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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 January 22nd, 2008, 04:57 PM   #16
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Thats how it always works! Just when you need it most - in the shop it goes. Best of luck on the shoot.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 12:47 AM   #17
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Thanks Jim

and thanks again all for the feedback. I'll post again after they figure out what's up...
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 07:49 AM   #18
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Jamesburg, NJ, is just 45 miles down I-95 from NYC - a short day trip. If you are a member of the Canon XL-XH Owners club, will they provide you with a loaner for your shoot while yours is being checked?
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:07 AM   #19
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James: I noticed that my issue gets worse the longer the camera is running. Is yours the same way?

For example, last night, I put in one tape to capture, and it had only one dropout. The second tape had 3 or 4, then the third and fourth each had about 20 dropouts. This morning, after the camera had been off all night, I captured another tape, and it only had one dropout. This development further convinces me it is a camera issue. It seems the longer the camera is on, or is being used to capture, the worse it gets.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Binder View Post
If I play a tape (HDV material) from the start without stopping, no problem. If I stop and rewind and play again, the problems begin. The tape will play up until the point where I stopped and then give me a blue screen for a second or so, then continue playing. If I stop again and rewind, the problem gets worse when I play the tape once again. This time the blue screen happens at seemingly intermittent locations up to and including the spots where I previously stopped the tape. If I keep rewinding and playing, it gets worse and worse until I see the error message in red letters over the blue screen:

'Incorrect tape specification -- playback is restricted'
Hi Ben -- My problem gets worse the more I rewind and play the tape over. See my above description. Not sure about capture, although I assmum it would be the same situation. My problems occurs when the camera is in play mode, viewing material on the camera lcd screen (not connected to the computer via firewire, etc)
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 03:28 PM   #21
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I'm thinking that maybe one of the tape guides, pins or something to do with tape tracking has become slightly magnetised.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #22
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Some quick tests:

It sounded like the problem spot, once created by stopping and rewinding, persists on the tape at that location, at least during the current session with the camcorder.

1. Does it persist the next day, or only during the current session using the camcorder?

If it plays OK the next day, is sounds like a thermal or similar problem with the camcorder that develops after operating for a while. But the following is a crucial test:

2. Does it persist on the tape if the tape is taken for playback to a different machine?

If it persists on playback in another known good machine, it is recorded to tape, and that implies the problem may be caused by a transient electrical signal/pulse reaching the record heads (which are the same heads used for playback) at the time playback is stopped. This pulse has the effect of erasing some of the information recorded on the tape at that point.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:04 PM   #23
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OUR SOULTION TO THIS PROBLEM! we found a work around...

Hi All,

First off let me say we too have had this same problem with the camera! And It’s not the dirty heads!

(now I need to explain that I am a relative newbie so my terminology may not be spot on)

We just bought 2 XH A1s over Christmas and had no problems until last week.

The first time it happened I had been playing back the video on our Sony Trinitron TV. Then I went in and plugged the camera for playback into the Samsung HD TV in the back room. When I was done there, I disconnected and went to pull footage off on the computer. Once I pressed play, the camera gave me the error ('Incorrect tape specification -- playback is restricted'), and the wrong format was showing up in the viewfinder. I disconnected from the computer and still I was getting the error, wrong format listed, and the tape was obviously playing but I only got blue on the LCD screen. (NOTE: Oddly sometimes the error does not appear only blue screen and wrong format is visible with a frozen timeline even thought there are audible signs of the mechanisms playing)

I had recorded only in HD and it was stating SD but no visible time code.

Frustrated I searched the forum here and kept coming across the “clean the heads” response. Ultimately I determined the camera was “broken” and was going to have to ship it off to Canon.

Miraculously the next morning it worked. Hmmm… Not good.

So, not wanting to run into the same issue again, I kept trying to reproduce the error by walking through the steps I had taken the day before. No luck… Until, by accident that evening. Same scenario. I went into the living room to view the footage on the Sony Monitor then went back into the back room and plugged into the Samsung HD TV to view. When I disconnected from the Samsung, I pressed play to watch in the viewfinder, ERROR AND NO PLAYBACK! It happened again! So I went back and plugged into the Sony, and it played, with no problem. I then unplugged from the Sony, and it played fine in the view finder. I retested this situation multiple times to verify this was the direct cause of the error and non-playback. Absolutely reproducible every time.

So here is the catch. If I playback on the Samsung and then disconnect, I get the error and incorrect format listed. It does play on the Samsung TV but not after disconnecting in the viewfinder or for capture into the computer.

Solution, we don’t plug into the Samsung HD tv.

HOWEVER!!! The only way to reset the camera is to playback on the Sony monitor. No joke.

SOULTION??? Maybe try plugging your camera into another TV monitor and playback there? (try the neighbor’s tv if you don’t have two)

I can not tell you why this is happening, but this is what happened to us.

I thought it important to share what we found out, and how we worked around it.

Sorry for my lack of technical explanation… Hope that helps.

I sure hope all of you out there with this problem don’t own the same Samsung TV model…

Cheers!
Aly (& Balt)

(this is Balt’s wife writing under his login as I am yet to be activated :)
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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:27 PM   #24
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Hi Aly........

Can I just confirm something here.........

1. To view on both televisions, you were connecting the camera via the Component (three RCA connectors) lead or Composite (one RCA connector)?

2. To pull the info off the camera into the computer, you were connecting with the Firewire lead?

3. Unless I missed something, the error you are getting is happening without the Firewire being used at all? Just the Component or Composite?


CS
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Old January 25th, 2008, 12:19 AM   #25
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clarification

Hi Chris!

1. On both tvs we were connecting the camera via the Component lead
2. Yes, Pulling off the camera we were using Firewire (into Vegas)
3. Yes, the error is occurring without the firewire, only when using the Component connector.

I guess I should have mentioned that. Terribly sorry…
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Old January 25th, 2008, 12:34 AM   #26
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No biggy..............

Of course, the next question you should have figured was coming............

Is there a powering sequence with this that does NOT induce the error?

To my way of thinking; The A1 Component is O/P only, the TV Component I/P only.

So, logically:

TV off, Camera off, Connect, Camera on, TV on, Play, Stop, TV off, Camera off, disconnect. Fault present?

You can possibly see how many combinations of this really need to be worked through to finger the culprit.

Don't suppose you've a couple of spare hours to work through them all?

Where I think the most likely chance of a problem occuring is if the camera is turned off and disconnected whilst the TV is on - if there is any residual voltage on the TV component connectors whist the Camera is shutting down it's possible that during it's shut down sequence that voltage is tripping something that shouldn't be tripped during said sequence.

That is pure speculation and not a lot of good to anyone. It is, however, the only thing I can see in my wildest imaginings that could trip a micro computer like the A1 up.

It would be nice to nail it once for all.


CS
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Old January 25th, 2008, 12:53 AM   #27
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Hi Chris,

Balt and I were just discussing this. We will test the power on / off combinations ASAP and post our findings here. (Though we have three days of shooting starting tomorrow morning and it may take a bit until I can get back to you all with the results)

To confirm, we have been powering off the camera before disconnecting. You have a very good point concerning the residual voltage.

We both agree on this end about nailing down the issue. I know after reading other posts of people with the same problem it would be nice to know “why” and not just "a work-around."

Cheers!
Aly
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Old January 25th, 2008, 01:20 AM   #28
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Great............

Just to expand on what I think may be happening here...........

If the camera is powered down with extraneous voltages on the Component O/P's, somehow (and this would be an extraordinary bad piece of circuit design, but eminently doable) the external voltages are producing an "in error" logic level/ bit/ byte/ flag that is written into the cameras Eprom during shutdown.

Power it back up, and hey presto, you're stuck with it. Power it down, back to Eprom it goes, error and all.

The only way to clear it is to power it down with those levels held down to zero (you can't find it in the menu's because it probably isn't even in a menu option).

Ergo, why the Samsung induces it, and why the Sony clears it.

Takes two bad pieces of design - both the Camera AND the Samsung, but has bought down more aircraft than just about anything else - double system failure (through design).


CS

PS. Further reflection on this has produced the following:

1. What are the exact model numbers of both the Samsung (culprit) and Sony (saviour)?

2. Does this happen with both Canon A1's in identical fashion, or are there differences?

3. Are there any plucky A1 owners out there who are prepared to have that model Samsung possibly scramble your camera in the interests of medical science (obviously, you have to own both camera and tv, gonna be a big ask)?

4. Have you informed Canon Aus. of this interesting snippet, or is Canon in blissfull ignorance (or, shudder, already knows but is keeping quiet, hoping no one will find out)?

Last edited by Chris Soucy; January 25th, 2008 at 02:25 AM. Reason: Addition
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:27 AM   #29
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Bad aircraft design...?

Hi Chris,

Balt speaking now... Your theory makes a lot of sense. I was suspecting something to that effect, especially since the Samsung flatpanel appears to be doing a lot of detecting on its various AV inputs, and lets you know whether it finds anything.

From a pilots perspective I am not sure whether this has in fact brought many airplanes down, but as recent history shows (Qantas losing all electrical power due to water in one GCU, BA38 landing short probably due to some sort of FADEC conflict), the more microcontrollers you have in a system, the more complex things get I guess.

We will test the camera to reproduce the problem after this weekend. We have a shoot coming up and can't afford to be one cam down.

Cheers

- Balt
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