Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

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Peter Welander

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Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 5:47 pm

Over the past few weeks I've been working with a Video Assist (1080 version) and a Panasonic AF100 (original, not an "A") using the SDI connection. For 30p, it's wonderful. Screen looks great and working with ProRes in FCP7 (yes, I'm a throwback on many sides) is great. The question I can't seem to get answered is finding out how to use this combination to get 24p. I'm told (via another forum) that if I turn on the SDI 24PsF setting on the camera, and also set the VA to 24p, it will work.

The problem is finding that elusive 24p setting on the VA. I've been searching on this site to no avail. Maybe I just haven't found it, but as it is now, if I turn on SDI 24PsF without changing the VA, it can't record. I've been hunting through the menus, etc., and I'm getting nowhere. I've been hunting through posts here. Is this strictly a 60i/30p setup, or am I just missing something?

Thanks.
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 6:01 pm

It supports 23.98PsF and 24PsF (records progressive, not interlaced), and should automatically detect the input format.
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Peter Welander

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostFri Aug 11, 2017 7:00 pm

Something must be amiss because it doesn't. If I set the camera to SDI 24PsF ON and then turn on the VA, I get no format. If I go into the camera menu and turn it off, the 1080i59.94 comes on and I get my record button. I must have something turned on or off somewhere that matters.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 5:18 am

Peter, first of all, the AF100 (I have had bothmthr original and A version) will only output a broadcast 1080i59.94 signal regardless of your camera resolution/frame rate when using 1080p24-30. If you turn on the AF100 SDI port, and set it to 1080psf24, and it will output a 1080psf24 signal, but you must turn off VFR, enabling 24PsF turns also off the HDMI port on the AF100. Now the AF100'willmoutput a 1080PsF24 signal. Next, set the VA to 1080PSF24 on and connect the AF100 VA via SDI (HDMI is not going to work) to the VA with a new high bandwidth 2/6G SDI cable, and the VA should detect the AF100 PSF signal,and record it as 1080p24. This does work, I have done it, but both th AF100 and the VA need to be set correctly.

If you are trying to use HDMI, then that is your problem as neither the AF100'or the VA will do 1080PsF24 via HDMI, you must use the SDI connection.
Cheers
Denny
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Peter Welander

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 12:19 pm

Thanks Denny. I am now doubly confused because I have two AF100/VA setups, both using VAs less than a year old and bought within six months of each other (although the newer unit says something about 3D LUTs on the box...) and both connected with Canare SDI cables (BH Photo). Not sure about its bandwidth, but it's also new. The second one works. (It's apparently the older VA where the box did not mention 3D LUTs.) The VA acknowledges 24p. Crazy.

I'm going to put both cameras side-by-side and start scrolling through menus to figure out what's different.

So many settings...

Thanks.
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Peter Welander

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostSat Aug 12, 2017 2:54 pm

The plot thickens: Since I have two setups, the obvious test is to switch VAs and see if it is related to the cameras or the VAs.

Apparently I have two different VA versions.

The one that works capturing 24p with BOTH cameras has this across the top line:
[frame box], RES, FPS, CODEC, etc.

The one that only accepts 30p with either camera has this across the top line:
[frame box], FORMAT, CODEC, etc.

Interesting, this problematic one is, I think, the one I got most recently. If memory serves B&H had it on sale for $399 a couple months ago. Are these old units that have been sitting around somewhere? Where do I find which software version I have? Can it be upgraded?

Thanks.
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Tony Rivera

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 9:43 pm

You can go to the support page and download/install the Video Assist firmware to update the units. Just power them on, plug it into the USB port and open the software. If you get a prompt to update the unit, go ahead and run that. If you do not, that means it's on the most current version.
Support: http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/support
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Peter Welander

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostMon Aug 14, 2017 11:59 pm

OK, I took the unit that was not cooperating and updated it to software version 2.5. It has the same problem. If I turn SDI 24PsF on, the VA can't handle it. The FORMAT simply goes blank and the record button goes gray. If I turn it back off, it recovers.

VFR is turned off.

The older (apparently) software where RES and FPS are separate seems to work better. The menu screens in this version are less detailed and I can't find which version it is. I'm guessing it won't let me install the older software anyway...

Am I still missing something?
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Denny Smith

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 2:27 am

OK, first run the BM software utilitymyou have installed in yiurmcomouter, and use the Uninstall tool to remove it. Then download VA 2.3 firmware (2.4 was just formthr VA 4K) on your comouter, then attach the VA and run the update into it. If you have an earlier ver of the VA firmware in your computer uninstall it a,so, as the VA will try to connect to the oldest version first. Once you run the update, you should be able to record 1080psf24 via the SDI input. I did this with the first version of the VA, so doubt one being an older unit is the problem.

If the oldear unit still does not recognize 1080psf24, and the newer untit does, contact BM Support office near you and tell them your problem, it should work, even with oldear firmware installed, as it was a working feature when the VA was released. Once updated, both VA display's should match, if not, then the o,dear VA is not accepting the firmware update, and this may be part of the issue, its Video processor board is not working correctly.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions
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Peter Welander

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 12:27 pm

Well, perhaps the problem is now solved. Following Denny's advice, I uninstalled the 2.5 updater, but I set the Wayback Machine to version 2.1, uploaded that updater, and shot it into my problematic VA. (2.3 seemed too recent based on when I think I ordered the earlier unit.) It now looks exactly like the other one (the top line of the display has RES and FPS separate rather than just FORMAT) and the other menus look the same. Maybe I went back farther than I needed to, but it looks promising. (Maybe this can be fixed in version 2.51)

Let me work on a little test shooting just to verify I have what I think I do.

So, lessons learned: What I thought was older software was actually a newer release. Apologies to B&H for thinking it might have been older inventory.

Thanks for the help.
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Denny Smith

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Re: Trying to find 24p capability with Video Assist

PostTue Aug 15, 2017 5:09 pm

I no longer have a VA, sold it a year ago, so I have not tried the new firmware, which seems it broke the 1080psf24 recording. Interesting, if this turns out to be the CFast, make sure you notify BM Customer Support directly (via BM Support page) about this bug.
Cheers
Denny Smith
SHA Productions

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