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output problems Decklink studio

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michele stocco
output problems Decklink studio
on May 21, 2009 at 11:24:58 am

hi to everyone,
i've just bought the Decklink Studio and here there my tech spec:
MacPro (early 2008), 2 x 3,2 GHZ quad-core intel xeon
10 GB 800 Mhz DDR2
Nvidia quadro FX 5600 with 1536 VRAM
FCP 6.0.5

I bought the Decklink 'cause i need to output my works on Betacam SP (i have a Sony PVW-2800P deck). so, eveything works fine when i capture the material, the RS-422 conncetion works properly and i can control the betacam deck directly from my Mac.
my problem is the output. The sound output is kind of distorted. i tried to change the outputs and eveything but the problem is still the same.
but the real problem is that in FCP if i try to edit to tape the communication with the Beta deck works properly, but it doesn't record on the tape (even if the betacam is recording). it seems as there is no video signal going to the deck. i tried all the configuration (component, composit and s-video) but still the same. morover i can see the video in my monitor using composite (so i think that there is signal) but the sound is really bad.
using the Blackmagic Deck Control software is the same. i can capture but i can't put the clip on tape (it says to me "the selected clip could not be put on tape"). i'm doing this with a DV-PAL file, using the DV-PAL settings. i tried different combination both with FCP and the Blackmagic software, but still it doesn't work.
i really don't know what to do, i changed the slot twice and the problem persists. i can't use the Expansion slot utility since it's a Mac Pro early 2008. i thought it could be this but i can't proof it...
any help will be REALLY appreciated
thanks in advance

Michele Stocco
Editor/Post-production technician

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Chris Blair
Re: output problems Decklink studio
on May 22, 2009 at 12:14:43 am

It sounds like cabling issues rather than a specific Decklink issue. Although the Decklink series cards have a software utility to select both your input and output sources (SDI, component, S-video, HD, SD etc.) for both video and audio...or at least our Decklink Extreme has that utility. I think it's just called Decklink in Windows Control not sure where you'd find it on a Mac.

So you need to find that and double check the settings on it.

Distorted audio and no video could only be one of three things, improper cabling, incorrect settings in software, or a faulty card. You need to definitively rule out the first two before exploring the third.

Chris Blair
Magnetic Image, Inc.
Evansville, IN

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Jordi J Recort
Re: output problems Decklink studio
on May 26, 2009 at 11:10:48 am

Hello Michelle,

It seems you have several problems here.

So the first thing to do is check you cabling.

The distorted sound output seems to be a levels issue.

IF you're monitoring using HI-FI level equipment (mainly connected using RCAs) you should check "USE HI-FI levels" on the Audio Tab of the Decklink control panel.

When you connect the audio to the Betacam, then you should uncheck this option.

The 2800 (if my memory doesn't fails) has a impedance swicth on the back. So double check that also.
Normally Low Impedance should be fine for "pro-audio" signals and "high" for home line levels.

Regarding the Video signal, obviously if you can see the signal on the monitor and not in the Betacam, there is not a problem on the Decklink, but could be one of the following:

Check the apropiate setting for Decklink output in Control Panel (YUV for the betacam)

Check the setting in FCP, be sure you're working with Blackmagic PAL SD
Remember that one of the features of the Studio is an ALWAYS on SD auxiliar output. So you can have your FCP settings in (and the board set to) HD. This will cause the main component output be set in HD (ie 1080i50) and the monitor output will be still in PAL SD. This will cause the Betacam not to "undestand" what's getting on the input.

Check your Easy setup (all FCP presets) are set to Blackmagic PAL... no PAL DV mixed on the output settings... this can cause the the FCP to send the video trougth the Firewire.

Check your FCP Playback settings are on Blackmagic PAL


If you are working in a HD program ( then you must work with an HD setup) then go to the Decklink Control Panel and set the apropiate downconvert mode under processing or directly use the aux output to record on the Betacam SP deck.

When you're working with several video settings in FCP (something very usual nowadays) FCP tends to screw up itself. A good way to do a kind of reset it's perform an EasySetup...

If you BetaSP deck is hooked to an in-house ref signal (and the Decklink is not) then also this could be why you're not getting video in the deck, also of course I assume you have the rigth setting on the input swicth of the BetaSP and also remember that these old models stil have the legacy "made-in-Sony" compoment connector, so you have be sure that the back swicth is selecting the BNC YUV input and not the multipin connector.

For the Edit operation.
just two things:

1.If the deck is not inputing the rigth video signal will refuse to perfom an edit.
2.In FCP Master to Tape function, editing should be selected and the sequence should be dropped on "INSERT" not "Assemble" also tape must be PreStripped and TCs should be set. (unless you're just dubbing a complete program, then you can use ASSEMBLE and only have the bars/black at the beginning of tape)

Hope this helps for now!

Greetings from the Mediterranean Sea!

Jordi J. Recort

Composer & Editor

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