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Old October 31st, 2003, 08:38 PM   #1
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HD editing in Premiere Pro: MainConcept to break Aspect's monopoly

http://www.mainconcept.com/upcoming_products.shtml

-- quote
MainConcept is working on a full-featured MPEG editing plug-in for Premiere Pro, scheduled for release by the end of the year. Features include:

-- Native MPEG editing (including HD)

-- Powerful capture support for many devices including MicroMV and HD devices

-- Easy presets for HD and other formats

-- Real-time capabilities

-- Smart MPEG rendering

-- Fast, high-quality requantizing (for example, converting from MicroMV to DVD-compliant MPEG-2 without re-encoding)

-- Powerful export support for many devices

Note that the feature list and release schedule may be subject to change.

Mark Bailey
MainConcept
----/ end quote

Source:
http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?128@86.BgNHbWRDBl9.2@.2ccd748e

There you have it: a reputable manufacturer promises a Premiere Pro plug-in for native MPEG import and supposedly real-time HD editing.

Planned release in December 2003 at planned price: $249.

If this MainConcept's release *in fact* allows for real-time HD editing of m2t's in Premiere Pro, then Aspect HD for PPro (announced by CineForm to be released also around December) may have tough selling at their planned $1600.
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Old November 1st, 2003, 12:26 AM   #2
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That good news for PP owners. Vegas also uses Main Concept so maybe well see an improvement there also at some point.

Mike
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Old November 1st, 2003, 02:17 AM   #3
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When I chatted with a friend at Sony SF they hinted that something was coming that would "improve" the problem. This could be it.

And this is not surprising given that Sony bought them. No doubt a solution will be fully in place for Sony' camcorder.

However, RT is likely to be very limited compared to Aspect HD. But the render engine "tricks" that Cineform uses can be replicated to some degree. So we'll have to wait to see.

It also forces folks to move from Premiere to Vegas. But, it took only an hour to get the hang of Vegas -- and now that Sony owns it it feels like a safer long-term investment.

But, it does indicate a price point that is more compatible with a $3500 camcorer.
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 07:13 AM   #4
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In general, software products like these exist to achieve 2 goals:

- Enable native MPEG2 editing in the NLE;

- Provide preview acceleration to achieve real-time editing.

Now, what if we abstract from MPEG issues fora moment (I still convert m2t's into AVIs for editing anyway) and concentrate on acceleration of NLEs, like Premiere Pro for instance.

There's been some posts here outlining how the faster processor, memory, FSB, and hard drive RAIDs can improve real-time previews.

But no-one mentioned *hardware acceleration*.

There are cards from Canopus (DVStorm 2) and Matrox (RT.X100 Xtreme) that seem to do the job with SD-dimensional video in DV domain.

Do you know if these or any other hardware cards can provide hardware acceleration to Premiere Pro, so it can edit/review 1280x720p in real time while editing?
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 11:30 AM   #5
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : Do you know if these or any other hardware cards can provide hardware acceleration to Premiere Pro, so it can edit/review 1280x720p in real time while editing? -->>>

This is the same question I have been asking myself. Hardware acceleration is the best way to improve performance but it seems there is no mention of HD in their documentation.

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Old November 2nd, 2003, 01:00 PM   #6
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The advantage of HW is speed.

The disadvantage of HW is time to market. As far as i know only one HD MPEG-2 chip is for sale and it is from NTT and in the JVC.

Even FX chips are not HD.

Without chips -- no products.
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 01:42 PM   #7
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Steve, you see, my point is rather this: why even limit yourself to MPEG2 acceleration?

I actually am looking forward to see AVI edit/preview acceleration.

This has already been done at SD DV level.

So (again, let's forget mpeg for now) if a hardware card exists that provides same acceleration for HD AVIs as DVStorm 2/RT.X 100 did for SD AVIs, that'd be the solution I'm looking for.

However I'm new to the hardware acceleration business and I may be overlooking something that is already available. Am I?
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 09:28 PM   #8
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I wonder what advantages aspect will have over the mainconcept plug ins... Newman??
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Old November 2nd, 2003, 10:39 PM   #9
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Raskin : So (again, let's forget mpeg for now) if a hardware card exists that provides same acceleration for HD AVIs as DVStorm 2/RT.X 100 did for SD AVIs, that'd be the solution I'm looking for. -->>>

It isn't AVI's that are accelerated. It is compressed video -- the file format is irrelevant.

You need an HD MPEG-2 hardware codec. Only 1 exists, the NTT.

You need an FX accelerator chip that works in HD. None exists except on the $10,000 CineWave board.

HOWEVER, if Matrox wanted to support HDV -- it could use the NTT chip with a Matrox graphics chip running at 1280x720. But i doubt they'll do anything till the Sony arrives.

Aspect HD is the only solution that does it all because it is a codec AND a render engine. I doubt MainConcept will release a render engine.

And, look carefully at what MainConcept promises..."-- Real-time capabilities"

It does NOT say HD will be RT!

I'm not sure why the issue is even being debated. If you want to edit on a PC, buy Aspect HD. Other alternatives involve a compromise or a promise.

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Old November 3rd, 2003, 01:46 PM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Lisa Lee : I wonder what advantages aspect will have over the mainconcept plug ins... Newman?? -->>>

"Newman??", that's me! :)

We aren't particularly worried about the arrival of the MainConcept solution as we have been expecting something similar for some time. The differences Aspect HD offers to the professional will out weigh the the lower price on any native MPEG2 editor. Here is way:

1) Native MPEG2 decoding will be 2-3 times slower than Aspect HD codec and render engine. Therefore no HD real-time on today's PCs. As PC gets faster the Aspect HD approach will maintain a 2-3X performance gain. Remember the first camera maybe 720p30 but we all expect next generation to be 1080i60 and 720p60, these resolutions we be a heavy load for MPEG2 editing, but not the CineForm approach.

2) Native MPEG2 editing means lower quality. Yes this may seem odd because native "sounds" better, but there are reasons "MPEG2 editing" has always been considered a bad thing. Read the CineForm white paper at http://www.cineform.com/CineForm-JVC...per_030609.PDF. Basically forcing interim renders into the fixed bit-rate 6 frame GOP of the JVC stream, offers much lower MPEG quality than a long GOP structure at any bit-rate (used for broadcast.) The only time native editing is technically suprerior is if you don't change anything, i.e. no color correction, no titles, no transitions, and to some extent, no cuts. Given the desire to edit your material, all of these would be employeed to enhance your production. If you intend to enhance your material, you will want to stay away from MPEG2/native editing.

3) Finally MPEG2 HD is not aways your final target, so why introduce painful rendering times and quality hits during the editing process? HD DVD will be either Window Media 9 or MPEG4 H264 AVC, or both -- zero advantage to native MPEG2 here. Also standard SD DVD will not be helped as the resolution is different, again no advantage to native HD MPEG2 editing.

There is probably more things I could add, but I do have to get to work. :)
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 03:07 PM   #11
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So, as other cameras are added to the HD mix, will cineform support them as well? And, can buyers of your Aspect software except to get upgrades to add additional cameras to the software in the future?
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 03:17 PM   #12
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David, you say the next gen cams will be 60p ?
Those would be much more costly cameras, I would think, because they would either abandon the DV tape format, or they would have to use mpeg4 compression, which gets just as good a picture with 1/2 the data rate.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 03:50 PM   #13
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Les,

the HDV standard already includes 60p and 1080i formats as part of its specification. These will likely start in the same price range as the JVC camera, as HDV is targetted as a consumer camera format (just as DV was.) These higher resolutions will still use the mini-DV tape.

see http://www.webdesk.com/hdv-format/.

-----------------------------
Lisa,

Aspect HD only supports 720p30 is the currect addition, however CineForm will offer upgrades to existing users once other HDV resolutions become available.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:11 PM   #14
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David, I know there is a trend to go HDV, but how exactly to you fit twice the data ( 60 fps vs 30 fps ) onto the same DV tape without going to something more modern than the ancient mpeg-2 codec?
The JVC is at 19 Mbps data rate, there isn't much more data rate left on DV tape. Perhaps more motion compensation in the mpeg2 stream can get a little better quality, but how much?
I hope Mpeg 4 reaches camcorders soon, and I hope they start using removable drives instead of the DV tape.
-Les
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 04:23 PM   #15
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Sorry Les we are stuck with tape for a while yet. If you HD satellite you are watching 720p60 or 1080i between 14-20Mbit/s using MPEG2. So MPEG2 can fit reasonable quality onto a DV tape. The encoder in the JVC camera is a first generation solution, I would expect that next gen encoders will fit good quality 60p and 1080i on miniDV. Also there is more redundancy in the higher resolutions and frame rates, so they are more compressable. i.e. 60p is not twice the data of 30p. Also a real-time MPEG4 HD compresser is not here yet, by the time it is the HDV standard will be fully established.
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