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Old February 12th, 2007, 07:22 PM   #1
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Multiple Camera - Broadcast Quality - HD - Tapeless Solution

Hi Everyone,

I am currently putting together a proposal for a multiple camera broadcast quality HD tape less system. This system will primarily be used for recording live events such as music performance showcases. The plan is to have a small (i.e. a couple of road cases), yet powerful turnkey/plug-n-play system. The outcome of these recordings will mostly be for Podcast-type presentations, however, some of the footage may be used for DVD/Broadcast purposes. Because the majority of the work will be for this lower-end medium, a XDCAM/DigiBeta solution is not appropriate financially speaking. For purely non-technical reasons, a HD system is preferred. There is not budget at this stage. I'm hoping it will be well under AUD$50,000.

I am thinking something along the lines of:

- 4 x HVX202
- 8 x 8gb P2 Memory Cards
- 2 x AG-PCS60G 60Gb Portable HDD
- 16 Track HDD Audio Recording Solution (any ideas?)
- 1 x MacBook Pro with Final Cut Pro

Questions!

- Is there anyway to sync up the four cameras?
- How suitable is a P2 solution in the "real world"?
- How is the P2/FCP workflow?

The reason I have suggested the HVX202 is because of the P2 cards. Ideally I would prefer to go down a Sony route (as we have several business deals with them), however their hard drive solution doesn't seem very FCP friendly. Also there are the obvious benefits of DVCProHD vs HDV.

I've had a quick look around DVi for "Multi Camera Solutions", but the technology is changing so rapidly, most of the posts are now irrelevant. However, if there is something I've missed, please let me know.

I have considered doing a "live mix" instead of editing later, however I haven't been able to find any "cheap" low-end HD solutions. If there is a suitable "live mix" solution that would be preferable.

I hope I'm not being too vague.

Obviously I will be having meetings with people from Sony, Panasonic, etc. and several of the big AV suppliers before I put together the final proposal, however it's always nice to get the opinion from the people at DVi.

Thanks for your time!

Chris!
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Old February 12th, 2007, 07:36 PM   #2
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Check out my post like 2 under this one for my workflor..

Introducing my proposed HDV workflow... Is the name of the thread.

In it i talk about hooking up multiple cameras to a panasonic video switcher. You have analog component output on your cameras so this would work as well (or you could get the 2k analog component add on board for the switcher)

Jon
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Old February 12th, 2007, 08:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for your reply Jon!

Your proposed work flow looks very interesting, however I wouldn't really describe it as "turn key" or "plug-n-play". I'm sure it would work, however I'm really after a solution that doesn't require any special conversion boxes, etc.

I'm really just after something that has been tried and tested and that equipment suppliers support and recommend.

If I was going to go down the route of using a AV-HS300 mixer and HD-SDI connections, I would much prefer to use a camera that already has an HD-SDI output (such as the HD-X400/X900/C27H). Also, by recording to the AJ-HD1400, you introduce tape into the system - something I wish to avoid.

So, although your solution looks interesting, and is a very cost effective way of recording high quality material using relatively low-cost equipment, I don't think it really suits my requirements. Thanks anyway!
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Old February 12th, 2007, 10:35 PM   #4
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There is something else, that panasonic switcher can take an add on board ($2000 USD) which will allow it to accept analog component without converters (but you'll lose gen lock)

Hope that helps!

Jon
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Old February 12th, 2007, 11:45 PM   #5
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Well, first... I definately wouldn't go Sony. You could concievably get the MX-4 mixer with Firewire in and outs and do a live mix, capturing to a hard drive as you go. I would be very leary about going all tapeless. It's always smart to have a backup. You never know what my happen to a hard drive.
THis would be the cheapest way to go. The only problem is that you might have to get an audio delay unit to make sure your video/audio stay sync'd. Firewire seems to have a second or so lag over long runs.

I woiuldn't go the P2 route for what you are doing. Cost to storage ratio wouldn't be worth it. You could always get a FS-100 for each camera, then edit it all later.

My choice would be to get Canon XL-H1s, TC sync them, get a HD-SDI switcher and route it to a Raid Array System. As for Audio, Mackie makes a line of Mixers called, "Oynx" which allow multiple audio capture to CuBase, or Vegas, or a number of other programs over a firewire connection.

Be Trust me on this.... If you do not have a Tape backup, you will get bitten... and when you do....your clients will not be happy.

Hope this helps!

BRyon <><
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Old February 19th, 2007, 01:59 AM   #6
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Thanks for your reply Jon. However, I still think that your proposed system is "unfriendly".

Thanks for your reply Bryon. Firstly, what do you have against Sony?

The MX-4 only supports SD/DV and not HD, so this solution is not appropriate.

Is there anything wrong with the P2 work flow, ignoring the cost? The way I figured it was that I could have two or three 8gb cards per camera, and store their content on the two AG-PCS60G's - one as a backup. Then at the end of the show I can just hook up one of the AG-PCS60G's to my NLE, copy the content (which will only take a few minutes) and start editing! As far as I know you can sync several HVX units over firewire.

I don't like the idea of getting a FS-100 for each camera - again, it just adds more "stuff" that can go wrong. I would prefer to keep everything as simple as possible and everything "in camera".

How does the XL-H1 compare to the HVX? As far as I can see, picture quality wise, they are pretty much on par. I know this question is out of the scope of this topic, and I don't want to start a major discussion about the XL-H1 vs HVX, but I'd love a little "summary" of the pros and cons.

I do like the idea of your proposed system (TC Sync, HD-SDI switcher, etc.), however it doesn't sound that "idiot proof". It also sounds VERY expensive.

In regards to audio, I'm thinking about something along the lines of two "Alesis ADAT HD24" units. I'm not sure how I would "sync" them up to the vision. I don't like the idea of recording to a software package (such as Protools, Logic, Vegas, etc.). I would much prefer a "hardware" solutions.

I understand that it's ALWAYS necessary to have a backup plan (such as a tape backup). However! I'm hoping that with a P2-type setup as everything is "designed" to do what it does, it should work hassle free.

What do others think about the P2 workflow?

Does anyone know of a way to sync the HVX to other sources (such as the HD24)?

Thanks for your time!

Chris!
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Old February 19th, 2007, 09:26 PM   #7
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I would consider 4 Canon A1's (better low light performance) and 4 laptops with HDVrack. Each with an external 7200rpm USB drive. When your done plug all 4 drives into your editing station (whether that be one of the laptops or a desktop) drop all 4 cams footage into your NLE.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 10:00 PM   #8
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Thanks for your reply Ken...

Better low light performance is a good incentive. However, the idea of four laptops with HDVrack kind of scares me. Mobility is an issue, but also having to rely on computers gives me the spooks. What happens if the computer freezes? Will HDVrack drop frames over extended periods? It also makes the whole "package" a lot bigger than say a P2 setup. Instead of just a camera and tripod, you now need a camera, tripod, laptop, and external hard drive. However, if it all just "worked" I guess the work flow is quite nice.

This is a fantastic article about the P2 work flow in a real world situation:
http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage..._brockett.html

If some of the "bugs" are resolved, I think the P2 is definitely worth looking into. The only issue is price! You're talking over AUD$1000 for 8 minutes of HD footage! That's a lot of money for very little footage! You'll also need to pay someone to be the P2 runner, and another as the P2 logger. It all adds up!

I still really like the P2 idea - I just wish the cards were bigger and cheaper!

Maybe the V1 and hard drive are the way to go?
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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:36 AM   #9
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Chris,

Sounds like your mind is already made up and set on the P2 route. People have made some good suggestions and you've said no to every one. If you think p2 is all that then go for it and best of luck.

Ben
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Old February 20th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #10
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Thanks for your reply Ben! Sorry, I didn't mean to "shut everyone down". I have been taking on board everyone's suggestions and I really do appreciate everyone's views and opinions. I realise that I've been pushing the P2 route, however, that's only because its a "stand alone" system (if you get what I mean?). You don't need to purchase any 3rd Party accessories, etc. Both Ken, Bryon and Jon's proposed workflows involve purchasing a camera and then "other bits and pieces" from a different manufactures. Although I'm sure all of those systems will work - I would prefer to be able to call up Panasonic, for example, and purchase a "complete camera system" and then call up an Apple/Avid/etc. dealer and purchase the post production side of things (i.e. a NLE). It's not that I'm not listening, and it's not that I think the suggestions so far as bad, it's just that none of the suggestions so far make me go "ah huh!".
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Old February 20th, 2007, 09:11 AM   #11
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No worries, your in a tough position and right now hd live event coverage is really difficult for under 50K if your looking for the perfect solution.

One reason everyone keeps bringing up a live mix is because they know it will save you time. You may have more setup time with the extra pieces, but with no editing time on the post side it saves you a lot on the other end.

There's a lot of things to consider for every option. HD-SDI will only run about 75 meters before you lose it (not like the analog days). P2 cards will require two extra people and cost you an arm and a leg to cover events (they were designed for short form acquisition, not live event coverage). Hard drives can handle plenty of material but the editing is a little slower if you need to transfer the material off.

But this is what I gather your saying you want: Pani cameras for native HD, web delivery with possible broadcast, tape backup, and a very portable system that will fit in a couple of cases, and the ability to quickly edit the material after the shoot. Based on that I would recommend you get the pani cameras with external hard drives and bypass the p2 cards. That will provide you with a very portable system because each camera and hard drive will fit in one case. It will give you a tape backup, the drive itself (drives are more than reliable enough at this point that they can pass as the hard copy). It will record the full hd signal without limiting the time you can cover an event or the need for two and three extra runners. After the shoot you can dump the material to a drive and then edit. That may not be the absolute fastest route to the nle because of the transfer at the end, but it's a much easier solution than logging all those p2 cards and trying to keep up with card changes every 8 minutes.

If it were my own shoot I would go the live mix route, but that's just one of many ways to put a show together.

I think it would be worth your time to meet with a third vendor, the hard drive rep, and try to collaborate with them to reach an affordable solution. Panisonic should have recommendations for which vendor works best with their cameras.

Take care.

Ben
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #12
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Chris,

After reading this thread, I have to ask, are you set on HD?

It poses a lot of expensive difficulties since it is rather new to smaller business event workflow.

Have you factored in HD monitors into your budget? - $3000-$4000+ US each.

What about a Blu-Ray burner for distribution?

For your output meduim, a SD setup would be easier.

Just trying to offer a different angle and avoid some headaches.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:21 AM   #13
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AS far as the "16 Track HDD Audio Recording Solution ",

i would use 2 Firepod's hooked together and "Boom recorder"

http://www.presonus.com/firepod.html

http://www.vosgames.nl/products/BoomRecorder/

Simple, pristine multi track recording.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 09:59 AM   #14
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there's the newtek tri-caster:

http://www.newtek.com/tricaster/

i can't believe you're even considering 8GB P2 cards for event video. that seems a little nutty to me. you really need long form acquisition. you'll need two operators per camera just to keep the cards moving.
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Old February 27th, 2007, 10:01 AM   #15
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I've done this a few times over the last two years. We ran 2/3 cameras into a switcher via firewire and recorded the output to a disk recorder (CAPDIV) with a tape record (usually) to each camera.

Record/switch it live, yes - but assume, rightfully so, that you'll have to go back and correct a mis-switch. We seriously needed matching timecode. Either get a unit that allows you to sync the cameras (I know the H1's can; not sure about the G1, but that would be good) - or record each camera to disk and tape as well as the master feed. If you can get a disk recorder (not a lame P2, overpriced, minispaced card) on each camera, you'll be really happy.

If you don't go w/ the production switcher, you need a disk recorder (matching code will help). I haven't done it, but if you can sync the H1/G1's and record that output, the HDDs should catch the code, though my CAPDIV never did....

I vote for 3/4 Canon's (w/ matching code) to disc recorder w/o the switcher. That would be better than Sony/Pana w/ a switcher, unless you have a talented TD. Post-produce a multi-cam switch in FCP...

.02,
Jeff
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