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Old July 29th, 2006, 10:55 PM   #1
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Anyone with Kona card experience? Need to know if this is right for me.

Ok, so this is what we have been doing.

We film cheerleading competitions and we have 1 xl2. We had been hooking the xl2 up to a mac mini and using final cut pro to capture to an external hard drive. That has worked fine, but when we tried to do the same thing for a 2 camera set up, editing it was a nightmare. I won't go into that.

So what I'm wondering is, can we do this:

- Have both XL2's output their video thru a BNC connection to the Kona card

- Have an XLR cable running from the soundboard running music to the Kona card, and another XLR running from a stage mic to the Kona

- Do live switching of video feeds as it is capturing

- After each 3 minute performance, stop the capture and make a new clip

- Have a dedicated computer with raid set up to capture to

- we develop some kind of software that would run on a computer at the judges table. they could view the clips that have been captured for official judging business

- have the kona card output a live "final multi-camed switched" feed from a BNC connection to a plasma screen

This seems like a complex setup, but I've had experience with more complex setups involving pictures.

I guess what I'm asking is, does the Kona card have the proper connections and capabilities to do what I need it to do?

Thanks.
Brian Farris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:16 PM   #2
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From what I am aware of, neither the Kona, nor Blackmagic have live switching capabilities, unless they have had some software changes recently.
Also, quality wise, composite singal isnt going to be your best quality feed, firewire is, especially if you are going to plasmas.

If you want to do live switching with those cameras and get the best input signal. I would recommend a firewire switcher, like the Focus MX-4.

We use one on occation and have gotten 150' firewire runs to work successfully (as long as you use a good quality cable designed for large lengths like Data-video)

---edit----
well i guess I'm the dumb one in the bunch

http://decklink.com/products/multibridge/on-air/

still composite isnt a very high quality run. Firewire is far better.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:22 PM   #3
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The Decklink Multibridge Extreme comes with some software that will do a two camera live switch. Might work for you but it's a $2500 setup.

-gb-
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:44 PM   #4
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Cheaper Setup

2 mac mini's and a network. Gigabit ethernet will go a lot further than video signal will (up to 1000 ft). A kona card won't go into a mini (u knew that, right?). How about a firestore like device and edit after.

BTW Cheerleading Comp . . . NICE
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 04:46 PM   #5
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The MX-4 sounds pretty appealing, especially for the DV inputs, however, what kind of storage capabilities does it have, and can it still:

- After each 3 minute performance, stop the capture and make a new clip

- Have a dedicated computer with raid set up to capture to

- we develop some kind of software that would run on a computer at the judges table. they could view the clips that have been captured for official judging business
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 10:02 PM   #6
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The MX-4 is a video mixer and doesn't store video. You can take its video output into a recording device...
i.e.
a DV deck- the prosumer/professional units can take large format tapes and record 2+ hours.
A DV camera.
A normal computer with firewire. Do ensure your software is setup correctly (i.e. FCP can limit the record time, which you don't want), and hope it doesn't crash!
Something like a firestore.

I would prefer a DV deck (or the firestore), but they do cost a lot.

Quote:
- we develop some kind of software that would run on a computer at the judges table. they could view the clips that have been captured for official judging business
You could take (another) output off the mixer and feed that into a Mac with iMovie or whatever. iMovie is pretty easy for people to figure out.

As an alternative, you might want to look into a VCR with fast shuttle speed + responsiveness.

I'm not sure what kind of outputs the MX-4 has. If worse comes to worse, you can use loop-through on analog connections (a lot of broadcast gear supports this) or a distribution amplifier to get enough outputs.

2- There is only one camera feed coming off the mixer.

3- If you don't want to pay an arm and a leg for a mixer, try to pickup an old analog-style mixer like the Panasonic MX-50 and use S-video. Use S-video --> 2Xco-axial adapters (solder em yourself, or buy them off sites like cablewholesale.com; maybe B&H has em, they sponsor this site) and use high-grade co-axial cabling to send video signals. Avoids the extra cost of a firewire mixer + firewire cabling.

4- The blackmagic card looks interesting. Unless it has a frame synchronizer however, your cameras will need genlock. And usually only expensive broadcast cameras have genlock.

A lot of the low-end video mixers have frame synchoronizers to avoid the not-having-genlock problem.

*Apparently the blackmagic cards only take SDI in.
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