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Old July 30th, 2010, 08:43 AM   #1
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Capturing 1920 x 1280 from a Canon XHA1 and XLH1

Anyone who has got a Matrox MX02 mini box (used among other things for feeding HD video from your computer to an HDMI equipped TV) knows that you can also use the box to import HDV video via an HDMI cable. This is what I have been doing with the tapes from an XLHI and an XHA1 recorded at 30 frames per second. I load them into an HV30 and start capturing in Final Cut, capturing them as Pro Res LT, 1920 x 1080 30p

This process enables me to produce clips that will work fine with clips from a Canon 5D Mk11 (also recorded at 30p) and makes it possible to use FCP's multi clip feature.


UNFORTUNATELY, I have run into a little snag which someone might know about. You see, while capturing tape made with the XLHI proceeds smoothly, capturing from an XHA1 DOES NOT! The capturing process stops and restarts approximately every 60 seconds. FCP says there is missing Timecode, but then recovers, and starts the capturing process until the next time 60 seconds later. I am wondering if there is some setting in the XHA1 that is causing this, since the capturing interruptions occur after the same length of time. This phenomenum does not occur if I use Firewire from the HV30 to do my capture, but this produces 1440 video which I then have to take into Mpeg Streamclip.


Tim
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Old July 30th, 2010, 01:14 PM   #2
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I've got an XHA1, an HV20 and a Matrox MOX2 mini but I'm not following your description of the problem. It is not clear to me if the problem is with trying to capture from the XHA1 or instead the problem with capturing XHA1 TAPES via your HV30 or if you have been confused by Matrox's description of taking direct live feeds from the camera via HDMI to the computer.

It sounds as though you are having trouble capturing tape from your Canon XHA1 via HDMI through a Matro MXO2 Mini. If so, I don't understand how you hooked your XHA1 to your MXO2 mini. My Canon XHA1 does not have an HDMI port, so I cannot feed an HDMI signal to my Matrox mini from the XHA1. There is a port on the lower right corner of the rear of the XHA1, but that is only a connector for the proprietary component cable feed. (I'm assuming that it is not possible to jam an HDMI plug into that slot and that you didn't try to do that.)

So, are you having trouble when running a component feed to the MXO2 from the XHA1? And does the tape work fine when you feed it via your HV30 (which does have firewire and HDMI)? And, do you have the trouble when feeding a firewire capture from the XHA1? If yes to any of these, I would suspect that there is a problem with the playback heads in the XHA1. You might be able to fix this with a quick pass with a cleaning cassette but otherwise it might be time for a factory cleaning and service including head alignment checks with the XH-A1.

Or, is the problem maybe that you are putting the tapes in the HV30 (which does have an HDMI port) and are running into problems with the XHA1 TAPES in the HV30? If that is the case --- that, if you have no trouble with playing XH-A1 tapes through the HV30's firewire port but do have trouble playing them through the HDMI port, although you have no trouble with tapes from the XLH1 --- I am without a clue as to what could be wrong unless there is a glitch or defect in the Matrox software which you should address to that company.

I am puzzled by your reference to "1440" captures. Chris Hurd has numbers of posts on this and the fact that 1440 is visually indistinguishable from 1920. Anything you shoot as HDV is going to be "1440" --- that's is just the nature of HDV and is a matter of HDV pixel shape when recording to tape. I am not very familiar with FCP but I have trouble understanding how it (or any NLE) would make HDMI captures from a "1440" tape into "1920" hd without some form of transcoding.

Is there maybe some confusion about the MXO2 Mini's ability to make LIVE captures in a "1920" format? The only way the instructions say I can get "1920" out of an HDV camera is by taking a live feed directly from the sensor via HDMI directly to the computer. You are working with tapes, not direct live feeds to the computer. Once the video goes to the tape, you get "1440" whether you capture via firewire or HDMI.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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Capturing 1920 x 1280 from a Canon XHA1 and XLH1

Hi:
Sorry that my post is confusing. I will try to explain again. I am recording using an XLH1 and an XHA1. Both cams are set to 30F

I am taking the tapes out of these machines and inserting them into an HV30, which is connected to my MXO2 mini box by an HDMI cable, carrying both video and audio. I also have a firewire connection, but this is used just to control the HV30 transport. The HV30 screen very clearly says "1920 x 1080 HDMI Output" and this is the way it shows up when injested by FCP and transcoded to Pro Res LT 1920 x 1080.

I agree that 1920 and 1440 are one and the same, but not to FCP and not when you want to do Multiclips. Your clips must be EXACTLY the same config and this is especially important if you want to mix Pro Res files from a Canon 5D Mk11 and files from a camcorder like the Xha1. It will also help keep rendering to a minimum.

I am suspecting something wrong with the XHAI. I have three of them and have yet to test all three but that is what will be doing over the weekend.

Thank you for interest...It is hard to really find out about this stuff since the manufactureres, especially Canon, won't allow customers to talk to their tech people about issues like this.

Matrox has been very helpful, and has already explained how to avoid the importation of double sound tracks when using HDMI.


Tim
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:01 PM   #4
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I use XHA1s for recording to tape..but I use the HDMI out on the HV20 for capture with the MXO2 mini and it does capture at 1920x1080 even though I am using a tape recorded on the XHA1. The video feed is being taken directly from the sensor of HV20 as it was explained to me. I also mix clips from the 5D Mkii and XHA1 in the same timeline..but I use Premiere CS5. So far I have not had any problems with this set up.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #5
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Capturing 1920 x 1280 from a Canon XHA1 and XLH1

So, if you suddenly experienced "broken time code" from an XHA1 tape, would you suspect the camera and how would you explain this problem in a return to Canon? Do they support this workflow...I am not sure and if they check the XHAI with just a firewire output, everything will look fine.
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Old July 30th, 2010, 10:52 PM   #6
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Okay, so what I understand is that your HV30 will feed XHA1 tapes out of the firewire without a problem but there is a problem when you feed the tapes through the HV30 HDMI port. There is no problem when you feed XLh1 tapes through the HV30 and its HDMI port.

This is indeed perplexing.

It seems as though there can be only four possible sources of the problems:

(1) Maybe there is something amiss in FCP's software interface with the Matrox device that is intermittenly messing with software control via HDMI capture. Need to rule out other possible causes before resorting to this explanation.

(2) Maybe there is a subtle bug in the Matrox HDMI capture software. (You say you've been in touch with Matrox so they've told you about any updated Matrox software, right?) Version 3.01 has just been released for Windows systems, but I don't know what is the most current update for Mac systems. Need to rule out other possible causes before resorting to this explanation.

(3) Maybe there is something very subtly awry in the Canon camera's writing files, something so subtle that it only shows up when reading some tapes via hdmi. Can't for the life of me think of something that would only show up when outputting from HDMI, though. You need to figure out if this is a problem with all HDV tapes from all of your XHA1 cams or if it is just a problem with tapes from the one particular XHA1

(4) Possibly there is a problem with your HV30. Do you know somebody with another cam with an HDMI output that you could borrow for a a few minutes? If you can borrow another cam with HDMI and still get the same problem, then you have isolated the problem to the particular XHA1 or the tape.

One question occurs to me: does this happen with every tape from that particular XHA1 or have you only seen the problem so far with the one particular tape you've been working with?

On sending the camera to Canon, there are two things to be said. First, wait a day until you can check some tape from another of your XHA1 cams so you can get a sense of whether this problem is endemic to all XHA1 cams or is only happening with the tapes from the one particular XHA1. Second, if there is a problem with your CanonXHA1 I think it would most likely be a problem with head alignment. That gets reset independently of the firewire.
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