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Old December 5th, 2005, 07:45 PM   #1
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How much of a b**** is it going to be to edit?

I know the [HVX200] camera's not even out, but I really don't want to wait several more months to find out how well the workflows work. Please tell me what is currently known about editing DVCPRO HD. The format has been out and somebody has had to have worked with it. So ... how does it compare to editing DV and HDV?

I've read it's just as easy as DV using the latest greatest pc's (something I don't believe) to the ominous warning that those that venture forth are in for a rude awakening.

I've read HDV is easier to edit. I've read DVCPRO HD is easier to edit. So you can see my problem. How much rendering is involved in each? Is it true that HDV requires a faster processor (because of the GOP) and that DVCPRO HD requires a huge array of raided hard drives because the files are bigger? HDV files can be transferred directly to Blu-Ray discs but I read something about no current computer has enough horsepower to write out in real time DVCPRO HD to HD DVD's. Is this true? Which will be more work and require more work-arounds?

I think I'm most interested in the 720p format, so that should help.

Thank you.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 10:10 PM   #2
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The short answer is that it's a good idea to have a powerful computer for any HD/HDV editing and rendering, but you can do some useful work on less than high-end systems if you use the right software. Editing HDV directly is particularly processor intensive because of the nature of the codec, so it's arguably harder to edit than DVCProHD depending on what software you use. Bottom line is that HD is more of a [rubber ducky] to edit than DV, but it's not a huge problem unless you typically have very complex timelines.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 01:31 AM   #3
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And I'll put in my 2c worth... Ka-ching!!

Given the bitrates for the HVX DVCProHD data stream, which I've seen variously touted as 50 and/or 100Mbit - I'd say any NON-SCSI RAID, NON 10,000rpm hard drive configured NON Dual-Core sytem is going to struggle a little with certain aspects of the format.

I doubt there'd be any 'media player' type software for you to watch your DVCProHD material with. You could preview to a second monitor if your NLE supports a live preview on a secondary monitor.

You may even need some rather expensive video\graphics card to be able to achieve this - like the Matrox Parhelia APVe or NVidia FX540 Pro.

I have the distinct impression that once the so-called 'superior' formats start coming 'on-line', that HDV isn't going to be as denigrated as it is by those who currently - for whatever reason; just can't bring themselves to accept it as the viable format it actually is.

Remember also that DVCProHD will be considered not just 'superior' in quality to HDV, but also superior in price and hardware demands. And what you gonna edit it down too eh? DVD? HD MPEG2 transport stream of 19.3Mbit for broadcast perhaps? Oh... hang on!! That's to all intents and purposes HDV!!

There'll always be somewhere that'll benefit from what the HVX has to offer, but it won't necessarily be those who could have got by just as well with the JVC or Sony HDV offerings...

Ooops!! My 2c is up....
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Old December 6th, 2005, 08:57 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Crisdale
Given the bitrates for the HVX DVCProHD data stream, which I've seen variously touted as 50 and/or 100Mbit - I'd say any NON-SCSI RAID, NON 10,000rpm hard drive configured NON Dual-Core sytem is going to struggle a little with certain aspects of the format..
SCSI hard drives are "yesterday's news" for video editing unless you're working with true uncompressed HD video at data rates of ~1.5 Gbps, and even then the latest SATA solutions may be suitable at a fraction of the price. Also, the maximum data rate of DVCProHD of 100 Mbit/sec is only 12.5 MB/sec, or well within the range of any good single ATA/SATA hard drive. And the latest 7200 RPM SATA drives are yielding impressive performance scores surpassing even the 10K RPM "Raptor" drives for some purposes, so 10K drives are no longer necessary for standard editing tasks.

As far as processors are concerned, you can do some HD editing on single-processor systems, but dual-core chips are so affordable now it doesn't make any sense not to upgrade.
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Old December 6th, 2005, 10:44 AM   #5
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Actually, DVCPRO-HD shouldn't be any harder to edit than HDV. If anything it should be easier.

The uncompressed bitrate that the computer system has to handle for any HD format is the same, since the final display resolution is always on a 4:4:4 square-pixel monitor. That means that the memory requirements for DVCPRO-HD and HDV will be very similar. The difference lies in managing the compression and data rates.

In the case of HDV, computational requirements are actually HIGHER than DVCPRO-HD if you're editing the native MPEG-2 transport streams. Those of us using digital intermediates like Cineform skirt the computational issue, but need faster hard disks to accompany the higher data rate of the Cineform files. In short, that which you need to edit Cineform should be quite comparible to that what you need to edit DVCPRO-HD. The data rates and colour information are similar.

Basically, you're looking at: 3 GHz CPU, 1-2 GB RAM, and a RAID 0 array with about 500 GB to 1 TB worth of storage.

The main problem when the HVX200 comes out will be software support for the PC. As of right now, I believe AVID and Final Cut Pro have working DVCPRO-HD solutions... so if you have either of those systems, you should be fine.

In conclusion: if you have a relatively new PC and an appropriate NLE, you'll be set to edit DVCPRO-HD. Perhaps when Premiere Pro 2 come out and the next version of Vegas there will be full DVCPRO-HD support? Anyone know?

-Steve
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Old December 6th, 2005, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven White
The main problem when the HVX200 comes out will be software support for the PC. As of right now, I believe AVID and Final Cut Pro have working DVCPRO-HD solutions... so if you have either of those systems, you should be fine.
Canopus offers a DVCProHD plugin for Edius for an additional fee (which will reportedly be reduced significantly soon), and there's been some discussion in their forums that support for the P2 format will be more robust than anyone else's in terms of maintaining the P2 file information. I suspect FCP5 may be the way to go for editing HVX200 footage, but there are functional PC alternatives.
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