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


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Old August 8th, 2005, 08:15 AM   #1
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Need to upgrade edit system...help!

I need to upgrade my edit system to handle HDV. I'm currently using P6.5 with a DVSTORM card from canopus. I'm going to keep that system intact for DV projects. Here are my needs:
1) Around $8-$10k budget
2) Must have realtime abilities and must be able to monitor realtime output in HD on an external monitor. (Using component inputs).
3) I'll be using AE as a compositor and would like to have monitor out of that too.

A few questions:
1) Does the Canopus HD codec work in PP like it did in P6.5? Is it buggy? I've read mixed things. I know this option opts for realtime output, just don't think I'll like the Edius interface, I'd rather edit in PP.
2) Is it best to edit with an intermediate or in native format?
and I'm going to open a can of worms here but...
3) MAC or PC? I've always used PC and my software is all PC but FCPRO on a MAC is looking like a good option for my budget.

I'm doing documentaries for PBS stations, direct to DVD productions, commercials and corporate videos.

Final thought...I want to purchase a turnkey system, I'm not into/capable of assembling one from scratch. So who has had good luck and with what vendors doing so?
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:41 AM   #2
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With that budget you can pretty much go all the way to HDSDI support (for monitoring and mastering.) This will be handy for your have broadcast applications which generally prefer HDCAM or D5 as a delivery format.

Regarding "2) Is it best to edit with an intermediate or in native format?
and I'm going to open a can of worms here but..."

No can or worm there as you require After Effects which doesn't have native HDV support. So you where either going to have to go uncompressed or an intermediate format. If you what higher performance and save dollars the intermediate format wins.

The above applies to Canopus HQ, Avid DNxHD and CineForm Intermediate. Apple today doesn't have an equivelent real-time compressed solution (AIX is lower quality and only for the consumer apps.)

For $10k, I recommend (with my bias of course) building your own (saving some dollars) Prospect HD system running on a dual Opteron workstation. This is the only solution to offer 10-bit compression and real-time processing of 1920x1080 source over HDSDI for that price. For turn key systems check out http://www.openhd.org/certified_solutions/ (Prospect HD is the third configuration.)
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Old August 8th, 2005, 07:16 PM   #3
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David,

Thanks for that great response. Glad to hear my budget allows for HDSDI support. I never thought about AE not having native HDV support (yet). Actually I like the idea of using an intermediate. From what I've been able to research, it'll hold up better once I do so.

It's still a bit daunting to figure the best system. The Prospect HD system you linked to looks good, but the hard drive is a little small for HD isn't it? 500 GB seems like a minimum to me, especially with the intermediary codec isn't it? Also it's a bit out of my price range, unless I can find a vender to put one together cheaper :)

Also the can of worms I was refering to was in regards to MAC or PC!
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Old August 8th, 2005, 07:47 PM   #4
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Yes we can point you other PC vendors to build you a system cheaper, or you can build it yourself if you have those skills. The size of the hard drive is such an easy problem to address. On a common dual opteron motherboard you can easily attach 1.5TB (without adding a controller) for under $1000. But even 500GB will give you 7 hours of on-line footage, with any additional data offline on FireWire drives. Really it is a very easy to configure.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 09:15 PM   #5
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Thanks again David! I was just checking out the link you provided in your first post and when I click on the "tell me more" button for the Prospect HD system it says the price is $17k!! Way out of my range. Unless that is a typo. Can you provide me with some other vendors who might put a similar system together closer to $10k? I see a few things in the list that I don't really think I need such as the 1 year Adobe support....but I would like dual monitors.

The ability to add fire wire drives is a BIG bonus too.

I don't have the skills to build a system unfortunately. I just use 'em! I'd like to get one that has been tested and doen't have compatibility issues with this driver causing problems with that program etc. So for me, a turn-key sytem makes sense...as long as I can talk to the vendor and configure it as needed.

I know of MANY others who have this same view...at least companies/agencies I work for. I need something reliable from day one. Plug everything together and edit away!

So a list of vendors who provide this service would be very helpful.

Thanks again. I need to get moving on this soon as I have a 1 hour Doc. for NY Public Televison due in November. I'm shooting it in HDV but it is a historical doc. on a famous photog from the 1890's so there will be a TON of stills and moves on stills (hence AE use and the intermediary codec) unless Premiere Pro lets you do this right on the timeline! That would be sweet, especially if you can ramp the start and stop move.
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Old August 8th, 2005, 10:16 PM   #6
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You certainly can do some of the photo motions within Premiere, although AE will give you more controls.

The system price demands greatly on the bells and whistles you want. You could order an excellent Dual Opteron workstation with 2GB of RAM (plenty) and 1TB of RAID 0 drive for under $4500 from QSOL (www.qsol.com.) If you intend only HDV sources you could save additional $950 with the 248 Opertons (although the 252s are nice.) The QSOL systems are fully qualified for Prospect HD. The full ingest package for PHD is around $6K including HDSDI card and deck control software, however as your project is sourced with HDV you wouldn't need the ingest license (you could purchase that later if you need.) The edit-only license includes 10-bit (upconverted) HDV capture -- this is only $2.5K without the HDSDI card (which can be purchased separately for under $2k whenever you need.) So for $7k you have a base system that can edit 10bit 1920x1080 in real-time (previewing with the video card.) You then add your monitors (or use one you already have.)

An nice HD editing system with 10bit work-flow and HDSDI output and a nice decktop LCD will bring to you around $10K. Just like I suggested above.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 08:18 AM   #7
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David,

That is GREAT info! Thanks a bunch. Looks just like what I need.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 09:48 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Frederick
A few questions:
1) Does the Canopus HD codec work in PP like it did in P6.5? Is it buggy? I've read mixed things. I know this option opts for realtime output, just don't think I'll like the Edius interface, I'd rather edit in PP.
2) Is it best to edit with an intermediate or in native format?
and I'm going to open a can of worms here but...
3) MAC or PC? I've always used PC and my software is all PC but FCPRO on a MAC is looking like a good option for my budget.
For 7k you can get a Canopus turnkey solution with an Nx card for component out that will do all you want out of the box including monitor out for AE....Use the money to get a good CRT 720p/1080i monitor...lcds are OK but a CRT is the best for CC. It would mean a switch to using Edius but right now Edius and Nx offer a lot more RT effects than the Aspect Ppro combo....which is basically limited to title, slowmo, motion effect,basic color correction, layout and transitions. With Canopus Edius all the features above plus many more are Rt like blur, blending modes, region, chromakey, lumakey and many others....take a look at the Canopus site for details.And the external monitor output is in full frame full resolution so what you see is what you get.....No "accelerated preview" used to generate the output. They do have a plugin for Ppro but right now it is limited to capture and RT playback of HQ with external monitoring via the Nx but native Ppro features need render except for titles and small trannys.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 10:25 AM   #9
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All true, but the Canopus system is an 8-bit only solution. I figured this user's broadcast needs will likely benefit for from 10-bit processing and storage and the HDSDI export option. Otherwise I would have suggested Aspect HD. :)
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Old August 9th, 2005, 10:30 AM   #10
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I loved the Dv storm! it was a great system.

I'm going to chime in here for the mac side of things, because I did go from the DVstorm on the PC, to FCP on the mac, and loved it.

Get a g5 with FCP studio. There's really no better price/performance deal than FCP studio at the moment (FCP,Soundtrack,DVD Studio, Motion, Livetype, Compresor) $3,000 for the computer, $1,200 for the software.

Purchase a Decklink HD Card (many different options, but the one with component out is about $2,000)

Spend the rest of the cash on storage and monitors.

Adobe is pretty good about swapping PC/Mac licences, so you should be able to get a mac version of After Effects for a minimal shipping cost.

Decklink allows you to view the after-effects compositions on your broadcast monitor in real-time.

Plus you get DVD Studio Pro for your dvd projects. Soundtrack Pro for audio sweetening, and Motion for hardware assisted motion graphics. It's a nice one-stop solution, with a good interactivity between programs.

IMO FCP blows premiere out of the water in both power and ease of use. (The last version I used was premiere 5.5 though, not pro)

If you don't like messing with computers, a mac is really the best option. I do not miss having to re-configure my pc constantly. The mac does just work!
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Old August 9th, 2005, 06:18 PM   #11
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In Davids first response he said MAC didn't have realtime compressed solution, does that mean the Decklink HD card is uncompressed 10 bit? If so that is a significant price savings. What am I missing about that...unless it's 8 bit only?

I was at one time leaning toward the Canopus Edius system with NX card but I really don't care for the Canopus editing interface, that's why I was wondering about a plug-in to use Premiere Pro with real time out to an HD monitor.

I already have an AWESOME HD monitor in the Sony KD-34XS955 CRT. Nothing else compares to a good CRT and this one is just awesome for the money (@ $1.5k...only it weighs over 200 lbs!)

10 bit is important to me but I'll have to weigh the consequences when it comes to overall cost. One other thing I forgot to mention is I'd like to produce 5.1 soundtracks for DVDs on this system. Can the MAC running soundtrack output that too in realtime? Can Edius do 5.1 mixing in RT?

Thanks for the info guys, I know of several people who are also going through this dilema of upgrading for HD, and I think many will find this discussion useful. I know I am.
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Old August 9th, 2005, 06:38 PM   #12
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Decklink HD card supports an uncompressed 10 bit (as do most of the HDSDI cards.) Using uncompressed sacrifices disk space (need about 8 times more disk capable of sustaining over 150MBytes/s) and the loss of real-time transitions. For clarication their is one compression RT solution for HD on the Mac, and that is DVCPRO-HD. This is a low quality approach particularly if you aren't shooting with a DVCPRO-HD camera -- why I don't consider it an option (compression systems from Canapos, AVID and CineForm are all significantly better.)
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Old August 10th, 2005, 07:46 AM   #13
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Hi,

If ultimate preview quality is important, with your pro broadcast monitor, the Decklink HD also outputs 4:4:4 RGB, Which is the best image you can get for working with motion graphics.

Currently soundtrack doesn't offer surround sound natively. You can fake it, but there are no controls for moving the sound around in the surround space.

Hope that helps,

JB
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Old August 10th, 2005, 04:56 PM   #14
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Just some food for thought:

Pinnacle Liquid Chrome HD 6.1 is another option. I allows you to do Dolby Digital 5.1 right on the timeline and you can create DVD's right off the timeline. The break out box will give you component as you wish. It is an 8 bit system but take a look over on the Discreet Smoke forum for the controversy over 8 bit compaired to 10 bit. The file size becomes unmanageable and it may not be worth the effort. HDV is edited natively on Editions timeline using Pinnacles great HDV codec so no real loss from transfer and only a GOP reorder if you dump back to tape. You can get a free taste of Edition's HDV editing by getting a trial CD. Soon Avid Xpress Pro will have the same format (or similar) on their timeiline as well.

At that price range there are a LOT of options. Good luck...
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Old August 10th, 2005, 07:02 PM   #15
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I have been very happy so far with my Boxx. They seem reasonably priced for dual core dual Opteron systems. www.boxxtech.com
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