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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:26 PM   #1
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Cineform Intermediary Codec / Connect HD and Vegas 7.0

I still havenít been able to really lock down a tight answer on this question and am going to ask here in hopes somebody can provide some help on the matter. Here are my questions:

#1) Is Sony Vegas 7 using some type of proprietary Intermediary codec that allows the capture and manipulation of HDV files on the timeline that wasnít available in Vegas 6.0d? People are reporting that the new software is MUCH more fluid when working in HDV than in previous versions and Sony insinuates in their marketing material that editing HDV footage has improved significantly as well. If they are not using an intermediary, does this mean people are actually editing/manipulating raw mpeg-2 footage on the timeline?

#2) Are there still benefits in using an intermediary Codec like Cineformís ConnectHD with Vegas 7.0? And if so, what are the advantages?
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Old September 19th, 2006, 09:51 PM   #2
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Vegas 7 has made good performance improvements for M2T 1080i decoding, that doesn't discount the advanatges to using an intermediate. Connect HD includes many pre-processing capture operations, such as pull-down removal, scene detection, deinterlacing, resizing, frame rate manipulation with audio pitch control, and much more. Then there are the multiple generation quality advantages, easy of use with third party tools like After Effects and VirtualDub (nearly everything can use an AVI.) Yes for some modes Vegas 7 as court up in speed, but I wouldn't expect that to remain case with future Connect HD releases likely to get more speed out of Vegas.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:08 AM   #3
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Thank you David. It sounds as though Connect HD still offers enough advantages to make it a worthwhile purchase.

Can you explain one thing for me though. I'm confused as to what my purchase options are for the Cineform Intermediary CODEC. In David's HDV book, I've read it's a $149.00 purchase price for Sony Vegas, but online it appears to be $199.00 for "ConnectHD" which I'm beginning to think is a little different than just buying the Codec. Is it true that there are seperate purchase options?

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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:48 AM   #4
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Never get pricing from a book. :) That was a introductory price from a long time back when Sony sold Connect HD for us -- it was a lite version of today's product. $199 has always been the price of the full version of Connect HD.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 08:34 AM   #5
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I figured as much.

I also checked out the website last night and was very happy to see the updates regarding Vegas 7 info and Connect HD. I no longer have to bug you or anybody else in here regarding the features/benefits of this program with Vegas 7. I plan to buy it. :)

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Old September 20th, 2006, 12:59 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
... Then there are the multiple generation quality advantages, easy of use with third party tools like After Effects and VirtualDub (nearly everything can use an AVI.)
David - you mentioned VirtualDub. Last night I tried to load a Cineform AVI in VirtualDub, and it refused to load it. It says I need a Video for Windows codec, and that DirectShow codecs are not useful to VirtualDub. Is there something I am doing wrong? I have Vegas 6 & 7(trial). I just installed the HD Connect update, 3.2 (I am fully registered for it since version 2 and upgraded to 3). This avi was from an .m2t that had been converted by HD Connect 3.0.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 01:28 PM   #7
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Jay,

If Vegas works VirtualDub will work, as they both use Video for Windows, not DirectShow. I use VirtualDub near everyday -- it works great. Try it again.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #8
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David - thanks for the reply. I figured out the problem. I am running the 64-bit version of VirtualDub (on my XP x64 system). Using 64-bit vdub requires 64-bit codecs. Only a few 64-bit codecs have been developed (like windows media video, xvid, a QuickTime codec, MP3, and maybe a few others). So it looks like I just need to install the 32-bit version of VirtualDub and I'll be up and running.

Some test data I've seen on the net shows that 64 bit version of codecs are rendering faster then 32-bit versions, but there are so few of them.. No problem, the 32-bit codecs run fine in XP x64.

Thanks!
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Old September 20th, 2006, 03:29 PM   #9
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Seems to me that stability being what it is, 64-bit OS/computing is nowhere near useable at this point in the game. Specially considering the current performance benefits are so limited.

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Old September 20th, 2006, 04:13 PM   #10
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Seems to me that stability being what it is, 64-bit OS/computing is nowhere near useable at this point in the game. Specially considering the current performance benefits are so limited.

Jon
Have you tried it? And I wouldn't consider any beta OSs (like Vista) for that analysis. I find Vegas is rock solid with 64-bit XP (which is not in beta), and I get significant improvements (such as renders succeeding where they had failed on me in 32-bit XP with "out of memory" errors). I also find my render times are improved for demanding projects (and have some data to back this).

Digital Video is one of the most demanding things a PC can do, because unlike most other apps, you can actually need a whole 2GB of memory (like if you do complex compositing, HD work, etc.). How many other applications can get a computer to 100% CPU utilization on dual cores for 23 hours straight! That's what happened when I did a render on a complicated HDV project not too long ago.

I really hope that more vendors (and users) will come on board with it. Digital Video is exactly the kind of application that can seriously benefit from it.
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Old September 20th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #11
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Have you tried it? And I wouldn't consider any beta OSs (like Vista) for that analysis. I find Vegas is rock solid with 64-bit XP (which is not in beta), and I get significant improvements (such as renders succeeding where they had failed on me in 32-bit XP with "out of memory" errors). I also find my render times are improved for demanding projects (and have some data to back this).

Digital Video is one of the most demanding things a PC can do, because unlike most other apps, you can actually need a whole 2GB of memory (like if you do complex compositing, HD work, etc.). How many other applications can get a computer to 100% CPU utilization on dual cores for 23 hours straight! That's what happened when I did a render on a complicated HDV project not too long ago.

I really hope that more vendors (and users) will come on board with it. Digital Video is exactly the kind of application that can seriously benefit from it.
Vegas is not a 64-bit operating system which tells you something about how much Microsoft value's 64-bit computing at this point in time.

I agree that it has the potential to be a huge help, but it appears the industry is not rushing toward this trend. 32-bit computing actually should yield a theoretical celing of 4Gb of memory.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 10:15 AM   #12
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Vegas is not a 64-bit operating system which tells you something about how much Microsoft value's 64-bit computing at this point in time.
Did you mean Vista (not Vegas)? Vista has both 64 bit and 32 bit flavors. Vista is a key advancement (they hope) in Microsoft's plans for 64-bit. They invested many millions of $$ in the technology. Their challenge is migrating users and vendors. 64-bit XP is designed so that 32 bit apps run on it (and they do). If it didn't, nobody could migrate. The challenge to users is finding 64-bit hardware drivers. I built a video editing PC from the ground up and it works great. Asus, ATI, and nVidia strongly support 64 bit. Motherboards today include so much onboard functionality that you usually don't need much in the way of add-on boards.

Also, high-end UNIX workstations have been using 64-bit for years. Microsoft is playing catch-up in this regard.

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Originally Posted by Jon McGuffin
32-bit computing actually should yield a theoretical celing of 4Gb of memory.
Jon
In actual practice this goes out the windows (pun intended), and apps are mostly limited to 2GB of address space, not 4. First, a big chunk of the theoretical 4GB limit is reserved for hardware drivers. Next, a whole bunch more of the address space is allocated to the OS kernel.

In fact, Microsoft's 32-bit OSs by default refuse to give more than 2GB of address space to any application. The only workaround is to edit the boot.ini file in a way that reserves more address space (maximum 3GB) to apps, making that address space unavailable to the OS's system software. If you take too much address space away from the OS, it will compromise system stability. Mostly it depends on how many drivers and system software components you have installed.

Even if you do all of this to your machine's configuration, 32-bit XP still only gives 2GB of address space to your applications unless they are built with a special compiler switch called "LARGEADDRESSAWARE" that most application vendors never heard of. There are a few other hacks available (such as PAE, "Physical Address Extension", which has some nasty tradeoffs of its own), but these are of questionable stability.

Bottom line, if you are using particularly demanding applications that would benefit from using more than 2GB of address space, 32-bit Windows is not a good solution.

I found great benefit from 64-bit XP. I was using Sony Vegas 6 to render a wedding video that fails every time in 32-bit XP with "out of memory" errors, but sails right through in 64-bit XP. I also downloaded an HDV render test from the VASST website that most users complained they couldn't render due to "out of memory" crashes. A few did succeed, with lenghty render times. My dual-core 64-bit system rendered that project without error. I completed it in 1.5 hours, compared to another user's quad-core 32-bit machine that did it in 5.2 hours.

I know that I am in the minority, since most haven't even tried 64-bit for their digital video workstations. And really the benefits are felt mostly on the truly demanding projects that push the limits of 32-bit memory management. But for me it is a demonstrable advantage. I hope more vendors and users can embrace it so that we all can reap the benefits:-)
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Old September 21st, 2006, 01:01 PM   #13
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Did you mean Vista (not Vegas)? Vista has both 64 bit and 32 bit flavors. Vista is a key advancement (they hope) in Microsoft's plans for 64-bit. They invested many millions of $$ in the technology. Their challenge is migrating users and vendors. 64-bit XP is designed so that 32 bit apps run on it (and they do).
Yes, I meant Vista, sorry about that. Saying Vista has both 64-bit & 32-bit flavors is the same rhetoric we heard when Windows 98 came out in that it had "32-bit & 16-bit" flavors. At the core, Vista is a 32-bit OS with 64-bit extensions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Hancock
Also, high-end UNIX workstations have been using 64-bit for years. Microsoft is playing catch-up in this regard.
Naahh.. This "Microsoft is playing catchups" talk is more nonsense Jay. Microsoft could have developed a true 64-bit OS 10 years ago alongside any UNIX workstation but keep in mind, UNIX workstations typically run very limited OS with VERY specific tasks and VERY specific programs built for the hardware. Microsoft is in a completely different market with their consumer OS's and so this doesn't put them behind, it just means they have to develop to include the technology they've used previously and "migrate" slower.


I'm really not disagreeing with you that 64-bit computing has potential significant advantages. Afterall, credit to Microsoft for delivering a 64-bit OS to the masses, the problem has been the lack of adoption to this OS and support from the software development community. The support has been so poor in fact, that the next generation of Windows is primarily still a 32-bit OS with 64-bit "flavors". That's my only point.

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Old September 21st, 2006, 02:47 PM   #14
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Yes, I meant Vista, sorry about that. Saying Vista has both 64-bit & 32-bit flavors is the same rhetoric we heard when Windows 98 came out in that it had "32-bit & 16-bit" flavors.
Yeah, that was marketing hype in the Windows 98 days. And sure, anything they put out now is transitional, because if it doesn't allow compatibility for 32-bit apps nobody will buy it except for maybe a few niche markets.
At the core, Vista is a 32-bit OS with 64-bit extensions.
Did the 64-bit code originate from the 32-bit code? Of course. But it was drastically modified. I don't know much about Vista, but XP x64 runs 64 bits at its core. The kernel layer. where drivers, addressing, and so on occurrs, is 64 bit. Architecturally, the 32-bit portion is a subsystem that rides on top of the 64-bit core. This is not a "pure" 64 bit implementation, but by no means is it simply a wrapper around the 32-bit OS. It's the other way around! If the 64-bit Vista follows suit, it also won't be simply "extensions" of the 32-bit OS.
Naahh.. This "Microsoft is playing catchups" talk is more nonsense Jay.
I'm referring to technology, not marketing. Microsoft hasn't been keeping 64-bit code in a vault for 10 years, they are developing it now! Sun was controlling 64-bit CPUs years ago. They already have their 64-bit code, regardless of what market they are targeting. So my comment stands (IMO).
I'm really not disagreeing with you that 64-bit computing has potential significant advantages...
The advantages are a lot more than just "potential," I've seen it with my own eyes. Earlier in this thread you said "64-bit OS/computing is nowhere near useable." This is an all-encompassing blanket statement, quite hasty and not even close to being correct.

True, not everyone would benefit from XP x64. A non-technical mass consumer would find it a nightmare, unless they bought it pre-configured. And someone who only runs a web browser and Microsoft Office won't see any advantages either. But that's way off from saying it's "not useable." I find it is rock solid and I use it every day. I use it primarily for digital video editing, which is demanding enough to benefit from its advantages. But I find it also is stable running office apps, web browsing, and occasionally (on rare moments when I have the time for it) running games.

I recommend that users like us not be so hasty to brush off this technology, because we run some of the most demanding PC applications. It needs more than a few Google searches to make such a big thumbs down analysis on something you've never experienced. As someone who experiences having his "cutting edge" PC pegged at 100% on two cores for 23 hours straight, I welcome new advances that can boost performance.

The Cineform codec (which is where this thread started) is a great advance for digital video editing. Hopefully once there are enough 64-bit NLEs on the market and 64-bit OSs installed in the field, this codec will be available in 64-bit. DAW vendors have already started making 64-bit audio workstations. VirtualDub is available in 64-bit native. What we need now is codecs in 64-bit.
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Old September 21st, 2006, 05:12 PM   #15
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Okay Jay, is the only point you are trying to make here the one that defeats my statement....

"Seems to me that stability being what it is, 64-bit OS/computing is nowhere near useable at this point in the game. Specially considering the current performance benefits are so limited."

If so, then I absolutely conceed that statement was probably not a very good one on my point in that it didn't really accurately depict my real point. I recant this statement 100%.

Now let me try to make the point that I do still believe...

Microsofts true 64-bit Windows XP operating system unfortuntely hasn't found a high percentage of support in the software industry relative to the amount of software drivers/applications available in the marketplace. Trying to make the 64-bit Windows XP operating system work on *most* computers with *most* technology limited people will be an effort in futility. Even though with the technical know-how to install and run this type of operating system will likely find themselves in need. Remember, it was you that had requested that there were 64-bit codec's available on the market.

Does Microsoft ship a "true" 64-bit operating system. The answer is YES, and it's called Windows XP 64-bit edition. Was Microsoft so THRILLED with the level of support for this 64-bit operating system that they decided to make Windows Vista (it's NEXT technology OS) a NATIVE 64-bit operating system? The answer is NO! And by all means (as a person who OWNS Vista RC 1), this OS could use the potential performance advantages of a native 64-bit core.

You mention that Microsoft hasn't been keeping 64-bit code in their vault for 10 years and that they are developing it now.... Are you telling me the largest software maker in the world by a LONG shot has had absolutely ZERO experience with 64-bit programming and are JUST NOW developing this technology? Come on Jay. I'm certainy deep inside Microsoft Labs, they have teams of people who have been SOLELY dedicated to researching and using 64-bit programming code. I'm sure they've had various demo's and examples of 64-bit code running MANY years ago and have only been slow to adopt this form of programming in their OS's based on market demands upon them. But you can't tell me Microsoft has been completely unknowing of 64-bit computing all these years.

I take offense to your assumption that I just "googled searched" 64-bit computing to come up with my arguments, because that's not the case. I've been configuring/building hardware since the XT & Apple IIc days and have been along for the ride every since building systems professionally and personally as a hobby.

The risk of building your system based on Windows XP 64-bit edition to me does not outweight the advantages of using the software. Specially considering the performance advantages are typically limited around a few dedicated applications (video editing of course being one of them). Heck, if you love technology so much, screw 64-bit processing and just move to parralell rendering. Build 20 computers and run your rendering process through all of them and finish your job in a record 3 minutes as opposed to 2 hours! :)

Jon
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