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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 July 23rd, 2006, 07:52 AM   #1
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Xlh1 Genlock

So... i am using 5 XLH1's into an HD-SDI switcher, with the cameras, obviously, in HD. My question, is has anyone successfully gen-locked multiple cameras together? In SD mode, i know the cams will lock to composite video, or black burst. But in HD, what do i feed the camera? The book says it wants to see HD, so i fed it HD-SDI, but no lock. The book also mentions HD Y signal, where do i get that? Is that part of Tri-Level?

I'm trying not to have to use HD frame syncs, they are expensive. But that would be a last resort.

Any advice would be great!

Thanks.

Sandy
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 08:52 AM   #2
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I've never used a separate timecode generator, so more guessing than helping, I suppose. (And I might learn something in the process!) But here's a couple of ideas:

- One thing to watch out for is that the "SDI SPEC" in the menus is set to HD; if it is "SD LOCKED", it won't sync in HD.

- Does the HD-SDI that you're feeding in have a timecode? For instance, the XL H1 itself does not output timecode in its HD-SDI, so its SDI output would not work as the input for another device to sync to. The manual says that the Genlock input of the XL H1 in HD should be able to accept and lock to a composite NTSC signal and lock to that. So maybe try feeding that to the cameras rather than HD-SDI?

I guess the HD Y is just the luminance portion of the signal, and presumably would be a special output of some particular black boxes. But that's way out of my league.
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Old July 23rd, 2006, 03:58 PM   #3
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Sandor, the XL H1 has SMPTE standard GenLock input. In the 60i mode, the input is 29.97 fps drop frame. In the 50i mode, the input is 25 fps. For standard definition operation, use a Blackburst signal. For high definition operation, use an HD Tri-Level sync generator. The camcorder has to be set for Ext. Sync.: Genlock in the Signal Setup menu system. After about ten seconds when the Genlock phase synchronization stabilizes, the H1 is in sync with the external source and the "GenLock" display on the LCD panel in the middle of the power dial will stop flashing. You can manually adjust the phase difference between the H1 and the external sync by choosing "GenLck Adjust" in the Signal Setup menu.

There are a variety of HD Tri-Level sync generators available, with any number of outputs for synchronizing a live multi-camera HD switch, such as the Astro Systems SL-7036, which offers twelve BNC sync outputs. I could not readily find a purchase price for this generator, but similar units are often available on a rental basis if the cost to buy turns out to be prohibitively high.
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Old July 24th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #4
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THanks Chris... i was hoping that was the answer, i had already ordered an Evertz Tri Level generator, but i was looking for confirmation!

Sandy
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Old July 24th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #5
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I appreciate the question, Sandor, as I learned a few things while researching the answer!
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Old July 24th, 2006, 09:41 AM   #6
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Gents,

I believe that if you set sync mode to just GENLOCK then the camera's time code generator will be clocked by the genlock signal but it will not jam to external time code. For that to happen GENLOCK + TC mode is required.

The camera requires an analogue genlock signal which means you can not genlock it with an SDI signal. Either composite or tri-level should serve.

You can use 1 camera as the master sync and time code source but this can get to be a bit awkward as all the others must be daisy chained (composite or component Y out of master into Genlock input of first slave, composite or Y out of that camera to the next etc) and in addition to having a mess of cabling and awkward operation there may not be enough delay adjustment to account for a long chain. Better to have a single distribution source. The Lockit boxes seem pretty neat as no cabling is required. You have one for each camera, jam them all to the same standard in the morning, run around all day untethered and supposedly stay within a frame.
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Old July 26th, 2006, 02:43 PM   #7
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Thanks again Chris...

For those of you interested.... the Canon XLH1, while in HD, require Tri-Level Sync for genlock purposes. Last night, i had 5 XLH1's all getting timecode from an external generator, and tri-level sync from an Evertz sync generator, all hitting a FOR-A HVS1000 switcher in HD-SDI! It works flawlessly....

sandy
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Old July 26th, 2006, 04:26 PM   #8
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Sandy next time take pictures please -- I'd love to see a shot of that setup!
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Old July 26th, 2006, 04:32 PM   #9
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will do... we are using it for the first time Friday, at Irving Plaza in NYC. We will record ISO's in camera (HDV) and the line into a Panasonic 1200 (DVCProHD) deck with HD-SDI ins.

sandy
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Old July 26th, 2006, 04:40 PM   #10
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Wow, I bet that will be a very busy day for you Sandy, but if you think about it, please ask somebody to take some production photos, if you think you can share them publicly. I know a lot of folks here, myself included, would love to have a peek at what you're doing. Thanks in advance,
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 09:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandor Bondorowsky
THanks Chris... i was hoping that was the answer, i had already ordered an Evertz Tri Level generator, but i was looking for confirmation!

Sandy
What did the Evertz cost?
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 11:23 PM   #12
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Sandor, we had a lot of luck cutting the XL-H1's together (we typically use 2) with f900's for an HD line cut. The important thing to remember is that there can be an issue with timecode when the cameras lose power (which may not be a factor depending on what you're shooting. Good luck on your shoot (I've also had a lot of luck with an astro SL-7036 for providing multiple sync) (though a D.A. off of an evertz masterclock also works)
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Old August 5th, 2006, 09:37 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the responses... we used an Evertz tri-level syn (approx $2000 +$1500 for the frame)

Everything went great....except.......delay issues! I thought i was going to get rid of all that by using the HD-SDI. I'm going back to my shop on Monday to experiment and figure out where the FIVE (5) frame delay happens.

We fed the two-mix from the console into the line record deck, and it was off by 5 frames.


sandy
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