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Old May 7th, 2009, 08:05 PM   #1
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HDV vs Intensity Pro (MJPEG) (911)

Ladies and Gents,

So when the intensity pro card went on sale I of course ran out and bought one without doing much research simply because of the price and the fantastic reputation. I am now the proud owner of this fine hardware, except for the fact that my hard drives are too slow to work with uncompressed HD (at this time). What do I lose and gain (quality and workflow wise) by using the intensity pro with MJPEG??? Is HDV actually a better option? I am aware the ProspectHD is a fantatstic option, but do not currently wish to purchase it, so please everybody chime in and let me know your thoughts and experiences!
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Old May 7th, 2009, 08:51 PM   #2
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Once you have recorded to tape the Intensity does nothing for you at all. You have fixed the quality and it is HDV on the tape. If you use any of the present NLE's like Edius or Vegas or Premier I would just edit HDV native by capturing to the PC from tape as normal. IF you record live via the HDMI to the PC then you have the possibility of an improvement depending on your camera and if your PC can actually record at a data rate needed for a high quality file, likely a RAID 0 to large enough fast hard drives. The value of the Intensity is for live recording to bypass the encoding to tape and a little while back was useful for transferring AVCHD output to the PC as an editable file. This is no longer an issue.

Ron Evans
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Old May 7th, 2009, 09:05 PM   #3
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Well, of course the first question anybody will ask, is what is your target?

Capturing uncompressed is usually for people doing green screen work, colouring, controlled interviews etc.....Hard drives are usually connected externally, to dedicated raid boxes...These are big dollar investments that are out of the scope of many users (ie hobbyists, event videographers etc..)

Whereas the MJPEG codec is better suited for prosumers, in where your target audience won't know the difference. The advantage to the MJPEG codec, is that it's not as CPU intensive, doesn't require the expensive RAID setup, and playback is native to the Blackmagic card...Most people can edit directly off the timeline from a single hard drive.

HDV is what gets compressed to tape...It's not a very good editing codec, since it was designed primarily for delivery.
Editing MJPEG is better than HDV..
You could take the gamble, and convert the HDV footage to the MJPEG codec, but the quality difference would be subjective..

Prospect is like taking a Ford Mustang, ripping out the motor and suspension, and replacing it with high performance parts (Saleen, SVT)..
Basically, Premiere acts as the wheels, while Prospect takes over the rest of the heavy duty performance..
I'm not sure if Cineform has finalized monitoring via the BM card yet?

Basically, you've coughed up three different methods, but need to determine what are the needs...
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Old May 8th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #4
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I run a small commercial video production company, I do event coverage, broadcast, web video, some docu work, etc. I like having a monitor for color correcting and know that editing in HDV is kinda a pain in the neck. I guess my main question is by taping in hdv and ingesting as mjpeg am I losing any quality, or are there any downsides I'm not aware of? As we begin to do more greenscreen work I may invest in a RAID system but for the meantime I would primarily be working in MJPEG. PLEASE let me know your thoughts!
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Old May 8th, 2009, 06:31 AM   #5
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I have had the Intensity Pro just after they released it... when I first put the card in
the computer and tried to use the Pro it just overpowered my system because I don't have the raid setups that it requires.... so the card was just about useless to me....

Then, like you know allready, Cineform works with the card and does not overpower the
system... plus I like the wavelet intermediate file format of Cineform... use it for all my
video footage.. so it was a good value.

and I'm now in the process of converting the Pro card over to Laptop use by using this
method... HDMI/Composite HD/HD-SDI DIY portable capture station tutorial on Vimeo
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Old May 8th, 2009, 07:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Allsbury View Post
I run a small commercial video production company, I do event coverage, broadcast, web video, some docu work, etc. I like having a monitor for color correcting and know that editing in HDV is kinda a pain in the neck. I guess my main question is by taping in hdv and ingesting as mjpeg am I losing any quality, or are there any downsides I'm not aware of? As we begin to do more greenscreen work I may invest in a RAID system but for the meantime I would primarily be working in MJPEG. PLEASE let me know your thoughts!
Editing in HDV is not a pain in the neck. It was but not now. I use Edius Pro 5 and can run two tracks of native HDV as well as couple of tracks of HQ in multicam edit with no problems realtime on my Q9450 quad core running Vista 64. Vegas will also run HDV native. As in my original post once you have recorded to HDV tape in camera you have fixed the quality to HDV any other encoding will possible degrade the file quality including in camera decode to come out component or HDMI. You should look into Edius Pro5 with the Spark HDMI card for monitoring just the preview window in Edius to a HDMI monitor for HD or SD. You can see exactly what the output will be on this external monitor in realtime from the timeline of Edius. Going to MJPG from HDV tape is a waste of quality and hard drive space. Recorded live is different and would be the way to go green screen etc but you need to ensure that the output you are using from the camera comes from the sensor rather than the HDV encoded output.

Ron Evans
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Old May 8th, 2009, 09:21 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Allsbury View Post
...I of course ran out and bought one without doing much research simply because of the price and the fantastic reputation...

What do I lose and gain (quality and workflow wise) by using the intensity pro with MJPEG???
To be honest you sound like a newbie that's trying to buy experience, you should have saved your money. My advice don't just buy stuff you "think" you need, buy equipment you actually need.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 11:22 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your valuable input!

Nicholas, as far as "being a newbie trying to buy experience" I have worked in video production and advertising for 10 years. Attempting to burn people for asking questions is immature and offensive. This forum was based around people asking questions whether they be good questions or sometimes stupid questions, all of our members sharing their knowledge is what makes this forum great. Hopefully next time someone asks a question you can take the time to actually answer the question instead of making ridiculous and unfounded accusations.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 04:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andrew Allsbury View Post
Nicholas, as far as "being a newbie trying to buy experience" I have worked in video production and advertising for 10 years. Attempting to burn people for asking questions is immature and offensive. This forum was based around people asking questions whether they be good questions or sometimes stupid questions, all of our members sharing their knowledge is what makes this forum great. Hopefully next time someone asks a question you can take the time to actually answer the question instead of making ridiculous and unfounded accusations.
Well it's true you are a newbie, we all are, 10 years means nothing in this industry. They develop new technologies all the time, the younger know more. Personally I just think it's stupid to buy something if you have no idea what it does, like you said yourself you only bought it because you heard about it's reputation. Personal antics aside you don't have to buy the most expensive Cineform product, go for something like NeoHD I have recently switched over my workflow to Cineform from editing raw MPEG2, MPEG2 has always been easy to edit on my system however I've become obsessed with quality. My "other" advice would be go for Cineform and upgrade to a RAID0 array for editing.
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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On the all of us being newbies statement, I agree whole heartily. Technology is always changing and sometimes we make assumptions that are incorrect, I guess I probably should have read the specifications before I ordered the item, but due to time constraints, price and the fact that with the price drop B&H would sell out fast, I made a call...it just turned out to be the wrong one! lol

Being that my primary wish was to be able to preview and color correct on my hd studio monitors I have found a fairly agreeable (and surprisingly well priced) option. Amongst other uses, the new WDTV is great for reviewing your footage for color, quality, etc. The only catch is you have to export the file first, but hey at that price its still not a bad option.

Again, thanks to everyone for their input on this subject!
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Old May 8th, 2009, 05:44 PM   #11
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I've made a few questionable calls myself, Intensity Pro is nice hardware nonetheless. WDTV is a great little device, I'm also using it for the same purpose, of course entertainment as well :)
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