The Case of the Missing FireWire

by Oliver -

The recently announced new MacBook Pros are of course good news for all prospective BoinxTV users. Due to the vastly improved graphics system, they will be great machines to record live events on the road. Add a FireWire ExpressCard to the built-in FireWire 800 and you can have at least 2 cameras. (It is currently not 100% certain that more than one camera on one FireWire bus will work reliably).

Unfortunately, Apple has limited your choice of mobile system quite drastically to one of the 15" MacBook Pro models even though both the new MacBook Air and the new MacBooks feature the new graphics system which would make using BoinxTV on those machines possible. The problem is that both lack a FireWire port. There is also no expansion slot which would allow you to add a FireWire port.

Steve Jobs himself apparently deems the FireWire port unnecessary, citing the fact that the most popular consumer HD camcorders now ship with USB 2.0 instead of FireWire.

We can only hope that this means that Apple will finally get started on supporting those cameras properly. Right now all you can do is download the movies recorded on the camera to your Mac for post-production. And while most of those cameras have a "webcam" mode that allows you to use them for live input, this feature is not supported on the Mac and it usually is a very low resolution on top of that.

Even better, though, would be the addition of an HDMI input which would really take recording video podcasts and the like to another level.

Oliver.