The purpose of this page is to collect as complete Sony D8/DV NVRAM configuration memory map as possible. I would also like to offer some information about the correct usage of the new functions. There are only a couple of those right now but I'm planning to write more as the time permits. As of now, this page is to be considered "work in process".
You are free to link to this document. If you do so, please use the URL <http://www.iki.fi/znark/video/dv/codes/> This ensures that the link will always work, regardless of the actual physical location of this site.
My heartfelt thanks go to Glenn Edwards, Reinhard Jäger and Martin Smola, without whom this memory map would not be. They have discovered most of the functions listed below, released them to the public knowledge, and in so doing been of invaluable help to the whole Digital8 user community.
Unfortunately, I have not had time to update this page in over a year. (I will eventually get to it, but for now, you'll just have to be patient.) Several people have e-mailed me asking how do they actually use the codes, so here's a short explanation to clear the thing up:
If you wish to enter the codes in your camcorder, you'll need a wired remote control device that is plugged into the LANC jack of the camera. You can either purchase a special service remote control from Sony, or build a simple, cheap cable that connects to the parallel (printer, LPT) port of your PC. As obtaining the service remote control unit might prove difficult and expensive, I recommend building the simple cable. You can find instructions (and a suitable program for controlling the camcorder from the PC and altering the camcorder's configuration memory) from Martin Smola's D8 site. Also see Martin's Excel worksheet, which can be used for calculating the correct checksum for the new settings (search for the words "Here is file from MSEXCEL97" on the page).
I would also like to know which functions have been confirmed to work on which Sony camcorder models. If you send me this info, be sure to state the exact model number (such as DCR-TRV210E). It would also help knowing the serial number of your camcorder, since the firmware version might (theoretically) have changed between different production runs. As those black helicopters really are after you, and you have those radio transmitters installed in your teeth as well, I do not need the complete serial #. Censor out the last two digits and replace them with the letter 'x', or something.
Most of the settings should work on 1st and 2nd generation Sony Digital8 camcorders, as well as on the DV models. Some probably even work on the most recent Hi8 and Video8 models. However, there are some codes that do not just plain work on every camcorder, and some that only enable a dummy menu item which does not actually do anything. As always, nothing is guaranteed and all use is at your own risk.
|Address||H4||H3||H2||H1||L4||L3||L2||L1||Function...||...and how to access it!|
|0d:11||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||1||enter diagnostics mode (clear all bits to 0 to exit)||activates immediately|
|0d:14||1||VTR mode (enable recording from outside source)||REC|
|0d:14||1||add SP & LP recording mode menu item||TAPE SET / REC MODE|
|0d:17||1||display aperture and gain readings on screen||MANUAL EXPOSURE|
|0d:18||1||enable manual shutter speed control and other features||AE PROGRAM|
|0d:18||1||add zebra stripes (i.e. a visual aid to avoid overexposure)||LCD SET / ZEBRA|
|0d:19||1||add AE SHIFT function (?)||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:1a||1||1||1||add viewfinder brightness and backlight controls||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:1d||0||turn the LCD screen off||activates immediately|
|0d:1d||1||move AE PROGRAM presets to menu||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:1d||1||add LCD brightness menu item||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:1d||1||move PICTURE EFFECTS functionality to menu||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:1e||1||add manual white balance control||MANUAL SET / WHT BAL|
|0d:1e||1||add manual microphone level control||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:20||1||add auto TV On/Off & TV Input menu items||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:21||0||disable "photo memory" menu.||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:23||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(unused in 1st generation D8 camcorders, good for checksum compensation)||-|
|0d:24||1||add playback zoom functionality||VTR SET / PB ZOOM|
|0d:24||1||add frame recording functionality||CAMERA SET / FRAME REC|
|0d:24||1||add interval recording functionality||CAMERA SET / INT.REC|
|0d:25||1||1||add color bar generator||OTHERS / COLOUR BAR|
|0d:25||1||add GAIN SHIFT (?)||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:27||1||enable DV-in mode (if set to 0, always in DV-out mode)||plug in the Firewire cable|
|0d:29||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||(reserved for demo mode settings?)||SETUP MENU / DEMO MODE|
|0d:2c||1||add ESP/ELP recording mode menu items||(somewhere in the menu)|
|0d:50||[unspecified for now]||take a photo (one of the bits turns the IRLink light on/off)||activates immediately|
|0d:55||[unspecified for now]||enable LCD screen mirror mode||activates immediately|
|0d:56||[unspecified for now]||turn the LCD screen off||activates immediately|
|0d:5f||[unspecified for now]||turn the camera off (Make sure that if you do this you have't made any other changes or you'll mess up your checksum!)||activates immediately|
|0a:a2||×10||×1||Drum rotation counted time (BCD code)||Minutes|
|0a:a5||×10||×1||User initial power on date
(After setting the clock, power on date is set)
|0a:a8||×10||×1||Most recent condensation occurrence date (BCD code)||Year|
Find a way to...
Do you own a Texas Instruments graphical calculator, such as TI-85 or TI-86?
Do you know how to program it with Z80 assembly language? Or would you be willing to learn, if given the necessary resources?
Are you a camcorder enthusiast? Do you want to get every last function and feature out the hardware you bought?
Would you be interested in a portable, programmable LANC device with which you could make your Sony camcorder do almost anything (even while on the road, where you cannot connect it to your computer)? LANC remote controls are readily available, but how about one that would be fully programmable to send any LANC commands you wish (even macro sequences and NVRAM configuration codes)? One that has a 128x96 pixel LCD display and 50 buttons just waiting for you to assign functions to? Would you like to have one?
If you just answered "yes" to the above questions, there is yet another project idea available for real hackers.
|0d:11=ff||Enter diagnostics mode|
|0d:11=00||Exit diagnostics mode|
"Diagnostics mode" tests various camcorder functions and displays the results on the LCD screen / viewfinder.
VTR mode enables recording from all inputs (i.Link/Firewire/IEEE-1394, composite video and s-video). Going back to Player mode disables this functionality, i.e. the camcorder will simply ignore all record commands (except, of course, recording through the lens in the Camera mode).
Wait a minute. Why would anyone want to disable the recording functionality in the first place?
Good question. There is no good reason. This option only exists because European Union charges about 10% higher import tax for video cameras that double as VTRs. Camcorders that merely record through their own lens do not belong to this category, but camcorders that can also record from video inputs do.
Practically all camcorder manufacturers disable the video inputs from the consumer models they import to EU. Why, you may ask. The explanation is quite obvious: If they don't do this, their competitors surely will - and then they would have to fight a 10% competitive price edge.
Fortunately, camcorders are nowadays highly integrated electronic products. Integration reduces costs, but it usually also means that a single chip on the circuit board can handle multiple functions, and there is no reasonable way to separate them from each other.
Therefore, disabling is usually achieved through software configuration. (It would be more expensive and cumbersome to actually remove or replace physical parts, or to create two different production lines for the same camcorder.) This is good news for an individual that is not afraid of fiddling with the camcorder's configuration memory, since a software-based disabling method makes it quite easy to enable the inputs again.
As for Sony products, this means that the models bearing the 'E' designation (such as DCR-TRV210E) have been set to the Player mode at the factory (i.e. they have been nEUtered, as the saying goes). Sony only imports 'E' models to Europe. The models sold elsewhere have been set to VTR mode as default. But now that we know the right configuration codes, the 'nEUtered' models can be brought on par with the non-nEUtered models simply by switching them into VTR mode, too.
Note: There is a common misbelief that all PAL camcorders would have been nEUtered at the factory, as if this kind of feature disabling somehow depended on the TV standard itself. This is not the case. You can buy fully functional PAL units in Asia and Oceania. Only the models imported to Europe have been nEUtered.
The nEUtered models do not have any of these buttons. However, there are still several ways to access the recording functionality:
||Enable aperture and gain readings|
||Disable aperture and gain readings|
When enabled, the camcorder will display aperture and gain information (superimposed on the picture) while the user is in manual exposure mode.
What are aperture and gain readings?
||Enable alternative settings|
||Disable alternative settings|
When enabled, totally changes the way how the AE PROGRAM button works. The predefined AE programs will disappear and in their place you will see these three new modes:
When disabled, the predefined AE programs will come back on-line again.
||Enable 1394 input mode|
||Disable 1394 input mode|
When enabled, allows inputting DV data to camcorder via i.Link/Firewire/IEEE-1394 connector. The input mode will be active at all times when a DV cable is connected, except when playing back tapes.
Note: When disabled, allows transcoding analog signals directly over the 1394 interface - in real time, without recording to tape first. You understood it right: this means that your video camera can double as a real-time video digitizer! (Of course this only works on models that have analog inputs in the first place. All D8 models do.)