TIP: Too-short MP4 Files
I am busy digitizing my library of home movies (23 so far) and know that the typical 2-hour camcorder tape uses about 3GB of space on the 4GB SDHC memory card employed by the V-Mate. But then a series of recordings resulted in 0.5GB files. Something was wrong.
When I viewed the too-short files, they began normally. But partway through, the video became jumpy, as if only every 10th frame was being recorded. Inconceivable! Why would a dedicated digital recorder fail to capture every frame?
I tried a few things, and then fell into with this unlikely solution: reformat the memory card (using Windows with FAT32 format). Since then, the V-Mate has returned to correctly creating 3GB movie files.
TIP: Start Recording Blind
A limitation of the V-Mate is that it has no display, other than three LEDs:
* Green - power is on.
* Blue - memory card is inserted and working.
* Red - V-Mate is recording.
A problem is that it takes two or more selections from its menu to start recording -- and you only see the status of the menu when the V-Mate is connected to a tv or other video monitor capable of composite-video input. (I use a spare video camera that has a Line-in feature.)
I have found that t is possible to start recording with the V-Mate blindly, assuming the unit is in its normal state. If so, push the following buttons on its remote control:
2. Wait for at least five seconds
If the red LED lights up, then you know the V-Mate is successfully recording. If not, then the V-Mate was in some other state that needs addressing, and you'll need to hook it up to a video monitor to figure out the problem.
(The 5-second wait is needed, because it takes the V-Mate several seconds to switch into recording mode.)
TIP: Watch the Blue LED
I have noticed that the blue LED blinks slightly whenever the V-Mate receives and acts upon a command from the remote control. No blink, no action. This another way to work with the unit sans video monitor.