Transfer final XDCAM edit to Digital Beta or DVC Pro at

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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
Sony PXW-Z280, Z190, X180 etc. (going back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.

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Old January 11th, 2008, 10:04 AM   #1
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Transfer final XDCAM edit to Digital Beta or DVC Pro

Hi there,

I am looking for a workflow to transfer the final edit on FCP 6.0.2 of XDCAM 35 Mbit to Digital Beta or eventually DVCPRO.

We will work on location with a EX1 and a Macbook Pro.

As we have to deliver to a TV Station oversee and plus the timeframe (between final edit / mix and transmission) is very short we need to transfer the final edit via Satellite.

The sound will be mixed in a studio on location so I would need a Timecode Reference in order to keep everything in sync.

Unfortunately I do not know the technical equipment at the station where we are going to send the final edit by satellite but it seems to me that they are not on the edge and the equipment is a bit older in general.

I guess there would a digital Beta player/recorder or DVC PRO SD Player/recorder connected to their satellite transmission system.

So I would need to end up with my final mixed master on either of one of the supports.
But as I do not have an SDI output on the Macbook Pro but only a firewire I/O, mastering/playout on these players seems impossible.

I did not have the camera in hand yet, so I cannot make any tests unfortunately that's why I am asking here in order to prepare the trip.

My questions:

- Is it possible to copy the final edit back to the SxS card and then play it out to a Digital Beta vie the SDI output of the camera?
I know the output is SDI-HD, would this be a problem? Is it switchable by any chance? Would a Digital Beta Player be able to handle this signal??? I heard about some quality issues about the output, are they solved?
I know that I would most probably lose the TC reference in that case, but I could copy this tape then again to another Digi Beta with a correct TC reference starting at 10:00:00:00 (where I previously would have recorded the soundmix) without loosing a generation. Then give this final master for satellite transmission.

- If they would have a NLE System on location which is connected to a Digi Beta Player I would playout the final edit as a file from my MBP on harddisk, for example 10 Bit PAL SD uncompressed to match the Digi Beta standard, import it to their NLE System, sync it with a stereo bounce of the final soundmix and then play it out to tape.
Would an Avid be able to import this file or are they FCP specific? Are there export options that I would have to consider in order to make in compatible?

Or maybe there are ways/workflows much more easy?
Just a quick note that I will be working in a NTSC country, whereas my material is PAL.
So any PAL systems/recorders are very rare on location and I would need to take a plane in order to catch them. Eventually I could take a little PAL recorder with me, but then would have to figure out the connection from the Macbook Pro to a Digi Beta...?

I have no space for errors in this one and especially no time as the satellite transmission is booked and the 10' report is supposed to be 1 hour later on air.
I have approx. 4-5 hours after the edit is finished to playout and mix, create the final master tape and so on.

Or is this configuration just to risky and we would need to think about an alternative?

Thanks a lot for you help and some thoughts or ideas!!!
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Old January 11th, 2008, 10:41 AM   #2
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you could use a Matrox MXO that would give you SDI output from your Macbook Pro. You play right from your timeline via SDI to the deck of your choice.

I would not try to transfer the edit to an Avid.

You could try the output to the camera though and see how that works. I think that you can then downconvert from the camera via SDI.

Daniel Weber
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Old January 13th, 2008, 05:03 AM   #3
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Thanks a lot for your quick reply Daniel,
I was not aware of this box.

The features of this box are really intriguing even though it is oneway only (output).
But to have both ways (and TC reference) I guess I would have to opt for the IO HD Box which is 3 times more expensive.

The only issue that I see for the moment with the MXO is the missing Timecode.
I am giving a .omf to the soundmixer with a TC reference to match the image TC in order to sync both of course.

If I would have a Beta recorder with a TC Generator, is it possible to overwrite the TC without deleting/overwriting the image? I could then regenerate a new TC starting on the first image of my edit at 10:00:00:00 for example and the mixer can start to work, and I am done.

Especially because I would have to deliver later on a final Master to the TV-Network which matches their delivery requirements (starting TC @ ..., and so on)

or are there other possible workflows?

thanks for your ideas,
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Old January 18th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #4
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just to answer the open question:

you can have deck control (and TC) with a USB/Seral Adapter (and RS-422 cable) with the Matrox MXO, thanks to Shane Ross who gave me the info.

I am going to receive the MXO beginning if next week and will try it out.

In the end we are shooting in NTSC (with the EX1, 1080i60) and mastering on a NTSC Beta with the SD realtime downconversion of the Box. The MXO ist PAL/NTSC of course.

So this workflow should work out.
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Old January 18th, 2008, 08:08 PM   #5
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Hope this doesn't sound too goofy but... We shoot XDCam HD at 1080/24P and deliver on DigiBeta SD for broadcast. I literally take our F70 deck to a nearby post house and downconvert via the SDI output of the XDCam deck directly to their DigiBeta deck. Results are awesome. If anyone can convince me that a software based downconvert looks as good as a hardware based downconvert let me know because I'd love to stop this old school sneakernet workflow. We've tried the software downconvert methods using FCP/Compressor and FCP/Sorenson but haven't gotten nearly as good a finished product.
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