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  1. Member
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    I have some PAL Hi8 analog tapes that we are trying to captured into iMac via Canupus ADVC110 using FCP or iMovie. All attempts in both softwares show black and white capture only.

    I am using a Sony TRV107E PAL Hi8 Camcorder connected to the ADVC110 with composite cables. Convertor has been set to capture PAL (DIP switches set to 2+6 on). The cable from ADVC110 to the iMac is firewire 800 input with a 6pin firewire output from the ADVC110. Have set iMovie and FCP to PAL and cannot get a PAL signal to come through, only black and white with misplaced frame. Tried using VHS tape PAL and got the same result. Switched to S-VHS cables same result. Also tried a Hi8 deck instead of the camcorder and still same result. Tried all different settings on the convertor, same result mostly. Reset the preference file for iMovie and still no change.

    Can anyone give any advice. I am at a total loss what to do next. I am a novice at video and would appreciate any help.

    Thank you
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  2. Member hech54's Avatar
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    So you own/have a PAL Hi8 camcorder, PAL VHS machine and a PAL Hi8 deck.....in Atlanta? I'm impressed.
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    There is a dip switch on the bottom of the device that configures it for PAL or NTSC capture. Have you switched it to "On"? It is set to "Off" by default, which is the NTSC capture setting.

    If you do not have a manual there is a PDF version here: http://www.pro-video.it/provideo-incorso/images/File/Canopus/ADVC110%20Manuale.pdf and the information about dip switch settings is on page 16.

    [Edit] Sorry I missed something in your post, where you said you did set the dip switches. Is there is any possibility this is a SECAM tape? If so, switch 5 must be set to "On" as well. Hi8 is an analog format, so have you tried setting switch 2 to "Off"?
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 22nd Nov 2011 at 10:56.
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    SGGS - I hope that usually_quiet's suggestions work for you because the fact that you are using Mac actually means that this probably needed to go into our Mac forum rather than the Capturing forum. I know it seems like a capturing issue, but anytime you use a Mac that actually outweighs other considerations around here as we have plenty of people with Windows experience doing things like what you want to do, but if you do it under Mac you really need to post there as there can be Mac specific issues involved that people with Windows experience won't be able to help you with. If you're still stuck maybe by Friday and you haven't gotten any more help, contact a moderator like Baldrick and ask if your thread can be moved to the Mac forum here. Then post to it again and say "bump" so that it will jump to the top of the new topics list on the main webpage.
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    Thank you for the suggestions. I have looked over the manual to check if I have things right. I also tried the DIP 2=OFF and tested with DIP 5=ON. Still the same result for all of these. Even just having DIP 6=ON had no change either. The Hi8s were taken in 1993, Australia and SE Asia which do not use Secam. I am pretty sure they are straight PAL. Not sure what else to try. When I rang Apple they said iMovie does not support Hi8 and similar camcorders but I thought since I am using a convertor in between this should be ok? I rang Canopus also and they suggested getting a PC Express card 34 slot for the firewire 800 port as they have had problems with intermittent transfer using firewire800. OThers thought this would not really help anything.
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    Originally Posted by SGGS View Post
    Thank you for the suggestions. I have looked over the manual to check if I have things right. I also tried the DIP 2=OFF and tested with DIP 5=ON. Still the same result for all of these. Even just having DIP 6=ON had no change either. The Hi8s were taken in 1993, Australia and SE Asia which do not use Secam. I am pretty sure they are straight PAL. Not sure what else to try. When I rang Apple they said iMovie does not support Hi8 and similar camcorders but I thought since I am using a convertor in between this should be ok? I rang Canopus also and they suggested getting a PC Express card 34 slot for the firewire 800 port as they have had problems with intermittent transfer using firewire800. OThers thought this would not really help anything.
    I'm a Windows PC user, so if this is a Mac-specific hardware problem, I don't know enough to help.

    Firewire 800 is supposed to be backwards compatible with firewire 400 (the type of firewire port on the ADVC110). I suppose it is always possible an actual firewire 400 port will work better than a firewire 400 to firewire 800 cable (assuming your iMac allows you the option of installing an adapter card to provide one.) If you don't get any better suggestions, maybe you will need to look into that.
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    There's nothing in any firewire interface that's going to turn a colour video signal into black and white. The only things in software that'll do this are intentional filters.

    Your problem is in the signal output from the VCR(s), the connection, or the capture device itself.

    Interpreting PAL as SECAM (or any other mismatch), interpreting composite as S-video (or the opposite), or capturing something that ADVC doesn't support (PAL or NTSC but with the colour sub-carrier at the wrong frequency - typically used by VCRs to send one video format to a TV that only supports a different one) are the most common causes.

    Cheers,
    David.
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    Originally Posted by 2Bdecided View Post
    There's nothing in any firewire interface that's going to turn a colour video signal into black and white. The only things in software that'll do this are intentional filters.

    Your problem is in the signal output from the VCR(s), the connection, or the capture device itself.

    Interpreting PAL as SECAM (or any other mismatch), interpreting composite as S-video (or the opposite), or capturing something that ADVC doesn't support (PAL or NTSC but with the colour sub-carrier at the wrong frequency - typically used by VCRs to send one video format to a TV that only supports a different one) are the most common causes.

    Cheers,
    David.
    You are talking about PAL 60, where players convert an NTSC source to use the PAL chrominance subcarrier without changing its frame rate. (This makes it viewable on a PAL TV able to use a 60Hz signal.) There is no equivalent for PAL 60 in NTSC countries. PAL material must be fully converted to NTSC standards to play on an NTSC TV.

    The tape would have to be NTSC played back on a PAL deck to get a PAL 60 signal. ... or the tape would have to be recorded in PAL60. I wonder if the OP has tried playing the tape on an NTSC deck, and that didn't work. I never heard of a camera that records in PAL 60, although I suppose anything is possible.
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  9. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    There is no equivalent for PAL 60 in NTSC countries.
    Not commercially available as an output format, but a few NTSC Philips CRT TVs would display "NTSC50" - i.e. 625-line 50Hz NTSC 3.58 chroma. Not particularly useful as only an ultimate video geek would be able to generate it So, as you say, not relevant


    I wonder if the OP is looping the video through anything, (TBC, DVD recorder, etc)?
    I wonder if the OP has tried watching the video on a PAL TV?

    Cheers,
    David.
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  10. Member edDV's Avatar
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    First issue is does this tape play in color when connected to a PAL monitor?

    If not, it could be an S-Video cable or connector issue. But the OP says he tried composite as well. Usually a professional PAL monitor will display subcarrier frequency. Even my US model Vizio HDTV will display subcarrier frequency and 576i for a PAL input.

    If the picture does display in color on the monitor and the subcarrier frequency is 4.43MHz PAL, The ADVC-110 should work if set to PAL and zero IRE. Note that the ADVC needs to be power cycled to respond to dip switch changes.

    The ADVC will not work with PAL60 (480 lines + 4.43MHz PAL subcarrier)*

    Nor will it work with Brazilian PAL-M (480 lines + 3.58MHz PAL subcarrier)*
    Nor will it work with Argentina PAL-N (576 lines + 3.58MHz PAL subcarrier)*

    * displays monochrome
    Last edited by edDV; 23rd Nov 2011 at 09:38.
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  11. Member 2Bdecided's Avatar
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    While we're on this trip into video geekery...
    Originally Posted by edDV View Post
    Nor will it work with Argentina PAL-N (576 lines + 3.58MHz PAL subcarrier)*
    Some people call that Pal-NC ("C"=combination) to differentiate it from the defunct PAL-N ITU definition, which lists a 625-line 50Hz video format with NTSC-style syncs (0.286V sync voltage, vertical sync = 6 broad pulses instead of the usual 5 for 625-line systems). Not much chance of the ADVC (or any TV I've ever seen in the Northern Hemisphere) doing anything at all with that, other that rolling. PAL-NC, as you say, is captured in 625-line ("PAL") mode, but without colour.

    PAL-60 and PAL-M need the ADVC in "NTSC" mode to deliver that black-and-white signal. In "PAL" mode you'll get loss of sync.

    There are a (very few) PC capture cards that can capture all these formats. The ADVC devices are quite limited, in only supporting the three absolute common standards. Still good enough for most people, and good enough for this job (you'd think!).

    Cheers,
    David.
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  12. Issue is probably software (driver?) not hardware - most common modern video digital decoders IC's are capable to demodulate even non-standard video - i saw multiple number of times that even explicit selection for PAL configuration is ignored and device remains in NTSC decode mode - SECAM is quite easy to detect due special "ident signals" http://www.pembers.freeserve.co.uk/World-TV-Standards/Colour-Standards.html#SECAM

    BTW - capturing capabilities can be verified by connecting video generator (graphics cards in modern PC are usually capable to produce various analog composite signal - just set PAL at the video output)
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    Originally Posted by 2Bdecided View Post
    I wonder if the OP is looping the video through anything, (TBC, DVD recorder, etc)?
    I wonder if the OP has tried watching the video on a PAL TV?
    Re-reading the OP's first post, it does not appear that the signal is being passed through anything.
    Originally Posted by SGGS View Post
    I am using a Sony TRV107E PAL Hi8 Camcorder connected to the ADVC110 with composite cables. Convertor has been set to capture PAL (DIP switches set to 2+6 on). The cable from ADVC110 to the iMac is firewire 800 input with a 6pin firewire output from the ADVC110.
    If a different device is needed for PAL 60 capture, an Ezcap116 USB is the only current device I have seen that supposedly works with OSX-compatible software (VideoGlide). It captures regular PAL or NTSC too, but don't know which of the less usual variants of either it supports. It is available from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Ezcap116-Camcorders-Satellite-Playstation3-Software/dp/B003YGJLW...2067603&sr=1-1
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    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    BTW - capturing capabilities can be verified by connecting video generator (graphics cards in modern PC are usually capable to produce various analog composite signal - just set PAL at the video output)
    Not anymore. Most recent graphics cards lack the composite, component, and S-Video analog TV-out ports that many older VGA cards had.
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  15. Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    BTW - capturing capabilities can be verified by connecting video generator (graphics cards in modern PC are usually capable to produce various analog composite signal - just set PAL at the video output)
    Not anymore. Most recent graphics cards lack the composite, component, and S-Video analog TV-out ports that many older VGA cards had.
    I know however it is hard for me to imagine lack of older PC or MAC somewhere - also lot of picture cameras is equipped with analog composite output and they can be set in PAL/NTSC mode - i mean - there is lot of equipment that can be used as a generator.
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  16. Does the video show up in color when played back on the camcorder's LCD screen?
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    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    BTW - capturing capabilities can be verified by connecting video generator (graphics cards in modern PC are usually capable to produce various analog composite signal - just set PAL at the video output)
    Not anymore. Most recent graphics cards lack the composite, component, and S-Video analog TV-out ports that many older VGA cards had.
    I know however it is hard for me to imagine lack of older PC or MAC somewhere - also lot of picture cameras is equipped with analog composite output and they can be set in PAL/NTSC mode - i mean - there is lot of equipment that can be used as a generator.
    It has already been tried. The OP's first post stated a PAL VHS tape and (I guess) a PAL VCR was also used to test the ADVC 110, and the picture was still black and white.
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  18. but this not solve doubts that or capture card is not capable to capture PAL or that source produce not a PAL signal - to confirm that capture card is capable to acquire PAL some PAL known source is required.
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    Originally Posted by pandy View Post
    but this not solve doubts that or capture card is not capable to capture PAL or that source produce not a PAL signal - to confirm that capture card is capable to acquire PAL some PAL known source is required.
    The ADVC100 is a well-regarded capture device used by a number of this forum's members. It is definitely capable of digitizing a regular PAL analog signal, if it is properly configured and not defective. If that was not the case, somebody here would have already said it was the wrong device to use for this.
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  20. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    IIWY, SGGS, I'd follow edDV's advice and go into troubleshoot mode:

    1. Play the tape in the Hi8 camcorder alone - does it show in color on the lcd screen? If yes, go to 2, if not, your tape is monochrome or one of those PAL/SECAM variants and can't use your equipment.
    2. Play the tape out via analog composite to a PAL-capable TV (which you ought to already have if you've got all that other stuff)- is that in color? If yes, go to 3, if not, see the answer for #1b
    3. Making sure those dip switches are correct and re-powered, connect the camcorder to the ADVC to a friend's firewire-enabled XP pc that has WinDV (set to capture PAL). Does it show up in color there?

    I know and understand 2Bdecided's reasoning for excluding Firewire800, but that's one of the few glaring non-standard items in this chain.

    Does playback of even a standard NTSC tape through the ADVC (set to NTSC correctly) capture in color? If not, then the color processor on the ADVC might very well be bad.

    Scott
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    Thanks for the great advice here. I am going one by one. Spoke to Canopus again and they told me that the ADVC does not support PAL N. So this is most likely what is happening.

    The Hi8 Camcorder shows color on its monitor and we have successfully copied analog Hi8 to analog VHS and Hi8 duplicate in full color. Will try step 2 and 3 above and post it here.
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    Does playback of even a standard NTSC tape through the ADVC (set to NTSC correctly) capture in color? If not, then the color processor on the ADVC might very well be bad.

    Yes, NTSC is capturing fine. Full color and no problems.
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    Originally Posted by SGGS View Post
    Thanks for the great advice here. I am going one by one. Spoke to Canopus again and they told me that the ADVC does not support PAL N. So this is most likely what is happening.
    I looked at the TV system for Australia and SE Asia, where the tapes were shot, and they don't use PAL-N. PAL B is used instead, as is the case for most PAL countries.

    I'm somewhat perplexed because PAL-N is apparently only used in a few S. American countries, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, and PAL-M is only used in Brazil.
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    Originally Posted by SGGS View Post
    Spoke to Canopus again and they told me that the ADVC does not support PAL N. So this is most likely what is happening.
    Whoa partner!!! So is this is a PAL-N tape?

    Australia and SE Asia use standard PAL (625/50 4.43MHz subcarrier) so the ADVC should work.

    The camcorder standard depends where the camcorder was purchased, not where it was shot.
    Last edited by edDV; 23rd Nov 2011 at 18:01.
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    Step 2: Tested the Hi8s on PAL TV and they played in color.
    Step 3: Tested the ADVC and Camcorder capturing to XP PC. It was in color! Could not use the WinDV successfully but used the Windows Movie Maker. It looks really good too, the capture. I used firewire 6pin (back of ADVC) to 4 pin firewire port on the side of the Laptop. The ADVC Dip switch was only set to 6 ON and everything else OFF.

    We also experimented with powering on and off the ADVC on the iMac with all the different switches, even SECAM ON. They all improved the frame so it now fits in the capture window but still black and white. We have an old Aiwa that can convert or switch from NTSC, PAL, PAL N, PAL M, SECAM, so we tried all of these settings on the iMac with the various ADVC DIP settings and we got color for SECAM settings but no frame movement just a single frame in the capture window. Everything else was black and white still.

    Still not sure what PAL tape we have for the Hi8s and why the iMac is not working like the PC did.

    Can anyone tell me what the issue is here?
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    Yes, I am tending to agree with you now that these tapes are not PAL N as suggested because they were recorded on an Australian camcorder. I am also getting color capturing to the PC so it must be regular PAL.
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    Bingo!
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    Since the PC has a firewire 400 port, that could be the reason it worked better. I did a Google search and found a few instances (with different symptoms) where the ADVC110 failed to work correctly using a Mac with a firewire 800 port, and the problem was resoved by switching to a different firewire 400 to firewire 800 cable from Belkin.

    From Grass Valley http://www.grassvalley.com/docs/Application_Notes/professional/advc/PRV-4077M_ADVC_Fir...Wire800_AN.pdf

    Grass Valley has tested a number of these cables with successful results. One particular vendor of these cables is Belkin. In particular, a Belkin 6-foot/1.8m FireWire 400 4-pin to FireWire 800 9-pin cable and Belkin 6-foot/1.8m FireWire 400 6-pin to FireWire 800 9-pin cable were connected to a Mac equipped with a Mac S800 port. The test was conducted with both MacOS versions 10.5 and 10.6. The following ADVC products worked properly with this configuration:
    ADVC55
    ADVC110
    ADVC300
    ADVC700
    ADVC1000
    ADVC3000
    ADVC-HD50
    ADVC-HDM1
    TwinPact 100
    The other thing that fixed some problems was using the ADVC110's power supply instead of using the firewire cable to supply power. 4-pin firewire cables don't supply power, so you would need to use the ADVC110's power supply when using the device with your PC.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 23rd Nov 2011 at 20:08.
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    Thanks for the info. I checked the 400/800 cable that I was using on the iMac and it is a Belkin. Unfortunately I do not have a 4pin port on the iMac or a 6pin for that matter. Would an adapter that can plug into the 800 port work instead?
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    Originally Posted by SGGS View Post
    Thanks for the info. I checked the 400/800 cable that I was using on the iMac and it is a Belkin. Unfortunately I do not have a 4pin port on the iMac or a 6pin for that matter. Would an adapter that can plug into the 800 port work instead?
    I don't think a 4-pin connection is the issue per se. It is having enough power, which might not be the case if only source of power available to the the ADVC110 is the firewire 400 to firewire 800 cable. Do you have the ADVC110's power supply plugged into the wall when using the iMac, or are you using the firewire cable only?
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