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Old May 25th, 2010, 08:48 PM   #1
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NanoFlash and Canon Vixia 11 One issue

I have two cameras. One is the JVC GYM U100 and a Canon Vixia HF11. I was surprised at the quality of the video from the Vixia at 140 GOP. However, as I was recording, The message on the top of the Nano said intermittant signal. When I did some more recording, without the message flashing. I found only a few minutes of video, while the rest was black. What am I missing. The units are connected by a mini hdmi cable. Roman
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Old May 25th, 2010, 09:22 PM   #2
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Is there any way to test to see if it's the cable. HDMI cables are not very sturdy.
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Old May 25th, 2010, 10:49 PM   #3
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I'll use the word - must

Hello Roman,
I feel your pain... I have been there and I know how you feel especially if this is the only opportunity you have to shot whatever your shooting. To be sure your HDMI cables are not going to let you down, you must secure them very well. NF has a HDMI secure plate (cost extra, but its a must have when you use HDMI) and the HDMI on the camera you must do some improvisation. I've tighten the male/female connectors and secured the movement of HDMI cable near camera to almost none. That way you would have a very good solid picture recorded on NF. Failing to secure HDMI cable to camera and NF would most likely triger the "intermittant signal".
Recording with HDMI - always a good idea to have a backup recording to camera. Vixia would record 24p wraped in 60i with 18-20 Mbps. When imported to FCP as AVCHD in ProRess you will enjoy some disent quality... still better then black screen. See other tread about this same problem with HDMI.
Hope this helps you.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 07:08 AM   #4
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I'd like to add a slightly different perspective on this discussion.

Recently on a shoot using one of the most advanced TV trucks on the planet we received daily and recurring "intermittent signal" errors.

This is the truck.
Corplex :: Mobile Television :: Iridium

We were NOT using HDMI but HD-SDI from broadcast cameras fed through Evertz frame synchs in the truck. The Nanos were recording for several days, 10 hours a day laying on a desk in the truck, untouched except for card changes, using 75 ohm cable of the highest quality. The Nanos were all running the latest production firmware which was installed according to CD's guidelines.

Several times a day we received intermittent signal errors at random times from random recorders (we had 7 running simultaneously). We monitored the input side and output side of the Nanos with separate HD monitors. On occasions the output side of the Nano would fail and lose picture with the error message, sometimes it wouldn't. The Nanos did not stop recording however. Since error messages do not go away on Nanos when the perceived fault no longer exists we had to recycle power on the Nanos when this occurred.

We did have multiple discussions with CD about this problem as it was occurring with no resolution.

The feed the Nanos were receiving was exactly the type of feed that any other HD recorder would get and as well what would normally be used for a nationally broadcast HD television show on a major US network. None of the other Sony XDCAM recorders on the show reported a problem with the signal they were receiving at any time during the show.

While cable problems might be the cause of your problem, we have found that the Nano can report those errors and sometimes lose output when the source is extremely stable, when proper cables are used, and where there are no environmental, power or other influences which might cause problems.

Jeff
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Old May 26th, 2010, 07:14 AM   #5
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The funny thing about this

I did restart the nanoflash after I received the intermitant signal message, It never appeared again, but I would only get a minute or so of video the rest of the files were black. However, the audio did continue to record.
Strange Roman
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Old May 26th, 2010, 12:35 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
We did have multiple discussions with CD about this problem as it was occurring with no resolution.
Jeff & Roman,

Well you sure know how to scare the hell out of a guy! I am shooting with the Vixia on Tuesday and then with an HDX-900 for most of June. What's the story with this instability? I could see it being a cable issue if it was limited to the Vixia/HDMI. But Jeff's situation should have been rock solid.

OTOH, I shot for 5 weeks straight with the HDX-900 back in March with nary a hiccup.

I gave up biting my nails a long time ago, but... ;-)

Any info would be appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old May 26th, 2010, 01:24 PM   #7
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This Reads Like A Hardware Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
I'd like to add a slightly different perspective on this discussion.

Recently on a shoot using one of the most advanced TV trucks on the planet we received daily and recurring "intermittent signal" errors.

This is the truck.
Corplex :: Mobile Television :: Iridium

We were NOT using HDMI but HD-SDI from broadcast cameras fed through Evertz frame synchs in the truck. The Nanos were recording for several days, 10 hours a day laying on a desk in the truck, untouched except for card changes, using 75 ohm cable of the highest quality. The Nanos were all running the latest production firmware which was installed according to CD's guidelines.

Several times a day we received intermittent signal errors at random times from random recorders (we had 7 running simultaneously). We monitored the input side and output side of the Nanos with separate HD monitors. On occasions the output side of the Nano would fail and lose picture with the error message, sometimes it wouldn't. The Nanos did not stop recording however. Since error messages do not go away on Nanos when the perceived fault no longer exists we had to recycle power on the Nanos when this occurred.

We did have multiple discussions with CD about this problem as it was occurring with no resolution.

The feed the Nanos were receiving was exactly the type of feed that any other HD recorder would get and as well what would normally be used for a nationally broadcast HD television show on a major US network. None of the other Sony XDCAM recorders on the show reported a problem with the signal they were receiving at any time during the show.

While cable problems might be the cause of your problem, we have found that the Nano can report those errors and sometimes lose output when the source is extremely stable, when proper cables are used, and where there are no environmental, power or other influences which might cause problems.

Jeff
....Hi Jeff: Wow ! Based on your specifics, I'd have to suggest this could well be a *Hardware issue with the Nano.* (??) Jeff, how long into the minutes of recording operation does the Intermittent signal commence ? After shut down and restart does the error repeat ? If so, how many minutes after power cycle does it happen (again ?) ?
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Old May 26th, 2010, 05:18 PM   #8
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Mark,

It was random. 7 separate units, 7 separate feeds. Some units went 2-3 days without a hiccup, but I think the point is that the Nano is intolerant of issues with the signal which would not give another unit like a Sony XDCAM HD optical recorder any problem.

One of the things I discussed with CD was about jitter. We did not have a good way to measure jitter although we did have very high end waveform/vectorscope type devices which showed no issues.

Normally the units did not stop recording and the files were fine as far as I know, and we did create quite a pile of data. On rare occasions the Nano would create one extra valid file on cards but not always when it reported "intermittent signal." And again at times the output would stop working (no image) even though it continued to record and the minutes left on the card counted down properly. A recycle of power corrected the problem each time.

Cumulatively with about 350 Nano hours of recording we experienced about 30 instances of this problem. About half the time the picture would be fine with the error message and half the picture would go away. As I said we constantly monitored the signal coming into the Nano and never saw a issue.

I would suggest that if your output fails during recording you may be fine. It just makes one (and their producer) pretty nervous.

Jeff
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Old May 26th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #9
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Oh THAT issue...

Now I understand...

That "the-monitor-loses-signal-but-the-recording-is-fine" issue is one I am painfully familiar with. Scared the livin' hell out of me the first time I used the nano... and drove my DP nuts as he tried to operate with the monitor winking on and off. Same symptoms everyone else is reporting.

In my case, CD was very responsive and tweaked the jitter in the HD-SDI output signal... AND Marshall replaced the HD-SDI and motherboard in my V-LCD651ST-3GSDI monitor. I seems both the nano and the monitor were to blame. With a fair amount of testing, all appears to be well now... but I haven't beat them up yet. I'll find out when I start shooting again next week.

Jeff, I believe your experience is the same as mine. I only saw this at the output stage to the monitor, never lost any input. Never any black files as Roman seems to indicate. Recorded black files would be weird. If the HD-SDI input fails, the nano stops recording, right? Never happened to me... and I recorded over 650 files for over 1TB of data. I did have 3 corrupt files that CD rescued for me... bad EOF messages.
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Old May 26th, 2010, 07:59 PM   #10
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Random is Even Worse !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Mark,

It was random. 7 separate units, 7 separate feeds. Some units went 2-3 days without a hiccup, but I think the point is that the Nano is intolerant of issues with the signal which would not give another unit like a Sony XDCAM HD optical recorder any problem.
....Hey Jeff: To me this is an even worse case scenario because you don't know which units will sometimes fail and which will not fail. Why do some units fail while others do not yet all receive exactly the same synchronized signal ???????????? This is a big question to answer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
One of the things I discussed with CD was about jitter. We did not have a good way to measure jitter although we did have very high end waveform/vectorscope type devices which showed no issues.
...If you are gen locked to the same reference signal, then jitter can only enter into the chain via an unstable source signal. EDIT: Or the internal signal processing is creating the jitter, but would this not be unlikely ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Normally the units did not stop recording and the files were fine as far as I know, and we did create quite a pile of data. On rare occasions the Nano would create one extra valid file on cards but not always when it reported "intermittent signal." And again at times the output would stop working (no image) even though it continued to record and the minutes left on the card counted down properly. A recycle of power corrected the problem each time.
...This is plain darn scary ! It is good to know the units were still recording correctly even though this malfunction in standard monitoring out was gone.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
Cumulatively with about 350 Nano hours of recording we experienced about 30 instances of this problem. About half the time the picture would be fine with the error message and half the picture would go away. As I said we constantly monitored the signal coming into the Nano and never saw a issue.

I would suggest that if your output fails during recording you may be fine. It just makes one (and their producer) pretty nervous.

Jeff
...I guess this is why they call it "confidence monitoring." When the picture disappears from your monitor due diligence is to stop recording and check your input signal, but if you're rolling in a truck during a live concert, then this is simply not possible. However, you did mention you had 7 units simul recording, so one of them's gotta work ! But still ???????
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff Silverman View Post
And again at times the output would stop working (no image) even though it continued to record... A recycle of power corrected the problem each time.
Sure glad I know about this issue. I have my Steadicam rig setup to get the monitor feed from the nanoFlash. If it goes blank I could in a pinch, rely on the camera's built in LCD but that would not exude confidence in a DP/Producer riding shotgun looking at the monitor. Fortunately, I don't work on a set where I could be holding up a huge crew, if this were to happen.

I am hoping there is a programming workaround (for CD) where a frequent screen refresh (on something to the same effect that) can be invoked without causing too much "blinking" on the output.

Thankfully, to date I have not had this happen.

-Andrew

Last edited by Andrew Stone; May 27th, 2010 at 12:14 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 09:39 AM   #12
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I think it is rare. At least that is my impression. And it bears repeating that I have NEVER lost a recording because of the monitor issue... knock wood.

I'll be out on the road beating up my set-up for the next three weeks. If there is a problem, you all will be the second to know. I'll immediately go to CD. Say what you want, they have always been responsive to any issues I have brought them.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:33 AM   #13
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Guys, don't you happen to use your nanoFlashes with Power Save mode enabled?

Here, whenever I engage this mode, I also have frequent blanking of the "confidence" (loop-through) monitoring...
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Old May 27th, 2010, 10:45 AM   #14
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Actually, just turned mine off a few days ago. I remember that advice from some other thread on this forum. I don't remember why but it must have been important enough for me to leave a Post-It note on my nano travel case to "turn off power-save modes". Damned if i can remember why.
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Old May 27th, 2010, 12:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Guys, don't you happen to use your nanoFlashes with Power Save mode enabled?

Here, whenever I engage this mode, I also have frequent blanking of the "confidence" (loop-through) monitoring...
I would be good if this were the case and I hope it is.
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