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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:02 PM   #1
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Xp, Firewire 800 capture problems, Sony HDV-Z1U

Hi,
I am using a Sony HVR-Z1U and a Sony HVR-M25U tape deck.
I use Avid Express Pro 5.7.
I am using Windows XP completely updated. The firewire card is a ADS Pyro.
I am not using an official Sony Firewire cable.

I can capture DV but cannot capture HDV.

Here is a description of my tests.

1.
I have no problem when there is a DV tape in the deck or camera. The computer instantly recognizes the deck or camera and says "found new hardware," etc. I can go into Avid and capture because the computer receives the input signal.

2. However, when I connect to the deck or camera with an HDV tape in the deck or the camera the computer makes a beep indicating recognition, but no connection is made. It doesn't say "found new hardware" or anything. When I go into Avid and try to capture, I get the message "no input signal."

My present cable is only 6 pin. In my searches on the problem a 9 pin connector is mentioned. I have one on order but in the mean time I thought I would ask if anyone else has had this problem. I am not convinced that the "official Sony firewire 800 cable will solve the problem.

Thanks for any input on this aggravating problem.

Kent
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Old February 4th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kent Benson View Post
I am not convinced that the "official Sony firewire 800 cable will solve the problem.
Probably not - I had recognition issues with an older PC and after much Googling I found a patch from Sony (same Z1U camera). I would give HDVSplit a try...
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Old February 4th, 2008, 06:43 PM   #3
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Make sure the output/record mode (via the menu) of the M25U deck is set to HDV, iLink is NOT in the down convert mode and output is set at 1080i/480i. The standard 4 pin (the output of the M25U) to 6-pin cable works fine just fine for HDV transfer.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #4
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I'm up and running

Thanks for the input. I am capturing with no problems now. I asked a friend of mine who is a cameraman/editor and he offered this advice. I thought this might be helpful to others. Thanks. Kent
------------------------------------------------
It's actually pretty straightforward, but can give you problems if you are not used to it, cause AVID can be picky about setting up for capture of HDV.

A few tips.

First, make sure your project is set as an 1080i/59.94 HDV project. Either when you first create it, or you can change it by clicking on the "Format" tab in the project window.

Second. On your camera, there is a menu item called "VCR HDV/DV". Set it to HDV while capturing for this project. (page 70 in the manual) Or, if you want to leave it on AUTO, you can put in a cassete with HDV material on it, push play, and make sure you see the HDV logo light up on the camera. You'll need to put it back to AUTO if you want to play DV tapes again later.

Third. Make sure that downconvert is turned OFF in the camera if you want to capture HDV (page 73). You must do this while the camera is disconnected from the computer (which is what it means in the menu when it says "Changes not allowed".)

The reason to do the steps above is that if the computer detects the Z1 as a DV device, it won't let you capture HDV. You are making sure the computer sees it as an HDV device. I suspect that's your problem, which is why you say it works when you have a DV tape in the camera. I suspect you also have your project type set to the wrong format (see above).

Exit AVID. Turn off the camera.

Connect your camera to the computer with the firewire cable. (Although you say you have a firewire 800 card, if you have successfully captured with this camera, you are actually using a firewire 400 port, which is correct. Firewire 800 uses a different connector which won't plug in to the Z1. Most firewire 800 cards include a Firewire 400 port as well.)

Turn on the camera. Start AVID.

Open the capture tool, and cross your fingers. You should see that it has detected the Z1. If not, click Autoconfigure on the capture tool and see what happens.

If all is well, you can log and capture as normal.

If your computer is fast enough, you can capture HDV and work directly with it. If not, I suggest capturing HDV and transcoding the clips to DNxHD 145, or even DNxHD 220. You will need LOTS of hard drive space for this, though, and it takes a long time (overnight?).

Alternately, you can capture HDV, and transcode to DV. Edit the whole thing in DV, which is easy on your computer, and at the end, relink to the original HDV media for output in high def.

Your third option is to capture in DV using downconvert. Edit, then recaptured your completed sequence in HDV. This works, but the recapture process might no be frame accurate, so it's the last option is my book.

Hope this helps. Let me know how it goes.
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