FAQ

ALL DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDERS:

You can e-mail our support team at support@ffv.com

Call at 1-949-852-8404 ext. 2  Telephone assistance is available 7 am to 4 pm Pacific. (10 am to 7 pm Eastern time)

I have an old Omega SD how can I upgrade it?

Get a $2K credit for your old dual channel Omega SD, return it to the factory and replace it with a brand new SD/HD-SDI capable Omega HD Dual Channel with either AES or Analog audio. E-mail our sales team at sales@ffv.com or call at 1-949-852-8404 ext. 1. ( limit of one $2K credit per end-user, offer not available through resellers.)

When I start recording, the time code doesn’t count and when I stop it counts one frame.  What is wrong?

The Single Frame Record Option is ON.  On units with a front panel, go to the Record menu and press next to Single Frame to turn “Off”.  “MiniDVR Pro” and “FieldPro” users use the “DVR Master” software to uncheck Single Frame Record. OEM products use the Serial Protocol Configuration Set command, with Item Code #60, with the correct data.

Why doesn’t Loop Record use the entire drive?
Loop Record only uses the portion of the drive that was empty or available at the time the recording starts because the DVR does not know what video is important to the user.  Therefore, it maintains previously recorded clips and loops across the available space only.

How much record time can I get using your products?
Translating disk size into hours of video requires assumptions about frame sizes and frame rates.  SD frames are variable sized as a function of image complexity. Keeping this in mind, for SD Products only, the formula to calculate record time is included in the Serial Protocol Document (Serialxx.pdf) available from the technical support page of www.ffv.com.  A rough estimate for SD may be obtained using the formula – 0.8 times (compression ratio) times (drive size, GB) = (Minutes) – 0.8 * 5 * 40 = 160 min or 2 hours and 40 minutes.  There are hardware limitations that vary by product and configuration including Frame buffer size (this refers directly to the disks INDEX TABLE i.e. disk address of every single frame), Directory entries, and Drive addressing capability as well as Compression ratio and Time Lapse or Event recording.  Each of these contributes to the limitation of record time to a specific drive or set of drives.
Index table limit – Omega (without ETM), DigiDeck, Recon (up to Rev. 3) – 8-9 hours.
Omega (with ETM) – about 24 hours (this is an approximate estimate)
Recon (Rev. 4), Outrider, NDT 200 – about 48-50 hours
Directory Entries – about 4500 clips.

Why does the recorder stop recording when the drive percentage says less than 100% used?
This can happen for several reasons:
1)When recording at a high compression ratio, large drives can hold more frames of video than the index table can.  The unit still returns the Disk Full error code in this case.
2)The drive has a bad spot and will not record more information past a specific point.  Try another drive to verify.
3)When recording very small clips, a user may fill the in memory directory buffer and get a Disk Full error code.

What file formats will the video be stored in?
The user is able to select from three options (except Omega, which offers option 1 only):
1)Fast Forward Video’s proprietary disk and file format for secure playback from the DVR only.
2.FAT32 disk format and Fast Forward Video’s proprietary file format allows video files to be converted to QuickTime™ files at a later time for archive or editing or playback from the DVR.  This option allows users to take advantage of the Power Fail Safe Recording and Startup Video Recovery Options while recording, but does require the user to convert the files to QuickTime manually.
3)FAT32 disk format and QuickTime™ file format – Playable using the DVR or transfer to PC or MAC for archiving, editing or replay.
Can the unit be programmed to start recording at a specified time?

No, none of Fast Forward Video’s DVR will start automatically.  Users are able to utilize the Serial Protocol to send the start command at a specified time. However, there are auto start features at power up. DVR can be configured to record upon power up or a command can be set to start up at a specified time.
Do you have mounting layout information for your OEM hardware?

Yes, we will provide mechanical dimension information for your system layout.  There is a basic mechanical dimension drawing in the Hardware Technical Reference Document available from the Technical Support Page of www.ffv.com.
Why doesn’t my DVR record?

There are many things that may keep the DVR from recording.
1)The most obvious is that the DVR must recognize the drive attached and properly format the drive prior to starting a recording.  Once a drive is attached, use the “Clear Disk” command (or Delete All Video for OEM products) to format the drive.  For Native MOE disk format, the format is very quick, for FAT32 disk format, the formatting procedure will take up to one minute to complete.  The Pass-Thru video will be black during the format process.  Note: Set the disk and file formats prior to starting the format procedure.
2)The video format selected should match the format of the video to be recorded.  If PAL resolution or format is selected, the unit will not record NTSC video.
3)There are three space requirements that must be met to allow additional video to be recorded.  There must be space available on the disk, room in the index table for more frames, and room in the clip directory for additional entries.  The space on the disk should be read from the Available space reported in the status block or from the front panel.  The other two are hardware or firmware based numbers that vary per unit.

What disk drives are usable in your products?
(There is a size limitation, 1TB, which a future update may resolve.)
Omega Deck – uses Seagate Cheetah SCSI drives.

DigiDeck™, FieldPro™, Recon™, and Outrider IDE – use Hitachi or Fujitsu, 2.5” parallel IDE drives.  Rotational speed is not important.  48 bit LBA was added to the firmware in 2007 to allow for the larger drives to be fully recognized.
MiniDvrPro™ and Outrider™ Compact Flash – use SanDisk Ultra II™, Extreme III™, or Extreme IV™ Compact Flash media.  The Compact Flash parts MUST support multi-word DMA Mode 2 transfers to be usable.
NDT200™ – uses Hitachi or Fujitsu, 2.5” SATA drives.
OmegaHD™ – uses Western Digital 3.5” SATA drives.
How many hard drives can I connect to my DVR?
Omega Deckuses SCSI drives, which allow up to 7 drives on the bus.  Be sure to correctly address the drives when connecting.
The limitation is not with how many GB of drive space is installed, but the number of frames readily accessible. This number is approximately 9 hours, unless the Extended Time Module is installed for the channel.
Recon and Outrider based units (DigiDeck, FieldPro, Mini DVR Pro, and OEM boards) use the IDE bus, which allows a Master and Slave only. Some units only have space for 1 while others are configured to allow two. The OEM boards will utilize two drives. Be sure to correctly select Master or Slave when attaching two drives to the OEM boards. Compact Flash units already specify Master/Slave for the socket. It is best to use the Master socket if using only one CF device.
NDT200 uses (1) 2.5” SATA disk.
OmegaHD uses 3.5” SATA disks, either 1 per channel for dual channel units, 2 for single channel units, or 2 in RAID configuration for Simultaneous Record/Play units.
How should I connect a computer without a Serial port to the Omega or DigiDeck?
We recommend the use of Edgeport USB to (4) Serial port (RS-232) converters and a RS-232 to RS-422 converter for each channel to be controlled.  Always use standard connection cables, never use Null Modem cables.
Why not use a USB to RS-422 converter?
The RS-422 pin-out is usually not correct to match the Sony BVW-75 pin-out.
Where can I get the RS-422 to RS-232 converter?
Fast Forward Video sells the RS422 Adapter, Part Number 302-SA069-1.  Call or e-mail Sales for pricing and availability.
How can I record Closed Caption information in an HD video standard?
Any data contained on line 9 of field 1 or line 572 of field 2 will be captured and recorded in the ancillary data. For FFV DVR’s CC has been successfully captured specifically on line 9 of field 1 and line 572 of field 2.
CC data must also be present in both field 1 and 2 for interlaced formats; 1080i59.94, 1080i60, 1080i50.
We do not support CC in SD-SDI, only HD-SDI.
Ref: S334-1-2007, S334-2-2007, CEA-708-C (2006), Digital Television (DTV) Closed-Captioning
Why would anyone turn the “Power Fail Safe Recording option” Off?
The Power Fail Safe Recording option has the ability to turn Off because:
1) It was added as an option after the initial release and a safety measure is to allow users to turn it off in case there are problems.
2) Some users don’t want to be required to delete a “broken” file.  They want it to delete automatically if there is a power fail during the recording.
3) There are conditions where all unrecorded drive space is allocated to the record stream in progress.  If there is a power failure during recording with PSFR ON in this case, there will not be any unallocated empty space to start to record into without performing the recovery immediately.  Therefore, the only action the user could take is to Play previously recorded video, except the failed recording, or recover the failed recording.  Some users would rather sacrifice a failed recording than not be able to record immediately if a failure occurs.
How long does it take for the video recovery process to complete?
For SD video recordings 6.40 generally about 2 minutes but it could take longer if you had recorded a large video prior to the power lose.
What happens to my recordings if I press OK before the “Recovering Video Please Wait” message disappears?
Nothing, the DVR will continue recovering video until completed, you will not lose any recorded video.
Is there a way to turn off audio when the DVR is in time-lapse record mode?
The DVR will record the audio present at the input and it will play as noise unless the user sends the Configuration Set command to Mute Audio during playback.  See chapter 3 of the Serial Protocol document for more details.  It is usually much easier to disconnect either the input during record or the output during playback to eliminate the noise.
During Playback, the picture flashes between black and white and color continuously.  How can this be corrected?
This is usually caused by having the Genlock option turned “On” without having a Reference signal input to the unit.  Either turn Genlock Off or supply a sync reference to the unit.
What is the difference between Destination and Source Time Code?
When using BVW-75 personality, there shouldn’t be a difference because the video is placed on the linear time line at the position indicated by the incoming time code and all time code prior to the recorded video is maintained as black space in the time line.
When in Native personality, the Source Time Code is the time code sent to the DVR during record.  The Playlist Time Code is determined when the “Play List” is built and is a counter of the number of frames starting from 00:00:00:00 and counting up the total number of frames in the Play List, or if no user defined play list is loaded, all recorded video on the drive in the order recorded.  Using Playlist Time Code, the time code output will always be continuous, unless Loop Play is on, where the time code will count up the number of frames and restart at 0.  When using Source Time Code, the time code output may be discontinuous at the output.  Remember that the DVR continues to Cue based on the Playlist Time Code even when displaying the Source Time Code.
Where can I find firmware updates for my DVR?
All firmware updates are made available at the Technical Support page of www.ffv.com.  Look in the table for your product to select the proper firmware.  For some units, there are two possible firmware files for the product.  Either have the unit running, connect the DVR to HyperTerminal (Windows OS prior to Vista) and start the firmware update from the unit.  It will tell you which firmware file to use unless it is the first of its type, in which case you load the earliest for your type board.
If you do not have the ability to determine the firmware for your DVR type, please call FFV Service or Technical Support for help.
Why does the unit stop during Play?
There are several reasons the unit stops when playing:
1)The unit played to the end of the recorded material or playlist when Loop Play is Off.
2)The Setting Underrun is set to Stop and the disk is not getting frame information to the board in time.  Recover will allow the player to insert a duplicate frame when waiting for the disk to get the next frame.  This indicates a possible disk problem.
Why does the video playback stutter/start and stop/play longer than the recorded video?
This may be due to the setting Underrun being set to Recover.  When set to this setting, the unit will duplicate frames if the disk is not returning frame data quickly enough.  Set the setting to Stop for test purposes.  If the playback stops, rather than continuing, it is most likely time to replace the disk.
Do FFV standard definition recorders handle the 16:9 aspect ratio?
No, the standard definition recorders only process 4:3 aspect ratio video
Do your DVR’s support VDCP protocol?
No. Fast Forward Video products only support the Sony Serial Protocol.

I have hundreds of clips stored on my DVR, after power cycling why does the first playback cue take so long?
At power up the DVR must build a playlist prior to executing any playback transport commands. If a playlist is not explicitly sent to the DVR it creates a playlist by loading the source list. Loading the source list will take some time if there are lots of clips stored on the drive. Some video professionals may have thousands of clips stored on their DVR so it can take many minutes to build a play list from a long source list. We recommend powering up your deck and issuing a motion command well before the DVR is needed such that it has enough time to load up all the clips in the source list. Also, QuickTime files take longer than Native Moe files to load.

I am using an FFV DVR in a video system can you help with systems integration?
We can help with any issues you might have with our DVR. However, we do not provide systems integration support at this time.
My DVR was working flawlessly, now it seems I have multiple issues, record stops after a short while, not all the menus are displaying and generally odd behavior, does my deck need to be serviced?
Not necessarily. Often times returning the deck to its original factory settings can clear up a variety of issues and return the deck to normal operation. The process requires a “killcfg” file download which you can obtain for your specific product off of our website at www.ffv.com under Technical Support and is a quick fix for the user.
When I play back SD video in slow motion I’m seeing jerky video what can I do to fix this?
Please set DVR Master slow motion to either Field 1 or Frame to get rid of this SD slow motion problem.
If you are not using DVR Master and require a serial protocol solution here is the code
F3 02 50 00 00 45 Both fields interlaced
F3 02 50 02 00 47 1 fields every FRM
F3 02 50 54 00 99 Show both fields, one at a time
HD Products


We need to record 24 hours per drive and later seek the date and time from the drive. How can we do this with FAT32 and our file naming capability?
The long file name seen in the FAT32 directory when the disk is put on a PC is a combination of the clip title and the MOE ID and sequence number. (In the HD software, it’s just the clip title and a decimal sequence number).  The file’s date and time stamp are set from the date-time maintained in the firmware.  If the board has a real-time clock that has been properly initialized (this assumes the battery has been populated and is good to maintain the date-time during power cycles, or the date-time is reinitialized by the host system), then the date-time is acquired from the real-time clock chip on startup.
Otherwise the date defaults to midnight, Jan 1, 2000 (I believe). Users can put some meaningful seek information in the clip title, given the length limitations.

What’s the difference between FFV Native and BVW-75 Personality modes?
(BVW mode is being removed from future updates and is listed here for reference only.)
BVW-75 Personality mode is a controller dependent state that uses Sony serial protocol and can still be manipulated, in a somewhat limited form, via the front panel. This configuration allows the DVR to behave exactly like an old fashioned tape deck. As such, the user must be very careful to keep track of video laid down on the “tape” as it is very easy to record over previous content if the user does not keep track of recorded time code space. The main feature of recording in BVW-75 mode is the ability to record anywhere on the disk regardless of whether or not it has previously recorded material. Note, while in BVW-75 mode, the user will not see the Playlist and Edit options displayed in the menu system and you are un­able to record in the QuickTime file format.
For example the HD3 Deck, in BVW-75 mode assumes that it has a 24 hour tape of “black” which has time code assigned from 00:00:00:00. If you were to tell the HD3 Deck to record a 10 second clip at 00:01:00:00 for 10 seconds, it would record this and the machine would then assume it had 1 minute of black, 10 seconds of video from the 1 minute time code mark, and then 23:58:50:00 of black after this. If you want to record over this clip and add new information, it will insert the video at the same points and overwrite the data on the drive in the same way, always maintaining the 24 hours of time code as the master reference. NOTE: If you record material in BVW-75 mode, the HD3 Deck uses the 24-hour time code as reference, which is still visible to the machine when you switch to Native mode. However, when you record material in native mode and then switch to BVW-75 mode the machine does not recognize the native source list. You should always record in BVW-75 mode if you intend to switch between personalities
Native Personality mode is built up around Play Lists and does NOT use time code. Disk space is used dynamically and clips can be easily fragmented if clips are deleted from a previously saved Play List. The main feature here again is that Native Personality is independent of time code space and is structured around Play Lists.
I’m trying to record in SD on my HD deck and it only works in HD but not in SD, why?
The most common reason for this is that the SD input is an analog SD signal and the input must be an SD-SDI input signal or a digital signal. Each of our HD manuals states this in the specifications section,
VIDEO INPUT/OUTPUT     Digital Input/Output: SD/HD-SDI.
Your DVR’s have 1080PSF/23.98 as a selectable video standard but the recorded video looks degraded, why is that?
Some customers have reported they are seeing only half the vertical resolution when recording at 1080PSF/23.98. This is a bug and we working to resolve the issue. (reference 7/6/2010)
I can ingest a MAC Final Cut Pro video into my HD deck and it plays back correctly and at full 1920×1080 resolution but when I try to ingest a video from another editing application I lose resolution what’s wrong?
The reason for this could be due to video ENCODED into a Pro-Res format and our decks do not have a Pro Res decoder. Check to see if there is an option to re-configure the video FORMAT of the editor and configure it for a Final Cut Pro format to see if that resolves the problem.
I need to perform a firmware update on my HD DVR and I see two differently named files for the same product on the FFV technical support page, how do I know which one is correct for my deck?
There are two hardware versions of the HD video boards we manufacture, to be sure of the board you have installed perform a “dummy” firmware update but do not complete a download. CAUTION, you must be 100% certain of your boards version otherwise you will lock up your DVR if you download the wrong version of firmware and the deck will be non-functional.
During a “dummy” firmware update when HyperTerminal performs a handshake with the FFV DVR you will see one of the following messages displayed depending on your board version.
For version 2-
“HD Digital Video Recorder, part number 309-PC039-2”
Firmware available at http://www.ffv.com/ under “Technical Support”.
“Upload firmware file “hd2Dvr.fud” to this board”.
For version 1-
“HD Digital Video Recorder, part number 309-PC039-1”
Firmware available at http://www.ffv.com/ under “Technical Support”.
“Upload firmware file “hdDvr.fud” to this board”.
Do standard definition FFV recorders capture the Closed Caption information included in broadcasts?
This depends on the resolution selected. When recording 486 lines NTSC the lines containing the closed caption information are included in the capture area of the video recorded. When recording only 480 lines, the closed caption information is not recorded.  NTSC 480 is the format used by NDT 200 to eliminate the black bar at the top of the QuickTime file.  The only file format in the NDT 200 is QuickTime.
Which HD camera’s will work with your DVR’s?
Sony F35, F 900, EX3, EX1, Arri D21, HD Phantom and Panavision Genesis.
HD3

When I have an input video source and I remove the analog audio source why don’t I hear any sound in pass through mode or in my recording?
The HD3 comes with its video board configured to pass through analog audio only. Furthermore, it disables the embedded audio data from the SD/HD-SDI video input signal.
Why can’t I record or hear any analog audio on the HD3 with SD video input.
With an analog audio source connected to the Analog Audio inputs and an SD-SDI (digital) video signal is present at the Video input, 480i59.94, the analog audio can be heard in Pass-Thru mode and will also be recorded. Be sure you have a DIGITAL SD-SDI signal input and a separate analog audio source connected to the Video input and Analog Audio inputs respectively.
Why can’t I capture embedded audio when I record a video on the HD3.
The HD3 with analog audio DVR deck is designed to replace ch1 and ch2 embedded data with the analog source connected to the HD3 analog audio ch1 & ch2 inputs. If there is no analog connection here and the SDI audio data is embedded on channel 1 & 2 there will be no audio recorded. The key point to remember here is that the embedded data on channel 1 and channel 2 of the ancillary data is replaced with whatever analog signal is coming in, whether you have a source connected or not. The embedded data from the SD/HD-SDI signal on channels 3 through 8 is still present. However, if the SD/HD-SDI audio data is stored on ch1 and ch2 ONLY of the ancillary data you will not hear any audio on the SD/HD-SDI video signal in Pass-Thru on the recorded video.
The only alternative here is to either re-route embedded data channels 1 & 2 to channels 3 – 8 or, if the source deck has an analog audio output, connect to an analog output on the source machine.
My HD3 is working correctly with an HD-SDI signal but not with an SD signal as video assist from Arri or Aaton cameras, is this normal?
When switching from an HD input signal over to an SD signal it takes a little longer for the drives to re-set.  This could take up to 1 minute or more.  Under the Settings menu set to Auto Detect and introduce the SD source…Watch the disk capacity ICON on the front panel; it will eventually change from 100% to some other disc capacity value.  When you see the capacity change the deck is ready for operation.
How do I setup to chase lock on my HD3 while feeding time code to channel 1 and synchronize the two channels?
1)Connect Time Code from source generator to Time Code In Channel 1.
2)Connect Time Code Out from Channel 1 to Time Code In on Channel 2.
3)Connect Video Out from Channel 1 to Video In on Channel 2.
4)Press and hold the PLAY and STOP buttons simultaneously for 2 seconds and a corresponding message will be displayed in the mode indicator area located in the center of the LCD touch-screen panel.
If you are feeding time code into the HD3 Deck via the Time Code In connection, that channel will lock to the incoming time code during playback.
Most HD cameras work flawlessly with FFV HD products but a Red Camera has issues, e.g. kicking out of record mode, experiencing drop out, and inconsistent behavior in different lighting conditions.
Some video assist (VA) forums have reported the Red as having an abnormally high jitter, above SMPTE norms, and have reported it is possible a re-clocking device will smooth out the issues and make the camera usable with our DVR decks. Specifically, users have reported using a Distribution Amplifier may help reduce some or all of the problems, see the link below.
Kramer Electronics HD-SDI DA
http://www.kramerelectronics.com/products/model.asp?pid=1188&sf=12#t
I can’t get my HD3 to work with the Alexa camera, at times it seems to be working fine and then it will suddenly lock up during recording what’s wrong?

Usually this turns out to be a video format issue or the camera is being used in variable speed mode which causes the Alexa to revert back to P format output which is not compatible with the HD3. In most cases a frame rate change will cause the camera to revert back to a P format and the operator must reset the output type to be compatible with one of the HD3 standard video formats. You may find the Alexa online simulator beneficial where you can try out your settings before you get to the job site. http://www.arridigital.com/technical/simulator

 

Micron HD

When I attach AES digital audio signals to the inputs on the Micron HD what happens to the embedded audio stream?
Connecting an AES digital audio source to the CH 1/2 input on the Micron will disable channels 1 and 2 of the embedded audio stream. If you make the same connection to CH 3/4 exclusively then channels 3 and 4 of the embedded ancillary data stream are disabled.  Connecting an AES digital audio source to both CH 1/2 & CH 3/4 simultaneously will disable the first four channels, 1, 2, 3 & 4, of the embedded audio stream.

Why does the Time Code Format menu sometimes disappear?
The Time Code Format menu is not selectable when Personality is set to BVW-75 and the horizontal scan is set to 50 Hz.
Why, after choosing Controller, Editing or Camera for my application configuration state, is there no “Set” displayed next to my choice in the “Applic Config” menu?
Under the “Applic Config” portion of the menu, when choosing Controller, Editing or Camera, these configuration states automatically setup the DVR for the user and therefore the configuration choice is not considered a “setting”. To check the settings, simply go into the Application Configuration menu and navigate to Manual settings and you can view the Personality, Disk Format, and File Format settings there for the current configuration state.

Omega HD

 

Why is there no Composite output when I have SDI input?
The Pass-Thru setting may be set to “Analog”.  To verify this:  Go to the Record menu – touch the blue space between the white boxes containing “Record” and “Channel x”.  A pop-up should show what the setting was changed to.  Press again to change back, if desired.
Why does the Disk % on my RAID deck never go below 100%?
Something happened to destroy the RAID striping.  You need to re-stripe the drives by attaching a Serial terminal to the RAID controller and going through the instructions for configuring the drives.  This documentation should have come with the Omega RAID originally.
Things that can destroy the striping:
1)Recording on both channels simultaneously
2)Removing and re-installing the RAID controller
3)Changing disks.
What’s the largest capacity HDD I can install in my Omega HD SPR Raid deck?
The maximum capacity is 500GB due to that fact our decks cannot address drive space beyond 1 TB.
What’s the maximum play/record time using 500GB drives installed on the Omega HD SPR Raid deck?
Approximately 18 hours.
Why is there no time code rolling on Channel 2 in PASS-THRU mode with time code rolling on Channel 1?
In PASS-THRU mode there is no connection path to channel 2 time code or video. A way around this for time code, if there is ancillary time code present in the stream to channel 1, is to connect the time code output from channel 1 to the channel 2 time code input then time will roll on channel 2 in PASS-THRU mode. Additionally, if external time code is connected to channel 1 this will not be looped out to the time code output connection in PASS-THRU mode, there must be ancillary time code present.
What is minimum time delay between RECORD/PLAY for the Omega SPR?
The minimum delay time between RECORD and PLAY is 5 sec, that’s the guaranteed minimum delay although it can be as little as 3 seconds. The reason for this is handshaking and processing between the record and play channel boards and the HDD. The record channel updates a table that is written to disk (containing data for each frame) and then the play back channel reads that table back from disk. This requires a significant amount of handshaking as HD inherently contains a lot of data in the form of not only video but the ancillary data in each frame of video.
Elite HD

Does the Elite HD accept external embedded time code via the HD-SDI input?
Yes the Elite HD accepts embedded time code via the HD-SDI input and it will be displayed on the LCD.
Does the RS-232 offer machine control?
The RS232 has limited control but does do the standard commands – it really depends on the controller/software they plan to use.  For example the Playback software is designed for RS232 control not RS-422.
Will Elite QuickTime files playback on Windows 7?
TBD.
DigiDeck

 

Do I need anything more than the drive and firmware update for a used unit I recently purchased?
If the deck is functional, the drive is the only need.
Updating firmware (front panel and video board) is recommended.
I’m planning on using this deck for instant replay. What types of jog wheel control surfaces are typically used with this unit?
Buf Technology, Lance Design and DNF all make controllers that function well.
What are the power requirements of the DigiDeck DVR?
The current power supply is a universal supply capable of 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz.
The dual channel DigiDeck uses approximately 100W.
I store hundreds of clips and when I try to access the EDIT menu I’m getting communication error messages and I also see some duplicate clip names, what’s wrong?
You need to update the Front Panel firmware to 11-11-2010 or later; this will resolve 99% of the communication error messages and duplicate clip names.
Omega SD

Does the Omega deck with SDI record embedded audio?
No, the Omega deck only records and plays discreet analog audio.
What is the proper terminator to attach to the SCSI connector?
68-pin SCSI 2 terminator, either Active or Passive should work fine.
Why doesn’t the clip/disk copy function work?
The copy only works if you have more than 1 drive connected to a specific video channel.  For a single channel Omega, both drive slots are connected to the video board, but in a dual channel unit, each drive slot is connected to a different video board.  To copy using a dual channel unit, you need to attach a drive to the rear SCSI connector, making sure to have the SCSI address different than 0 (and move the terminator down the chain).  Once you have more than 1 drive attached to the video board, the copy function should allow selection of the other disk and the copy to move forward.
Please remember when finished with a Disk Copy to remove the second disk from the video board to keep from having confusion in the Source List due to two identical copies of the same video.
What are the power requirements of the Omega DVR?
The current power supply is a universal supply capable of 100-240VAC, 50-60Hz.
The dual channel Omega uses approximately 150W.
Recon

Is it possible for me to use both Serial ports?  Are there any differences between them?
Yes, it is possible for customers to utilize both ports.  There are several differences between the two ports.  Port 0 is J106, Port 1 is J103.
1)Port 0 uses No Parity, Port 1 uses Odd Parity
2)An unsolicited Status Block is sent to Port 0 approximately every 40msec.
3)Configuration item #E7 uses Port 0 to input GPS data to be stored in User Data space.
The firmware was updated in Jan. 2007 to allow users to use either port as a standard Sony port.  Refer to the Serial Protocol Document, Version 2.5 or newer, for details…
Is there a way to access Time Code, Date or User Data from the video file recorded in QuickTime format when played using the QuickTime Player?
Recon (Rev. 1, 2, & 3) does not have the capability to record the overlay data into the video so it is visible during Playback using QuickTime player.
Recon (Rev. 4 – RoHS Compliant) has the capability to record the video overlay on the video so it will be covering parts of the video picture during playback.  This is a destructive overlay since portions of the video image are permanently changed.
What are the power requirements of the Recon™ DVR?
Recon requires a +5VDC input capable of 5W plus disk drive requirements.
Mini Dvr Pro, Field Pro, or Outrider, NDT200

When I connect the USB connector to the MiniDvrPro™, FieldPro™, Outrider™ or the NDT200™, the DVR no longer accesses the drive.  What is wrong?
Only one device can access the hard drive at once. When you plug in the USB cable, the unit stops accessing the hard drive (unless it is recording at the time) and allows the USB to access the hard drive.
Is it possible to connect a RS-422 controller to the DVR?
Not directly, the voltage levels are different and may cause a failure in one of the devices.  A device to convert RS-422 controller signals to RS-232 device is necessary between the devices.  The user must make sure the converter pin-outs match the equipment.
Video is recorded in Time Lapse mode using FAT32 and QuickTime formats.  When I connect the USB to replay the video, can the unit play the frames in real time?
No, when the USB is connected, the computer is controlling the drive and QuickTime is controlling playback.  QuickTime player has no ability to change the play speed.
Is there a way to access Time Code, Date or User Data from the video file recorded in QuickTime format when played using the QuickTime Player?
The Character Overlay option must be “On”, with the desired data visible during the recording to be visible when playing.  The overlay will “destroy” parts of the video, so it should be placed carefully to damage as little as possible.  QuickTime player does not extract the data from the video file to display it.
What are the power requirements of the Mini DVR Pro™ DVR?
The mini DVR pro™ DVR accepts input voltage from +7VDC to 25VDC capable of 5W plus disk drive requirements.
What are the power requirements of the FieldPro™ DVR?
The FieldPro™ DVR accepts input voltage from +9VDC to 18VDC capable of 10W plus disk drive requirements.
What are the power requirements of the Outrider™ DVR?
The Outrider IDE™ DVR requires input voltage of +5VDC capable of 4W plus disk drive requirements.
I have recorded material in the NDT and after I power off and then power on the unit none of the clips show up in List Menu, what’s wrong?
The “Set Instant Startup Mode” is set to On, turn this feature Off and you will see and can access the clips in the List Menu.
Genlock

I have multiple HD cameras running at 1080psf/23.98, can I get them all synchronized to run at the same time?
Theoretically yes. There are a number of variables that can keep synchronization from happening and requires intimate understanding of the various time code options on each piece of video hardware. You must consult your camera’s user manual to have a thorough understanding of its time code features. If the DVR is connected to an external time code generator such as our F22 or F30 AND the embedded SDI data stream contains time code the embedded time code will override the external time code.  Using our Micron HD deck and having it configured in Camera mode, the DVR will start recording whenever it senses time code rolling so you must understand what time code path you want controlling the recoding.
The sync separator we use is capable of detecting and decoding tri-level syncs, (in addition to   black burst of course), used with the latest HD systems. However, we have not tested this specific configuration.
Omega/Recon/DigiDeck Controller Software (by Playback Technology):

 

During start-up, Omega Software does not report looking for deck on a port where one should be.  What is happening?
The software is not able to open the port.  Verify that there is no other software holding the port open and the installation of the port is correct.  This may require uninstalling the port and reinstalling it.  Another possibility is that the port hardware is not working properly.
Does the Omega software communicate to a deck connected to a USB to Serial converter?
Yes.  We recommend the Edgeport4 USB to 4 serial ports.  We have also used some single USB to Serial adapters.  This solution leaves only one USB cable unsecured and all serial cables are secure.  The protocol converter (RS-232 to 422) is required between the computer and the Omega deck for all ports.
Do you have documentation for the Playback Software?
No, the menus are very self-explanatory.  However, if you have any questions about the software operation, contact us for details about a specific function.
How many channels can I control with one copy of software?
Omega software will control up to 16 channels.
DigiDeck software will control two channels.
Recon software will control one channel.
Why does the Controller software say it can’t find a Deck and shutdown when I start it?
The software searches each of the COM ports on your computer and sends a query command to that port and expects a response to return with specific identification for the unit.  If it does not get the response within a specific time, it moves to the next port.  If there is not proper response from any of the ports, the software does not have anything to do and shuts down.  If the deck is connected and ON, there is a problem with one or more of the following:  the deck, the cable, the RS-232 to RS-422 converter (if needed), or the computer COM port.
DVR MASTER Software

Does “DVR Master” work with Vista OS?
We have tested DVR Master, Version 2.7a with Vista (Business Premium), which worked fine.  Previous “DVR Master” versions will not initiate properly in Vista.
If a previous version has been installed and the user attempted to run it, it may still be in system memory and therefore hogging processor time.  If you are trying to delete an older version and you still have one currently running the processor may not allow it to be deleted until all attempted runs are stopped.  See Task List and terminate all “DVR Master” entries.
Does DVR Master work with all Fast Forward DVRs?
DVR Master does not connect through the RS-232 to RS-422 converter; therefore it will not control Omega or DigiDeck products.  It will control all Recon (RS-232) and Outrider based products, and NDT 200 recorders.
Where’s the “Pause” button when I use the Event Trigger?
The DVR Master Manual, version 2.2b, dated October 2006, page 11, states
Pre-Event – Option
Used in conjunction with loop record. This option allows users to have the DVR recording video, and click on the event trigger after something important or worth saving has occurred and save ‘x’ (1-15) minutes of video prior to the ‘Event Trigger’ plus all video until Pause is clicked.
Event Trigger
The button to click, when in Pre-Event record mode, to mark an event, save a predetermined number of
minutes prior to be saved, and all following video until the pause button is selected.
There is no “Pause” button the manual is in error. To stop recording you must click “Stop” then to start recording click “Record”.
Can I save a clip using the Event Trigger while recording?
Yes and no. Yes, while in Event Trigger mode, you can save a SINGLE clip. No, you cannot save more than one clip while in Event Trigger mode.
Will DVR Master work with Windows 7 Professional and the NDT200?
Yes. You must first download the USB driver for the NDT off our website, install it then connect the NDT200.

Will DVR Master work with Windows 7 Professional and the DigiDeck?
Yes. You must first ensure you have the correct driver for your Serial to USB converter. Caution, some vendors do not put their label or model number on their cable and these may appear as question marks in Device Manger making it difficult to obtain the correct driver for your cable.

I have a USB to Serial converter for use with DVR Master and after loading the drivers DVR Master cannot see my DVR, what can I do to fix the problem?
Some USB to Serial converters work fine and others do not. At the present time we have tested only a handful of these converters and most are working. Until we have accumulated a list of vendors we approve of for use with our units we suggest using only brand name converters.

Will DVR Master work with non English versions of Windows XP?
We know the latest version of “DVR Master” works with the English version of Windows XP without issue.
DVR Master is not compatible with the following non-English versions of Windows XP:
Korean version.

FAT32 or QuickTime

 

Why doesn’t the drive show up in Windows when I connect the drive to the computer?
The most obvious reason is that the drive was not formatted using the FAT32 format.  The Native MOE format is not a computer Operating System recognized format, therefore, it will appear as an unformatted drive to the computer OS.
Can I format the drive for FAT32 on a computer?
No, while the FAT32 formatting is readable by a computer, the computer does not do everything necessary to allow the DVR to record onto the drive.  Furthermore Windows XP will allow only NTSF formats which are not compatible with our DRV’s. All FAT32 drive formatting MUST be done in the DVR.
When I format the drive using the FAT32 format, all of the space is used by RAxxxxxx.FFV files.  Where will the video files be stored?
The RA…FFV files are storing all of the “Available space” for new video.  As video is recorded, the RA file(s) will shrink and the video file(s) will grow.  If recording in the MOE file format, the files at the end of the recording will be RM…FFV and RI…FFV.  QuickTime file format yields CLIPxxxx xxxxxx.MOV files.  The four x’s are the default clip number, while the six x’s are an internal number to differentiate the portions of a long clip that exceeds the 2GB file size boundary imposed by FAT32.  The differentiator should always be increasing in value for the later portions of the clip, so users can identify the order of the clip portions.
Is it possible to copy a QuickTime file onto a Compact Flash card to play in the MiniDvrPro or Outrider?
If the QuickTime file was recorded using the FFV DVR, and has not been modified; it MAY be possible to copy the file onto a Compact Flash card to play as long as you follow a very exacting process.  Format the CF in the DVR using FAT32 disk format (or use one that has been formatted in the DVR).  Connect the CF to the computer, erase only one RAxxx.ffv file that is larger than the file to be written.  Copy the file.  Reconnect the Compact Flash card to the DVR, apply power and cue to the video for playback.
NOTE 1: Do not delete more than one RAxxxxxx.ffv file from the drive before reconnecting the drive to the DVR and allowing it to reassign free space.
NOTE 2: Due to differences in drive structure, if the two Flash parts are not the same size, the transfer may not work correctly.
My QuickTime files playback as black or white on a PC how can I fix this?
If you have a .MOV file that’s playing back as black or blank within QuickTime the most likely cause is you do not have the correct QuickTime JPEG2000 component installed. We have specific QuickTime JPEG2K components for our HD products that can be downloaded from our support page at http://www.ffv.com/page/support.htm. You must know what HD product you have and choose the applicable QuickTime JPEG2K component to download.
Once you have downloaded the QuickTime component file you must unzip the file and copy it into the appropriate directory under QuickTime. For QuickTime version 7.6.7 the directory is C:Program FilesQuickTimeQTComponents.
HDD Compatibility

Will the new “Advanced Format Technology”, AKA 4k sector technology, work with FFV products running under Windows XP?
Theoretically yes, there is free download you will require to get the drives to communicate under Windows XP, see http://www.wdc.com/en/products/advancedformat/ for more information.
Why would the digitizer complain about time code in a video stream stalling or having multiple frames with the same time code?
It is possible for the time code stream to not be synchronized to the vertical sync of the video if a video source is not fed to the TCG. The phase-lock loop in the generator provides time code in the event the time code is missing for a bit in a time-code stream from tape, but users should always feed a video sync source to the TCG to maintain absolute synchronization between the video and the time code.
Time Code Generators, F21, F22 & F30

 

Why would the digitizer complain about time code in a video stream stalling or having multiple frames with the same time code?
It is possible for the time code stream to not be synchronized to the vertical sync of the video if a video source is not fed to the TCG. The phase-lock loop in the generator provides time code in the event the time code is missing for a bit in a time-code stream from tape, but users should always feed a video sync source to the TCG to maintain absolute synchronization between the video and the time code.
Is a manual available for the F21?
No.  The best available is the F22 manual available from the Technical Support page of www.ffv.com.
How can I setup the F30 for Midi T/C output at 25 FPS?
Press Midi TC (LED on) to enable Midi TC output,
Press Preset (LED on), the digits displayed should show 30 initially. Press Drop to cycle through 30, 25 and 24 FPS. This is an old feature rarely used and as demand has been basically non-existent this feature as not been tested. Reference EL4511 sync separator.
Can I convert SMPTE T/C to Midi T/C on both the F22 and F30?
Although this feature is specified in our product manuals we unfortunately have not had high demand for this feature and it is no longer being supported.
0-23.59:59.29 @ 30 fps (Time code limits).
0-23:59:59.24 @ 25 fps (Time code limits).
Is the F22 or the F30 capable of running off of 220V?
The F30 and F22 can be outfitted for 220V operation at the time of sale. However, for those customers with units already in hand they have to be returned to the factory for servicing which requires an RMA and there is service fee. The conversion takes at least a day to complete.
Serial Command Protocol (a small sample)

 

I am using serial control protocol to control my DVR and I am receiving ACK’s after I send commands but my commands don’t seem to be working, why not?
COMMAND BLOCK FORMAT
1 byte
1 byte
1 byte
n-2 bytes
1 byte
1 byte
Bits 7-4
Bits 3-0
CMD-1
DATA COUNT
CMD-2
DATA-1
DATA-n
CHECKSUM
(See page 1-1 of the “Digital Video Recorder Serial Control Protocol”, rev 2.6b)
The Sony protocol command block consists of 2 command bytes, followed by zero or more data bytes, followed by a checksum byte. The least significant nibble (4 bits) of the first command byte indicates the number of data bytes in the block. When a complete defined command is received, the DVR responds with an ACK or a response command. When a communications error is detected or an undefined command is received, the DVR responds with a NAK of the proper type. When the device receives a command block from the controller the device must transmit a response within 9 milliseconds.
The controller must not transmit additional command blocks to a device prior to a response to a previous command block. The controller must not interrupt transmission of a byte in a command block for more than 10 milliseconds. This causes a time-out, and the DVR transmits a time-out NAK. When the device detects a communication error, it must immediately transmit a NAK to the controller. When the controller receives a NAK, it will immediately stop transmission of the command block. The device must not accept a subsequent command within 10 milliseconds after that. This should allow the receive buffer to be flushed and a properly framed command to be received.
How do I calculate the checksum for a string of serial commands?
Calculating checksum can be done adding all bytes of a command using Calculator on PC in HEX mode. Use bottom 2 hex digits of sum as your checksum.
The delete all clips command described in section 6.3 of the “Digital Video Recorder Serial Control Protocol” is a little unclear to me. What is the hex sequence to delete all clips?
This command requires all 17 bytes to be sent. To delete all clips set MOEID to 0x00 0x00.  Set MOE Disk ID to the values received at byte locations 2 and 3 of the configuration Request command (see section 3.2 on page 3-7) with item code 0xDB. The response to this command is shown on page 3-8.
What’s the correct serial control protocol I should use to cycle through clips and place the playhead at the beginning of the previous/next clip on the disk?
Use the GOTO command (section 6.1)
GOTO start of previous (<<) clip:
0xF6 0x0A 0xFE 0xFF 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFD (checksum)
GOTO start of next(>>) clip:
0xF6 0x0A 0xFD 0xFF 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFC (checksum)
GOTO end of playlist:
0xF6 0x0A 0xFC 0xFF 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x00 0xFB (checksum)
What is the serial protocol command to reset my DVR to factor default values?
A new configuration item code has just been released and is only valid for firmware updates dated May 17, 2010 or later. The new item code is 0x00 and the new configuration value is 0xFFA5 to reset the video board back to its factory settings.
What does the “Delete All” command do when it formats a drive?
Issuing a “delete all” command instructs the DVR to format the disk.
For the MOE format, this merely writes a MOE disk record descriptor in block 0 and an available record descriptor in block 1 for an available record that is the size of the entire disk.
For FAT32 things are more complex:  A new partition table is written in block zero for a single FAT32 partition containing the entire disk.  The entire boot sector and associated information sectors are written.  The entire disk space is allocated to a number of < 2 GB “available record” files.  The file allocation tables are generated including the linkage forthese files and written (there are 2 copies).  The directory entries for the file’s cluster chains are created and written.
In both MOE and FAT32 formatting, data areas on disk are NOT written to, therefore files are not actually “erased”.  The data still resides in the disk blocks, but all reference to the data has been removed from the data structures on disk.  Actually erasing the disk would require overwriting the entire disk with a low-level format.  (The debug code can do this, and it takes a really long time.)