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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:24 PM   #1
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Macbook Pro as an HVX Capture Platform

There are 3 things that make Macbook Pro several steps closer to being a stable HVX-capture device:

1) SIIG is now making an Express Card 34 to FW400 adapter: http://www.siig.com/news.asp?pr=49 , with the FW800 version out soon.

I'll be picking up a Macbook Pro myself within the next few weeks and will put it through the same testing programme that I gave the Powerbook setups.

If you read the Powerbook setup guide I published here you understand the need for creating a separate physical Firewire bus - one for the drive to connect to and one for the camera. Although there are PCMCIA to USB 2.0 available, the idea of using that interface for one side of the "separate bus" connectivity means you'd lack the stability of Firewire on one side of the data chain. Not a great idea. This new adapter card from SIIG would solve that problem.

2) All the information about third party compatibility with apps like Photoshop was to expect lower than "normal" performance in Rosetta until the Universal versions were available. However, I just spent an afternoon in the studio with another photo-pro and he's using the Macbook Pro with 2GB of RAM and PS CS2 without a hitch. It's not as fast doing certain operations as it might be on the Powerbook, but it's stable. So far. I did note that his Macbook Pro still has the standard 5400rpm drive - my guess is that with the installation of a 7200rpm drive and big RAM that it would really wake up performance on hungry apps like PS and FCP.

3) With today's release of "Boot Camp" http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2006...5bootcamp.html which gives the Macbook Pro the ability to dual-boot into either OSX or, Win XP this makes for limitless possiblities for video editing and file conversions. "This changes everything".
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Old April 5th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #2
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I also already have a MBP - and, in fact, just finished loading Final Cut Universal on it. A massive undertaking. Something like 7 DVD-Rs. But Photoshop cruises right along without even a burp or sneeze, as do the native apps.

Thanks for the post about the card... I was getting ready to start looking for one.

My camera is still on backorder, along with several other components. I expect to have all the pieces and parts in around 4 weeks, and hope to start contributing to the knowledge base here, since I've already found it incredibly helpful.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 11:45 AM   #3
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I ran to my Apple store yesterday within hours of seeing the BootCamp announcement. I'm a Windows developer by day, and I needed a good laptop, and I needed something that could better handle HD. This release solved the problem with a MacBook.

So far I've installed Windows and Visual Studio 2005. But I'm so impressed with the responsiveness of OS X. I can't wait for FCP to come by way of FedEx.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 08:22 PM   #4
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What is the best way to use the Macbook with the HVX if I want to employ P2 cards? Must I really buy a $2000 P2 card reader?
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Old April 6th, 2006, 10:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Krupka
What is the best way to use the Macbook with the HVX if I want to employ P2 cards? Must I really buy a $2000 P2 card reader?
Something like this might work. http://www.superwarehouse.com/Kingst...2_ATA/p/455939

$28.99 not bad. Probably will work with the Mac unless it requires some special driver.
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Old April 6th, 2006, 10:35 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
I also already have a MBP - and, in fact, just finished loading Final Cut Universal on it. A massive undertaking. Something like 7 DVD-Rs.
I second your comment. The upgrade is a long and painful process. And the space requirements if you let it loose are huge. I keep a little stack of SIIG firewire housings with Seagate 160 and 100GB drives. I use one drive per project for editing, then back the project up periodically to a big RAID. I set the scratch disk to the SIIG drive so the project is fully self-contained. I dedicated one whole 100GB drive for all the stuff that doesn't need to be on the Macbook, like Motion templates, AudioLoop files, Livetype files, etc. etc. With the crossgrade and the stuff from optional Soundtrack Pro upgrades, the 100GB is full. At least this lets me do all the routine stuff on the MBP and I just mount the 100GB for the special stuff.

The crossgrade modifies your projects in a way that makes them incompatible with earlier versions so this upgrade process is a one way street. Make those backups first until everything is running smoothly.

Also be sure you have all your old serial numbers from your most original versions of all the component software. I had to dredge up serial numbers from Final Cut 1 and the first version DVD Studio. It reminds me of the time with Adobe that I needed a COSA AfterEffects serial number about five years after COSA had been closed.

So far the performance of FCP on the Macbook seems impressive. I'll try some compression soon which should tell the tale.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 12:17 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chien Huey
$28.99 not bad. Probably will work with the Mac unless it requires some special driver.
None of those USB devices will work with a P2 card. P2 cards use 32-bit Cardbus, and those USB devices are all 16-bit. The only USB-capable card reader that works, right now, is the $2500 Panasonic one. Sure would be nice if someone made a low-cost adapter, but as of yet we haven't found one and there are lots of us looking!
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Old April 7th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #8
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Is it possible that SIIG or some other company will make an afordable P2 adapter for the Expresscard 34 slot? All it really needs is an adapter for using 54 cards in the 34 slot, am I right? or is it more complicated than that?
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Old April 7th, 2006, 04:30 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Krupka
Is it possible that SIIG or some other company will make an afordable P2 adapter for the Expresscard 34 slot? All it really needs is an adapter for using 54 cards in the 34 slot, am I right? or is it more complicated than that?
You're mostly right... An Expresscard to PCMCIA Cardbus adapter should be relatively simple and they will probably exist at some point. However, The Expresscard comes in three different form factors, designated by the number after the Expresscard name (34 in the case of the MacBook Pro). Expresscard also comes in 54 and 72, which is the card width in millimeters. Unfortunately, the Expresscard 34 is only about as wide as a Sony Memory Stick so any adapter to PCMCIA will require an external interface or card holder to slide the card into. Not a big deal, but just one more issue that will add more effort and cost to such a device as Expresscard 72 is the only one that could potentially support a PCMCIA card with an adapter internally within the slot.
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Old April 8th, 2006, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Krupka
Is it possible that SIIG or some other company will make an afordable P2 adapter for the Expresscard 34 slot? All it really needs is an adapter for using 54 cards in the 34 slot, am I right? or is it more complicated than that?
Three emails over the last month on this issue to SIIG.

No responses from the company
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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:01 PM   #11
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dual port eSATA Express/34 card now out

the missing link. FW in, eSATA-II out to drives.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Vydeo...ro-21050.shtml
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Old April 8th, 2006, 12:50 PM   #12
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more eSATA-II

Just to reiterate someone else's earlier post (my apologies, I don't remember who authored it... I think it may have been Robert Lane): satasite.com has a nice, fanless (i.e., quiet...just remember to keep air flow around it) aluminum eSATA-II enclosure that looks great with the MacBook Pro. Complete with cable, enclosure and Hitachi 250GB drive, it comes to 50 cents per GB of storage. That's getting competitive with tape, especially if you shoot native mode or DVCPro 50.

I'll probably just buy these as if they were tape and shelve 'em until other options (like BluRay?) become competitive in the coming year or so.

On a gray-haired note, I just had a passing memory of the original Avid R-MAGS, at $2500 per GB....<<shudder>>
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Old April 8th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Scott Auerbach
the missing link. FW in, eSATA-II out to drives.

http://news.softpedia.com/news/Vydeo...ro-21050.shtml

Indeed, the missing link...
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Old April 8th, 2006, 03:48 PM   #14
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Indeed, the missing link...
I really believe the real "missing link" is a USB or Firewire 32-bit reader for p2 cards.

For under $200.00
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Old April 9th, 2006, 02:57 PM   #15
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Testing soon...

I just picked up a MBP this weekend; my FCP crossgrade discs shoud be here Monday. I'll be testing the capturing abilities this week and will respond with results.

Since I'm in the middle of my big project I won't have time to try mutliple setups as I did with the Powerbook but will share as much useful info as possible.
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