Sony DCR-IP7 Handycam Incompatible With FireWire [Updated]

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Date: Wednesday, November 28th, 2001, 23:05
Category: Archive

Updated 05 December with new information on FireWire specs.

There are two issues: 1) The format of the camcorder data on FireWire is specified by IEC-61883. There are six sections to this spec. The DV data format is specified by sections two (standard definition) and three (high definition). The MPEG format is covered in section four. Question: Does the DCR-IP7 conform to IEC-61883-4? 2) If the answer to the above is ‘yes’, then the next question is "When will Apple support IEC-61883-4?" Despite Apple having invented FireWire, Microsoft is far ahead in taking advantage of it. Apple needs to move quickly to catch up. If Sony is conforming to the published specs for data transport on FireWire, then lack of compatibility with the Macintosh is (largely) an Apple problem. [JOC]


Updated 05 December with new information on FireWire specs.

There are two issues: 1) The format of the camcorder data on FireWire is specified by IEC-61883. There are six sections to this spec. The DV data format is specified by sections two (standard definition) and three (high definition). The MPEG format is covered in section four. Question: Does the DCR-IP7 conform to IEC-61883-4? 2) If the answer to the above is ‘yes’, then the next question is "When will Apple support IEC-61883-4?" Despite Apple having invented FireWire, Microsoft is far ahead in taking advantage of it. Apple needs to move quickly to catch up. If Sony is conforming to the published specs for data transport on FireWire, then lack of compatibility with the Macintosh is (largely) an Apple problem. [JOC]


Updated 04 December

I just read the specs on Sony’s nifty looking IP7 Network Handycam. It won’t work as a standard DV FireWire device like their other camcorders because it is not DV. It stores video in MPEG-2 format, which is mathematically and conceptually similar, but totally incompatible. DV has a specific data rate for the standard whereas MPEG uses different rates. Sony chose to use MPEG, I believe, for more control over how much data goes on the tape. Once that choice was made it was impossible to make it behave like a DV camcorder. The data is different.


Original story:

I purchased one of the new Sony DCR-IP7 “network” Handycams and I would like to categorically say that it does not work with Mac. Even though it has a FireWire (IEEE 1394) port, the protocol it uses appears to be non-standard and doesn’t get recognized on the Mac. Furthermore, even though it uses QuickTime on the PC, you can’t use Premiere to prepare the video before bringing it over to the Mac.

sony dcr-ip7 network handycam

I’m returning the unit for this reason and also because it doesn’t support the Bluetooth “object push” profile, whereby you can send an image to another device. It only supports a “dial up modem” profile, which is really of little use. Nice idea Sony, but poorly executed and too expensive.

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