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Old June 28th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
James sorry to burst your bubble, but that is to put an express card slot into a desktop, not to put a PCIe card into a laptop express card slot.

I certainly don't see why they can't put a whole intensity into an express card form factor, but I think it's a bit down the road. Look at AJA's IO box. It's a pretty big box and you still have to have a computer and electricity to run it, I've got the whole thing in one box.

Everyone thinks a laptop is the solution, but a laptop is just not as powerful as a properly configured desktop. Bus speeds, ram speeds, onboard video, slower rpm drives, slower processors, all of these things contribute to slower laptops. Now you can buy a smoking laptop, but you'll have to spend some money, it's not going to be the $1000 special from Dell.

Chris
Yes that device would not work but there is a device that is a box that can add a PCI-E card and then a cable hooks that box into the Express card slot on a laptop. I do not know how well it works and it looks a little clumsy to work with but it shows that it can be done. I cannot remember where I saw the deive but somewhere on this forum there is a link to it.

Everybody likes the laptop method because it can run off a battery and it has a high quality LCD screen, keyboard and mouse built in to make it easy. Having to drag around a desktop tied to a power cord just doesn't appeal to people as much as a true portable method. Don't get me wrong. I think the tiny desktop is a great solution for a studio environment or a controlled shooting environment but a laptop has it's own advantages as well. A lot of people may already have great editing systems so they may not even want to use this device for editing but just want it to be good enough to capture mjpeg or Cineform live and many laptops can already do that in the $1,000 to $1,500 price range.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #17
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That would be the Magma ExpressBox - I should have linked to it in my previous post. It can only host an x1 PCI Express card though, so you'd only be able to use it with an Intensity card, not the DeckLink.

Andrew.
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Old June 28th, 2007, 03:06 PM   #18
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That's a cool piece, I'm glad you sent a link. That makes a laptop much more viable as a solution. Not for the Xena or bigger Decklink cards. I'm surprised I didn't see that before. Only problem is it's $700 plus to get, then you have to buy the Intensity card as well. Thanks for the link.

Chris
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Old June 28th, 2007, 03:35 PM   #19
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My biggest concern with using it in a laptop would be having enough high-speed, high-capacity disk space. FW800 is only 800 Mbits/s so you're pretty much forced to either have a fast enough internal drive for short captures or an eSATA port for capturing to large-and-fast external drives. BlackMagic has some Mac-specific tests listing data-rates of 170MB/s

Aside: My MacBook Pro only has one ExpressCard/34 slot (fast 7200rpm SATA internal drive though) so I'd only be able to do short captures, save those to an external USB+eSATA drive via USB, then swap in my SIIG eSATA ExpressCard-M to access the data via eSATA. Doable, but a bit of a kludge.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 01:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
James sorry to burst your bubble, but that is to put an express card slot into a desktop, not to put a PCIe card into a laptop express card slot.
Chris
Yeah I know, thats what I meant by "so you would think going the other way would be possible".

The Magma ExpressBox is exactly what I was hoping for, too bad its so damn expensive.

Another idea is using a Mac Mini, I wonder if the newer ones have PCIe slots inside that you could get to? They probably have pretty good bus speeds and use low power, but a laptop would be so much easier with its built in power system and screen.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 03:47 PM   #21
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My biggest concern with using it in a laptop would be having enough high-speed, high-capacity disk space. FW800 is only 800 Mbits/s so you're pretty much forced to either have a fast enough internal drive for short captures or an eSATA port for capturing to large-and-fast external drives. BlackMagic has some Mac-specific tests listing data-rates of 170MB/s

Aside: My MacBook Pro only has one ExpressCard/34 slot (fast 7200rpm SATA internal drive though) so I'd only be able to do short captures, save those to an external USB+eSATA drive via USB, then swap in my SIIG eSATA ExpressCard-M to access the data via eSATA. Doable, but a bit of a kludge.
Says who? mjpeg and Cineform work great on even a single 5400 RPM laptop drive. Any form of external drive you use on top of that will be more then fast enough for mjpeg or Cineform.

Now if you are talking uncompressed HD then of course none of this stuff will work. In order to capture uncompressed for any decent amount of time you will need a 4 drive raid-0. Yes the desktop can do that since it has 4 or more SATA ports but good luck trying to cram 5 hard drives into a micro-ATX case.

Your best bet to use this device for uncompressed HD capture would be to use the x16 or x4 slot for a E-SATA raid card and another external raid box. You would have to use the onboard graphics chip but if you had a micro-atx board with a x16 slot and a x4 slot like the Asus board then you should have no problems.

In my opinion uncompressed HD is a little overkill for anything under a $10,000.00 camera. Even then the difference between Cineform and uncompressed is so minor that nobody is going to ever notice. Even mjpeg is not as bad as some people say it is. Yes mjpeg may show you more artifacts compared to Cineform or uncompressed but the level of quality over HDV is so much better that unless somebody is a freak and likes to play with pixels all day long instead of actually creating video then it isn't going to matter. On a HDTV you will never ever notice a difference. Even on a computer the only time people can notice anything is if they compare the formats side by side.

If uncompressed is a 10 and HDV a 5 then mjpeg would be a 8 and Cineform a 9. (rough figures of course) In terms of quality there is nothing wrong with a 8. Some people argue that mjpeg is a DCT format but so is HDV, DVCPRO, DVCPROHD, HDCAM and HDCAM SR. Mjpeg is better then all of those except for maybe HDCAM SR. Get Cineform Neo HD and you are even better then HDCAM SR in terms of compression.
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Old June 29th, 2007, 06:52 PM   #22
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Voice of experience trumps quasi-educated guess any time. :-)
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Old June 30th, 2007, 07:35 PM   #23
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Thomas,

I found a better board for the system. It's a Gigabyte mb with the newer chipset and 16x and 4x pcie slots.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128053

This is what I'd put in a new system. That way I could move up to Xena LHe or Decklink HDSDI card. Pair that with Cineform and who needs a Wafian? (Ok, who needs to pay for a Wafian!?)

chris

I second everything you said about the different compressions available for HD capture. I was definitely surprised by how good the Mjpeg was, not to mention it's really easy to capture on a single drive and edit with.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 12:30 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Says who? mjpeg and Cineform work great on even a single 5400 RPM laptop drive. Any form of external drive you use on top of that will be more then fast enough for mjpeg or Cineform.
Thomas, so as long as I understand, you mean that a "chain" like :
- an intensity
- inside a Magma Box
- plugged to recent laptop
is able to capture the HV20 HDMI stream, with cineform's quality !!
is there anyone who has already practiced this setup?
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:24 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Chris Swartz View Post
Thomas,

I found a better board for the system. It's a Gigabyte mb with the newer chipset and 16x and 4x pcie slots.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813128053

This is what I'd put in a new system. That way I could move up to Xena LHe or Decklink HDSDI card. Pair that with Cineform and who needs a Wafian? (Ok, who needs to pay for a Wafian!?)

chris

I second everything you said about the different compressions available for HD capture. I was definitely surprised by how good the Mjpeg was, not to mention it's really easy to capture on a single drive and edit with.
That is also a good board from what I can tell. Did you see the link I posted to the board on the last post on the first page on this thread? I think too many posts went to the second page after I posted it and it may have been missed.
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:29 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Denis Cadamuro View Post
Thomas, so as long as I understand, you mean that a "chain" like :
- an intensity
- inside a Magma Box
- plugged to recent laptop
is able to capture the HV20 HDMI stream, with cineform's quality !!
is there anyone who has already practiced this setup?
Nobody seems to know yet is the Magmabox will work for sure or not. In theory it should work no problem at all because all it is doing as acting as a bridge between Express card and PCI Express. In the end it ends up being no different then plugging the card into a PCI Express slot. Of course as many of us know electronics do not always work the way we expect them to so until somebody actually tries it we will not know for sure how well it will work. I for one hope Blackmagic just makes a Express card version of the card because it will make things much easier and more compact. We would all love it however if somebody could try out a Magmabox to see if it works. :o)
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Old July 1st, 2007, 06:44 PM   #27
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Chris how much was the setup altogether?
Have the prices been lowered since you put that together?
4:2:2 is a great reality and you have showed it here - now only if it were portable!
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Old July 1st, 2007, 09:08 PM   #28
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Well I'd say it was portable. It's easily transported form one location to another, you don't need a monitor, keyboard, or mouse. Just electricity. I know some people say if you need to hook up a power cable then it's just a computer, but I say try lugging around your desktop or workstation vs carrying this and tell me which you would prefer.

Chris

email me off board to talk about the price of the computer. I just put it together within the last week or two so prices are basically the same.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:44 AM   #29
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This micro-atx box is about as portable as you can get without having a battery powered device that plugs onto the camera itself.

While a laptop is nice because it can run off of a battery in some ways the box is more portable. With a laptop if you had to move around while capturing you would have to have somebody hold it with two hands while open in order to work with it. This box however can be moved around with one hand holding the handle while the device is capturing.

For short shoots maybe a laptop running off a battery would be better but what about all day shoots? Chances are you would end up plugging power into the camera anyway unless you plan on having a boatload of batteries to switch all day long.

You can also use a 150 foot HDMI cable so you still have a lot of moving power with the camera if you lock down a location for the capture box.

The only way a laptop would be true portable was if you could flip the screen over so it was flat while open and the screen was touch screen with a virtual keyboard. The laptop would then need to be small enough such as a 11" screen so you could somehow mount it to your camera. No computer is ever going to be 100% portable unless they can make it the size of a Firestore device. Even with a laptop you are still tied to another device via a cable and you would have to have another person move along with you while you shoot or you would to move it yourself to a new location before you shoot.

The way I look at it is if you are in a studio or controlled location shoot then whats the big deal about having to plug in power? Buy an extension cord for $5.00 and just plug the darn thing in. If you want this for bluescreen shooting guess what, all those lights to light the screen are going to need power anyway so just plug in the computer. If you say you may want to shoot some bluescreen footage where there isn't power, I need to ask why you are going far away to shoot bluescreen? That doesn't make any sense at all. In all my years as a visual effects artist I have never seen a bluescreen shoot that didn't have a power source. Even if you wanted to use the sun as a lightsource outside chances are you will be close enough to run an extension cord to a power source.
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Old July 3rd, 2007, 09:43 PM   #30
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Thanks for the vote of confidence Thomas, I think you're completely right about the unit being portable and having to use power is no big deal. I've been having this conversation with so many people. We are not going to get a battery powered device that captures uncompressed HD video(or for that matter cineform compressed video) that we can take into the jungle for our little HV20's that costs around the same as our cameras. That is just pie in the sky dreaming. Look at that Codex recorder, nice, but how much is it? I'm not going to engineer one, I'm just one guy who builds computers. But I'm defiantly going to continue the quest for smaller, lighter, more powerful. I'm just happy I found that other motherboard so now we could actually do HDSDI capture with a similar box. That's really exciting.


Chris

BTW you say 150 feet for an HDMI cable length, but I've heard different reports on different cables. I assume it's always the same, you get what you pay for, quality cables cost decent money. What should we expect reasonably?
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