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Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Tue Sep 25, 2018 3:14 pm
by Paul Argyle

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere but I couldn't see it specifically.

We're having an issue where tally-over-SDI from our TriCaster 8000 program out isn't passing through the studio/camera fibre converter return 1 to an Ursa Broadcast.

Connecting the TriCaster program out directly to the Ursa SDI input shows that tally is working: it's passed on to the studio viewfinder, camera fibre converter and even back to the studio fibre converter. So the TC is definitely sending BM protocol tally over SDI.

Tally from an ATEM TVS HD program out makes it through the fibre converters correctly, as expected.

BM support have said that the tally protocol has been updated and probably isn't implemented yet by the TriCaster. I get that, although I can't find any info about it, but it must be something quite specific to the fibre converters i.e. they're detecting an actual ATEM device. Has anyone encountered this or any workarounds?

I'm looking at other options like Skaarhoj etc. but it's a frustratingly "simple" issue that seems a bit odd.

Thanks in advance for any thoughts or advice!

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:19 am
by Paul Argyle
Just a bump and an update - we're going to try a Skaarhoj ETH-GPI Link as a means of controlling the ATEM from the TriCaster, which is an elaborate workaround to this tally problem but it should also allow us to combine TC switching with BM camera control.

Out of interest though does anyone know if the Fiber Converters are looking for a specific ATEM ID on return 1, beyond the standard tally protocol?


Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Sun Sep 30, 2018 4:20 pm
by Xtreemtec
It is just straight forward. Should work if it is implemented to the propper anc data.

The converters can not see that there is an Atem or a different source that is sending the data.
But important is that it carries video to do so. As it is Anc data that is embedded in the video data.

Maybe you send out a resolution to the fiber converter that is not supported by the converter but is by the Ursa?? ( Might be 1280x720P ?! or a 1080P Level A /B issue? ) Do you have propper video and audio return on the Ursa from the converter?

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Thu Oct 04, 2018 2:36 pm
by Paul Argyle
Hi Daniel. Thanks for your reply, much appreciated!

You're right it is straightforward, or should be at least :) I've done some more testing, still no luck though...

You mentioned formats so I've tried 1080i50 and 1080p25 program output from the TriCaster to the studio fiber converter return 1 - in both cases I get pictures at the studio and camera converter end but no tally. Also in both cases pressing the return 1 button on the camera fiber converter shows the pictures on the studio viewfinder and LCD, as it should, plus the physical SDI return output 1 works too. But no tally. (I changed the settings on the camera to suit the format).

If I take the same TriCaster output direct to the Ursa SDI input I get tally, plus it passes through all the way back to the studio fiber converter.

Program out from the ATEM gives me tally, plus program audio if I turn it on in the Ursa menu.

No audio direct from the TriCaster though... presumably as it's not routed to 15-16 as it is with the ATEM (not sure how to achieve that). I just wonder if that's part of the issue... i.e. maybe the fiber converter needs 15-16 to be "alive" to pass the control signals?

It's a weird one that's hugely frustrating. I even started trying different sync options as I thought that may be relevant, think it's more basic than that though.

Going slightly crazy with this now :) If you have any other ideas they'd be most welcome!

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Thu Oct 11, 2018 5:23 pm
by Xtreemtec
Well in basic it should work.. But left there.. A tricaster is not a Atem.. And so difficult to say if it full setup right..

When you connect pgm out from the atem to the same input on the fiber converter it all works?

And no the audio channels do not have to be phyically be there for control / tally to work..

At this point i still suspect the tricaster for making some kind of error.. But hard to tell without the propper gear to see the data on the sdi.. I have all the measurement equipment here to do so.. But no tricaster as i don't like computer based switchers.. :lol:

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:20 pm
by Paul Argyle
Hi Daniel sorry for the late reply! Yep ATEM program out into the same return (1) on the studio fiber converter works fine.

It's just so weird that the Ursa is happy with the TriCaster tally signal, and so are both fiber converters if the signal is passed back through from the Ursa. But direct from TriCaster into return 1 is a tally no show.

Thanks for clearing up the audio channels question, I guessed it might not make a difference.

I think I'll just keep my fingers crossed that some future update addresses this, even as a side-effect of another issue! I will make Blackmagic aware again but I'm resigned to the fact that it's not going to be a priority :-)

Thanks again for your thoughts!

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2018 12:18 pm
by Paul Argyle
Quick update:

Many thanks to doctorsunshine on the NewTek forums for spotting the info below on the Skaarhoj website. There does indeed appear to be an issue with the Blackmagic SMPTE fiber converters passing control data, specifically from the BM 3G-SDI Arduino Shield but this may also be the source of my TriCaster issues.

This gives me hope that if there's an issue with a BM product then an update/fix might be forthcoming.

Note for SKAARHOJ controllers with Blackmagic 3G-SDI Arduino Shields and Studio Fiber Converter/Camera Fiber Converter:
We have tested Blackmagics fiber converter products in general to work with SDI output. This includes the Mini Converter, ATEM Camera Converter, ATEM Studio Converter and ATEM Talkback Converter 4K. The only product we know does not work is the Studio Fiber Converter/Camera Fiber Converter. This product is not compatible with their own 3G-SDI shield which is the component we use inside the RCPs and other products. While the Studio Fiber Converter/Camera Fiber Converter will forward shading data from an ATEM switcher it will not do so for the 3G-SDI shield.

Bottom line is this: We cannot change this situation, only Blackmagic Design can decide to upgrade either the Studio Fiber Converter/Camera Fiber Converter or the 3G-SDI Arduino Shield to make it work. At this point we can suggest that you rather connects a controller to an ATEM switcher which will work as the master for sending out the shading data. You might employ a cheap ATEM switcher for only this purpose.

Re: Fibre converters not passing TriCaster tally

PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2018 5:42 pm
by Xtreemtec
Aah great info to have. ;)