USB 3

Why can't my laptop read USB 2?

Episode 1561

Carlo from Ontario, BC CAN

Carlo has a small laptop with a USB 3.0 port. But suddenly, it won't read USB 2. What gives? Leo says that USB 3.0 is supposed to be backwards compatible as long as the plug is Type A. It could be a faulty connector, or the connector pins are dirty. The connector could have also shorted out. Shine a light in and look for some cruft, or even damage on the surface of the contacts. ScooterX in the chatroom suggests that it may be a driver issue. Go into the device manager (windows key + X) and look to see if there's a red X. Or delete the drivers and then restart to reinstall.

How can I convert miniDV tapes?

MiniDV Tape

Episode 1485

Matt from Rochester, NY

Mike has an old collection of miniDV tapes and a camcorder that works over FireWire. How can he transfer them to his computer? Leo says that FireWire was a great format back then, but nobody really supports it anymore. So he'll have to get a box that will convert it to USB 3. The good news is that because the miniDV tapes are digital, he won't be degrading the image any. If he has a tower computer, he can buy a FireWire card for about $15. But if he only has a laptop, then he'll have to think outside the box. He'll also have to play the video tapes in real time to transfer the data.

Why doesn't my USB 3 video card work?

Gigabyte Motherboard

Episode 1472

Robert from La Crescenta, CA

Robert built his own computer with a nice Gigabyte motherboard, but his USB 3 video card isn't working with it. Leo says that's likely because his third-party card doesn't want to use the USB 3 chip on the motherboard. It has it's own. When he plugs the card into his PCI-Express slot, he should make sure it's properly seated and is a 4 lane slot. If Windows doesn't recognize it, then he should make sure the PCI-Express slot is enabled. He can refer to his motherboard manual on how. Also, he should check in the Windows 10 device manager to see if there's an "X" on the USB hub.

How can I stream video with my DSLR?

HDMI to USB converter

Episode 1166

Ron from Tustin, CA

Ron's son has an account on The Cube, a high school sports streaming site. Ron would like to use his DSLR to stream live to it, but it won't work via USB. Leo says that USB isn't designed for a live video feed. Live video could be used via HDMI. So if that works, then he'll need an HDMI converter or video capture device to then be able to convert it for the stream. If his computer has HDMI in, then he's golden.

How can I upgrade my PC to USB 3.0?

USB 3.0 PCI-e controller card

Episode 960

Richard from Irvine, CA

Richard needs a PCI-e card and wants to know who has the best one because the prices are so vast. He's also wondering what "superspeed USB 3.0" is.

Leo says a PCI-e slot is faster and if he has that on his motherboard, that's the type to choose. As far as brand goes, Leo says they're pretty much all the same and are probably using the same components. A USB 3 card won't do him much good unless his devices are USB 3 supported. Luke in the chatroom bought a cheap card from eBay and says it works fine. He should just be sure he has the drivers for it.

What will my son need in a laptop for film school?

Episode 892

Mark from Tarzana, CA

First he should find out what the school is using for video editing software. It's probably Final Cut Pro, but there's a chance they could be based on Adobe Premiere. If it is Final Cut Pro, then the 15" Macbook Pro is a great choice.

Leo suggests getting the 2.6 Ghz Core i7 15" Macbook Pro with the 256GB Solid State Drive, higher-res display, and perhaps a 27" external monitor. The retina display Macbook Pro probably wouldn't be enough of a difference from the regular Macbook Pro, especially if he's already spending more money on an external drive and monitor.