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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old March 25th, 2010, 10:04 AM   #1
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HELP Recording Time on a DCR-VX2100

Can anyone help? I am looking for a way to record the time that is running during recording on a DCR-VX2100. The time is visible during playback when viewed through the camera however it is not actually there when downloaded or edited. I have tried everything and I am desperate. Thank you.

David
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Old March 25th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #2
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You can't. The best you could do would be to dub to another tape via composite cable with DATA CODE > DATE selected.

The days of being able to burn date and time directly on the tape on consumer cams went away with VHS, although some higher-level pro-ish cams (Z1, Z5, Z7, NX5) do have this feature. So did the PD170, the pro version of your cam.

However, there is a program called DVDATE which plugs into Adobe Premiere, and burns this data in for you in your editor. Assuming you use Premiere.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 08:32 AM   #3
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To expand on Adam's summary --

With the advent of digital recordings, the date/time/data track was integrated in such a way that choosing to display it was largely a function of the final player, not the initial recorder. So unlike the time display in a Hi8 camcorder, you could display or not at your option during playback ... no longer were you 'stuck' with the date display for evermore just because the original shooter chose to display it while recording.

As some legal uses of video demanded that the date be visible no matter what (and I saw a case where the evidence was tossed because two different VHS copies of a digital tape had differently formatted date displays of the same source ... because the judge didn't understand that the date display was layered over the image by the player, he decided the differences 'proved' the evidence had been tampered with) some professional DV camcorders offered an old-school date burned in to the image no matter what -- as Adam says, the PD150 & 170 offered this, and maybe others.

So now your options are using a player that will display the data, or adding a filter/effect to your timeline during editing that will burn the data into the output. In addition to the Premiere solution Adam suggests, I will add that the filter written by Piero Fiorani does an excellent job with timecode display and also offers date/time options I believe for Final Cut Express Timecode Display

Hope that helps,
GB
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Old March 26th, 2010, 11:04 AM   #4
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Thanks but...

Thank you guys for replying but the suggestions about using a program in the editing room won't help. This is indeed being used for legal purposes and the video cannot be edited. So unless I find a player that will display the code I will have to buy a different camera.

Thank you again.
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Old March 26th, 2010, 01:07 PM   #5
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If you mean you must deliver a tape, then the player will have to be almost any stand alone DV tape player. Every DV deck I've seen has an option to display date/time in the image area (on-screen). And a VHS or DVD dub from such a player will have the date/time burned in, if you mean you are delivering a dub direct from your original tape.

If you are delivering a file on disk or on-line ... well, then you have the option of adding the filter -- just 'cuz you are doing it in the edit suite doesn't mean you are 'editing' the video.

But it is precisely because some legal depositions required that the date/time be burned into the image area from the instant the tape was recorded that Sony added this feature to the PD150/170 ...
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Old March 26th, 2010, 01:16 PM   #6
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If you use your cam (or any comparable Sony DV or HDV cam or deck -- you might check for a used DSR-11 on eBay) as the player then you'll have just what you want. Otherwise you must do the "dub via composite" trick, and that is the only way to have the date and time permanently burned in to the tape until you upgrade to a pro cam. But then it won't be the original tape you shot in the cam and that may be a legal problem for you as well, no?

(Remember, we're not talking about displaying timecode, but rather the date and time data, which is entirely different.)
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Old April 5th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #7
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You guys have been very helpful. I think I will simply try and find a player or another camera to use as a player.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 10:09 PM   #8
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Like you I need the date & time also. I do private investigation and it's a must have.

I had a VX2100 that had issues and went back and have a PD170 on the truck now.

But my work flow for court is to take the video on a DVD & CD and the camera just in case it has to come from the original media. Any MiniDV player device should display the time code especially if you do not use firewire.
And a MiniDV player deck is rare and huge dollars so take the camera to court and have S-Video to S-Video, and S-Video to Composite cables. Basically have a cable kit that will work in any situation.

To get your time code transferred from the camera to DVD or the PC with the time code just do not transfer using fire wire.
You then toggle the display function on the camera to show the time code on screen while transferring the video over S-Video or Composite "Out" to the TV, DVD burner or the PC.

The VX2100 having issues is a blessing in disguise causing me to opt for a PD170 thanks to the guys here pointing out it can permanently burn the time code onto the tape. Now I can fire wire out and not lose the code.
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