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Do you have pixel errors on your camcorder? Then don't worry all is not lost.
Most Broadcast and Professional camcorders have built in pixel correction circuits. These are activated by black balancing the camcorder.
If you want to check your camcorder warm the unit up by leaving it switched on for one hour, close the iris and check the viewfinder. The pixels will show as small white specs, if you can not see any turn the gain up to 18db's if you can now see pixels turn the gain down in stages keeping your eye on the pixels. If the pixels can not be seen at 0db then they are not out of specification. If they can still be seen black balance the unit at least three times but up to thirty times and the pixels will hopefully be corrected.
If the pixels are not corrected then you will need to bring the camcorder into Visual Impact and we can measure the size of the pixels. The specification is as follows: Broadcast cameras 5% (35mVolt) or Professional cameras 7% (50mVolt). If pixels are out of specification the camera would need to go to Sony for attempted correction of the errors in the CCD block. This is charged at £800.
If pixel correction can not be achieved the CCD block will need to be repaired or replaced depending on the model. The repair can only be done by Sony in Japan , new blocks or replacements can be fitted by Visual Impact.
New to the scene in the UK is a service offered by Vocas in the Netherlands. Vocas now have the facilities to access the CCD Chip registers and correct faulty pixels. This can be done in conjunction with the APR memory to give an enhanced correction. Faulty pixels are cleared down from the APR circuits and moved to the CCD circuits freeing up valuable memory for future pixel errors. They can also sometimes clear adjacent pixels by doing one in the CCD register and one in the APR register. The CCD Block will be guaranteed for 12 months from pixel failures, if a block can not be corrected Vocas will not charge. This is an enhanced service to the one offered by Sony UK the turnaround time is much better at about 7 working days including shipping. The cost is £1,600 plus shipping to and from the Netherlands at £120. Shipping will still be charged if a block can not be repaired. We will cook the block prior to dispatch and measure the defects, on the blocks return we will re cook and measure to check the corrections are correct. A copy of before and after print outs will be sent back with the unit and the Vocas warranty document. All prices are excluding VAT. Should you have any more questions please call and ask for Ian Marsden (0208 9771222) or look on the Vocas website on this link. www.vocas.nl/pages/ccd.htm Visual Impact are the authorised dealer for Vocas in the UK. This service is not available for all Camcorders please check the Vocas link for an up to date list.
CCD PROTECTION PLAN
Warranty on CCD blocks is one year on Broadcast and Professional cameras. On some units this warranty can be extended to THREE or FIVE years from the original date of purchase, please see a price guide below. To obtain this warranty the camera has to be tested by Sony at a fee of £160 pounds prior to taking out the extended warranty unless the unit is less than 3 months old. The CCD Protection Plan is an optional warranty extension for new Broadcast Cameras and Camcorders.
This provides an extended warranty on the CCD block only up to a total of 5 years from the original date of sale of the camera/camcorder.
Sony UK Repair Centre - CCD BLOCK PRICING TABLE
Repair / Re-use process
As prices change all the time, please confirm on application.
Visuals Group Technical Department.