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Old 01-29-2008, 12:37 PM   #1
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Default ADVC55 - captures only in b/w, why?

Hi
Just got my Canopus ADVC55 to capture some analogue video. I have hooked up my Xbox 360 with composite cable to the advc55 and use a MacBook and Final Cut Express 4 to capture some gameplay. For some reason I only get black and white, no color!? I am a beginner but have tried to figure it out myself with manuals and googling but to no avail.

Have any of you any idea where Iīm going wrong? Any help would be much appreciated. I will upgrade to s-vhs cable, I just wanted to make sure everything worked with the unit which is why Iīm using the composite cable now. But that shouldīnt matter regarding color or b/w when I capture!?
/Cheers
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Old 01-29-2008, 07:07 PM   #2
GrassValley_KH
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Ask the obvious questions first:

What is the XBox unit currently set to output? PAL, PAL60 or NTSC? Are you using a modded XBox to play non-Euro titles?

Is your ADVC55 configured to convert PAL video? (check DIP Switch settings on the unit)
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Old 01-30-2008, 02:01 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_KH View Post
Ask the obvious questions first:

What is the XBox unit currently set to output? PAL, PAL60 or NTSC? Are you using a modded XBox to play non-Euro titles?
Itīs an Xbox 360 that is non-modded. I live in europe so itīs PAL. When I set it to PAL50 I do get color(hadīnt tried this option before). However most of the games, and Halo 3 in particular(which is what I want to capture) requires the 360 to be run in PAL60 mode to work.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_KH View Post
Is your ADVC55 configured to convert PAL video? (check DIP Switch settings on the unit)
DIP switch 1 is set to "on" for PAL mode, the rest of the switches are set to "off".

In Final Cut Express there is an "easy setup" mode where you confirm what formats in use. Here I have specified PAL and the dv-converter option. I have tried multiple settings here.

The only way I can capture anything is if the Xbox is set to PAL50, the advcīs dipswitch 1 is set to "on" for PAL, and I define PAL as the format in use in Final C.E. However, this is not an option as the game itself wonīt run in PAL50, I can only capture the Xboxīs menues and as soon as I insert the game it says it wonīt run in anything but PAL60.

The other option experimented with that gave me b/w footage captured was if I let the Xbox run in PAL60 mode, set the advcīs dipswitch 1 to "off" for NTSC, and chose NTSC as format in use in Final C.E. But b/w isīnt an option as I really need color. Besides I canīt seem to make this work either today....

Donīt tell me the ADVC55 canīt handle PAL60........
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 01-30-2008, 06:28 PM   #4
GrassValley_KH
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Don't lose heart just yet - try this:

Enable the PAL DIP switch setting, and then enable switch 5 too. So you should end up with switches 1-4 off and 5-6 on.

Try that and see if it works.

EDIT: Actually forget that (I'm posting before my morning coffee).

Yes, PAL 60 will not be captured since essentially it's running with NTSC refresh rates - ultimately the ADVC sees it as NTSC (Playback), but has to output PAL. Since the ADVC unit isn't a format converter for NTSC/PAL, you'll need to get yourself a separate box to turn the PAL-60 to PAL-50.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:10 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GrassValley_KH View Post
Don't lose heart just yet - try this:

Enable the PAL DIP switch setting, and then enable switch 5 too. So you should end up with switches 1-4 off and 5-6 on.

Try that and see if it works.

EDIT: Actually forget that (I'm posting before my morning coffee).

Yes, PAL 60 will not be captured since essentially it's running with NTSC refresh rates - ultimately the ADVC sees it as NTSC (Playback), but has to output PAL. Since the ADVC unit isn't a format converter for NTSC/PAL, you'll need to get yourself a separate box to turn the PAL-60 to PAL-50.
Too late, I already tried and it didīnt work. Thatīs what I have been suspecting too, that maybe the refreshrate at 60Hz is seen as NTSC and thatīs why I see the b/w but no colorinfo since it really isīnt NTSC....
You have no idea how much effort I put into getting one of these units and waiting for it to be shipped and now it doesīnt even work for what I intended to use it for.
I use Mac so there areīnt really any alternatives that I know of other than Canopus, plus I wanted good quality. Now Iīll just have to buy some cheap garbage to use on my slow old windows pc. *extremely grumpy*

Thanks for your time Mr "Grassvalley", appreciate it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 07:22 PM   #6
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If you're prepared to spend a few more euro, you can always drop in a format converter box (e.g. http://www.threedoubleyou.com/cdm660.htm).

The only concern there is the possibility of audio sync issues, since not all units (like the one above) support audio passthrough. ADVC does...but by then it may be too late.

As loathe as I am to suggest it, an ingest board like the Intensity Pro might be your only solution - but that has its own caveats - for one, it's internal, so you'll have to crack open your Mac. Second, I don't know if it's capable of capturing PAL-60 either...let alone getting software support via FCE. (might be FCP only)

Had you been running Windows, I'd have looked at the Pegasus board. It's pricey, but virtually purpose-built for capturing console output. You could capture in HD too, and completely skip SD all together.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:08 PM   #7
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"I like to make people spend money" (me) says buy a Pegasus and a Windows machine and capture in HD! Well, that is if you can get the 360 for RGB output...

Okay, maybe that's a bit much...

Yeah, I'd go with the signal converter. PAL60 is neither true PAL nor true NTSC... TVs will take it because they're very tolerant and will try to display whatever you feed it. Capture devices, on the other hand, need to be able to "lock" into the signal otherwise it all gets haywire.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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Replying to my own post - after some research, the PAL-60 output is actually going to prevent use with both Intensity Pro and GV Pegasus, since neither will accept the output signal.

So the only solution in this case is to go with a format converter box.
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Old 01-31-2008, 01:50 PM   #9
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Thanks for the input guys.
I guess I might as well just buy an NTSC version of the Xbox 360 and at the same time upgrade to one of the new units with Falcon chipsets and hdmi - problem solved.
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Old 02-01-2008, 03:00 PM   #10
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BTW - wouldīnt it be possible to fix PAL60 compatability with a firmware update to the advc55, and if so do you reckon it is anything that is or would be considered in the near future?
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