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Old July 17th, 2002, 02:58 PM   #1
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DVCAM (small) fit in VX-2000?

Problem:
COmmunity access broadcaster who has been accepting miniDV says miniDV cassettes are cracking and breaking in his professional automated system, and is demanding that all community access producers who bring in their shows on miniDV switch to DVCAM. Easier said than done!

My question: Small DVCAM cassettes are the same size as miniDV, right? So can we buy the more robust DVCAM cassettes and USE THEM in our VX-2000?

And then deliver them for use in the automated playback system. Would this work?

many thanks,
Scott
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Old July 17th, 2002, 08:22 PM   #2
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Scott,
hmm, interesting question. Well there's one way to find out!

The question would presumably hinge on what this guy's system (persumably, a Sony DVCAM deck?) is ? --

there are I think many such decks that will automatically read whatever you put in -- I mean, I believe they judge whether it's DV or DVCAM signal (which of course runs at a different speed) and play it correctly, whichever it be. So it seems possible you could do that. HOWEVER, I've never heard of anybody putting a DVCAM mini-cassette in a VX2000, or in any other prosumer camera not designed for DVCAM. Not saying it can't be done -- but I'd be a bit surprised if it worked.

If indeed you run into problems, your other alternative is to go to some place that has a DVCAM deck and COPY your material from your camera to the DVCAM deck via fiirewire. That should be an easy operation, in real time, taking exactly as long as your program (edited work) may happen to be.

Places in NYC that you might be able to get this done at would include, perhaps: Rafik; Film/Video Arts; DV Dojo, and probably many others. No doubt would prob. cost you something . . .

or if you've got any friend w/ a DVCAM camera willing to spare it for an hour, if I were you I'd consider buying a DVCAM tape and copying your thing to that tape via firewire using the other camera as a deck.

sorry I don't know the real answer -- but there are a few thoughts.

d.i.

ps: or, if this community access place is amenable, see if you can arrange time to copy it there -- simply connect your camera via firewire to their deck. Of course maybe you have to catch 'em on a good day . . .

(or: You might want to go to B&H and ask the camera guys there your question.)
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Old July 18th, 2002, 12:02 AM   #3
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<< So can we buy the more robust DVCAM cassettes and USE THEM in our VX-2000? >>

Yes! You sure can. No problem using Mini-DVCAM cassettes in your VX2000. However the *signal* you're recording is still DV, and not DVCAM. But you can freely intermix DV and DVCAM blank media. No sweat. Conversely, you can record a DVCAM signal onto regular Mini-DV cassettes using a PD150. You'll get only 40 minutes of recording time from a 60 minute cassette. But nothing's stopping you from doing it. Hope this helps,
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Old July 22nd, 2002, 07:11 AM   #4
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hi Scott,
most (if not all) DVCAM prof. VTR-s recognize DV format, but if that tape goes into some kind of Flexicart there can be a problem with DV recording. It's hard for these decks to find out exact time code and to synchronize the tape to house sync in time given by machine. This problem usually does'nt occur when working with NLE-s, only with linear editors and automated systems. That's one reason why DVCAM and DVCPRO were launched.
So, can be that the problem is'nt the tape you use (you can freely record to DV tape in DVCAM and vice versa, as Chris pointed); but in format. We made some try-outs and did'nt notice any quality loss when using DV tapes in DVCAM format. It's short term try-outs, i don't know what happens after 5-10 years if i want to archive material.
DVCAM uses wider track than DV, so VTR does'nt have to be that precise to find right frame. It's important when VTR must in certain time (usually 3-5sec) sync it's tape transport to external sync signal. If for example in automatic playout it failes, result will probably be black screens at homes, depending of software used.

Margus
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Old July 25th, 2002, 05:16 PM   #5
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DVCAM broadcast playback decks will not recognize miniDV format?

Thanks to all who have responded on this issue -- many many thanks! How wonderful to hear from ESTONIA!

But I have bad news on this issue from the community access broadcaster I mentioned in the original posting: The chief engineer says there are pins that poke into recesses on the DVCAM cassette and tell the playback machine whether it has received a DVCAM or miniDV cassette. If these pins determine that the cassette -- the hardware! -- is DVCAM, then it will spin the cassette at DVCAM speed -- causing a miniDV recording to playback at the wrong speed. Therefore the chief engineer has rejected our idea of recording our miniDV format onto DVCAM cassettes because he says, it won't work.

In telling us about this, however, the chief engineer said that the DVCAM cassette recorded in DV format would playback in SLOW MOTION. It occurred to me later that actually the DV recording should appear in FAST motion, not slow, so it makes me wonder whether the chief engineer actually did the test he says he did.

If anyone has all the components necessary for this test, I'd love to hear from someone who has actually tried this:
Record on a small DVCAM cassette in a miniDV camcorder...
Insert the DVCAM cassette in a broadcast DVCAM Playback deck...
and see what happens! -- and let us know.

Ongoing thanks to all!!
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Old July 25th, 2002, 05:39 PM   #6
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I think the engineer is correct, DVCAM runs the tape slower than DV, so if you record a DV signal onto a DV cam tape at normal DV speed which is faster than DVcam, then when played, the system plays slower as if it was DVCAM hence slow motion. Am I making sense.

John.
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Old July 26th, 2002, 01:29 AM   #7
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yeah John, it's other way, DVCAM runs tape faster than DV.
If i remember correctly, older DVCAM VTR-s like DSR-60, -80 and -85 had problems with recognizing DV. I just put DV and DVCAM cassettes side by side, i cannot see any difference between them. Yes, we have made even such a thing that recorded to the same tape DV and DVCAM, loaded the tape into DSR-70, when format changed, it took approx 1 sec from VTR to recognize format change and to start normal playout. Same in DSR-1500. DSR-70 shows even on screen recording type, does'nt matter what kind of cassette is loaded.
Can be that they are using these old type VTR-s. But there is not such a difference between DV and DVCAM cassettes as for exmple VHS-SVHS or Betacam-BetacamSP, honestly.
(if you happen to visit Estonia, drop by, we can try it all out and have some beers afterwards;))

yeah, and one example:
DSR-11 and DSR-150 can record in both DV and DVCAM, BUT you have to choose recording type from menu. If they could recognize what cassette you use, DV or DVCAM, they could choose recording type by themselves, right?

rgrds, Margus
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Old August 5th, 2002, 02:47 PM   #8
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In a perfect world, of course, you'd be asking the community access guy to call the service people for his automated gear. If it's breaking miniDV cassettes, then it has a problem. They aren't THAT fragile :)
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Old August 5th, 2002, 04:37 PM   #9
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Automated systems breaking miniDV cassettes?

Thanks Ralph, for your reply -- actually the community access chief engineer says he is indeed 'working with Sony' on the problem. Clearly he bought an automated system that was supposed to work with both kinds of cassettes, and he's finding that the system is too hard on miniDVs -- therefore the system does not do what it's supposed to do, meaning he has not gotten what he paid for. I'm going to start a new topic with this one to find out how widespread this problem is. Maybe I can find someone else who has really tried my miniDV-format-on-DVCAM-cassette idea in active use. Look for the new topic.
Thanks,
Scott
New York
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Old August 6th, 2002, 04:54 AM   #10
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hi Scott,
one of our customers uses DVCAM cassettes with his XL-1 camera in DV mode. He says they are mechanically better. I have'nt met him recently, but i don't think he has some problems with it. He has done so last 6 months.
And other way, couple of years ago i edited 'pet clinic' type documental soap. They used DV cassettes and DVCAM camera DSR-PD100P. In editing suite was DSR-20P VTR. It was some 90 DV cassettes with DVCAM recording at the end and no big problems.
I live in PAL world, but i don't think that matters in this case.
I understood that VTR in your system BREAKS DV cassettes and works fine with DVCAM cassettes. That sounds weird.
Can you tell what type of VTR stands in system, i can ask about DSR-60/-80 behaviour in linear edit suites.

regards, Margus
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Old August 6th, 2002, 08:24 AM   #11
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Off-topic note: this thread was originally posted to "DV for the Masses." I've moved it to the VX2000/PD150 forum, for which it seems better suited.
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Old August 6th, 2002, 08:25 AM   #12
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Thank you Margus. The community access broadcaster showed me his equipment recently so for me to go back and ask again would be awkward. It is a very elaborate set-up, very impressive, with machines swirling cassettes about and loading material into a computer for broadcast. The cassettes don't actually turn directly to air. If I see him again (I don't want to be a pest, you understand) I will find out more. Thank you so much for your very valuable responses on this issue.
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Old August 6th, 2002, 08:54 AM   #13
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Thanks for putting my post in the right place, Chris, much appreciated. Sorry: I'm still a 'new boot' and have not investigated the full potential of your site. & by the way thank you so much for a great, great resource and service.
Scott
New York
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Old August 8th, 2002, 01:54 PM   #14
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i think that a 'community access' channel should be able to work with practically any format. . .at least ideologically.
sounds to me like the engineer is making excuses and doesn't want to accept some types of footage.

ps,
ignore that, i'm just a paranoid sometimes...long story.
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Old August 9th, 2002, 05:25 AM   #15
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A link for anyone wanting the lowdown on the difference between the various DV formats:

http://www.adamwilt.com/DV.html

FWIW I think the machine is at fault, not the tapes. DVCAM recorded onto a mini-DV tape is just as good as recorded onto a "proper" one, IMHO. All you are getting with the latter is tape sliced from the middle of the big roll rather than the edge and perhaps a bit more quality control. Oh yes, and a dinky little box.
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