Chassis vs Signal earth on RS422 remotes

Grounding is essential to reliable operation of any RS422 connections. It is also the most overlooked and least understood. The easiest way to ground your RS422 equipment is to simply use “Earth” ground as your return path. Although easy this may not be the best method for grounding your application, because current leaking from equipment, [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:18+00:00January 10th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Beware the fibre contamination!

These are two pictures taken down my hand-held fibre microscope - you can see the core and buffer of two examples of fibres that were spliced maybe three months ago in a new building. I suspect builder/decorator dust contamination and even though they have had their cover-pieces on they aren't air-tight and so we're now [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:18+00:00January 10th, 2014|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Avid and OS 10.9 Mavericks

Apple released the latest Mac OS 10.9 Mavericks yesterday. Before you rush into upgrading, especially since its free please think carefully before you do this. Be aware that Media Composer is still undergoing testing and qualification under 10.9. Support will be announced in an upcoming maintenance release. Until then, Avid do not advise customers upgrade [...]

By |2013-10-23T15:50:57+00:00October 23rd, 2013|Categories: News, Products, Support, tips|Tags: |0 Comments

Finding stuff Spotlight found

If you are on a Mac and use Spotlight to find documents but rather than open them you want to know where they are stored then hover over the item in the list Spotlight has created and hold the Apple (also known as the Command) key and the Ctrl key together. At the bottom of [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:20+00:00July 12th, 2013|Categories: Support, tips|0 Comments

'Beyond HD Masters 2013'- cable interfaces and framerates.

Today you can buy equipment that works at the TV “4k” resolution which is also referred to as “quad-HD” because it has twice the number of pixels horizontally and twice the number of active lines; 3,980 x 2,160. Blackmagic have already implemented what they call 6G SDi – i.e. 4 x 1.5Gbit/sec 1920×1080 @30FPS (max) [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:21+00:00June 24th, 2013|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , |0 Comments

After 'Beyond HD Masters 2013' – 4K TV colourimetry

Several of us had a day at BAFTA listening to various speakers from the industry talking about 4K (quad-HD, UltraHD, etc etc) and the surrounding standards. ITU Rec.2020 (URL: is the document that covers 4k TV (in fact it defines two resolutions – 3840 × 2160 and 7680 × 4320 – which I’ll refer [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:21+00:00June 24th, 2013|Categories: Broadcast Engineering, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Ever wondered what happens when you press the power button on a Mac?

A great document has been produced by Apple expelling what goes on within the entire software stack, it covers items like: App Nap, this puts applications that you’re not using into a special low-power state. Sandboxes, ensuring that processes are only allowed to perform a specific set of expected operations. AirPlay letting you stream music [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:22+00:00June 14th, 2013|Categories: Opinion, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

“How can ContentAgent optimise my pre-editing work in an Avid environment?”

This is a question a customer has asked me recently and I thought the answer could be beneficial to more than one person – ContentAgent can be a powerful time-saver when dealing with media preparation before editing. In this example, we were working in an Avid environment (Media Composer / ISIS-5000) with a matter of [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:22+00:00May 9th, 2013|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , |0 Comments

Avid Editing Product Customers with Avid Support Contracts – Updating 3rd Party Software

Some useful info for customers with Avid support contracts wanting to update the bundled 3rd party software: BCC, Avid FX, Avid DVD, or Sorenson Squeeze The latest installers for these can be downloaded from To get activation serial numbers go to where you will be asked to supply the following information: The product [...]

By |2013-04-23T08:15:58+00:00April 23rd, 2013|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Avid Support's Knowledgebase Search Improved

If, like me, you have found the Avid Support Site's Knowledgebase to be rather poor at finding appropriate or relavant documents and articles, Charlie Raynsford and Kevin Lynch at Avid have told me that help is at hand. Avid recently implemented a Google Search Engine to assist with finding material and new links are now [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:43+00:00April 16th, 2012|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , |0 Comments

Preparing Op Atom MXF Media Files For Use in Avid Editing Workflows

There are now a number of mechanisms available to get media files, acquired outside of traditional Avid capture workflows, into an Avid editorial workflow based on either shared or local storage. Of course there is Avid’s most recent innovation in this regard – Avid Media Access (or AMA), whereby 3rd party manufacturers can author a [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:49+00:00January 25th, 2012|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Backup versus archive. Knowing the difference and understanding what to do about it

Although the transition from analogue to digital has been going on for nearly twenty years, many users are still unclear as to what the difference is between the concept of a backup and an archive. In a nutshell, a backup relates to current information in use that is critical, and can be restored from an [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:51+00:00December 5th, 2011|Categories: tips|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Nano Flash Workflow Guide

Nano Flash is now a very popular tapeless recording addition for any camera with an HD-SDI out. The reason for it becoming so popular is that it can record a number of different formats which broadcasters approve of (basically anything that can record a 50Mbit + data stream). It’s a great way for production companies to get [...]

By |2011-07-01T15:55:40+00:00July 1st, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , , |0 Comments

The party is truly over for Mac OS and malware

For a very long time Mac users have reassured themselves that the nasty stuff will always happen to those uncreative and unimaginative Windows users. As a consequence an astonishing number of Apple OS X users run their computers with little to no regard to security or anti virus protection. If you are one of them [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:55:59+00:00May 7th, 2011|Categories: News, Opinion, Support, tips|1 Comment

Ethernet Attached Unity Clients getting 'Project Is Locked For Write' error

I recently came across this error while configuring ethernet attached clients on a Unity MN 5.1.3 system. It is a useful fix to know about – hope it helps. When trying to open a project on an Ethernet Attached Client, why do I get an error that says ” Project is locked for write “. [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:56:01+00:00March 28th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments


I recently discovered this handy little open source tool from Erik Larsson. As standard, Mac OS X offers the ability to read NTFS volumes, but not to write to them. NTFS-3G looks to remedy this, and unlike other tools on the market, is free to download, although I would encourage you to donate to Erik [...]

By |2011-03-14T12:42:36+00:00March 14th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , , , , , |1 Comment

uninstalling XQuartz from OS 10.6

I recently came unstuck with XQuartz installed on a Snow Leopard client and this resulted in X11 not launching correctly, which then resulted in my DDP GUI not launching. After much head scratching I cam across these two useful command line prompts on the X11-users list. ::::: in the terminal window type: sudo rm -rf [...]

By |2016-10-29T08:56:02+00:00March 8th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

Setting a 12-core "Westmere" Mac to 32bit Mode

When Mac OS Snow Leopard is installed onto a 12-core Mac, it defaults to 64bit mode. Unfortunately, all Avid applications that run on Mac require it to be running in 32bit mode. They may install but that doesn't mean to say they'll behave. For example, Media Composer will pretend everything is hunky-dory, but will stubbornly refuse to see any Avid hardware, including the Nitris DX and the dongle.

By |2011-01-28T11:31:56+00:00January 28th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Storage RAID Levels and Available Space

Most hard-disk based storage used for professional video editing these days will use some form of RAID. What is a RAID? Well, the acronym itself stands for "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks". As to how it works, what follows is a brief explanation of RAID levels and how you calculate what sort of usable disk space you'll get out of any given array.

By |2011-01-28T10:14:10+00:00January 28th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Shutting down a remote Mac via SSH

If you’ve planned ahead, you’ve enabled remote GUI control by using the Sharing System Preferences panel.  Assuming you’ve done all this, then you can just connect to the remote Mac’s GUI, and pick Shut Down from the Apple menu. But what if you’re not so good at planning, and you’ve only left the machine with [...]

By |2011-01-27T16:29:30+00:00January 27th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

My first blog post and a useful mac cheat sheet

Hello all, As this is my first post I thought I would firstly say "Hello" to all friends, colleagues and new comers and secondly share with you this very useful 'mac cheat sheet' document that can be very useful today when tech spec'ing a customers upgrade path. It contains all sorts of useful info, from [...]

By |2011-01-27T13:32:39+00:00January 27th, 2011|Categories: Support, tips|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments