XH A1E (PAL) - 'black line' downconvert problem 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 February 15th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #1
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XH A1E (PAL) - 'black line' downconvert problem

I would like to have some more feedback regarding a problem with the 'HD DOWN-CONV' (HDV to DV downconvert) option, available the XH A1's VCR mode.

In both HDV mode as DV mode our XH A1 delivers perfect footage. No issues. This is a magnificent camera, delivering high end video output, no discussion.

However, in the downconvert option - on top of the frames - there's a flickering black line. It's not really against the frame border, but a few lines lower.

Probably only one interlacing field is affected by this phenomenon, the second isn't (...not easy to find out, but it looks like that). With some effort this also viewable on the camera displays, but surely during the capturing process seen on the computer and, and evidently stored in the captured files.

We did try several NLE's and capture software, (very different) computers, firewire cables: this is not a 'computer issue', but the camera generating something funny, however, the phenomenon only appears when the firewire cable is plugged in

First I thought this camera was defectuous or more likely, there was some kind of software/calibration issue.

After an extremely tedious helpdesk discussion process with Canon support, and after involving a third party company executing the repairs for them, the decision was taken to exchange this camera with a new one. Out of 'commercial reasons', because according to them the original camera was entirely within spec (so in fact, telling me that I've got bad eyes).

Guess what... this XH A1 is showing the same problem, in a completely identical way. So this seems to be a more generic isse.

Are there other people out experiencing the same?

Note: this is a PAL version of the XH A1.
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XH A1E (PAL) - 'black line' downconvert problem-lillo1.jpg   XH A1E (PAL) - 'black line' downconvert problem-lillo2.jpg  

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Old February 16th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #2
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XH A1E (PAL) - 'black line' downconvert problem

I have exactly the same problem with my A1. You don't see it on a monitor, since it's in the overscan area, but when looking at footage in the Premiere Pro capture window or in Windows Media Player or other viewers, it is very apparent. It only happens with HDV to SD in-camera downconverts. There is no difference with 25F or 50i.

For what it's worth, the HV10 does exactly the same thing with its downconverted footage. I won't post any clips, but it is just the same as Dirk describes.

Surely this is not just a Belgian thing?


Bill Engeler
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Old February 16th, 2007, 11:10 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Engeler
I have exactly the same problem with my A1. You don't see it on a monitor, since it's in the overscan area, but when looking at footage in the Premiere Pro capture window or in Windows Media Player or other viewers, it is very apparent. It only happens with HDV to SD in-camera downconverts. There is no difference with 25F or 50i.
Happy to hear I'm not the only one having bad eyes, as Canon tried to tell me in a polite way...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Engeler
For what it's worth, the HV10 does exactly the same thing with its downconverted footage. I won't post any clips, but it is just the same as Dirk describes.
So very likely, this is a software bug. The just took the HV10 code and migrated it to the A1.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Engeler
Surely this is not just a Belgian thing?
I'm pretty sure it isn't. The second camera was sent from Amsterdam, where Canon seems to keep the stock for Europe. Reason why I posted this message: there must be more people seeing the same issue, I hope Canon reads this.


In general: ofcourse, there's a perfect workaround. But a major option like this should work since it is an important time-saver, and as this is perfectly possible with other brands.

Overall, I was really very disappointed by the Canon helpdesk. What is a excellent concept worth if you fail to deliver any professional support?
At the end of the day, I'm still facing the same problem.

I hope that one day some kind of firmware update will fix the problem. But this is not a certainty, ofcourse.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 12:04 PM   #4
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I've reported the problem to Canon's helpdesk via email. We can only hope that someone takes some action. There really isn't professional-level support for these cameras. I don't mean to knock Canon - I suppose this helps them to charge a relatively low price for the camera. It is an extremely competitive industry.

The first-level technicians are generalists, and really know next to nothing about these cameras. Second-level, much the same. You need to be passed on to the higher levels to get someone who even understands many of these problems, and it takes time and persistence to get there. Even the repair technicians at the service centres only know what Canon Inc. in Japan deem that they need to know.

As far as firmware updates go, this all comes from Japan. I'm sure if Japan was PAL, this would have been solved last year. As it is, I hope I don't have to work around this too much longer, as down-converting in the camera is my preferred workflow for now. It's a great camera.
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Old February 16th, 2007, 05:23 PM   #5
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Thanks, Bill, for your response.

I went up to the second level of Canon support, and the lady I spoke probably didn't even know how the camera looked like. It was a non-Canon company ETB that had to 'repair' the defectuous camera (what a joke). I suppose that the idea to exchange the camera was due to the fact they didn't understand the problem at all. If anyone from Canon would have forwarded me a 'client survey', the score would have been bad.

I personnally disliked Canon pretty much, because of this type of problems, I'd heard from other people a few times before.

However this concept is at indeed a very attractive price level... but even within these stretched competition circumstances, I'm not really understanding Canon's standpoint.

For this type of equipment people are prepared to pay an additional fee to get a 'real' support comparable to Sony's Silver Support. But it wasn't even possible with Canon. They aren't exactly a cheap China brand, so what are the pro guys doing with a defectuous EOSD1s?

Also the fact that PAL is maybe a less massive market then NTSC doesn't seem to be a reason for me to provide a worse service, and neglect our complaints. If Canon wants to be present with HDV-products on the European market, they need to serve us as good as anyone else, also regarding the applied firmware. Doesn't Europe show up as a big lump in their quarter results as well?

This is the first time I was seduced to buy anything from Canon, and even though the A1 is an excellent camera, probably even the best in this market corner, I'm disappointed, I would hesitate to do the same again.

Because this problem is after all a real minor issue, but I wouldn't know what happens if anything serious goes wrong. One should lose his confidence for less than that.

Last edited by Dirk Bouwen; February 17th, 2007 at 02:59 AM.
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Old May 1st, 2007, 05:42 AM   #6
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Hello,

Iīve got the same problem! Can Canon service fix this problem now?
Are there any PAL Cams that donīt have this Problem?

THX for your help
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 02:39 AM   #7
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same problem here...
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:05 AM   #8
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Is there anyone with a PAL model that doesnīt has this Problem????
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:45 AM   #9
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I've just noticed it on mine. PAL version. Could someone inform Canon about it? Is it in-camera software problem or what?
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 05:58 AM   #10
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Same here too, although I do not get the problem down-converting to play back on my sd television, just on my computer screen in windows media/vlc player e.t.c.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 08:45 AM   #11
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many MANY cameras have a scan line somewhere.. on the DVX100 its non existant, on the Sony PD150 in DVCam mode, you might notice a green bar on the left hand side running along the left edge (on the edge itself)
My old MX500 has a line running along teh right hand side ...

i dotn knwo what the issue is considering this is in the overscan area.. unless of course yoru runnign this through a projector.. only then will there be no bezel to cover this anomoly
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Jefferson View Post
many MANY cameras have a scan line somewhere.. on the DVX100 its non existant, on the Sony PD150 in DVCam mode, you might notice a green bar on the left hand side running along the left edge (on the edge itself)
My old MX500 has a line running along teh right hand side ...

i dotn knwo what the issue is considering this is in the overscan area.. unless of course yoru runnign this through a projector.. only then will there be no bezel to cover this anomoly
Itīs 16:9 so itīs ALWAYS visible!!! (on a normal TV and on the Computer)
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 07:40 PM   #13
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but in a widescreen tv with a bezel it isnt right...
hmmm..
maybe a PAL downconvert resolution issue... considering weve got 576 lines compared to NTSC 480... more than likely this is the case

has anyone tried converting in the NLE?
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 01:32 AM   #14
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No problem when converting in NLE. Only with in-camera downconversion.
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Old May 5th, 2007, 07:37 AM   #15
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Just discovered it also... incredible! Anyone has got any decent answer from Canon?
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