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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:09 PM   #1
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Mac Genius: What's This Problem?

I'll get right to the point.
When i plug in my camera to my Power Mac, it makes a sort of -Me-moo- sound repeating and than its just a soled -mee-. And now, it's constantly dropping frames, final cut is crashing, and it doesnt always drop frames in the same place, making me think that this is a problem with the COMPUTER not the tape?
How exactly is video taken in from the computer? Would it be through the Firewire (thats how im plugged in)? Or does the graphics card have anything to do with it? I have a 64mb graphics card, or something like that (but it still has two dvi outs? weird?) So does anyone know if i should buy a new firewire PCI-X card? Or A Graphics Card? Or any other suggestions?
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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:18 PM   #2
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First question....

Do you have an external hard drive on the same firewire bus as the camera? If so, you need to separate them by installing a second FW board. Your graphics card has nothing to do with bringing in the video/audio.

If not, your existing fw bus may be encountering a problem. Once again, try a different FW bus by using an additional card to isolate the problem.

If you can plug your camera into another computer (say at an Apple store), that might help to nail down the problem.

You might actually need a new FW cable, try another one if you can.

May be time to schedule an appointment at the Apple Store to have it repaired.

Just my troubleshooting thoughts that came to mind first.

-gb-
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Old September 17th, 2008, 08:28 PM   #3
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Yeah, they are on separate boards, and I am out of warranty (by a while) so i think i will buy another firewire card, i was planning on that anyways. Another thing that happens is when i plug it in at first, and its making that mee-moo sound, i have to jiggle in the camera, and than the HDV sign on the camera stops blinking. It blinks in unison with the sound, so could this be a problem with my A1 maybe?
This is the reason I bought an HV30 so i could capture, but of course THAT doesn't even work on any computer i try (thats for another thread though)
Sorry about leaving out the previous information in the previous post, i was going back to edit it when i already saw your reply, thanks for the speedy reply!
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Old September 17th, 2008, 09:44 PM   #4
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Which model of computer? Processor, RAM, hard drive capacity? Which version of Final Cut? What version of MacOS are you using? These are questions that we need to know to move this problem along.

That sound is very odd and if it happens on all the FireWire ports, it's possibly the camera that's dysfunctional. However, until we know your system, it's very hard to guess.
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Old September 17th, 2008, 10:39 PM   #5
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Alright here it goes!
Specs:
Power Mac G5 1.8ghz
Ram:1.5gbs
OS 10.4.11
HD is a 160 but i use an external 500gb Lacie.
Final Cut Studio 6.0.4
Attempted on A1 AND HV30.
Capturing in ProRes 422 (HQ)
I'm sending my dad with the tape tomorrow and an HV30 to see if he can upload it on his avid at work.
Symptoms:
Constantly dropping frames in random places.
Randomly Quitting.

I know its a low amount of ram and basically the bottom of the line processor, but the thing is, I've done this before, and its worked. Now it just STOPPED working. This is my first bar mitzvah i've ever shot, and I've run into a HUGE snag, just my luck=( This has gotten so severe that me (a "Macaholic") is debating buying a $1,000 Windows system and putting avid on it.
Once again thank you for your help and speedy replies!
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:17 AM   #6
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G5s are not recommended to digitize ProRes 422 in HD, particularly if you're transcoding from HDV. It'll work fine in native SD most of the time, although you're working with an older G5 model, which certainly negatively impacts your likelihood of success. Yes, your RAM is way too low for video work on any modern computer. Have you tried just digitizing the native HDV?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 12:43 AM   #7
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Yeah i've tried to do it in normal HDV codec, and it worked better! but i still got frame drops=/ I think it looks like time for a MacPro? Or would you suggest getting more ram and hoping that fixes the problem?
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Old September 18th, 2008, 02:52 AM   #8
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Nah - why waste the money on upgrading a several-generations-old computer? Just put that $200 you'd have spent on RAM into a new Mac Pro instead. If the budget is too much of a stretch just yet, perhaps you could just shoot SD for your project(s) for the time being, and wait until you get paid for another job before you pounce?

Besides, I don't think HDV encoding puts too high a demand on RAM - although I'm sure it factors in. It's got to be more a question of processor cycles. A new machine is in order.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 09:21 AM   #9
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I was both hoping you say id need a new machine, yet dreading it. hahaha guess i'll have to put my steadicam dreams on hold
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Old September 18th, 2008, 08:44 PM   #10
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no! No! Don't buy a PC yet. Sounds like hard drive fragmentation or processor overload. I capture ProRes 720p on a dual G5 all the time. You might not be able to capture ProRes with a single processor. Try capturing an m2t stream right off the tape with DVHScap and transcode it with MPEGStreamclip or use ClipWrap. You are pushing the limits of your system.
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Old September 18th, 2008, 11:51 PM   #11
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is there a way to defrag a mac hd?
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Old September 19th, 2008, 12:35 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren Simons View Post
is there a way to defrag a mac hd?
iDefrag
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Old September 19th, 2008, 01:10 AM   #13
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yeah i actually just purchased that after googling. hahaha man i hope this works! its either new MacPro or steadicam, and i much rather use the steadicam!
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #14
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I have a dual G5 1.8 Power mac and I have no problems capturing HDV and editing it as ProRes. I looked at your specs and the only thing that could be causing the problem is your hard drive setup. You should get a second internal drive. Never capture video to the system drive and only use the external for storage.

Software defragers are not recommended for a mac and can mess up your system. Your better off having a 2nd drive dedicated to video that you delete after your project is done.
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Old September 19th, 2008, 10:45 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loren Simons View Post
is there a way to defrag a mac hd?
Do not do the following with your system boot drive, only with data drives.

You can transfer all the files on the fragmented drive to an external drive. Reformat the fragmented drive and return the files to the reformatted drive. Fragmentation will be reduced substantially.

Again, DO NOT do this with your system drive!!!!!!!!
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