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Canon XL H Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XL H1S (with SDI), Canon XL H1A (without SDI). Also XL H1.

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Old April 1st, 2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Which HD-SDI capture card to get for Mac quad and XL-H1

The two I am considering: DeckLink HD Pro PCIe and Kona LHe. Note that I use FCP to edit.

Has anybody used both, or understand both enough to tell me what *gotchas* I might encounter with one versus the other?

I would be getting the card for two reasons: 1) be able to capture HD-SDI uncompressed or perhaps compressed into a nicer codec than HDV, and 2) while editing watch output on HD monitor instead of LCD computer monitor. Monitor will likely be a production monitor that takes HD-SDI in that I will also use when shooting.

I am leaning toward the Decklink card. Any reasons I should be considering any of the more expensive cards? Any reasons I'm going to sad to have chosen one over the other? Thanks in advance for any insight / info.
John Cordell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2006, 01:02 PM   #2
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Given that you're likely to have a production monitor with SDI inputs the Decklink's a great choice. I used it for HDCAM to DVCproHD conversion for a feature that was cut entirely in DVCproHD and it worked great. Only issue with the H1 would be the lack of analog audio input. You can convert to AES with the H1's analog out, but that would take an extra sound card. Of course, you can route the audio through the G5's built-in port and it's actually good quality. Holds sync in my experience too.

The other issue would be studio monitoring...are you going to have an SDI enabled **studio**monitor to view your live timeline from? With the Kona LHe you have component HD I/O which can really come in handy.

Robert Sanders could chime in on this, but he says he gets full raster PhotoJPEG transcoding via SDI with his Decklink, which is awesome because it's the best intermediate codec in FCP IMHO.

Lots to consider, but either way you won't go wrong. If analog monitoring and the convenience of the XLR analog in with the Kona isn't important to you, I'd go with the Decklink.
Barlow Elton is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2006, 01:58 PM   #3
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I'm with Barlow...either one is going to work great for you. I have the AJA Kona LHe for the sole reason because I like how quickly they put out updates and respond to issues. They are located very close to Apple in CA and work closely with them on releases.

The only negative I can think of regarding the AJA is I wish it had more inputs. You have to use the same component inputs for composite video and/or s-video. I don't like unplugging... :-)

Good luck. You'll be happy with either one.

Kevin Wild is offline   Reply

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