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Using Your Camcorder for TV Previews

Digital filmmakers on a modest budget (and what other kind are there?) can also use FireWire--and the built-in circuitry of their digital camcorder--to preview their playback without an expensive real-time video card. Just convert the video images traveling over a FireWire connection into analog signals by using the composite AV adapter cable included with most DV cameras. The camcorder acts as a go-between, taking pass-through playback from the computer and routing it through the camcorder to a nearby monitor, TV, or VCR. This solution is ideal for those who only occasionally need to check the accuracy of their editing work on a television system.

There are several utilities that let you use this unique ability for more than just watching video playback. EchoFire, a simple control panel application, uses the FireWire port to send still images from Adobe Photoshop and After Effects directly to the FireWire port, letting you preview artwork on any analog devices connected to your camcorder. This utility (available at can even play movies straight from the QuickTime Movie Player to the handycam.

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