Pinnacle "Marvin" video capture using the DV port on Win 7 x64

Until recently I didn't think the Pinnacle Sys device driver for the Pinnacle USB-500, USB-700, USB-510 and USB-710 would support the Firewire (IEEE 1394) port on each of these devices under a 64 bit operating system like Windows 7.

It turns out they do, but the Device Driver Installer does not properly install a separate [System class] device driver at the same time as the Sound, Audio, Video capture device driver.

Since the installer on Windows 7 64 bit is effectively ('broken') it took some time to figure this out.

It does not appear to be a full featured "Firewire" port, and does not appear as a IEEE 1394 port under the Device Manager tree. It does not support mass storage devices for exampled, like a firewire external hard drive.

Rather what appears to happen is, if a self-powered DV video capture device is connected to the DV port, after a long silent, no-feedback pause. Windows Device Manager will add a new [Image class] AV/C Tape device which represents the video capture device, and will proceed with autorun to auto-start the Windows Movie Maker and suggest capturing video from the device.

This is surprising and very convenient.

Even though it is not a full fledged universal Firewire port, it provides the Video capture feature for a video capture device which is often one of the easiest methods of importing DV camcorder, or VHS or other types of video capture footage into a PC.

Further the Pinnacle software is rather long in the tooth and doesn't often work well with Raw YUV 422 video capture from the USB device itself at full bandwidth. The device drivers sometimes work if the specifications of the capture PC are high enough and the stability of the operating system is good enough. 

But then the audio capture device driver for Raw YUV 422 often shuts itself off or disables it so that if invoked by any other third party software, remains silent. This can be worked around and turned on, but must be turned on after the device driver is loaded each and every time.. since it will disable itself each time the device driver is unloaded or the PC is reboot.

The DV port has none of these problems, nor any problems with audio/video sync drift. And since the bandwidth of a hardware compressed stream is significantly less than a Raw YUV 422 stream a low specification PC often suffices.

This is very different from a "powered" DV port, like the 7 watts of power a Thunderbolt 1.0 port connected to an Apple Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter can provide. In this case the video capture device has to provide its own power source.. often an optional power port on the firewire device which the manufacture saved money by not providing an "optional" external power adapter.. but they can be obtained.

One of the Huge advantages however is that many laptops no longer have Firewire/DV port and one cannot be obtained, especially with Airbooks, or travel laptops. This only requires a USB 2.0 port, and can be adapted down to a USB-C port if needed to allow those devices to become super simple and easy video capture devices with no audio/video sync drift.

These devices are no longer made or sold, but they are really nice to have around.

A more comprehensive method of installing the secondary [System class] Pinnacle Marvin 64 device driver needs to be documented.. but one tip appears to be that Win7x64SP1 base installation without any flight time, and no Updates applied .. simply seem to work, they install the [System class] Pinnacle Marvin 64 bit device driver. -- I suspect its either the 'flight time' on a laptop or desktop or one of the later device driver updates that ultimately foobar's the device driver installation process.

This has been tested on both Windows desktops and laptops for Windows 7x32SP1 and Win7x64SP1 but has not been tested with Win8/8.1 or any variant of the Windows 10 versions.