hate to admit it, but I am beaten? and I hate it! I need expert help (and psychiatric help too by now!) on an issue I have with getting my camcorder recognised by my PC via Firewire port. Here?s the lowdown: I have 3 Desktop PCs, and 2 Laptops. These are: 1. ASUS P5K Deluxe, Q6850, 4GB RAM, Vista Premium ? Agere Firewire chipset on this board. All Windows updates done 2. ASUS P5W DH Deluxe, E6600, 2GB RAM, Windows XP Media Center ? XXX Firewire chipset. All Windows updates done 3. Compaq W6000 Workstation running Win XP Pro, no Firewire, all Windows updates done. 4. T61P ThinkPad, T7700, 2GB RAM, with firewire 5. Z60T ThinkPad, with firewire I have 2 mini DV camcorders, there are: 1. JVC GR-D820 2. Panasonic NV-GS5 I have purchased 2 PCI firewire cards: 1. NEC Chipset 2. VIA Chipset I also have 3 Firewire cables: 2x 4 pin to 6 pin (for camcorder to desktop) 1x 4 pin to 4 pin (for camcorder to laptop) So here goes the story. Over the last week I have spent all my spare time trying to get my camcorders recognised by ANY of the above PCs, and have tried all combinations of cables. I have tried to have these recognised by Windows Movie Maker, WinDV and Adobe Premiere CS3 trial. I have ensured the onboard Firewire chipsets are enabled in the various PC BIOS and that they show up in device managers as working properly? Nothing, absolutely nothing? no sign of life? on plugging in either camcorder, with either cable, and setting to PLAYBACK functionality there is no recognition from any of the Firewire cards / PCs. I have read many forums & posts and cannot find an answer as to why none of the above permutations work. Maybe I throw it all out and invest in MACs? I appreciate any help!

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  • yanipapa Mar 08, 2008


    Many thanks for the response!! One thing I had not made sure of, was that the cameras were plugged into mains when connecting... so you gave me hope!

    All my cards come up in Device Manager as working OK and OHCI compliant, so this one is a tick in the box.

    I tried this and same result. No sign of life from the PC once the cameras get plugged in... now, what is the chance that I have either:

    2 faulty cameras

    4 faulty Firewire cables

    2 faulty notebooks and 3 faulty PCs

    I have been playing with PCs for 20 years now and I think I know my way around them... 2 of my PCs I have built myself, so not a beginner on this front...

    Man, defeat!


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It seems you've tried some of the steps I would suggest already. However, to avoid any confusion I'll mention them anyway:

-When you connect a camcorder using DV cables, you have to use the playback mode rather than the PC Connect mode. The firewire connection is a p2p interface for streaming.

-The camcorder sometimes does not show up under "My Computer" when using DV connections as no removable drive needs to be installed. In this case, the camcorder may still be recognized and you should use the "capture" feature of whichever software you prefer.

-Most camcorders require that the AC adapter cable be used during capture operations for various reasons. If you are not connected to AC power, this could halt some functionality.

-Generally camcorders require a cable and IEEE1394 card that are OHCI compliant. Very rare you would find any that aren't, but it may be worth checking into if you're still having issues.

-Obviously, as you've mentioned, checking the device manager and BIOS configurations to ensure your hardware is operating properly was a good call.

Posted on Mar 08, 2008

  • Christopher Davis Mar 09, 2008

    The 2 faulty cameras are the most likely of the 3 choices, but I'm going to say the chances are still very slim. I have to believe there's about a 90% chance or more that the issue is something quite simple that we're both missing. The camera has to be connected to the system and in playback mode before the software is up and running. could this be the issue?


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