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Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems

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Butch McDonaldBatch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 3:08:41 pm

Hi,
Just got a new Xena 2k Card along with Prem Pro 2 and I am currently testing the 422 control side of things with a pal digi betacam (sdi/embedded audio)
I have found the info on embedding TC when crash capturing, and now that seems to be working fine.
When I crash capture all works well, long captures are perfect on playback etc etc.
My problem is when I make the media offline and try to batch capture the digi beta prerolls fine, plays, then when the inpoint is reached, sometimes it stops straight away and then other times it digitises a small portion (10 secs or so) and then stops.
I thought it may be my drives (1.5 TB Array + sep internal audio drive) but why then can I crash digitise long segs and all is fine.
If anyone could help me out with this it would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Butch

Helping others gives you good cowma.


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Butch McDonaldRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 1, 2008 at 1:12:31 pm

I have done alot more testing with 422 control via Xena and I believe I may have found the problem.
In short Xena seems to have problems with VITC.
When crash capturing it is advised that you need to select embedded LTC(I always thought that VITC was embedded and LTC was an audio track) or you will not get any timecode data (ins & outs)from the source tape. I found this to be correct but what astonished me was that when I crashed captured (with 422control code selected) and got no codes... and then made file offline... the media in out timecodes appeared.
I then turned VITC off and set the timcode reader to LTC only on my digi beta decks... I then made sure capture settings were looking at LTC only, then presto, everything batched fine. In conclusion it seems that crash capturing has to be done using VITC/LTC embedded to get code data but batch capturing (according to my 2 seperate digi decks I used for tests)can only be achieved with LTC only on deck and 422 control timecode on XENA.
This problem I have is annoying to say the least, I should be able to have my Deck set with VITC ON and the reader set to auto and then crash capture or batch capture with accuracy and ease. I purchased Xena because of it's great reputation, but I'm a bit put off by the lack of 422 functionality which is a function I rely heavily on.
As I am new to Xena I hope I have just missed a setting or something, but if anyone could tell me an easier way to do it, it would be much appreciated.
Cheers
Butch

Helping others gives you good cowma.


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Tim KolbRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 9, 2008 at 12:11:21 am

Typically the problem with VITC is reading it in pause/jog mode. It can be difficult to get a consistent, contiguous timecode count when many VTRs are coming up to speed...

LTC is typically readable in pause or shuttle.

That may be why AJA favors LTC...



TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects


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Butch McDonaldRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 10, 2008 at 3:34:05 pm

Correct me if I'm wrong Tim,but I thought the reason behind inserting timecode data into the vertical interval (VITC) was implemented to get frame accuracy when reading below play speed. The longitudinal timecode (LTC)is an audio track it can only be accurate at play speed. Any speed below that and the time code reader interpolates possibly giving incorrect readings.
Cheers

Helping others gives you good cowma.


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Tim KolbRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 12, 2008 at 10:02:41 pm

[Butch McDonald] "Correct me if I'm wrong Tim,but I thought the reason behind inserting timecode data into the vertical interval (VITC) was implemented to get frame accuracy when reading below play speed."

Yeeesh...all I can plead is possible chemical imbalance. You are of course, correct and I am, as you point out, completely reversed.

Sorry about that.

No help at all then...damn.




TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

CPO, Digieffects


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Ramona HowardRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 14, 2008 at 12:12:31 am

Butch,

We have no problem getting TC thru the boards in any number of ways and all dead-on accurate, though digibeta was a pain in the arse to get correct. I can say that not all digibeta decks are equal, firmware on each deck can contribute to problems along with crappy sync and then of course coding errors.

The problems could also be a result of the OS but I won't go there as I can't contribute anything helpful on the Windows side.

I am only familiar with the AJA hardware at the OEM level and we did write our own driver and RS422 code for them (we are on Linux) but I can say the boards perform as they should. I hope that this helps you in narrowing down your issue.

Cheers,
Ramona



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Butch McDonaldRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 14, 2008 at 12:15:43 pm

Ramona,
Thanks for your reply, and your story with Xena and Digi Beta.(also thanks Tim for your reply)
Today I did a complete system rebuild and made sure everything (drivers/software) was up to date and all requirements for the XENA install were followed meticulously.
I have now tested XENA with 3 different decks and have achieved a lot more insight to my problem.
Here goes… I’ll try to be brief
System: Microsoft Windows XP Pro, Service Pack 2.
RAM: 1.50 GB
Computer: HP XW8000 Workstation
CPU: Xeon 2.8GHz
1.5 Tb Array
Separate Internal Audio Drive
Xena 2K Machina: 3.1.1.0
Premiere Pro2

Problem: Can’t accurately capture and master.
I chose settings I thought may be causing my problems (listed below) and tried all sorts of combos.
PremPro Preferences: Capture - Use device control timecode
Media - In out points show media offset
PremPro Project Settings - AJA Capture Options - timecode input
AJA Device control-TC Source, Offset, Embedded SDI TC in/out capture

When capturing I found that there were only a couple of settings that affected anything, the main one was AJA Capture Options-timecode input. Basically anything you batch capture displays the correct codes in the bin/project window but always gives a 1 frame delay in the source window. When laying it down to a timeline and creating an EDL, the list supports the 1 frame delay. I tried to add an offset but this only affected the bins timecode data, it always showed the 1 frame delay everywhere else. (Batch only works with 422 TC input, if you use embedded it captures all tape motion for the clips duration as soon as you hit go)
Crash capturing can only be done using embedded as the TC input. This gives correct codes everywhere, the only problem is that when you make media offline then batch, which you have to do with 422 TC as the input, you get a lovely 1 frame delay again.
When insert mastering the GUI seems to have a locked duration, unchangeable, the deck seems to pre roll and do its stuff correctly but as the duration on the GUI is locked to 1 frame that’s all it does 50% of the time. Sometimes it doesn’t do it all. Assemble just seems to go back and crash in anywhere, irrelevant of TC ins/outs etc.
So there you have it Ramona… I would be interested to know if you or anyone can suggest anything now I have explained my issues clearer.
Cheers
Butch


Helping others gives you good cowma.


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Jeff BrownRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 14, 2008 at 12:39:32 pm

Butch,
Although I don't have experience with digiBeta decks, I have used RS422 control with my BetaSP (PVW2900) successfully; WinXP, AJA 2K, Premiere CS3 (and CS2). I pass this along as it might point to some weirdness on the Sony side of things, as Ramona mentioned.
I do need to double-check the TC captured, as recent projects haven't required me to notice a 1-frame difference. I'll try to confirm my results for you.

-jeff


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Ramona HowardRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 15, 2008 at 3:19:48 pm

Butch,

If you can eliminate the standard external annoyances then:

Since your using Premiere, have you contacted Adobe? maybe they are just not taking full advantage of what the hardware/driver can deliver. We have no problem getting accuracy with various TC sources with the hardware.....but then again we wrote the whole app and it took many years of development to get there and get it right.....

You have contacted AJA, right? If not, do it! (pulling a Bob on you). They usually go above and beyond in everything they do and should be helpful in helping you narrow down the issue. And, your dealing directly with them, not out-sourced help :)


Good luck in your quest.

Cheers,
Ramona
http://www.spectsoft.com



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Butch McDonaldRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 16, 2008 at 12:01:06 pm

Thanks Jeff and Ramona for your input, much appreciated.
One of the reasons I chose AJA was because of it's support I heard so much about.
It's all true, they are on to it as we speak and are setting up a replica system to see what's happening.
Will post results as soon as I get them.
Cheers

Helping others gives you good cowma.


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Butch McDonaldRe: Batch Capture Digi Beta Problems
by on May 19, 2008 at 2:35:12 am

Identical problems found in other identical system.
Solution at this point is to upgrade to Prem 3.
If AJA fix TC offset window bug then all should be good with prem2.
Will keep you posted
Cheers
Butch

Helping others gives you good cowma.


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