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Old November 21st, 2003, 01:35 AM   #1
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G5 HD uncompressed editing for the masses is here!

Excuse me for starting a new thread on this but I'm pretty excited about it.
I put a second 250gb SATA drive inside my dual 2ghz G5 and striped them both as a standard OSX software RAID array, then put my system and apps on an external firewire 400 drive, ....and I am finding that I can edit and play back uncompressed 720p HD just like DV on FCP 4.1
That is, full screen, full resolution, full framerate, no hickups editing of uncompressed 720p HD!! I'm quite blown away by this. I tried transitions, overlaid text, fades, color correction, all of it works perfectly, no crashes. No real-time effects of course either, but I certainly would not have expected that. I did have one report of a dropped frame in the hour or so I was editing, but that's probably because I'm previewing at full resolution. Also I've found a PCI card by a company called Firmtek that is a SATA interface card specifically for Macs, which is only $70, which supposedly will give me even more throughput than I currently have if I connect the SATA drives to it. Anyway, I thought I'd share the great news! This really solves a lot of the headaches in editng the JVC HD material, and absolutely no quality loss from your original camera footage.

All the best.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 06:36 AM   #2
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Keeping disc partitions de-fragmented keeps head motion to a minimum and avoids dropouts due to that cause.

Paul's approach even works well after up-converting to 1920x1080p while processing using either mpeg2decX or MM2C!
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Old November 21st, 2003, 06:51 AM   #3
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Defragging under OS 10.2.x has yielded only minor gains in the past. Defragging a stripped drive in the middle of a project can be dangerous. Loss of any data can make the entire drives unusable. Look to other causes first before defragging.

An increase in Ram my enable additional effects and improve performance. I would consider 4 GB ram the minimum for the type of work your doing, Paul.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 09:03 AM   #4
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That is very good news Paul, very good...

What codec do you use for editing?
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Old November 21st, 2003, 12:59 PM   #5
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I've tried uncompressing the footage using "None" as the Quickitme video codec, I also tried "uncompressed 8 bit" and "uncompressed 10 bit", all of them worked equally well. I have to say that FCP edits this stuff very smoothly now, my first impression was that the editing was smoother and more trouble free than with Pixlet, the color correction update to the Canvas (I have the canvas full screen on a second VGA monitor) was instantaneous, whereas with Pixlet it seemed a bit flaky. I really think this is the way to go if you want full uncompromised quality. I just got my "Seritek/1S2" SATA host adapter card in the mail this morning so I'll try it out tonight and let you know if the throughput improves even more. FYI I'm currently using 2.5 gigs of RAM.
I think a lot of this is may be due to the FCP 4.1 unpdate being optimized for uncompressed editing and the G5 dual processors, it's being touted on the Quicktime website today, and I've got to believe it from what I'm seeing. Editing this HD material is very reminiscent of editing DV on FCP 1.0 on my old dual G4 450.
By the way, I see no reason why you couldn't put a couple of these Seritek cards in the G5 and string a bunch of SATA hard drives together outside the computer in old firewire cases (as you only need the power supply to the drives) and go up to 1 1/2 or 2 Terrabytes of RAID storage this way, just for the cost of the hard drives ($269 each online), old cases and the $70 Seritek cards. I think you'll be seeing a bunch of these kind of solutions being marketed very shortly when they fully realize it can be done.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 01:03 PM   #6
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Eric, in case I wasn't clear, I'm editing fully uncompressed in the timeline. Just set the sequence settings to HD 720p and the codec to "none" or "uncompressed 8 bit" depending on which you used to uncompress. I'm not really sure of the difference between these two formats, as "uncompressed 8 bit" seems to give a file size about 1/3 smaller than using "none".
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Old November 21st, 2003, 01:06 PM   #7
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Paul, DC30+ uncompressed will give you a half 8bit codec size and is optimised for unlimited RT using the squared5 set. Could you try that and tell me. Man I can't wait to have my DP 2G...
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Old November 21st, 2003, 01:26 PM   #8
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Paul, that's what I was getting at, I think you might get RT effects if you add more ram. It also might work with the system on a FireWire 800 drive, rather than FireWire 400.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 04:54 PM   #9
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You might be right Jeff, I'll have to try that as finances allow, right now I'm happy to be reliably editing. Now if only we can get a working MPEG2 TS encoder for a reasonable price, we'll be all set!
I do think you'll be able to expand this system up to 2 Terrabytes though, using more of the SATA interface cards, hopefully Firmtek will come out with one with 4 ports or 8 ports instead of just two, sso you don't have to eat up all those PCI slots.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 04:58 PM   #10
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Eric, yes I'll try the DC30 codec as soon as I get time, I hope it works. How much compression does it provide?
As I think I mentioned, Apple has definately optimized FCP 4.1 to edit uncompressed and for the dual G5, and that's why I think we're seeing this workflow become possible at all.
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Old November 21st, 2003, 05:51 PM   #11
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The DC30+ lossless is, needless to say "lossless"... And half the disk space...
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Old November 21st, 2003, 08:02 PM   #12
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Paul, I expect Apple to have a solution for encoding at or before NAB.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 01:07 PM   #13
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Let's hope so Jeff, that's April 2004 isn't it? That would be great.
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Old November 22nd, 2003, 05:47 PM   #14
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It's either April or early may, I haven't even looked at my calendar yet. So, we're talking about 4 to 5 months at the most. It could be sooner, but I wouldn't expect it before Macworld SF.
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Old November 24th, 2003, 01:14 PM   #15
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As an update, I'm finding that using the Seritek SATA drive interface card does NOT produce better throughput than connecting the drives directly to the internal G5 connections. But that if you make sure that your scratch disk settings are ALL set to point to the SATA RAID array, you will not have any hickups in editing, or dropped frames.
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