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Focus Enhancements FireStore
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Old December 18th, 2006, 11:18 AM   #1
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fs-4pro HD- workflow question.

really apologize for such a basic question but just want to confirm for the FS-4pro HD, when recording HDV (canon xh a1) I'll end up with m2t on the firestore, which if I want to work in cineform codec, I'll have to transcode after moving the file over to my pc.

e..g. that the firestore is not capable of real time transcode to any intermediate codec.

do I have this right?
Many thanks.

and, as a vegas 7 user, I suppose I am not in great shape anyway but perhaps if FE can 'certify' with vegas 7...
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Old December 18th, 2006, 02:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Stern
really apologize for such a basic question but just want to confirm for the FS-4pro HD, when recording HDV (canon xh a1) I'll end up with m2t on the firestore, which if I want to work in cineform codec, I'll have to transcode after moving the file over to my pc.

e..g. that the firestore is not capable of real time transcode to any intermediate codec.

do I have this right?
Many thanks.

and, as a vegas 7 user, I suppose I am not in great shape anyway but perhaps if FE can 'certify' with vegas 7...
You have it right, the firestore is not capable of real time transcode to any intermediate codec. If it were to create a Cinesform's ConnectHD HDLink file it would create a much larger file and significantly reduce the amount of available recording time.

I have Vegas 7.0c and the clips are not seamless. I got an email from Kevin Pullman from support sayng, "I am told that we will test Vegas V7 eventually but I don't have a time frame on that."

Now what bothers me is that since my problems are in Vegas 7, it doesn't seem possible that there will be a solution anytime soon if they will eventually test Vegas 7. I left them a reply that clearly showed how unhappy I am with this.

On Vegas 6, the video portion is seamless but there is a short audio drop-out at the end of each clip.

I recently did a theater video in HDV using tape and left the FS-4 HD at home.

Most of the time, at least until Focus Enhancements eventually gets around to testing Vegas 7 and then solving my problems I will be using SD.

If your goal is to get the FS-4 HD for HDV with Vegas 7 then you will have to wait a while.

In spite of the above issues, I went ahead and bought a second FS-4 HD because I regularly use two cameras and I don't like waiting for tape to be captured.

I do hope they will solve the HDV issues soon though.

Danny Fye
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Old December 18th, 2006, 09:40 PM   #3
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thanks..yeah, I saw all your posts..too bad, really.

I am not switching from vegas, and would like a tapeless solution for both SD and HD(V).

But, it has to work, and work reliably..and from all the posts, it seems like the kinks for HDV are not yet worked out fully.

Well, the market will take its course, and if focus doesn't , I think others will jump in to fill that spot.

I would buy, but again, it has to work.

Appreciate all your posts keeping everyone updated..
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Old December 19th, 2006, 05:05 AM   #4
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I agree, I wonít go to another NLE either. Vegas is what I use and will continue to use.


I did some more tests and I noticed that when I play back the video on my camera that it is seamless both video and audio. However and I canít remember the exact numbers, but when the playback on the FS-4 HD got to the point where the files are split I noticed a problem with the time. It went something like from 8:59 to 9:59 in one seconds time. All of a sudden one big jump. Could it be that the FS-4 HD has a bug in it where it canít even use its own time code?


I got another email from Kevin Pullman and he says,
ďHello Danny,

I am sorry but we test with as much NLE's as we can. FCP and AVID etc also. Have you asked Vagas about the problems you are seeing? What do they about it. We have not seen probems with Vegas V6 that I know elsewhere.

Thank you

KevinĒ


Donít you just love his spelling and grammar. Grin...


What I am seeing in his reply is have Vegas work for the FS-4 HD instead of having the FS-4 HD work for Vegas.


I had already told him in a previous reply about the short audio drop-out in Vegas 6.


Now, I have two more very short video clips. One from Vegas 6 and the other one from Vegas 7. This time I did a video of a clock with a second hand that moves continuously. Not the pulsing type that some clocks have. I am also using a 1 khz test tone so you can hear the drop-out in the audio which happens in both Vegas 6 and 7. I am using Vegas 6.0d and 7.0c so I have the latest for both. I also have pics of part of the time-line to you can see the audio gaps. The gaps are a little more than 7 tenths of one second.


www.vidmus.com/firestore-2/vegas-6/vegas-6.wmv
www.vidmus.com/firestore-2/vegas-6/vegas-6.jpg
www.vidmus.com/firestore-2/vegas-7/vegas-7.wmv
www.vidmus.com/firestore-2/vegas-7/vegas-7.jpg


Based on the replies I have received from support, I am seriously considering jumping ship and look elsewhere for a tape-less solution. I would have to call VideoGuys and tell them what the problem is and then refuse delivery from UPS and then sell my current unit on Ebay for a loss.


If this is what I end-up doing, I will never buy another product from Focus Enhancements again. I sent some questions to Bella Corporation about their Catapult and hopefully I will get the answers I need ASAP! And hopefully their unit will actually work and support drives formatted using NTFS.


Currently, the FS-4 HD is NOT compatible with Vegas in the HDV mode. Focus Enhancements needs to remove Vegas from the part of the compatibility NLE list for HDV.


Danny Fye
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Old December 19th, 2006, 07:57 AM   #5
 
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this is quite odd becasue i have not experienced any dropouts or discontinuities. i routinely record m2t files on my FS4HD from my JVC HD110, copy them to my computer and convert the m2t's with cineform connect HD v3.3, then edit happily on Vegas 7c.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens
this is quite odd becasue i have not experienced any dropouts or discontinuities. i routinely record m2t files on my FS4HD from my JVC HD110, copy them to my computer and convert the m2t's with cineform connect HD v3.3, then edit happily on Vegas 7c.
The first time I tried Cineform I couldn't even access the folder the files were in. I finally did access them in another test last night and I still had the gap but it was about 3 tenths of a second instead of a little more than 7 tenths.

I have version 3.01.

I will download 3.3 and see if I get the same results you have.

Even so, I still can't edit seamlessly using the .m2t files that are created by the FS-4 HD. Can you? Also, I can capture from tape in a lot less time it takes to convert the files to Cineforms .avi files. So what's the point?

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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:32 AM   #7
 
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I explored editting native m2t in Vegas, but, after much examination, I discovered that vegas lacks "smart rendering". In other words, making the smallest change to the timeline, like a cut, will result in a lengthy re-rendering of the entire timeline....very inefficient on a time basis. ConnectHD doesn't do this, in other words, it won't rerender the entire timeline when you make a cut. The Cineform intermediate is actually almost lossless, much more so than the native m2t. I decided there really aren't any circumstances where I would want to edit m2t. It's a great archiving format, other than that, I don't use it.

Your conversion time is worse than the 1:1 time it takes to capture? hmmm..something's not right. Over on the Vegas forum, one guy had similar problems as you have. Apparently, he completely re-installed WindozeXP, Vegas7 and connectHD3.3 and his problems went away.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 09:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens
I explored editting native m2t in Vegas, but, after much examination, I discovered that vegas lacks "smart rendering". In other words, making the smallest change to the timeline, like a cut, will result in a lengthy re-rendering of the entire timeline....very inefficient on a time basis. ConnectHD doesn't do this, in other words, it won't rerender the entire timeline when you make a cut. The Cineform intermediate is actually almost lossless, much more so than the native m2t. I decided there really aren't any circumstances where I would want to edit m2t. It's a great archiving format, other than that, I don't use it.

Your conversion time is worse than the 1:1 time it takes to capture? hmmm..something's not right. Over on the Vegas forum, one guy had similar problems as you have. Apparently, he completely re-installed WindozeXP, Vegas7 and connectHD3.3 and his problems went away.
Take a closer look. I tried version 3.3 of Cineform and I still get a gap of almost 2 tenths of a second on the audio and the video still jumps the same way it did with the .m2t files.

http://www.vidmus.com/firestore-2/3-3.jpg

This little jump can be huge when it comes to music and/or a video of a dancer who instead of flows smoothly across the stage has a sudden jump instead.

My slow conversion time is most likely due to the fact that my system is a 2.8 ghz HT Pentium 4. I need to build a new system.

Danny Fye
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Old December 19th, 2006, 09:43 AM   #9
 
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i'm running a dual core athlon64. i know the cpu gets pretty heavily maxed out. i wonder if you're probs are related to that. i do stage performances, as well. Any hiccup would sure make the talent unhappy.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 12:38 PM   #10
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Danny - did you try taking the source where there's a gap, then rendering that and burning a DVD, e.g. to eliminate the PC CPU as a source of the problem (I haven't seen your clips, so can't tell whether this would even be necessary to confirm it).

I will be sure to look at all possible tapeless solutions as well. I need one that works with Canon XH A1 and vegas 7 HDV and SD. If you get info back from the Bella, can you post?

Also, as far as Sony driving the changes, I think that's a lost cause. Sony is making their on hard drive recorders (not sure who makes them for them), and they own vegas, so I can't see them doing too much work to get vegas to work with firestore, just to cut into their own sales.

That said, I don't know if the sony hard drives will work only on sony cameras. It seems like canon, for example, worked with firestore to release the 'canon' models, which I'm not sure if they are special other than the hardware mounting. But in this case, the canon strategy leaves vegas, a sony editor, out in the cold. But, I wanted the canon camera and use vegas.

Maybe another brand hard drive is what I need.. I'd even go for citidisk if it were reliable, just haven't researched the options for canon yet.

Also, did you look into exchanging your unit in case it's the unit's proble, or have you eliminated that factor as well?
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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:08 PM   #11
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UPS just delivered critter number two. Grin!

So I will do some tests with it and see what results I get before I leave anymore replies.

Critter number one came from B&H and says FireStore FS-4 on the front. Critter number two came from VideoGuys and it says FS-4HD on the front of it.

What is interesting is that the close-up picture on the B&H site shows it as being FS-4HD but critter number one has it as FireStore FS-4.

Critter number one does say FS-4 HD on the back under where the battery goes.

The battery for critter number two is difficult to install. Real tight fit. Is easy on critter number one.

Don't you just love this 'critter' post? LOL.

Anyway, does any of this make any difference other than just a difference in how they look? Is critter number one defective?

In a couple of hours after critter number two thaws out from being so cold, I will test it and see what results I get.

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Old December 19th, 2006, 03:17 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ravens
i'm running a dual core athlon64. i know the cpu gets pretty heavily maxed out. i wonder if you're probs are related to that. i do stage performances, as well. Any hiccup would sure make the talent unhappy.
I can see how my system would definitely slow things down somewhat but I really doubt if it is the cause of the gaps I am getting or the audio drop-out. I may be wrong?

I wish others who use Vegas (6 or 7) would chime in and let us know what their results are. It helps a lot to do a test with a 1khz audio test tone and have the camera view something that has fluid motion to accurately detect if there is a problem between the files or not.

Would be interesting to know if there are any problems with other NLE's using the above test method. Note: a general video test may not reveal problems between the files even though they may actually be there.

Danny Fye
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Old December 19th, 2006, 08:06 PM   #13
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New Unit is Defective

After allowing the new unit 3 hours to adjust to room temperature, I gave it a test and it will not mount and/or work on my computer.

I do not get that little green arrow at the bottom of the screen.

I do get the message on the unit that says, "success". Also I get the two tones from windows that would affirm connection.

I took a look at the device manager and it has a yellow ! next to the unit. I right click and select properties and it says, "This device cannot start. (Code 10)

Click Troubleshoot to start the troubleshooter for this device."

I click on the troubleshooter and get no help at all.

I tried a different port and no help there either. I tried formatting the drive using the unit itself (Windows can't see it anyway) and that didn't help.

So there appears to be no way to access this unit with my computer.

I connected the first unit I got and it works fine even on different ports.

The display also has a little vertical blotch on it.

Maybe someone up there is telling me to give up on these critters and wait for a different solution.

So far my experience with the FS-4 HD has been a very unhappy one.

Danny Fye
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Old December 20th, 2006, 08:21 AM   #14
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Danny - did you look at the nnovia units? what do you think of those / have you read anything on them?
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Old December 20th, 2006, 09:03 AM   #15
 
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Danny,
sorry you're having so much trouble. just had a thought...i had a lot of trouble with my firestore until i figured out that some cable work better than others. especially, at the 4 pin connector. have you tried using different cables?
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