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Old July 4th, 2009, 08:22 AM   #1
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.mxf or .mov for widest compatability?

What format would be best to record in for compatability and ease of use with Avid and Final Cut. Currently my clients would tend to have one or the other and I'd like to make it as easy for them as possible.
If I record .mov it'll go into FCP easy but how easy into Avid? And vice versa, presumably .mxf will be easy for Avid, but will it need transcoding for FCP?
Steve
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Old July 4th, 2009, 10:31 AM   #2
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Dear Steve,

At this time, we have a Mac utility, that we provide for free, that converts our Quicktime files to MXF format.

Thus, for widest compatibility and flexibility, we recommed recording in Quicktime format.

Then, if you have a Mac, or access to a Mac, you can convert our Quicktime files easily to MXF format.

Please note that this is not a transcode, no image quality is lost.

Also note that, at this time, we do not have a PC utility that converts MXF to Quicktime, only a Mac utility that converts Quicktime to MXF.

Our utility can be downloaded here:

It is called "File Converter"

Convergent Design, experts in HDMI, SD, HD, and HDV
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:30 AM   #3
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I have found NOTHING that converts Avid's MXF formats to anything else. That is the biggest one-way street I think I have seen yet in video. VERY frustrating.

MXF is a big lie when it comes to the idea of it enabling open exchange between editors and platforms.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #4
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Dear Perrone,

Our File Converter utility is limited in scope.

We convert our Quicktime file to MXF, which can then be imported into Avid, Edius, Sony Vegas, maybe others.

We do not convert Quicktime generated by others.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 11:59 AM   #5
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Thanks Dan, that's perfect, I have a Macbook Pro. How long does this conversion take, you say it's not a transcode so is it fairly speedy?
Steve
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Old July 4th, 2009, 01:11 PM   #6
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Dear Steve,

I have not measured it, but it should take about the same time as it does to copy the file from it's current location to the destination.

I have used it and did not find the time objectionable at all.

I like the idea of being on set, recording in one format, Quicktime, then being able to later deliver in another format, if necessary, without any transcoding. I consider this as "Insurance".
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Old July 4th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #7
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Probably the main thing is the ability to do it yourself before you supply to the client. The last thing you want is to tell them that it won't work as you send it and they'll have to transfer/convert it to something else! You just want ot be able to say "here's the material, stick it in your suite and off you go".
I don't know about you but Apple and FCP seem to be ahead of the game in general in making things work, especially where new formats are concerned. With XDCam HD for instance it seemed to be flawless in FCP very early on while Avid needed workarounds for ages, and even then little things like if you recorded in Cache loop mode it didn't take it in. The same goes for RED, where they had things tied down really quick in FCP.
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Old July 4th, 2009, 02:41 PM   #8
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Dear Steve,

One nice point for Avid, is that they handle our I-Frame Only footage very nicely, even at very high bit rates.

With FCP, it is almost magical how well how our Long-GOP footage works.

I do not remember, at this moment, how well our I-Frame Only works with FCP, it probably works great, I just can't remember.

Personally, I prefer our 100 Mbps Long-GOP, so I have more experience with FCP with our Long GOP.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 11:32 AM   #9
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Dan,
Why would Avid not handle the long GOP material as well as FCP?
Does Avid not handle 100 mbps long GOP material?

These are questions that I have not been able to find an answer for in any of the online material. Thanks for your help.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:10 PM   #10
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Dear Bob,

I think it is just a matter of the software implementation.

We believe it is just a simple matter of Avid's input buffer size.

If Avid is loading a small amount of the file at a time, then as the file's bit-rate gets higher, then a "well-oiled" software program that works great, as intended for 50 Mbps XDCam footage, could easily not work as well at 100 Mbps.

The solution is simple, if I am correct, is to just increase the buffer size in the Avid program and read in more data at a time.

Disclaimer: This is only a theory, and I have not yet spoken to Avid about this.
Also, Avid would know if this is true, and they would be ones to correct it.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 12:52 PM   #11
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Dan,
Thank you for your reply.

So, as far as you know at this point Avid will not handle 100 mbps long GOP?

But, it will handle most (all) of the I frame bit rates that you offer with the nanoflash, as well as the 50 mbps long GOP?

The reason I am trying to understand the specs is that I do use Avid at this point and they are always very slow to implement any code, format that they do not presently support. I have to know what I can and cannot work with today, not a year or more from now.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 01:01 PM   #12
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Dear Bob,

I am very sorry if I conveyed the idea that our 100 Mbps footage would not work in Avid.

It will.

Avid just works better with our 50 Mbps footage than it does with our 100 Mbps footage.


Also, I was trying to say that Avid does a great job with our I-Frame Only footage, even at our highest bit rates.


I will check with our engineers on Monday to ensure that I have given 100% accurate information. They are more knowledgeable, as they routinely test our footage with all of the NLE's. We go through very thorough and time-consuming testing with each firmware release.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 01:29 PM   #13
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Dan,
Thanks again for following up on these questions. I do understand what a task it is to try to provide formats for so many NLE's out there today. You guys have done a great job of providing compatibility.

I just need to know the workflow options that I will have using Avid. 50 mbps long GOP will work for most of my needs, especially if it includes over and undercrank. The I frame options should work for all my other needs. Sounds like the 100 mbps material might have to be transcoded in Avid before editing. Good to know that it will work.

If you could confirm the information that you provided this next week, it would be greatly appreciated.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 01:43 PM   #14
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Dear Bob,

Yes, I will confirm the information.

We will be testing our over and under-cranking feature in both Long-GOP and I-Frame Only.

It may be that it will work in I-Frame Only mode.

We started this feature, but delayed it while we devoted most of our efforts to the nanoFlash. We expect that we will be back working on this feature fairly soon.
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Old July 5th, 2009, 02:04 PM   #15
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I will stay tuned to see how the testing comes out. In the meantime I will download some 100 mbps files from your web site and see how Avid deals with the files.

Thanks again.
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