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Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck

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Jennifer Jones
Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 1:51:40 am

Hi - We've been having problems with video dropout on our layoffs from Final Cut Pro to our digibeta deck using the AJA IO board. (it looks as if the tape is playing on a deck with dirty heads, however we've cleaned the heads several times, and our tech says he doesn't think it's the deck, based on tests he did). I've done the (below) trouble-shooting, and NOTHING seems to solve the problem (which is sporatic, but nonetheless highly inconvenient). I'm about to assume it's a problem with the board (and send it in), but I thought I would give the Forums one last try to see if anyone had any suggestions.

Here are our specs:
- FCP 5.1.4 (although the problem was happening in an earlier version, as well)
- Mac OS 10.4.11, Dual 2.5G PowerPC G5 desktop with 8G of RAM, and three internal 250G 7200 Maxtor drives
- they are (all) SD projects (sequence preset is DV NTSC 48k)
- it happens with any of the settings we've tried, but mostly we use the "AJA IO- NTSC US SDI A-V 8 BIT TO DV" setting, chosen in the "easy setup" menu (as per the suggestion of the AJA folks - who, think that it is the deck rather than the board)
- the dropout happens with any and all types of (Quicktime SD) media, regardless of compression or weather or not it is coming from one of the three internal drives, or from an external firewire drive
- it happens regardless of which firewire port the external drive is plugged into (front or back), or which port the AJA board is plugged into

Here is what we've done:
- cleaned the digibeta deck heads (with the cleaner tape)
- tried different output settings, tried outputting without mirroring on the desktop, switched firewire ports
- shut everything down completely, re-started (and repeated)
- tried different pieces of tape stock, etc.


Any suggestions on what might be causing this? (Again, at this point, I think it is the board - but any and all help would be greatly appreciated)

Thanks!
- Jennifer


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Bob Zelin
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 2:32:22 am

Hi Jennifer -
I cannot believe that you own a Digi Beta VTR, and have chosen to use DV compression to output ! You should be using uncompressed 8 bit or uncompressed 10 bit SDI, not DV.

With that said, I bet you a million bucks that you don't have a NTSC black generator that locks both the AJA I/O Reference IN, and the Ref Video Input to your Digi Beta VTR. You must also go to the AJA Control Panel, and hit the CONTROL tab, and
select EXTERNAL REFERENCE. Do this, and I bet your "dirty recordings" go away.

Just remember - I could be wrong, and I am wrong all the time.

Bob zelin




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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 3:22:34 am

Hi Bob, thank you for your response. We were originally using uncompressed 8 bit settings for our outputs, and the problems seems to be happening more often. The representative I spoke with at AJA suggested we output with the "AJA IO- NTSC US SDI A-V 8 BIT TO DV" setting, and that seemed to make it happen less often (which was worth the compression sacrifice for us, being that we were only backing up spots that only appeared online, and were never broadcast).

That being said, I am unfamiliar with the control panel (and forgive me) but, do you mean a software control panel? Or a setting on the back of the board? We just scoured the board, and didn't find a "Control" tab, so I am assuming it is a software element. I search the computer for any AJA control panel software, and was unable to find anything - Can you please clarify?

Again, I appreciate your help tremendously. It's refreshing to hear from someone who seems to have a grasp on what is happening!

Sincerely,
Jennifer


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Bob Zelin
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 3:41:44 am

go to http://www.aja.com. Go to support>downloads. Go to the AJA I/O product. Find the AJA I/O Control Panel, and DOWNLOAD IT RIGHT NOW. Open the AJA I/O Control Panel. click on CONTROL, and see if your I/O is genlocked to external reference.

You still have not answered me, if you have a black generator hooked up for your I/O and your digi Beta VTR.

Bob Zelin




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:50:56 am

Bob, I'm sorry, I keep stealing your posts. My email is running slow this evening.




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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 2:38:15 am

Are you getting a clean output when recording to tape? That is, does your monitor show any glitches?

Do you have your reference setup properly?

Do you see these glitches in your timeline?




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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:05:45 am

Hi Bob / Jeremy - Bob, we just downloaded the control panel and updated our firmware (as per suggestion of the control panel upon opening). Genlock is: "Ref in" (which, I assume is external ref) The box below in the control tab indicates Genlock is Freerun (but is is grey-ed out, and we can't change).

In answer to your question, we do not have a black generator. In answer to Jeremy's questions, the monitor shows no glitches, just the tape, and there are no glitches in the timeline, or in the source media (if you click on a corresponding quicktime in the Capture Scratch folder, it's fine).

So, I guess my question is for Bob - How to change the Genlock tab that is greyed out? (or, other thoughts?)

THANK YOU AGAIN, Bob / Jeremy. I appreciate the time and thought you are giving to this...

- Jennifer


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:15:43 am

(I forgot to mention in the previous post that we tried another layoff after the firmware update, and still had the same problem).


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:23:11 am

Do you have a blackburst generator?


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:32:23 am

No I don't have a blackburst generator. (it's a somewhat lo-fi system that is used mostly for editing web video content).

Another note, I re-started everything after the Firmware update again, and the Control Panel is no longer grey-ed out, and is in "Ref Run".

Just tried another layoff... same problem.


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:46:00 am

So.. I need to convince them to buy a blackburst generator that will lock the IO Ref In and the Ref video input to the digi deck. (Since you have both been so helpful), which ones do you use with your IOs? (or can you recommend one that I can suggest to them?)

And, again, thank you AGAIN for your help. I believe I'm getting closer to the solution to this problem.

- Jennifer


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:49:52 am

In the control panel, lock you ref to video in (not ref in) and make sure that your digibeta is referencing incoming video and not external ref.

Jeremy


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 5:19:32 am

Ok, so I've come across an oder thread where Bob recommended the Horita BSG-50. (Please forgive me, I was not aware of the crucial nature of the black burst box with regards to IO usage - as a few others weren't either, I see!)

Anyhow, I will have them order it promptly. As for your suggestion, Jeremy, about locking the ref to video (Freerun??) - I tried to change the setting in the Control panel, but it keeps popping back? Am I missing something?

I'm again going to say, I'm very thankful for the help (and, will again be reminded that although I've been editing for a number of years, and have been staring at burst / sync generators at various facilities, I assumed the IO had taken care of the sync in some other way... which goes to prove you're never too old or too experienced to keep learning)
:)


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rafael amador
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 11:50:16 am

A black/sync generator makes no sense when printing to video . When a VTR records, only need to be in sync with the very video that is recording. As Jeremy suggest, you must set the desk external reference to "off".
However, I think that this is not an issue when printing to video. If the VTR would be hook to a external reference instead to the video-in, your image would jump and shake for a few frames, but after the rest of the program should be record OK.
The reference may be more critical when capturing (although I haven't had the experienced) because could make abort the capturing. When capturing I don't know the AJA, but at least the BM send a black (optional) to the desk video-in.
BTW wouldn't be better to export 10b Unc?

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 2:28:29 pm

I'd order the AJA Gen10 (the older thread you found was probably before the Gen10 came out).

Also, set you ref to VIDEO IN (not ref in or freerun). You then have to make sure your deck reference is set to incoming video not external. What model number deck are you using? I can try and dig up some exact settings for you.

I would still order the gen10, but if you need to get this stuff on tape immediately, locking video to SDI should work.

Jeremy


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 4:44:56 pm

Thanks again, guys. I just ordered the Gen10.

We are using the DVW-A500 digibeta deck (with the TC reference set to external - I'll try "internal" (?) (although, I'll be honest I'm still not 100% clear on why I would be referencing the internal TC/video for a layoff - is there a link to an article I might read up more on this?)

The problem only happens on layoffs (capturing is always flawless).

And, here's my last ignorant question for this post: I only have two choices in the AJA Control Panel (in the control tab, under the "Genlock" panel my only choices are "Freerun" and "Ref In" (no "Video In"). On the upper portion of the control panel on the left, I'm unclear on how to set it to "Video In" (as per Jeremy suggestion)? Again, I'm probably missing something completely obvious, and I apologize. I just looked for some sort of guide for the Control Panel online, an was unable to find anything except for the (limited) documentation that came with it...

Again, thank you for the advice - I'm always amazed at the kindness / thoughtful-ness of the participants on this forum...


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 5:48:33 pm

[Jennifer Jones] "with the TC reference set to external"

No, not the TC set to external, you need the REF set to incoming video.

Let me see if I can dig up the settings. Stand by.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 5:57:37 pm

Here you go:

The DVW-A500 has a reference switch that needs to be set appropriately
based on your system configuration. You access this switch by gently
pulling out the front control panel on the Digital Betacam deck. The
switch will be on the far left hand side of this "hidden" area when the
panel on the front of the unit is pulled forward. (For clarity, we are
not talking about flipping the panel up, but rather pulling it out to
access the switch).

You will see two choices near the Ref switch: "Input Video" and "Ref
Video" The correct selection is based on whether you are trying to
lock/reference the deck to the incoming SDI video or to reference video as
provided by a blackburst generator/sync generator. So if you have no
blackburst/genlock/sync connected to your configuration, you may need to
change this switch to "Input Video."

Another strong indicator as to whether the deck is set up and recording
correctly is to watch the status indicator lights on the front of unit.
If you see orange or red and not green light up for the channel condition
during your recording, then the reference setting is likely set
incorrectly.

Additionally, if you don't know how the Digital Betacam VTR's EE (input
passthrough) mode is configured, you might want to NOT route SDI signal to
the AJA Io from the deck's output while you are routing SDI signal out of
the Io to the VTR. If both items are connected (both input and output)
and the deck is in certain EE modes, you might create a signal loop
(resulting in feedback or distorted image).


Jeremy


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 6:54:46 pm

Ahhh... okay. Yes, the Out Ref is (and has always been) set to "input video".

I'm not sure how the digi's EE mode is configured, however my channel condition light is always green, so we have been assuming the reference setting is correct (the green channel condition light is also what lead us to believe it was an issue with the IO borad and not the digigeta deck or tape heads etc).

As for the SDI, yes both items are connected - And, again, I assume you can change the routing through the AJA Control panel, (without unplugging the cables), but maybe I'm wrong? Does that mean flip "SDI" to "Analog" in the input panel so there's no conflicting SDI signal?? (Or, are they suggesting to pull the cables based on weather you are outputting or inputting?) That seems unlikely(?)

Another colleague suggested we have a 75 OHM BNC terminator on the deck, which there isn't (again, something that is probably obvious to the more connection-savy editor / technicians out there, but relatively new to myself) Thoughts on this?

In case I haven't mentioned it yet Jeremy, you are sparing me at least 50 grey hairs at this point... Thank you again, and again... and again.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 8:29:04 pm

Hi -
Please ignore any post that says that you do not need a black burst generator to operate with a Digi Beta VTR. I don't give a crap if you are not even using a non linear editing system, and are in a CMX linear suite from 1989 - you NEED a black burst generator to operate your equipment without issue. This especially applies the the Sony DVW-A500 series.

I am really getting sick and tired of so many people on these forums, saying "you dont' need this, you don't need that, you can do 2K or uncompressed on firewire 400 drive, you can do shared storage on a firewire drive - just hookup 2 cables -, you don't need a professional montior, you can use a VGA monitor with an adaptor from Office Depot - you dont' need a black generator".

All of these people are complete mis informed, and spout information that is competely inaccurate. Let me once again assure you that you absolutely need a NTSC black generator for your system, and if this still does not resolve your problems, please post back, and we will go thru further tests. As you know, the Digi Beta VTR has LOTS of setup menus and settings, and there are other variables as well.

Bob Zelin





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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 8:50:10 pm

[Bob Zelin] "you NEED a black burst generator to operate your equipment without issue. "

Bob, she ordered one.


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Jennifer Jones
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 11:02:00 pm

Got it. There's a serial a/v out on the digibeta that is open (and, was suggested by the folks at AJA to terminate (as well) when I talked to them this morning).

I understand Bob's frustration. We all fight the battles of having the recent college grad with a laptop and FCP express calling himself a "professional editor", and not knowing a lick about any of the broadcast stuff. If I could, I'd give you a hug, Bob.

;)


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rafael amador
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 5, 2008 at 4:05:58 pm

With all my respect Bob, if you are working since 1.989 with CMX, I'm working with SONY, AMPEX and GV NLEs since 1.985.
A recorded need to be in sync only with the signal that is recording. This is one of the reasons why is needed a pre-roll. Recorders have also "Ref-In" to be used as players.
And Jenny if you need an external source of syncs, just plug the "Composite video-out' of any camera.

PPC G5 2x2Gh 4GbRAM/BlackMagic SD/PMBP 17"Core2Duo 4GbRAM
JVC DTV-17"/FCS2/AE CS3/COMBUSTION/SHAKE


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Video dropout when laying off to digibeta deck
on Mar 4, 2008 at 9:13:27 pm

[Jennifer Jones] "As for the SDI, yes both items are connected - And, again, I assume you can change the routing through the AJA Control panel, (without unplugging the cables), but maybe I'm wrong?"

Yes, all the io putputs are active all the time. Try pulling the output SDI of the DIgibeta deck, or check you EE mode and make sure it's not in EE.


[Jennifer Jones] "Another colleague suggested we have a 75 OHM BNC terminator on the deck"

Where? You have no external reference so there's nothing to terminate.


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Jennifer Jones
Thank you :)
on Mar 13, 2008 at 8:59:25 pm

I just wanted to let you guys know, my Gen10 came today, I hooked it up and tried several layoffs - There was perfect sync -It corrected the problem! Thanks again for all your help, I appreciate it immensely.
:) Jennifer


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Thank you :)
on Mar 13, 2008 at 9:37:48 pm

You are welcome. Glad you are up and running!

Jeremy




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