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Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems

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Jon FelixDecklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 20, 2009 at 5:57:21 pm

Just installed the Decklink HD Extreme 3 card into our brand new Mac Pro (Nehalem) running FCP etc. One of it's main tasks is to capture PAL SD video mostly from 3/4 inch Umatics and some from VHS.

The problem I am having is that the video frequently blacks out for a moment then returns, and then does it again a few seconds later, and so on. The captured file gets hopelessly out of sync as a result. This is the same problem with any SD source being captured through input plug 4 (Y in).

This problem is the same whether I use FCP to capture, or Blackmagic's Deck Control utility, and changing the capture settings (8 bit, 10 bit, Pro Res or whatever) makes no difference.

I have seen posts on the web about similar problems associated with the Blackmagic Intensity card. They state that when questioned, BM blamed the VCR's. But I (and the many others who experienced the problem with the Intensity card) ruled that out by trying many different input sources.

Does anyone have experience of this problem (and a fix!) or do we have to write off Blackmagic.

Jon Felix


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keith wrightRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 21, 2009 at 7:04:13 pm

Jon,

I have just posted about the exact same issue. Brand new machine and card, blacks out when using SDI from DigiBeta.

I have no solution yet, but noticed an odd thing. If you hold the BNC connector at the back of the machine the image holds with no drop-out. This suggests some kind of "grounding" issue.

It's seems to work when you go in component, but the sounds drifts out of sync.

I'm already beginning to regret my option to go for this card, it's costing me time and money already :o(

Keith


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Jon FelixRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 22, 2009 at 5:14:37 pm

Hi Keith,

Aaah! The irony of reading you response as a banner ad for the Blackmagic card flashes away immediately above your posting! I'm dismayed to hear that you are experiencing the same problem with SDI input as I have with composite input. I'm just off to my edit suite to try HD-SDI input to see if THAT works.

Tried your workaround, but it made no difference. Here's what else I tried. A similar problem was reported for the Intensity card and a solution posted here:

http://www.thedigilabs.com/news/Blackmagic-Intensity-Pro-VHS-flicker-proble...

Basically this suggested using an RCA to S-Video adapter, and then a S-Video to two RCA's; splitting Luma and Chroma, ie. converting the composite video signal to S-Video. Spent $40 on the adapters. Made no difference.

Have emailed BM - so far no response. Meanwhile I have to try and clean the egg of my face as a result of recommending the card to our post company.

Jon

Jon Felix
DIGIT POST
Marin County, California


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keith wrightRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 23, 2009 at 8:02:16 am

I've also contacted BMD (email support) and had no response yet. The level of support on their own site is very limited.

My card provider has agreed to send me a replacement card, so we will see if this really is a hardware or software/bug issue soon enough with the new Mac Pro's.

Keith Wright
FrissonFilm (UK)


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Ken MitchellRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 24, 2009 at 4:11:45 pm

I had this problem and it turned out the the wrong type of connectors
were used on the some of the cables to the blackmagic card.. When the engineer finally replaced them the problem was completely solved...I will see if I can find out exactly what he did.. Ken



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Jon FelixRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 25, 2009 at 8:41:27 pm

Now spent several days trying to make the BM Decklink HD Extreme 3 card capture SD PAL from a variety of sources (you need PAL gear in Northern California?? We got it!).

And today finally talked to BM technical support and they confirmed that this is a 'known issue'. So I guess it's bye bye Blackmagic.

So I have a question - what would be the nearest (non Blackmagic) equivalent to this card without having to spend twice as much?!



Jon Felix
DIGIT POST
Marin County, California


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keith wrightRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 26, 2009 at 12:02:09 pm

Hi Jon,

Just to let you know, my supplier agreed to replace the card and hey presto the new one works a treat... ..so far. I guess there might be a faulty batch of cards out there.

If it is a recent card you should be able to get it replaced.

Cheers

Keith.


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Jon FelixRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 29, 2009 at 5:42:52 pm

Thanks for letting me know Keith. I will pass your message on to MY supplier!

On the whole I like the BM card and apart from what does not work at the moment, it seems to do an excellent job. Great quality down-conversion on the fly etc.

Will post here what transpires.

Jon

Jon Felix
DIGIT POST
Marin County, California


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Joshua HellingRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 30, 2009 at 4:54:51 pm

Hey Keith,

I was going to respond to your earlier thread. That sounded more like a connector issue than a grounding issue. That could be on either the card or the cable, but looks like it was on the card.

If your dealer took it back then you should be good to go.

As for a batch of bad cards, this is the first one like that i've heard of, but I'm interested in getting all the info. If you have time, and are so inclined if you could send me an email with the serial number of the old board so I can look out for it when it comes in. Email at support-usa[at]blackmagic-design[dot]com and put Attn Joshua in the subject (in the body put the serial number and remind me of the subject).

If you can't, no worries, it would just be helpful.

Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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keith wrightRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jul 13, 2009 at 9:28:53 pm

Hi Joshua,

Yes the serial number of the board was 288300 and was returned to Jigsaw24 in the UK.

Hope this helps.

Keith


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Kristian LamRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 30, 2009 at 6:50:35 am

Hi Jon,

Umatics and CHS are unstable signal sources which could explain the dropouts as the card expects a stable source. Have you tried any other composite video sources?

regards

Kristian Lam
Blackmagic Design


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Joshua HellingRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 capture problems
by on Jun 30, 2009 at 5:03:37 pm

Hi Jon,

A couple of thoughts. Apparently you did talk to a few of our support agents. Obviously getting someone on the phone is going to be faster than dropping an email, so if you find yourself pressed on time, make sure to give us a call.

I think the problem that Keith is having is totally separate, and he seems to have it resolved. Obviously SDI is handled totally different than analog, and his issue points to a bad connector somewhere rather than a signaling problem.

To add on to what Kristian said, as a test can you put the output of the Umatic on a TBC and then run it to our board? Does that help if you do? While I wouldn't say that problems with Umatics are "known", I would say it is more accurate to say that these types of problems can be typical of unstable video sources. The Decklink HD Extreme 3 board is definately expecting a stable signal.



Sincerely,

Joshua
Director of Support
Blackmagic Design Inc.


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Jon FelixRe: Decklink HD Extreme 3 PAL capture problems
by on Jul 4, 2009 at 8:16:57 pm

Hi Joshua, thanks for your input - though I could have done with this earlier.

The issue did not seem to be about signal strength or stability. It seemed to be about the fact that it was PAL. NTSC Umatic and VHS worked just fine - even very badly recorded, old VHS tapes. PAL anything (through composite or S-Video connectors) did not.

I was going to try another card in the belief that it was a problem with just that card, but your post seems to suggest that I would have problems with any Decklink card (although why just on PAL sources?) I like everything else about the card - indeed I was very impressed with quality on the SDI HD side of things. I just need a card that can capture SD composite PAL and NTSC as well.

As there do not (yet) seem to have been an avalanch of complaints about your card from the PAL world (presumably it is on sale in my old country of England), is there a difference between the cards sold there from here (California)?

If you have a card that will do .. what it says on the box .. we will gladly have it!

Jon Felix
DIGIT Post
Marin County
CA

Jon Felix
DIGIT POST
Marin County, California


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