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Old May 16th, 2007, 07:53 AM   #1
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User bits - what is it?

Hello, what are the User Bits featured in ProHD camcorders and how can I utilize them? I feel they are related to TC, but manual isn't too helpful on this topic. Thanks in advance for any info.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:23 AM   #2
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User bits are an extra part of the timecode signal that allow the user to add additional information like reel number, camera identification in a (multicamera shoot) or the date.

Hope that helps,

Liam.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:35 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
User bits are an extra part of the timecode signal that allow the user to add additional information like reel number, camera identification in a (multicamera shoot) or the date.
That was an excellent answer and well worded! Too bad all explanations aren't this simple.

-gb-
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Old May 16th, 2007, 11:11 AM   #4
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Thanks Liam! If you have a minute to spare, could you please elaborate on how to use UB in real world productions? Or am I out of luck with Premiere Pro 2? Thanks again.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 02:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Jiri Fiala View Post
Thanks Liam! If you have a minute to spare, could you please elaborate on how to use UB in real world productions? Or am I out of luck with Premiere Pro 2? Thanks again.
Hi Jiri,
In truth, I never use them. One DOP I work with likes to put the reel number on them, but that's about it.
Unless you need to give your editor some extra information, like 'CAM A' or 'Roll 1' then user bits serve little purpose at all.
I'm sure there are people out there that love their user bit data, but I'm not one and certainly Premiere Pro will function just as well without inputting the data.

Cheers,

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Old May 16th, 2007, 04:11 PM   #6
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Well, I use 1:00:00:00 TC to differentiate my second camera, so I guess I can get by without UB. Thanks for clearing that out, though.
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Old May 16th, 2007, 08:45 PM   #7
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It's a policy at some news stations that UB contains the date the footage was shot (yymmdd) and a two digit identifier for whoever shot it.

It's really just pure metadata, no inherent meaning. Use it for anything that you would normally log on paper or on the tape label. When UB isn't important I'll just try and spell words. I've had one of the cameras at work putting deadf00d on tapes for a couple months now.

Just FYI, UB is in hexadecimal. 0-9, A-F. You can spell all the words you want as long as they only have the first 6 letters of the alphabet. =D But you can also use 1337speak to make the numbers work as letters too.

More practically, however, it's probably better to assign meanings to individual digits of the UB, or if you've got a LOT of metadata, assign several meanings to each digit (i.e. 0-4 means X not Y, 5-8 means Y not X, 9-B means X and Y, C-F means neither)
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