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Old February 18th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #1
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System Requirements Pro-Res 422 HQ

First, let me say I've checked Apples white paper on the Pro-Res specs with no luck.

My main question is:
What are minimum system requirements are for encoding Pro-Res 422 HQ 1080 60i over an HD-SDI coaxial cable?

According to the MXO2 discussion, the inability of the MacBook Pro 2.5 ghz Core2Dou not to encode Pro-Res 422 HD in realtime is based entirely on processor speed.

Here is what I have gathered so far:

Pro-Res 422 Requires Quad-Core Processor of 2.3+ to encode Pro-Res HD in realtime.*

What else? Does RAM have anything to with the specs? What about a Standard SATA drive? I've heard Pro-Res 422 HQ compared to DNxHD 220 which requires a RAID array just for the codec's bandwidth.

Here are the current cards - please tell me if I'm mistaken.

BlackMagic-Design - Requires CPU for Pro-Res Encoding
MXO2 - Requires CPU for Pro-Res Encoding
AJA - Has hardware acceleration built in

Is there anything I'm missing? Do these determinations fall in line?

Thanks,
-C

*If your capture card doesn't have Pro-Res 422 acceleration hardware.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:18 PM   #2
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You will need a RAID array with the minimum capability of exceeding the 220 Mbps transfer rate of the codec and a video card with HD-SDI capability (Blackmagic, AJA, etc.). Don't forget that playing back multiple streams of ProRessHQ streams requires faster RAID so a 5 drive eSATA would pretty much be the minimum requirement for reliable playback.

Go back and re-read page 7 & 8 of the Apple Pro Ress white paper and footnotes.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 01:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick L. Allen View Post
You will need a RAID array with the minimum capability of exceeding the 220 Mbps transfer rate of the codec and a video card with HD-SDI capability (Blackmagic, AJA, etc.). Don't forget that playing back multiple streams of ProRessHQ streams requires faster RAID so a 5 drive eSATA would pretty much be the minimum requirement for reliable playback.

Go back and re-read page 7 & 8 of the Apple Pro Ress white paper and footnotes.
This is exactly why this post exists. There are real world examples posted on DVINFO of people capturing 220 without RAID. See here.

I think the thing to understand is a RAID array is not needed if you have a card with hardware acceleration. Pro-Res allows for Quarter Res playback- even on a laptop you can playback Pro-Res 422 in Quarter Res mode, all without RAID.

Let me try this again...

Min. Requirement for Pro-Res 422 (w/o acceleration):
1 Intel QuadCore Processor @ 2.3+
-G5's will not work (Quad G5 can though)
1 SATA Drive (7200 RPM)
2 GB RAM (Estimated)
1 Capture Card capable of Pro-Res Capture (currently MXO2 & BlackMagic-Design)

Min. Requirement for Pro-Res 422 (w/ acceleration):
1 Intel Core2Dou Processor @ 2.33+
-G5's will not work (Quad G5 can though)
1 SATA DRIVE / FW800 Drive / eSATA 34 card
2 GB RAM (Estimated)
1 Capture Card capable of Pro-Res Accelerated Capture (currently only AjA)

-C
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Old February 20th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #4
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I capture HDCAM footage at all frame rates with a Kona 3 and a new octo core mac to firewire drives daily with no hiccups. It's all about your CPU to do the conversion and I'm sure any mac pro can do it with ease.

The "acceleration" these cards offer has more to do with scaling and other image algorithms that can use an extra processor (the card itself) with the math.

I cut on Avid a lot as well and love the DNX codecs. If you have used DNX 220 I'm sure you've seen a high end pc with internal SATA drives can work with the footage but if you plan to do an offline with 220 (or bypass the online stage) then you should get a RAID of some kind. Same goes for Pro Res. 220 and Pro Res are not exactly offline codecs as of yet so for a project with over 10 hours of footage I would highly recommend stepping it up to an e-SATA RAID or taking the extra 300 dollar plunge and go Mini SAS.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 02:30 AM   #5
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I am currently looking at the configuration mentioned in this article for my edit station at work, but with a different card... or maybe the same card... that part I am still looking into...

Life Zero: Super Fast 4TB RAID for Under $1,500 (was $2k)
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Old February 20th, 2009, 09:01 PM   #6
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I am as well. There is an upgraded version that you can read about in his update.
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