I found this forum looking for a solution to what turned out to be a really stupid problem.
I took delivery of my new Canon XH-A1 today, quickly popped in a tape and started shooting. Wasn't I surprised when I captured my footage and it was literally FULL of all kinds of noise! I could not believe that I had gotten the one with the bad CCDs!
Anyway, long story short: DO NOT SHOOT WITH THE AUTOMATIC GAIN CONTROL ON!
Turn the worthless thing off and leave it that way. If it has a legitimate purpose, I can't imagine what it might be. I do know it will introduce all kinds of noise into your footage -- unless you're shooting in total auto mode.
Now that I've found the forum, I may return with real questions at some point in time. Looks like a great place for answers.
P.S. Once I turned off the AGC, my footage was FABULOUS!