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Old November 3rd, 2003, 02:54 AM   #1
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G5 2GHz DP -- Could it edit MPEG-2?

The idea has been advanced that with a fast enough Mac one could edit MPEG-2 like Vegas does. Unfortunately the answer is no.

1) Vegas can import MPEG-2 TS while the Apple MPEG-2 decoder can decode only MPEG-2 PS. So the TS must be demuxed.

From an experiment Paul did, the VLC player can play MPEG-2 smoothly at normal speed on a 2GHz DP G5. One assumes, therefore, that so could Apple's QT Player and so could FCP.

2) However, the JVC's MPEG-2 files are incompatible with Apple's MPEG-2 decoder. The HDVbridge plug-in with HDVcinema fixes that. So now MPEG-2 can be PLAYED by the QT Player and be imported into FCP.


3) If we double-click a clip into the Source viewer we can play it -- presumably at full speed.

And, if we drop a clip into the Timeline we can step through it. Upon each step the image is decoded.

BUT WE CAN NEVER PLAY THE TIMELINE. Why? Because Apple does not make MPEG-2 available as an encoder.

Therefore, no Sequence can be set to MPEG-2. Since no Sequence can be MPEG-2 -- no clips will ever match the Sequences codec, hence they will never playback. You will always see the RED must render signal.

Therefore, not only will FX not be RT, RT playback is not possible without rendering. Thus, editing is not practical.

Of course, if the production were already edited using proxy video, then after relinking with MPEG-2 originals -- we can color-correct. Why? Because we color correct on a frame-by-frame basis. Each frame can even be sent to an HD monitor.

All this doesn't mean one shouldn't get a DP G5. Although, a DP is more important than clock speed because it provides two Altivecs which greatly improves codec performance. In other words, a DP 1.42 is better than a SP G5. So go the whole way.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 07:27 AM   #2
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DP 1.42 plays VLC mpeg2TS

My DP 1.42 has been playing mpeg2ts files for months without a problem, you don't need a G5 if apple got their codec together..
Just finished a short film in tokyo on HD 1 which we will finish to downconverted SD until apple gets it together and we can finish a HD version..

HDV is too big a wave for apple to miss, i guess within 3 months they will finally get it together.. just as sony/canon version arrives..
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 08:44 AM   #3
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quality

Steve,

Thanks for that insightful post.

How will the quality compare of footage edited on Vegas to the same footage edited with HDcinema -- since the HDC footage will go through demuxing and the HDbridge processes.

Is quality affected?

Thanks!
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 09:55 AM   #4
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First, the issue is playing in an FCP Timeline not VLC. And, I did not find a DP 1.42 to play perfectly smoothly. But, that may also depend on one's disk.

Second, demuxing only splits audio from video -- it doesn't touch the video or audio. Vegas does the same thing internally.

Third, The HDVbridge alters the file organization, but not the MPEG-2 data. No quality is lost at all.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 08:53 PM   #5
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DP 1.42 does play VLC mpeg2TS smoothly

Steve,
come on, it plays no problem from a standard drive.. no stuttering at all !!
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 09:57 PM   #6
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The question being "G5 2Ghz DP -- could it edit mpeg2", I do not think the answer solves the question because it damn well could edit it providing the right tools where available on macintosh. So far, the solution closest to full integration is Steve's set of plugins. Apple will close the gap soon enough and even G4s will be able to edit mpeg2.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 10:01 PM   #7
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I've been searching around, but Apple's lips are closed tight! (I racked my brain for a funny comparison, but it was all offensive.)

If they're doing anything, it's tough to find out.

I have a SP 1.6 G5, I guess I'm screwed. Camera for sale! :-)

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Old November 3rd, 2003, 10:09 PM   #8
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When Apple will support MPEG2, your SP should do absolutely fine, I don't see why you could not edit with it, it is still a much faster machine than a whole lot of PCs supported by AspectHD or other HD apps.

In the meantime it is frustrating for us mac folks I admit. But Apple will not let the HDv revolution pass by.
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Old November 3rd, 2003, 10:13 PM   #9
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Too bad my roomie's PC sucks (and he's too lazy to get it fixed). I might buy a copy of Vegas to edit for now.

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