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Old May 31st, 2008, 11:23 PM   #1
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Universal method of video capture from both HDMI and HD-SDI cameras into Cineform

I already have a custom PC that captures live HDMI signal from Sony V1U into Cineform using Intensity HDMI card.

If I upgraded the camera to Sony EX1, which only has HD-SDI out, I could also upgrade the capture card to HD-SDI - but only at the 5x higher cost than Intensity.

So I was thinking, instead, to put EX1's signal through the HD-SDI to HDMI converter, and feed that HDMI to my setup.

HD-SDI to HDMI converters seem to be in $500 vicinity, which is more affordable than a $1,5K AJA Xena card.

Plus, my existing HDMI capture bus stays intact when needed.

Is there a downside?
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Old June 4th, 2008, 05:11 PM   #2
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Alex

Hi from the other thread.Since no-one else has answered....I suppose the one downside is that the HD-SDI out of the EX1 is a full 10 bit signal.I am no expert in this area but I do know that the Intensity is only 8 bit so I suppose you could lose something useful somewhere along the line in truncating the signal.Why not just buy the Decklink HD extreme and capture all that 10 bit goodness?Cineform records to 10 bit.If you are getting an EX1 but using the intensity it seems like a waste of the best possible picture you could possibly obtain......that's the way I see it anyway.
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Old June 4th, 2008, 05:24 PM   #3
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Hi from the other... side of the pond! :)

Decklink HD Extreme sounds like a plan to me. Does Cineform support real-time capture and 2:3 pulldown from it, like it does with Intensity? I don't know.

Also, Henry... what do you use for on-set video monitoring/camera focus?

I currently use Vizio HDTV with HDMI input.

I'd love to use my 24" Dell 2405 instead, but it does not have HDCP, nor does it understand 1920x1080 signal resolution.

So... I'm currently looking for a device to map 1920x1080 HDMI over to DVI or VGA 1920x1200 for pixel-for-pixel viewing.

Maybe Decklink even has a model that does that on top of video capture?

This one (incidentally, called HDlink, similarly to Cineform's own utility):

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/hdlink/

...does not have HDMI in, it seems.

In any case, with Dell 2405 specifically, maybe I can use Decklink HD Extreme's analog component out. If I can route the signal from HDMI or SDI in to analog out internally in the card, simultaneously with capture. Can I?
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Old June 5th, 2008, 06:52 AM   #4
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Monitoring

Hi Alex,Can't answer the question about pulldown but I assume Cineform can handle it as they are a very progressive company - mind the pun and attempt to cater for this exact scenario.There is a thread that i cannot find where they discuss the setup we are imagining and they believed it would be an amazing setup.As far as I have read although the output of the HD-SDI is 60i the true progressive image is embedded in that stream so I suppose you can choose to do pulldown at ingest with HDlink or in your NLE.I am pretty 99% sure that Cineform can do it on the fly with a powerful enough computer.As far as monitoring goes - well....I use the LCD screen on the camera which I believe I read somewhere is similiar to the one on the EX1 and it is very good.Believe it or not you can get a pretty good focus on it.The laptop LCD offers the best option for monitoring although it is anything but pixel for pixel.In my home studio where I am planning on doing green screen work I take the HDMI output directly to my Sony bravia for a full HD monitoring path.It is a really pretty picture.There is not a lot of Depth of field with the SR11 so when I am out and about I try to take mostly wide shots or close ups and let the camera auto focus first and then fine adjust and lock using manual focus.So critical focus becomes an issue really when I use the Letus mini depth of field adaptor where I can easily miss focus if I am not watching carefully.
I have a spare cheap LG 1440 X 900 LCD monitor with HDMI in and it rescales the image nicely.I have it in my field setup but when you throw in The camera case and lenses,portable battery,tripod, Laptop case it becomes a bit of a lug.So it hasn't seen much use yet.I may have mentioned in the other thread that I a semi pro musician/wannabe documentary maker first and so I don't do this for full-time for a living.Perhaps if I did I would take it to every shoot.I presume this is your profession so absolute focus is critical.I agree that the more extravagant option Decklink HD extreme which has HDMI in/output as well as analog may be the way to go.You will have all bases covered then.I don't own one so no idea whether you can chose what IO to send out to monitor.Cannot see why not.It would defeat the object if you couldn't but Blackmagic design should answer that as I have no experience with that flavour.Happy shopping and actually the setup you are thinking of is possibly my next setup when I save up..he he.Now that I can see the quality of the SR11 and Cineform I am convinced that the XDCAM EX at 10 bit will be an astonishing image.Send me some pics when you get up and running.Oh by the way I forgot - there is Scarlet on the way.......at a fraction of the price and maybe within seven or eight months.Perhaps worth the wait for the next upgrade?I will wait and see as for now I am pretty happy with the current setup...just gotta get out and do some shooting and tell a nice story ..that part I need to nail...
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Old June 5th, 2008, 08:12 AM   #5
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Scarlet, like RED ONE, outputs only 1280x720 over SDI - as far as I know.

So to capture full resolution HD (which goes up to 2K with Scarlet, but I doubt I'll ever need more than 1920x1080), I'll have to buy into RED RAW workflow, which right now looks shaky to me.

I'd really much rather stay with Cineform, based on years of positive experience with their codec.

Also, I'm Not planning any immediate upgrades, including EX1 - just want to make sure my setup is future-proof by supporting *both* HDMI (my current V1) and SDI (EX1? or whatever else with professional SDI output, in the future.)
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Old June 5th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #6
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Scarlet

If Scarlet only outputs that res then that is a bit disappointing.I think Scarlet is actually 3K?No? I do understand that Red - raw is not so PC friendly but I have a sneaky suspicion that Cineform are in close contact with RED about a PC post workflow.I agree that Cineform is the bomb and HDMI or SDI look pretty good for a while until on board camera recording catches up.I may invest in the Decklink HD extreme myself to allow 10 bit capture but I would have to exhaust the current setup.I do wonder what Sony's reaction will be to all this.I mean people like us getting a pretty decent image out of pro-sumer/consumer cameras,the RED Scarlet threat etc.Perhaps we may see something come from them that makes all this portable capture stuff irrelavant but I doubt it as they don't see the short-cuts to a great picture as undermining their elite cameras.But others are catching up and in a few years it may be silly to buy or rent an F35 .How does the V1 perform over HDMI?I am curious - any Vimeo vids or links to your stuff?
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Old June 5th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Hi from the other... side of the pond! :)

Decklink HD Extreme sounds like a plan to me. Does Cineform support real-time capture and 2:3 pulldown from it, like it does with Intensity? I don't know.
Yes, that card is supported and enables the full abilities of our capture and real-time video processing features in HD Link.
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Old June 5th, 2008, 05:41 PM   #8
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Tim, nice to know, thanks. I was thinking Intensity Pro, but Decklink HD Extreme looks better as it has SDI in.

Another question for Cineform: I know you do Not support *playback* out of HDMI via Intensity card. Do you support such playback for Decklink HD Extreme??

Also... where in the world is David Newman? He used to be active here :)

Henry, you may want to glance at our web site, http://primehd.com, then click on Gallery, Videos.

Heinz Poppers commercial comes to mind as indicative of both V1U camera's video quality, and post-production work in Cineform.

I might be able to send you a link to the full-res Cineform file download, please email me directly with your address.

Please note that I work in Aspect HD. If you have Prospect or Neo, I'm sure they are backwards compatible and will play Aspect HD files just fine. Since V1U is internally 1440x1080, I feel it makes sense to stay with Aspect HD for now.

When I add a native 1920x1080 cam to my arsenal, then I guess it'll be time for me to upgrade to Prospect...
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Old June 5th, 2008, 08:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Do you support such playback for Decklink HD Extreme??
Not yet. As you may recall we're waiting for driver updates from BM that have been very slow to arrive. We'll do playback through the cards in a similar timeframe.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Raskin View Post
Also... where in the world is David Newman? He used to be active here :)
Well, he took a vacation for the first time in a while. He's back now, but is way backed up, especially getting out the new builds so he has been posting a bit less. As he digs out I suspect that'll change again....
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Old June 5th, 2008, 09:10 PM   #10
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Vacation? Oy vey! Whats' next, he will say that he actually needs to sleep more than 2 hours a day? ;)
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