Originally Posted by Cyclone82
RichardT have you got any info/examples on the video mixer mentioned above?
I owe a bit of clarification. On the EH55 dvdr, the Input Selects are DV, Ch, In 1, In 2, and In 3. In DV mode, there is a FUNCTION option DV Camcoder Rec. It is probably this option that records the chapter breaks.
To the mixers. From the mixer, we use the Panasonic Input Select DV, a 4-pin DV connection. The cameras (3 Sony DCR-VX2000) are left on with the tape removed (to avoid the after-5-minute shutdown) during a recording session.
The first mixer we used was the Videonics MXPro-DV, which handles any combination of four of the inputs: 4 video, 4 s-video, 2 dv.
The dv outputs on the cameras are 4-pin. The dv inputs and output on the Videonics mixer is 4-pin. We used two of the Markertek 4-pin/4-pin extended distance cables, one 160 ft and one 125 ft. We use one or two Premium S-video cables from Cablewholesale. It is important to note that all these cables worked glitch-free. The dv cable carries audio, so an advantage of the digital cable is the ability to switch to audio from the camera builtin microphone when the regular source fails. (I try to use the house audio when I can; the cameras pick up the audience noise.) To switch audio sources is a menu operation.
The Videonics will display the output screen (you supply the screen; I use 13 inch tv's) and the ready screen which can be the ready screen full size, two screens half size, or all four inputs at once. There is a several second delay when the mixer has to build and maintain all four screens. The Videonics is still operational on my Transportable unit. Wheel it in, remove the padding, plug in to power. Except for setting up the cameras, operational in less than 15 minutes.
The second mixer, the one we are using now and have been for about six or seven years to record the weekly church service is the DataVideo SE-800 which has four inputs, each of which can be video, s-video, dv, or one other option which I don't recall at the moment. The DataVideo has a separate monitor connection (I think BNC) for each input source as well as the output. This has been a godsend for us. The side aisles of our church are very narrow and would be completely blocked by tripods, so we have a Varizoom remote control unit on each side of the church. The camera operators sit behind the video director, watching the same monitors (13-inch tv's) the director is watching. The recording unit is in the basement.
Audio selection on the SE-800 is a button press and turn of the volume dial. Multiple audio sources can be active at the same time. Again, dv carries audio.
So far, so good. Except, the Datavideo dv sockets are 6-pin! We tried to find 4-pin-to-6-pin adapters, but found none that worked. 6-pin to 4-pin, yes, but not the converse. 6-pin/4-pin cables, yes, but the longest of these was about 11 feet; we needed 90, 110 and 150 foot lengths.
We tried a set of converter boxes and Cat-5 cable, a total disaster. Every time a switch was thrown, the sound board, light or any other equipment turned on or off, we'd get one or more monitors with green bars, green screens, lasting from just a flash to twenty minutes. Recordings were unuseable. (I don't know if flushing the toilet would affect the signal; I wouln't be surprised if it did.}
What to do! We knew the extended distance cables worked; we had used them on the Videonics with no problem. Dare we cut one end off the extended distance cable and solder on a 6-pin end??? Tediously I traced the pins and wiring of the 4-pin/6-pin cable, cut a 6-pin/6-pin cable in half, twisted the proper ends together, tested for continuity, then our sound man slipped a piece of heat-shrink tubing on the wires, soldered them, wrapped and taped them up, and tried it. Several weeks, no failures, we tried a second cable, with success. Ordered a set of three (two to replace the ones we "borrowed" from the transportable unit) and converted the third cable and returned the cat-5 stuff. Realize, we had destroyed the structural integrity of the cable even though we had tried to include "splints", so we can't pull or treat them roughly, but for the near-permanent installation they are in, they have worked well.
Tips, if anyone wants to try this- it's not rocket science, but the wires are fine, seems like about the size of human hairs.
1. Protect the 6-pin connector white wire. Insulate it well, and don't let anyone near it! It carries power that the 4-pin cable doesn't need or want. If the power adapter for the SE-800 flickers dimly, check for a short in the dv cable. I refuse to answer why I'm including this caution.
2. Ignore both sets of black and both sets of white wires in the extended distance cable. Connect red to red, green to green, blue to blue, and yellow to yellow. Test for success before soldering. If this connection doesn't work, I found this one did: red to green and blue to yellow.