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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old November 9th, 2007, 03:54 PM   #1
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Cineform Neo HD / HDV questions

While I wait patiently for a BlackMagic Intensity ExpressCard to come about, and put off building a wearable HD capture suit, I think I will get the Neo HDV codec to enhance and facilitate my workflow, once my HV20 comes in.

I searched the Cineform site but I couldn't find answers to some of my questions:

1) When you use HDLink to capture via Firewire from an HDV tape, there won't be HDV video written to the hard drive, just video in Cineform Intermediate format, right?

2) When you capture and convert via Firewire, does your computer have to meet certain specs to avoid dropped frames, or does the conversion just slow down to accommodate the slower CPU? This goes back to my question of whether the HDV files are put on the hard drive, so that the conversion can "lag behind" the capture. I have an AMD dual core at 2.4ghz and 2GB RAM, for reference.

3) Does anyone know the bitrate of typical video in Neo HD and Neo HDV?

4) I know Neo HD is higher quality, but does it actually have higher CPU utilization during conversion / playback, or lower, compared to Neo HDV?
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Old November 9th, 2007, 04:04 PM   #2
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1. You can choose to keep both the original .m2t and the Cineform-created file.

2. Your PC will be enough to do it in real time. Mine is not, but yes, there is a caching system so there is never dropped frames. Any firewire port will do.

3. There are 3 quality settings to pick, so I am not sure of the actual bitrate for each. However, as a comparison, the open source lossless codec Lagarith produces a 300 MB file for 15 seconds of HDV, and Cineform only produces a 120 one, without any visible loss either. So overall, it's a pretty lossless and conserves space too.

4. During conversion possibly, but playback no.

If you are using Cineform for the HV20 24p pulldown removal, use these settings: http://www.freshdv.com/media/cinefor.../cineform2.png
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Old November 9th, 2007, 04:26 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply, Eugenia.

1) You make it sound like you have the option to delete the .m2t files after capture, but not to avoid having them ever written. Is this right?

2) Thanks, no more questions here.

3) Do you know what a 15 min video in HDV format would be in Megabytes? Also, compared to NeoHD, is NeoHDV more or less compressed?

4) To avoid any confusion, I take it you mean the NeoHD is "possibly" more CPU intensive during capture and less so during playback. Do I have that right?
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Old November 9th, 2007, 04:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Swihart View Post
1) You make it sound like you have the option to delete the .m2t files after capture, but not to avoid having them ever written. Is this right?
You have both options. See the very top box of the screenshot Eugenia posted. You can either convert on the fly during capture to Cineform AVI, leaving only the .AVI on your drive when finished, or you can capture as .m2t and convert simultaneously to CfAVI, resulting in creation of both during capture.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 04:46 PM   #5
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1. Check my picture. You can choose to keep both, or to only have the cineform file written and captured. There are options shown in the picture.

3. Anywhere between 2 and 3 GBs. The filesize difference between the two is not huge I would expect, as it *mostly* depends on what codec quality you picked in the preferences, not if it's NeoHD or NeoHDV.

4. No, I meant that it's possibly a bit more intensive during capture, but not that different when playback. Again, depends if you chose the good or medium codec quality when encoding, mostly rather than if it's NeoHD or NeoHDV-produced. For example, the best quality setting on either of the two Neo versions create a much bigger file than the "plain good" quality, so the PC has to try harder to decode it.

I would wholeheartedly suggest you download the two versions and try them.
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Old November 9th, 2007, 05:13 PM   #6
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I will when I get my HV20, thanks a lot for the informative answers. That's insane that HDV takes around twenty times as much space as NeoHD / HDV, yet is much more lossy. When is Canon, Panasonic, or Sony going to license this codec and have video encoded natively to NeoHD on a hard drive-based camcorder? I know it won't be Sony / Panasonic with their AVCHD nonsense. Correct me if I'm wrong but is AVCHD not utterly pathetic when you compare it to the abilities of NeoHD?
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Old November 12th, 2007, 08:33 PM   #7
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I just captured 2:20 of footage with my new HV20 and HDLink using free trial of Neo HDV. The file came out to 1.75GB! Does this seems right? Still seems big to me. I made all the settings as in the pic from Eugenia's post. Looks beautiful otherwise.
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Old November 12th, 2007, 09:52 PM   #8
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Yes, it's normal. A 2:20 minute using the freeware pulldown method using hte Lagarith codec would be about 2.8 GBs, so yeah, 1.75 GB is better. ;)
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Old November 14th, 2007, 01:15 AM   #9
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Andrew, I would like to clarify a few things about HDV. The bitrate of HDV is the same as standard DV, 25 megabits a second. That is about 3.6 megabytes a second, which is a about 13.5 gigabytes an hour.

I use Neo and really like it. On Cineform tech notes page, they have a table of the approximate sizes of the Cineform sizes. Cineform has LOW, MED, HIGH, FILM1 and FILM2 quality settings, each one getting larger. At the HIGH setting, Cineform converts the HDV data to about 58 Gigabytes per hour.
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Old November 14th, 2007, 01:37 AM   #10
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Andy, that seems high compared to what I am seeing. I use the high setting which is great for most purposes, and I get 2 minutes per gig, which would be 30 gig per hour. I am removing pulldown, for HV20 24p, so that does reduce file size somewhat, but with 60i, I think we were seeing around 39 gigs per hour.
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