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Old December 22nd, 2008, 04:14 AM   #1
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Urgent Help Required!

Hi everyone,

Im glad with the responses from Tommy and Dan regarding the issues I had with the XDR. Nonetheless, I decided to bring it out (in fine weather) for a shoot. The files were recorded fine until my Polecam operator accidentally switched the Polecam off while the XDR was still recording. The XDR itself was not off but the last shot was not recorded in. Tried to play back but the XDR flashed "No last clip". After a couple of times, it was ok but any attempts to try playing the last clip resulted in the first clip being played....

Upon returning to our office, I downloaded the files in our Avid (Adrenaline HD) systems (50mb QT) and all the editor saw was a white QT screen while playing back. Attempts to play the files in FCP 6.0.4 gave the same white (or blank) screen. Can anyone suggest any solutions or explain what has gone wrong here? The files are required to be in the Avid for editing by tmw (231208) and Im not so sure of the backend to make wise decisions.

Thank you very much in advance and hope to get some advice real soon!

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 06:57 AM   #2
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Over the last 3 days we recorded over 3 TB of XDR files using 8 XDR's Iso recording 1080i cameras. If the camera feed was interrupted, the XDR would not stop recording and the last file was corrupted. We were using firmware 193, 50Mbs, 32GB Transcend 133x.

We also had a number of other problems including XDR files on 4 CF cards which would not open (or even show up) on a CF reader, but they would play back on the XDR. We dubbed those files from one XDR to another. We saved those CF cards and will send them to CD today.

Have you tried playing back "all files" back off the card to see if it plays play the last clip (as opposed to playing using last clip)?
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 08:12 AM   #3
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Hi Jeff,

Thanks for your advice. I tried the play all and it did not show the last clip thus that would mean it wasn't recorded. The problems I have is simply playing the files in FCS 2 and QT Pro. Avid cant play them neither....

Weehan
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:52 AM   #4
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Weehan,

I suspect you are out of luck.

Some other notes which we noticed this weekend.

We had occasional problems with cards not properly reformating and coming up with a card error message. Normally recycling power and another reformat solved it.

We had one unit which once lost lock with the incoming video signal. It was fine when recycled.

We had an occasion where a unit would not stop recording even though the video was solid. The last file was corrupted.

On average we recorded 56 full cards a day, and had about 2-3 problems each day. Most of those related to losing the final clip.

One card was destroyed by putting it into a Leopard machine (even after we had warned the client not to).

We noticed that about 10% of the time that the blue stop light would come on during recording by itself, although the unit kept recording and nothing was lost.

We noticed that several units kept coming up asking whether to turn on 48v Phantom power even though it previously has been turned off. This occurred when the unit was turned on. Hitting stop cleared the message. Selecting phantom off in the menu did not solve the problem.

We noticed that since the timecode on the unit is merely reading the incoming timecode and not free running it itself (once jammed like a normal deck would do), that any problem with incoming timecode was displayed. This actually resulted in us discovering a problem with the TV truck's master time code generator.

We noticed (and didn't have time to fully test), that the two channels of analog audio seemed to be additive and mono when played in Final Cut. We did not test to see if they were discreet upon playback in the XDR itself.

We brought and used DVCam decks to record a downconverted version of the footage (the show will eventually air in SD 16:9). I would suggest, for now that a secondary record be used when what is being shot is irreplaceable.

If anyone has any further questions on our experiences feel free to contact me.

Jeff
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 05:53 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yeo Wee Han View Post
Hi everyone,

Im glad with the responses from Tommy and Dan regarding the issues I had with the XDR. Nonetheless, I decided to bring it out (in fine weather) for a shoot. The files were recorded fine until my Polecam operator accidentally switched the Polecam off while the XDR was still recording. The XDR itself was not off but the last shot was not recorded in. Tried to play back but the XDR flashed "No last clip". After a couple of times, it was ok but any attempts to try playing the last clip resulted in the first clip being played....

Upon returning to our office, I downloaded the files in our Avid (Adrenaline HD) systems (50mb QT) and all the editor saw was a white QT screen while playing back. Attempts to play the files in FCP 6.0.4 gave the same white (or blank) screen. Can anyone suggest any solutions or explain what has gone wrong here? The files are required to be in the Avid for editing by tmw (231208) and Im not so sure of the backend to make wise decisions.

Thank you very much in advance and hope to get some advice real soon!

Cheers

WeeHan
Dear WeeHan,

I will attempt to help.

I realize that you did not power off the Flash XDR, but I need to make this point first.

Turning off the Flash XDR while recording will cause the last clip to be lost, as we can not close the clip, nor write the required index of frames without power.

We will need to investigate your problem of losing footage when you turned off the camera.
Earlier, we had simulated this, but in our tests, if I remember correctly, we turned it off for a while, then turned it back on. We will conduct some tests as soon as possible.

The Flash XDR does not currently remember the "last clip", if you power it down. So, if you have "Play Last Clip" selected in the menu, then record a clip, you can play back the last clip. But, if you power it down, it will say "no last clip", but one or more clips will be on the CompactFlash card (if any were recorded).

At this time, if you record in Quicktime format, we recommend using FCP 6.0.4 or higher to edit the clips.

What version of the Flash XDR firmware are you using? We recommend 0.0.193, as we have significant improvement in the filenaming structure.

We have run hundreds of tests recording QT clips and then playing them back in Final Cut Pro 6.0.4.

Please remember that we only support Transcend cards, specifically, 16 GB 300x and 32 GB 133x cards. Other cards can and will cause problems. The error messages that you reported earlier indicate that we can not successfully communicate with your cards at the speeds we use.

This may seem stringent, but while it would appear that CompactFlash cards are approximately the same, they are not. This is especially important when one is attempting to get every last bit of performance out of the cards, as we are.

WeeHan, I am sorry that I missed your post earlier today, I was away from a computer.

If I do not respond to an urgent post, you may email me at dan@convergent-design.com.
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; December 22nd, 2008 at 06:25 PM.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 06:16 PM   #6
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Dear Jeff,

Thank you for you post. We will investigate the issues you mentioned as soon as possible.

The warning about +48V phantom power is confusing.

If you power off the Flash XDR with phantom power on, then when it comes back up, for safety reasons, the phantom power is not turned back on automatically.

(You may have turned it off at the end of a previous shoot where you were using phantom powered microphones, and for this shoot phantom power may be damaging to your equipment.)

The important point is to set phantom power appropriately when you power up the Flash XDR. (I am not certain, but pressing the center key (the key surrounded by arrows) may clear the warning message.)

Please note that on a shoot, it is not necesssary to frequently power off the Flash XDR. For example, it is not necessary to power off the Flash XDR to plug or unplug CompactFlash cards. Just be certain that you are not recording or playing back when you insert or remove cards.

If I do not respond to an urgent post, you may email me at dan@convergent-design.com.
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 07:07 PM   #7
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Hi Jeff and Dan,

Thanks alot for the help so far. Dan's explanation of the "no last clip" explains why I could not playback the last clip: the unit was still recording when the camera was turned off. But Dan, is there a buffer within the unit that prevents this from happening? Coming from a digital photog background, still cameras can still record to the media cards even if the camera is off. Of course, the large files of the XDR may not allow this.

The issue I have now is (ok, it plays fine on one of the MBP's here) how to get this QT file to Avid? A conversion to MXF seems to be the ticket? I hope its not a answered-a-thousand-times question.

Cheers

WeeHan
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 07:23 PM   #8
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Oh forgot to add that the cards we are using are the recommended Transcend 32gb, 133X. Right now if I have trouble formatting them, I will format them in the CF card recorder that comes with Sony's HVR-Z7 and then go back to the XDR to format the cards. Works well so far but still a nit.

Cheers

Weehan
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Old December 22nd, 2008, 11:42 PM   #9
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Dear WeeHan,

Please format the cards in the Flash XDR.

This is accomplished by

1. First removing any cards that you do not want to be formatted.

2. Insert the cards that you want to format in the Flash XDR.

3. Press F2 and F5 simultaneously.

When you press these two keys, a formating message comes up.

If you do not see this message, just press the F2 and F5 again. They have to be pressed at the same time for this to work. Just press both keys quickly and then release both keys simultaneously and the message should come up.

Then you have to confirm by pressing and releasing the same two keys.

Formatting takes under 15 seconds.

This is a tried and true procedure. Please do not format in other devices.
(This is stressed in the Quick Start Guide).



Sorry, the Flash XDR requires the Camera and the Flash XDR to be On, to record properly.

We just installed our Avid system at Convergent Design. I do not know the specifics concerning reading Quicktime files in Avid, nor do I know the exact software release required.


We are working on our firmware release to support MXF.

We are also develoing a Quicktime to MXF conversion utility.

At this time, I suggest that you use your MacBook Pro to read the QT files.
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