Previous 1 2 Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Oct 13, 2013 8:26 AM by Sdummer96
Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

Have a macbook running OS X 10.5 and imovie 9

Have a Sony Handycam DCR-TRV280 that uses hi-8 mini ntsc videos


So far they are not friends.


I thank you to the greatest heights of Macintosh Online Support Forum Glory if you can help me overcome.


I will try to give as much relevant info as I can:


The Handycam has three export ports.

1.) "A/V" which gets it to the VCR

2.) "i-link" which is a 4-port firewire

3.) "DV" which is for usb streaming


In the camera's internal settings the only things I can find that are relevant and that I can control seem to be:

1.) USB streaming on/off

2.) Video-Edit: Edit Set to EITHER "i-Link" or "IR" (I think this translates to "AV"; I have no idea what IR would stand for: Incredible Ripoff?)


iMovie9, iPhoto, and Finder do not recognize the camcorder in any way -- either thinking it is a USB flashdrive, which seems to be a common phenomenon, or anything else -- EXCEPT:

When I have iMovie open, and the little green light is on next to the camera above my screen, that light blinks when I:

1.) plug into the firewire port and my camera is set to: a.) USB Streaming OFF; b.) Video-Edit: Edit Set = "i-Link"


2.) plug into the USB port and my camera is set to : a.) USB Streaming ON; b.) Video-Edit: Edit Set = "i-Link"


This indicates to me that the dear Macbook at least recognizes digital life through the port and at the end of that cable.


Please help me figure out how to make these two talk to each other. I would like to download these "old" movies (7 years?) so that I can trash these stupid little tapes and let my kids play with the handycam.

Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Bengt Wärleby Level 6 (19,450 points)



    DCR-TRV280 - is a Digital8 Camera


    To connect this to a Mac You must

    • use the iLink = FireWire connection

    • Your MacBook - MUST have a FireWire-port


    USB - will not work in any way.


    So You need a FW-Cable with a 4-pin end to Camera and 6 or 9 pin ent to Mac - IF IT HAS A FW-400 or FW-800 port. Not all MacBooks do and NO MacBook Air has this.


    To be able to edit on a Mac without FW You need to

    • Import from Digital8 onto another Mac and eventually an external hard disk that can connect to the new Mac

    • Use a Camera that talks via USB - then make an analog - Camera to Camera copy


    As I understands this.


    Yours Bengt W

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the reply Bengt.


    Yes, my camera is "digital 8"; the tapes it uses are called "hi-8".

    Yes, my macbook has a 6 pin firewire, and I have the 4-pin to 6-pin cable necessary to connect them.


    To head off another possible answer, I believe we do have a physical connection. I also do not believe the issue is a faulty cable, because:


    1.) In fact I also have a another cable, a USB cable with USB-to-firewire adapter, that elicits the same reactions (rather, non-reactions).


    2.) When I connect them, the CAMERA recognizes the connection: on the little LCD screen in "Play/Edit" mode, it says "DVin"


    3.) The Macbook *sort-of* recognizes that there is something like a connection with the blip in the green light next to the Built-In Camera, as described above.


    The problem is that the Macbook recognizes the camera in no way that will allow me to get anything off of it:

    NOT in the Finder

    NOT in iMovie

    NOT in iPhoto

  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    Bengt gave you the right answer, but one more thing...When you use a 6 pin to 4 pin cable, you lose the pins that carry bus power. (Same with 9 pin to 4 pin cable). So you must have the camera plugged in to wall power, not battery power.

  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,530 points)

    Just checking, this material was recorded on this camera, right?

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, it is plugged into the wall.

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, this material was recorded on this camera.

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Just talked to an Apple Care guy. Thanks Apple Care Guy! Though still no solution ...


    Two more bits of info:

    1.) Perhaps the Camera LCD screen's "DVin" means the camera is thinking it is supposed to import video? Am about to call Sony to try to figure out if that is so and how to change it (the camera manual says nothing about this).

    2.) In the Apple Window's "more info" section under "Firewire", when the camera is plugged in and turned on, I get this statement:


    FireWire Bus:


      Warning:          Unable to list FireWire devices.

      Maximum Speed:          Up to 400 Mb/sec


    Unfortunately I have no other firewire devices to make sure that the firewire port is working otherwise.

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Sony guy:

    "Everything is correct from the camcorder end.

    The problem is from the computer end.

    If everything is correct from the computer end, then the problem is with the cable."


    That seems aggravating since I just bought the 4 prong to 6 prong cable last night from office depot at the quite inflated price (imho) of $25.


    His other suggestion was to give up on getting the digital video and go out and get a 3.5mm AV mini-jack ==> USB cable (I have never seen such a thing as this myself) and consign myself to VCR quality.



  • HyperNova Software Level 6 (8,655 points)

    According to Sony, if your movies are recorded in Hi8 (which you state in your first post), you can only import to your Mac using the A/V interface:  (Videos recorded in Digital8 will import via FireWire)


  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 (115,530 points)

    That was my thought but the OP says the material was recorded on this camera, which led me to believe he shoot Digital8, using Hi8 tape. The tape format is the same if I remember correctly.

  • HyperNova Software Level 6 (8,655 points)

    Hi8 is analog.


    Digital8 is digital so if the recording is done in Hi8 format, the video has to be transferred using the A/V interface.

  • Killing Me Sony Level 1 (0 points)

    Michael (haven't I seen you somewhere?),

    I think you're onto it; and thus the whole problem stems from my misconception from back when I first was using the camera (and stopped about 4 years ago).

    I re-read the whole manual, and I remembered reading this very section when I first got the camera:


    You can use standard 8mm and Hi8, Digital8 video cassettes on your camcorder.

    Hi8 System

    This Hi8 system is an extension of the standard 8mm system, and was developed to produce higher quality pictures.

    Digital8 system

    This video system has been developed to enable digital recording to Hi8/Digital8 video cassette.


    Now, I realize what that must have been trying to say is that if I dearly love my analog video, I can keep using a slightly better analog video, the Hi8. If I want to be digital, I can use the Digital8.


    So tell me if I've got this: the reason that iMovie and the Macbook will not recognize the Handycam is because it is sending an "analog signal" through the firewire?


    But shouldn't *something* show up? Unreadable files or something?


    I suppose if I want to test the hypothesis, I should go out and buy a digital8 8mm cassette, record five minutes, and see if I can transfer it ...

  • HyperNova Software Level 6 (8,655 points)

    Nothing will show up.


    You need something like this to transfer the analog video:


  • AppleMan1958 Level 7 (27,415 points)

    There is a feature on some Sony 8MM DV cameras called analog passthrough to DV. I had a TRV-230 and it had this feature. I was able to transfer my 8mm analog tapes to my Mac through the Firewire port. The camera converts to DV on the fly. Not all Sonys have this feature. Look at your camera on eBay. If it has this capability, the sellers will note it prominently.


    If your camera does not have this feature, you can use the EyeTV Hybrid from ElGato through your Mac's USB port (and through camer's AV out). You can also use the Grass Valley Digital Analog Converters. Finally, you could purchase a camera with DV passthrough from eBay.

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