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Old January 17th, 2006, 06:30 AM   #1
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Final Cut Pro Question

Sorry if this is a silly question.

Yesterday I was in the Apple Store. The salesman said that Final Cut Pro can edit HDV in native MPEG-2.

Is this true? If so, how? HDV MPEG-2 is a GOP of 15 frames right? So then how can you cut in the the middle of a GOP???

Thanks.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Hse Kha
So then how can you cut in the the middle of a GOP???
You just do it ;-)

It's no problem for FCP to display any frame from anywhere in the GOP. The only trouble is that your camera doesn't work that way. So FCP will recompress the full timeline to HDV when you write the timeline to tape with Print to Video.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 09:48 AM   #3
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FCP will place a new I-frame directly at the point of the edit, splitting the GOP. When you what to go back to tape, it will conform the timeline, and all split GOPs will be re-rendered as proper 12/15 frame GOPS.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #4
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To add to the question, is there ANY way to do realtime HD monitoring whilst editing HDV? Even HDV 1 720p? Does it have to be transcoded to an intraframe codec first?
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Old January 17th, 2006, 11:49 AM   #5
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I understand that. But what the salesman said was that the final video would not have to be re-Mpeged. I said "how is that possible?" and he said that only the frames in between the GOP would be re-encoded, the rest would be the same MPEG-2 data.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 02:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
To add to the question, is there ANY way to do realtime HD monitoring whilst editing HDV? Even HDV 1 720p? Does it have to be transcoded to an intraframe codec first?
Not sure what you're after here.... FCP provides "digital cinema desktop" realtime previews at HD resolution and a second monitor connected to your video card. It isn't full quality, but it's better than nothing. Or you can add an HD capture card and get true realtime monitoring, but that's expensive.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 02:56 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hse Kha
he said that only the frames in between the GOP would be re-encoded, the rest would be the same MPEG-2 data.
I don't know how they and if they do that, but it's clearly stated in Apples FAQ about native HDV support: http://images.apple.com/finalcutstud...27_HDV_FAQ.pdf

The only thing I can think of is that FCP sends an occasional shorter GOP to the camera in order to preserve as much full original GOPs as possible. This needs examination.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 03:13 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
To add to the question, is there ANY way to do realtime HD monitoring whilst editing HDV? Even HDV 1 720p? Does it have to be transcoded to an intraframe codec first?
If you want to use your camera as converter between the computer and an HD monitor, the answer is no. See my longer post here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...114#post413114

Transcoding wouldn't make sense for this purpose. HDV is the only thing your camera will accept.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 03:41 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Boyd Ostroff
Not sure what you're after here.... FCP provides "digital cinema desktop" realtime previews at HD resolution and a second monitor connected to your video card. It isn't full quality, but it's better than nothing. Or you can add an HD capture card and get true realtime monitoring, but that's expensive.
Thanks Boyd and Ben,

Sorry, I meant a full quality preview for critical monitoring. From my experience, digital cinema desktop isn't up to that, but is it better on a higher spec system? Is a Decklink or Kona the way to go? I'm hoping FCP6 will output a proper HD signal through a second (or 3rd) DVI.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:01 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
From my experience, digital cinema desktop isn't up to that, but is it better on a higher spec system?
Don't know about the Quads, and nobody knows about the Intel PowerMacs since they don't exist.... but on my dual 2.5ghz G5 it definitely leaves something to be desired when compared to playing back a tape on the same monitor from my Z1's component output.

Regarding FCP6, maybe you know something we don't? :-) I've seen the rumors but they didn't look all that believeable. Apple is just releasing the new universal version of FCP5 next month, so I'm not convinced that version 6 will appear too soon. But who knows?... maybe they want to make a big splash at NAB?
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Old January 17th, 2006, 04:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hse Kha
I understand that. But what the salesman said was that the final video would not have to be re-Mpeged. I said "how is that possible?" and he said that only the frames in between the GOP would be re-encoded, the rest would be the same MPEG-2 data.
Assuming you do cuts only and don't apply any effects.
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Old January 17th, 2006, 06:38 PM   #12
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The problem with Digital Cinema Desktop - and in extension, all full screen computer previews - is twofold or threefold:

a) gamma-curves: TV monitors and computer monitors do not have the same gamma curve. In addition, Macs and PCs use a different gamma curve: 1.8 vs. 2.2. Midtones look completely different on my SD monitor versus Digital Cinema Desktop.
b) colour space conversions: all video is stored in some kind of Luma+Chroma system, commonly called YUV or YPbPr. Computer monitors display RGB imagery. There are multiple ways to transform a video in the YUV colour space to the RGB color space. SD video uses ITU-R 601, HD uses ITU-R 709. The difference between both systems is small but it should be visible in the greens.
In the case of Digital Cinema Desktop, the conversion from YUV to RGB will be handled by Quicktime. In other systems the conversion may be handled by your graphics card. I haven't seen any documentation on what colour space conversion the various systems, including Digital Cinema Desktop, use.
c) interlacing: a computer display is progressive and your footage may be interlaced. Digital Cinema Desktop drops one of both fields if the RT playback quality is less than High. Otherwise is shows both fields with the typical combing artifacts you get when you play interlaced footage on a progressive screen without deinterlacing.

To get acurate realtime HD playback with a Mac, you need: a) an interface card from Blackmagic or AJA with HD-SDI and/or HD component out and b) an HD display: either a TV-monitor like JVCs 19 inch HD monitor or Blackmagics HD Link with a 23 inch cinema display.

NVidia has some graphics cards with HD component out on the PC side, but I wouldn't really trust it. You don't know what happens with the signal before it gets to the HD output. Is it converted from YUV to RGB and back to YUV again? What happens with interlaced footage? The reason I don't trust these solutions is because of the way they work. AJA and Blackmagic cards interface with Quicktime while graphic cards with HD out interface with the OS, meaning there will be a whole lot more layers between the footage and the display.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #13
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Thanks again guys!

My comment about FCP 6 was just casual. I'm sure it'll be here one day. NAB 2006? Probably by the end of 2007. A decent HD output would be a major selling point IMO. I'm hoping they may even include HDSDI and HD component I/O in the Intel Powermacs. Hoping being the key word (not expecting!). It would save the hassle of additional cards.
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Old January 18th, 2006, 10:14 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mike Marriage
My comment about FCP 6 was just casual. I'm sure it'll be here one day. NAB 2006?
Of course! But looking at my post above, it had one error in it. The universal version of FCP5 will be available for order in February but Apple is not promising shipment until March 31. With NAB coming only about 3 weeks later, it's hard to believe they would release FCP6 that soon.

But who knows?.... we do know that Steve Jobs likes surprises :-)
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Old January 18th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #15
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Of course! But looking at my post above, it had one error in it. The universal version of FCP5 will be available for order in February but Apple is not promising shipment until March 31. With NAB coming only about 3 weeks later, it's hard to believe they would release FCP6 that soon.

But who knows?.... we do know that Steve Jobs likes surprises :-)
Yeah, I suppose.

Wouldn't FCP6 be pretty much based on 5's language, so the rewritten 5 could then form the basis for 6... if that makes sense!?! Basically it wouldn't be such a waste of time, as it needs to be done anyway. I don't know if that is how software programming works though.

6 may be "announced" at NAB but Apple tend to announce and release pretty close together.

Sorry for the Hi-jack!
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