Video / Hands-on Review

Pearstone FireWire Cables


Why pay more for quality FireWire cables now that Pearstone has rolled out a full selection of 4-, 6- and 9-pin cables in various lengths? The IEEE 1394 interface has long been favored by video and audio pros for connecting portable equipment like camcorders to computers. But misplacing a cable or not having the right cable with a 4- to 6-pin connection, for instance, can trip up anyone.

That's why the New Year is an ideal time to resolve to stock up with a variety of Pearstone FireWire cables. Ranging in lengths from 1.5- to 66-feet, Pearstone has a FireWire cable in reach for every connection you make, whether it's to a FireWire-enabled cable TV box or a D-VHS recording deck or a FireWire-enabled TV or a home video camera or a computer. You can mix the number of pins on the two ends of the cable as easily as choosing a convenient cable length.

If you have compatible equipment, the newer FireWire 800 type cables are available for maximum transfer speed. These 9-pin type cables can move data at up to 800 Megabits per second. The 800-type plugs are distinguished by their squared corners (left) versus the angled corners of the conventional 6-pin-type FireWire plugs (see below).

 When the Pin Count Differs on the Two Ends of a FireWire Cable

Four to Six

Nine to Four

Nine to Six

If you own a miniDV-type camcorder, there's a good chance you need a 4- to 6-pin FireWire cable to transfer video to a FireWire-equipped computer. It's also a good idea to keep a standard 6-pin to 6-pin cable around for connecting full-size FireWire components. In terms of length, if 3 feet appears too constraining and 15 feet enough to trip over, then 6 feet seems about right. Though Apple renamed 1394 with the more imaginative FireWire term (and Sony less successfully rebranded it i.Link), Apples and Pearstones do mix. To survey the full range of Pearstone FireWire cables, click here.