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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.


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Old January 17th, 2014, 02:16 AM   #1
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Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Dear all,

I have been reading quite a lot in this forum and found a lot of really helpful information already, so thanks to all the contributers!

Here goes my question: I got an old XL H1 from a friend, that works just fine. Only problem: when capturing the HDV footage in Avid MC7, capturing is interrupted almost every 2 or 3 seconds. The TC in the capturing window just freezes, while the camera itself is still playing, shortly after that I get notified that there is no more input and am asked if I want to keep or discard the clip...

To sort out the problem, I installed trials of different editing / capturing programs, among them HDVSPLIT (works a little better, but also interrupts every now and then) and Premiere Pro CS6.

The latter works perfect, so I do not believe the fault is caused by the camera or Firewire connection. So Premiere Pro might solve the problem, but I just can't afford to buy yet another editing software, only to master the capturing process. Maybe, on the long run, I might just go for an external capturing solution like Atomos Samurai, but for now, I would like to solve this issue with the hard- and software available.

Any ideas how to get on with this?

Best regards!
Dietrich
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Old January 18th, 2014, 06:57 AM   #2
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Some capture program will stop capture if there is any anomaly in the IEEE1394 data stream, other will capture through it, and many allow setting what default action to take if there is an issue in the data. I would check the capture program settings to see how they are configured.

The anomaly could be a drop out, or perhaps a tape read error, and could be just in the audio stream, A head cleaning might help.

Due to error correction in the camcorder analog playback output the anomaly might not be apparent ion a monitor. (The IEEE1394 output is not subject to the same level of error correction.)
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Old January 18th, 2014, 07:44 AM   #3
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Hi Don,

thanks for your reply. That makes sense. Might well be a problem with the tape deck / heads (though I cleaned them recently...).

What makes me wonder, though, is that it works perfectly fine in Premiere Pro (and, just by watching them, I would say the clips are fine. Is there any method to test the integrity of the captured files for little dropouts etc?).

I already activated the "Capture through TC breaks" setting, among others but it did not help... Does anybody know how to tell Avid to ignore any anormalities in the IEEE1394 data stream???

Again, thanks a lot!

Dietrich

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Originally Posted by Don Palomaki View Post
Some capture program will stop capture if there is any anomaly in the IEEE1394 data stream, other will capture through it, and many allow setting what default action to take if there is an issue in the data. I would check the capture program settings to see how they are configured.

The anomaly could be a drop out, or perhaps a tape read error, and could be just in the audio stream, A head cleaning might help.

Due to error correction in the camcorder analog playback output the anomaly might not be apparent ion a monitor. (The IEEE1394 output is not subject to the same level of error correction.)
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Old January 18th, 2014, 08:23 AM   #4
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

I don't capture HDV in Avid anymore, but use HDV Split. Probably the tape you are trying to capture has little hiccups. Avid is very touchy. If I have trouble with a file that I've already captured, I run a Scene Splitting on it in HDV Split. There are two tabs, Capture and Scene Splitting in HDV Split. Usually there is a small drop out or other hiccup and HDV Split splits it into multiple files, often only a frame or two in length. These clips are often bad, so I don't use them. But the rest of the clips from the tape are salvaged. So, you might lose a few frames, but manage to salvage the bulk of the tape.

This scene splitting feature also salvages M2T files on cards and hard drives that Avid has problems with, not just tapes. It's apparently an undocumented feature, at least I don't remember reading about it. HDV Split is a very handy program for me. What Don says is true about these anomalies often not showing up when you are playing the tape. But they sure show up in Media Composer. The old Avid Liquid would capture these problematic files, but just leave a marker where the problem occurred. Then I'd just make a cut a few frames before and another a few frames after. As far as I know, that's the only editing program that ever had that particular feature, but the program is dead now.

Sorry, but I haven't found any settings in Media Composer to make it less picky capturing HDV tapes. Again, as Don said, the problem is often on just the audio track for those short one or two frame clips.
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Last edited by Roger Van Duyn; January 18th, 2014 at 08:37 AM. Reason: additional comment
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Old January 18th, 2014, 09:01 AM   #5
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Hi Roger,

thanks for your input, as well! O.k., I will check out HDV Split again, maybe it turns out a viable workaround in the end (already used it, and worked better, but still split my recordings in many tiny clips).

I'll give it another try on Monday when I'm back at my desk...

Thanks again,
Dietrich




Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn View Post
I don't capture HDV in Avid anymore, but use HDV Split. Probably the tape you are trying to capture has little hiccups. Avid is very touchy. If I have trouble with a file that I've already captured, I run a Scene Splitting on it in HDV Split. There are two tabs, Capture and Scene Splitting in HDV Split. Usually there is a small drop out or other hiccup and HDV Split splits it into multiple files, often only a frame or two in length. These clips are often bad, so I don't use them. But the rest of the clips from the tape are salvaged. So, you might lose a few frames, but manage to salvage the bulk of the tape.

This scene splitting feature also salvages M2T files on cards and hard drives that Avid has problems with, not just tapes. It's apparently an undocumented feature, at least I don't remember reading about it. HDV Split is a very handy program for me. What Don says is true about these anomalies often not showing up when you are playing the tape. But they sure show up in Media Composer. The old Avid Liquid would capture these problematic files, but just leave a marker where the problem occurred. Then I'd just make a cut a few frames before and another a few frames after. As far as I know, that's the only editing program that ever had that particular feature, but the program is dead now.

Sorry, but I haven't found any settings in Media Composer to make it less picky capturing HDV tapes. Again, as Don said, the problem is often on just the audio track for those short one or two frame clips.
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Old January 19th, 2014, 08:41 AM   #6
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

If Premiere Pro work perfect, you might try the lite version, Premiere Elements, which costs under US$100 and use it for capture only. (I would expect the capture engine to be the same, but cannot confirm that.) That of course assumes MC can use the captured files.

If all else fails you could try analog capture of the audio and video output from the camcorder, if you have a HD-capable capture card; e.g., a Black Magic Intensity Pro.

Liquid was mentioned above. I switched to Edius when Liquid ended and AVCHD became dominant. I have found Edius to be to my liking.
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Old January 19th, 2014, 08:52 AM   #7
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Hi Don,

already tried Premiere Elements, too (trial version). If it had worked, I would do as you propose. But PE did not recognize the camera at all. Can't figure out why...

Meanwhile I've done some more research and found a note on updated versions of the Windows 7 Firewire driver, that can also cause problems with HDV capturing. Avid says that sometimes the issue can be solved by returning to the legacy driver:

Changing to the Legacy IEEE-1394 (Firewire) Driver in Windows 7

Will try this tomorrow and post my results, as well...

Thanks, Don!

D
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Old January 21st, 2014, 06:16 AM   #8
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Re: Problem with Capturing Footage from XL H1 in Avid MC7

Using the Legacy Driver in Win7 is a common solution to IEEE1394 problems. If MC still objects, try it with PE. You could also try EDIUS Neo for capture as a modest cost NLE alternative.
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