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Old March 8th, 2004, 05:56 AM   #1
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Timecode?

So let me get this straight.... The timecode on the camcorders is just the counter of the DV tape or similar tape depending on each camcorder's format, right? Do the camcorders automatically detect? Like if you eject a tape that was say.... 00:15:00 (15 minutes I believe?).... and then input it back in, will it automatically show up on the camcorder as 15 minutes again?

I am unsure really what the timecode is... Hope someone can help me.
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Old March 8th, 2004, 06:31 AM   #2
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Do a search, this topic has been extensively covered. Timecode is an absolute address and does not change and can not be reset. Consumer VCR's count an electronic pulse and apply it as total run time. The run times can be reset etc. and are useless for editing. Please do a search.
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Old March 8th, 2004, 01:04 PM   #3
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Ok. I did a search for timecode on the forums and found some advice, but still have questions remain unanswered. I am confused about the timecode and resets. I know that when you pop a VHS tape into a VCR, the counter starts... so the tape is 1hr30mins long, and you fast foward to say the middle of the tape, it'll show something like 00:00:45:00 (45 minutes or around there). When you take the tape OUT and put back in, the counter resets to 00:00:00:00....

Now timecode on the other hand ... does timecode only refer to DV casettes then and are fixed meaning that the timecode will NEVER change, so the minute you pop in a DV cassette, the time will always be where you left off or where the tape is at? I am confused...
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Old March 8th, 2004, 01:27 PM   #4
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<<<-- Originally posted by David Ho : so the tape is 1hr30mins long, and you fast foward to say the middle of the tape, it'll show something like 00:00:45:00 (45 minutes or around there). When you take the tape OUT and put back in, the counter resets to 00:00:00:00.... -->>>

If you make sure that your are before the end of the timecode, subsequent tapings will begin at the timecode under the head. If you move past the end of the timecode, it cannot see the existing timecode and will reset to 00:00:00:00. When you take the tape out and put it back in, make sure you rewind it far enough to be inside the previous recording.

To be safe, always record an extra 10 seconds before taking the tape out. Then, when you put the tape back in, rewind it until you are in the middle of that 10 second spot.
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Old March 8th, 2004, 05:11 PM   #5
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Most VHS VCR do not use TC. The VCR counts pulses recorded to the tape. Each pulse is identical and the total run time (hours, minutes, seconds) is just the summation of the pulses. That's why you can reset to zero on most VHS VCR's.

Most prosumer and all pro VTR's use a form of timecode. The TC recorded to mini DV is an absolute address and is unique. The TC info contains the full address (hours, minutes, seconds and frames). That is why the TC can not be reset by pushing a button. The VTR uses the TC to maintain accuracy during playback, recording and editing. Once the VTR plays back previously recorded TC the counter will start displaying the absolute address, just like Edward says.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 04:43 AM   #6
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"If you move past the end of the timecode, it cannot see the existing timecode and will reset to 00:00:00:00."

So, what you're saying is that if you say, record 30 minutes, but you somehow foward past that 30 minutes, meaning past the timecode, it will then start back at 00:00:00:00? What happens if you then start recording again? Is this irreversible and bad?

Cause what I planned on doing was, since the tape is about 60 minutes total. I would RECORD 30 minutes of raw footage, edit it to about 10-15 minutes, then EXPORT back the edited footage back onto the tape where I still have space/storage... But to do this, wouldn't I need to go past the "timecode" ?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:10 AM   #7
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Normally with DV camcorders, when you eject a tape before recording all the way to the end, an insert it again, the timecode is reset. Most folks don't like this as it will mess up the video capture process during editing. I can understand why you would want to have those time code breaks, as you state for separating your raw video and edited piece on one tape.

Most DV camcorders will have "rec search - / +" buttons somewhere on the body. As I recall, you're using a GL2. They're on there. These buttons will slightly rewind or fast forward a tape frame by frame while you're in record-pause mode. When you insert a tape, use "rec search -" to find the most recent frames of video in order to pick up the previous timecode. Use the "rec search +" button to skip past a short section of unrecorded tape if you want to force a timecode break at that point. Hope this helps,
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Old March 9th, 2004, 06:15 AM   #8
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David, I can appreciate your desire to save resources and tape costs. However, putting finished edits back on the tape with camera original footage is not a good idea. If anything happens to that tape (lost, stolen, damaged, etc.) you have not only lost your finished product, but also the original footage and any chance of rebuilding your project. Spend the $3 or $4 and use a new tape for your finished projects.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 12:03 PM   #9
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Jeff, I'll take your advice. I would ultimately have to use my raw footage on the tape more wisely. I guess I would just have to film more things.

But now, that means if the tape holds a max of 60 minutes or so, that means for every project I do, if its a short film, documentary, or recreational, and if I tend to edit it, I would have to film everything close to 60 minutes to use up all of the footage!

I understand the timecode a little better. Could this explain why sometimes when I fast foward or rewind on different DV/Hi8 tapes a long time ago when I had a Sony TRV22 (where the footage was Hi8), if I fast fowarded past where I had record, the timecode just pauses. The rewind/fastfoward will freeze until a few minutes later, and the timecode comes back again. I am unsure whether this is related to timecode....

So, the best advice is just to maximize the tape and never to fast foward/rewind past the timecode right or else you'll get the breaks/resets? What happens if this does occur? Like what happens during the editing process and is it bad/irreversible?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 03:24 PM   #10
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If you have multiple TC breaks on your camera original footage it makes batch capture impossible and makes more work for the editor. It's always best to do it right the first time. If possible, try to keep your TC continious.
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Old March 9th, 2004, 11:26 PM   #11
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I see.... I'm still a little confused and worried, though.

I just don't get like... so, if you mess up ONCE anytime and cause the timecode to break by either fast fowarding or rewinding too far...then it's too late? Nothing you can do?
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Old March 9th, 2004, 11:55 PM   #12
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David if you are worried about time code breaks you should try a capture program called Scenalyzer. Scenalyzer uses optical scene detection which bypasses the "timecode" and captures the scenes based on changes in the images. It also allows you to capture 4 channel audio, saving Audio 2 as a seperate .wav file, as well as export still images directly from the tape. For $33 it's a great value tool that any PC based NLE system shouldn't be without.
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:10 PM   #13
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1. OK, what happens if you want to view your footage via the camcorder VCR mode itself, then you fast foward up PAST the footage, passing the timecode or counter... For example, you record 18 minutes, then you foward through the VCR and foward to about 20 minutes. Then you realize you've made a mistake.... would this result in a "code break" and become undoable or uncorrectable?

OR

2. If I record 18 minutes, then foward to 20:00 (where no footage is present, blank), then record there. Will I result in TWO timecodes or the timecode will completely mess up?
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Old March 10th, 2004, 05:31 PM   #14
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1. Just viewing the tape? Nope, no problems with that.

2. You'll wind up with the timecode starting over at zero at the new point. In other words, a new timecode separate from the previous one.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 01:05 AM   #15
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So, will you then have two timecodes then?
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