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Sony HVR-A1 and HDR-HC Series
Sony's latest single-CMOS additions to their HDV camcorder line.


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Old June 11th, 2012, 06:41 AM   #1
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FCP reporting Timecode breaks

I'm using two HC-9 cameras to record dance recitals. I lock down one camera to get a wide angle shot of the full stage at all times and I do the close up shots of the kids faces with the second camera. This has worked flawlessly with FCP 6.0.6 and mac OS 10.5.8 for years. Importing has never posed a problem. I record @ 1080i on the tape and capture DV to the Mac.

This year I had a project where I (stupidly) needed to record at the slower speed (which is DV only on this camera) to conserve tape. This is the first time I recorded at slow speed with these cameras. Later in the project I was able to go back to full speed recording using fresh tape. Now when I import to FCP I get timecode break warnings and the tapes constantly stop and search for the break to restart recording. This is happening even though the tapes are recorded as one start at the beginning of the clip and I do not hit stop until an hour or so later at the end of the performance. The timecode breaks are about a minute apart and I have to change to capture now and "Warn After Capture" to get the clips imported properly. This is happening on the tapes recorded on both cameras and at both speeds. This has never happened before. What can I look for in the camera to ensure that this does not happen again?

In researching this I saw a mention of a timecode selection in the camera menus but I can't seem to find it in the menus on the camera. Anyone know what I'm missing?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 11:18 AM   #2
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

When was the last time you cleaned your heads? Are you re-using tapes?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 11:48 AM   #3
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

I clean the heads before each recording session, before transfer to the Mac, and I never re-use tape. Even though the jury is out on the Pro vs. consumer tape issue, I use premium/Pro tape.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 12:31 PM   #4
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

Wow, I think you're cleaning your heads way too often. About every fifty hours or so is all you need. More often than that and you could be causing undue wear. But I doubt that's what's causing your problem, although I suppose it's possible.

The manual warns of timecode breaks if you switch recording modes within a tape, but you noted that you used a fresh tape after switching. So that shouldn't be an issue.

Have you tried a hard reset?

It should also be noted that there was a massive recall of Sony "HD" tape a while ago for dropouts. The regular tapes were unaffected. Sony "Premiums" in the blue/black (sometimes orange) wrappers are their regular low-level tapes and they are fine. There is no benefit to Pro, HD or HDV tapes.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 02:01 PM   #5
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

Hi,

I don't think I use the camcorder frequently enough that there would be much wear from the cleaning... but ya never know. Yes, I do not create starts and stops on the tape - I tape one big segment from beginning to end.

How do I do a hard reset of the camera .. what does it actually do?
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Old June 11th, 2012, 02:09 PM   #6
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

There should be a small pinhole somewhere that you poke with a paper clip. Usually it's somewhere under the LCD screen. It resets everything to factory settings so if you are having a firmware issue that should clear it up. Page 104.

There are no customizable timecode settings that I know of on the HC9. I'm guessing you have a bad batch of tapes. You are using Sony DVM60PR somethings (PRR, PRL, etc.)?

Other possible though unlikely culprits: Bad FW cable, wonky ports at either end, FCP issues. You are making sure that everything is powered off when you connect cam to Mac, yes? You haven't mentioned any changes to software so I assume there are none, but Macs are notorious for killing Sony workflow with new OS releases, though less so with HDV than with AVCHD.
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Old June 11th, 2012, 02:26 PM   #7
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Re: FCP reporting Timecode breaks

Cool.... Right now I'm in "If it ain't broke THAT much..." mode. I've only got two more tapes to input and as I mentioned in my first post I've got a workable work around for now. I will do the reset thing as soon after that as possible and see what happens. I think it's real weird that the exact same issue has appeared on two different cameras at exactly the same time. Real strange.
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