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Old December 26th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Motu V3hd

Hi, I'm looking for a nice effective way to bring audio(Adat, etc.) and HD video in and out of my MacBook Pro (OS10.4.11) with FCP2.

I currently import files with my Sony F350 XDCamHD camera and master back to it.

The MOTU V3HD seems to offer everything I'm looking for at a pretty reasonable price($2700). As I understand it, the device encodes with the DVCProHD codec. Will this work well with my XDcam files or will it be a pain?

Originally I had just been interested in getting some of my recording related gear(Adat devices) into the computer and had tried M-Audio Lightbridge and 1814 (with poor results because of stuttering and crashing), but the external video input will come in handy as well.

Does anyone have experience or advice to offer about this device or other solutions?

Thanks, Peter
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Old December 27th, 2007, 09:45 AM   #2
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If you want to stay in the XDCAM, long-GOP structure then no, in your current workflow you could not use the Motu device because it is a DVCPRO codec machine.

I'm not aware of it's ability to cross-covert and none of the documentation suggests it can. I would contact Motu sales support directly and see if it's possible.
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Old December 27th, 2007, 02:39 PM   #3
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Thanks Robert, I imagine that it will be some time before there are any XDCam firewire devices available. I was under the impression that you can run different codecs on the FCP time line and then render them later. I mostly need an audio solution at this point, the video option would be good though, if it works.

I am aware of the AJA loHD, but it works with ProRes, so rendering would still be an issue, and it doesn't have the ADAT in and out.

Peter
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Old December 27th, 2007, 02:51 PM   #4
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The problem with XDCAM and HDV is that they're not broadcast formats, so all of the third-party transport and stream-handling/telecasting devices are all going to be designed for either DVCAM, HDCAM or DVCPRO. The AJA IO is an interesting device but it too was designed to help alleviate the heavy-workload by converting long-GOP into an "i" frame format, but that too is a closed-end solution and not cross-compatible with other devices.

In theory, you could injest your footage into any timeline you want, but if you need to output back into XDCAM format the Motu won't be of any help.

I hate to say it, but if you really want to enjoy the workflow you're hoping for then you'd need to consider a different camera system and codec.

There may be a work-around for what you're wanting to do, and the guys at Motu might know of a way. The forum sponsors might also have a solution.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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Thanks Robert, I guess I'm not understanding something.

Is it not possible to bring video in from such a device, in DVCProHD or what ever, and place it in an XDCam 35mbs timeline, render and burn a DVD or transfer back to my camera for playout using the HDSDI output,?

For the most part I shoot everthing that I edit I shoot with my camera, but there will be times when I may need to bring some footage, perhaps some older BetacamSp footage etc. and up-res it to HD. This what I imagined that this device would do. I would then render that to XDCam using FCP.

I am also looking to get a broadcast HD monitor in the near future, and the Sony LMD2450W is a strong candidate. However the HDSDI input option costs about $1600, but theoretically with the Motu V3HD I could hook up my F350 and then feed the monitor with component outputs($1600 is almost half the price on the Motu unit).

Peter
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Old December 28th, 2007, 08:03 PM   #6
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As I say, the Motu device only works in the DVCPRO codec, so anything outside of that - BETA, HDCAM, DVCAM whatever, it won't talk to. At least that's what the online specs indicate.

Talk to the guys at Motu directly and ask them these questions; only they can have the final word.
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Old December 28th, 2007, 11:09 PM   #7
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the V3HD, according to the online specs, will accept BETA, HDCAM, DVCAM, XDCAM HD or whatever else you play into the unit via SD / HD SDI, component SD/HD or composite .... and convert that in realtime to a DVCPRO HD stream that you capture from the device (via firewire)

yes, you could then combine that captured footage with the camera native footage in your XDCAM HD timeline ... which brings us back to your original question ie will it be a pain? well I dare say it won't be optimal, but you already realise that you'll have to render this to XDCAMHD to put it back to your camera for archive and I think that will be most of the pain right there. FCP handles mixed formats quite well now, and my own experience of mixing XDCAM HD HQ and HDV is that edit performance, even on a lower end MBP is just fine. where things get stickier is throwing SD stuff such as native DV on that XDHD timeline ... that doesn't perform so well.

what you should do is take some of your existing footage and render it out as DVCPRO HD. now pull those DVCPROHD clips back in and throw them about a bit in an XDHD native timeline along with any other footage formats you envisage you may use. see how it performs for yourself, and base you decisions on that. my gut feeling is there may be some "pain" but it will depend on how powerful your Mac and how much of this footage you anticipate handling in any given project.

gotta agree though, that unless you are intending to work within FCP using native DVPRO HD as your post codec, it does seem however that you'd be spending quite a lot of money on a device which you would be barely scratching the surface of.
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Old December 29th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #8
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Thanks Andy and Robert.

I guess I could look at this in two ways. If I was going to depend heavily on material that I would have to import using the V3HD, then I would edit with the DVCProHD codec, and then output using the device's HDSDI out. Any footage from my XDcam could also be imported as DVCProHD using the HDSDI output of my camera fed to HDSDI input of the device. So it would really just be a matter of choosing the most convenient route.

I will do some more research. Thanks for the the comments.

Peter
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Old December 31st, 2007, 03:11 PM   #9
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If it ain't broken...

I'm sort-of in the same boat. I also have a Sony F350. My decision is to go with the AJA ioHD inspite of the V3HD's better audio capability because it's simply smaller and more portable for field use and live situations (I shoot documentaries and live shows)

Still a few things to consider:

1. The V3HD will most likely get ProRes capability in an upcoming software revision anyways, so this alone should not be a factor in your decision.

2. Like they say "If it ain't broken, don't fix it." I personally think that XDCam HD works great on it's own. I love being able to plug in my camera and downloading the clips... and editing in it's native format... so if you want more audio io's, my suggestion is why not just get an audio interface like the MOTU Ultralite. For video monitoring I use a Matrox MXO and a 23" cinema display as well as a Blackmagic intensity connected to a Samsung 40" full HD LCD.

best of luck and a happy new year
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Old December 31st, 2007, 09:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
As I say, the Motu device only works in the DVCPRO codec, so anything outside of that - BETA, HDCAM, DVCAM whatever, it won't talk to. At least that's what the online specs indicate.

Talk to the guys at Motu directly and ask them these questions; only they can have the final word.
nothing could be more wrong. the V3 will input or output to any of those formats. a tape format and what the V3 are doing are two entirely different things.

the V3 uses DVCpro100 to talk to the host computer, thats IT. it has NOTHING to do with what VTR you are connected to. It can talk to betaSP, HDcam, whatever cam via its ins and outs.

that said, DVCpro is a crappy codec to use now. in 1920X1080 mode it reduces the rez to 1280X1080 !. in 1280X720 it goes to 960X720. who wants to toss out 25% of their horizontal resolution, not me. until the V3 goes to a lossless codec to transport HD video, DVCpro doesn't cut it anymore. while they might go to ProRes, that will only work with FCP... and until its officially announced, never mind shipping, its PURE SPECULATION ! don't by a product based on speculation ! if its not shipping, its not something you can use.

what you should do is stay with ingesting your native XDcam via FW as its lossless and full res. use something like the Matrox MXO for output via (H)SDI or analog component to whatever HD or SD deck you want to master to. THe MXO is a great color managed output device ideal for FW native ingest.

I will also say the MXO plays nice with my MOTU 896HD for 5.1 SRS output. you can of course use it for audio in. in fact I use the MOTU's A->D to feed betasp analog audio in to its AES outs because it sounds better then the Kona LH's audio A/D
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Old January 1st, 2008, 08:15 AM   #11
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Thanks guys,
It is my intention to stay with XDCamHD as my editing format. It works, looks great and transfers very quickly back to disk. I'll check out the Matrox stuff.
All this came about because I couldn't make the M-Audio boxes(Lightbridge and 1884) work with my MBP. I was checking out the MOTU stuff when I came across the V3HD and thought it might add a video option to my very limited system(laptop and camera). I am in not particular rush as what I have covers the news editing just fine the way it is.

I attended a Sony seminar in Ottawa recently, and the rep who gave the talk said that there would be a significant number of third party vendors offering native XDCamHD products in the not too distant future. He also spent a lot of time explaining the resolution and color capability differences between XDcamHD and a certain other manufacturer's products. Surprisingly, he felt that Sony had more to offer. I was intrigued ;).

He also stated that Sony was sticking with Mpeg2 for the long haul.

Peter
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:17 AM   #12
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DVCProHD is a crappy codec? Wow...I don't know whose specs you are looking at. I think it's an excellent codec. I believe Discovery's Gold level of standards does, too. We use it day in, day out as do many people doing HD broadcast work. (Are you saying that using this device only it is crappy?--Not sure I understand)
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 12:56 AM   #13
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I"m looking at Panasonic/Apple's Spec for DVCpro100 and yes it whacks 25% in 720 , and 33% in 1080, of your horizontal res away. reduces 1920 to 1280 before compression. do you find that acceptable to toss 33% of your hard earned pixels away in camera ? I don't for sure. Don't believe me ? try this link as one reference

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DV

"DVCPRO HD, also known as DVCPRO100, uses four parallel codecs and a coded video bitrate of approximately 100 Mbit/s, depending on the format flavour. DVCPRO HD encodes using 4:2:2 color sampling. DVCPRO HD prefilters the 720p image from the DSP to a recorded size of 960x720, and 1080i is prefiltered to 1280x1080 for 59.94i and 1440x1080 for 50i. This is a common technique, utilized in most tape-based HD formats such as HDCam and HDV. The final DCT compression ratio is approximately 6.7:1. To maintain compatibility with HDSDI, DVCPRO100 equipment upsamples video during playback. "

another reference is if you have FCP installed, and go to the help menu for HD formats. its in the FCP docs as well.

yet another reference comparing some HDV and HVX200. scroll down the page and look at the encoding spec

http://www.cnet.com/4520-7874_1-6638524-3.html


it was a great codec, 5 years ago, but not today. its yesterday's news with codec's like ProRes and DNxHD, and even AVC which are all full raster codecs which aren't throwing pixels away before starting compression. AFAIK, XDcam is also a full raster codec in HQ mode recording in Mpeg2. so who cares who uses DVCpro100, because that doesn't change the fact that it does what it does, which isn't good. just because Discovery is using it doesn't make the problems with DVCpro100 untrue, just acceptable to _them_... not to me and a lot of other users.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 03:14 AM   #14
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nope, XDCAM HD at HQ setting (or any setting) is not a full raster codec, the XDCAM EX is tho.

as for DVCPROHD being "crappy" that would depend entirely on your definition of crappy. if your definition is "anything that is not full rater" then yes it is, horses for courses mind ... there are plenty who's definition for crappy is "anything that uses Long GOP based compression schemes"

the trouble with competing flavors of technology is that they tends to attract a great deal of evangelical opinion from those that use those various flavors. its worth remembering that things are rarely as black and white as some may choose to paint it.
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Old January 2nd, 2008, 06:25 PM   #15
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Black and white? Hey, my system can edit in color!! Wow, you guys are really behind the times.

(big laughs)

Sorry, just had to add some humor to this one...
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