View Full Version : Serious Magic DVRack
August 12th, 2004, 11:13 AM
I put a summary of my experience with Serious Magic's DV Rack (Demo) here:
August 12th, 2004, 11:49 AM
Thanks! Very helpful.
August 26th, 2004, 01:40 PM
Curious if anyone knows whether using a firewire drive or USB 2.0 drive connected to the laptop will capture properly and work with DV Rack?
August 27th, 2004, 02:50 AM
I don't know a thing called DV Rack so I can't comment on that.
But you can definitely capture directly to a laptop. I've done it
a couple of times on my Lady X shoot.
August 27th, 2004, 11:37 AM
DV Rack is a fantastic new software program from Serious Magic that provides software versions of a field monitor, vectorscope, waveform monitor, direct-to-disk recorder, and lots of other professional video & audio monitoring tools.
Check it out at http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrack.cfm
August 27th, 2004, 02:10 PM
So what about the possibility of an external drive (firewire or USB 2) connected to a laptop? Does anyone have any experience with this?
August 27th, 2004, 04:16 PM
I just received my registered copy of DV Rack yesterday. It's truly awesome. Yes, in fact, I can capture straight to an external hard drive via 1394. Dunno 'bout USB, haven't tried it. I suspects that if your system can see it, DV Rack will too.
August 28th, 2004, 06:14 AM
I have captured straight to USB2 without any problems (on a
laptop). I've tried firewire but that didn't work since I had to
daisy chain my camera to the drive and that for some reason
resulted in dropped frames.
I've read the DV Rack program. Sounds interesting indeed. Too
bad my laptops battery will only last 1.5 hours max. Way too
short for any serious shooting.
August 29th, 2004, 03:30 AM
Glad to hear that you're enjoying DV Rack.
Does you laptop have swappable batteries? My Dell gets about two hours per battery but they can be swapped and a second one can be inserted in place of the floppy drive.
August 29th, 2004, 08:12 AM
I think you have my old DELL laptop, hehe. It had a floppy drive
as well where a second battery could be fixed. New one doesn't
however, but it might have place for it if I remove my DVD player/
burner. I'd have to check that. But batteries are pretty expensive
for these kind of laptops and I would at least need 4 of them
(to get a max of 6 hours, but probably more around 4 - 5 hours).
That would be a minimum. The current laptop (from my work) is
just too power hungry. I'd be better off with a Pentium M laptop
August 29th, 2004, 10:12 AM
And that leads to a good question: what is Serious Magic's recommendation for a laptop? There are so many combinations possible, but obviously you'd want good performance with the software, glitch-free capture, a good screen, and long battery life. What do you guys recommend?
August 29th, 2004, 10:43 AM
Pentium M laptops do indeed seem to last forever. I have one from Acer - and just the other day during the hurricane when the lights were out down here in Orlando, I watched all of American Graffiti pt. 2, which is almost 2 hours long, and still had about 40% of battery left.
So I figure in a real world shooting environment, I should be able to get 4 hours no problem. DVD watching burns more battery than just capturing would, I think.
September 1st, 2004, 01:05 AM
It's hard to make any specific recommendation about laptops, there are so many different kinds and different trade-offs. DV Rack works with virtually all current laptops. There are a few older laptops that are too slow or don't have support in their graphics chips for overlays.
You may want to stay away from a few ultra low-end, mondo-cheapo laptops because there are still some on the market that don't have much graphics support at all. These are suitable only for web browsing & email (and who would want a laptop that can't play *any* 3D games?). In general, anything with a GeForce, Radeon or Intel 830-class graphics chip is going to be great for DV Rack. (Not that DV Rack needs all that power. Having that class of chip just means that it will have all basic functions supported and reasonably up-to-date drivers available. It also indicates that the rest of the laptop is probably well-configured (ie no crippling to save a nickel)). Also, keep in mind the requirement that the graphics card have at least 32 MB of graphics memory. This is quite standard now and I'd be suspicious of anything that didn't have that much.
As for other factors, it really depends on what you value most, speed vs. weight vs. size. Earlier this year one of the programmers who works on DV Rack bought a Celeron based laptop that's rated at 1.4 Ghz and only has a 4200 rpm drive (I think it was an HP from Costco at around $800). It works fine.
We had a guest in the office a couple months ago from Europe who had this brand new really sweet Centrino-based Fujitsu machine. That thing was thinner than Paris Hilton and even sexier. We immediately asked if we could load up a beta of DV Rack on it. It worked great. I believe that it was even under 1.4 Ghz actual clock speed.
This whole Centrino thing has confused things because we can't just say "get X.X Ghz or faster and you're set". The problem is that some of these "Centrinos" are faster MHz to MHz than a Pentium 4. Other Centrinos (like the Ultra Low Voltage variety) are slower. Grrrrr.
One thing you can do is burn the free downloadable demo onto a CD-R disc and take it with you down to the computer shop. Once they know you are a serious buyer, any reputable store should let you try loading a commercial software app on the machine to test it out (as long as it can be easily uninstalled, which it can). Bring a small DV camera and a Firewire cable and you're set for a good in-store test.
September 14th, 2004, 09:12 AM
Does anyone know if the Sony flavor of HDV is compatible with DV Rack? It's still DV tape, but with the MPEG-2 compression, does that complicate matters?
September 14th, 2004, 10:51 AM
The lead developer for DVR at Serious Magic told me it's not compatible with HD. I use DV Rack with my DVX100 and love it.
September 14th, 2004, 10:57 AM
Altho', I beleive they're looking at the issue as we srpeak, err...write. I can't beleive they can continue to support only DV without taking a big hit on their sales.
Christopher C. Murphy
September 14th, 2004, 11:45 AM
I call the guy and he said their considering HDV, but I think we need to bug them to do it.
Hey, you guys at DV Rack!! Please support HDV!!!!
September 14th, 2004, 01:13 PM
Thanks for the response, guys. I think we should start spamming Serious Magic to trump up the "need" for HDV support. I'm in the process of replacing my 400-series Betacam and I'd sure like to junk all the analog stuff along with it if possible.
September 14th, 2004, 01:31 PM
I'll post these suggestions where I'm sure the SM DVR developers will see them.
Christopher C. Murphy
September 14th, 2004, 01:58 PM
I'll be a beta tester for a Mac HDV version!!!! :) :)
September 23rd, 2004, 01:07 PM
I've downloaded and am considering buying the serious Magic Ultra keying program but I've been having problems when rendering with Vegas. When avi's are viewed with media player after creating in Ultra they look great, but after editing and rendering in Vegas (NTSC DV Template) the fine lines begin to wave,shake and jitter. I've also ran into this probem when using track motion and creating split screens with generated media, but never as bad. I've switched on the interlace flicker with no real improvement. I've also brought in AVI"s to Vegas with upper and lower fields first with no significant improvement. I haven't rendered and burnt to DVD yet to test on TV but would think the results would be the same. Is there something I'm overlooking ?? Thanks.
after furter review when I check the interlace flicker box the problem does improve but I took some frame grabs and the picture becomes blurry.
September 23rd, 2004, 02:27 PM
What is the source of this footage? Which camera and is it in
interlaced or progressive? Project settings in vegas should be
lower field first for interlaced or none for progressive.
Sounds like an interlacing issue as you've guessed. So your
watching the footage when capture in WMP and it is fine? Then
you render it in vegas (to DV AVI?) and play it again in WMP and
see those lines?
September 23rd, 2004, 02:58 PM
I'm using one of the virtual sets that come with the program. (news set) and I'm saving or rendering to uncompressed AVI file with either upper or lower fields first(both have same problem). There's a setting on Ultra that applies flicker filter and when you save, the AVI Looks better little or no flicker but it still looses some quality to the picture, but not as much as when flicker is applied to Vegas. The other questions are correct when viewed in Media player it looks fine until I render in Vegas. I would guess that these filter do some type of blending of fields or some type of D-interlacing. Is this correct in Vegas?? The softer image is usually not that much of a problem but I feel it should be my decision and I want to have the best footage going in that I can. thanks for your reply.
** I guess I should note that what i downloaded was the free demo (250mb) its fully functional but says DEMO over screen :)
September 24th, 2004, 01:07 PM
Here's a project I recently created with Ultra and Vegas. I used standard settings in Vegas but in Ultra I rendered to AVI using the HuffyUV Codec.
I seem to get very good results with Ultra and it's one of my favorite tools. This project uses one of the virtual sets included with Ultra Master Set 2. http://www.magoomedia.com/media/cosmos.wmv
September 24th, 2004, 03:22 PM
Thanks Jim, I enjoyed your Video. I worked through the toutorials and found "Ultra" to be a very worthy tool. I'll figure out my problem this weekend when I have more time.
September 26th, 2004, 04:02 AM
If your footage is interlaced a de-interlace usually gives a softer
picture, that is what I would expect. However, I assume you can
also leave it in interlaced (I don't know the other program) and
this will display with interlacing jaggies on a computer but should
like fine on a TV.
October 27th, 2004, 01:58 AM
I just got my new PD170 and am excited to put it to use.
The primary thing I'll be doing is making "How-to" DVD's. The shoots will take place in my studio.
I'd love to be able to record directly to Disk as that would sure save a step.
And I purchased DVRack from Serious Magic. (haven't installed it yet)
Here's the issues - my studio set up is about 25 feet from my workstation where the editing will take place.
1. Is it possible to get a fire wire cord that long? If so, where might I find one like that? What is the longest I can go?
2. That makes it a bit inconvenient to see my digital monitor to use the program - but its still basically doable.
3. I've thought of purchasing a laptop so I can have it right there near the shoot. Problem is, then I'm stuck transfering the video from the lap top to the workstation.
4. It appears that DVRack can record to both the hard drive and the DVTape at the same time. Does anyone know if that's right?
5. I'm wondering if DVRack can accept DVCAM from my PD170 and save it directly to disk. Now that would be VERY cool.
Next issue - is it possible to buy a fast, large, external firewire hard drive, attach that to my workstation, then attach my camera to the drive and have DVRack record to the external drive? That would be convenient. If this is possible, do you have any suggestions on the best types of external firewire drives for this?
Next issue - I have an Audigy 2 connector system on the front of my computer. It has a large firewire connection. Will that work, or should I consider getting a dedicated firewire card to handle this with?
October 27th, 2004, 12:22 PM
1. Is it possible to get a fire wire cord that long? If so, where might I find one like that? What is the longest I can go?The official IEEE1394 specification limits maximum firewire cable length to about 14.5 feet. However, some companies have exceeded that -- I don't know how they do it, but Laird makes cables that are 30' long and 75' long, and they make firewire repeaters that let you chain cables together to get up to 225' long.
I personally have one of their 30' cables, and it works great. So beware that while you may be technically "out of spec" by going with a longer cable, it does appear to work just fine, as long as you're getting a quality cable. I can vouch for the Laird.3. I've thought of purchasing a laptop so I can have it right there near the shoot. Problem is, then I'm stuck transfering the video from the lap top to the workstation.Using an external firewire or USB2 hard disk would eliminate any problem, and having the laptop would give you a field recording solution also. I use a laptop with DV Rack, works great.4. It appears that DVRack can record to both the hard drive and the DVTape at the same time. Does anyone know if that's right?Yep. And that's the way you'd want to do it, as tape gives you a cheap backup copy.5. I'm wondering if DVRack can accept DVCAM from my PD170 and save it directly to disk. Now that would be VERY cool.Sure it can.Next issue - is it possible to buy a fast, large, external firewire hard drive, attach that to my workstation, then attach my camera to the drive and have DVRack record to the external drive? Yes it's entirely do-able.Next issue - I have an Audigy 2 connector system on the front of my computer. It has a large firewire connection. Will that work, or should I consider getting a dedicated firewire card to handle this with?The Audigy 2 firewire port will work fine, that's what I've been using on my desktop with DV Rack.
October 28th, 2004, 03:00 AM
Thanks - your answers were most helpful.
I ordered the 30 ft. Laird Firewire cord today.
Now I want to buy a firewire external drive and am considering the G-raid 2-800. Anyone have any thoughts on this drive?
October 29th, 2004, 08:17 PM
the 1394 spec's are GENERAL and not specific to a device ...
1394 hard drives seem have the 15ft max .. however seems 1394 to camera ( 4pin) to computer can exceed the 15 ft ..as others have stated 75-125 ft seems to be OK without a repeater ... this is just sending DATA ... if you attempt to capture over 75ft you'll probably find that the camera will not operate from the computer capture program ( will not go into play , fast forward etc ) but if you push play the DATA comes thru .... got me ???
#3 - you can either transfer over the normal networking (100Mbs) to desktop ( SLOW ) or you can enable your 1394 networking .. then transfer the clips from laptop to desktop over 1394 = FAST ... ( 4pin to 6pin)
i usually disable the normal networking connection on desktop .. ( 1394 networking is enabled on both computers) .. then from desktop i find the laptop on network and go to the folder on laptop and drag it to the desktop ... when finished i enable the normal network connection on desktop. i find i have to restart the desktop computer to get it working again ...
October 30th, 2004, 07:01 AM
Excuse me, Kenrick, for hijacking your thread but I have to ask Barry a question. I've just installed the trial of DV Rack and it's cool enough to want even if you don't need it. But I'm having trouble imagining using it as a production team of one. With everything I carry to shoot, for example, walking tours of places like Quebec City or NYC, I can't imagine how I could add my laptop and something to sit it on, nor could I power my external hard drive. Can you tell me under what conditions you use DV Rack on a notebook in the field? Thanks,
October 30th, 2004, 09:47 AM
Obviously you couldn't use it for run 'n' gun or news type productions. I use it for field production. I've got a cart that I keep loaded with lights, stands, flags, sandbags, camera, teleprompter, tripod, cords, gloves, blackwrap, gels... everything in the world, that all slides in the back of my van. Now it also includes a laptop.
If I get an EFP job I just wheel the cart to wherever the job is, and set up from there. The laptop is a very small part of the equation, but it allows me to add a monitor, waveform, vectorscope, and DDR to the package.
We shot the video for the DVX DVD using this (it was pretty much DV Rack's maiden voyage for us) and I also shot a film for a church using it, and it was completely priceless.
It will slow you down, however. If you have the opportunity to check your footage, you will, which will make you slower. If you have the opportunity to check levels and exposure, you will... which will make you slower. It will result in better quality video, but it will also inherently slow you down a bit.
November 4th, 2004, 02:16 AM
Ok, I know what DV Rack does and I know it has a simulated video monitor that you can actually calibrate. Now, here's my question.
There's no way that you can use DV Rack for a live preview while editing on a computer is there? In other words, is there a feature that lets you run a firewire cord from one computer to the other so that it displays your Vegas video as if it were coming from a camera? That would be really cool, but probably impossible.
November 4th, 2004, 04:27 AM
I highly doubt that would work because DV Rack would probably
be looking for DV VCR's on the firewire channel which another
computer not is. All NLE's that I have seen that have firewire
monitor out also look for a DV VCR which the other computer
(with DV Rack on it) isn't either. So my guess would be no.
November 7th, 2004, 03:02 PM
You're right, I was just hoping that someone would say that they've successfully found a way to use it like that.
November 10th, 2004, 05:25 PM
Serious Magic is offering a $200 rebate on DVRack. I purchased this product last week and just noticed the rebate offer yesterday. When I called to see if I qualified, they said I did, but as of this writing, the confirmation email has not yet been received. Here's the link - http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrack.cfm
November 12th, 2004, 05:00 PM
Is this offer valid for non US buyers?
It sounds very tempting. I would prepared to buy a PC only for this application (I work with mainly AppleMacs)
November 15th, 2004, 06:13 PM
Yes, you can most certainly take advantage of the rebate offer on DV Rack. It does, however, take an extra step or two for folks outside the U.S. Please contact Mike Walsh (email@example.com) in our Customer Service Department to learn what you need to do.
November 19th, 2004, 12:32 AM
I do most of my video work at church or for plays at a local theater. At Church the lighting is quite a challenge. The flood lights donít work because of problems, I get a mix of indoor light from the main sanctuary lights and outdoor light from the large windows.
I canít take my computer to the theater so that is out.
So as far as the Church is concerned, how is DV rack going to help me make better video?
As for me, a person who likes technological toys to play with, it looks like it might be fun to play with but I have to keep an eye on what I am shooting so I donít have time to look at the computer monitor much to see what it is showing me.
In a way I am trying to find a way to justify buying DV rack. So far I just canít quite seem to do it.
I was thinking about going into wedding video but I decided not to. Even if I did, I would have to ask how a wedding videographer could benefit from DV rack and not stand out like a sore thumb by carrying a notebook computer with them all over the place.
I am not knocking DV Rack or anything like that, I am just tryimg to figure out how it could benefit me.
I tried the demo and while it shows all kinds of stuff about the video, I just canít quite figure out how it would benefit me yet.
I have a degree in electronics and have worked with scopes and equipment so such equipment is not foreign to me.
Any way, that is the best I can think of in how to ask this question.
November 19th, 2004, 05:49 AM
If you already have a laptop, the $200 rebate currently being offered by Serious Magic makes DVRack a relatively inexpensive Direct-to-Disk solution. In your church work, you would have a calibrated monitor to help with the lighting challenges and might also give you better insight into possible audio problems.
Even if you had decided to do weddings, I doubt that DVRack would be portable enough to be useful. I'm sure others will disagree with this, but the whole arrangement of camera, laptop, external hard drive (if needed), firewire and power cables makes the setup a little cumbersome, particularly if you are working alone. You are also limited by the length of your firewire cable, which BTW should be securely attached to the camera in a way to prevent stress on the camera port.
I'm finding it a fun and inovative product and will be able to use it on some projects, but certainly not all. Just one users perspective.
November 19th, 2004, 12:40 PM
In general, it's best use is going to be in a situation where you will have the camera on a tripod (IOW, not moving around).
That fits a lot of what I do, so I think that for me it might be really nice. For others, not so much.
November 20th, 2004, 04:34 PM
With the current $200 rebate on DV Rack, the bar for what you need it to do is lower. DV Rack has a calibration feature that lets you use a laptop or PC screen to replace a broadcast field monitor. In other words, the colors will be video correct.
Using the disk recorder, another big savings is that the capturing time you have to spend is eliminated. You are ready to edit immediately.
You mention that you are dealing with mixed indoor / outdoor lighting. The vectorscope can help you manage this problem more effectively when setting up before your shoot because you'll be able to see objectively what's going on as you calibrate white balance.
I have a $3,000 DV camera. I love I often think that the LCD screen is made by Nintendo. The colors aren't right, the brightness isn't correct, and the dynamic range isn't shown properly (anything below a certain level falls to black on that screen). Lastly, the LCD screen doesn't show the entire captured area. I can't afford (nor do I want to lug) a real broadcast field monitor around but I need the capabilities of one.
[NOTE: I work at Serious Magic but I'm a shooter with twenty years of broadcast / industrial / film experience]
November 22nd, 2004, 04:09 PM
"DV Rack has a calibration feature that lets you use a laptop or PC screen to replace a broadcast field monitor. In other words, the colors will be video correct."
I have a little 5" crt monitor that has been calibrated that I can use. Not very portable when combined with the other features of DV Rack but better than nothing.
"Using the disk recorder, another big savings is that the capturing time you have to spend is eliminated. You are ready to edit immediately."
I am using Ulead's Video Studio 7 for direct to hard drive recording. Video Studio 6 and lower doesn't work very well. I don't know about version 8.
I love the idea of direct to hard drive recording in that I save wear and tear on my VX2000 and I don't have to worry about tape problems such as drop-outs and running out of tape during a long service.
I am using a system where I have two computers, one at church and one at home for editing. I use a removable hard drive tray system so I can simply plug a hard drive into the church system for capture and then take it to the home system for editing. It is not hot swapable as the company claims but I don't need it to be.
I fail to see how the vector scope can help me with the white balance. I can see what is going on, I can see that no matter what I do, some areas are going to have a blue cast and others won't. I have no choice in the situation.
The most helpful use I can see with DV Rack for me is the audio tools. I have poor hearing and I can't hear a high frequency noise that may be present in the audio and with the last church service I did, I couldn't hear the low frequency noise either.
However, I could see it on my editing system at home and I effectively removed it with GoldWave software.
By the way, I don't have a lap-top or note-book computer so that would be a major additional expense for me. How would I use a removable hard drive tray system with a lap-top or note-book computer?
My problem is that I am struggling to find how I would really benefit by using DV Rack.
I can see where it would be of some help but not quite enough to justify the cost.
I wish one could buy only the modules one needs in DV Rack at a reduced cost instead of the whole thing. Then one could buy additional modules over a period of time. Sort of like a basic DV Rack to start with then build up to the full version over time. Would also allow for even more modules and upgrades of modules in the future.
I wish one could purchase it at the current price of $200.00 off without having to deal with the rebate. I love the savings of a rebate but I hate dealing with them.
Thanks to you and the others here for your replies and sorry this post got so long.
November 22nd, 2004, 05:09 PM
Ulead's (or other video editor's) direct-to-disk recording isn't the same thing as DV Rack. Video editors are designed for editing and capture, not to assist during shooting.
DV Rack has the DV QM that let's you know about potential problems. It marks the exact location of an audio problem or video-over-bright on the clip's waveform, as the clip is recording. After recording, you can then jump right to that exact location with one click to review the potential problem. Also, DV Rack slaves to the camera, which means that when you press the record button on the camera, DV Rack starts/stops without you having to be near the computer. I don't believe that video editing software does this.
The bottom line is that no video product is right for every situation. It sounds like your work is pretty limited in scope, is pretty much always the same and your current kit of gear meets your specific needs well enough.
DV Rack is kind of like a Swiss army knife (SAK) or a Leatherman multi-tool. It has a bunch of blades/tools that do different useful things in different situations. You're kind of saying, "Look, I don't end up in a lot of different situations. I just need this pearing knife and these fingernail clippers because that's all I do, and I already have tools that do a fair job of the limited things I need to do".
On the other hand, if you're an outdoorsman that ends up in various different situations then an SAK or multi-tool is a no-brainer. In the same way, if you're a video person that ends up doing a variety of work, perhaps ranging from corporate interviews, industrial training, PC instructionals, video FAQs, live conferences and in-studio product shots, then having the various "blades" and tools in DV Rack at your side is also a no-brainer.
One thing I learned from years of being an "independent video producer", success required being like a boy scout, "always prepared".
The other thing that I learned was that when you are shooting, you are also always selling yourself. I've had DV Rack users tell me that one specific benefit of the product that they hadn't expected was that clients are very impressed. It's clear that you're using "real gear" and the latest tools and that makes the client feel good about you (the same factor that makes a lot of pros pay extra for bigger "shoulder cams" when a smaller cam would do, just because of the impression it makes on clients).
November 23rd, 2004, 03:23 AM
I may not have the best direct-to-disk (tape-less) recording solution now, but it is a lot better than nothing at all.
Maybe I will expand and get DV Rack later on in the future and maybe there will be another rebate (hopefully a sale price) some day.?.? :)
What I would like to see most is a memory card with enough memory to record the DV and no longer have to deal with the mechanical problems like we have now.
Now the goal is no more tape. It won't take long when the goal will be no more hard drives.
Even if I have to deal with the bulky contraption I have now, (mostly due to limited budget) I am glad I at least have something to work with.
November 23rd, 2004, 07:42 AM
It sounds like you have already talked yourself out of getting DVRack, but let me address a couple of points you mentioned that might benefit others.
DVRack will run on the computer you are currently using at the church, provided it meets minimum specs. No need to buy a laptop in your case.
You can still capture to the removable hard drive so there is no need to change anything there. If you are able to capture direct to disk now, it should work with DVRack.
I doubt you'll find DVRack at a lower price than currently offered by SeriousMagic and you get the full package, not a stripped down version, which isn't even offered now.
Your total cost to utilize the product would be $279.95 http://www.videoguys.com/dvrack.html, and an additional benefit would be that you no longer need to lug that 5" monitor around anymore.
I don't like dealing with rebates either, but for $200, I'll spend 5 minutes filling out the form and addressing an envelope any day.
November 23rd, 2004, 12:33 PM
One other point I forgot to mention. Serious Magic doesn't monkey around with rebates like a few manufacturers. It's sad that this is the case with a few companies because rebates should be a trustworthy thing, however I've had a couple of rebate nightmares where it was apparent that the company really didn't intend to pay most of the rebates as promised.
With SM, you just fill out the form (and it's really quite short), add the receipt and send it in. You'll get your check, usually in a few weeks.
November 23rd, 2004, 12:50 PM
Danny, I think that the best thing to do would be to download them demo and use it and see if it helps. The demo lasts for 14 days, and it fully functional, not crippled.
For me personally, the audio stuff is the stuff that I don't need. Coming from an audio background, spending a lot of time in recording studios, building my own project studio, etc. I have enough control over audio that I can get a good signal in and not worry about it.
The things that I like (I downloaded the demo but have not yet installed it for other reasons - I am waiting for the calibration cards to become available on the seriousmagic shop so I can get some and then install the demo and really put it through it's paces) are the "Broadcast monitor" esp the under/overscan feature, the Quality monitor to let me know if frames are bing dropped, and the calibration tools.
With something like Premiere Pro (which I have) I can get waverform monitors and vector scopes. When I record to disk I get notification if frames are being dropped.
However, I don't get the kind of notification that DVRack gives as far as where they are dropped (the display will show you exactly where in the timeline the frames were dropped and you can scrub to them and see if it is a real problem requiring a reshoot or not). I don't get the under/overscan feature in Premiere (but I think that Premiere will show the actual video footage, not just what your LCD shows). The thing that I really like is that not only does DVRack have all of those calibration features and more, DVRack seems to make it VERY easy to use them to calibrate your camera, whereas in Premiere, you just get the scopes.
The other thing that DVRack does that is REALLY cool is the continuity tools. The ability to do split screen of previous footage with current footage will allow me to make sure that if I take a break in filming and the subject moves, that when we continue I will have framed the subject precisely to match the previous footage. That is a really cool feature that you are not going to get in a broadcast monitor.
From what I have seen, the only improvement that I would like right off of the bat (and not having used it, it could be that this feature is in there) is to layout your "rack equipment" in a side scrolling (left to right) layout as well as the standard up & down scrolling. And blank "filler" components to take up the blank spaces between devices!
I too am hoping for another rebate offer. I imagine that by the time I order the calibration cards from them and install the demo and really put DVRack thru it's paces the rebate will be gone, and thanks to the holidays so will my money! :-( However, if I really like it, I will wait for another rebate offer and buy it. My main concern right now is that it may not work with the video card built into my D2D miniPC solution (which does not allow for me to add in a "real" video card). I won't know until I try it, however.
November 23rd, 2004, 02:08 PM
I have a question for you. I looked at the online manual for DVRack and I noticed that it has to be activated like Windows XP does.
If I get DVRack and install it on my desk-top computer at church and then at some time in the future I get a smaller or a note-book computer, will I then be able to install it on that computer without having problems with the activation?
I don't want to be stuck in the future.
November 23rd, 2004, 02:41 PM
DV Rack permits two activations on two different machines.