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GH2 hack HDMI output testing
  • Did some testing today with the GH2's HDMI output and existing PTools AVCHD patches, here are the findings:

    - When a monitor is connected to the HDMI port, camera switches to an interlaced mode both on LCD / EVF and HDMI output
    - When progressive 1080i -> 1080p patch enabled, camera can record without the usual hang if HDMI monitor is connected
    - However AVCHD encoder still writes garbage to the card
    - Garbage AVCHD files will playback in camera and not crash, if HDMI screen was connected at time of recording
    - The output to LCD and HDMI is not garbage - seems 100% unaffected by current PTools AVCHD patches
    - Pulling HDMI cable during recording ends clip, camera switches to live view mode
    - Output is always 1080i on 'auto', never progressive regardless of camera mode or PTools config (I am now testing with HDMI option in menu set to 720p)

    @Vitaliy_Kiselev has interesting comment - "Good thing is that some HDMI related functions names are present is some debug messages as well as their arguments names"

    I am using a SmallHD DP6 as monitor, we can also use TV or PC screen with HDMI, be sure that it displays reported input signal type (i.e. 1080i or 1080p).

    Aim: clean high bitrate progressive video instead of current bad cadence 24p -> 1080i.
    Or even uncompressed signal. 1080/60p would also be great target but let's start small!

    Testing continues...
  • 225 Replies sorted by
  • God Speed!
  • Anyone have a Ninja and a Gh2 to start tinkering with this?
  • Did you try the EXTele Check Disable?
  • That is only thing I haven't touched yet since it's designated risky and don't want to brick my camera :)
  • @EOSHD

    It is not. People have tested it already.
    In last release it do not have Risky tag in the hint.
  • Ok will test it now. Thanks! PS I have a suspicion that Encoder Setting 2,3 or 4 may influence live-view / HDMI output, since changing these I was able to mimic the successful live view / video output that the camera does when an HDMI monitor is connected despite the AVCHD encoder settings crashing the camera by having the progressive patch enabled.
  • ExTele mode works via HDMI, in both 1080 FSH and 24p mode. However with my current settings, all AVCHD modes on camera do not encode to the card and cause camera operability to lock. However video output does look rather perfect on the monitor, even in 1080i FSH with progressive patch enabled. Now will test to determine whether that output is progressive or interlaced.
  • Hoping......but afraid of the awful truth.
  • Anybody with external recorder want to test ExTele mode via HDMI? Would like to see if it gives output in progressive 1080/60p in this mode or if it is 1080i. Set camera to FSH, apply progressive patch and set 1080i Encoder 4 setting to 1.
  • @EOSHD have you made some tests with the new PTOOL 3.61d ?
  • Not yet, been busy but starting again today.
  • do you guys think that using a BlackMagic Intensity Pro would to the trick? Or Ninja?

    (For testing Intensity Pro is quite cheep)
  • @alcomposer The Ninja only records 1080i/60 and can never record 1080p/60 due to its hardware limitations.

    "Ninja doesn't capture 1080p50 or 60 (to answer Damien). This is because the data rates are simply too high. You'd need a completely different device to capture at these rates."

    Dave Shapton
    Atomos EMEA

    Also it seems like BlackMagic Intensity has a similar dilemma, but fortunately they both seem to handle 720p 60fps and 1080p 24fps.
  • Ninja can capture 1080 24P and after next firmware upgrade v1.1 also 25P and 30P. Just hope that upgrade would come soon. It has taken so long already...

    "Supported Input Formats: HD 1080i60, 1080i59.94, 1080i50, 1080p30*, 1080p25*, 1080p24, 1080p23.98, 720p60, 720p59.94, 720p50, SD 480i, 576i
    * from firmware v1.1"

  • How do you get rid off all display (OSD) info on GH2 in order to record via HDMI output (in to Ninja) ?
  • @feha Pressing the display button on the GH2 doesn't work?? I don't have a Ninja so I can't really say...
  • When I used the Ninja and a GH2 for a day- there was no issues... (forget what I did though)...

    In the menus there should be 'turn off display info' etc...

    I didn't think it was on to start with -but maybe with the hacked firmware things are a bit different? You just have to go through the horridly long menus...

  • Regardless of this make sure to test the GH2 HDMI when recording to card (as before that the HDMI is in a strange mode-of course everything could be different - so proceed like you are on the moon)

  • Convergent Designs Gemini will Record 1080p 50/60. Release October.
  • @Angry_C

    That is assuming that the GH2 can put that out... :-( As for 1080p50/60 I think that VK has mentioned that its just not possible...

    Right now I would love the simple things - Hight quality HDMI out of the GH2... Just imagine it- no longer a B cam anymore!

    ; )

    Then again- as for everything technowise- I don't even think that most companies saw these portable HDMI-HDSDI recorders coming! Now that they do know however- its anyones guess what they will do?! (most of the time I think if they are not making the cash themselves - they don't really care!)
  • Andrew/Vitaliy do you think ideally we would be able to record from hdmi out WITHOUT having to press the shutter to record? Today I hooked up my GH2 via hdmi to a Dell U2410 monitor and did some tests, you dont see any posterization banding until you press the shutter and record (best places to look for posterization is in scenes where you have smooth blurred out areas or a clear sky). Andrew back in April you saw the same thing and mentioned it (video at bottom of page).
  • This banding needs a proper scientific explanation. I have heard so many conflicting views on it. My own suggestion is that it is either the colour space or compression that causes it, not so much the difference between 8bit or 10bit. I am sure the HDMI output is 8bit in live view and 8bit in record mode and yet the banding changes between modes. What is happening?

    Also notice that contrast reduces when record is hit, but in live view blacks are somewhat crushed. The best explanation for that (but not the banding) I've seen is the 0-16 in each channel is clipped in live view, and in record mode the full 0-255 is shown. But the live view image definitely has a smoother gradation, a lot of which is lost when you hit record. The gamma shift is annoying too.

    By the way the gradation banding looks worse on the GH2's LCD than it does in the final AVCHD recording or via HDMI. Might even be to do with the scaling / binning of the full sensor? Mac Preview can produce the same kind of artefacts whilst doing a 'quickie' scaling of an image, before you save it out.
  • @EOSHD - Andrew, has any further testing and/or conclusions been found w/HDMI monitors while simultaneously recording to the hacked GH2? I should be picking up the 5" Lilliput monitor sometime today and still have a "virgin" GH2 w/o the hack. In other words I would like to contribute to these forums but don't want to lose the functionality of using an HDMI monitor....

    Thanks in advance.
  • Can someone clarify if the hack at some point can eventually overcome the deliberate bug Panny stitched in to the camera to cripple HDMI recording? Sorry if this has already been asked...
  • hi @brianluce...

    No one here except the development team (VK- and a few key players) would know the extent of the possibilities so far.

    VK has mentioned many times that he is indeed working on this - and that there is 'hints' in the Firmware Code regarding HDMI output. What this means is anyones guess- however this hack is moving very fast and things are constantly changing.

    Personally I believe that HDMI is posible- and it is only a matter of time (based on what I have read).

    In the interum I would suggest to get used to the camera- and also if you have a GH2 participate in the testing- as the fasters this is achieved the faster things can move on. If I am correct there are already patches that change the mode of the HDMI output- so this signals that code is somehow being triggered or activated. It could occour that simply by placing the camera into a higher bit rate recording mode HDMI could be fixed because it is no longer triggering the deliberate errors in the HDMI code??? No one knows right now.

    But this feature was working on early firmware beta builds of this camera, so we are all hopefull. Before that- we have now got 42mbps and it is getting better by the day!