Importing High-Definition Video (HDV): frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some common questions about importing video from a high-definition video (HDV) camera by using Import Video.

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Which versions of Windows Vista can I use to import HDV?

To import high-definition video from an HDV camera by using Import Video in Windows Vista, your computer must be running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.

How do I import video from an HDV camera?

You can import video from a videotape in an HDV camera to your computer by using Import Video. For more information about how to import video from an HDV camera, see Import video from a high-definition video (HDV) camera.

What's the format for video that is imported from an HDV camera by using Import Video?

When you import high-definition video from an HDV camera using Import Video, the high-definition video file is imported and saved as a Microsoft Recorded TV Show file, which is an MPEG-2 video file that has a .dvr-ms file name extension.

How do I connect my HDV camera to my computer?

The most popular way to connect an HDV camera to your computer is to use an IEEE 1394 connection. For this type of connection, plug one connector on the end of an IEEE 1394 cable into the IEEE 1394 port on your HDV camera, and then plug the IEEE 1394 connector on the other end into an IEEE 1394 port on your computer.

What settings on my HDV camera do I need to set to output HDV to my computer?

Before you connect your HDV camera to your computer using an IEEE 1394 cable, make sure that your camera is set to output high-definition video through the IEEE 1394 port. HDV cameras typically have a setting on the playback menu that lets you choose between outputting high-definition video or standard definition video.

In Import Video, you can quickly determine if your HDV camera is set correctly to output high-definition video by looking at the video format for the video that you will import. If the HDV camera is set properly to output high-definition video, the Format that is selected in Import Video will display as High Definition Video Device Format (MPEG).

Can I edit my high-definition video in Windows Movie Maker?

Yes. You can import the high-definition video file into Windows Movie Maker, and then edit it in Windows Movie Maker. After you are done editing, you can then publish your final movie as a Windows Media High Definition (WMV HD) Video file (which has a .wmv file name extension). Your published WMV HD movie will be 1440 x 1080 pixels or 1280 x 720 pixels (depending on the movie setting you choose when you publish your movie).

To edit and publish your high-definition video in Windows Movie Maker, your computer must be running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.

What are the main differences between imported high-definition video compared to standard definition video when I use Import Video?

The main differences between high-definition and standard definition video is the resolution of the imported video, as well as the video file type for the imported video file when you use Import Video. The resolution (in terms of the number of pixels) of high-definition video is greater than that of standard definition video. The increased number of pixels results in a larger video display size with greater clarity and detail compared to standard definition video.

The following table summarizes the main differences between high-definition and standard definition video when it is imported to your computer using Import Video.

Property
High-definition video (HDV)
Standard definition video

Video display size (resolution in pixels)

1440 x 1080 pixels

720 x 576 pixels (PAL)

720 x 480 pixels (NTSC)

Video file format for imported video

Microsoft Recorded TV Show (MPEG-2 video file format)

Audio Video Interleaved (AVI)

Windows Media Video (WMV)

Video file name extension

.dvr-ms

.avi (for AVI file)

.wmv (for WMV file)

Estimated file size for 1 hour of video

11 gigabytes (GB)

13 GB (for AVI file)

2 GB (for WMV file)

Why is the video size for imported HDV 1440 x 1080 pixels?

The imported high-definition video has a display size of 1440 x 1080 pixels. However, when played back, the video displays at 1920 x 1080 pixels.

Can I import high-definition video as standard definition video?

As long as your HDV camera supports outputting standard definition video, you can import video that was recorded in high-definition as a standard definition video file by doing the following:

  1. Turn off your HDV camera.

  2. Unplug the IEEE 1394 connector on the IEEE 1394 cable from the HDV camera (if it is plugged into your camera).

  3. Turn on the HDV camera and switch it to playback mode.

  4. Locate the playback menu that lets you choose the video output format through the HDV camera (provided that your camera has this functionality).

  5. Set your HDV camera to output standard DV rather than high-definition video.

  6. Exit the menu on the HDV camera, and then turn off the video camera.

  7. Plug the IEEE 1394 connector back into the IEEE 1394 port on the HDV camera.

  8. Turn on the HDV camera into playback mode.

  9. Import the video from the HDV camera as usual. For more information about importing standard definition video, see Import video from a videotape.

Can I import live video high-definition video from an HDV camera?

No. In Import Video, you can only import video from a videotape in an HDV camera. Live high-definition video from an HDV camera cannot be imported using Import Video. Record the video to videotape first, and then import video from a videotape in your HDV camera by using Import Video.

Can I import just parts of the videotape in an HDV camera?

No. In Import Video, you can only choose to import the entire videotape when importing high-definition video from an HDV camera. You cannot choose to import just parts of video on the videotape. If you do not want to import the entire videotape, you can click Stop in the middle of importing video, and then only the video up to that point will be included in the imported video file.

Also, if you do not want to include the entire high-definition video in your final movie, you can import the entire videotape using Import Video, import the resulting video file into Windows Movie Maker, and then edit the video in Windows Movie Maker before you publish it as a movie. For more information about getting started with using Windows Movie Maker, see Getting started with Windows Movie Maker.

To edit and publish your high-definition video in Windows Movie Maker, your computer must be running Windows Vista Home Premium or Windows Vista Ultimate.