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Mark Mapes January 3rd, 2005 08:23 PM

DV Rack Announcements
On behalf of Serious Magic, I am pleased to announce that the third update for DV Rack is now posted. Here are the Release Notes:
This version, 1.0.1430.0, contains the following new features and fixes.

New Feature - Keyboard shortcuts have been added for switching the Field Monitor's Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) to the two most common settings. For 4:3 (PAR = 1.333), press F8. For 16:9 (1.778), press CTRL+F8. Applying the patch automatically makes the necessary changes to the "keyboard shortcuts.txt" file for the user who's logged on when the patch is applied. You will have to amend this file manually for any other user account through which DV Rack is run. To do so, go to: C:\Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Serious Magic\DV Rack, open "keyboard shortcuts.txt," and add the following lines at the bottom between the lines that read "FULLSCREEN" and "#end of file":

Fixed – Problem could occur when recording clips longer than one hour.

Fixed – PAL clips in Quicktime format could not be played or scrubbed.

Fixed – Type 1 clips longer than five minutes would not import correctly into Adobe Premiere.

Fixed – Clips recorded with an adopted timecode that crosses the 1:40 mark would not import into NLEs.

Fixed – The keyboard shortcuts for the two Zebra functions would not work.

Fixed – The “Home” keyboard shortcut would not work while a clip was playing.

At present, this update is available through the Check for Updates option in the Help Menu. Notice will be posted here when a link has been added to our website for downloading the executable so that you can install the update on computers that do not have an Internet connection. If you would like to be notified directly by e-mail when the downloadable version is available, please send me a note at mmapes@seriousmagic.com with "Update 3 Download Notification" in the subject field.

Mark Mapes January 10th, 2005 01:25 PM

DV Rack Upgrade #3 is now available for download at http://www.seriousmagic.com/help/dvrupdates.cfm. If you are running DV Rack on a system that does not have Internet access, you can download the upgrade to another computer, copy the executable to the DV Rack machine, and manually launch the patch process by doubleclicking the .exe.

Danny Fye January 20th, 2005 08:44 AM

"New Feature - Keyboard shortcuts have been added for switching the Field Monitor's Pixel Aspect Ratio (PAR) to the two most common settings. For 4:3 (PAR = 1.333), press F8. For 16:9 (1.778), press CTRL+F8. "

Seems like it would have been easier to simply use the F8 key to toggle it instead of having to do the CTRL+F8 for the 16:9.

What is the status on the Audio Spectrum Analyzer?

Contrary to the information about it on the Serious Magic web page, it does not provide a "precise visual representation" as claimed on the page.

One of the main reasons why I returned DV Rack.

I'm surprised that the reviewers and others didn't catch this. As for the other modules in how well they represent their hardware counterparts, I don't know.

Has anyone made extensive tests to see how well they match-up? When it comes to the Audio Spectrum Analyzer, I have and the results were very poor.

Danny Fye

Mark Mapes January 20th, 2005 11:39 AM


We considered using a single shortcut to toggle between 4:3 & 16:9 but opted for two in order to simplify matters in case the Field Monitor was set to a third aspect ratio. So no matter what the current setting is, hitting F8 will always take you to 4:3 and CTRL+F8 will get you to 16:9.

As I've acknowledged to you in the past, we're well aware that of all components in DV Rack, the Audio Spectrum Analyzer has the most room for improvement. Refining its representation of the audio signal is high on our list. However, at the moment the DV Rack development team is working on other advances that we are sure will be of great interest to many on this forum--far greater interest, I daresay, than a complete overhaul of the Audio Spectrum Analyzer.

In fairness to reviewers of DV Rack, at least two of them did point out shortcomings in this component. And as for your presumption that "others didn't catch this," you're mistaken if you fancy that you're the first and only person to note ways that it could be improved. Incidentally, I still have you on a list of people who wish to be informed when we've honed the performance of this component.

I hope you understand that we do not have the kind of numbers on our development team to implement all intended improvements in one big push. Instead, we must prioritize and then knock out new features and bug fixes as quickly as possible.

Danny Fye January 20th, 2005 12:34 PM

"the Audio Spectrum Analyzer has the most room for improvement. "

It's not a question of it needing to be improved. It is a question of it not being what Serious Magic advertises it to be.

The following is what is said on the web page.

"Its precise visual representation enables subtle adjustments during shooting that can result in dramatic improvements to audio quality. "

This is NOT SO! It is NOT precise. I think your priority should be to make this module as it is advertised to be and then there can be considerations for improvement(s). As is, the module's capabilities are misrepresented.

I lost shipping money from purchasing DV Rack, from receiving it and then having to send it back.

One of the convincing items for me to buy DV Rack was the information about the Audio Spectrum Analyzer which turned out to be false!

I don't pretend to be the only one to have found the problems with the Audio Spectrum Analyzer. I did not see the reviews that you say mention it as well.

Thanks for your reply on the F8/CTRL+F8. That make sense.

Danny Fye

Mark Mapes February 11th, 2005 01:24 PM

DV Rack Free Upgrade #4 Now Available
We have released Update #4 for DV Rack. The principal fix involves a bug in the way Type 2 clips were written that could cause them to be unusable with Matrox cards or in Adobe Premiere. It also incorporates a revamped activation scheme that, among other things, should avoid being prompted to activate because the network card has been moved or removed. If you have already activated DV Rack, you should not have to reactivate after installing this update.

This update applies only to the full version of DV Rack, not DV Rack Express. An update for that version of the program should be released shortly.

Update #4 is available both through the Check for Updates option in the Help Menu and for direct download here.

Mark Mapes February 15th, 2005 07:31 PM

New DV Rack Trial Version available
We have released a new trial version of DV Rack based on the latest update to the software. This fully functional trial version will work regardless of whether you've installed an earlier trial--even if your earlier trial period has expired. And speaking of the trial period, we've extended it from 14 days to 30! (Be aware, however, that the $200 rebate that is currently being offered expires at the end of February. So if you like what you see, it will pay to make your move earlier rather than later.)

This version includes fixes for a number of bugs, including the ones that caused AVI Type 2 and QuickTime clips over 1 hour to be corrupt. Among features not documented in the help are the following:

Setting the aspect ratio of the Field Monitor: On Page 2 of the Field Monitor menu, adjust the Monitor Aspect setting to achieve the desired ratio. This feature allows a range of 1.0 to 2.4. The default aspect ratio is 1.333 (4:3). The keyboard shortcuts for switching between the two most common aspect ratios are F8 for 4:3 and CTRL+F8 for 16:9.

Display of Space Remaining on Hard Disk Drive, and Auto-Stop Recording at specified threshold: On Page 3 of the Field Monitor Menu, the “HDD Space Disp” option is for setting whether the space remaining on your hard disk is displayed at all times (setting = Always) or only when the threshold is reached (Warning). The “HDD Warning” option is for setting the threshold below which the space remaining will be displayed if the prior option is set to Warning. The “HDD Record Stop” option lets you specify the point at which DV Rack will automatically stop recording based on free disk space remaining. Both thresholds work in minutes; 1 minute of DV recording equals about 217 Mb.

Field Monitor Setup Mode: Also on Page 3 of the menu, you can switch between a zero setup for IRE values and setup of 7.5.

Zooming and panning the displays of the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope: To zoom in and out on the display for either of these components, mouse over the display, hold down the SHIFT key, and click and drag vertically. To pan while zoomed, click anywhere on the display and drag in the desired direction. Zooming affects the graticule as well as the signal display (unlike with the scale controls on these components), thereby keeping the signal in context.

You can download the trial version at www.seriousmagic.com/dvrackdemo.cfm.

Mark Mapes February 25th, 2005 04:32 PM

DV Rack Express Free Update #1 Available
For those of you running the Express version of DV Rack, we have posted Upgrade # 1. It is currently available through the Check for Updates option in the Help Menu.

The release notes are as follows:

Fixed – Several issues that could cause activation of DV Rack to be unsuccessful

Fixed – Problem could occur when recording clips longer than one hour.

Fixed – PAL clips in Quicktime format could not be played or scrubbed.

Fixed – Clips recorded with an adopted timecode that crosses the 1:40:00 mark would not import into NLEs.

Fixed – The keyboard shortcut for the Zebra function would not work.

Fixed – The “Home” keyboard shortcut would not work while a clip was playing.

Fixed – Problem with timecodes displayed in NLEs being inaccurate.

Mark Mapes September 21st, 2005 01:16 PM

New Trial Version of DV Rack with HDV PowerPak Now Available
Serious Magic has released a new trial version of DV Rack with all the capability of the HDV PowerPak built in. You can get it here: http://www.seriousmagic.com/dvrackdemo.cfm.

This trial provides not only support for recording HDV clips but also enhanced resolution in the Field Monitor for DV as well as HDV. The setting that controls the display resolution for DV is Lines Displayed (on the third page of the monitor's menu). For HDV, the MPEG Resolution setting also factors in. If you're working with HDV, I strongly urge you to read the help page titled "Getting the Most from Your CPU" in the Help's Getting Started section.

We plan to implement a 1:1 Pixel Zoom feature, but in the meantime you can achieve this for yourself by setting the Safe Area or Grid display to the appropriate value and zooming to the area defined by that display. (If you use the Grid display, set the Grid Mode to Line.) Here are the settings for the various video resolutions:
* NTSC DV: 80%
* PAL DV: 66.7%
* 1280x720 HDV: 53.3%
* 1440x1080 HDV: 35.56% (This will work only with the Grid Display because the Safe Area range doesn't go this low.)

In this trial version you'll also find a 16:9 Field Monitor (in the Components menu, it goes by HD Field Monitor") and an option for viewing letterboxing as a semitransparent shadow rather than opaque black.

For those of you who own DV Rack, a free update is in the works that will provide the Lines Displayed and Shadow Letterbox options. In the meantime, you can run this 30 day free trial to get these enhancements.

Michael Maier October 8th, 2005 07:59 PM

What does this mean?

* 1280x720 HDV: 53.3%

Also, how would HDV rack behave in a P4 3,4Ghz with 1Gb RAM PC? Would it be able to display in real time?

What's the size of the monitor screen for 720p?

Mark Mapes October 8th, 2005 09:01 PM

Turn the Safe Area display on and set the Safe Area value in the menu to 53.3%. Now you'll see a white rectangle painted on the Field Monitor. If you zoom in so that the safe area line is right at the edge of the image (and if the input is 1280x720), then you'll be seeing the image at a 1:1 pixel ratio. This is just a manual way to achieve 1:1 until we get a shortcut implemented to do it for you.

The size of the monitor is fixed at 512x384 for 4:3, 683x384 for 16:9 regardless of the input. You can always toggle to full screen display by clicking ALT+ENTER.

As for what you can expect in performance, it's not a question of being real time but rather of frame rate and resolution. Rather than trying to explain it here, I'll urge you to download the trial and take a minute to read the help system--go to the page titled "Getting the Most from your CPU" in the Getting Started section.

Michael Maier October 9th, 2005 04:29 AM


Originally Posted by Mark Mapes

The size of the monitor is fixed at 512x384 for 4:3, 683x384 for 16:9 regardless of the input. You can always toggle to full screen display by clicking ALT+ENTER.

By doing so, I'm still not getting real 1280x720 right? So is there any advantages in going full screen?
I wonder if one can trust the monitor for critical focus with a mini35 adapter.

Mark Mapes October 9th, 2005 12:17 PM

You're correct that full screen will not be 1280x720, unless of course you have a widescreen laptop set to 1280x720. Which is why zooming to 1:1 pixel display is useful. That should give you perfect resolution for critical focus. Again, I urge you to download the free trial and see for yourself.

Karl Soule September 13th, 2006 09:18 AM

DV Rack announcement coming soon
Hi All,

Keep an eye out on www.seriousmagic.com for some exciting announcements with DV Rack. It should be up by the end of the day.

Gary Bettan September 13th, 2006 10:03 AM

Serious Magic Announces the Immediate Availability of DV Rack 2.0
New version delivers advanced features to enhance the shooting process plus offers an HD version to support high-definition cameras.

September 13, 2006 (Folsom, CA) – Serious Magic, Inc.™ announces today DV Rack 2.0, the latest version of its direct-to-disk recording and monitoring software to help generate superior quality video from an SD or HD camera connected to a laptop. With DV Rack 2.0, Serious Magic strengthens the power of its 10 production tools and now offers a version with real-time capture support for DVCPro50 and DVCProHD cameras.

Powerful Direct-to-Disk Recording
Extensive enhancements have been added to DV Rack’s Digital Video Recorder that slaves recording to a camera while recording directly to an internal or external hard drive and includes:

· Motion-Activated Recording to automatically start recording when DV Rack 2.0 detects motion in a shot. This is especially useful for “solo shooters” looking to minimize wasted disk space and nature shooters looking to capture that one-in-a-million shot.

· Stop-Motion Animation Recording allows for easy animation recording of static objects. DV Rack 2.0 can be set to record images one frame at a time to a single AVI File.

· Time-Lapse Recording sets DV Rack 2.0 to record a single frame at regular time intervals to appear as if time is moving faster than it is. Editors using DV or HD footage can easily convey the passing of time by recording variant cloudscape motion, crowd movement, or traffic flow.

· Pause Recording enables users to stop in the middle of a recording without creating a new clip. This is especially useful when recording interviews, such as legal depositions.

· Clip naming, reordering and resizing permits users to rename shots while recording and adds the ability to move and resize them within the DVR.

· Pulldown removal of 24p(a) footage removes the pulldown from 24p recorded clips, saving hard drive space and making it easy to edit in “true” 24 frames per second when using the HVX200 camera.

· DV timecode support has been added for Adobe® Premiere® Pro, Apple® Final Cut® Pro, Sony® Vegas®, and Avid® NLEs.

Accessible Monitoring Tools
DV Rack 2.0 includes vital monitoring tools that help videographers identify and correct lighting, video, and audio problems. The Professional Field Monitor accepts standard-definition video input and when using DV Rack 2.0 HD, accepts HDV, DVCPro50 and DVCProHD footage as well. Users also get a full-resolution 1280x720 monitor ensuring precise pixel-for-pixel display of 720p footage. The monitor helps shooters achieve the absolute best image possible from their camera and includes features such as underscan, safe area and letterbox display. The Field Monitor can also be flipped horizontally and vertically to support 35mm lens adaptors, such as the Redrock Micro M2.

DV Rack’s Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope feature industry-standard monitoring functions enabling users to monitor the actual post-compression signal as it will be recorded. New in this version is an RGB Waveform Monitor for users wishing to monitor individual channels separately to easily see which channel is illegal.

Better Analyzing, Continuity and More
DV Rack lets users analyze audio by actually seeing what cannot be heard with headphones alone. The new Audio Spectrum Analyzer III features analyzing modes, exact frequency readouts, and more accurate display graphics that help indicate poor microphone placement and orientation so users can adjust levels for dramatic audio quality improvements.

DV Rack 2.0 offers advanced tools for checking continuity between shots. The Split Function in the Field Monitor now provides on-screen controls to adjust the position of the split making it easier to check continuity from one shot to another. The new Onion Skin mode enables users to overlay a semi-transparent recorded clip on top of a live or recorded video to ensure users get identical framing between shots. This feature is useful for stop-motion animators to see variations from one frame to the next.

The ShotClock Timer is now editable and now offers a count-down feature and support for 24p (NDF) mode. The DV Grabber now allows users to capture to the DVR while the Spectra 60’s lock feature helps users fix onto a particular pixel for accuracy when adjusting for color or brightness settings on the camera.

- more –

DV Rack 2.0 has two versions available. DV Rack 2.0 SD supports standard definition cameras while DV Rack 2.0 HD offers additional support for HDV and Panasonic DVCPro cameras. DV Rack 2.0 will run on a Windows 2000/XP laptop or desktop PC connected to a standard NTSC or PAL camcorder via FireWire. Output is in standard formats such as AVI and QuickTime with additional support now being offered for Avid-based NLEs.

DV Rack 2.0 HD also includes Serious Magic’s DVCProHD Decoder, its Video for Windows (VfW) decoder that enables Sony® Vegas® and Adobe® Premiere® Pro users to edit DVPro50 and DVCProHD video files without the need for transcoding. This decoder also includes an easy-to-use software utility that quickly converts native MXF files from the Panasonic camera to standard AVI or QuickTime files. For more information on this decoder, visit www.seriousmagic.com/DVCProDecoder

For more information on DV Rack 2.0 http://www.seriousmagic.com/products...newIn2_dtd.cfm


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