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FireWire Catches Fire

Techstination feature for Monday, August 16, 1999

FireWire is catching fire. I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. What in the world is FireWire? It is a very high speed connection standard that can link all kinds of consumer electronic devices. Among them, a new generation of camcorders that use digital technology. Canon's Mike Zorich says they're gaining in popularity quickly... .

"Those price points have now dipped well below a thousand dollars, making them really within reach of the average consumer's household budget."

And with FireWire ports built in... .they can connect easily to FireWire equipped computers, like Apple's G3 line or Sony's Vaio Digital Studio PCs. The single, thin FireWire cable, which also goes by the less sexy name IEEE 1394, can transmit both streaming digital audio and digital video. There are companies that make cards that let you add FireWire capability to your computer. Among them, Digital Origin and ADS Technologies where company head Mike McCoy says speed is the key... .

"FireWire gives us a port that can transfer 50 megabytes of data in one second. So it's extremely fast."

The Pyro FireWire card from ADS sells for under 180 dollars. But remember, you have to have FireWire capability on both your digital camcorder and your PC.