This entry is here specifically to add something useful to the Google searches on issue that people are having with transferring video from a JVC Camcorder (well perhaps any Camcorder?). We bought the JVC GR-D53EK Camcorder from Amazon during December for our joint Christmas present.
We did some filming, installed the software on the PC and plugged in the device via USB. Everything was working fine except for the shocking quality of the transferred video. Everything was in 320x240 which is somewhat webcam quality. Other applications could see the JVC device (such as MSN Messenger) but could not access it. We tried around 7 different programs with no luck.
As a last resort before returning the device we bough a Firewire card off eBay and 'lo and behold we installed that and plugged in the camcorder and everything worked 100%. All of the previous applications that would not work suddenly saw the camcorder and could access it! We could even capture in raw AVI format so would have the exact same quality as was recorded on the miniDV tape.
The best part was that Windows XP (SP2 anyway) has built in support for Firewire (iEEE1394) cards and plugging in the Camcorder did not require any drivers either. Why JVC and other companies do not come right out and say that for best results you need a firewire card I will never know. You frustrate your users to no end...
So to get your JVC DR-53EK (or any other DV camcorder) to work with applications such as Windows Movie Maker 2 or PowerDirect 3 then install a Firewire card and sit back and relax!