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Old January 2nd, 2006, 09:57 AM   #16
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Well, we'll see about that. It's good to be optimistic.

Let's hope for the best! - -- But, what the heck do I do in the meanwhile?
I'm hoping that MainConcept comes up with something soon. Shoot miniDV I guess :( I want to try DVCPRO50 for SD stuff.

I was hoping that Panasonic would also include a utility to unwrap the MXF files for DVCPRO50 and 100 so I can use the files in Vegas using the MainConcept DVCPRO50 support and/or AVID's DVCPRO100 (although AVID's DV100 codec is real SLOW, lucky to get 3-4 fps)


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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:16 AM   #17
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There's good reason why Apple/FCP has a significant portion of the post production market.

Apple's been ahead of the curve on HD game since things starded heading towards the prosumer. Even before they were able to supply direct HDV support they had their Intermediary codec support right down to iMovie that comes free with the Mac.

At least with Apple, they'll announce support of new video hardware/codecs so you have the security of knowing it'll happen.

When you factor in the real cost of using a computer you have to include productivity time lost due to down time and waiting for software upgrades to match your hardware capabilities.

FCP, Motion, DVDStudioPro, SoundTrackPro, CinemaTools, Compressor, LiveType. All integegrated. I can go from DV to HDCAM and not have to upgrade a single piece of software. BTW Compressor and DVDStudioPro ALREADY support creating HDDVD/BluRay.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:17 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaku Ito
As far as I know from observing the development of how Apple implemented the DVCPRO HD, was long way to come. With FCP5, it was already implemented with software based codecs and since Apple does not have to sell any extra hardware, they always spent more time for developing the software support for DVCPRO HD, HDV. They had even some problems to implement mpeg based codecs like HDV in the beginning, but over all sucess of the company must have attracted many geniuses to work at Apple.

Apple concentrated on native power based software, and third party like AJA and Blackmagic did their work in using the software codec to implement with the extra hardware they make, not needing to really work so hard (not saying that they don't work hard) on creating something independantly. That is the beauty of Apple, but since it is freeform, freestyle, whatever you call it, it is hard to understand what the whole environment can do.

My company is enjoying the success fo furnishing the whole system based on Macintosh with FCP, and hardware like AJA Kona series with Huge raid system, Xsan system, providing certain level of performance and promissing the customer in what degree the system we provide can work, then customers can feel comfortable purchasing the system.

One of the reasons why I purchased HVX200 is that we knew HVX200 was giong to work with system we sell and use for sure. Apple's been stepping forward to implement such environment from long time ago, people laughed at them at NAB while back when Apple said they are doing everything with FCP and CPU, but we knew it was going to be true because we were already experiencing the paradime shift on CPU based audio recording environment. While Apple was not only making the CPU fast, software to do the functions, they were making the whole computer work faster, puttting something like altivec work for media creation. People who use Windows might not realize all of these series of development by Apple, but that is the reason why Apple useres believe Apple. My company sells WindowsXP based system, too, but simply comparing the weight on setting up, supporting the customers, flexibility of the system, we prefer selling macs to the customers.

You can point out some codec verity and other stuff, but you can see how easily I can come up with the clips for the new cams every time (gotta thank Frederic Haubrich for HDV tho), it is backed up on the Macintosh system I've been using. And I'm not even displaying power in the other side of my business at all, the audio and music side, is even more complete and nothing to pick on. I'm not trying to convince anyone or talking bad about Windows based systems, but these are the reason why i prefer Apple based system.

^^^ Amen brother... I just upgraded to a Quad and am running FCP 5.0.4 with an FX1 that I'll upgrade to the HVX200... reading these posts I'm glad I made the switch back in October of '03 to the Mac platform. Now I'll just have to make the switch to a DVCPRO HD video system. Thanks alot for providing those shots Kaku... seeing the day/night footage definitely persuaded me to list my FX1 on ebay.

Last edited by Andrae Palmer; January 2nd, 2006 at 11:54 AM.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 10:27 AM   #19
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I agree with Kaku!

The Mac environment ('ecosystem' is a great way to put it!) is just a nicer place to be right now.

I come from a PC background originally and have administered and worked on Avid, Media 100, Premiere, now FCP and lots of tape based systems before that.


I have to say that the editing job is still the same, but unquestionably the Mac/FCP Studio combination (including Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, Motion, Live Type etc) lets you spend more time editing and *way* less time tweaking.

Moving from system to system works.... moving from app to app works (mostly, ;-) ) and now a really great lowish band width HD format is coming to fruition and on the Mac it just works (or seems to on the basis of Kaku's generously donated clips). I just imported them into my humble single processor G4 laptop and bam... editing HD with full screen playback on another monitor if I want atttch one.

Then author a HD DVD.... admittedly you need a G5 to play these at the moment... but consumer boxes are around the corner.

Today I run 14 FCP edit stations ranging from simple computer plus monitor and deck to fully equipped Dual everything uncompressed capable suites all on a Fibre based SAN. Nary a hicough in the past 6 months! (touch wood).
No crazy hardware costs, support contracts, updates are regular and reasonable and users generally enjoy the process.

To think that with FCP and the HVX200 we are on the verge of an affordable good quality HD workflow that will work with our existing processors, hard drives (including all those FW400 units!) is amazing. I'm more excitied by this than when I first saw DV!

Support for PC will come of course.... but there's rough water ahead (IMHO) for Windows.

Just take the plunge... if you like really getting under the hood learn a bit of Linux... seems to me my Admin guy can do just about anything I ever did on Win/DOS based OS's.

Anyway, Happy New Year all

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Old January 2nd, 2006, 11:18 AM   #20
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Avid vs. Apple vs. Edius

Well, I never thought I would see the day … I am basically a “dyed-in-the-wool” windows guy. My current set-up includes several P4 XP boxes networked together running Avid Xpress Pro, Vegas, Digital Fusion, and Combustion. However, a couple days ago, (just in time for the write-off), I took the plunge.

I am now looking at a sleek silver G5 Quad with 5 gigs of ram, and the Apple Store said they would have my copy of Final Cut Pro Studio out to me early next week. As I said, I thought I’d never see the day.

With my HVX 200 on order, I had to decide whether to upgrade to Xpress Pro HD, (and either build or buy an “Avid approved” box), or experiment with Edius Broadcast, or to bite the Apple and “go over to the dark side.”

From a cost standpoint, upgrading the Avid to Xpress Pro HD should have been a “no-brainer.” However, my current XP boxes were not equipped to run Xpress Pro HD, so that would require either building a new box or purchasing an “Avid approved” computer. (Avid approved boxes aren't exactly cheap.) Actually, I really didn’t have a problem with any of that, what threw me for a loop was the fact that after doing all of that, it seems that Xpress Pro HD may have no way to externally monitor HD unless you feed a fire wire signal out to something like a Panasonic AJ-1200A DVCPRO HD deck (or alternatively go with an Avid Adrenaline with a HD expansion card ... really big $$). Remember Mojo is standard def only, and from what I have been able to tell, it doesn’t appear that the HVX 200 will allow HD pass-thru monitoring of the time line … and even if it does … who wants to tie up their camera as a link in the monitoring chain?

Edius looked intriguing and they may have a real winner if it is MXF native as billed. However, from what I have read (and seen at NAB) the interface could take some getting used to and there is little or no third party plug-in support. I think the jury is still out on Edius, and I need something NOW and something that is proven and a known entity.

That left me with Apple and FCP. When I added it all up, it just made sense at this time to “jump ship” and go with something that is increasingly becoming an “industry standard.” (And I don’t mean to start an Avid vs. FCP war … I edit on an Avid … I love it.) However, I get the feeling that right now there is a tighter degree of integration with Panasonic/DVCPRO HD and Apple. The same is true with third party hardware vendors, i.e., Kona & Decklink. (I’ll be ordering a Multi Bridge Extreme next week.) I am certainly no FCP expert, but I understand that it can handle pretty much anything you can throw at it. Like Avid, FCP has a fantastic community of users and there are numerous third party plug-ins written for the app. The Studio bundle seems to have just about everything that I will need, and hopefully I should be able to slide the files across the network and still do any compositing or finishing work in Fusion or Combustion.

I already have one 24’ Dell LCD monitor and as soon as I see another coupon, I’ll get another for HD preview.

It is a brave new world for me. 2006 should be fun. Happy New Year!
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:01 PM   #21
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Re: Who dropped the ball???

Panasonic dropped the ball. DVCPRO-HD or DV100 is based on the standard SMPTE-370M, so any company can get the standard and start coding, as MXF tool kits are freely available. But that is a lot of work to build a codec from scratch, optimization is very important and there are many opportunities for mistakes (as we saw in early DV codecs.) Panasonic has an optimized codec developer kit, which is great, very much shortening the time to market. However, they charge for this, and apparantly a LOT, so much so they won't even discuss how much with us (CineForm.) Apparantly we aren't worthy. This was completely shooting themselves in the foot. By not enabling as many NLEs/customers as they can, they will sell fewer cameras. The codec SDK should have been made widely available. Now it is true that (guessing) a $100K SDK vs $10K cost may not make a big difference for the larger companies, who would still take many months for a new camera support. Yet a small company like ours could have implemented the camera support for a wide range of PC applications in time for the camera launch. Panasonic, anytime you are ready, we are still here.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:26 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
Panasonic dropped the ball.
Dammmmmmmnnnn, David Newmen went there with it! *smile*

Callin' out names and stuff.

David & Chris are Gangstas!

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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:42 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Newman
Panasonic dropped the ball. <snip> Panasonic, anytime you are ready, we are still here.
OK David, stop beating around the bush and tell us how you really feel. :)

Its interesting that Panasonic charges so much for the development kit and doesn't make it readily available to interested vendors such as Cineform.

Might this have something to do with the fact that DVCPROHD has been tied to a $65,000 camera? It might be hard for upper management to accept the fact that this codec now ships on a 6K camcorder and that the market needs to be opened up to a new audience. I bet this would happen if Sony released their high end format (HDCam? Not sure) on a 6K camera too.

Of course, I could be wrong (and if I am it will take about a nano second for a correction to come in!)
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 12:52 PM   #24
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Apple Final Cut Pro 4.5 supported DVCProHD when it was released in April 2004 and was a FREE update to those who had FCP 4.1. That was 20 months ago! With FCP5 Apple added native HDV support.

You can blame Panasonic or you can get a system from a company that tries to keep up. I used Avids from 1990 to 2002 (both Mac and later Windows) and switched to FCP. Avid, whether Mac or Windows based wants to make money through expensive upgrades. Apple's FCP is scalable.

The NLE marketplace is extremely competitive. Discreet (now Autodesk), certainly is not that small a company and they dropped Edit*. Media 100 has gone from that to Optibase and now Boris. Sony would probably prefer you use HDV on the prosumer side and XDCAM (HD) on the higher end. If the NLE maker can't keep up people move to one that can. When Apple doesn't jump on the support bandwagon there's usually a third party that will fill the void. Telestream Flip4Mac MXF importer for XDCAM for example.

All the above really needs to be considered when putting together an NLE system and workflow solution.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:19 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Graff
"OK, now we consider the unthinkable... Making the "switch"... Crossing over to the <cough> Mac world. I don't like the MacOS... It is soooo restrictive compared to what can be done on a PC in a lot of underlying technical ways. "

I used to make ignorant statements like that when I was diehard PC user but now that I have switched to Mac, I realized just how bad Windows is. I really got a taste of that again yesterday fixing some software issues with a PC. Wow are you folks in the dark! Try something before you condemn it. You might just be surprised. I know it changed my productivity 100 fold.
I'm going to play Devil's Advocate. First, of course Unix is a far more robust system than windows. That statement has no basis in reality. That said, If I were a PC user, I would be upset also. I think anybody on this forum that steps up and debates issues in a good way, deserves our support. I work on both platforms, but use a MAC when I can, and in the past, this type of thing happened a lot for me. I think instead of saying, "See how it feels", to PC users, we should be supporting our filmmaking, editing, brothers and sisters.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:30 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Claude Isbell
we should be supporting our filmmaking, editing, brothers and sisters.
What planet are you from? and what have you done with Claude the regular Human Being??????

*the sky is falling*

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Old January 2nd, 2006, 01:36 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
What planet are you from? and what have you done with Claude the regular Human Being??????

*the sky is falling*

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Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:14 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Crittenden Livingston
Hi guys,

If you want to use the Variable frame rates from the HVX200 in the PC domain, shoot in the Native frame rates modes and then import it into your NLE. There are no frames to extract, only the native frames exist and thus all of the systems that support DVCPRO HD on the PC side support the variable frame rates.

I would say that you do want to pay close attention to the time base of your variable frame rate so that when you pop it into the timeline, you have the expected results.

Best regards,

Jan
The trick is... How to get these native frame rate clips into the NLE? DV Film Maker doesn't like the MXF files flagged other than 24, 30 or 60p. Neither does Edius or Avid. Therefore we can only import 720pn if it's in 24, 30 or 60p. To use other frame rates and bring them into the NLE, we must shoot 720p60 with the repeat frames (so if we want 12fps, we must shoot 60p with a 5 frame repeat) so we have a file that our NLE wants to understand. Then we have to do the drop frame / pull-down in the NLE. Seems like a no-brainer, but wait.. Edius and Avid won't let us... They only support 24, 30 and 60. Arrrrrrgh! Edius just can't do it. Avid Xpress Pro can, but a lot of the features available with DV/SD are not available with HD. Xpress Pro won't even let us do a 2:3 or 2:3:3:2 to extract the 24p/24pa from 1080i.

OK, so it's not THAT bad... There are work-arounds. Import into Edius, Avid or DVFILM and export to uncompressed or HDCAM or QNxHD. I haven't tried Cineform, but it should work OK too, but uncompressed frames seem to make the most sense with my animation/compositing workflow anyway. Just go ahead and convert to uncompress and scale the frames from the DVCPROHD resolutions to their appropriate 1280x720 or 1920x1080. It's a drain and takes a while and it will be klunky to say the least. At least I have the systems and storage to pull it off... Doing that, I can go back to Vegas, which actually supports any frame rates I want.
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:26 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Graff
I used to make ignorant statements like that when I was diehard PC user but now that I have switched to Mac, I realized just how bad Windows is. I really got a taste of that again yesterday fixing some software issues with a PC. Wow are you folks in the dark! Try something before you condemn it. You might just be surprised. I know it changed my productivity 100 fold.
Hehe. Actually I'm quite familiar with the MacOS, I guess I just don't care for some things about it. In reality, I don't care for a lot of things about Windows either... IMO, it sucks. In my perfect world, we would all be running a hybrid of BeOS and SGI IRIX with some Amiga overtones and it would never crash and I could have conversations with my PCs as if they were HAL 9000 and... Well, you get the idea.

My aversion to switching to Mac is that most of my entire workflow and software is already PC based. Much of it not available on the Mac or at least not in the same capacity when considering third-party support plugins and whatnot. If I jump to Mac for my editing/compositing/video work, etc... it would be a significant investment on top of what I already have installed... All for no reason other than PC software developers have pulled up lame on supporting a new product.

In reality, I wouldn't be making a switch... I would just be spending a boatload of money to buy another system to do a task that many of my other systems could do just as well (if not better) if the software would actually exist. If I do it, I'll go for the G5 Quad... At least it will be comparable in power to my quad-core Opterons and it can join my Lightwave render farm when not being used for video. I also use XSI for 3D work and it's starting to serve a larger role than Lightwave, but it's only Windows and Linux.... MacOS versions have been hinted about, but we haven't seen anything yet. So, it looks like I'll probably be starting to run a mixed platform shop here. Ugh. But like I said before, I already have a Mac here (dual G4) and it's seamlessly integrated with our network and works just great for Photoshop and DP tasks. It's the odd-man-out computer, but hey, maybe it needs a friend. :)
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Old January 2nd, 2006, 02:36 PM   #30
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The Varicam has been available for awhile. FCP jumped on it almost immediately, and nothing else has to this day.

Maybe the low cost HVX will spur them to act, but we do know for sure that they are working hand in hand with Apple. Couple that with how nice FCP really is, and its hard to consider buying this camera now and using any other NLE.
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