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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, 2013, 01:11 AM   #1
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XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

Hey there. I was asked to do a concert shoot that would require me to record groups in 20 minute sessions (with a 10 min. break between) and provide them a DVD of their performance before the next group.

I got a good price on a Toshiba DR430ku set-top DVD recorder. We use these where I work for precisely this sort of thing. Instead of just feeding it with the AV cable, I noticed it had a firewire port on the front.

I attempted to hook my XHA1 to the firewire port, but the Toshiba keep saying "no device" and on the XHA1 the HDV/DV In notice on the LCD is blinking. I tried numerous things, such as setting the signal to SD16:9 to see if that would work, but it still does the same thing in VCR mode or a camera mode--the HDV/DV In notice blinks and the device won't recognize it.

For fun, I hooked my old Canon GL1 to the Toshiba and it worked perfectly. Since it's going out to regular SD DVD, I might go ahead and just use the AV cables on my XH-A1, but I'm wondering whether there is a setting anywhere in the menus that alters the signal that goes to the firewire. I remember using an HVX recently and it had a menu setting for the "flavor" of DV that it was sending to the firewire cable.

Is there something I'm doing wrong, or is there just a difference that is unavoidable between the two cameras?
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 01:41 AM   #2
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

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Originally Posted by Jeremiah Rickert View Post
I tried numerous things, such as setting the signal to SD16:9 to see if that would work, but it still does the same thing in VCR mode or a camera mode--the HDV/DV In notice blinks and the device won't recognize it.

For fun, I hooked my old Canon GL1 to the Toshiba and it worked perfectly. Since it's going out to regular SD DVD, I might go ahead and just use the AV cables on my XH-A1, but I'm wondering whether there is a setting anywhere in the menus that alters the signal that goes to the firewire. I remember using an HVX recently and it had a menu setting for the "flavor" of DV that it was sending to the firewire cable.
I remember a similar incompatibility report with the HV20 a few years ago. I'm not sure if it was ever resolved. Try switching to VCR mode and in the VCR Menu under signal setup try:

Playback Std: DV
HD Down_conv: On
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 02:51 AM   #3
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

I did try changing those settings as well, but it still didn't work. Just flashed while in VCR mode and didn't show up at all in a video mode. Ah well. AV cables 'tis I guess. :)

Thanks for the reply
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 07:44 AM   #4
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

I've had no problem recording via firewire to a Toshiba D-KR10/D-R400.
Be sure to make the XHA1 settings changes BEFORE you connect to the recorder.
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Old January 22nd, 2013, 09:37 AM   #5
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

Hello Jeremiah.

Do you have an XH-A1 or an XH-A1S? I have both. For what you are trying to do you may have to set the DV Control option. It's on page 74 of the XH-A1 manual and on page 85 of the XH-A1S manual.

When enabled, you see a little lightning bolt icon on the lcd screen. What's confusing, is some devices will work without the function being enabled, so until you run into a device that doesn't work, you likely won't pay attention to that setting. I know I didn't until acquiring an external recording device (CitiDisk HDV) that didn't work without activating the setting on the A1S. However, it did work on the A1. Go figure.

Hope this does the trick. Don't know what else you can try if it doesn't. Good luck.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 10:41 PM   #6
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

I use the DV control with my firestore, so it's always on.

That said, I was able to get it to work by...wait for it... replacing the firewire cable, ha ha. The one I was using was a retractable 4 pin to 4 pin that I've head for years, and I think it was worn out on one end. I replaced the cable and then tried all of the things I'd tried before (like the DV downconvert settings in the VCR menu) and it worked in both Camera and VCR mode.

I'm still trying to decide whether to just use the A/V cables or use the firewire for this event I have to shoot. The whole point of this was that I needed to be able to provide DVDs of a 20 min performance within 5 minutes of the end of the performance. I ran some tests and I can write and finalize a 22 minute clip in 3-4 minutes with this DVD recorder.

Thanks for the suggestions, they were much appreciated.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 11:51 PM   #7
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

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Originally Posted by Jeremiah Rickert View Post
That said, I was able to get it to work by...wait for it... replacing the firewire cable, ha ha.
Getting it to work is great news. Note that capturing through composite video can lead to a choma artifact called dot crawl. I think you also have to be careful about the on-screen display of camera information. It would be interesting to know whether you find much difference in quality one way or the other.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:17 AM   #8
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Re: XHA1 to set-top DVD recorder?

Yeah, I've done this sort of thing before, but with XL2s, so I'm somewhat familiar with the ins and outs. I had already turned off the OSD characters.

Just for fun, I hooked the camera up to the DVD recorder with both AV and FireWire and switched between the two. AV looked a little more saturated. The FireWire looked maybe a tiny bit sharper, but it's hard to tell when I'm using a 56" TV as a monitor since it's being uprezzed. I might try them on a Tube TV and see if that makes a difference.
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