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Old August 13th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #1
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How do I work with 100Mbs ?

Hi all,
Please forgive me for what might be silly questions. You were all beginners once....(-:

I am getting my Sony EX3 in a few days and hoping to use it with the Flash XDR for wildlife documentaries.

I will be interested to capture the signal at 100Mbs bit rate.

Mike Schell wrote in here that currently only Edius can support 100Mbs.
When I am in a field for a few days - what is the best device to download the CF from the Flash XDR - is it a laptop? If so - how will I be able to view my footage? Will I have to have the Edius on this laptop or will I be able to view (not edit) it with other editing software as well?
What are the crucial factors to consider when getting a desktop to edit the footage captured in 100Mbs ?

Thanks in advance !

Ofer Levy, Sydney
http://www.oferlevyphotography.com
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Old August 13th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #2
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Dear Ofer,

What is your preferred Non-Linear Editor (NLE)?

When you get your Flash XDR, I would first record in 50 Mb Long-GOP and then import the footage from your CompactFlash card into your NLE using a portable CompactFlash card reader. Any model will do, but we recommend a specific model if you have Firewire 800 capabilities.

More NLE's will currently support 50 Mb than 100 Mb, and this will change with time.

After you tested the 50 Mb then I would record a test with 100 Mb and see if your preferred NLE will handle it, it may.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #3
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Dear Ofer,

I neglected to mention another way to work with 100 Mb.

This is not, of course, the most desirable of situations, but it will work until your NLE is ready to handle 100 Mb.

If your NLE can handle uncompressed, you can still record 100 Mb, then playback the 100 Mb using the HD-SDI output of the Flash XDR. Then capture this into your NLE as uncompressed.

There are many drawbacks to doing the above, but it should work with many NLE's. One is the size of the files, two is the requirement that you have an HD-SDI capture card.

I am mentioning this only to be complete in my answers to you.

Our testing has shown that 50 Mb is very close to 100 Mb and both are visually close to uncompressed.

It should only be a matter of time before more NLE's work with 100 Mb.

Please note that some NLE's may already work with 100 Mb files that you inport into your NLE, but then are not capable of outputting 100 Mb edited files. This may be all that you need at this time.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 12:44 PM   #4
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Avid/Pinnacle Liquid can work with all forms of mpeg2 all the way up to 300 mbits/s. All I am waiting to check out is if the MXF files will work correctly in Liquid. MXF files from other cameras work great so if the FlashXDR uses the same form of MXF then we should be fine.

Liquid has the advantage of having a 100% native work flow with the Flash XDR. 160 mbits import, 160 mbits/s edit/render, and 160 mbits/s output.

If you get Liquid Chrome Xe you can use the Aja Xena LHE board with Liquid and the XDR footage to view via SDI or component everything you do on your time line in HD or SD.

Liquid is nearing end of life because it offered a lot of what the high end Avid products could do at a much lower cost and Avid didn't like that. Even if it is end of life it is almost the perfect nle to use with the XDR and you can get it dirt cheap.

You have three choices.

1. Liquid. Software only version. Can import, edit, render and output 160 mbit MXF files. Can use a second monitor to view full screen material which is great if you use 1920x1200 monitors.
2. Liquid Pro. Software plus SD break out box. Will down convert your XDR HD projects live while you edit to a SDTV via component. Everything your system can play in real time will play out to a TV. It isn't HD output but it still looks good on a HDTV if you sit back far enough.
3. Liquid Chrome Xe. Software that works with the Xena LHE board. Full SD and HD output of everything the time line can play back. If you don't want to have to render your effects you could always dump the RT time line through SDI right to the Flash XDR to record a master.

Liquid may not have some of the bells and whistles of some other NLE's but it has a very solid platform of raw foundation tools for editing. I and many other people have edited entire TV shows that never had a single lick of rendering.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #5
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I'm not 100% sure but XDR files may work fine in Newtek SpeedEdit as well. I don't think the MXF files will load but you can do a fast demux with a tool such as ffmpeg of the clips as you copy them from the cards to a local hard drive. Sort of a much better form of the SONY Clip browser software for the EX1 camera. This will leave you with raw mpeg2 files that I think will load into SpeedEdit.

Another option may be the Mainconcept mpeg2 editing plugin for Premiere Pro. This is used for better native mpeg2 editing in Adobe and may work very well with any level of bitrate. I will hav to try a demo to see if it will work.

You may also have some basic support by feeding the MXF files through AviSynth/FFmpeg and using a PC based NLE that can load Avisynth files. Premiere has a plugin for this although the files may not play back very well. There is a plugin for Avisynth called ffmpegsource and this is used to load the MXF files directly into Avisynth. Some nle's will then view each Avisynth file as a proper video file. Again however with HD material this can be a little clunky and slow. I would still suggest Liquid for the best native raw mpeg2 nle.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 02:43 PM   #6
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Dear Thomas,

Thank you for the valuable information.

At this time, the Convergent-Design enginneers are hard at work porting the Quicktime code to the Flash XDR.

When the above is completed and tested, the MXF code will be ported.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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Wasn't MXF the main format and Quicktime was added later on? Quicktime based mpeg2 files are really limited to one nle and computer while MXF is a much more universal standard. In fact mpeg2 based quicktime files will not work on a PC at all. The quicktime mpeg2 component for the PC only supports 4:2:0 based mpeg2.

I understand the desire to support quicktime since FCP is a pretty popular nle but since the XDR was a MXF device in the begining I think a lot of people might be expecting the device to focus more on that first. I always felt the reason for using MXF was to make the device more universal and not limited to one nle.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Ofer,

I would first record in 50 Mb Long-GOP and then import the footage from your CompactFlash card into your NLE using a portable CompactFlash card reader.
That is going to be my plan exactly!! With SXS files as backup
Looking forward to it.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Wasn't MXF the main format and Quicktime was added later on? Quicktime based mpeg2 files are really limited to one nle and computer while MXF is a much more universal standard. In fact mpeg2 based quicktime files will not work on a PC at all. The quicktime mpeg2 component for the PC only supports 4:2:0 based mpeg2.

I understand the desire to support quicktime since FCP is a pretty popular nle but since the XDR was a MXF device in the begining I think a lot of people might be expecting the device to focus more on that first. I always felt the reason for using MXF was to make the device more universal and not limited to one nle.
Hi Thomas-
We actually have both the MXF and QT code developed on the MAC, we just need to transfer the code to the Flash XDR. MXF and QT are actually quite similar in many respects. MXF embeds most of the index information between the GOPs, while QT appends it to the end of the file.

Yes, we have switched gears and prioritized QT (it was previously on hold waiting for the Apple license). However, MXF will follow quickly after QT. We have extensively tested our MXF implmentation using the 50 Mbps 4:2:2 MXF test files provide by Sony.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 06:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Yes, we have switched gears and prioritized QT (it was previously on hold waiting for the Apple license). However, MXF will follow quickly after QT. We have extensively tested our MXF implmentation using the 50 Mbps 4:2:2 MXF test files provide by Sony.
Hi Mike,

Am I right understanding that the "gear switching" will mainly affect MAC platform users? I'm on PC, and my NLE's of choice is Vegas Pro (and possibly Edius).

As to Vegas: I have got a hint from their Technical Support that the next version (8.0c) will support the 50Mbps, 4:2:2 mxf format. Don't know about the 100Mbps, not to mention the I-frame=only, 160Mbps. Of course I'm aware of the universal route of capturing uncompressed, but this would mean further hardware investments (HD-SDI capture card, and lots of super-fast storage).

Could you please comment on this?
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:04 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet View Post
Wasn't MXF the main format and Quicktime was added later on? Quicktime based mpeg2 files are really limited to one nle and computer while MXF is a much more universal standard. In fact mpeg2 based quicktime files will not work on a PC at all. The quicktime mpeg2 component for the PC only supports 4:2:0 based mpeg2.

I understand the desire to support quicktime since FCP is a pretty popular nle but since the XDR was a MXF device in the beginning I think a lot of people might be expecting the device to focus more on that first. I always felt the reason for using MXF was to make the device more universal and not limited to one nle.
Dear Thomas,

Mike beat me by responding to your post first.

Yes, MXF was first.

Convergent-Design's has been working on the MXF support for a long time.

Months ago, at Mike’s request, I checked out Vegas to determine if it supported Quicktime.

My answer to Mike was yes, it was supported. I did not know that the MPEG2, in Vegas, was limited to 4:2:0. It is good to hear that the next release of Vegas 8 will be supporting 4:2:2.

Convergent-Design's intention is to fully support both. We had quite a few requests to support Quicktime natively.

I fully agree with your assessment that MXF is more universal.

Both the Quicktime and MXF are fully developed and tested, but on another platform. This week Quicktime is being ported to the Flash XDR platform.

After testing, the MXF will be ported to the Flash XDR platform. This may happen next week or soon thereafter.

Thomas, thank you for posting your concerns. We hope to meet your expectations quickly.
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Old August 14th, 2008, 08:13 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Hi Mike,

Am I right understanding that the "gear switching" will mainly affect MAC platform users? I'm on PC, and my NLE's of choice is Vegas Pro (and possibly Edius).

As to Vegas: I have got a hint from their Technical Support that the next version (8.0c) will support the 50Mbps, 4:2:2 mxf format. Don't know about the 100Mbps, not to mention the I-frame=only, 160Mbps. Of course I'm aware of the universal route of capturing uncompressed, but this would mean further hardware investments (HD-SDI capture card, and lots of super-fast storage).

Could you please comment on this?
Dear Piotr,

It is very good news to hear that Vegas 8.0c will support 4:2:2 MXF.

To me, the sweet spot for most shooting will be 50 Mb or 100 Mb Long-GOP formats.
(I fully realize that some will want to avoid Long-GOP for a variety of reasons, so there will be other options available.)

The advantages of smaller file sizes, and visually very high quality images are hard to beat.

Once we get more units in the field, we hope our users will report back their results. We look forward to learning which options the users choose.
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