Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machine

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Ray Argall

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Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machine

PostSun Nov 22, 2020 2:51 am

Hi,

I've had a sudden issue where my Ultrastudio 4K is not able to receive a signal from a tape machine. Workflow is Sony u-matic 5850P via SDI cable to NTSC/PAL input on US4K (audio is seperate via RCA) - capture on Media Express. This workflow was working fine capturing from a u-matic tape the day before, but today no signal. I checked the cable, which was working, updated from Desktop 15.1.2 to 16.1, and checked all the input settings on US4K were correct and matched Media Express. I also checked with a Sony M2000P digibeta - which also has worked recently with this same workflow.

Is it possible there is an issue with the US4K unit? I've tried power cycle and reboot a few times and still no change - there is no image on the US4K monitor - not even a bit of video noise, and no audio coming through to Media Express.

Any advice appreciated!

Thanks,

Ray
2013 Mac Pro (D300 x2), 10 core E5 2680v2, RX Vega64 8GB HBM2, Razer Core x eGPU, Mojave
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostSun Nov 22, 2020 7:44 am

I don't understand 2 things: The U-matic is composite analogue output not SDI, The DigiBeta is SDI. Desktop Video is up to version 11.7, surely you meant Resolve 15 and 16?

Check that you are set to composite in PAL 625i (Australia?) on the Ultrastudio for the U-matic, with analogue audio input. Do you have B&B house sync ref feeding both the U-matic and Ultrastudio too?
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Ray Argall

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostSun Nov 22, 2020 11:44 pm

Hi Steve, thanks for the response. Apologies that should read update from Desktop Video 11.5 to 11.6. Running Resolve 16.2.1 but not relevant as using Media Express for capture from tape sources. All the settings are consistent with PAL for analogue/tape deck - they were running fine and have been using the same connections and workflow through the US4K for a few years. The SDI cable works with digital or analogue signals as long as the US4K and Media Express/Resolve are set up to receive those signals. It appears to be an issue with US4K receiving a signal from the tape decks, hence the post.

Thanks,

Ray
2013 Mac Pro (D300 x2), 10 core E5 2680v2, RX Vega64 8GB HBM2, Razer Core x eGPU, Mojave
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Jack Fairley

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostMon Nov 23, 2020 12:07 am

Is your US4K set to the correct input in desktop video?
Threadripper 1950X 3.7GHz
64GB DDR4-2666
2x GTX 1080 Ti
DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G
Resolve Studio 16.1
Windows 10 Pro 1803
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostTue Nov 24, 2020 7:43 pm

Ray Argall wrote:Hi Steve, thanks for the response. Apologies that should read update from Desktop Video 11.5 to 11.6. Running Resolve 16.2.1 but not relevant as using Media Express for capture from tape sources. All the settings are consistent with PAL for analogue/tape deck - they were running fine and have been using the same connections and workflow through the US4K for a few years. The SDI cable works with digital or analogue signals as long as the US4K and Media Express/Resolve are set up to receive those signals. It appears to be an issue with US4K receiving a signal from the tape decks, hence the post.

Thanks,

Ray


It does seem as though something has gone wrong in hardware along the line. However just like VHS you may require to ensure timebase is correct, because no BMD hardware i/o can cope with analogue video problems in this area. This means either using a TBC or since the U-Matic has ref in, using a Black and Burst generator that feeds both the U-matic and Ultrastudio. You mean BNC cable rather than SDI cable? Since SDI/Composite is the signal not the cable standard :ugeek: :)
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Howard Roll

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostTue Nov 24, 2020 9:00 pm

You can't reference a record, only playback.

With no audio, it does sound like the capture hardware is dead however.

In the absense of burst you can sync a U-Matic to itself by looping the output through the ref.

Good Luck
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Ray Argall

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostWed Nov 25, 2020 7:36 am

Thanks for responses,

I've hooked up to the MP 5.1 using a Decklink card to check the hardware, and have been able to get a signal from the digibeta but not the umatic so it might be pointing to the tape deck - everything is playing fine, there's level on the monitors and video tracking but zero coming through to the Decklink card. Never seen a problem like this with these decks - sometimes problems with the tape drive mechanisms and heads but never the output ports - they were built really solidly. Have been through all the settings several times to check US4K/Decklink inputs are set to PAL 625i, composite, RCA for audio, checked the BNC connections (which have always worked for both umatic and digibeta/SP Beta, and still not a flash of video or audio.

So while US4K is a possible problem, I'm going to see if I can confirm where the signal is being lost between tape head and output. These umatic machines are getting old and rare so it might be time for retirement!

All the best,

Ray
2013 Mac Pro (D300 x2), 10 core E5 2680v2, RX Vega64 8GB HBM2, Razer Core x eGPU, Mojave
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostWed Nov 25, 2020 7:43 am

Howard Roll wrote:You can't reference a record, only playback.

With no audio, it does sound like the capture hardware is dead however.

In the absense of burst you can sync a U-Matic to itself by looping the output through the ref.

Good Luck


That's what he's doing capturing the U-matic - playing it back.
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostWed Nov 25, 2020 9:05 am

Ray, Have you tried different U-matic tapes? It does sound as if your U-matic may be on the way out if the Digibeta works fine with the US. But just to eliminate everything try another BNC cable too.
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Ray Argall

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostWed Nov 25, 2020 11:14 pm

Hi Steve,

I've been able to get signal from digibeta to the MP 5.1 via the Decklink card SD connection, captured a whole tape. I can get a grey noise signal from the umatic via the Decklink card - but the BNC out is composite and the Decklink can only take component in, so I'll need a BNC composite>component adapter to check tape deck.

However to test I hooked it back up to the Ultrastudio 4K, and no signal coming through to Media Express or the Desktop Video. Tried different tapes and a different BNC lead - same result. But there is also no signal from the digibeta using the same leads and tapes that worked in the decklink.

So it seems the US4K has an issue with the PAL/NTSC in port - or perhaps something internal in the unit? All the outputs to monitors/CRT/HDMI all work fine, so it's obviously receiving signal from the computer via thunderbolt, it's just not receiving any signals from the PAL/NTSC BNC port.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else or at BM has ever come across this issue?

All the best,

Ray
2013 Mac Pro (D300 x2), 10 core E5 2680v2, RX Vega64 8GB HBM2, Razer Core x eGPU, Mojave
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Howard Roll

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostThu Nov 26, 2020 12:10 am

Check the 5850's composite output with one of the CRTs.

Good Luck
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Ray Argall

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostThu Nov 26, 2020 5:16 am

Thanks Howard,
Good thinking. Unfortunately the CRT is a broadcast monitor with only component BNC in. I have another one under the house I can drag out, but tried a BNC to RCA adapter - not ideal as I'm not sure the video output with a standard RCA AV lead will work - I managed to get audio coming through to the Sony DV camera in VTR mode but no picture. So can't rule out the picture on u-matic deck - however it doesn't explain why the digibeta doesn't work on the US4K either.
Back to more pressing work now! Will clean heads on the umatic on the weekend.
Best,
Ray
2013 Mac Pro (D300 x2), 10 core E5 2680v2, RX Vega64 8GB HBM2, Razer Core x eGPU, Mojave
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Steve Fishwick

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Re: Ultrastudio 4K not reading signal from video tape machin

PostThu Nov 26, 2020 11:51 am

Ray, you say both the CRT and Decklink only have component in - I find this hard to believe. All broadcast CRT monitors I've had have at least a basic composite in - component boards are usually extra slot ins - I still have my 9" Sony field monitor and it has composite in standard with a component board. Similarly if the Decklink has component in it will have composite too, or I'm a son of a gun. It's in Desktop settings. If for some strange reason the monitor does not have composite connect the U-matic BNC out to the Y connecter to see if you have picture - it will be green but at least you'll see a signal. But you may be looking for a dedicated composite in bnc connecter - the Decklink won't have one - it uses the Y connector for composite and the same may true for your monitor.

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