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SMPTE Timecode

 2 Minutes



In order to be able to synchronize different devices such as sound, light or video with each other, there is the so-called time code.
The timecode is a centrally generated clock that sets the timing for all devices in the setup. This ensures that everything runs synchronously.

In Pixera the SMPTE timecode is used. This can either be read into Pixera or played out.
In both cases a special cable is required, which can be purchased from AV Stumpfl.

Link to Pixera SMPTE Interface

The following explains how to activate and use timecode in Pixera.

SMPTE interface setup

  1. Connect the Pixera SMPTE Interface to the mediaserver and start Pixera

  2. in the settings of Pixera you can find the submenu "SMPTE"

  3. If the device is connected correctly, the message "Device Open" appears in the "status" info box.
    • if the device doesn't show up in here - press "Reset Device" to re-initialize the interface.

  4. Now the SMPTE interface mode can be set to "send" or "recieive" Timecode

  5. Since there are different timecode formats, you can select the one you want in the next step.
    Here you can also choose between formats with and without dropped frame.

  6. Now the Interface is ready to use - in the next step you have to decide which Timeline "read or write" timecode

Timeline - Timecode settings

In the next step, a timeline must be determined, which either receives or transmits timecode.



in Pixera only one Timeline can be the sending or receiving timecode - it is not possible to control two timelines via timecode properly!

1. Switch to "Timelines" in the Compositing tab and select the desired timeline.

2 .All settings concerning the timeline can now be selected here.

[1] Mode: sets the timeline to "listen to timecode - recieve" or "generate timecode - send"



Setting Timecode to "None" is not the workflow for muting incoming timecode!

[2] No Input Behaviour: this settings defines what happens if incoming timecode stops - should the timeline continue, pause or stop

[3] [4] Offest: the defined time set in here will be either added or substracted from the incoming timecode

[5] Ensure Device Time at Pause: This setting compares the values of the timeline time and the timecode and sets the timeline time to that of the incoming timecode if they do not match (in the case that timecode pauses) - this ensures that the timeline is set to the exact timecode when paused.
Attention - by this setting it can happen that the timeline skips a few frames either forward or backward when the incoming timecode pauses.

[6] Pause Until TC Reaches Offset: This special setting makes it possible to prevent content stutter when receiving timecode starts to run.
For example, if the timeline is just before a container, but outside the "pre-buffer-time", it can happen that the time until the content is too short to buffer the first frames - thus the content stutters at the beginning.

If a time is entered here, then the Nowpointer jumps forward by this time, pauses at this point, waits until the timecode has reached this time and then runs with timecode.

[7] Correct Drift: This option corrects a drifting timecode.

LTC Timecode via audio file

Beside SMPTE Timecode Interface Pixera also  supports to play out and Audio LTC Timecode file



Please note that it is only possible to send out LTC Timecode - it is not possible to synchronize Pixera to external LTC Timecode

LTC Timecode is an easy way to play out Timecode - the only thing which has to be done is to generate an LTC Timecode file and play it out as audiofile on the timeline.

An audio LTC Timecode-file can easily be generated on i.e. the following webpage: LTC Timecode generator

This files can than easily be used on the timeline. Just assign this layer to an "Audio Base Channel" and an "Audio interface" to be able to play that timecode out.



Audio can be played out only from the Director Engine. The Clients/Playout Engines are not able to play out audio.

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