9 Replies Latest reply: May 1, 2010 7:55 AM by NLEdit
CletusLevon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Recently FCP starting having a series of "timecode breaks" on every tape I use. I'm trying to capture material from Beta SP. This is a new problem and it is occuring on every single tape I put in. As a result of this I can't digitize anything longer than 5 seconds. Batch capture results in timecode errors or timecode breaks, crash recording results in timecode errors or breaks, etc. We've cleaned the deck. FCP tries rewinding and fastforwarding to search for the "break" but it can never find it. It also actively seeks timecode for about 30 to 45 minutes before attempting to capture then quits.
Now I'm wondering if it is a FCP problem or a deck issue and how I would solve this. There is no way every tape just magically started having timecode breaks and tapes that previously worked fine can no longer be digitized. Please help. Thanks.

Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • Tom Wolsky Level 10 Level 10 (112,750 points)
    I would suspect the deck. You might try cleaning the heads.
  • CletusLevon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks! That was the first thing we tried. Still no luck.
  • Randy Holder Level 6 Level 6 (9,795 points)
    What are your capture settings?
    How are you getting the BetaCam signal into the computer?
    Have you tried trashing FCP Preferences?

  • David Bogie Chq-1 Level 7 Level 7 (25,220 points)
    Probably the software that controls your interface card for the BetaSP input.
    If the AJA or Matrox or other mfr cannot help you, you may need to dub the tape. Umm, can't recall from you OP if you are absolutely certain the t/c is, indeed, coherent on your batch of tapes? Entirely possible there was a problem with the camera.

    Good luck, keep us posted, we'll throw more at you as you tell us what you've tried.

  • Meg The Dog Level 6 Level 6 (10,630 points)
    Hi -
    Some Beta Sp decks (Sony BVWs etc.) have a switch that select where the timecode from the tape is sourced from: either the standard longitudinal TC track or from the VITC (Vertical Interval Time Code) track, which is actually recorded embedded in the video, or an auto mode that switches automatically back and forth when VITC is detected. This creates havoc if the VITC and longitudinal code doesn't match or is intermittent, and causes the cueing problems you describe. See if that TC source switch is set to auto, and if it is, set it to longitudinal code. On some machines the switch was under the lift up control panel, on others it was located on the panel revealed when you pulled the control panel straight forward.
  • CletusLevon Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So, we played around with all the FCP settings and the deck settings and still no luck. Then there was a minor breakthrough. We realized the problem started when we started storing the captured media on an external storage unit (a Drobo unit) instead of on one of the Mac hard drives. We think there might be some bandwidth issues. Lots of information coming in but cannot be squeezed quickly enough to get to the Drobo and so the time code is one of the things that is not transferring. (I'm probably not phrasing this right.) But now that I am saving on the Mac drives, the time code error pops ups, but the media is still captured, unlike before when it wasn't captured at all. When saving on the Drobo, the time code errors appear after 4 seconds and FCP quits capturing. This is odd and I would really like to know how to circumvent this, we can't save everything on the Mac...forever. And did we really solve this issue or is it a temporary solution? As far as I'm concerned, this is still not solved. Just better because now I have media to edit that is longer than 6 frames.
  • Randy Holder Level 6 Level 6 (9,795 points)
    I remember reading a few reviews here and elsewhere about using the Drobo for video capture. Seems it's good for backup and archiving, not so good for video work.

    You still haven't told us how you are capturing the SP footage. What I/O card or box are you using to get it to the computer? Also, are you transcoding to DV on capture or trying to get it in uncompressed?
    Uncompressed will give you throughput issues unless you are going to a RAID setup.

  • Adam Scoffield Level 4 Level 4 (2,920 points)

    I am having exactly the same problem digitising from a digiBeta deck. It all started when I upgraded to Snow Leopard. But thanks you are right and I had forgotten sometimes diging onto a faster drive can help. It didnt do this in 10.5 that's all I'm saying.

  • NLEdit Level 4 Level 4 (1,645 points)
    check the reference going into the Beta deck. Make sure it's solid, and you really should have reference going to the computer i/o as well.

    The latest Drobos, with eSata, might work. But the older ones are know for not having enough bandwidth for video editing. they're great for everything else.
    Regular external firewire drives are less expensive than a big drobo. I'd love a drobo for archives.