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Old November 29th, 2017, 02:16 AM   #1
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Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

I purchased a second hand Sony HVR-m15u to capture a ton of miniHDV tapes. I've hooked it up to a Mac mini:
2.5GHz dual-core Intel Core i5
4 GB Ram
Running Yosemite
I'm using Adobe's latest version of Premiere Pro CC version 12
It's been capturing flawlessly up until today. Premiere was reading the tapes time code but there was no picture preview and it would not initiate capture. I tried a different tape and repeated the process and I got the picture preview and everything looked like it was okay again. But when I put the original tape I needed to digitise back in the deck it wouldn't start capturing until after about 13 seconds which was a bit odd. It captured the tape without any problems apart from missing the first 13 seconds. When I went to capture the next tape, the deck just wouldn't work. Again, it displayed the time code and after restarting Premiere it stopped doing that. So now it's not displaying either the time code or picture and won't start the capturing process.
This is the first time I've used/owned an HDV deck so how can I tell if it's just something I need to do to get it going or the deck is stuffed? Is there some kind of diagnostic test I could preform? I've read in other forums you can hook it up to a monitor to get into the decks menu but I don't need to change anyt of the settings. But would that tell me what's wrong with the device. Everything was working great until it started all this.
Any advice or tips would be really appreciated!
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Old November 29th, 2017, 06:15 AM   #2
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

First I would try recording and playback with a new or decent old tape even if it is via the composite and RCA inputs. It the deck appears to record and playback okay I would then download HDVSplit which was a pretty njifty and reliable HDV capture utility. Haven't used it for years but I see it is still available. Might solve your problems. Worth a try :)

https://www.videohelp.com/software/HDVSplit

Chris Young
CYV Productions
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Old November 29th, 2017, 08:28 AM   #3
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

Connect a display to the analog video outputs and play a tape - do you get clean image and sound? If not, run a head cleaner tape through the machine. There is not a special "HDV" cleaning tape, just get a MiniDV cleaning tape. $6.99 at B&H for Panasonic #AY-DVMCLWW

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Old November 29th, 2017, 10:47 AM   #4
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

It's been years but I remember my Z5U not capturing or just getting a black screen. I can't remember what the issue was, I thought it was a setting in either Premiere or the camera. Anyway I agree with Chris, I tried it in HDV Split and that worked. Not sure I used it often but it definitely did address whatever the cause was, sorta like a fresh install. Worse comes to worse, use that.
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Old November 29th, 2017, 11:21 AM   #5
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

I have a similar setup with a HVR-M15u and a Mac Mini... but it's the quad core 2.6ghz i7 mini server with 16gb RAM and a SSD, and I use Final Cut Pro.

However this is the Sony cleaning tape that I use (IIRC this is what Sony recommends). Costs a lot more than the Panasonic that Jeff suggested. : https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/191741-REG/Sony_PDVM12CL_PDVM_12CL_Cleaning_Cassette_Small.html/BI/2855/KBID/3801

The other suggestions here sound like a good start. No experience with premiere so I don't know what might be happening there. But I think you absolutely must hook the deck up to a monitor since there's no other way to check the menu settings (and there are a lot!). I once had some kind of issue that I needed to do a full reset on the deck to resolve. Also Sony goes to great lengths to caution about the correct sequence of connecting/powering up the deck for firewire to work properly. I don't know how much these really matter, but there are a lot of warnings in the manual.

Here's the manual, in case you don't have a copy. I would drill though all the menus and make sure they are properly set: https://www.sony.se/pro/support/oper.../1237485690238
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Old November 30th, 2017, 10:43 PM   #6
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

Also be sure you have good Firewire cables --- often a source of problems --- and that you connect them properly. You can fry the circuits if you hot-plug Firewire devices ---- power everything down and then connect. Sony is pretty emphatic about this.
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Old December 6th, 2017, 05:47 AM   #7
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

Thanks for all your thoughts and comments! I've done the head cleaning which allowed me to capture one more tape (the quality was a bit dubious though) but that was it. I've checked out the FireWire cables to make sure they were working o.k. After hooking it up to an external monitor and I still couldn't see a picture or hear anything. Due to my circumstances, I found it easier to take it in to a technician to see what he could do. But I have learnt a fair bit and been given a lot to think about from the posts you have made.

Boyd, when I digitise HDV tapes in Premiere, the only format I can capture them in is MPEG. I have had a lot more experience with using FCP for basic editing etc but I preferred to capture using Premiere because it would capture the whole tape without being interrupted by drop frames. When I used FCP to digitise HDV tapes with the camera, it would constantly drop frames so I'd have to go back and try and capture the few seconds I'd miss due to the pre roll. Do you find that the using FCP to digitise HDV tapes using a HVR-M15u is better than using a camera? Have you got any advice regarding how to deal with annoying drop frames when capturing HDV tapes in FCP with this particular deck?
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Old December 6th, 2017, 06:50 AM   #8
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Re: Premiere has just stopped me capturing with my Sony HVR-m15u??

FCP can capture without out stopping there’s a setting for it. The problem with doing that is you won’t know if there was a problem without reviewing the entire capture and then you’ll have to go back and recapture.

Dropped frames are either caused by the tape or the camera’s head. If a simple cleaning doesn’t fix it usually the cheapest solution is to buy a new inexpensive camera that you use as a deck.

I’m glad I don’t have to deal with tapes anymore
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