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What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?

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Uchenna Ikonne
What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 23, 2009 at 6:01:47 pm

I'm trying to transfer some footage from 3/4", using a Sony VP-7040 u-matic deck connected to a Canopus ADVC-55 into a MacBook Pro running Final Cut Express.

While the video is successfully captured, it comes up as black & white only. I thought it might have something to do with my setup, so I decided to try playing back the 3/4" tapes on a monitor. I don't actually have a monitor, so I used a TV set... Still no full color, but the video occasionally has a purplish tint to it.

So I did a little research and found some indication that the Sony VP-7040 might require a monitor or a TV with a "Q" suffix to achieve color playback.

My question (perhaps a naive one): What exactly is a "Q" suffix and is there any kind of adapter or TV tuner card I can use to get the "Q" on my MBP?

Any help here would be much appreciated!


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Bob Zelin
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 23, 2009 at 10:05:37 pm

you are thinking of a monitor like the Sony PVM-1954Q. This has nothing to do with the color standard. You have a VERY OLD Sony
VP-7040. This 3/4" Umatic VTR has not been made in over 20 years. Even when it was new, it was common for the VO 5800 5850, 7000, 7020, and 7040 to lose color burst, and you would get a black and white signal out of the VTR - because the subcarrier portion of the signal would fail (no color burst - no color !).

So the odds are that you have a broken Sony VP-7040, and there is nothing wrong with your MAC, or your Canopus Composite to Firewire converter. To prove this to yourself, get any other composite source (a cheap VHS or DVD player) and stick this into your Canopus, and I bet it works in glorious color.

Old equipment fails. End of story.

Bob Zelin




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Uchenna Ikonne
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 23, 2009 at 10:10:12 pm

Thanks a lot, Bob!

I already did try to hook the Canopus to a VCR and yes, the result was full color.

So... It looks like there is nothing I can do to get color out of the VP-7040?

What about the idea that the VP-7040 would produce a color playback only with the Q-suffix monitors? Is there any substance to that? And if so, how can I make my Mac Q-approved, so to speak?



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Uchenna Ikonne
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 23, 2009 at 10:16:00 pm

Here's an example of what I meant, by the way:

http://www.bcs.tv/store/model_detail.cfm?id=10658

"Requires the use of a quad standard monitor or projector with a "Q" suffix for color playback."

Also, if I make reference this post here, which I replied to before making this new topic:

http://forums.creativecow.net/readpost/8/937669

Amy seems to have had the same problem, but she got color on a monitor and none on FCP. It sort of led me to believe that the problem might be the absence of a quad monitor.


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Tom Matthies
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:28:23 am

A "Q" monitor is simply a Sony monitor that is capable of accepting different standards of video, NTSC and PAL for instance, without any modifications. It can "playback" different video standards depending on what format is fed into it.
Tom

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.--Ferris Bueller


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Tom Matthies
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:38:11 am

By the way, part of your problem may be all of the "splitters" in your signal path. Baseband video is not like RF video that can be split several times. If your video is "split" too many times, there may not be enough voltage left to get a good signal into your Canopus. Black and white video might indicate a weak subcarrier component due to the signal loss of the splitters. What happens if you go directly from you deck to the Canopus? A better solution would be to send the VTR video thru a frame synchronizer before all of the other devices. Many converters don't play well with nontimebase corrected video.

Tom

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.--Ferris Bueller


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Uchenna Ikonne
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 1:48:40 am

Thanks Tom!

Actually, I think that is the key to my problem. After doing some research on various messageboards, it seems like the problem I have is a common one with users of this particular model deck. And I *think* I might have found the reason why.

Apparently, the Sony VP-7040 does not play true NTSC but NTSC 4.43. That would explain the black & white playback, right? And the need for the "Q" monitor?

I'm going to assume that's what's going on... And since I am using the deck primarily for work with PAL/SECAM, I'll just hope that everything works okay under those systems (I was just using NTSC to test the general functionality of the deck).

Again, I appreciate everybody who offered input!


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Bob Zelin
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 5:24:59 am

NTSC 4.43
In what can be considered an opposite of PAL-60, NTSC 4.43 is a pseudo color system which transmits NTSC encoding (525/29.97) in a color subcarrier of 4.43 MHz instead of 3.58 MHz. The resulting output is only viewable by TVs which support the resulting pseudo-system (usually multi-standard TVs). Using a native NTSC TV to decode the signal yields no color, while using a PAL TV to decode the system yields erratic colors (observed to be lacking red and flickering randomly). The format is apparently limited to few early laserdisc players and some game consoles sold in markets where the PAL system is used.

The NTSC 4.43 system, while not a broadcast format, appears most often as a playback function of PAL cassette format VCRs, beginning with the Sony 3/4" U-Matic format and then following onto Betamax and VHS format machines. As Hollywood has the claim of providing the most cassette software (movies and television series) for VCRs for the world's viewers, and as not all cassette releases were made available in PAL formats, a means of playing NTSC format cassettes was highly desired.

Multi-standard video monitors were already in use in Europe to accommodate broadcast sources in PAL, SECAM, and NTSC video formats. The heterodyne color-under process of U-Matic, Betamax & VHS lent itself to minor modification of VCR players to accommodate NTSC format cassettes. The color-under format of VHS uses a 629 kHz subcarrier while U-Matic & Betamax use a 688 kHz subcarrier to carry an amplitude modulated chroma signal for both NTSC and PAL formats. Since the VCR was ready to play the color portion of the NTSC recording using PAL color mode, the PAL scanner and capstan speeds had to be adjusted from PAL's 50 Hz field rate to NTSC's 59.94 Hz field rate, and faster linear tape speed.

The changes to the PAL VCR are minor thanks to the existing VCR recording formats. The output of the VCR when playing an NTSC cassette in NTSC 4.43 mode is 525 lines/29.97 frames per second with PAL compatible heterodyned color. The multi-standard receiver is already set to support the NTSC H & V frequencies; it just needs to do so while receiving PAL color.

The existence of those multi-standard receivers was probably part of the drive for region coding of DVDs. As the color signals are component on disc for all display formats, almost no changes would be required for PAL DVD players to play NTSC (525/29.97) discs as long as the display was frame-rate compatible.




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Uchenna Ikonne
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 5:28:30 am

Yup... That's the information I came across!


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Edwin Mero
Re: What's a "Q" suffix and how do I get it?
on Aug 31, 2009 at 10:33:13 pm

Uche.....is this you? This is Ed. We were roommates at UMass Dartmouth. If this is you please call me at 646-344-0351. I have been trying to locate both you and Clarence.


Ed


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