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Old January 18th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #1
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What spec does the PC need to be @ to edit m2t real-time w/o cineform/intermediate?

Is it even possible? Can the highest clocked dualcore Opteron or Xeon handle editing m2t in real time? Is it a CPU/GPU issue? RAM? etc? What's stopping us from editing m2t or direct 1080 resolution files in real time?
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Old January 18th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #2
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i imagine a couple of dual core Opterons might get close. But even with a PC that could fly in realtime, you still have the fact that using the Cineform intermediate codec provides less of a loss due to recompression issues.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 03:38 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yi Fong Yu
Is it even possible? Can the highest clocked dualcore Opteron or Xeon handle editing m2t in real time? Is it a CPU/GPU issue? RAM? etc? What's stopping us from editing m2t or direct 1080 resolution files in real time?
It isn't the CPU it's the programming. Most NLEs use VFW instead of newer Direct Show pipelines (hopefully I'm using the right terms). Did you ever wonder why a number of lowly media players can breeze through a file that will bring Vegas or Premier to it's knees? It's because they use "Video For Windows" coding.

VFW is ancient technology at this point and a real bottleneck. To see what I mean, check out the NVidea PureVideo decoder. It offloads most of the work of decompressing mpeg (including M2T) to the graphics processor. On a lessor system such as mine, it is the difference between WMP 10 stuttering slowly through an 1080 file with full CPU usage and gliding through with niceties such as deinterlacing and pulldown removal with the CPU usage somewhere down in the 30s. Until NLEs start licensing and using this technology, they are going to bog down and we will live in a world of intermidiary codecs and proxies.

Another thing to check out is MPEG Edit at womble.com. It can pretty much fly through direct m2t edits and rendering on a minimal system and barely strain even the lowliest of P4 processors. M2T previewing is about as smooth as most media players. Unfortunately it's not a deep editing program, but it does show what can be done.
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Old January 25th, 2006, 09:58 PM   #4
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thx laurence, that's what i wondered about =).

why can't digital content creation softwares tap into the tremendous power of GPU's pixel shaders? when i first saw the demos from ATI of the different visual fx that is applied in REAL TIME to what's onscreen i emailed suggestions to the then companies of Adobe, Macromedia, AVID, Sonic Foundry to incoporate that technology. alas no1's listened. do you think it'll ever achieved in our lifetime? i would think this could elevate NLE to a whole new level. other than womble, are any other prosumer level editing NLE gonna do this?
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Old January 26th, 2006, 02:05 AM   #5
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1- I think HDV was designed with intermediate codecs in mind. Intermediate codecs aren't really all that bad. Quality-wise, the neglible addition of extra compression artifacts will be hidden by compression in other places (the original HDV compression, and compression later on in the signal chain... i.e. DVD or the video server's MPEG2 compression if for broadcast).

The only disadvantage really is disk space and having to wait for the intermediates to be generated.

2- It takes programmers time to re-code filters to work on the GPU. As well, you have to balance out the fact that not everyone will have a decent video card. And that there are differences between programming for the ATI GPU and the Nvidia GPU (i.e. how Magic Bullet Editor's doesn't work on ATI, and how Edition works better on ATI than Nvidia). And then anyone with a Matrox or on-board graphics won't have very good GPU acceleration.

So basically two stumblings blocks are:
A- the programmer's time
B- Market fragmentation

3- There are programs out there that do take advantage of GPU acceleration. One example is Final Touch HD, which does manage real-time gaussian blur for HD resolution (ignoring AGP limitations).

FT HD makes some performance cheats though which compromise quality.

4- Edius NX supposedly has really good HDV performance.

5- (not sure) Sony Vegas 6.0c on a dual core AMD X2 should get close to real-time HDV performance.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 08:11 AM   #6
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5. i got a few dualcore (3800) workstations here @work and tried vegas 6c demo on it to edit a few small .m2t's. it's still choppy, not all that different from my dual MP2800 @home.

2. that's well&good, but most of us(the prosumer audience) have fairly modern GPUs. we are th customers of those NLE's. why not design somn that's gonna take the entire industry to the next level? the only reason why they won't is they could alienate the pro NLE users, but i doubt it, that's in a diff. market segment altogether. as far as programming is concerned, programming in general is becoming a commodity (India, China, outsourced, etc.). so i don't think that's much of a barrier (except for intellectual property). i just think we aren't giving them enough feedback en masse. it's such a small market that if just a few of us get our voices heard, we'll be at the next level of NLE.
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Old January 26th, 2006, 08:31 AM   #7
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Edius Pro/NX have decent real-time HDV editing performance if you convert your video to the Canopus HQ codec, which can be done in real time during capture on dual-core or dual processor computers. On my dual-core system with a modest $333 processor, I can easily do HD color correction or even a two-layer PIP without rendering for preview. The main problem with Edius is that it doesn't "degrade gracefully" like Vegas or FCP, so it's either full quality real time or it's stuttery -- at which point you can pre-render that section of the timeline.
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