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Old 08-15-2007, 10:28 PM   #1
AldoPalumbo
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Default ADVC110 Problems

Following advice re video monitoring, I have bought myself a Canopus ADVC110 with which I have a number of issues.

Here's my setup:

Firewire 6pin at the back going to my Firewire drive which goes to my computer (all faults below are the same when I go direct from the converter to the Mac).

Rear S-Video to plasma screen monitor.

Rear analogue RCA outs to amp.
Issues:

1. No throughput on the DV. ie if I plug a camera to the front 4pin Firewire, I can see the pics in FCP, I can control the camera, but I can't get FCP to save the captured file. To do this, I have to unplug the converter and plug the same camera directly to the Mac. I'd rather keep my setup, set up and all connected to my monitor.

2. The S-video output has a latency of a few frames. NB this is not an FCP issue as everything is in sync on the computer screen and both video and audio are leaving Apple's world via the same Firewire output. It's how the video and audio are leaving the analogue outputs of the converter that is the issue. Somewhere in there, the pics are getting delayed.

It's not a monitor problem either, as I've tested this using the VGA output. ie When my plasma screen mirrors my desktop, it does so instantly.

3. The analogue outputs are really noisy. They have a real sizzle. Again, I have tested all the cables and routes (replacing the ADVC110 with an iPod), and found there is no interference in the system until I re-introduce the ADVC110. I have also tried adjusting the DIP switches after powering down.

Has anyone else encountered these problems? I'm awaiting word from Canopus tech support too, but it's been over a week now. I may send my unit back and just buy a DV deck.

best

Aldo
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Old 08-16-2007, 01:52 AM   #2
GrassValley_BH
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Hi Aldo,

First off, you want to avoid chaining DV devices (which you aren't), and chaining DV with storage devices (which you are, but you said you have the same problem directly connected). Storage devices have a tendency to send large bursts of data through the FireWire bus, rather than a constant trickle. The bursts will "clog the pipe" and cause the DV data, which needs to be a constant stream, to get interrupted. Just an FYI as you say the problems occur with a direct connection as well.
  1. DV transfer was designed to be point-to-point, meaning having only one DV device on the FireWire bus. Having multiple DV devices on the FireWire bus will confuse most capture applications. You'll end up with audio/video from one source, while another source may "intercept" the device control commands.
    Consider a 1394 switch box or similar if this is going to be a repeating scenario.
  2. The analog output of any DV converter device will lag behind the computer screen preview. This is because it takes some amount of time for the computer to compress the audio/video to DV format, and some amount of time for the DV converter to decode that DV data back to analog audio/video.
    The audio/video from the same device (meaning audio and video both from the ADVC, or audio and video both from the Mac) should be in-sync, but they will be out of sync relative to each other, so when checking, always take the audio and video output from the same device.
  3. What audio levels are you feeding the ADVC? Its outputs are connected to a Line-level input on you amp and not a phono or otherwise signal-amplified input, correct?
You could just buy a DV deck, but you'll still have the same issues on #1 and #2. #3 may or may not be an ADVC-specific thing.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:24 PM   #3
AldoPalumbo
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Thank you for the reply and the explanations. I've now borrowed a Sony deck, and indeed the analogue video out does lag behind the analogue audio out as you say.

However, I get the connection arrangement I want with it. In other words, I can connect it via FireWire by going through the drive and then into the computer. This is more elegant than connecting and reconnecting equipment.

Also, that noise problem has gone. It's got nothing to do with audio levels feeding the ADVC. So long as it's on, any input to my amp carries interference. It's probably got something to do with the ADVC being without an earth.

I've still not heard back from Canopus support.

I think I'll send it back and get a refund. It's doing nothing good for my set up.

best

Aldo
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Old 08-16-2007, 08:28 PM   #4
GrassValley_BH
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Join Date: Apr 2007
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Sorry it didn't work out for you, but I'm glad you found an adequate solution.
Just be careful when using the FireWire drive during capture or export - the "bus-choking situation" happens on most FireWire drives and can cause dropped frames or early termination of capture/export.

I definitely recommend calling in to support - as email has a tendency to get flooded. Also, it seems it's a popular time to vacation right now.
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