BSOD when batch capturing with Panasonic AJ-HD1400
This is a complex issue; I'll try to explain it concisely...
We have two LH workstations. One has a devoted Sony 2800 BetaCam for final outputting of jobs (yes, most of our clients still want BetaCam), and the other LH workstation has a dedicated Panasonic AJ-HD1400 deck for the acquisition of footage shot with our VeriCam.
However, it's become a problem that when performing a batch capture with the AJ-HD1400, our one LH workstation tends to crash with the BSOD (Blue Screen of Death). The screen goes by too quickly to absorb any information on the BSOD.
We generally acquire from the SD-SDI port (audio and video) on the deck with control over the RS-232 port. We have little to no reason to acquire HD footage yet. All of our projects end up on 4x3 BetaCam generally.
So, to see if this is a deck issue, or a computer issue, we moved the HD deck over to our other LH workstation that tends to only capture and output BetaCam. It should be noted that this workstation has no issues capturing from BetaCam.
We started a batch capture job with all the same job settings and deck hook-ups, and low and behold, BSOD. I've never seen a BSOD during a capture on this workstation.
So, this rules out a computer issue, but not a Premiere/Xena/driver/compatibility issue.
While on this same workstation, we thought it might be an SDI issue from the deck or on the Xena card. So we tried a basic, component video hook-up with analog XLR audio as the source. As far as the computer was concerned, it was ingesting footage like it ingests footage from the BetaCam.
Puzzling. This workstation handles component acquisition fine with the BetaCam deck. But with the HD-1400, BSOD.
So now the ONLY common factor is the RS-232 control.
Could it be the AJ-HD1400's 9-pin RS-232 port is causing the BSOD failures?
It seems to want to BSOD right after it cues-up the tape and just before or right when it starts to acquire.
The same RS-232 cable works fine when it's attached to the BetaCam.
I'm at a loss here. Thoughts? We're going to upgrade the drivers from 2.6 to 3.0 today and see what happens. But I'm not optimistic.
We even tried capturing with the Firewire port on the HD-1400 deck, but for some reason, Premiere states that "the camera is off-line." (And yes, we have it it remote.) Other standard DV decks work fine over Firewire on these workstations. This HD-1400 is just being stubborn, apparently.
Our two LH workstations are virtually identical. Premiere Pro CS2, BOXX Workstations, 2 GB RAM, two StataMAX 1.25 TB towers stripped-together for 2.5 TB of storage.
It should be noted, too, that we have one LS workstation. And the editor on that workstation has mention that he's had no issues with acquiring SD-SDI footage from this exact deck. But he doesn't acquire often from this deck; he may just have been "lucky" when doing so. Or, for some reason, the his LS configuration just "works" with this HD-1400 deck.
That just adds to my quandary.
RYNO Production, Inc.
Just some things off of the top of my head...
1. I didn't catch which capture utility you are using. Have you tried both Premiere and Machina? (It has been so long since I used Premiere to capture, I'm not sure if you can use it with the Xena to capture.)
2. Have you tried capturing the HD downcoverted to SD through the Xena using Machina? If that works, it might tell us something, not sure what though :)
3. Have you tried capturing to both AVI and MOV files? I remember at one point in the Xena driver version history, capturing to AVI was a horrible mess.
Thanks for the suggestions.
I thought of using Machina last night as an alternative to capturing, but can Machina do batch captures, or only one-at-a-time capture?
If it does batches, I can't for the life of me see how or where.
We capture 99.9% of our HD footage as SD via the SD-SDI out on the deck.
We capture everything as MOV files.
I've done some more searching, and apparently, this deck doesn't "play well" with a lot of systems. Looks like it's only compatible with Final Cut Pro, Canopus, Avid, and Matrox. And if you want to capture via IEEE-1394, your choices are just as few.
Look at this IEEE-1394 compatibility chart for this deck:
No wonder why I can't get this deck to work with ANY of our machines. Even my MacBook won't properly see it. (It controls the deck, but no video is shown, and Premiere states the "camera is off-line".)
Well, the fact that you can't capture analog via component-in is disturbing. That would imply the RS-422 deck control is causing problems.
Can you "crash-capture" via component-in without the RS-422 deck control by clicking record in the application and pressing play on the deck? That would eliminate any "deck-specific" items.
With Machina, you can tell it a start point and end point to capture. I have a real hard time with the Machina user interface. It isn't very intuitive to me. I think you "pick" different record modes using the little arrows at the bottom of the playback window.
[Jeron Coolman] "Can you "crash-capture" via component-in without the RS-422 deck control by clicking record in the application and pressing play on the deck? That would eliminate any "deck-specific" items."
I think that'll work, but this isn't a solution, as that footage can't be easily recaptured in a batch at a future time.
It has to be a RS-232 issue, since I can't reliably capture via component.
It should also be noted that this doesn't happen with EVERY clip, only "random" clips. So capturing can be done, but you'll never know exactly when you'll get the BSOD. You'll only know that "it's coming."
[jamski] "I think that'll work, but this isn't a solution, as that footage can't be easily recaptured in a batch at a future time.
It has to be a RS-232 issue, since I can't reliably capture via component."
I only suggested an analog capture without the RS-232 as a troubleshooting exercise, not as a solution.
If it can be validated that the problem is RS-232, then the next question, is it the deck, the Xena or the software that is having the problem with the RS-232?
It seems a little weird that an RS-232 problem in the deck would cause BSOD on the computer. You would think, if the deck is sending a "bad signal" to the Xena card, the Xena card should deal with it in a way that doesn't BSOD the computer; e.g. throw an exception or ignore the bad data.
We've been doing a LOT of troubleshooting with this problem, and have found out a few interesting things:
If we use this deck to capture (via SD-SDI) a DVCAM or DVCPRO tape with 720x486/480 footage, it works perfectly with batch capturing.
If we use this deck to capture (via SD-SDI) a DVCPRO tape with 1280x720 footage, it tends to fail at some point in the batch capture with a BSOD.
So, something's up here. Could the deck be outputting an incompatible down-converted 1280x720 signal for the AJA Xena LH card? Why else, then, can 720x480/486 footage from the same SD-SDI port be captured properly and without fail?
Perhaps its the embedded audio? Who knows.
We're going to attempt a "true" 1280x720 HD job soon to see if Premiere can successfully batch capture footage from the HD-SDI port.
[jamski] "If we use this deck to capture (via SD-SDI) a DVCPRO tape with 1280x720 footage, it tends to fail at some point in the batch capture with a BSOD.
So, something's up here. Could the deck be outputting an incompatible down-converted 1280x720 signal for the AJA Xena LH card? Why else, then, can 720x480/486 footage from the same SD-SDI port be captured properly and without fail?"
Does it also fail if you try capturing this format through the SD-SDI without RS-232 deck control? If that works, then we are back to the RS-232 being the culprit.
Actually, can you record through the SDI without RS-232? Can you capture that format through SD-SDI or does it need to be captured through HD-SDI? Does it matter? I would have thought 1280x720 would be an HD resolution and not SD, but my forte' is computers not video formats ;)
[Jeron Coolman] "Does it also fail if you try capturing this format through the SD-SDI without RS-232 deck control? If that works, then we are back to the RS-232 being the culprit."
We haven't really tried that option. Truthfully, if that really does work, it's not a viable solution as capturing clips MANUALLY without RS-232 deck control would be a royal pain.
And capturing HD footage thru the SD-SDI port is possible; that's how we get down-converted clips into our machine(s).
[Jeron Coolman] "I only suggested an analog capture without the RS-232 as a troubleshooting exercise, not as a solution."
"One-off", single captures tend to be fine. It's the batch capturing process that sometimes result in a BSOD.
Unfortunately, performing single captures of a large project is very tedious, and of course, would prove to be impossible should the project be resurrected for revisions at a later time when the original video files have long-since been deleted.
We did try to set the video/audio input from the SD-SDI port, and the DECK CONTROL be the Firewire (this configuration works fine with our Sony DSR-2000A DVCAM deck) but this Panasonic doesn't seem to play nice with any of our IEEE-1394 ports. This apparently is a widespread issue, as I found someone else's post that describes Firewire problems with this HD-1400 deck:
Come on, Panasonic; can't you make a standardized compatible Firewire option? Sony can. So should you.