The Sony AV/R Jack

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Gary Eickmeier, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. I answered my own question, but thought I would share it with you. We have a
    need to put a remote camera on the altar in an upcoming wedding shoot. We
    used to use the VX-2000 cameras in the SD days, but now we use a hi def Sony
    HDR-TD10, which has no LANC terminal so we couldn't figure out how we were
    supposed to zoom or start/stop the camera remotely.

    Then I read somewhere that the "R" in the AV/R jack stands for "Remote."
    This meant hope, but a thorough read of the manual revealed NOTHING about
    any remote capability beyond the wireless remote commander that came with
    it, that works only from about 7 ft away.

    Some more research outside of Sony revealed nothing either, such as looking
    in the Varizoom site for controllers or wiring for that model. Finally, a
    Google search turned up an Ebay seller who would sell me an AV/R to LANC
    converter cable for $21. Problem solved! Haven't got it yet, but it should
    work, and then everything will be as before with the VX-2000.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 15, 2013
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  2. Whoops. Now I am wondering if I was half smart in getting that cable. If it
    just carries the LANC signal, then how will I get the video signal out of
    the AV/R jack at the same time? I hope they have thought about that. There
    HAS to be a converter that can take both the sync and the video out of

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 17, 2013
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  3. Gary Eickmeier

    Frank Guest

    Gary, you haven't indicated in what you wrote exactly what it is that
    you want to do with the camcorder's A/V output signal. Do you want to
    record it, or do you want to use it for monitoring purposes?

    Remember, you should still have the camcorder's HDMI output jack
    available to you, and that carries both audio and video signals,
    although for monitoring purposes, you would need to use a high-def
    monitor or monitor/receiver.

    I looked at Sony's own VCT-80AV, VCT-60AV, and VCT-50AV tripods, which
    have a built-in Remote Commander (as Sony likes to call them) that
    connects to the AV/R jack on the camcorder, but as far as I can see,
    once the tripod is connected to the camcorder that's it; you've got
    remote control of the camcorder, but you've lost the camcorder's
    audio/video output capability.

    In other words, it looks like an either/or situation: you've either
    got A/V output from the camcorder or you've got wired (not wireless)
    remote control over certain camcorder functions, both not both

    Whether someone somewhere markets a special cable or adapter that
    supports both the A/V output functionality and the remote control
    functionality of the camcorder, I don't know. I certainly can't recall
    ever seeing such a cable or adapter, but that doesn't mean that such a
    thing doesn't exist, although I would be somewhat surprised if it did.

    If you do find something suitable, please be so kind as to post a URL
    here in this thread.

    On the upside, if worse comes to worse and you can't locate such a
    special cable or adapter, and you really want both remote control AND
    audio/video output at the same time, there's always, as mentioned
    above, the camcorder's HDMI output jack. In that case, just use a
    high-def monitor that has an HDMI input jack and you'll have the
    functionality that you require, assuming that you want to monitor the
    signal and not record it.

    For on-location use, this could be any one of a number of available,
    typically 5- to 7-inch, HDMI monitors that you can mount somewhere on
    your rig or, for studio use, just run an HDMI cable from the camcorder
    to any ordinary AC-powered consumer-grade HDTV that happens to be
    sitting nearby and use that as your audio/video monitoring device.
    Frank, Mar 17, 2013
  4. Gary Eickmeier

    Paul Guest

    There is some pinout data here.

    Number Pin
    Name Description
    1 Audio out LEFT
    2 LANC data (on LANC cameras)
    3 S-video GND pins, LANC GND
    4 LANC +5VDC
    5 S-video chroma
    6 Audio out RIGHT
    7 100K to GND gives Video Out on pin 9, pin open circuit gives LANC enable
    8 Composite video and R & L audio out COMMON (not necessarily the same as GND...)
    9 Composite video out
    10 S-video luminance

    There is something subtle in that information. Notice that pin 8
    is a COMMON for Composite video and audio L/R, implying it is not
    at the same potential as pin 3 GND. Almost as if they used some
    isolation between the two circuits for some reason. LANC and S-video
    share the same GND. Composite and audio L/R share a COMMON. LANC
    and Composite operate mutually exclusively, like maybe noise on
    GND affects one or the other. It doesn't make a lot of sense
    to me at least.

    "2011 USA Models

    This is what Sony did to these models:

    Sony made a change to the AV/R jack on ONLY the 2011 video cameras
    listed above, so when you plug in a cable with a LANC connector, it
    disables the composite video output. You can still using the HDMI
    jack to get video out. You can thank Sony for this ridiculous change
    to the AV/R jack on only the 2011."

    But that doesn't spell out whether Y/C of S-video, get controlled by pin 7.
    For example, you can convert from Y/C to Composite, with a capacitor
    (crudely). I have such an adapter here, a "bullet" with 4 pin mini-DIN
    on one side, and composite on the other side. It's probably got
    the 470pF cap inside.

    Very puzzling as to what Sony is up to. And, whether
    that pinout data is accurate as to one pin being GND,
    and another labeled as COMMON.

    Paul, Mar 17, 2013
  5. Gary Eickmeier

    Frank Guest

    Paul, thank you for posting the information that you did. I was
    already aware of the first two links, and have known people who have
    successfully used the Studio 1 Productions adapter in the past (in
    fact, I recommended it to them), but I don't think that this applies
    to Gary's situation.

    The pinout information on that Russian site ( is from
    back in the days of pure standard definition video.

    Gary's camcorder shoots both high definition video and standard
    definition video and unlike the old standard-def-only days where the
    AV/R connector provided (along with two channels of analog audio) only
    2-pin composite (baseband) video and 4-pin Y/C (S-Video) outputs, the
    AV/R jack on Gary's camcorder provides all of that *plus* a 6-pin
    analog high definition component video (YPbPr) video signal. At the
    very least, the pinout information shown on that Web page would need
    to be updated to reflect the YPbPr capability of Gary's camcorder.

    And Gary hasn't told us what sort of video signal he wants to use
    (composite, S-Video, or component) or to what purpose he wants to put
    that signal (recording or monitoring).

    Frank, Mar 17, 2013
  6. Thanks to you both for all that - I will look into it. But Frank, obviously
    I said in my opening post that I have a need to put a remote camera on the
    altar for a future wedding shoot. We used to use a VX-2000 SD camcorder,
    which had LANC and video out so we could see what the camera was seeing. Now
    they have this new AV/R jack that seems to be either/or, which makes no
    sense whatsoever. How can you operate a remote camera without also being
    able to see its output? I can't picture using a 30 or 40 ft HDMI cable.
    Maybe we will just have to settle for not being able to zoom during the
    ceremony, but just use the jack as a LANC so we can see where to rotate or
    tilt it to compose the front camera shot.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 18, 2013
  7. Got it! The little LANC adapter came today and it works as advertised! You
    insert one end into the AV/R jack of the camcorder, and the other end is a
    female LANC jack. I now have remote control of on/off, start/stop, zoom, and
    some others I forget. Focus if the camera is in manual focus I suppose. Or
    hey - maybe it is whatever manual control has been set in the menu,
    including exposure! Must try it.

    The video output is now thru the HDMI jack, which is wonderful.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 27, 2013
  8. Gary Eickmeier

    Frank Guest

    Whatever happened to, "I can't picture using a 30 or 40 ft HDMI
    Frank, Mar 27, 2013
  9. Got me! Just seeing if you were paying attention.

    It just happened that I have a 35 ft. HDMI cable that I am intending to
    install in my home theater system but haven't quite got to it yet. So I
    brought it to the office, tried it out, and hey! We now have total control
    of the camera and HD video in the monitor and I am so pleased I am beside
    myself. Only thing left to check is whether the monitor will show the record
    status or if it is just the image. Can work with it either way I suppose.

    Gary Eickmeier
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 28, 2013
  10. Gary Eickmeier

    Frank Guest

    As usual. :)
    I overcame my case of Attention Deficit Syndrome sometime last week.
    Can't recall exactly when, though.
    Yes, those HDMI cable installation projects can be quite a chore. Sort
    of like laying an undersea cable. Can take months or even years.
    Beside yourself? Sounds like a double exposure.
    Most cameras/camcorders have the option to show or not show a status
    overlay. Since you'll not be recording it, a clean output shouldn't
    matter in your case.
    Right. Enjoy.
    Frank, Mar 28, 2013
    Gary Eickmeier, Mar 28, 2013
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