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Old March 30th, 2007, 01:24 PM   #1
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Can my Powerbook handle HDV? HV20 better than DVC30?

I have a 15" 1.5 GHz G4 Powerbook with 1.25 GB of RAM and Final Cut Express 3.5. For storage I use two 150 GB external hard drives, one Firewire 800 and the other USB 2.0. My camera is a Panasonic AG-DVC30.

The DVC30's footage is okay, sometimes quite nice, but I'd like to try HDV, especially the HV20's 24p, which I once saw on a Panasonic DVX-100 and it made my jaw drop. I'd also like something a bit lighter. The DVC-30 quite hefty to carry around sometimes. Certainly can't take it hiking.

Would my Powerbook handle HDV? Would the HV20 be worth selling my DVC30 for? The footage I've seen is certainly impressive.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 01:35 PM   #2
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Nelson,

I've not tried to edit anything but....

My 1.67 G4 PB w/ 2 gigs can't play most of the transport streams samples that have been posted here without serious jitters or being jerky to the point of the videos being unwatchable.
I'll be upgrading to a Macbook Pro after Apple's NAB conference in a couple of weeks.

My suggestion is to download some of the samples posted on dvinfo and see how your machine handles them. Hopefully you will have better luck than I have with playback.

Robert
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Old March 30th, 2007, 01:42 PM   #3
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My 1.67 G4 PB w/ 2 gigs can't play most of the transport streams samples that have been posted here without serious jitters or being jerky to the point of the videos being unwatchable.
I'll be upgrading to a Macbook Pro after Apple's NAB conference in a couple of weeks.

Robert
I appreciate the information, Robert.

I've downloaded several of the clips here and my Powerbook also stutters badly, so thanks for letting me know that this isn't a good sign. Also thanks for the heads-up on the NAB. I might just upgrade, too.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 02:30 PM   #4
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Hi Nelson,

I do some occasional editing on an older Dell notebook, a 1.7GHz celeron model. It plays the HDV streams flawlessly in a standalone player, but my NLE somehow uses more resources (less hard/software accelleration) and editing is virtually impossible.

However, you can render the HDV(MPEG2 clips) to an intermediate codec that is easier to decode real time, but uses more disk space. I think I use the cineform codec.
So it likely that, at the cost of some workflow and disk space, you can still use your trusty old hardware :)
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Old March 30th, 2007, 02:37 PM   #5
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It’s a good thing some of you are holding off on getting an Apple until the NAB because they did announce a MacBook Pro during last years NAB.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 02:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Pieter Jongerius View Post
my NLE somehow uses more resources (less hard/software accelleration) and editing is virtually impossible.

However, you can render the HDV(MPEG2 clips) to an intermediate codec that is easier to decode real time, but uses more disk space. I think I use the cineform codec. So it likely that, at the cost of some workflow and disk space, you can still use your trusty old hardware :)
Thanks, Pieter. I should have mentioned that I have Final Cut Express HD. Maybe this would handle the clips better, even though I don't have the best processor?

I'll have to read up about codecs. Kind of a newbie here. As it is now, I'm getting more pinwheels than I'd like while the Powerbook crunches away. What HDV would do to it makes me nervous.
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Old March 30th, 2007, 03:19 PM   #7
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...Final Cut Express HD. Maybe this would handle the clips better, even though I don't have the best processor?.
I doubt it... real time HD MPEG2 decoding is tough. That's why pre-rendering to an easier to decode format might work for you.

I also think Robert is right:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Hicks View Post
...My suggestion is to download some of the samples posted on dvinfo and see how your machine handles them.
Plz tell us how it works out :)
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Old March 30th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #8
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Plz tell us how it works out :)
I downloaded this .mov clip:

http://file.meyersproduction.com/hv20/more%2060i.mov

It played pretty well in Firefox. It hitched a little. The cat at the beginning was clear enough to make me take the Lord's name in vain, I must confess. It seemed I could reach out and pat the thing. Quite stunning.

But did you mean that I should find some raw, uncompressed footage and try to import it into Final Cut Express HD to see if my system could handle it? If so, does anyone know where I could find some of this footage?
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Old April 4th, 2007, 02:32 PM   #9
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Hi Nelson,

(been away a few days, don't know whether you're still onto this)

as a matter of fact, I (we) meant: try to get hold of some unedited M2T files (straight off the camera, you should be able to find some around here), render ('translate') them to the cineform codec using Final Cut Express (I don't know that package so can't help you there), and try to put some of those resulting clips on a timeline. Then see what happens. It wil run much better than with the original M2T clips.

So no, cineform is not raw, but still somewhat compressed, it holds a good balance between CPU-and-hard-drive-space-friendlyness...
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Old April 5th, 2007, 12:56 AM   #10
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Hi Pieter,

I found some .mt2 files but can't figure out how to open them with Final Cut Express. However, I can open them with the VLC Media Player. Is this what you mean?

The clip played full screen okay on my Powerbook but did show some jerkiness. I'll have to do some more research into how to open them (import?) them into FCE and then put them into a time line.

To the woodshed I go...
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Old April 5th, 2007, 03:30 PM   #11
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Hi Nelson,

those are certainly the files I mean, but if you can't open them with FCE I can't help you... I have no knowledge of that package whatsover (or hardly any knowlegde of operating one of those quite nice fruity computers, sorry)

What i'd try 1st to get them to open: rename them to another extension like MP2, MPG, MPEG or something like that. But better ask someone else. And since we've moved to NLE/Mac, I'm off :))
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Old April 5th, 2007, 05:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nelson Cole View Post
I have a 15" 1.5 GHz G4 Powerbook with 1.25 GB of RAM and Final Cut Express 3.5. For storage I use two 150 GB external hard drives, one Firewire 800 and the other USB 2.0. My camera is a Panasonic AG-DVC30.

The DVC30's footage is okay, sometimes quite nice, but I'd like to try HDV, especially the HV20's 24p, which I once saw on a Panasonic DVX-100 and it made my jaw drop. I'd also like something a bit lighter. The DVC-30 quite hefty to carry around sometimes. Certainly can't take it hiking.

Would my Powerbook handle HDV? Would the HV20 be worth selling my DVC30 for? The footage I've seen is certainly impressive.
Yes, your powerbook can handle HDV. No problem. I have a 15" powerbook and a 17" that blast through HDV and DVCPROHD and all codecs in between.
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Old April 5th, 2007, 05:28 PM   #13
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Nelson,

FCE can't edit HDV natively like FCP can. FCE can only edit HDV if it's transcoded into AIC (Apple Intermediate Codec) first.


-A
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Old April 5th, 2007, 10:39 PM   #14
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Also remember that in terms of playback data rate, HDV is virtually identical to DV. If your system plays DV, it will play HDV.

Editing might be another story since there's more on the fly encoding/decoding going on - but for playback, they're essentially the same.
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Old April 6th, 2007, 09:40 AM   #15
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No problem to edit HDV with a powerbook

Nelson I am editing HDV (SonyA1) with my powerbook 1.25 mgh and 3 external harddrives (from 120 to 320 gig) without any problem using FCP 5.
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