When technology and consumers collide

Thursday, July 06, 2006

So I ran into a really weird situation with the camcorder I recently purchased. The camcorder has two data ports, one is Firewire, and one is USB. The camera itself can do three data-related things:

  1. Transfer recorded video to the computer
  2. Transfer pictures to the computer
  3. Use camcorder as a web cam

In order to do #1, you need to use the Firewire port. This seems logical but a bit antiquated. Originally, Firewire could handle speeds of 400Mbps where USB could only handle 12Mbps. Apparently Sony decided it was easier to force folks to use the Firewire port than to have to explain the differences between USB 1.x and USB 2.0, which can handle speeds of 480Mbps.

All fine so far. I bought the firewire card and cable and installed it into my computer. Now here's where things get weird. Firewire does not allow you to do #2 and #3 above. So now I need to actually use both the firewire and the USB cables in the computer if I want to do all three operations. How weird. Maybe Sony is trying to transition off Firewire in favor of USB?

Whatever the reason, it's a very awkward customer experience, and I personally think they should stick with USB only and suck up having to explain USB 1.x vs. USB 2.0. I would think they'd enhance the customer experience while reducing both manufacturing and support costs.

Emil's Wicked Cool Blog