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divergent media ScopeBox and ClipWrap
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Old September 6th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #1
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Looking for complete monitoring/recording solution...

Hi folks:

I am looking to put together a system for my on-set monitoring (kind of like a mini-DIT station).

What I have so far is a 24" Flanders Scientific monitor, the dual Blackmagic 8" monitors and a Blackmagic Videohub Router.

I need to add the following:

Signal monitoring (waveform, vector etc) plus, hopefully, false color mode
Recording capability, not as primary capture but for reference. Bonus for being able to capture stills on the fly that can be brought up via thumbnails later. References need to be output into the router for full-screen monitoring.
Would also like some basic switcher capability, i.e. compare live video to reference video and wipe between them as required. Basic chromakey capability would be nice (don't want to have to bring into AE, too much work--just want to see a rough live version).

This will be built into a rackmount case, so I'm guessing a Mac Mini will be used, although I could entertain the possibility of a laptop. I currently have a late 2008 MBP (2.4GHz) with Expresscard slot.

So: I need recommendations on a complete system, from the hardware to the software. And of course, trying to keep costs down.

Scopebox looks great for the monitoring and capture. Recommendations on the I/O and other functions? Also--if someone thinks this belongs in another forum, please let me know and I'll move it. I couldn't really find a general forum that covered this.
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Old September 6th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #2
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Re: Looking for complete monitoring/recording solution...

Hi Charles -

There are a couple things here which, if I understand you correctly, ScopeBox probably can't help with. In particular, scopebox doesn't do any playout, so you can't push stills/etc back out the HD-SDI output of your device. It's just going to monitor the inputs.

In terms of a system - I'm assuming you'd be looking to do some sort of transcoded capture (like ProRes422)? If so, you'd want to look at the higher end mac mini, with the i7 processor and the dedicated GPU. The lesser minis can do 422, but not 422HQ or 4444.

As far as getting a signal in, any of the various thunderbolt boxes on the market would work - the Blackmagic devices are probably the best bet the moment, depending on the types of inputs you need.

We have a very basic chroma keying plugin available if you contact us directly. You can also add semi-transparent overlays to preview monitor palettes, which helps with framing, etc.

Hope that helps

-Colin
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Old September 15th, 2012, 02:39 PM   #3
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Re: Looking for complete monitoring/recording solution...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
This will be built into a rackmount case, so I'm guessing a Mac Mini will be used, although I could entertain the possibility of a laptop. I currently have a late 2008 MBP (2.4GHz) with Expresscard slot.
Charles - Your MBP is about the same vintage as mine and a few months ago I learned that certain ones in this time-frame have what might be called a meltdown issue due to over heating. Since video processing generates a lot of heat I'd recommend doing some internet searching for failure problems, I think in connection with either the video card or the motherboard, or both.

For myself, I wound up getting a 1,1 Mac Pro and upgrading the memory and video card and will use it for as much of my video processing as possible so as not to damage my "Late 2008" MPP.

Maybe the Mini is more robust in that department.

A "Plan B" is to do frequent back-ups or maybe use a Time Capsule, if that would work.

A couple years ago I had a hard drive crash on an old computer and lost a lot of files. Thought I'd been backing up frequently but learned not often enough. To this date I've never recovered. That was a killer.
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Old September 15th, 2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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Re: Looking for complete monitoring/recording solution...

Not sure if it's the issue you saw, but Apple did a recall on some MBPs of that era.

MacBook Pro: Distorted video or no video issues

I had one personally that blew up in this fashion, but Apple fixed it.

-Colin
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Old September 15th, 2012, 11:19 PM   #5
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Re: Looking for complete monitoring/recording solution...

Thanks for the link, Colin. I wasn't aware of that. Unfortunately for me the 4 years has just past.

There is some more stuff I've read about my MBP group:

This came from a Craig's List ad I read a few months ago:
"Now before you consider any other Mac Book Pro read this. Fact is a lot of them failed due to overheating and solder issues.
I paid a company in Renton to actually "re-flow" the whole motherboard with thicker better solder. Hence.... no breakdown from overheating issues. "

And this was from another ad:
"Early 2008 (aluminum) MacBook Pro with the following specs that Id like to trade/trade plus cash for a. It has the following repairs/upgrades:
New, Upgraded Logic Board - $500 (Apparently an issue with all of the non-unibody models, beware of using one that has not had a new one installed as it can completely mess up your graphics capabilities)
New screen and Top Clamshell assembly - $500
New Keyboard/Trackpad/Top Surface - $120
New Audio Interface Module - $85
New Magsafe Battery Charger - $65
New Battery - $100
All of the repairs, with the exception of the logic board (10+ months) were done by Apple in the past 4 months."

This is kinda scary. I don't look at a laptop like this as a "consumable" and for this kind of money I expect it to last a while. But, it looks like one might have to manage the heat, at least that's my guess. That's why I got the old Mac Pro so I'm doing all the heavy heat generating stuff on it and saving the light-weight work items for the MBP.

Mine is a "Late 2008" but I'm not taking any chances.
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