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Christian Spaeth

Finally a cheap and accurate Timecode slate?

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In my 10+ years of experience, the times I've been asked for a timecode slate I can count on one hand. So it never made sense for me to buy one at 1000+ €, however it would be handy to have something at times. Now Tentacle Sync made an app called Timebar and claims frame accurate TC display on iOS devices if connected via bluetooth to a Tentacle Sync E. 

 

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/timebar/id1318315303?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D2

 

Sounds very promising and could be quite revolutionary! Hats off to Tentacle again!

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An IOS device makes a terrible slate.  Fragile, awkward to handle, mirror screen, generally not bright enough for direct sun, power issues, latency issues and no clap stick (the most important part!).  I actually think that Denecke slates are great deals--they last and last.  I have slates that I bought from the late Mike Denecke himself in the early days that have been upgraded and refitted several times and have survived many drops, kicks, airplane shipments, sea-water dunkings etc and still function perfectly.  To some, slates seem like a minor or peripheral accessory, I say they are an essential tool for professionals.

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7 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

An IOS device makes a terrible slate.  Fragile, awkward to handle, mirror screen, generally not bright enough for direct sun, power issues, latency issues and no clap stick (the most important part!).  I actually think that Denecke slates are great deals--they last and last.  I have slates that I bought from the late Mike Denecke himself in the early days that have been upgraded and refitted several times and have survived many drops, kicks, airplane shipments, sea-water dunkings etc and still function perfectly.  To some, slates seem like a minor or peripheral accessory, I say they are an essential tool for professionals.

Agree 100%...

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The timecode systems app (or paired movieslate) has had this for years, since the master.  It also works with the wave and pulse- useful for the odd thing where you need to put TC in front of a gopro or something, but doesn't really replace a proper slate

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For small shoots that don’t need a slate then messing around with an iPad just for extra credit isn’t worth anyone’s time if you ask me.  If the shoot actually needs a slate then you’re going to need a real TC slate. Try giving an iPad to a 2nd AC to mark up I think they’d push it off the cart on purpose!

 

In my oppinion if you own a timecode recorder you also need to own a TC slate and probably a lockit or two. Though the slate is most important. My TS-3 sits on the shelf 90% of the year but I’m glad to have it when it’s needed.  

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As an extra benefit... a slate like the Denecke TS-C can ALSO be used as a sync box to jam from... (you wont want to mount it to the camera, of course)  but you can use it as a jamming device..

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I wouldn’t give the ipad/phone to the AC, they would just use their own. 

I think a phone is great for this - except the screen issues, which I don’t really know, but so far I have always been able to read my phone outside, so that should be fine. 

iPhone (or other smartphones) are fairly cheap, and the latency is apparently not an issue, or the app compensates for it. 

 

But most importantly, this app and others like it are not meant as a replacement to a full size TC slate. These are for doc shooters and others with really compact setups, where a fairly large TC slate would be an unacceptable burden on whoever is in charge of slating. 

 

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2 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

An IOS device makes a terrible slate.  Fragile, awkward to handle, mirror screen, generally not bright enough for direct sun, power issues, latency issues and no clap stick (the most important part!).  I actually think that Denecke slates are great deals--they last and last.  I have slates that I bought from the late Mike Denecke himself in the early days that have been upgraded and refitted several times and have survived many drops, kicks, airplane shipments, sea-water dunkings etc and still function perfectly.  To some, slates seem like a minor or peripheral accessory, I say they are an essential tool for professionals.

This ^

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3 hours ago, Philip Perkins said:

An IOS device makes a terrible slate.  Fragile, awkward to handle, mirror screen, generally not bright enough for direct sun, power issues, latency issues and no clap stick (the most important part!).  I actually think that Denecke slates are great deals--they last and last.  I have slates that I bought from the late Mike Denecke himself in the early days that have been upgraded and refitted several times and have survived many drops, kicks, airplane shipments, sea-water dunkings etc and still function perfectly.  To some, slates seem like a minor or peripheral accessory, I say they are an essential tool for professionals.

 

+1

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I see the timebar app not as a slate but more like the modern version of the script boy device (older people will remember). For situations, when editorial staff wants to take notes during production and so on.

 

 

 

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These iOS type TC displays are pretty handy for VR type jobs, it has been my experience that some of the high count, multi camera rigs have issues when stitching together the TC display on the Denecke slates where these types of set ups have proven to be much easier for them to get an image that is usable on a screen. 

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One thing i did notice is that the app did not freeze or loose the code after a tentacle was turned off.   But the numbers and the data indicators did grey out but still kept counting....   

 

Chris Kellett, it is a no brainer for VR jobs.....   The app only has dark numbers against white bg.  The added data that indicates if the Tentacle has a positive mini cable connection adds one more level of confidence in set and forget-- VR type jobs.  

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I was recently on a job where cameras were rolling at 192 fps almost all the time. Takes would last up to 90 minutes and cameras would swap cards on the fly via the 2nd AC. It was a closed up built set which you couldn’t leave while we were rolling, so the 2nd AC had a backpack full of V-mounts, cards and whatever else. In top if that she had to carry an older heavier Ambient lockit slate, because whenever the cameras changed cards and started rolling they would briefly hold the TC display of the slate in to the frame (as the cameras wouldn’t accept either TC or audio). 

A tiny accurate TC display like timevar on an iphone would have been perfect for this. 

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