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Old January 29th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #1
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Recording HD-SDI on Mac

Okay, I feel like a chump. Was planning on using our Quad-Core Mac for doing capture off our EX-1. Originally was going to use Conduit from DVgarage, but it is not at all stable (I mean, not even a little bit). The I thought I could use the new OnLocation in CS4, but that only does DV over FW (I was very surprised about that one). So I am now regretting pouring money into the Mac upgrades for this as I can't find any way to actually capture the HD footage. I think FCP does it, but I really don't want to spend the money on that since we'll be doing all of our editing on our Windows systems.

I know there are some people using Macs for production, what software are you using for capturing raw footage?
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:00 AM   #2
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I captured an entire feature to my laptop. Some 14 hours of footage in HDV without a problem using On Location. It worked flawlessly. You should check your setting On Location works great.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 08:26 AM   #3
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Thx Ron, but it's clear from the information I have now found regarding OnLocation that one cannot ingest raw footage over an HD-SDI connection. It only works over firewire.

Straight from Adobe:

http://blogs.adobe.com/VideoRoad/200..._followup.html

Given that you were capturing on a laptop I am guessing you were grabbing pretty compressed footage. Since we are doing compositing I want the cleanest footage possible to start with. DV over FW, not really a good option.

Not sure if this will be supported in CS5 or not.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:30 AM   #4
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The compression is HDV that is an mpeg2 codec.

You could try a Matrox mini and capture from the HDMI connection. You will need an esata raid also. This is what I am considering for my next project.

Although I donít know why the HDV project looked great. I guess bigger is better right?

The only other thing would be get a Nano Flash. I plan on getting one when the budget allows.

HDMI and Analog I/O for Mac and PC - Matrox MXO2 Mini
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Old January 30th, 2010, 09:46 AM   #5
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Lol - Thanks Ron. I am laughing because you have almost perfectly described our setup. We're running an EX1r into a Matrox MXO2 LE to the Mac with an 8 drive e-sata array.

I am sure you're project looks terrific, but we're doing everything green screen and I want to start with the absolute cleanest footage I can when we composite.

Knowing what I do now I might have changed my workflow entirely and just gone the NanoFlash route. Would have ended up being cheaper than all the equipment to capture uncompressed and the picture quality I have seen looks really good on it.

Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 right?

I am doing some more research and it looks like Premiere might be able to ingest the HD-SDI feed directly. Really weird that Premiere can (maybe), but OnLocation cannot.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 02:57 PM   #6
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Jon, I have a desktop with an intensity card that can capture uncompressed to an internal raid. It works good but it is a beast to transport. I was thinking about trying to build a laptop version when I started reading about the nano flash. Now I think I am just going to hold out for the Nano.
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Old January 30th, 2010, 03:06 PM   #7
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Fortunately I won't have to transport this thing anywhere. If I did I would definitely go with the Nano. The Nano would have also been nice in our small little studio (not a lot of room and there for the equipment we have). Also would have helped keep it quieter since we would not have had to deal with the fan noise on the mac and raid.

I'm definitely having some buyers remorse on all this equipment...
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Old February 16th, 2010, 04:12 PM   #8
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If you have an HD-SDI card, didn't it come with some simple capture software? Aja VTR exchange should work well for uncompressed, or an installed codec.

I think even QT pro can capture.

For almost 4 years we used an Aja capture card and VTR exchange to record our church services. Now we just replaced the 5 computers with Aja Ki pro recorders.

You just need to be aware that some QT files on a Mac will not play back on a PC. After quite a bit of research I determined that Apple Pro-res is the most multi-platform friendly codec. But you will need to install FCP do get that encoder codec on your Mac, the decoder is free. Or just buy a Ki Pro.

If you are recording uncompressed, then you might be fine, except that your raid may not work well on both mac and windows. There is software that will allow your windows machine to read a mac formatted disk, but don't know if that adversely affects performance.

~Jay
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Old February 18th, 2010, 01:02 AM   #9
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MX02 does not included any cap software. We ended up capturing in Premiere (not the best, but cheap). We're going in uncompressed to the MX02 and a Mac w/ Raid and then taking it out with DNxHD to the Windows based edit machines. Seems to work really well right now. We've tried capturing directly in the DNxHD format, but that did not work as well for whatever reason.
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