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Old May 8th, 2008, 11:59 PM   #1
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Print to Tape HDV Workflow for Mac Doesn't Work

I’ve had a frustrating week trying to complete a project that I began on a Mac, but needed to print back to tape for archive and delivery to the client, as well as use to make WMV files for the client.

I thought this article would shed some light on some the difficulties of working with native HDV files on the Mac.

It seems the only solution for print to tape from FCP is to step up to DVCProHD and output via HDSDI to a $5000 deck . . . in other words spend another $10K and spend a lot of time rendering to get the HDV stuff up to HDSDI spec.
Also, I would need a new Mac, since my CoreDuo MacMini won’t support the HD-SDI card anyway – so better make that $16K and a lot of render time.

Also, noticed that without AIC selected in FCP, I still get AIC-styley artifacts that are missing from the PC file form the same media. Some hints about why in the article. (and why the gamma is different)

Some things I tried:
Copy .MOV file to PC – no playback available. The QuickTime HDV container is entirely proprietary to the Mac platform.
Print to tape from FCP 5.04 – failed.
Print to tape from FCP Studio 2 – failed horrible tons of dropped frames and awful skipping – jumping around.
Render complete timeline as a HDV .MOV file and print to tape from Studio 2– failed.
Upconvert to DVCProHD and move to PC – failed. Apparently the DVCProHD .MOV container is similarly proprietary to the original HDV MOV – see the article.
Use iMovie ‘07 to print to tape – this made a 0.9 aspect DV file and did print it to tape. It looked awful.

Next up on the block for testing print to tape:
Final Cut Express – uses AIC, but at this point I will take the quality hit
iMovieHD ’08 – uses AIC, but at this point I will take the quality hit
Install Vegas in Parallels and try something??
Use MPEGStreamClip to dump out something else, and hope it resembles a M2T file.
Find Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 for Mac and see what it can do
Use the AspectHD plugins somehow (I really like what these do on the PC, and they have some Mac software)

Also tried (for WMV only)
Use Flip4Mac Pro – terrible quality
Use Compressor and then move DV files to the PC – aspect 0.9 again and terrible output quality – color banding and artifacts galore.

Anyway, hope this helps you guys out and you don’t have additional workflow issues related to this.
Please don't hassle me about disk speed performance . . . c'mon am I a noob?
It's HDV guys, how many Mbps is that? 25!! Yes, I was using the internal drive.
Matthew Galvin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2008, 09:02 AM   #2
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Location: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
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Print To Tape is rock solid with native HDV quicktime movies over here.

Possible issues may be the hardware (MacMini is not generally regarded as being a good choice for Pro Apps work); using internal drive (not recommended for working with FCP).
Regarding Compressor for spitting out files to take over to PC, did you not convert to a standard mpeg program or transport stream (m2t) rather than mangle to a DV file?
Andy Mees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 9th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #3
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Case you didn't know, you can create WMV files on a Mac with the Flip4Mac plugin for QuickTime. You may need a more capable machine to handle HDV as Andy says.
Benjamin Hill is offline   Reply

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