FS-4 Pro HD - Bad News about DV & HDV timecode... at DVinfo.net

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Old January 30th, 2006, 09:19 PM   #1
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FS-4 Pro HD - Bad News about DV & HDV timecode...

Doing more tests with my FS-4 Pro HD, I found that not only HDV, but also the standard DV files do not have timecode embedded in the file clips themselves.

If you record some DV footage to your FS-4 Pro HD in regualr DV mode, then you will see that EXT TIMECODE being read from the camera seems fine. If you play back from the FS4, you will see the counter reading the correct timecode.. This is all wonderful....

HOWEVER....

If you connect your FS-4 Pro HD to your computer and put it in "HDD MODE" so it can show up on your computer as a hard drive.....and then you copy your files over to your hard drive (desktop or my documents or ANYWHERE), when you open them up in your NLE, you will discover that the files now all of a sudden begin with 00:00:00;00. (this is BAD news)

If this is true, how does the FS-4 Pro HD know what timecode belongs to each file? ..................... EASY----> using the text log file it creates. (log.txt)

You see, each time the FS-4 records a clip of video, it simultaneously appends a log file that gives timecode information and other info for each clip it creates. This file is referenced during playback on the FS-4 and therefore gives you correct timecode when playing the clips back IN the FS-4 only. However, as soon as you copy the video clips to your computer, there is no text log file anymore to refer to. Thus leaving all your clips with zero timecode. This happens in DV and HDV both.

It kinda sucks that I am discovering these timecode problems, but it has to be noted. I speak for the people! *smile*

There is ONE way. It only works in DV mode. HD is completely broken for timecode. However, if you want DV clips with correct timecode, then you can do it by putting the unit in AV/C mode and capturing it using a capture program. This means you will have to capture everything in real time and it defeats the "DIRECT TO EDIT" advertised with these units, but at least you don't have to use your camera or buy a deck for playback. Using this slow method does give you correct timecode, because the files are being played from the FS-4 directly as if it was a camera, and the log.txt file is being read at the same time streaming the timecode down the firewire to be read by your capture program. It sucks but it's better then nothing.

I hate that I spent $1220 bucks on this, but oh well. I think NNOVIA.COM is coming out with a timecode capabale HDV D2D recorder. They have a DV version that takes analog video with a TIMECODE IN option for LTC timecode. I wish it worked simultaneously with DV or HDV. They said their HDV recorder will support timecode. We'll see.

Anybody want a Brand New FS-4 Pro HD (40gig) never used in the field D.T.E. recorder for $1000 bucks? (free shipping)

- ShannonRawls.com
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Old January 31st, 2006, 09:40 AM   #2
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Hi Shannon,

I recently bought an FD-4 Pro HD like you and I've also had terrible trouble.

It was OK for DV, but everything I record in HDV that gets translated to Quicktime via Mpegstreamclip is corrupted...EVERYTHING!!!

The m2t files are always fine, but after they get translated to Quicktime for me to edit them in Final Cut Pro, that's when all hell breaks loose.

The translated Quicktime clips appear to have been shot at high speed, as though I had pressed the fast forward button while recording. Crazy.

Please see this clip I posted on my web page:

http://www.joric.com/freewayclip.mov

Every single HDV clip translated to Quicktime has this problem!

I can only pray that Final Cut Pro 6 due out in April will support m2t and not have to require me convert the m2t files to Quicktime.

Completely stumped.

Looking forward to your feedback,

- Nicholas
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Old January 31st, 2006, 11:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
...If you connect your FS-4 Pro HD to your computer and put it in "HDD MODE" so it can show up on your computer as a hard drive.....and then you copy your files over to your hard drive (desktop or my documents or ANYWHERE), when you open them up in your NLE, you will discover that the files now all of a sudden begin with 00:00:00;00. (this is BAD news)...
This must be a new bug that is associated with the HD upgrade.

I have been able to record DV Pal in SYNCRO SLAVE control mode and TC EXT with a tape running. I was able to copy all the files from my FS-4 Pro to my internal HDD (without the text file) and they have retained their TC in FCP5. I did experience a few exceptions, where clips started with 00:00:00:00, but I figured that this had to do with a glitch in the communication between the FS-4 and the XL-2 I was using at the time.

"Bad news" is an understatement

Have you been doing your tests with a tape running?

What happens when you use TC FREE RUN on the FS-4?
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Old June 13th, 2006, 05:00 PM   #4
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We too thought this was not an issue when we were playing back the hard drive recorded clips while on the camera. We never suspected these would not retain TC in the files themselves. We bought 4 of the things! We have 2 GY-HD100U cameras shooting a week long conference here now and find the TC unusable... not to mention how big an issue this is witht the thing splitting our longer records into 9+ minute chunks. To have each chunk start at 00:00:00:00 really bites.

If I only would have known. Too bad the manufacturers don't offer this info up front. We have to cludge all the shoots now without TC that matches the tapes. DTE is apparently not a real thing yet.

Sean
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Old June 14th, 2006, 01:02 AM   #5
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to :shannon rawls.
I am interested by your offer, but since the device seems not handle timecode, i can offer only 750$ ;-)
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Old June 14th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #6
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Tape is dead... long live the tapeless workflow!



ash =o)
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Old June 16th, 2006, 12:44 PM   #7
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Also see this thread on TC issues.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=64071

Sean
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Old June 21st, 2006, 01:05 AM   #8
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Matt McEwen from Focus has clarified this. When you are recording Standard DV please be sure to put your FS-4ProHD in OMF mode and DTE on Avid should work fine for you. See this thread
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=64071

In HDV the timecode is in the .m2t stream but the Avid can't read it on import. I don't understand why you can't get this to work in deck mode?
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Old July 5th, 2006, 11:47 PM   #9
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I want to point you all to this message I left a little while ago on TC and various associated issues:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showpost....9&postcount=14

Sean
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