Is is possible to record directly from a DV camcorder to a Firewire hard drive (or Firewire DVD burner)? I.e. no computer involved?
To explain more, my church is in the process of creating and "overflow" room in a separate location. They will view the pastor sermon via a video projector. The video will be taped from the first service via a DV camera.
The current thinking is to buy two Mini-DV decks. At the first service, the sermon will be recorded via the internal deck in the camera, and one of the external decks. (the in-camera version is intended as a back-up) Then the tape from the external deck will be taken to the remote side, where it will be played in the second deck.
However, I suspect we don't need the external decks. I suspect we can record to an external Hard Drive via the firewire connection. Then that hard drive is taken to the remote site to play back using the computer there.
This approach would save money, but mostly it would more convenient to later edit the recording, since it is already on a fast, random access device. Also, Mini-DV tape decks are rare purchases for the public.
A FireWire drive would require a computer installation or it is useless. However, there are some great new products called "Smart Drives" that have a simple operating system built into the drive to do exactly what you are looking for. One such "smart drive" is the Datavideo DVBank. Check it out at http://www.videoguys.com/datavid.htm#DVbank
There is a solution...it's called "Firestore". What it does is allow direct recording of digital video via firewire to a external firewire harddrive in a variety of different formats (ie: AVI1, AVI2, .Mov, etc) It doesn't currently do MPEG2 since that format isn't really great for editing.
Unfortunately, it is quite expensive. It retails around $800 or so. And you still have to purchase a firewire harddrive to connect to it. Also, it saves the video as 2 GB segments. I currently have one and it works really well. It allows me to use my computer for other things while the firestore captures the video for me. I haven't had any dropped frames or audio sync problems.
My suggestion would be to purchase a mini dv deck combo...one that does both mini dv and svhs. That way you don't have to purchase 2 mini dv decks. I'm sure the remote site has a standard vhs player or at least can purchase one quite cheaply.