Frequently Asked Questions



What DVD players do you support?

The only DVD players that work with the DVDplay synchronizers are Pioneer industrial models. They are the following models:

  • DVD-V7200
  • DVD-V7300D
  • DVD-V7400
  • DVD-V5000
  • DVD-V8000

No other brands or models are supported. The first 3 models listed above have now been discontinued, though may still be available from some sources.


Your software doesn't work with my laptop

We have found that some laptops, especially Dell Inspiron laptops (but also some others) seem to have problems using our Windows software. We have contacted Dell and they claim the problem can be fixed with a BIOS upgrade, which can be downloaded from their web site.

Another sollution is to try opening a DOS prompt (called a Command Prompt) and running the DOS version of our programming software. It has a simpler text based interface, but can set all of the same parameters. This should work for Windows NT, 2000, and XP. For Windows 98 simply restart in MS-DOS mode before running the DOS version of the software.

If this doesn't help, try using a desktop computer if you have one available. Our Windows software does seem to work in most desktop systems running Win98, 2000, and XP.


How do I freeze the last frame of video and hold it during rewind?

You must turn off the squelch setting in each channel of the synchronizer. Whith the Windows version of the software this means removing the checkmark from the "Squelch" checkbox. With the DOS version of the software you must go to the line that says "Squelch" and hit the Enter key so it says "Disabled".

Don't forget to save the settings back to the synchronizer when done.


Can I use my own black burst generator instead of ordering the optional one?


Our black burst option is simply a stand-alone black burst generator built into the unit. It is typically smaller and cheaper than any other black burst generator on the market. But if you already own one and wish to use it, you can.

Whether you use our black burst generator or your own, the result is the same. The synchronizer will be frame accurate (provided that the black burst signal is present on the back of the players before the player goes into playback mode).


Do I need a video distribution amp to connect the Black Burst to all the players?


DVDplay synchronizers with the Black Burst option have a single BNC connector on the back that puts out Black Burst. You connect that to the external sync input of the first player using a BNC to BNC cable. You then connect another BNC to BNC cable from the loop-thru output on the back of that player to the external sync input on the next player. You continue to loop the signal from player to player until all players are connected.

There is a termination switch next to the external sync inputs on each player. It is important that this termination is turned off on all players except the last one in the chain.


Are all cables included with the synchronizer?

We include one control cable per channel. This cable goes between the synchronizer and the player. If you order a 3 channel synchronizer you get 3 of these cables. If you order a 10 channel synchronizer you get 10 of these cables.

The synchronizer also comes with a special programming cable which is used to connect the synchronizer to a PC computer during programming. This cable is not used once the synchronizer has been programmed.

We do not supply the BNC to BNC cables needed to connect the optional Black Burst to the players. You need to supply one BNC to BNC cable per player being used. These are standard video BNC to BNC cables.

We also do not supply any cables to connect to the Network connector. A standard audio RCA to RCA cable is used when connecting more than one synchronizer using the Network connectors. And a custom switch cable, with an RCA connector on the end is used when connecting a switch or external show controller to the Network connector.


What kind of switch is needed to remotely start playback?

A "normally closed" pushbutton switch.

The most common type of pushbutton switch is "normally open", meaning that the contacts are not normally shorted to each other. This will not work. You need the switch to have "normally closed" contacts, which means the contacts are normally connected to each other and disconnect when the button is pushed.

This switch is then connected to the "N" Network connector on the back of the DVDplay synchronizer. This connector was optional on older units. If your synchronizer does not have one, it can be retrofitted for a small fee.

We recommend that the cable from the switch to the synchronizer not be longer than 10 feet. If you need it to be longer, we can add a special amplifier to the synchronizer to accept up to 100 feet long cables. There is a small fee for adding this amplifier.

We sell a small metal box with the correct switch mounted in it, and a six foot cable. It is called the "SyncStart" box and sells for $50.


Can an AMX or other show controller start the synchronizer?

Yes. If you have the "N" Network connector. This is a gold RCA connector on the back of the synchronizer, labeled "Network". It was an option on older units, and is now standard on all DVDplay synchronizers.

You can connect a contact closure output from an AMX or other brand of show controller to the Network connector. As long as the Network connector is shorted to itself, the synchronizer will cue up but will not begin playback. Once the connection is opened (no longer shorted to itself) then the synchronizer will begin playback. Once playback begins the connection can once again be shorted in anticipation of the next playback cycle.

Do not feed a voltage into this connector. It is not a voltage input device and can not stand having 5 volts, or any other voltage applied to it. It can only be connected to a contact closure that either shorts it to itself or is open (not shorted).


How do I connect two synchronizers together?

You can connect two or more DVDplay synchronizers together to make them act like one larger synchronizer. Each of the synchronizers must have the "N" Network option. This is a gold RCA connector on the back of the synchronizer. This connector was optional in the past, and is now standard on all new synchronizers.

Simply connect an RCA to RCA cable between the Network connector on the two synchronizers and they will then act like a larger synchronizer with the total number of channels of both units. More than two synchronizers can be connected simply by using RCA "Y" adapters to split the RCA cable so it connects all of the Network connectors together.

Units that do not have the Network connector can have them retrofitted for a small fee.


How do I disable channels on a synchronizer?

If you do not want to use all of the channels on a DVDplay synchronizer, you must disable the channels that you do not use. Otherwise the synchronizer will not start playback because those unused channels are holding up the rest of the channels.

Using the programming software for the synchronizer, you must program those channels that will not be used so they are not part of the synchronizer anymore. Do this by running the programming software on that channel and then finding the checkbox that says "Synchronize". Remove the checkmark next to "Synchronize" and the channel is now disabled.

If you are using the DOS (text based) version of the software, then you use the arrow to go down to the line that says "Synchronize" and then hit the Enter key so that it says "Disabled" next to it.

Don't forget to save this changed information back out to the synchronizer (hit the "Save to Synchronizer" button in the graphic software, or hit the "S" key in the DOS software).


Is the DVDplay synchronizer frame accurate?


There are two versions of the DVDplay:

Units that do not have the Black Burst option are only accurate to within 2 frames.

Units that do have the Black Burst option are accurate to the exact frame.

To synchronize exactly to the frame, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • Must use a DVDplay synchronizer that has the Black Burst option.
  • The Black Burst signal must be connected to the external sync input of all of the players
  • The synchronizer must be turned on before the DVD discs go into play mode.

The Pioneer players only lock to external sync as they begin playback. If the Black Burst generator is not powered on when the player starts playing the disc, the player will not lock to the external sync.


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