I have a Sony DCR-TVR18E
OK, well using the USB port can work well if the software you are using, can communicate with the "Driver" for the camera. What you need to do, is, obtain and install the Editing software from manufacturer, and the Driver too. Then install that software and then install the video driver for your camera too., (If you do not have the CD/DVD that came with the camera, or the software you can generally get it at the manufactures website or Google for it) After installing the Drivers, then this will allow, the manufacturers program, and "Other" various DVR Digital Video Recording softwares to "Record" your videos, to the HDD, as say an MPEG 4 Format, whatever.. Usually the "Driver" installed is DirectX compatible, and as such, can be used by any program that accepts this input.
So basically, you plug in the camera, start the DVR program, then click record, on the program on the PC, and then press "Play" on the Camera.. the software will "Record" the incoming data.
However often, the drivers and Windows don't mix, or the driver will only work with certain software and CODECS, well there is a way around this and that is to get a USB TV"Video input DVR dongle, quite inexpensive, how using this you can hook up to the camera's Video & Audio OUT, and connect to the INPUT of the USB Video input device. and using the software that comes with the USB dongle you can record the incoming Video/Audio stream, as Digital Video, and save to the HDD, and that can be burned or whatever, later on.
Remember to install the same CODECS on the PC, that the camera uses, and "Saves" in. This will be in your manual.
on Jun 15, 2010