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Old April 30th, 2012, 09:37 AM   #1
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New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

I'm hoping that a 2012 iMac with the 2.7GHz CPUs, 8-16GB RAM will run acceptably for light to moderate editing tasks. My idea is to run live webcasts with it and Wirecast and use it at home for editing (alongside Vegas Pro 11).

I bumped it up from the entry level iMac to allow for 16GB of memory and the hope that someday, if needed, a CPU upgrade could be done. The larger 1TB drive seems like a logical choice over a 500GB drive.

I'm interested in performance with Wirecast and two HD cameras. One will be coming from the Firewire port (Canon HV40) and the other via a BM Intensity Extreme (HFG10). A worse case scenario would be capturing to disk during a live streaming event.

TIA,
Chip
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Old May 1st, 2012, 07:27 PM   #2
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

HDV on Firewire presents two problems.
HDV uses more CPU than HDMI in uncompressed.
HDV, because it's a GOP codec, has some short delay on the decode so that the audio will be slightly ahead of the video.
You're better of getting Intensity Extreme on one Thunderbolt port and the Matrox MXO2 Mini on the other.
I'd also spend the extra money and get the Quad Core i7 BTO upgrade.
Always purchase with room to grow unless you expect to replace the computer in a year or so.
As time goes on, newer applications make more demands on the system and you want to have some room for that.
If you're going to record to hard drive while live streaming I'd put a fast Firewire 800 drive on that port.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

Thanks Craig. The web cast audio isn't coming from the FW camera but I'll keep an eye on the HD/FW resource issue. There is only one TB port on this model. An i7 upgrade isn't in the cards for now but I'm hoping it could be done down the road if needed (and it isn't clear to me how an i7 helps in my Wirecast application).

After I get up to speed on FCPX, this may become a student workstation for my daughter so I'm trying not to buy the farm here :-)
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 10:30 AM   #4
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

Thanks for those details.
Do keep in mind that it wont' be a perfect timing match if you're cutting between the two cameras but in many cases people won't notice it.
I'm assuming you're using a 21" iMac as the 27" have two TB ports.
I do hope eventually some video i/o company takes advantage of daisy chaining.
While the AJA IO XT does daisy chain, it's the most expensive TB video i/o box at the moment and the daisy won't work for video.
Another general issues is that none of the video i/o drivers are designed to detect two boxes. That's why I have to recommend odd configs even on systems that have two TB ports, such as using boxes from two different manufacturers.

BTW one of the great things about FCPX is how it (and AVFoundation) deals with time.
When Wirecast records to hard drive it must adjust the frame rate at times to prevent dropped frames. This means you can get recordings with frame rates slightly lower than the target (imagine 29.35 instead of 29.97)
With most NLEs if you used the recording you'd get sync drift even if it plays back perfectly in Quicktime (or any number of other players). Most NLEs lock to a standard video frame rate.

It would seem that FCPX/AVFoundation is actually time rather than frame based. You have hints of that in its preferences were the default transition is set in a fractions of a second rather than frames. It's probably also why it's got such excellent subframe audio tools.

The result is that, at least in my initial testing, you can use such odd frame rate recording in FCPX and they hold sync. Of course it's also need that you can even edit an H.264 .mp4 pulled from a server side archive, without any issue. No need to transcode to ProRes (not even in background on a decent system).

I'd probably consider FCPX the best NLE for editing streaming recordings.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:08 AM   #5
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

This event was live streamed from a Canon HV40 (standard definition) with a wireless mike running into it. I hand held a 2nd camera (HFG10) but didn't attempt to include it in the stream since I was using a loaner 2008 Macbook Pro. Then in post, I edited the cameras together using Sony Vegas Pro 11 and that is what you see here, from tape and AVCHD capture. Obviously any lower thirds on the web cast would not be captured using this method.

I'm thinking that I would use the HV40 firewired in and since it will be the wide shot (as it is here), not so much worry about minor sync issues. Then use the HFG10 via Thunderbolt and probably have a live mike on it. I also have some USB gear that can record wild audio to sync later. Maybe have a mixer on the floor and USB that into the Mac too.


Thanks for your tips. I have been editing ice shows for around a decade but only recently started the live web cast piece. Audio is my larger challenge due to the minimal crew that I work with.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

I have both a 2008 MBP and 2011 MBP. It's a world of difference between Core2Duo and Quad Core i7.
As you might know 2008 MBP doesn't have the CPU resources to really do HD.
I think you can use the Canon HV40 in standard def (DV mode) and still have it 16:9. In DV mode there are no sync issues. It's only HDV with the GOP codec. The HV40 also has HDMI out (I think) so when the time comes you can certainly go that route. It's uncompressed, looks better, no sync issue. I guess you could say the HV40 is "future proofed" that way.

When using the 2008 MBP I have one camera DV Firewire in (Sony PD-170) 16:9 or a camera (can be either Sony EX1 or Canon HF200) using Matrox MXO-2 LE downscaled to SD in hardware and in to the Express port (2008 MBP being the last 15" to have such sport. Now only on 17").

On the other hand I can really load down the 2011 MBP 15".
Recently, as a test, I had Sony 170 on firewire, Canon HF200 on MXO2 Thunderbolt. Logitech C910 (a very good HD webcam) in USB, also the internal Facetime webcam, Sony EX1 coming in wirelessly on Teradek Cube. I then used Desktop Presenter on the 2008 MBP so send that in over LAN. I didn't hit the encode button so I didn't get to see if the CPU would cry out in pain but I sure was able to get a lot of sources into that MBP. 6 sources all in 16:9 mode. While the cameras were unmatched, it could work if matching weren't critical. Just to be clear this is all with Telestream Wirecast as the switcher/encoder.

Hmm, maybe DVInfo needs a forum dedicated to live streaming tools.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

There is a CraigS over on the Telestream forums. Is that by any chance you?

These live shows are certainly a different combination of technical requirements from the edit jobs. Nearly all of the so-called Post Production happens before the event. If you want to take advantage of the live forum (answering questions, taking donations live, etc.) you need a decent crew to take on those tasks in real time. One thing I learned with our first web cast is to monitor on a different internet connection than the feed is going out on. Seems simple but in a 3G dead zone, you need a person watching from a different location.

So yes, a vendor independent forum would be useful. But judging from the low activity in the Distribution Center, it may not be relevant to the folks here.
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Old May 2nd, 2012, 12:52 PM   #8
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Gallo View Post
There is a CraigS over on the Telestream forums. Is that by any chance you?
My clone? I guess we all look alike online ;)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Chip Gallo View Post
So yes, a vendor independent forum would be useful. But judging from the low activity in the Distribution Center, it may not be relevant to the folks here.
I think it's still very new an alien to people. I also think VOD and Live Streaming need to be differentiated clearly. They are very different working models as you allude to some aspects that are specific to live streaming.

The live streaming production process deserves much deeper discussion.
Yet, that it came up in this forum does show how there is a real Post process to consider as well. As you can see from my comments above, I really think this is one of FCPX's strong points and it's almost never mentioned because the Live Streaming to Post workflow is still very foreign to most people.
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Old May 3rd, 2012, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

bit of a double post and sorry to hijack the thread but there seemed to be a wealt of info about imac and mxo here :).

My 2008 MBP is starting to struggle with my latest 40 minute Xdcam project. It's getting very hot and i'm even running a usb fan to blow some air on the back of it to keep the heat down. Although it is still performing like a trooper with the prores full hd.

I use a matrox mxo mini through the express card slot (and of course for SxS ingestion). I also use an esata express card to run my external bluray burner. All external drives via FW800.

So given that setup am I better off with a 17 inch MBP so I can keep running these bits? Or better with a 27 inch imac and then a sonnet expresscard to thunderbolt adapter. The sonnet would future proof a bit but I lose the ability to monitor over hdmi via the matrox. Unless I can use the mxo mini through the thunderbolt adapter......
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Old November 5th, 2012, 10:32 AM   #10
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Re: New iMac I5 2.7GHz for FCPX, Wirecast

Finished my first FCPX project late last night. Here it is as uploaded to Vimeo using Compressor and the Vimeo "large" 540 template. Next up? A short multi-cam ice skating edit. [Note: I am about 1/3 way through the 5 hour RippleTraining. First impressions are that the program has more capability than Vegas Pro but sometimes is less intuitive. I am not a big keyboard shortcut person yet but it is obvious that power editors would develop that skill.]

Maxey for Delegate 2012 on Vimeo
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