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Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:42 pm
by GregAusina
Hi,
This is a question for the Blackmagic wizards.
I need to feed a timecode into the BMCC for a multicam setup. I usually use an external clock box like the AMBIENT ALL601 ( cf attachment ) to feed an audio timecode and it works fairly well. But with that setup I sacrifice my audio inputs.
The ambient box is able to output a digital timecode signal via its LANC output port. Is there any chance I could use the LANC input port of the BMCC to get a clean timecode? This would be awesome because the post guys wouldn't have to decode the audio timecode anymore AND I would recover the ability to record sound on the SSD.
Regards, Greg.

ambient_all_601.jpg
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Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:59 pm
by Peter J. DeCrescenzo
gregausina wrote:Hi,
This is a question for the Blackmagic wizards.
I need to feed a timecode into the BMCC for a multicam setup. I usually use an external clock box like the AMBIENT ALL601 ( cf attachment ) to feed an audio timecode and it works fairly well. But with that setup I sacrifice my audio inputs.
The ambient box is able to output a digital timecode signal via its LANC output port. Is there any chance I could use the LANC input port of the BMCC to get a clean timecode? This would be awesome because the post guys wouldn't have to decode the audio timecode anymore AND I would recover the ability to record sound on the SSD.
Regards, Greg.


BMD intends the USB connector on their cameras to be used for firmware updates only. It's unlikely to support other purposes, especially not anytime soon.

However, feel free to add your feature request (it's come up before) to the long-running thread here:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=265

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 7:48 pm
by GregAusina
Hi Peter,
I wasn't talking about the USB port but the LANC port (check the pic on my first post). It is presently used to plug a remote on camera but the LANC protocol could technically transport a timecode signal.
Regards, Greg.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:11 pm
by Xtreemtec
Well probably the LANC port is directly ported to the main control processor.

Not sure if this controller also controls the PLL sync of the recorder / video chip.

It is something that only BMD can answer. From a electronic developer standpoint I would say it isn't that easy.!!

There will be some control over the PLL sync. But it all depends how the hardware is designed.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 8:53 pm
by Peter J. DeCrescenzo
gregausina wrote:Hi Peter,
I wasn't talking about the USB port but the LANC port (check the pic on my first post). It is presently used to plug a remote on camera but the LANC protocol could technically transport a timecode signal.
Regards, Greg.


Oops, sorry Greg.

I think the answer is similar: It may or may not be possible, but I doubt it's a high priority for BMD. Not that BMD would never add such a feature, but I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, dedicating an audio channel for TC is what folks such as John Brawley has done.

However, it's a good question & suggestion, so please do add it to the l-o-n-g list. Cheers.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:13 pm
by Aaron Scheiner
@Xtreemtec : Does TC have to influence/control PLL ? If you look at the EX3 it has TC In/Out but it also has genlock input. Genlock syncs the shutter and I would assume by extension video clock rate. If TC did influence the video clock rate then the genlock port would be unnecessary ?

In analog systems/betacam SP the TC didn't seem to influence PLL, it was just a mark recorded alongside the video signal (this would be the same behavior when TC is recorded on an audio track).

The logical result of this would be the eventual dropped or extra frame.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:33 pm
by GregAusina
Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
gregausina wrote:Hi Peter,
I wasn't talking about the USB port but the LANC port (check the pic on my first post). It is presently used to plug a remote on camera but the LANC protocol could technically transport a timecode signal.
Regards, Greg.


Oops, sorry Greg.

I think the answer is similar: It may or may not be possible, but I doubt it's a high priority for BMD. Not that BMD would never add such a feature, but I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, dedicating an audio channel for TC is what folks such as John Brawley has done.

However, it's a good question & suggestion, so please do add it to the l-o-n-g list. Cheers.


I don't know how people sort the priorities at Blackmagic but I can say timecode is definitly a priority for professionals. Audio TC is a workaround that I use very often but it is not very comfortable especially when you have to explain it to a post facility that has never dealt with it. And you have to choose between audio and timecode wich is sometimes a dilemma.
Finally I don't have any developper skills but I think it would be worth the effort. It is a kind of improvement that would really upgrade that camera that has already a lot of qualities. I will follow your advice and add that feature to the request list.
Regards.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:41 am
by Peter J. DeCrescenzo
gregausina wrote:
Peter J. DeCrescenzo wrote:
gregausina wrote:Hi Peter,
I wasn't talking about the USB port but the LANC port (check the pic on my first post). It is presently used to plug a remote on camera but the LANC protocol could technically transport a timecode signal.
Regards, Greg.


Oops, sorry Greg.

I think the answer is similar: It may or may not be possible, but I doubt it's a high priority for BMD. Not that BMD would never add such a feature, but I doubt it'll happen anytime soon. Meanwhile, dedicating an audio channel for TC is what folks such as John Brawley has done.

However, it's a good question & suggestion, so please do add it to the l-o-n-g list. Cheers.


I don't know how people sort the priorities at Blackmagic but I can say timecode is definitly a priority for professionals. Audio TC is a workaround that I use very often but it is not very comfortable especially when you have to explain it to a post facility that has never dealt with it. And you have to choose between audio and timecode wich is sometimes a dilemma.
Finally I don't have any developper skills but I think it would be worth the effort. It is a kind of improvement that would really upgrade that camera that has already a lot of qualities. I will follow your advice and add that feature to the request list.
Regards.


Without reading too much into it, the way John Brawley worded his recent post here ...
viewtopic.php?p=30218&sid=8aaff7ef7df000b445725d669601234d#p30218

"... TC in general is a pet project of mine. ..."

... makes me think BMD may address the lack of TC-code related features on their cameras, perhaps sooner rather than later. JB is as close to being an "inside man" at BMD as we've got. No guarantees, but who knows.

And, yes, I'm well aware of the importance of timecode. It's one of many traditional "pro" features BMD cameras don't currently include, for better or worse. Cheers.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 8:47 am
by GregAusina
Thanks for your attention Peter. I have also dropped a message in a bottle at Ambient.de to know their opinion about that question.
Fingers crossed now!

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 10:21 am
by Xtreemtec
Aaron your right. I mistaken TC with Genlock. :roll:

I toughed of Genlock for syncing the 2 image chips together so the both take the image at the same time..

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 2:37 pm
by GregAusina
I got bad news from Ambient. The all601 is not able to output the TC signal only to read it from a few old Sony cameras. And there's no other box that could do the job.
Maybe an other path would be to jam with ultrascope and the thunderbolt cable. I guess it shouldn't be to difficult to add a clock to ultrascope.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 3:04 pm
by Filmfish
you can always feed timecode to one of the 2 audio channels. Final cut and Avid both can read that timecode. just an option.

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:15 pm
by Blaine Russom
Filmfish wrote:you can always feed timecode to one of the 2 audio channels. Final cut and Avid both can read that timecode. just an option.


How do you do that?

Re: Use the LANC port to feed timecode

PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 4:23 pm
by GregAusina
Filmfish wrote:you can always feed timecode to one of the 2 audio channels. Final cut and Avid both can read that timecode. just an option.

Of course you can. This topic was about finding another way.
By the way, DaVinci is also able to read the audio time code since version 9.03. And I suppose you talk about Fcp X because Fcp 7 is not able to do it and needs Fcpauxtc.
Regards.