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High Definition Video Editing Solutions
For all HD formats including HDV, HDCAM, DVCPRO HD and others.


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Old September 11th, 2003, 10:13 AM   #1
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BlackMagic Decklink HD

Blackmagic has released a new HD capture card for $2000. It allows for uncompressed editing of SD or HD and takes advantage of the new faster PCI slots on the G5, but will also work on older G4 models. Considering that it connects to VTR decks via a SDI cable it appears that this will not be an option for us HD10 owners, but it is still exciting to know that HD hardware is getting this affordable.

Of course anyone looking to edit uncompressed HD would still have to invest thousands in really fast hard drives, but with a capture card this affordable it would be possible for someone to build an HD editing/compositing workstation for less than $20,000! Personally I find all of this exciting simply because I see it as a sign of things to come.

Check out the website at www.decklink.com

Brad
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Old September 11th, 2003, 11:12 AM   #2
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You can use the Decklink HD to edit footage, but it involves purchasing expensive SDI converters. I've priced it out, it looks like about $6500.00 to do it right.

Check out the new pricing that KONA have announced with the Kona HD and io combo. $4500 and you get the who thing.

DBK
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Old September 11th, 2003, 12:40 PM   #3
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Aha! Damn those hidden costs! :)

Oh well, I guess any way you slice it its still getting cheaper.

Thanks for the clarification.

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Old September 11th, 2003, 01:16 PM   #4
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No cards are necessary with the HD1OU

...but remember that with the HD1OU, because it transfers the footage via firewire to your hard drive, you don't need any of these cards to do an uncompressed edit, but of course not in real-time. Just uncompress the material on masses of cheap DV drives, then do an offline in DV or any other format, then online right there on your hard drives. No expensive hardware necessary, and it works just fine in FCP. These expensive cards and decks are only necessary for the IO part of the equation.

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Old September 11th, 2003, 04:27 PM   #5
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Paul,

what are you using to do all this in FCP.

I've ordered Steve Mullens plug in and hope it does all that easily.

I may consider the decklink or the Kona HD as I want t see it on an HD monitor at the same time. I don't think Steve's 4HDV does that, but I hope so.

DBK
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:00 AM   #6
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Pauls right about the input. FireWire replaces SDI (for DVCPRO50) and now SDI-HD for HDV.

But, let's suppose you must deliver on D5-HD or HDCAM. CBS, for example, won't take D-VHS.

So the key will be HOW to move an FCP production done with 4HDV to a system with one of these new boards. They, I assume, have SDI-HD output.

But, do they bundle an HDCAM codec to get from uncompressed to HDCAM? How do they transcode from 720p30 to 1080i?

Or, a DVCPRO100 codec. That would be great for 720p. But, even here 720p30 would need to converted to 720p60.

Now that input and editing have been tackled, focus needs to shift to output using industry standard formats.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 05:08 AM   #7
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We are looking at two different workflows here: A transfer of the MPGTS stream witch has to be demuxed first and then decompressed to be manipulated, a long process I am affraid that calls for a fast processor to be edited in RT but gives an easy alternate to expensive support systems. On the other hand, there is a HD/SD uncompressed IO unit that needs a G5 PCIX to do HD (it can work on a G4 but it won't do HD) and most probably a XserveRaid connected in fibrechannel for the necessary write speed (about 70MB/s, or if you prefer about 560Mb/s of sustained IO throughput for 720/30p) and two converter units analog to SDI and SDI to analog in order to have a complete chain up and running in HD (another SDI to analog if your monitor does not have a SDi in...). You are looking at big expenses. Nonetheless it is faster to work with than the first solution. If you intend to do only personal work in HD the first one is fine. Of course I could not imagine being with a client and him waiting for me to demux and afterwards decompress material and not being able to show it on a balanced monitor while working or having to wait for me to recompress the end product. Keep in mind that a system like this will cost easily 30K without a D5-HD or HDCAM deck but might provide a quite decent alternative to pricey HD systems.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 09:18 AM   #8
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Good point about the difference between doing personal work and commercial HD. I never really saw this Decklink HD card as something I would buy for my own personal computer, because as Paul pointed out it simply is not necessary for us HD10 users. However, I think that it is cool that HD equipment is becoming affordable, relatively speaking. It is inevitable that drives will continue to get bigger, faster and cheaper and I can foresee the day when a person could setup an uncompressed HD workstation for 10 - 15k.

Steve, as far as the codecs that are used with the card, the only one that I read about was the blackmagic codec in both 8 and 10 bit flavors. But, unfortunately I don't know enough about codecs or delivery formats to answer your question fully.

Brad
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:47 PM   #9
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Darren,
I demux using a shareware utility called mpgtx, and decompress or convert to other formats using another utility called MM2C, both freely available on the internet. (Quicktime Pro should do it too, with the MPEG2 playback plugin installed). This is very time consuming as people point out, and as such is probably not a solution if you're doing work for money....but if you have time on your hands, the very fact that you can do this at all is amazing. Bear in mind that to do this same thing in real time with professsional HD decks and cards is goin to cost you $60,000 to set up. I set my demux or convert going and then go and watch a movie!
I hope someone will soon report back on how Steve's 4HDV package functions, if it's a better alternative I'm all for it! But I think the missing link is still a reasonably priced HDV encoder, my feeling is that maybe Heuris is holding back on theirs because Apple will make an encoder available, or they're doing something with Apple themselves, but that's just pure speculation on my part.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 12:54 PM   #10
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I have taken footage that I downloaded and used the shareware stuff. I am looking forward to receiving Steve's package.

I take it your just capturing through FW

I get my camera this afternoon, so I'll be able to play with it for the first time myself.

DBK
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Old September 12th, 2003, 01:46 PM   #11
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About Blackmagic's codec:

I have done some tests of compression from MPG2 using apple Animation, FCP uncompressed 8 and 10 bits and Blackmagic 8 and 10 bits. Animation and FCP are doing a great job in rendering with total accuracy what was in mpg2. On the other hand, Blackmagic codecs did produce visible differences, making the image darker like a gamma change. Maybe it is because it is made to work with the AJA and it is calibrated as such... I need to do more extensive tests on that.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 01:51 PM   #12
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I think I'm going to do the ultimate test and buy the Kona HD card and some converters.

You can actually only go to debbtors prision once, so why not go for the glory!


Go big or go home!

DBK
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Old September 12th, 2003, 05:41 PM   #13
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<<<-- Originally posted by Paul Mogg : But I think the missing link is still a reasonably priced HDV encoder, my feeling is that maybe Heuris is holding back on theirs because Apple will make an encoder available, or they're doing something with Apple themselves, but that's just pure speculation on my part. -->>>

Interesting point. I'm very sure JVC is helping Apple with a major effort. Is it to the exclusion of others?

Other possibility is Heuris:

1) is trying to get output to the camcorder, something I have yet to be able to do with the Heuris PRO encoder.

2) is having a problem with D-VHS. I can record TS to D-VHS using some NON Heuris software (Hooray!) but it doesn't play back perfectly.

Aspect HD can also record to D-VHS and HDV, but not playback perfectly.

Is there a hidden TS problem?

Did JVC Japan give direct support to KDDI--support we in the USA are not able to get? Last I heard from Heuris, JVC USA would not send them a camcorder. Which goes right back to Paul's speculation.
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Old September 12th, 2003, 07:56 PM   #14
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Let's assume that Apple will not loose such an opportunity to fully support this HD format as they did with DV. They will act fast but remember: Steeve Jobs likes big announcements so it might be announced in one of his next keynotes. After all Mac gets all their new technologies out with a shiny coverage. The G5 is indeed a step towards HD and towards the SGI market, with a 64bit processor, a64bit core system fully supporting Unix, renderman to be released optimised for the G5s, Shake aquired by Apple... there is little doubt as to their intentions regarding HD, compositing and 3D. HDV will be their next entry level for affordable HD solution. I believe that in maximum 6 to 8 months it will be fully supported. I suspect even Final Cut express and Imovie to support the format in a year or two. Their intention was to give a video solution to everybody and we have entered the next step in that direction.
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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:16 PM   #15
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As Darren stated earlier, AJA lowered their Kona HD to 4000$ US (you can even get it with the io board for 5000$ US). A complete (much more complete than the decklink HD) HD and SD uncompressed solution... Well well, I guess we are going to see prices on the Cinewave drop sometime soon.
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