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Old January 25th, 2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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Editing Footage With MacbookPro

Does anyone edit HD100 footage with a macbook pro? I would like to get a bit more mobile, I'm looking to get a 2.3 ghz intel core duo macbook pro with 3 gigs of ram, my primary goal is to edit with this machine. Is anyone using this setup? How does it run? Can it handle HD100 footage? Does it strain? I have many many hours of footage to edit for a project and my work demands that I move about, what are your experiences?
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Old January 25th, 2007, 07:56 PM   #2
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I've done a number of HD-100 HDV projects on my MacBook Pro. The laptop works like a charm just like a Mac Pro but a bit slower.

If by straining you mean heating up, yes it does, especially during long renders but this is true for all laptops. Regular editing doesn't seem to strain the computer too much. Using a laptop pad helps the computer cool off.

There are three drawbacks to using the laptop for long term important projects.
First, the screen is smaller than your standard monitor and a 17" laptop is at the edge of true portability for some people.
Second, the internal drives are limited in capacity, your project might fill it up before you realize it. Video capable external FireWire drives require a wall socket for power and are extra weight.
Third, the possibility of theft or damage goes way up with a portable. If the project is critically important, you'll want to backup often which means more external drives and weight.

Once you've decided that these drawbacks are workable, you'll have a great editing experience.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 02:04 AM   #3
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Any other thoughts? What specs do you have on your macbookpro?
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Old January 26th, 2007, 05:53 AM   #4
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I edit on a Powerbook G4, 1.33 Ghz with 2 gigs of RAM. The Macbook Pro is more than able to handle anything from the HD100 series without problems.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 05:17 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph Sturgess
Any other thoughts? What specs do you have on your macbookpro?
I have a dual core 2ghz 15" MacBook Pro with a 60gb hard drive. In addition, for my desk set-up I have a 19" inch DVI monitor, a USB powered fan laptop cooler, a large Wacom tablet and an external FW 800 array connected by an ExpressCard adapter. For the road I have a lightweight laptop stand, a smaller Wacom tablet and an extra power adapter. Plus some FireWire 400 drives in case they're needed.

I also have a great program called Scopebox loaded for when I am doing SD shoots with the camera. It captures directly to the laptop while providing video scopes. They will be coming out with an HDV version in the near future if all goes well.

Other thoughts? Can't think of any, any questions?
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Old January 26th, 2007, 08:58 PM   #6
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I'm actually in the same boat as Ralph - namely, looking to get a MBP that I hope to edit on.

My chief concern is being able to hook it up to the BR-50 and a Panasonic BT-LH1700W for playback from FCP. My assumption is that it will work fine, but it'd be great to get some confirmation that this is the case.

What is the requirement for preview through the BR-50? How powerful does the computer have to be? And what is the determining factor - RAM?

thanks.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 11:39 PM   #7
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Unfortunately you will not be able to get a realtime playback thru the BR-50 until you render the HDV timeline back to a m2v stream. This has nothing to do with RAM or processing power, it's about the difficulty of transforming an MPEG stream into a frame editable format.

To enable frame accurate editing, Final Cut transcodes the data into a QuickTime format that the BR-50 no longer recognizes as an HDV stream. There are other NLE programs that don't do this but you'll have to inquire about their attributes elsewhere, I am not sure if you can get realtime playback thru them either. With FCP, you will have to use a computer monitor as the playback screen until you decide to print back to HDV tape. At this point FCP transcodes the finished project back to a m2v stream, rendering only the parts that the user has altered and leaving the straight footage alone by doing a direct data transfer of those parts. Be aware that printing back to HDV might not be the best way to archive your HD project.

All the HDV projects I've worked on have ended up on 16:9 SD DVDs so I have archived HD QuickTime files of the finished projects on external drives if there's ever a need for HD versions of the projects.

If you really want to use that particular monitor while editing, a laptop isn't going to make it at this point in time. Any HD boards that could deliver a HD signal to the monitor, BlackMagic or Aja for example, are only compatible with tower computers. Laptops just don't have the room or power to handle the needs of these boards or low compression frame based HDTV. HDV and laptops go together due to the use of MPEG2, HDV has a slightly smaller bandwidth than DV (but a higher processor pull). There might be a future ExpressCard that will help out with external monitoring on a production monitor but I haven't heard of it.

It's possible that DVCProHD could work but you'll run out of hard drive room really quickly. Check out the HVX-200 board for answers.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 04:34 AM   #8
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I believe that Matrox makes a device that uses the DVI port on the MacBook Pro to output an HDSDI signal for monitoring as well as for recording to deck.

Can't remember the name of the device but it costs around $1000.

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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:49 PM   #9
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It's a Matrox MXO, a small external box that converts DVI to SD or HDTV with simultaneous SDI and analog combinations. It's a nifty product (it's got genlock!) and it would be great if someone here who has extensive experience with it could give their opinion.

At $1000 it's quite an investment. My main question is about color accuracy. Does it convert the DVI signal to actual NTSC color space?
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Old January 27th, 2007, 10:09 PM   #10
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Looking at the MXO's hardware acceleration chart, it doesn't appear that HDV 720p is supported:
http://www.matrox.com/video/products...cfm#fullscreen

I haven't found a HD100 relevant discussion wrt if the MXO does work with HDV 720p footage, but in their forum it seems that 720p isn't working in DVCPRO HD, either:
http://forum.matrox.com/mxo/viewtopic.php?t=192

I'd love to hear from someone who owns the MXO, as well. If they do add HDV 720p (or if am misunderstanding their data sheets), it would indeed be a great option for laptops.
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Old February 10th, 2007, 07:05 PM   #11
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Works like a charm

We're in post on our feature Take 2, and we cut the entire thing on the first generation MacBook Pro.

I never had a problem. We have 2,000 gigs of external drives attached, and we view it on an external Hi-Def Monitor.

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Old February 10th, 2007, 08:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Chaney
We have 2,000 gigs of external drives attached, and we view it on an external Hi-Def Monitor.

Tom Chaney
How are the drives attached and what are you using to view on a HD monitor? I'm assuming the Matrox MXO device.

I posted an interesting method of calibrating the $30 Apple DVI to Video Adapter here: http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=86089. It works, to a point, and it's $969 less than the MXO.
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Old February 11th, 2007, 06:26 AM   #13
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I have three drives ganged together, 2 500 gig LaCies and 1 1,000 gig G raid.

They are all run through the Firewire 400 port on the side.

I view the footage through the DVI to VGA.

In FCP "view to external monitor." Works great, looks great.

I have also cut to my 42" plasma via a DVI to HDMI cable.

Tom

PS - Thanks for the link!
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Old February 11th, 2007, 08:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Chaney
I have three drives ganged together, 2 500 gig LaCies and 1 1,000 gig G raid.

They are all run through the Firewire 400 port on the side.

I view the footage through the DVI to VGA.

In FCP "view to external monitor." Works great, looks great.

I have also cut to my 42" plasma via a DVI to HDMI cable.

Tom

PS - Thanks for the link!
Have you had a chance to compare the monitor image to actual broadcast? I sent my MacBook Pro to a 32" Samsung HD LCD via the VGA port and I could swear that the colors were close to accurate. Unfortunately I can't use that particular monitor for editing.
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Old February 11th, 2007, 09:01 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Hohauser
Have you had a chance to compare the monitor image to actual broadcast? I sent my MacBook Pro to a 32" Samsung HD LCD via the VGA port and I could swear that the colors were close to accurate. Unfortunately I can't use that particular monitor for editing.
I used the DVI out from my Macbook Pro to input into a JVC DiLA-10K projector. I played my sequence directly from the timeline and the only change I made was to set the gamma to sRGB for the DVI output and then match the calibration on the projector. It worked very well. Once I calibrated the projector it was a very WYSIWYG experience.
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