Bad Time Code when Digitizing at DVinfo.net

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Old July 31st, 2003, 04:45 PM   #1
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Bad Time Code when Digitizing

I keep getting random time code errors when I try to digitize my XL1's footage. It's not all the time. I take care to start recording over the last 30 seconds recorded before I turned the camera off, but it still does throw some erros. I do not want to stripe because of head wear. Is there anything that can be done to ensure good time code continuity without having to stripe?
Thanks.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 11:37 AM   #2
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Well record review before you shoot is one of the best ones you can do. Another thing is to make sure you are changing tape brands. If you are switching between brands you may be throwing the tracking off.

After that try a pass with the head cleaner and see if that helps.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 11:47 AM   #3
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Thank you for your prompt reply Nathan.
You mean to press "Record Review" every time before each shot or only after powering on the camera (assuming the cassette in in since the day before)?
I'm only using Panasonic brand tape, so brand switching 's not the problem.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 12:00 PM   #4
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When the camera goes into standby it unloads the heads. Sometimes this causes the tape to move off a valid t/c.

Use record review to back the tape up to last valid t/c and away you go.

If you loose some of your t/cs, you can copy your tape to another dv camcorder via firewire which will then lay down a complete and new t/c on the destination tape.
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Old August 1st, 2003, 12:18 PM   #5
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I'll try that. It certainly sounds logical. I'll let you know what happened. Thanks again Nathan.
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Old August 11th, 2003, 10:38 PM   #6
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<<<-- Originally posted by Nathan Gifford : When the camera goes into standby it unloads the heads. Sometimes this causes the tape to move off a valid t/c.

Use record review to back the tape up to last valid t/c and away you go.

If you loose some of your t/cs, you can copy your tape to another dv camcorder via firewire which will then lay down a complete and new t/c on the destination tape. -->>>

Nathan, I found that this doesn't work. I was having the same type of problem with broken time code a couple months ago and had my "defective" tape duped by a local a/v house in the hope that it would lay down a new, unbroken TC. However, it simply copied the old timecode right onto the new miniDV dub.

What finally solved the mystery was the fact that my company's XL1 had never had the internal lithium battery replaced since we bought it (about 4-5 yrs. ago). I was losing timecode when my camera battery would run down and I would replace it with a charged one. The lithium battery was too weak to keep the timecode correctly when the power source was removed.

Hope this helps, Cristian.

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Old August 12th, 2003, 05:20 AM   #7
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The button battery. Are we talking the Date/Time information being off, or the house:minutes:seconds:frames type of time code?
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Old August 12th, 2003, 08:13 AM   #8
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<<<-- Originally posted by Don Palomaki : The button battery. Are we talking the Date/Time information being off, or the house:minutes:seconds:frames type of time code? -->>>

I believe it's the latter, Don. I was at Macworld last month and chatted with one of the Canon video reps and he was the one who, after I described the timecode breaks I was getting, suggested replacing this battery. Since I don't believe that the XL1 creates a "real" timecode but bases it on the clock, then the clock going blank with the removal of power was causing me to have a break or resetting of my code. When I tried to import my tape into FCP, it would always abort with the error message about timecode breaks. Dubbing the tape to a new DV dub resulted in exactly the same errors as before which is why I got involved in this thread. My original thread was running in the Mac FCP area but I thought my info might be of use to others. And for anybody else reading this far, the Canon guy also assured me that the XL1 replacement would be available in 2004....didn't say which part of the year, though!

dave
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Old August 12th, 2003, 09:23 AM   #9
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It makes sense because the CR battery acts as a memory back up for volatile data. When the battery is removed the TC generator resets if the CR battery is weak or dead. The tape also comes off the heads and if you don't review search or rewind into good TC, the generator resets to zero.

The local AV house probably cloned the existing TC which is why the dupe has the bad TC. Tell the AV house to regenerate fresh TC on the copy and you'll be fine. Or do it yourself on consumer equipment. Most consumer and prosumer equipment can't clone TC.
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Old August 12th, 2003, 12:48 PM   #10
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Oddly enough Jeff, I explained what was happening to the dupe house (overexplained it, I thought) and told them that I needed a dupe that would have a new timecode striped onto the dub tape. For whatever reason, they didn't do this. Had I known what was happening at the time, I could have done as you suggested and simply back the tape up a little each time I swapped camera batteries....live and learn, I guess!

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