video & audio static upon capture from Sony handycam



I am having a problem on a laptop computer when I go to capture video. I do
not have the problem on other (laptop & desktop) computers with the exact
same hardware (camera, firewire card, cable). When I go to capture video
there is a ton of audio & video static.

I have troubleshooted to death with Gateway, even sent my computer back to
them convinced there was an issue with the firewire card slot. They returned
it to me claiming there was nothing wrong with the cardslot. Gateway is
suggesting there is an issue with the software.

I have a new Sony digital handy cam, I am using a new Belkin 1394 firewire
card and cable. I am using the DV-AVI setting (I've also tried other
settings, but get the same static) to capture. I have WMM version 5.1, XP
home edition

Has anyone else had this issue, any suggestions to resolve?


Yes I have seen similar problems. Check and be sure that all audio sources
are MUTED except the one that you are using in the sound mixer; be sure the
mixer is set up correctly for what you want to accomplish as well. Laptops
sometimes have a built in mic and it can be live if you opt to use "stereo
mix" as your sound source. If boost is also on in the mic advanced properties
it will make it even worse. An electrical noisy battery charger or fan will
be picked up and passed into the audio recording, as will background noises
in the room through the live mic.
You may have to just put a dummy out jack into the mic connector to ensure
external RFI and other crap generated by electrical devices doesn't get
included in your video.

Another source is the mic on the camera. It is similar to the laptop mic and
picks up a lot of background crap. In this case use an external mic that you
have some control over, and / or a dummy out mic plug to silence the audio
completely on the camera if no audio is needed. If the mic in the camera
isn't properly mounted it will pick up vibrations from DV tape drive
mechanism as well and record that. Usually the power charger/adapters are
cheapo type with little RFI suppression, so charge the battery fully and just
use the battery to shoot that way the RFI from the adapter charger won't
affect you either.


I muted all mic sources and am still having the same problem.

It is definately not being captured upon recording with the camera, because
I can transfer the video on other computers without any issues.


Do you have any other networking or USB software running while you are
recording the file? What type of noise is it? is it cyclical? random? I had
a TPP???.exe running in a PC in the background to use a flatpack USB HD, and
even though it was not enabled the task was running and causing static type
problems in audio.

Does it do it when you use the camera on BATTERY ONLY at the same time that
the LAPTOP is on BATTERY ONLY with charger adapters completely disconnected
and unplugged?

A faulty plasma display will also be a possibility, sort of like flaky
fluorescent lights; can you connect an ordinary monitor to the laptop and
turn off the laptop
built in display? Usually there is a hot key to switch either one or both


No other networking or USB software running. The noise just sound like the
type on TV (when you see black & white snow/static) over the audio of the
tape (i'm not sure what type that is - cylical or random?).

I can't run the camera on battery only. It has to be plugged into it's
docking station & power cord to connect to the firewire cable/card. I tried
running the laptop on battery, but it doesn't make a difference.

The viedo static look like pink & green little rectangles that flash & dance
across the entire screen. I don't have an ordinary monitor to connect to, to
try out your other suggestion.


One correction,

The audio static sounds like flies buzzing around the room, this is louder
and on top of the audio from the tape.


The buzzing sound you describe sounds like interference from something
electrical, for sure. It also explains the snowy noise on the video.
Sometimes if the input audio is too high it causes that kind of buzzing or
modem noise in audio, but wouldn't likely affect the video.

Do you have someone that has a different camera with a separate firewire
cable, so you can eliminate the cradle charger causing electrical noise. That
would be something that would likely affect both video and audio. Just put
your tape in their camera, and repeat the test. If it works OK suspect your
cradlle or charger, if not maybe try the test in a different room with their

I once shot a person reading a speech using the camcorder on AC adapter, and
the constant pulsing buzz from the charger affected the tape file really
badly. I reshot it, by just using the camera on battery alone, and it was
rock solid good quality. It might also be that the camera is sitting in the
cradle right beside something like a TV etc that can cause RF interference
that might affect you.

If you have an old walkman and play it on AM radio (tuned between stations)
then go near the plasma display, TV or chargers, or fluorescent light, you
might hear similar noises. Another bad source are those cheap clap your hands
desk lamps or cheap lamp dimmers in light switches. I also had a TV set that
was affected similarly with strange snow and buzzing in audio; it was found
to be a shorted razor outlet in an apartment half a block away. I found it
using the walkman method.

Good Luck , it is pretty hard to troubleshoot something like this without
extra parts or pieces to substitute; that is why I suggest having a friend
help you by using their camera.


I have already tried different firewire cards and firewire cables, with the
same result. I do have a friend with the same camera, so I will try out your
suggestion and let you know what happens. Just curious though, if it was the
camera or its docking station causing the problem, why wouldn't it pick up
the same static on my other laptop?


I took the computer in another room away from the 2nd laptop, just to rule it
out. I still get the same static. Is there anyway I can email you a short
clip, so you can see/hear what I do - or will that help?


Sorry, I must have missed a comment in one of your previous posts that you
had everything OK using the 2nd laptop. It sounds like it is definitely
coming from within the laptop. You could try a shorting plug from Radio
Shack or whatever, on the microphone or line inputs to your sound card.

I had a laptop CPU fan generating electrical noise/buzzing and it was being
picked up
by the mic line that had boost turned on, and because I used "Stereo Mix" as
the audio source, of course it got passed on to the video. Muting the MIC
input with the checkbox didn't seem to work, but plugging a shorting plug
into the mic input did the trick. Having an external microphone plugged in
but switched off also worked.

Out side of what I have suggested so far, I am kind of at a loss of what
else to suggest you try for this problem. The two most common culprits are
audio levels being way too high, and of course the electrical interference
from chargers and displays etc. Make sure all the level settings on the
windows mixers are set at the middle mark , rather than the highest level and
see if that helps any.

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