How FireWire Works

By: Jeff Tyson & Julia Layton

FireWire and Digital Video

FireWire really shines when it comes to digital video applications. Most digital video cameras or camcorders now have a FireWire plug. When you attach a camcorder to a computer using FireWire, the connection is amazing.

An important element of FireWire is the support of isochronous devices. In isochronous mode, data streams between the device and the host in real-time with guaranteed bandwidth and no error correction. Essentially, this means that a device like a digital camcorder can request that the host computer allocate enough bandwidth for the camcorder to send uncompressed video in real-time to the computer. When the computer-to-camera FireWire connection enters isochronous mode, the camera can send the video in a steady flow to the computer without anything disrupting the process.


You can easily edit and create custom video projects using fast hard drives, a digital camcorder and a computer. With the right software, the computer and the camera communicate, and the computer can download all of the video automatically and with perfect digital clarity. Since the content is digital from start to finish, there is no loss of quality as you work on successive generations.

For more information on FireWire and related topics, check out the links below.

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