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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:00 PM   #1
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AVC-intra and the HVX-200

When I was at the NAB in Las Vegas five months ago I spoke with several people at Panasonic's booth and inquired about future HVX-type cameras and the AVC-intra codec. They were unsure that it would be available, apparently because the AVC-intra codec is a very CPU intensive codec and a lot of heat is generated. Over at the Edius Forums several folks who have edited with the AVC-intra codec report that a lot of computer horse-power is needed to be successful. Anyone know more about this ?
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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:25 PM   #2
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As I understand, the boards just started to ship - and yes, I've heard that it's CPU intensive... looking forward to playing with it in Edius, and with the 2000 camera. I have a dual-xeon 3.6 machine running Edius SP - I'm not expecting that it will play very well, even in a native timeline without layers - we'll see...

Word for you though - it's not going in the 200 or the 500 - the 2000 and 3000 will jive with the new codec board - the 200/500 are DVCPROHD.
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Old September 13th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Mark Donnell View Post
When I was at the NAB in Las Vegas five months ago I spoke with several people at Panasonic's booth and inquired about future HVX-type cameras and the AVC-intra codec. They were unsure that it would be available, apparently because the AVC-intra codec is a very CPU intensive codec and a lot of heat is generated. Over at the Edius Forums several folks who have edited with the AVC-intra codec report that a lot of computer horse-power is needed to be successful. Anyone know more about this ?
It is indeed very CPU intensive. Real time editing will be a pipe dream for awhile with this codec.

-gb-
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Old September 15th, 2007, 07:49 AM   #4
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AVC-Intra by design is not going to be any more troublesome to work with than DVCPRO-HD since it is a "i-frame" codec; there are two flavors, either 50mbs which is DVCPRO-HD quality at half the bitrate or, 100mbps which is near-D5 quality. The concept being that you can take up 50% less space on the P2 cards without sacrificing any quality or, go all the way to D5 image quality at the same time/space as shooting in 1080.

AVCHD however is a totally different animal; unlike AVC-I it is a long-GOP type of codec which will require more horsepower to edit just as HDV does, although it is supposed to be a more efficient long-GOP structure.

There continues to be a lot of confusion between these two codecs and many tech specs and details between the two are getting mixed up.

The short version:

AVC-Intra is only available on the HPX2000, 3000 and P2 Mobile deck and, beyond and is a professional "i-frame" codec and should require no more computing resources than any other "i-frame" codec (not all NLE's support it yet, including FCP).

AVCHD is a consumer codec co-developed by Panasonic and Sony (go figure), is a long-GOP structure and does require more computing power for editing. AVCHD has deeper NLE support than it's Intra cousin - for now. It will not be implemented on any of the pro-line of Panny cameras nor will the HVX200 or HPX500 be using that format in the future.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 02:01 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
It will not be implemented on any of the pro-line of Panny cameras nor will the HVX200 or HPX500 be using that format in the future.
I wouldn't be so fast to say that. It depends on what you mean by "pro-line"; the AG-HSC1U is offered by the broadcast division and it uses AVC-HD. Now, it's a far, far, far cry from an HPX500, of course, but the idea that it's already being offered by the broadcast division shows that the potential trend is there.

Frankly, if Sony can offer 35-megabit MPEG-2 in their pro line with a straight face, I certainly can't fathom why Panasonic couldn't offer 24-megabit AVC with an equally straight face. Should be a head-to-head matchup there. I'd still prefer intraframe though.
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Old September 15th, 2007, 11:17 PM   #6
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While I could never leave the I-frame world I did get my hands on that HSC-1U at the WEVA Expo and I was amazed at the pictures it put out. Final cut really struggled with AVC-HD but the new iMovie 8 was AMAZING. It scrubbed the timeline quicker and cleaner than anything I've ever seen. Nice entry for a low price point 1080i prosumer cam.
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Old September 16th, 2007, 12:28 PM   #7
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It's unfortunate that the HSC-1U does not shoot progressive.

That would be nice.

And am I to understand that these small AVCHD cams shoot interframe footage ala the Z1U and other HDV cams?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #8
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And am I to understand that these small AVCHD cams shoot interframe footage ala the Z1U and other HDV cams?
Yes, AVC-HD is an interframe codec that is closer to HDV than any other format (i.e., long-GOP 4:2:0). It's based on AVC instead of MPEG-2, and it has much better audio support and scalable compression, but yes it's long-GOP.

AVC-Intra is the top-end intraframe codec they're introducing. AVC-HD is more like super-HDV (depending on bitrate, of course).
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Old September 17th, 2007, 10:46 AM   #9
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So this: 1080P AJ-HPX3000

would be the AVC-Intro cam at about $48K?
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Old September 17th, 2007, 01:38 PM   #10
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Yes, but it's AVC-Intra.

AVC-Intra is also available as an option board for the $27,000 HPX2000.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 03:24 PM   #11
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Robert - I don't like to question you, as you have much more experience and knowledge than I do, but it was the people at Panasonic that said that the AVC-Intra codec was computer-intensive and runs hot, and that for those reasons that it may not show up in a small camera for a long time. Similarly, the folks on the Edius forum who had edited with the AVC-Intra codec said that it taxed a good computer to the max. Anyway, for my purposes the DVCPRO HD codec works well, and with the rapid increases in flash storage being made, there may never be a need for the AVC-Intra in small camcorders like the HVX.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #12
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Mark,
I was demostrating Edius at NAB 2010. I used a lot of avchd, HQ, and avc-intra 50 and 100.
My favorite codec to use native is avc-intra. This is a intra frame codec that is not that more intensive on
the system than HQ is on a system while using Edius. The avc-intra 100, yes, will take a little more horsepower only because it is a 10bit codec 4:2:2. Very similar to the new 10b HQX codec from GV.
I am still running a core 2 Extreme chip at 3.3. I can get 3 layers of avc-intra to run in RT in an 8bit project on Edius.
This system is by no means a powerhouse, at least, not anymore.
I used the same avc-intra files at WEVA in August on a I7 980x and it cut through them like butter.
AVCHD and AVC-1 files are the power hogs of the codec world.

As far as Panasonic putting avc-intra into samller cameras, well....why would they. That is the pro
camera stuff. Even the new AG-AF100 shoots in AVCHD. In order to shoot in avc-intra you have to purchase the extra card reader, for lack of a better term, that is in the $5,000 range and holds 5 P2 cards.
It is as big as one of the smaller cameras that you were referring to.

Let me assure you, if I can edit avc-intra 100 and 50 in realtime on a core 2 Extreme processor, I know an I7 system will have nooo problem with it.
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Old September 30th, 2010, 10:05 PM   #13
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Jerry:

Did you notice Mark's post was from 2007?

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