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General HD (720 / 1080) Acquisition
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 12:02 PM   #1
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Production Switcher for HD-SDI

Now that we are about to have an affordable camera that has
HD-SDI output, the next step for those interested in 'hot switching'
live production is an affordable video mixing console.

As far as I can research,
Grass Valley (Thompson), Snell & Wilcox and Sony are the
players in this arena. However, none of these guys have any kind
of pricing on their websites. Editrol is supposed to be coming out
with a switcher that can take almost any flavor of video, including
HD and even computer output (XGA) and
hot switch it, BUT it looks like an analog desk.

Anyone out there have any idea of what kind of price point we're
talking about for a production (not a 'click box' router) HD-SDI
video mixer/switcher?

Maybe you should make one Canon?
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Old November 3rd, 2005, 02:04 PM   #2
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When I talked to a Canon rep this week he hinted that there will be several accessories coming along related to the XL-H1 camera, and that people understand they shouldn't be $40K devices for a $9K camera. We'll just have to wait and see now what that might mean...

P.S. Does this help any (see page 2)?

http://www.multidyne.com/pdf/pressSwitchers.pdf
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Old November 19th, 2005, 01:40 PM   #3
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Bucks

Making the jump to SDI is a fairly costly endeavor. You have to think of it from soup to nuts or you could get burned. My company recently purchased a GV Kayak SD SDI switcher and opened a 100k plus can of worms. Sure you can buy the Canon for 9k but you need to consider your production from end to end. The switcher, router, monitors, rasterizer(new school WF/vectorscope), and decks all need to be SDI. Not to mention that if you need to integrate with your existing ntsc products, which you do, you'll need to spend even more money on A to D and D to A cards. Not including cameras, or decks the system cost about 100K and that's for standard def. You can pretty much double that amount for HD. You could get an HD SDI switcher for free and it would still cost you 150k just to plug it in. Take Care, Jason.
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Old November 19th, 2005, 10:09 PM   #4
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Ross also makes HD switchers.
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Old December 7th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #5
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Don't forget Edirols offering

Edirol's HD switcher was best of NAB

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Old December 10th, 2005, 02:56 PM   #6
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Understanding SDI Switching

I am trying to enter the live event production field Local High school sports Blues festival ect. I've been looking at switchers, everything from DataVideo $4500.00, Panasonic $6000.00, Sony $19,000.00 Snell & Wilcox $7000.00 to GV. When Canon released the H1 it opened up a whole new issue to consider, SDI switching. All of my current editing equipment has SDI options (I knew at some point I would be going this route.) Sony DSR-2000A & DSR-DR1000A, Mac G5 with Decklink Extreme and X-Raid, 23" Sony Luma Monitor & Tektronix waveform/ vectorscope. But there are things I dont understand about SDI, like how audio is carried and seperated from video, distance it will transmit over cable. I am hoping someone can suggest a website that will provide some answers.
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Old June 2nd, 2006, 12:53 PM   #7
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Production Switcher for HD-SDI

I just received the $12,000 Edirol V-440HD as a demo. I will be setting it up and playing with it Monday through Thursday of next week. Because you can mix SD and HD sources, I will be hooking up my HD100 and mixing it with my DSR-570 and other cameras to check performance. If there are any HD-100 owners in the downtown Chicago area that would like to swing by to complete a three-HD100 set up, you're welcome to stop by. This switcher also puts out 720/60P, so if you have the BR-50U bring it along. I havn't purchased mine, yet. I'm in the Chicago Cultural Center/Cable25.

I'll post my opinion on the Edirol when I'm done playing with it. I checked out the DataMedia a couple of months back and, although loved being able to hook up firewire cables instead of 26 pin multicore, it had shortcomings I couldn't get over. DataMedia is working to make improvements. Gotta get back to work. Ciao for now.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 02:24 AM   #8
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Manufacturers of broadcast video equipment generally don't list prices because if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Jason hit the nail on the head, there's more to it than buying a switcher. You need monitoring, routing, video shading, not to mention things like intercom, audio, graphics, and recording. And not to mention a truck to put them all in, or at least some portable racks. You also have to consider what you're going to be doing with it. Thomson is the nearly exclusive manufacturer of switchers for high-end professional broadcasting like sports, news, and entertainment. Sony is a distant second. Switchers from those companies will be geared toward broadcasters who need features like DPMs, Still/Clip Stores, P-Bus, stuff that you will probably never use. Snell & Wilcox and Ross will probably be more in your price range, but will still be pricey. The least expensive standard-def SDI switcher I've seen that I would consider using is about $17k. There are a number of products cheaper than this, but are basically little more than expensive toys from my point of view.

For example, the Edirol looks completely unusable to me. The thing's not designed to be a production switcher, the thing's designed to be a VJing tool. I'm sure it works great for that, but it just couldn't keep up with what I do. The lack of flip-flopping preview and program busses makes the thing an instant no-go for me.
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Old June 6th, 2006, 02:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
This brochure is for video routers, which simply take video inputs and patch them straight through to designated outputs without effects or mixing. They are intended more for providing an infrastructure for a broadcasting facility than as an on-air switching tool, though cutting a show on a router due to a switcher failure is not unheard of.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:11 AM   #10
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After having "played" with both the Edirol and the DataMedia, I have to agree with Stephan on his 6/6, 2:24 AM message. For the time being, when it comes to switching HDV cameras, if you want a professional end-product you're gonna have to spend the bucks.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 09:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oscar Villalpando
After having "played" with both the Edirol and the DataMedia, I have to agree with Stephan on his 6/6, 2:24 AM message. For the time being, when it comes to switching HDV cameras, if you want a professional end-product you're gonna have to spend the bucks.
Does that mean the Edirol was not a good product? I work at a small church. We have a Z1U. The edirol is going to be the MAX we would be able to spend on a live switcher to mix HDV and MediaShout (PC).
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Old June 12th, 2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Young
. . . (edit) But there are things I dont understand about SDI, like how audio is carried and seperated from video, distance it will transmit over cable. I am hoping someone can suggest a website that will provide some answers.
SDI and HD-SDI can have multi channel audio embedded into the signal.
A few years ago no one seemed to want it, but today a "one wire"
solution for sending both high quality audio and video is (or has become)
a feature that is very desirable.

Audio and Video embedding/de-embedding is accomplished with
an outboard processor, although a high quality HD mixer might have
this feature built in.

I was not all that impressed with the Edirol either. Too few inputs and
no down stream keying. No genuine HD-SDI, rather analog HD component.
It is inexpensive ($13K!?) but you usually get what you pay for.

None of the Multidyne solutions are what I would consider a real HD mixer.
I would classify them as routers and DAs.

How do you like the GV Kayak? We are thinking about that console too.
Which model did you get and why is HD such a can of worms? Is it cost or
are there other more significant problems? How is your system doing now?
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Last edited by Jacques Mersereau; June 12th, 2006 at 11:30 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2006, 04:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacques Mersereau
How do you like the GV Kayak? We are thinking about that console too.
Which model did you get and why is HD such a can of worms? Is it cost or
are there other more significant problems? How is your system doing now?
I would cut broadcast television on a Kayak in a heartbeat. That might be the problem with it for your application, since the feature set and pricing is designed for broadcast TV. This is a switcher designed for specialized technical directors to operate and specialized engineers to set up. I wouldn't recommend it as a switcher for a low-end production.

If you already have the infrastructure for analog video production, SDI and HD suck because you have to throw everything away that you've already spent tons of cash on. If you're starting from scratch, you will be suprised at just how much equipment you have to buy to get it all working properly. I can easily imagine spending $2-300,000 on the entire package.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 08:35 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephan Ahonen
<EDIT>the feature set and pricing is designed for broadcast TV. This is a switcher designed for specialized technical directors to operate and specialized engineers to set up. I wouldn't recommend it as a switcher for a low-end production.<EDIT>

Yes, the folks at Grass Valley said when asked that there is a week long
training session that would be needed for an operator to properly
'jockey' the Kayak video mixer. COOL!
To me that means the Kayak desk is
probably power packed and feature rich and I would love to hear
anything bad or good you have to say about the Kayak switcher itself.

Here at the University of Michigan, I run a TV production studio facility
that we actually use more for putting together original live performances
shot with as many as nine DV cameras in front of a live audience.
I am now in the process of proposing a major refit and upgrade of our
video gear to uncompressed HD 'hot switch'. That is where the
GV Kayak comes into play.
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Old June 13th, 2006, 04:09 PM   #15
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Well, I suppose you should just go over exactly what feature set you need. If all you need are cuts, dissolves, wipes and a couple of keys, I doubt you would need to spend the cash on a Kayak. You could live with something from someone like Ross that's a little less expensive but will still work very well for what you need to do. The Kayak has stuff like internal clip/stillstores, sophisticated E-Mems, timeline and macro functionality, the ability to interface with DDRs and tape decks, DPMs for transforming video, stuff that you will never use.

On the other hand, if you are doing something like a student newscast, these features may come in handy, but for the price of a 1 M/E Kayak, I think you could get a 2 M/E model from another manufacturer which would give you far more flexibility in terms of setting up effects.

A few other products I think you should take a look at:
Ross Synergy 100 MD, for good basic cuts/dissolves switching with a couple transformable keyers.
Synergy MD series - If you're doing a student newscast which wants more effects, consider the 1.5 or 2 model. If you don't need it yet but may in the future, buy the 1 model, then you can upgrade later by buying a new control panel and popping a couple new cards into the rackmount.
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