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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
Pro and consumer versions of this Sony 3-CCD HDV camcorder.


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Old January 15th, 2006, 09:18 AM   #1
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Z1 as converter?

Hi all! Thanks in advance for any advice from wiser heads...

I'm hoping to use my Z1 as a converter from my NLE program, running via iLink (firewire) from the computer out to the camera, then via component lead to the monitor (to save money). I only have a small, part-time studio that does bits of educational multimedia, weddings etc, so haven't got a big budget (especially now that I've bought the camera kit!)

I (stupidly?) went out today and bought a flat-screen LCD TV with component-in to use as a monitor, but NOTHING shows up on the screen from this connection when I play the video on my editing program.
Meanwhile I get picture from both the s-video and video cables. And the camera plays an on-board DV tape out via component, just not the i-Link video from the computer. So it seems to be specifically an i-Link to component issue.

My questions:

1. Is it possible for the Z1 to convert to component for video output from the computer?

2. Given my setup, is it worth it? Or have I completely gone up the garden path in buying the LCD TV (having just now read another thread here, I'm worried I have!)

3. If I have mucked up, what's the best way of salvaging my setup without burning too many dollars?

Many thanks for any help, stern words, encouragement, suggestions or advice.

Langdon
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Old January 15th, 2006, 02:04 PM   #2
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I think Vegas can do this. Other's may be able to verify.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 02:48 PM   #3
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Salvage your setup? Easy enough is you have a PCI Express motherboard. There are two very good graphics cards with component outputs. The Matrox Parhelia APVe and the NVidia Quadro FX-540. But both are PCI Express.

Hook up the HDTV to the video card and the card is smart enough to give you the same output that you would normally only see out the firewire (in a SD editing mode).

This works for Adobe products anyway.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 04:34 PM   #4
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(This should probably be in some kind of FAQ)

It is not possible to use any HDV camera as a Digital-to-Analogue converter in High Definition mode.

This does mean that the traditional setup used with DV material, computer -> firewire cable -> camera -> composite or S-video cable -> monitor does not work.

The problem does not lay with the camera, but with the computer: no computer can compress footage to HDV in real time at the moment.

Since HDV uses a compression scheme where your footage is compressed in fixed blocks of 6, 12 or 15 frames (a Group of Pictures or GOP), any change in your timeline would necessitate a recompression of every frame on the timeline, unless you would cut and paste in exact 6, 12 or 15 frame multiples.

Off course your computer doesn't recompress every frame the minute you change something, but that's because the computer doesn't mind about incomplete or too long GOPs. It may not care about HDV at all, but edit in another codec instead. But HDV is what your camera understands and nothing else.

Like Steven Gotz says, use an interface card between your computer and the monitor. The reason this works is because the card gets uncompressed frames from the NLE.
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Old January 15th, 2006, 04:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steven Gotz
Salvage your setup? Easy enough is you have a PCI Express motherboard. There are two very good graphics cards with component outputs. The Matrox Parhelia APVe and the NVidia Quadro FX-540. But both are PCI Express.

Hook up the HDTV to the video card and the card is smart enough to give you the same output that you would normally only see out the firewire (in a SD editing mode).

This works for Adobe products anyway.
Thanks Steven - definitely sounds like I should look at this option. It'd be great not to have to plug my camera in every time I want to edit!

Now I just have to find out whether I can buy them here in Australia or have to order them in from the U.S.

Langdon
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