Need recommendation for live AND recorded HD camcorder. at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
Topics about HD production.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 27th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #1
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,564
Need recommendation for live AND recorded HD camcorder.

hi folx =D need some help!

my church is beginning to expand their multimedia production. we've got around $1,000 budget. we're looking @things like the Sony hard disk HD cams and Canon HV30's.

here is what we're thinking about doing:
1. create ~5min. HD clips for church service quickly.
2. live broadcast to CCTV/web/studio mediums (balanced XLR plugs?)

Questions:
1. i've found that hard drive HD cams seem to leave out firewire. are there hard drive HD cams WITH firewire? i know that USB is used to make the internal hard drive act like a USB hard drive and then you transfer the footage to PC for editing. if there is a firewire, it'd make the transfer things a bit faster depending on disk speed.

2. tape or hard disk-based solution? tape means u get the firewire solution, good for live broadcasts.

3. i know that our needs for #2 can get expensive. are there accessory items here:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/catego...Broadcast.html
^that is cheap but effective @broadcasting feeds to various media sources live?

one specific need we have now is to connect a camcorder via firewire to an iMac and broadcast that over front screen projectors. that distance between cam and iMac can be 100FT+. how do we solve this? i'd hate to go back to composite/S-Video/analog cables. there are no analog inputs for the iMac anyways, only firewire. no expansion port either. most firewire cables are under 15FT. i believe the MAX length in the spec for IEEE 1394 is only 30 FEET. are there wireless solutions? i'm no that familiar with live broadcast solutions using consumer cams. we have no budget for prosumer+ grade cams.
__________________
bow wow wow
Yi Fong Yu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #2
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
You might look at AVCHD camcorders (that record to flash memory). Decent software (for computers) to support AVCHD should be coming along pretty soon now (now that Panasonic is going to be shipping prosumer AVCHD cameras this year).

Firewire 400 isn't really any faster than USB 2. Actually USB tops out at 480mbps and firewire 400 at 400mbps (if I recall correctly). There are firewire repeaters to enable longer runs, and I've also seen firewire to CAT5 (and back) converters on the web (somewhere).

Frankly, $1000 isn't a whole lot to work with, for what it sounds like you want to do. I'd pass that collection plate around again.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 01:28 PM   #3
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Say, if you just want a live feed from a camera displayed by the projector (without switching between cameras or anything that would really require other hardware like a computer), you could run HDMI straight from a camera to the projector (if the projector has an HDMI port).
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 01:37 PM   #4
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post

Firewire 400 isn't really any faster than USB 2. Actually USB tops out at 480mbps and firewire 400 at 400mbps (if I recall correctly).
Ah but Firewire is a SUSTAINED transfer rate of 400 mbps but USB2 is a PEAK transfer of 480 or whatever. So Firewire is better (or would be were it not for the daft connector design).

Am I mistaken in this? Please correct me if I have misunderstood the theory.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 01:45 PM   #5
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
I haven't really tested carefully (maybe somebody has). I haven't noticed a difference though.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #6
Trustee
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Glasgow, Scotland
Posts: 1,521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert M Wright View Post
I haven't really tested carefully (maybe somebody has). I haven't noticed a difference though.
Neither have I to be honest, but I have always understood it's because USB2 transfers have to be managed by te CPU whereas Firewire devices have their own chipset. Just for fun i googled a bit and found:

http://www.everythingusb.com/usb2/faq.htm

Quote:
4. How fast is USB 2.0?
USB 2.0 has a raw data rate at 480Mbps, and it is rated 40 times faster than its predecessor interface, USB 1.1, which tops at 12Mbps. Originally, USB 2.0 was intended to go only as fast as 240Mbps, but in October 1999, USB 2.0 Promoter Group pumped up the speed to 480Mbps.

As far as we know, effective rate reaches at 40MBps or 320Mbps for bulk transfer on a USB 2.0 hard drive with no one else is sharing the bus. Flash Drives seem to be catching up too with the some hitting 30MB/s milestone. For all we know, USB interface could become become the bottleneck for flash drives as early as 2008.
Sorry Yi Fong Yu, none of this is of much use in heping with your question.
Colin McDonald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 06:32 PM   #7
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu View Post
my church is beginning to expand their multimedia production. we've got around $1,000 budget. we're looking @things like the Sony hard disk HD cams and Canon HV30's.

here is what we're thinking about doing:
1. create ~5min. HD clips for church service quickly.
2. live broadcast to CCTV/web/studio mediums (balanced XLR plugs?)
It just occurred to me, that if you want high definition recording to a hard drive (inside a camera), it's going to be AVCHD, unless you get a JVC product (MPEG2). The Canon HV30 doesn't have a hard drive inside (nor do any of Sony's HDV cameras).

If you want quick shoot and edit (without tethering a camera to a computer while shooting), I don't see any advantage to recording AVCHD onto an in-camera hard drive, when you can simply record to a class 6 SDHC flash memory card (and real cheap).

I don't know if you can get a live AVCHD feed out of currently sold cameras or not, but I would like to find out.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 07:04 PM   #8
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,564
we've done tests w/both and the sony sr5 doesn't have firewire. only USB.

the live feed needs to come back into the computer because we want to overlay text over the live feed.

the current temporary solution is output composite rca from a camcorder -> another DV camcorder that accepts analog input then spits it out via firewire->iMac.

are there better solutions? the iMac isn't expandable
__________________
bow wow wow
Yi Fong Yu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 08:45 PM   #9
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
I'm confused. I thought you wanted live HD.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 29th, 2008, 09:14 PM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
I guess I'm doubly confused as to why you would take RCA composite output from a camcorder and route it through a DV camcorder, rather than simply shoot with the DV camcorder.
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2008, 12:56 PM   #11
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 758
Mr. Yi Fong Yu has so far told us:

His current setup is:
1. A Std. Def. camcorder upfront in the sanctuary shooting video.
2. He has a composite cable running from there back to where his iMac is.
This because the cable run is 100+ feet and that's the only way he can
get his signal from up front to way in the back.
3. He has a 2nd camcorder doing composite video to DV/Firewire conversion
next to his iMac so he can get the video into the iMac, and do his
overlays. The iMac has roughly zero allowance for expansion, so that's
what he has to do.
4. His iMac in turn directly drives some over front screen projectors.

He would like to upgrade to high definition. That requires:
1. That upfront Std. Def. camcorder obviously gets replaced by an HD camcorder of some kind.
2. That composite cable running from way up front to the back is no longer going to cut it. The most obvious solution would be to run FireWire directly from the upfront HD camcorder, if possible. This would also eliminate the 2nd camcorder doing composite video to DV/Firewire conversion.

But normal Firewire cables appear to max out at ~15 feet, far short of the 100+ feet that he needs.

Did I miss anything Mr. Yi Fong Yu?

The best I can suggest is to do a web search using "Firewire Extenders". I don't know if you like the price but two solutions that popped up were:

http://www.gefen.com/kvm/product.jsp?prod_id=2808

http://www.kvmgalore.com/shopping/ca...c8ade3f45dd2af

I know nothing about these vendors. I am using them strictly as examples.

In either case, for what you are trying to do with FireWire, it appears you are going to need some kind of fiber optic backbone to get from here to there.

What I do know is fiber optic cable is far, far less tolerant of physical abuse than almost any kind of wire, so you may have to factor in the cost of some kind of conduit enclosure for the cable.

As for the camcorder, something like a Sony HC7/HC9 or Canon HV30 would appear to be the way to go. They are tape based machines with FireWire ports to tap into for your HDV/FireWire signal. From what I read, the HV30 has better low light performance, important for indoor shooting. The Sony HC7/HC9 allow for an external LANC focus/zoom controller. I personally have a LANC controller for another Sony camcorder and love it. I can hardly imagine going back to being without it.

My 2 cents. Hope it helps.
Bill Koehler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 30th, 2008, 02:33 PM   #12
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Minnesota (USA)
Posts: 2,171
Ok, now I see why the RCA cable is being used (duh - dense me), to run the 100' from camera to computer.

Specs for firewire say something like a 15' max for cabling without a repeater (if I recall correctly). I've used 25' firewire cable successfully though. I'm not an electrical engineer, but I wouldn't be surprised if you could get good enough cable to run 100' (might get pricey though). I believe it's basically just a matter of using heavy enough gauge wire (to have low enough resistance) and good shielding (again, I'm not an expert on that).
Robert M Wright is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2008, 04:28 AM   #13
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 758
There is more to it than that. I did find a manufacturer that made 33 foot FireWire cables, but they cautioned that they would not work in every instance.

Given his application, it is already getting expensive. The two options I referenced before are most of $1K, which would require a doubling of his budget + more $ for conduit enclosure.

This should do the same job for about half the price (400 Mb/s):

http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-fw-cat5-s400.html

even cheaper (100 Mb/s):

http://www.usbfirewire.com/Parts/rr-fw-cat5.html

Given that it uses networking cable, it shouldn't be quite as physically fragile as the fiber optic solutions. And if even so the cable gets crunched, it will be far cheaper to replace.

Last edited by Bill Koehler; March 31st, 2008 at 04:58 AM. Reason: Found an even cheaper solution
Bill Koehler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2008, 08:58 AM   #14
Trustee
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 1,564
how do TV studio run their cables. i imagine that they use hd-sdi outputs? what kind of budgets are required to acquire those things? the sony sr5 has an hdmi output, which can be adapted to sdi-out afaik.

but i'm unaware of any hd-sdi conversions back into firewire unless there is a PCI expansion port, but the imac doesnt have that. i'm sure the TV studios have rigs w/PCI capabilities.

so outside of repeaters+fiber, how else could i run this?
__________________
bow wow wow
Yi Fong Yu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 31st, 2008, 06:33 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Alpharetta, Georgia, USA
Posts: 758
HD-SDI? I may be wrong, but I believe you are now talking real money.
Canons XH-G1 camcorder has it and little else over the XH-A1.
Yes I know that camcorder is well out of your price range.
My point is they charge a $3000 premium for HD-SDI to be there.

I personally would go with the 100 Mb/s FireWire<-->Cat5e<--> FireWire solution I mentioned above.

It's cost, including cable(s), appears to be under $400.
I think that will be very hard to beat for a long cable run HD solution.
Regardless of what your (preliminary) budget may be.

It should handle 25 Mb/s DV or HDV with no problem whatsoever.
You could test it out by swapping out your current composite cable and
2nd camcorder doing the DV/FireWire conversion with it.
Your video quality should immediatly improve thanks to you eliminating a level of analog to digital conversion.

And once you're happy that it really works, then go upgrade the camcorder as well.

Last edited by Bill Koehler; March 31st, 2008 at 06:44 PM. Reason: Typo
Bill Koehler is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > High Definition Video Acquisition > General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:18 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network