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Old March 12th, 2011, 08:15 AM   #1
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SD camera switcher - output to file

I have a 2-camera shoot of a town hall with 100 participants coming up and I'm wondering how and at what cost one could bypass editing four hours of tape by switching on site and capturing the result (DV-AVI) to hard drive. Then it would be a matter of some titling etc before converting to an online format, in this case. Without a switcher I'd have audio into only one of the cams. I'm guessing audio would have its own channel with a switcher so that neither camera would have to be recording it, although I guess that would defeat the archival value of the tape. In my case at the moment the switcher would have to take Firewire 400 in from the cams. All input thankfully received.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

I have done live edit switching many many times over the years. However I was capturing to tape via a deck, either a DRS11 or another model of Sony deck, not a HDD but I see no reason you couldn't, but please remember you need a laptop with software, be it FCP, Vegas, Edius, or whatever NLE that you use with a capture program.
Keep in mind that live sports events like football, baseball, autoracing, whatever, all is recorded to tape, for replay and archive purposes so in short, you can do it with the right equipment.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 09:41 AM   #3
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Thank you, Don. Don't know why I didn't think of capturing to tape. So what would I be viewing the camera source on and how would I make the A-B switches in real time? I can't get a mental picture that has the laptop and editing software in the equation until after the DSR-11 (or similar device) has captured the output.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:23 AM   #4
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

I believe there are software switchers that work from a computer but I don't remember the names nor have I ever used the softeare as I've always used a mechanic switcher. 2 or more cameras run to the switcher, a monitor for each camera, an online or live monitor and then out to the deck. I've run the live switch to both tape and DVD recorders at the same time.
Panasonic, Grass Valley, Thompson, Sony, Videoonics all produced and or still produce switchers. I think Grass Valley bought out Thompson but can't remember for sure. There are others out there as well.
I'm sure you can rent one in your area but if it's something you're going to do a lot of you might look into buying one.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 11:38 AM   #5
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

The traditional method is an analog composite video switcher
Datavideo SE-500
, cables and monitors. Used equipment from ebay to save money.

cameras (composite out) > video switcher (composite out) > analog to digital converter > laptop or another recording device
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Old March 12th, 2011, 01:08 PM   #6
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

I use avtake cut 4: Live Video Mixer Right On Your Desktop! AvTake CutFour HD, SD, DV! Video mixing

Depending on which version you purchase you can use firewire sd/sdi you can also use anaolog if you got the converter. It works just like a hard switcher but is more capable. If you have a laptop with fire wire input and express card pr pci expansion slot you could use it (depends on cpu and ram)

It works at broadcast standard dv avi 720x480 and hd. ntsc/pal, progresive/interlaced

I use it for live to tape sports for local a direct tv channel and web casts.

check it out they have a special.

ric
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Old March 12th, 2011, 02:51 PM   #7
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Thanks Pete and Ric for the links. Diagrams, images and features available have made the issue much clearer for me. Have either of you had to use a "pause" function to change tape or skip a meeting break or some other interruption? The job I'm looking at will require a tape change and there will likely be moments of content that doesn't need to remain in the final web version - for members not traveling to the meeting. Can you interrupt the flow or would you end up with two or more files that had to be merged in editing software?
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Old March 12th, 2011, 03:56 PM   #8
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

if you are capturing to a laptop and HDD then of course there won't be a need to pause. If capturing to tape and using a deck such as DSR11 or other Sony deck you can use full size tapes which can capture up to 184 minutes so tape change isn't really an issue, at least it never has been for me. If using mini-dv tapes then you need to change at a point when there is either a break or they are changing speakers or you just live with the break in the action when changing. Depends on the content and client as well as how much editing you are planning to do for the final product.
When I've had to use mini tapes I set up a red light so I can turn it on (actually on-off-on-off, flashing) so the speaker knows he has to pause for a moment while I change tapes. If you tell them up front most professional speakers understand and know how to pause, kill a little time and get back to it. I start the light about 5 minutes before I need to change tapes so they have that amount of time to finish the thought they were on and then pause.
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Old March 12th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #9
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hurdon View Post
Thanks Pete and Ric for the links. Diagrams, images and features available have made the issue much clearer for me. Have either of you had to use a "pause" function to change tape or skip a meeting break or some other interruption? The job I'm looking at will require a tape change and there will likely be moments of content that doesn't need to remain in the final web version - for members not traveling to the meeting. Can you interrupt the flow or would you end up with two or more files that had to be merged in editing software?
With avtake cut four you can tape to internal/external hdd as well as to tape. If you record to hdd it wil be dv avi
I recomend external hdd then you don't have to ingest for editing.
rcm
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Old March 13th, 2011, 03:17 PM   #10
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

If you talking about the camera tape, Panasonic sells 84 minute tapes. You can also change one camera while the other is recording so you don't lose anything.

Note with a software solution Firewire cable have length limitation. You also need a firewire port for each camera. If you use a laptop it would need a built in and xpress card just to do two cameras. So it lends its self better to a desktop computer, but that means you need to lug that with a monitor to the location and be close enough to the cameras. I'd also assume the computer would need to be fast, reliable, and quiet.
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Old March 13th, 2011, 03:55 PM   #11
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Using good fx cables you can extend up to 60 feet. With fire wire extenders up to 150 feet (I use this) If you whant to use component just buy pyro or canopus adapter and take your camera's signal from its component composite or svideo ou puts, what ever it has.

There is no hard switcher in the price range out there that gives the quality and extras that this gives you.

The specs are not that high for dv and sd. you need a separte card for each input you can use the pc onboard input. You can get all this including program for les tha $2500.00 yes you need to carry monitor but so for any othe. the built ins are small and more expensive.

rcm
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Old March 18th, 2011, 02:21 PM   #12
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Large-shell DV tape allows loads up to 184 minutes. Many decks accommodate this format, for example Sony DSR20, 25, 35, 40 and HVR-M10, 25, etc. Not sure about the DSR11.
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Old March 19th, 2011, 09:38 AM   #13
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Re: SD camera switcher - output to file

Rent a fly pack that has everything you will need included. Prep all your graphics in advance so you can lay them in live.

Good Luck!
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