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For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


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Old January 12th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #1
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Best HD card for MacPro

I have been cutting HDV footage on a MacBookPro for a year and a half and am tired of not being able to monitor my footage properly. I am receiving my new Sony EX-1 next week and am putting together a new MacPro system (for FCP). I have little experience with HD cards but have been looking at the Blackmagic and Aja options.

I will be editing almost all XDCAM footage in its native format, and probably some HDV and DV footage. My main priority is to be able to monitor my footage externally. I have a Sony HR broacast CRT so I would like a card that can downconvert to SD, but I will probably also buy a HD monitor so I would like HDMI. I think it is unlikely that I will use the HD-SDI out on the EX-1 to do live captures but I guess its possible. Basically I saw the BM Intensity Pro card which seems dirt cheap and may be what I need, but it is also limiting. Will any of the bigger cards give me hardware acceleration working in XDCAM EX format? Also, I need to be able to monitor 24p too. I was planning to spend around 1500 for the card so it seems there are options but if I can get what I need for a lot less, obviously that is better.

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Old January 14th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #2
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Please? Normally this forum is the best source of advice going.
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Old January 14th, 2008, 09:16 AM   #3
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Benjamin:

I just finished intensely posting a project shot in XDCAM EX on a Mac Pro. I did find a few issues with the BM Intensity Pro dealing with this format. The most critical was that the final output needed to be on XDCAM disc for delivery; performing the re-render to XDCAM resulted in what appeared to be an artifact-ridden image compared to the pristine ProRes422 output on my external HD CRT monitor (fed by the component outs of the BM card). However, viewing this file on another system that had a Kona card, the image was fine. Still not quite sure what happened but it seemed that the BM choked on the XDCAM image.

I have also reported a bug to BM that if you put your system to sleep, waking it back up will not wake up the card and you need to restart your system. So for the run of this project I disabled auto sleep on my tower to avoid this annoyance every morning.

However for many things, the BM card is doing well and is obviously affordable. I've ingested a bunch of material shot on the Canon A1 and HV20 via the HDMI port on the HV20, and I love working directly in ProRes422 with that footage.
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