USB 2.0 External vs. Internal

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Dakota
Dakota's picture
USB 2.0 External vs. Internal

I am planning to convert all of my old reel-to-reel home movies to DVD using my computer.  I was told that in order to do this my computer needs a USB 2.0, which it does not have.  Can anyone give me advice as to which is better, an external port or an internally installed one?  Many thanks!

Larry Dillon
Larry Dillon's picture
Usb 2.0 is simply the type or

Usb 2.0 is simply the type or version that the USB (universal serial bus) port runs on or at. If you do not have any USB ports on your computer, I personally think It would be muchmore easy to install an external USB hub via a spare COM port in the back of your computer. If you want, you can also get a card upgrade that has USB ports on it Like this one Im showing you HERE If you do have USB ports on your computer, then all you have to do is upgrade the USB driver software to the 2.0 version. Good Luck and I hope this answers your question.

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
I need to disagree with some

I need to disagree with some of what Larry has said. I'll be a little more specific about USB, the version is hardware dependent, not necessarily software.

The USB 1.1 spec has a max data speed of 11Mbps, and was first officially supported by Microsoft shortly after Windows 95 was released. This speed is fine for USB mice and most peripherals, but the bus could be easily saturated when multiple USB devices were simultaneously connected, and was way too slow for transferring large amounts of data to and from external flash/hard drives.

USB 2.0 is the latest version of USB, and is backwards compatible to USB 1.1 devices. USB 2.0 has a max transfer speed of 480Mbps, which is significantly faster than the 1.1 spec. USB 1.1 devices connected to 2.0 hardware will still operate at the 11Mbps speed of USB 1.1. USB 2.0 devices can be plugged into USB 1.1 ports, but will operate at the USB 1.1 speed. USB 2.0 support is fully integrated into Windows 2000 and Windows XP, and will work with Windows 98 SE if drivers are provided by the manufacturer.

Most importantly, you cannot transform USB 1.1 ports into USB 2.0 ports with a software update. The hardware must be USB 2.0 compliant. If you have an older PC with integrated USB 1.1 ports, you need to add an internal PCI/USB 2.0 card to get USB 2.0 connections. Before you attempt to add an external card, you need to see if your PC has an open PCI slot, and need to check if the card you're purchasing can run on the version of Windows you're using.

I would not recommend adding an external USB hub to a RS-232 Serial Communications Port on the PC. Serial COM ports are significantly slower than USB 1.1 connections (theoretical max of 115,200bps, though the RS-232 formally caps at 20,000 bps) , and would take forever to transfer data of any magnitude. To give some perspective, USB 1.1 transfers data at theoretical max of 11,000,000 bps and USB 2.0 transfers at 480,000,000 bps.

More perspective, to transfer a 100MB file (100 Megabytes on a Windows PC = 838,860,800 bits). To figure that out. 1 megabyte = 1,048,576 bytes, and there are 8 bits to every byte. So, (1,048,576*100)*8 = 838,860,800 bits.

At theoretical max speeds, transferring this file to another device it would take: 

  • 1.74 seconds using USB 2.0
  • 76.26 seconds using USB 1.1
  • 7281.7 seconds (about 2 hours) using RS-232

These are using theoretical max speeds, most transfers happen at slower speeds than the theoretical max.

As far as transferring reel-to-reel video to DVD, what device were you planning on using to accomplish this? I'd love to know.

Dakota
Dakota's picture
Thanks for the input. In

Thanks for the input. In response to the transfer question, I have an Image Transfer box which is designed to transfer slides, 8mm and 16mm films to videotape (and after a test run, although it isn't perfect, I was surprised at the results). After transferring all of my home movies to my (analog) camcorder I plan on putting them on my computer using an external video capture device, which I need the USB 2.0 for. I am also considering purchasing an digital camcorder, but either way I need the 2.0. Too many steps, maybe. Too primitive, probably. But considering that I have 'inherited' many, many thousands of feet of reel-to-reel film and that the cost of having them professionally put onto DVD averages 20 to 30 cents per foot, I am willing to take the time to try!

Matt Whitlock
Matt Whitlock's picture
Given the cost of having it

Given the cost of having it transferred professionally, I applaud you for undertaking this process yourself. Maybe as you perfect the process, you could write a how to guide for TechLore to help others that may also want to do this themselves. I'm sure others in your shoes would find it invaluable.

FrancoDue
FrancoDue's picture
Dakota said: Thanks for the

Dakota said: Thanks for the input. In response to the transfer question, I have an Image Transfer box which is designed to transfer slides, 8mm and 16mm films to videotape (and after a test run, although it isn't perfect, I was surprised at the results). After transferring all of my home movies to my (analog) camcorder I plan on putting them on my computer using an external video capture device, which I need the USB 2.0 for. I am also considering purchasing an digital camcorder, but either way I need the 2.0. Too many steps, maybe. Too primitive, probably. But considering that I have 'inherited' many, many thousands of feet of reel-to-reel film and that the cost of having them professionally put onto DVD averages 20 to 30 cents per foot, I am willing to take the time to try!

I too wish to transfer lots of 8mm fils to DVD.  The total cost by using outside houses is too great so I must try it at home.

What was the "Transfer Box" which you used (make,cost supplier etc. wold help) Er.. is yours for sale now???

What have been your results? Have you compared them to professional transfers?

best wishes

francodue 

 

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