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Future of Timecode system

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I don't buy this for 2.4ghz

The performance should be very consistent especially outdoors.

I get differences in range all the time. Its still a RF signal and it is affected by many factors just the same way a UHF signal is.

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Rado...are you sending us posts from your Cell Phone, or something ??

I just got an email the other day from a friend of mine that was closed with the message:

sent from my iPhone, built by 12-year-old children in China

which I thought was sad.

My brief test with the ERX is that it works fine, but like everything else, RFI is unpredictable in different areas. To me, keeping things simple makes the best sense -- which means Old School.

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From what I know 2.4 ghz network is short range and has less interference.

I run My home WIFI at 2.4ghz at 28mW with plenty of other wireless around me and get more then 150 feet range

ddwrt.jpg

I get differences in range all the time. Its still a RF signal and it is affected by many factors just the same way a UHF signal is.

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Maybe Dominique could chime in with his performance. I believe that he has been using the system for a certain amount of time.

Hey pascal,

I haven t tried erx's yet. I m still waiting for my nomad at the moment and will then order 2x erx's. I know max dumesnil is using erx's out of the bag. He said he didn t like them for ifb use but it s good enough for scratch and tc in one convenient box. So that s my gameplan for next season...

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speaking of GHz spectrum:

http://www.broadcastsportsinc.com/in-the-news/january-2012/bsi-tackles-wireless-microphone-interference-issues-at-super-bowl-xlvi.aspx

these were also in use at the Pro Bowl, and BSI has quite an impressive package, priced accordingly.

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Sorry Dominique. Tought you had them already.

I know Max and actually tested around the same time he got his. He also told me he was a little disapointed for IFB use but for him it was more because of the low audio level he was getting with his current IFB headphone. Told him to swtich headphone to a lower impedance and he would get more volume. He also felt some RF drops, if i remember correctly.

We have to get a coffee at some point and meet. I live in Prevost ( next to St-Sauveur ) but come to montreal all the time.

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I wonder if anybody ever used a Lectro M4R receiver to put both scratch audio and timecode on a cam ?

I've done that. It worked well for me.

But as Pascal mentioned earlier (with the zaxcom system), you are then counting on one device to send both audio and timecode. If it fails you loose both at once. If thats a concern, then it wouldn't be your ideal solution.

But I've used it quite succesfully in that fashion.

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Personaly, I'm working on a show right now and we've done away with the smart slate.

I jam my recorder (788T) with the two cameras (Sony F-3's) recording on (Sound Devices)Pix 240's, using my hand-dandy Denecke GR-2. No sound going to camera.

I check out the sync every couple of hours and I've never seen it be off by anything over a frame. I rejam every 4 hours or camera battery change. We slate using a dummy slate mainly, for shot ID purposes not for sync purposes.

With the switch away from film over to digital video cameras these days, with the clocks getting better and better (Alexa and pix recorders are great examples) I don't really think the smart slate is necessary.

Our show is pretty low budget, so theres no transfer house or telecine etc. The editor just imports all the files and locks it all up.

I think the way it gets handled may change, but timecode will still be an important part of our work flow for a good while.

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I agree 100% with Simon there. Personally i like to have TC and audio separate. As for the workflow you have on your show, PIX240 are basically the equivalent to your 788 TC wise. Great system, great workflow.

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Gentlemen,

As you all know, i am putting together ( feels like a neverending story ) my feature package. There has been a lot of discussion regarding new Timecode system using wireless technologies, WIFI network, IOS support etc... We have done good with using simple, yet effective, timecode generators in the past ( Ambient, Denecke, Horita etc... ) but there seem to be new avenue coming and would like to start a topic on this. I believe we can split the systems in different categories:

1- OLD SCHOOL. System using simple TImecode Generator and TImecode Slate. All sync via a master source, manually, usually every 6 hours. MFG Denecke, Ambient, Horita etc..

2- Wireless system. Same as 1 but using a wireless system to Jamsync the different units in the field automatically. MFG Ambient

3- Network system. Same as 1 and 2 but replaces usually the Hardware Slate with an Ipad unit. Share and Jamsync timecodes via WIFI instead of wireless system. Permits Advance features, like sound report creation and giving acces to timecode info to all owner of IOS devices. MFG TImecode buddy, Movie Slate etc...

4- Zaxcom ERX system. Same as 1 and 2 plus the ability of sending audio ( with a certain latency ) to the camera.

What are your toughts on this. As always, there are people who already have system, people that are looking at replacing their current system, people who would like to augment their current system and new people with an eye on purchasing a new system.

Please give your pros and cons to these and also tell which type of "people" you are.

Thank you

Pascal

Hi Pascal

The Timecode Buddy system we've developed ticks the first 3 category boxes, hopefully to suit everyone.

1- The Timecode Buddy; master can be synced manually via BNC or lemo 5 pin, or set using its own menu/display - 'set and forget'. It's highly accurate, using a 0.2ppm TCXO reference oscillator (Ambient 0.2ppm, Denecke 1ppm), with Genlock/Video sync out also. (INTERNAL MODE with RF TX ON)

2- Other Timecode Buddy: master units can be wirelessly synced off this master (if required), using a bespoke DataLink protocol in the 915-918Mhz band (870Mhz band for EU/UK). This system constantly syncs all the timecodes to the identical timecode frame edge of the 'master' timecode unit. If any unit goes out of range of the designated 'master', then that unit will continue on its own 0.2ppm accurate clock. (RECEIVER CONTINUOUS MODE)

3- Simultaneously to transmitting or receiving timecode data on 915-918Mhz, the master also streams out accurate SMPTE timecode data via WiFi on 2.4Ghz. This is used on an iOS app to display timecode as a DigiSlate or used with a logging app to capture start and stop timecodes of takes. There is 2 way data transfer to allow throughput of metadata between iOS devices/running apps.

Hopefully this system will allow people puchasing new timecode kit - to start from tried and trusted methods, and then start to venture into the added benefits of the new techonology as they feel confident to do so.

We'd love to give folks a demo of this system at NAB (stand C2150). Hope you'll be around Pascal to have a peek.

Best wishes, Paul

www.timecodebuddy.com

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Time marches on.

The TC makers seem to have worked around the iPad-as-a-slate ''flaw'' by releasing state of the art new slates providing both improved functionnalities AND robustness.

I LOVE both Denecke and Ambient new additions to their armada of solutions for TC.

Their slates look awesome ! So eager to see video clips of NAB 2014...  :)

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Hopefully this system will allow people puchasing new timecode kit - to start from tried and trusted methods, and then start to venture into the added benefits of the new techonology as they feel confident to do so.

Similarly the new Ambient kit. Use it old school but you are able to link up with the Ambient Clockit Network and the Lockit Script system  http://www.ambient.de/en/news/detailpage/article/Timecode-News.html I believe the system can transmit lens info from the cameras back to the script supervisor who can from her (his) iPad set the slate and take on the Lockit slate. Any Ambient you buy now will work old school with a way forward.

 

Tim

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And if the timecode's future will be ... GPS time.

GPS time is very accurate, chose your frame rate, go outdoor with your gear and get the GPS free run time !

Sounds good to me but what happens if you go into a military area? GPS does not work in ANY military are in the UK!

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''Use it old school but you are able to link up with the Ambient Clockit Network ''

 

THAT in itself is the big advancement imo. That ''backward compatibility''.

And let's not forget Denecke now has partnership with TCBuddy so the possibilities there are very interesting too.

 

The more I think about it, the more I think NAB 2014 will be far more interesting for us audio people than last year and not just for the ''TC department'' !

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finally somebody who tries to tackle TC sync by satellite:

 

https://www.newsshooter.com/2019/04/30/dish-timecode-sync-by-satellite/

 

I find the idea intriguing, hope they manage to get the unit a bit smaller and it proves reliable. I do think that a display would be nice on a unit like that, and a status light which indicates that there is a satellite signal.

chris

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The idea is not new. I have toyed with this at least 6 years ago.

It is really easy: A GPS receiver is dirt cheap (2 bucks or alike)
Then, you read out the info (Could be over USB), you have NOTHING to code, all the data just rolls out!

(Time, location coordinates, even altitude!)

 

There are a few major problems:
Often you don't have a satellite 'in sight', or you have to wait until the unit finds it. So, be prepared to curse every now and then.

Next is, the atom clocks on board the satellites are NOT accurate. Well, they are HIGHLY accurate, but they run at another time / speed than earth clocks.

(Due to the fact that the earth does NOT go around the sun exactly 360 days a year.)
To compensate, you have to code. The satellites broadcast their time of launch / offset every 24 hours or so.
This is (well, it was for me) hard to tackle. You need to figure out what satellite you have, and where it is in it's own clock.
Then, the cheap devices are connecting as plain old N 8 1 XXbaud devices. No way to tell the delay between data received and serial out.
(That should be the least of the worries though...)

But yes, the general idea is solid :-)

(And i think a small Arduinio board will do the trick just fine.)

 

 

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We discussed this here a few years ago at some length. Someone back then wanted to develop the same kind of TC box. 

Incidentally, there is another active thread where there’s mention of this. 

I don’t see the point, to be honest. Simpler for the user? Ok, maybe. The simplest devices today you switch them all on, and they sync themselves and you go. Maybe you’ll need to launch an app and press a button there. How hard is that? All of today’s devices are of the set and forget kind. Inside, not only underground, satellite reception is often poor or non-existent. So have to remember to switch them on outside, but then the whole simplicity and super-accurate factors are gone. 

The major advantage would be to be able to sync cameras and sound which are countries apart. But why would you do that?

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for me the benefit of this would be once all devices to have this built in - even cheap dslr type cameras.

obviously it's going to be a while ; )

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1 hour ago, chrismedr said:

for me the benefit of this would be once all devices to have this built in - even cheap dslr type cameras.

obviously it's going to be a while ; )

 

Well, I hope it’s not going to be a while, I want it be eternity. I don’t want the camera company to force me or the maker of my recorder to use a certain piece of tc equipment. I‘d like to choose my own. And I want to have some control over the tc settings at all. Such as when I want tc to start at 0:00 each day

 

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11 minutes ago, Constantin said:

I don’t want the camera company to force me or the maker of my recorder to use a certain piece of tc equipment. I‘d like to choose my own. 

 

who said anything about forcing you?

you could still unpack your lock-its, make sure they are charged and synched up, make sure you have the right audio cable and record audio-LTC on the camera and hope it will be readable by the editor ; )

 

11 minutes ago, Constantin said:

And I want to have some control over the tc settings at all. Such as when I want tc to start at 0:00 each day

 

I figure an offset feature wouldn't be too hard to implement once you have satellite time synch, but personally I usually use the time of day as time code.

 

maybe I should add that I don't believe either that it's really a big deal, but if I could choose between every Sony A7, Zoom F4, Alexa, Sonosax R4+ etc having built in satellite TC or not, I'd go for the former.

chris

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9 hours ago, chrismedr said:

 

who said anything about forcing you?

 

The forcing part happens all on its own when I approach camera and ask for my tc box to be mounted on the camera and they’ll reply „no worry, the camera‘s got an internal gps box. But oh wait, it’s a Sony so it won’t be compatible to your non-Sony gps“

 

but I grant you it might be cool if all cameras and recorders had a generic gps tc device built in and were cross-compatible. Although I still worry what happens in the many possible situations where there is no gps reception. Yes, they may work like regular tc devices (although that hasn’t happened in like 20 years), but then I need a way again to sync them and check for sync. So I need additional hardware again. 

 

 

9 hours ago, chrismedr said:

record audio-LTC on the camera and hope it will be readable by the editor ; )

 

There‘s no need to hope. Either they (or the AE) can do their job or they can’t. If I can‘t press record, I shouldn’t be a recordist. 

 

9 hours ago, chrismedr said:

but personally I usually use the time of day as time code.

 

But it’s not always your choice, but it’s always good to have a choice. 

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