We just purchased a Dell XPS 2720 for our school. We would like to connect a camcorder to record a teacher writing (math problems) on a whiteboard and stream it to Movie Maker to edit it before we publish it online. We used to this with our old sony vio using fire wire, but the XPS does not have firewire. What would be the best way to hook up a camcorder to the XPS 2720? Would using the HDMI cable work or is that just for hooking up DVD players?
PS. We tried using a webcam, but it is missing optical zoom.
If you were able to use firewire before, then USB should work on the new machine. It might be a little slower but it should work. If you provide the model of your camcorder, I can try to find more information. Here is a general description that might help you conceptually.
Keep in mind you are really trying to capture video data from the camcorder. You can use the HDMI-in port to view the camcorder output on the screen but you will not be capturing the data to your hard drive.
Thanks for your reply. USB does not support isochronous mode, so I don't think it will work in the same way that we used firewire. We have been using a Canon GL2, but are willing to purchase a new one if needed. With our old Sony Vaio, we were able to connect the firewire to use a camcorder in the same way you use a webcam. For instance, we connected the camcorder (with firewire), the computer recognized the device and you could press record on computer (using Movie Maker) record video and sound directly to computer (No DV tape needed in camcorder). This allowed user to record directly onto computer without transferring data afterword. It is a time saver and much easier for teachers. So far when I have tried using a USB cable, it only allows me to transfer a video that I have previously recorded... it doesn't allow me to transfer the video and sound in real time. See the difference?
When using firewire Microsoft Movie Maker recognizes the Canon camera and built in mic as input devices to record from.
When using a USB, all you can do is transfer data after the camera has recorded the video.
I see what you are trying to do. Honestly, the simple solution would be an actual webcam connected to one of the USB ports. Most of them come with their own video capture software, or you could still use Windows Movie Maker.
I have a TV tuner card, which has its own video capture capability, so I haven't had a chance to work with a camcorder, but I'm pretty sure the webcam idea will work.