Tuesday, July 20, 2010

MSUS Tech Tip - Emergency Screen Switch

If you connect your machine and boot up and see no image, but the LED light on the front displays "Macrosystem", you might just be in the wrong display mode. The correction to this is very simple. Let's say in this case you are connecting to a DVI monitor when the machine was already set in single analog mode (note: machines ship in analog mode first as a default and the machine does not auto detect your monitor connection). The screen on the DVI monitor would appear black. There is a trick to use your trackball's right click buttons to switch screen modes without seeing the display. When the machine is powered up (theoretically it's on the main Bogart menu, you just can't see it right now) hold the right trackball button down for 6-7 seconds. The front LED should suddenly change to say "Display". It would be followed by the current display mode it is in. If the system was in single analog mode, it might say "Display: Scart". Pause, then you can press the large left trackball button to toggle to the next display mode (or the number keys off of the keyboard can be used too as mentioned in the next paragraph). As the system was set to single analog, the next mode would be DVI. Just wait about 15 seconds between screen switches. This should now switch the system to single DVI output and you will see the menus on the DVI monitor. This method is simply an emergency back door trick to switch monitor modes.

Using Bogart 2.4c or Bogart 3.2c, the emergency screen switch function can also be used on the Media Manager portion of the system. This would be useful in cases where you switch from Bogart to Media Manager and your screen display suddenly goes black. In most cases this means the Media Manager is resting on the main menu and has been set to a different monitor mode than you are using on Bogart. If this happens, same thing as before. Switch over to the Media Manager like usual to see the black screen. Then hold down the right trackball button for about 6-7 seconds. You will see a message on the front of your LED screen on the machine to indicate it's now in the "Display" mode. Using your keyboard, use the number keys to switch the appropriate type of screen display. 1 = Scart or the analog output. 2= DVI output. And with Bogart 3, the 3= HDMI output using the HDMI port on the back of S2000 or S4100 models.

Monday, July 19, 2010

CB Paint for Bogart?

ok - here it is... I need your help.

CB paint was a hit with some, not with others. We are getting some requests for development, but not enough to move forward for us to drop the serious cash needed to make this work on Bogart.

All that being said - leave a comment or email me at suggestions@macrosystem.us and let me know what you think.

Is it worth $1500 to you? (this is less than we charged for our last version of CB paint)
Would you be willing to commit to a purchase of this if we announced we were developing it?

If you don't send me your thoughts or your opinion - don't complain that you didn't get what you wanted!
If you do send me your thoughts and opinions - they do get read and are valuable to development efforts!!!

MSUS Tech Tip - Adding a Copyright Symbol

The copyright symbol is found on the "Special" character key on your on-screen keyboard. You'll find it on any menu that let's you type out a name. For instance, go to Titling> click on "Enter Edit Text"> Click on "Text" > Now you'll see the on screen keyboard. Down at the bottom of the keyboard is a "S" with a circle around it. This is the Special characters key. Click on it and it will open a drop down menu with special character attributes for the current font you have selected. Scroll down about half way down the list. There you will find the copyright symbol. Highlight it and then click "OK" to drop it down in the current line of text.

Friday, July 16, 2010


First, verify that you have a firewire port on your PC. Most PC firewire ports are "6-pin" firewire... a larger connection than the firewire port on the Casablanca (4-pin). If your computer has a 6-pin firewire port, you will need a cable that goes from 6-pin to 4-pin. Then all you need to do is import your AVI file into an application that can play video out via firewire, and digitize that video in the regular record screen on the Casablanca. With WinXP, there should be a free application called "Windows Movie Maker" that can do this for you. So, as long as you have the firewire port and a cable, you should be able to follow these steps:

1. Connect your PC to your casablanca via a firewire cable, and make sure both devices are turned on. You should see the Windows machine recognize the Casablanca with "Found New Hardware" dialogue in the lower right of your PC monitor.

2, Open the Windows Movie Maker application on your PC. On my computer it is located in the Start Menu under Programs > Accessories.

3. Choose to Import Video, and import your avi file.

4. Drag that avi file down to the storyboard in Windows Movie Maker.

5. Go to File > Save Movie File...

6. Choose to save to "DV Camera", and click Next.

7. Go to Video Settings on the Casablanca and verify that you are set to the "DV" input.

8. Go to Record on the Casablanca.

9. On the PC, click Next again to begin the recording.

10. The PC will now start to render the video, and when it is done, you will start to see the video being out to your Casablanca. Be ready to click record on the Casablanca and start digitizing the video.
Because Windows Movie Maker is a very basic application, it assumes that it is controlling the recorder (the Casablanca) which it is not doing. This means that often, you will miss the beginning of the recording because there is no warning that it is going to start outputting. Also, this may cause the application to crash at the end of the output. You may want to add your program to the Move Maker storyboard twice, or add a clip that you don't need in front of the one that you do need so that you don't miss anything between when the output starts and when you click record.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Nearly 99% of the work is all done on the PC/Mac side and there are so many different software programs out there and we could not possibly support them all. On the Casablanca, you need at least Smart Edit 4 or above to increase compatibility. If you are going from DV to the PC you basically need to go to the Finish menu and make sure the storyboard has been rendered in its entirety. Then the DV Recorder controls will be active so you can then click on it and output to VCR. This basically activates the DV output of the Casablanca making the DV out active. That's all to be done there. Over on the computer it depends what program you are using but with the firewire connected for the first time, you should get a message on the computer indicating a firewire device has been connected. Then going into the menus of the software program (i.e. Imovie, windows movie maker etc.) you look for the "Start capture" command to start recording footage and build a new folder. We often use "Windows Movie Maker" to capture footage off of the Casablanca via DV. The files saved from Movie Maker on your computer can then be used in various forms.

- On the PC you should be running Windows XP or above.
-On the Casablanca you should have the 4.0 installed in order to help the communication on with firewire to computers.
- Much of the software on the computer that can be used to firewire out to a camera has the ability to disable the program from automatically controlling the camera transport controls. In some cases, you might need to go into the menus of your software program to de-activate these controls. The Casablanca equipment will not allow a PC to control it and you could get errors to occur since the Casablanca does not emulate a deck. It likes to be the control device. We usually don't have to set anything when we connect with Windows Movie Maker, that's why tend to recommend that one as a base.

Note: If you have a lower operating system version than SE 4 or the devices just simply won't communicate, you may have to firewire out to a DV deck or camera first and then firewire the camera or deck to the PC. It will still be in digital, so there wouldn't be much loss, but just the extra step.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


For those of you using older Cassie's - and trying to use them like a new Cassie...


None of our current software allows for any file converting inside the system. Right now there are a couple of ways to get it out for computer use:

1. You can send the video and audio out through the DV firewire cable to the computer if you wish to keep it in a digital form. (see additional info below) This would be done by going to the "Finish Window" and clicking on "DV Output" to allow the transfer to begin from the firewire jack. We have had some issues reported with communication to the PC with the Casablanca's DV chip. The protocol is really going to depend on the type of PC, software, and video card you are using. We can only offer limited support when trying this type of connections due to all the different variables of various computer models. Or you can output the video (think of the system as nothing more than a VCR) from analog to a capture card on the PC.

2. The other is a program called "Disk Transfer" (You can find some info and web download of the manual here: http://www.macrosystem.de/e/expansions_disktransfer.html). Disk Transfer is an add on program that can be purchased to allow for exporting of clips from the scene bin to a DVD with the file type of DV-AVI. Some computer programs might recognize this for import. You would need an internal DVD writer in your Casablanca for this program, so older Avio machines won't be able to do this. Most Casablanca models starting with the Kron's would work.
Customer reports have noted that it basically it requires a PC software program that uses the standard windows AVI format and does NOT need to control the external device.
We've had reports in that software programs like Vegas and Adobe Pro work very well in both directions.