Academic Technology Center
Teaching with Technology Collaboratory

Sony HDR-XR550V Hard Drive Camcorder Instructions

These instructions apply to the Sony Handycam Hard Disk Drive camcorders that are available for checkout from the ATC.

Inserting the Battery

The XR550V uses a NP-FV70 battery. To insert the battery, slide the pack in the direction of the arrow until it clicks. To charge the battery, attach the AC Adapter to the DC IN jack in the lower left corner of the camera. The Charge Lamp light will turn on to indicate that the battery is charging.


If you are filming something that does not require the camera to move, we recommend using AC power so that your batteries remain charged for times when you need them!

Turning the Power On/Off

There is generally no need to use the Power button on the Sony HDR-XR550V Hard Disk Drive Camcorder. To turn the camcorder on, simply open the LCD panel on the left side of the camera. To turn the camera off, close the LCD Panel. There is also a Power button located on the side of the camera, beneath the LCD panel--this is used if you need to turn the camera off while the screen is open.

External Settings

Rear Panel

No tape is required for this camcorder. The hard drive is built into the camcorder and will automatically record and save your media (HD: MPEG4 AVC/H.264; SD: MPEG2).


Internal Camera Settings


We recommend setting this camcorder to Standard Definition before recording. You may have trouble playing the High Definition format on your computer, and editing this format is currently slow and challenging on all but the most advanced editing machines.

Changing the Movie type from HD to SD in the XR550V Model

To ensure that you can view and edit your videos, you should switch to standard definition (SD), unless you are very certain that you have the hardware and software to work with the HD format. To switch modes, open the LCD screen of the camcorder and press the Menu button.


If the menu button is not visible, press anywhere on the screen to show buttons.

Press the (HD / SD Set) button.

Search for the (HD / SD SET) button once more in this menu by using the up and down touch panel buttons. Then press the (STD QUALITY) button on the right side.
Here, press (X) to record in SD quality. (OK) will exit that menu, and then you can record videos with the red (Record) button.


VISUAL INDEX allows you to view videos and photos.

Retrieving Media from the Camera


You may need to download and install audio drivers on your computer prior to retrieving media. WPI users can retrieve them by mapping to \\\applications\Windows\Administrative_Software\WindowsMediaEncoder and installing ac3filter_1_11.exe. For assistance on mapping a network drive, visit:


Always copy anything that you need from the camera before doing any editing work (and certainly before returning it to us!).

Connect the supplied USB cable to the mini USB port near the front of the camera.

The LCD screen will update. From this menu, you can connect the HDR-XR550V to your computer by choosing the USB Connect option that has a picture of a short cylinder beside it. This indicates that you will connect to the camera's Hard Drive. If you had recorded to a memory stick (not supplied with the HDR-XR550V), you would choose the other USB Connect option.

Once connected, you can browse to the device on your computer and copy your files to another device. The LCD screen will indicate that you are connected, and will provide a way to disconnect. Once you are done, press the END button and follow the onscreen instructions to remove the camera from your computer.


Maintained by
Last modified: Nov 09, 2011, 14:35 EST
[WPI] [ATC] [Home] [Back]