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Timeline PAUSE: Always Needed?

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Douglas J
Douglas J's picture
User offline. Last seen 3 years 43 weeks ago. Offline
Joined: 13 Nov 2006

On the issue of switcher P-Bus control over the Lance TDC-100, which in turn is controlling the ClipStoreMXc via two RS422 serial control ports (one for Video/Audio; the other for Key), the question has been posed to me from a couple of TD’s as to whether a PAUSE command must be placed immediately after the RECALL command in an EMEM Timeline. Or could one simply program a RECALL, immediately followed by a PLAY Trigger?

We recently had a Grass Valley KayakDD switcher in our Abekas Test Lab, so I took advantage of the opportunity to test out the above question. I connected the P-Bus output from that switcher to our Lance TDC100—which in turn is connected to the ClipStoreMXc via two RS422 serial ports via Sony protocol (one control line for video/audio; the other for key). This is the exact same control setup found in the MTVG trucks, when controlling a ClipStoreMXc that’s loaded with one large “mega-clip” with video/audio at one end, and key at the other end of the clip.

In my test ClipStoreMXc, I had a 36-minute “mega-clip” with video/audio in the first 18 minutes of the clip, and matching key in the second 18-minute segment of that clip.

In the Lance TDC-100, I programmed the first 25 registers to pick out twenty-five one-second clips, randomly positioned within the “mega-clip” stored in the ClipStoreMXc.

In the KayakDD, I programmed an EMEM Timeline with the following three steps:
- Recall P-Bus register 1 (in the TDC-100, register 001 was programmed for a 1.00 clip duration )
- Trigger P-Bus register 7 (which is the "Play" command )
- Hold 45 frames (to equal the 1.00 clip duration plus 15 frames )

I then repeated the above set of three steps 24 more times, but with each new set of three steps recalling the next 24 consecutive clip registers in the TDC-100—so that different (and random) segments from within the 36-minute VKA "mega clip" inside the ClipStoreMXc were recalled and triggered by this KayakDD EMEM Timeline. And then, in a second EMEM timeline register, I programmed a very simple timeline which simply recalled the first timeline, and repeated that single “recall” command 20 times within that second timeline.

I then ran the second timeline (which of course, ran the first timeline 20 times). Therefore, the TDC-100/ClipStoreMXc combo was commanded by the KayakDD P-Bus port to load and play 500 consecutive one-second clips (with a 15-frame pause after each clip was played). And I sat there and stared at the ClipStoreMXc Viewer while this whole thing ran, to be sure the ClipStoreMXc loaded and played every single clip (including the video, key and audio for each clip). And the ClipStoreMXc did so, without a hitch.

I can now confidently say that programming an EMEM timeline without the PAUSE command will work just fine. And this is true whether you're using the TDC-100 in between, or if the P-Bus is controlling the ClipStoreMXc directly from the switcher (as is the case in the new QuickTime MOV Import workflow—in which there are separate clip identities stored in the ClipStoreMXc, rather than one large “mega-clip”).

IMPORTANT NOTE: I had the V3.5-RC1 software installed in the ClipStoreMXc during this test. If you are planning to run this way in the future, please check with the EIC at MTVG on any given truck that the ClipStoreMXc you're about to use is running this version of software (or higher). Or just check yourself by selecting the “HeidiEdit” task from the Windows taskbar.

Douglas Johnson
Chief Product Manager, Abekas