Boo to 9 minute split on FS-4 HD with A1 at DVinfo.net

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


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Old November 2nd, 2007, 11:03 AM   #1
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Boo to 9 minute split on FS-4 HD with A1

Grr. My two complaints thus far with the FireStore FS-4 HD are the dropouts I've dealt with (only a few times, but I have had a some blips) and the audio drop-out on HDV clips that are longer than 9 minutes and thus split into two. It's only like 15 frames worth...like a drop-out (sigh)... EDIT: Okay, just looked at the splits again, it's more like 4 frames. Still...

Granted, this is in Canon's 24f HDV mode, so I don't know if the specialty .m2t format causes the FS-4 HD grief or not on splits (I've always wondered how 24 frames fit into 15 long-GOP)...

On .AVI files, it's fine (I used the FireStore to record an entire church service on Sunday, and it performed flawlessly). The only time I shoot HDV clips that last longer than 9 minutes without a break are when I'm interviewing folks for our weekly testimony videos. So, my solution is to break in-between questions around the 5 minute mark.

Still...I think that's a little stupid. But, the hassle of taking a few extra seconds (literally, that's really it) versus the hassle of capturing everything in real time? Worth it.

End rant. :)
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 12:18 PM   #2
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It's because of the firestore's inability to record a file size larger than 2GB.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 12:26 PM   #3
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I know, and I actually like the split files because they're easier to back-up to DVD. But the audio gap between split 24f HDV files at least is a bit concerning, and is my main complaint.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 01:03 PM   #4
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That’s just completely unacceptable.

Hard drives are so volatile. I swap mine every year regardless. I also leave my system on 24/7 and have an arsenal of power management software and UPS going at all times. Constant power and temperature are crucial to the longevity of a drive, which is the total opposite of a firestore.

I would never trust a hard drive in the field to write, store, and protect my work and I take all of the above precautions to try and maintain my most prized stored content of clown fonts, unicorn bitmaps, midi hits of the 80’s, and over 20,000 custom Vin Diesel wallpapers.
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 08:04 PM   #5
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Hard drives are so volatile. I swap mine every year regardless. I also leave my system on 24/7 and have an arsenal of power management software and UPS going at all times. Constant power and temperature are crucial to the longevity of a drive, which is the total opposite of a firestore.
So it's true that leaving your system turned on 24/7 is better than turning it on and off in morning and at night?
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Old November 2nd, 2007, 08:22 PM   #6
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I think power on/power off are more stressful on electronics than leaving them on. But there are also potential problems with leaving things running - it's a balancing act.

We bought a CD player that uses vacuum tubes in the final stage (wonderful sound) and the recommendation from the maker was to leave it on if you were going to use it again within a few hours, turn it off if you wouldn't be using it for a day or two.

Of course, vacuum tubes have more of a tendency to wear out as a function of power on hours than solid state. That said, thermal variation form power on/off cycles isn't too good for them either.

I leave my PC's switched on all the time - a couple of them have been running for five or six years now with no problems. The old refrigerator sized hard drives could run conitinuously for 15 years or more. Modern drives probably don't last as long on average. Good bearings last a long time.
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Old November 3rd, 2007, 09:52 AM   #7
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So it's true that leaving your system turned on 24/7 is better than turning it on and off in morning and at night?
Well, that’s a very old debate and it really comes down to how you use your computer, how good your computer is, and the precautions you take to maintain your components and power.

Components are designed to operate at high, consistent temperatures. Your CPU, Hard Drives, and MOBO heat up and cool down very quickly when you power on and off. Older or cheap components don’t handle that too well over extended periods of time

If a hard drive were to fail, it would typically fail upon start up. You’d hear the click of death and have to scramble to back everything up. You really only have one shot to do this.

By leaving your computer on 24/7, at worst you would have to replace your PSU or cooling fans after 3-4 years. A decent MOBO will shut down if the computer were to over heat.

I build my own systems and leave them on 24/7 mainly for convenience, since I work 12+ hours a day. I reboot every few days and will often restart explorer. My main DV editing machine is 4 years old and has not had a single issue.

I do all of my maintenance overnight, such as updating software and defrag. I only power down my main system two or three times per month. However, I am maintaining about 3 TB’s of current international projects and will often need to retrieve data at all hours.

If you have a decent system and use it less than 8 hours per day, powering down shouldn’t cause any issues at all. But, I would do the following for precaution:

Get a good UPS well above your needs with power management software. If you have a 500w PSU get an 800w+ UPS.

Get a good external drive and backup frequently.

Clean the dust from inside the heat sink, fans, and maintain sufficient airflow.

Make sure all of your cards and memory are well seated
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Old November 30th, 2007, 02:38 PM   #8
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YAHOO!

I have found solutions and/or workarounds to both the splitting .m2t issue and the dropped frames issue.

First, dropped frames with the FireStore seem to happen with my XH-A1 because of a conflict with the tape deck. When I sync record, sometimes the FireStore will start recording before the tape does, and when the deck starts rolling, the FireStore's file will have a drop at about that time.

I tested this by manually recording with the FireStore, and after it starts rolling, I hit the record button on the camera. Though my VLC media player will play the clip back fine without an apparent drop, Vegas freaks out each and every time. After several tests, I have determined that, when filming in both tape and FireStore (using tape as a back-up), if I start the deck first, then get the FireStore rolling, it's fine. Then, of course, when finished filming, I stop the FireStore first, then the tape deck. It's a pain to have to operate both, but all of my tests indicate that there are not any glitches at the front of clips that I use this method on.

(Shooting with no tape utilizing DV control from the camera produces no glitches, as the tape deck remains inoperable. The advantage of course to shooting tapeless is that the camera's mic becomes much more useable -- not a touch of camera hum.)

The other big issue I had with .m2t recording was that the FireStore, due to its FAT32 structure, splits clips every 9 minutes. While this is fine for .avi's (there are no gaps between splits), .m2t splits feature a split-second gap.

Well, playing around with TSSplitter for a bit (using it to trim the front of clips that have frame drops -- Vegas doesn't like .m2t's with frame drops) I see that it also has a "join" feature.

Guess what?

It will join together the split .m2t file, RESTORING what appeared to be lost in the gap. I lined it up, the joined file and the two originals, one above the other on a Vegas timeline, and there is literally NO GAP in the joined file.

Phew. So I don't have to worry about stopping and starting for interviews. Just need to take a little extra time to join the clips back together.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 12:37 PM   #9
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Brendan, I'm wondering if you had to get any sort of firmware updates or anythinglike that in order for your FS4-HD to work properly with your A1? And if so, were these problems happening before or after the firmware update?

I'm kind of debating between a FS4HD, FS4 PROHD, and a FSC...

I'm trying to get opinions and problems encountered with each before I drop the loot.
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Old December 18th, 2007, 01:07 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Kellen Dengler View Post
Brendan, I'm wondering if you had to get any sort of firmware updates or anythinglike that in order for your FS4-HD to work properly with your A1? And if so, were these problems happening before or after the firmware update?

I'm kind of debating between a FS4HD, FS4 PROHD, and a FSC...

I'm trying to get opinions and problems encountered with each before I drop the loot.
I'm looking at the nnovia unit myself .. I'm surprised I see fewer comments on those b/c the quality of the unit and the firmware from what I do see posted seems to be much higher.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 05:46 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Kellen Dengler View Post
Brendan, I'm wondering if you had to get any sort of firmware updates or anythinglike that in order for your FS4-HD to work properly with your A1? And if so, were these problems happening before or after the firmware update?

I'm kind of debating between a FS4HD, FS4 PROHD, and a FSC...

I'm trying to get opinions and problems encountered with each before I drop the loot.
I'm using a FS4 PROHD with an XH-A1 and it's been fine so far - no dropouts or corrupt files. But I have been warned that the FAT32 format is a disaster waiting to happen when using Mac for the NLE and to capture all the footage to a Mac OS extended drive as soon as possible after the shoot. I was told that file corruption on FAT 32 was a matter of when not if, but Your Mileage May Vary if using a PC system.
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Old January 9th, 2008, 08:21 PM   #12
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Yeah I only use Mac NLE systems, and after reading your post and finding out more I have decided to save for the FSC 60 to avoid this altogether. I spoke with one of the sales reps from Focus Enhancements and he even suggested buying the FSC from Canon and NOT the FS4 since I am operating a Canon camera. Certain Canon codecs are just touchy I guess...
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