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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 April 18th, 2010, 09:20 PM   #1
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Capturing video from DVR to Canon XH A1S

I'm trying to capture some broadcast HD video from my Time Warner DVR (Scientific Atlanta 8240 HDC). I figure the only way I can do this is to capture the video coming out of the DVR and record it onto a device, such as my Canon XHA1S.

I first hooked up the cable that came with my camera to my DVR video out (yellow, red, white cables) and hooked up the other end to a video monitor for my jib. Success! Audio + video came through just like it does on my TV.

Now how do I record this on my camera so I can then import it into my Mac? I checked out Page 86 of the manual (Analog Line-In) and Page 81 (Using the A/V1 terminal). Everything hooked up as it should be... into the yellow AV input on my camera. But all I see when I go to VCR/Play and hit the pause/record buttons is the blue screen.

If this isn't possible, then I'm open to other suggestions to use my camera to record HD video from my DVR.

Thanks,
Chris
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Old April 19th, 2010, 10:22 PM   #2
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Hi Chris..............

I was so intrigued by your problem I was finally driven to find the A/V cable for my A1 and try it.

Into the A1 A/V 1 port (make sure switch is set to 1), yellow plug into the composite video rca out of the PVR, VCR/ Play mode on the camera, press record and pause at the same time.

Nada, ziltch, bugger all.

Switched camera into a shooting mode, dived into the menus and set Signal Setup - Signal STD to SD 4:3. Clicked on Switch System - Yes.

Back into VCR/ Play mode, hit the record & pause buttons together and hey presto, away it went, video from the PVR.

If you've done all the above, I really don't know why it won't work, it should.


CS
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Old April 19th, 2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Got it!

Chris... hey, it's like I'm talking to myself!

I tried as you suggested, but no joy. But I *did* get it working another way. Here's how.

1. Leave the camera in VCR/PLAY
2. Go to Menu
3. Select Signal Setup
4. Select Playback
5. Change it DV or AUTO (if left at the default HDV, it does not work).

This makes sense! So the problem is that with this cable I cannot record HDV. It's just standard 4:3, which is fine. At least it's something. It records video + audio onto tape.

The only problem with my setup is I have a Sony MRU to record onto a CF card in addition to tape. If I have that cable plugged into the HDV port, it thinks it's recording from HDV -- so I have to unplug it or leave the MRU turned off.

Now the next question is: How do you record HDV using the HDV input? I'd be happy to unplug my Sony MRU on these occasions to record HDV from my DVR. My DVR has HDMI out, as well as component out, so I suppose what I need to look for is a HDMI or component cable with the HDV (Firewire 6-pin) port on the other end.

I don't think such a cable exists though. The closest I could find (so far) is this HDMI to HDV converter for $600+ http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/559115-REG/ -- there's got to be a cheaper way. If HDMI is digital, and Firewire is digital, that should work, no?
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:38 PM   #4
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Ah......

My A1 is set to AUTO anyway, so, of course, it worked here.

I think you may run into the odd little problem trying to record HD from your DVR.

Even if you can find a converter (I've just scanned a couple of sites that proclaim there never will be any such thing as an HDMI to Firewire converter and both the Component to Firewire converters I've found only do SD) I'm not sure the copywriting firmware in the camera won't trip you up.

Your best bet (having given it little thought and even less investigation) would be to record Component into a capture card in your PC/ Mac, tho' whether your DVR is outputting HD on the Component port is open to question, probably best to check that before going too gung ho.

The problem with HDMI is, of course, that HDCP. Even if you had a PC capture card that can catch HDMI, will HDCP let you take it from a DVR?

As the entire point of HDCP was to stop bods doing just that, I can't believe it's that simple, still, I have been known to be wrong before (on numerous occasions, thinking about it).

I'll be interested in how you get on with your quest.


CS

PS: That link you posted seems to have appeared from nowhere, however, note that it says it DOES NOT support HDCP. I can't see it working for your application.

"If HDMI is digital, and Firewire is digital, that should work, no?" sounds so easy. HDCP puts the kybosh on the whole thing.

Last edited by Chris Soucy; April 19th, 2010 at 11:46 PM. Reason: +
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Old April 19th, 2010, 11:46 PM   #5
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Rats!

Well, I will continue my search and if I ever figure it out I'll post back here. It's not a necessity... just would be a nice to have. I am happy that I can now easily record in STD but ultimately it's a HD world and I'd like to capture it in HD.

If anyone else here has any ideas, please respond accordingly.
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