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The Convergent HD Connect SI

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Mike Gilligan
The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 12, 2008 at 2:03:28 am

Bob,
You did a review of the Convergent HD Connect some time back. I got the HD Connect SI running into an AJA iO box, and it does control the deck, but when capturing, it can take a minute or more to cue up. Am I missing something?

Michael G


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Bob Zelin
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 13, 2008 at 2:54:26 pm

You don't state what VTR you are using. If you are using a Sony HVR-M25U, this VTR will NEVER lock up properly. You are never going to turn an HVR-M25U into a HVR-1500 with RS422 control - no matter what adaptor you get.

bob Zelin




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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 14, 2008 at 6:55:47 pm

I'm using a Sony M10U.

Mike

Michael G


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Bob Zelin
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 15, 2008 at 1:40:21 am

Mike writes -
I'm using a Sony M10U.


Let me make this very clear. I love AJA. I love Convergent Design.
And (not that it has been mentioned), but I love Addenda Electronics. With that said -

No matter what third party company we are talking about, there is NOTHING you can do, there is NOTHING you can buy, to make a Sony
HVR-M10U, HVRM15U, HVR-M25U (all which have no VTR control other than Firewire) behave, and respond like the PROFESSIONAL Sony HVR-1500. The HVR-1500 is the only Sony VTR that has RS422 control and a decent tape transport. The only other VTR that offers this is the JVC BR-HD50U.

Is this unfair - YOU BET IT IS. This is the same crap everyone went thru with the old Sony DSR-11 DV VTR. People wanted it to be just like the Sony DSR-45, DSR-1600, DSR-1500, DSR-1800, DSR-2000. WELL, IT AIN'T THESE MACHINES.

This is not Convergent Design's fault. As a recent contravercial political statement said "you can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig". Using the HD Connect SI or HD Connect MI is GREAT for the video image, but for RS422 - feh !

Bob Zelin





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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 24, 2008 at 6:12:35 pm

Dear Bob, thanks. I have just bought a HVR-1500. Better bankruptcy than suicide.
Problem, however, when I batch capture, sometimes it is off by 20 frames or more
This is my setup: HVR-1500A > AJA iO HD (via SDI and RS 422, with sd black burst) > FCP > Cal Digit 4tb raid drives. I have FCP 6.04.4. Is this something we have to live with? It's back to suicide!

Mike G

















Michael G


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Bob Zelin
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI
on Sep 25, 2008 at 3:00:18 am

Replies below -

YOU WRITE -
I have just bought a HVR-1500. Better bankruptcy than suicide.
Problem, however, when I batch capture, sometimes it is off by 20 frames or more

REPLY - download the LATEST DRIVERS from the AJA website for the AJA I/O HD (do it now !). Go into System Settings>Playback tab, and uncheck "scrub hi quality". Make sure that you have a black generator locking the AJA I/O HD and the REF IN of the HVR-1500.
If you have done all of this, and still have sync errors, call AJA tech support, specifically state that you have done what I have just suggested in this post, and say "WHAT DO I DO NOW", and post your results right here on COW.



This is my setup: HVR-1500A > AJA iO HD (via SDI and RS 422, with sd black burst) > FCP > Cal Digit 4tb raid drives. I have FCP 6.04.4. Is this something we have to live with? It's back to suicide!

REPLY - do not live with this error. Do what I say above - genlock with a black gen, both the HVR-1500 and AJA I/O HD Reference Input. Uncheck "hi quality scrubbing", and make sure to download the new 6.0.1 driver from AJA. If this still does not work, CALL AJA SUPPORT.

Bob Zelin






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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 14, 2008 at 5:49:11 pm

I followed your advice and got updates for both the AJA and the Cal Digit 4-tb drives.
Had to exchange two of our new HVR 1500 A decks. The first one because of ejection problems and the second the Sony Service Center tested and it was not reading time code accurately. Also, after phone calls with AJA, they sent a new AJA iO HD box.
I'm trying to go from HDV via the AJA and edit in Pro Res.

Same problem: machine control is non existent. "Can't find T.C." is it's constant complaint.
My tail is on fire with a job that has to be finished, so I have given up on HD for now and I've bypassed the AJA, gone straight from the 1500 via firewire into the MacPro tower as DVCam. The machine control works for about 98% of the time and when it stumbles it finally gets there. I assume since the 1500 deck works with firewire, it's ok.

My question is: How much of the lousy machine control is a problem with the AJA, etc or is the problem the long gop of HDV? Do other people working with this same setup have machine control problems or is this an anomaly? I assumed with the RS-422 from the AJA, that we would be home free.

Thanks, Mike Gilligan

Michael G


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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 14, 2008 at 8:36:24 pm

I also have an HVR-1500 (not the the 1500A). I am using a Blackmagic Deck Link Extreme.

I get the exact same error messages that you do anytime I try to batch capture with FCP. Sometimes it captures clips and the time code is off by 2-3 SECONDS. Other times it gives me a TC error message and stops cueing. I believe I have tried every possible menu setting in the HVR-1500 operational menus. I have all the latest software updates for FCP and Blackmagic.

However - if I use the stand alone Blackmagic Deck Control software the HVR-1500 captures footage accurately and without any problems 100% of the time. It works PERFECTLY - just like my BetaSP 1800, a Digital Betacam deck, or a DVCPro HD deck.

My theory is that the FCP software is not able to accurately control this deck during cue-up. It somehow loses communication with the deck's time code. I have spoken with two different Sony broadcast engineers, and one Blackmagic tech support person. They all acted like they had never heard of the problem, but the Blackmagic support person is the one who told me to try the Blackmagic Deck Control program. I have not spoken with anybody at Apple (yet) because they want to charge me $$$ just to talk to them about a bug with their software!

I am also going to post this info/question in the HDV and FCP forum to see what kind of response I can get.



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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 4:17:58 pm

Hi Ken,
It sounds like you have exactly the same issue that I have. However, I don't understand how you were able to isolate and use the Blackmagic deck control software.(I mean I don't understand how that is done. I'd like to try it with the AJA.)
I have gotten accurate machine control when i bypass the AJA io box (and the transcoding to Pro Res) and instead gone straight into the Mac Pro as a DVCam signal. This works.
I think you're on to something with the FCP software, particularly when they act like they don't know what you're talking about.

The best,

Michael G


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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 4:30:04 pm

Blackmagic has their own standalone software called "Deck Control". It's a very basic program that allows you to control the deck to do single captures, FF, rewind, etc.

I also own Premiere Pro CS3. This morning I attempted a batch capture. I did the exact same test as I had attempted with FCP, and Premiere captured all of the clips PERFECTLY. I captured the clips using HD-SDI input and RS-422 deck control. Not one hiccup or error message.

FCP works fine with DV and BetaSP - but when I attempt to capture HDV utilizing either firewire or RS-422 it will not capture reliably. About 50% of the time it will capture the correct clip, but the other 50% of the time it captures footage that might be 2-3 seconds off. It still captures the exact duration, and my bin shows my logged time code numbers, but the footage captured has actually "slipped" 2-3 seconds.

My thought is that the FCP I/O driver for the HVR-1500 is written poorly.



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Ramona Howard
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:08:00 pm

All I can say guys is this.

The AJA hardware, in an app that supports all aspects of being a deck in every function, connected to hardware that can pass the proper signals (RP188, RS422, etc) just flat out works.

We do this everyday in many facilities. Not all applications are equal BUT the hardware and protocols are the same......

Frame inaccuracy can stem from everything from routing delays to coding issues to settings in the applications. Good luck with that. I know this to be truth as we have worked on the machine control aspects of Rave for MANY years and I know what it took to get it right. Doesn't matter if your sitting on an age old Axial or using a new SR, Internal or external TLC, 2K or a resolve. Everything should just work.

I will add that some applications and hardware will even strip away items that was passed by the originating device.....


Cheers,
Ramona



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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:15:58 pm

That's essentially what I am trying to communicate. The AJA and Blackmagic hardware both work perfectly by themselves.

The problem is that Final Cut Pro will not communicate properly with the Sony HVR-1500 deck when your are trying to capture HDV footage.



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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 5:18:26 pm

I should add that Blackmagic (and probably AJA for that matter) works perfectly with Premiere when capturing HDV footage!



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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 15, 2008 at 6:57:45 pm

After attempting to explain the difficulties I am experiencing to several support personnel from Apple, Sony, and Blackmagic, I decided to create a short movie to illustrate the exact problem I am having attempting to capture from the Sony HVR-1500 deck.

FCP will not capture HDV from the HVR-1500 with either firewire or RS-422.
However - both Premiere Pro CS3 and Blackmagic Deck Control WILL capture HDV every time - perfectly, 100%, no errors.

Please see the movie here:

http://homepage.mac.com/kenjones/iMovieTheater47.html




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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:05:38 pm

Ramona,
I've been on the phone with two different techs at AJA and we've gone through all the settings, including FCP. The support, as you know at AJA is terrific, which is why, in the past, I have bought 3 different AJA boxs for whatever I was doing, and I've had great results.
I don't believe this is an AJA problem. Ken suggested that there is a bug in FCP, and since FCP is the only element in my chain: (HVR-1500A > AJA iO HD > Mac Pro 8-core, & CalDigit 4-tb drives,) that I have not investigated thoroughly, I'm leaning toward a bug in FCP. However, in order to take care of that pesky problem of earning a living, I have had to dump the idea of HD for the time being and I'm capturing and editing in DV Cam. This is working, but it's like getting a bad case of the hives just before the prom.

The best,

Michael G


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Ramona Howard
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 16, 2008 at 8:40:34 pm

The Prom...wow that was ages ago....

Stick with it, hopefully it will get ironed out. The stuff works as it should with the right app behind it.

Cheers,
Ramona

I will say what is on many peoples minds in regards to the proper tools......

Sometimes you just can't take a $500 piece of software (not you, just being general) and do what the big boys do for many times that. The masses simply don't work the same way the high-end studios work. And, that is why you find a mixture of all kinds of tools in a facility, they don't do it all on one solution :)



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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:20:54 am

Ramona,
Do you mean that Final Cut Studio 2 is not up to dealing with HDV/Pro Res?

I thought that AJA iO HD was developed in collaboration with Apple. Also the AJA manual has a lot of stuff about using FCP. It doesn't say anything about using what the big boys use. (Avid?)



Michael G


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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 16, 2008 at 9:14:57 pm

Mike,

Have you tried a test with the "AJA VTR Xchange Application" utility? You can download it here:

http://www.aja.com/html/products_macintosh_kona_util.html

It looks like AJA VTR Exchange is the same type of program as Blackmagic Deck Control. Like I said in my previous posts: on my system Deck Control works perfectly and Premiere CS3 works perfectly. Final Cut Pro is the only application I have that doesn't work with this deck. The AJA site also has plug ins that allow you to capture directly to Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Premiere. You might try one of the AJA applications just to see if they do or don't work for you.



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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Oct 17, 2008 at 1:26:28 am

Thanks Ken,
I'll try it (as soon as I can get this job out of the way.)

Thanks, and the best,


Michael G


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Ken Jones
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Nov 11, 2008 at 4:42:27 am

Michael - did you ever get a chance to check out the AJA VTR Xchange Application utility?



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Mike Gilligan
Re: The Convergent HD Connect SI WHAT DO I DO NOW
on Nov 12, 2008 at 7:16:57 pm

Hi Ken,
Re: AJA VTR Xchange: I've downloaded it and thank you much.
I had to suspend work on the HDV machine control problems because we have been traveling, shooting and editing. Right now I'm going straight into the Mac Pro via FW and it's working. (The HVR 1500A deck and machine control.) Earlier AJA had sent a protocol that "also might help" This next week I'm going to be able to get back to work trying to solve the manine control problems.

Thanks,
Mike G

Michael G


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