OT: SDI to iMac?

Posted by Jeff Harrell 
OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 09:44AM
I'm looking for a good solution for getting SDI (standard-definition only, no HD) into half a dozen iMac-based offline edit systems. This is for quick-and-dirty capture and assembly, not serious editing.

The Aja Io LD seems like a pretty good option; it's Firewire based, and does standard-def SDI. But the iMac has only one Firewire bus, I think, and we're currently using it for our G-RAID framestores. So I'm not sure how well an Io LD on the same bus would work.

Obviously we could put in Mac Pros with I/O boards from Aja or Blackmagic or what have you, but we've already got iMacs here, and we'd like to find a good way to add SDI capture capabilities to them. Does anybody know of a good option?

Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 10:32AM
Can we assume hooking those iMac's up to a nice ethernet based SAN (FinalShare is looking good) with a single suitably equipped capture station hanging off it is out of the question?
Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 11:48AM
Working with this footage on an iMac is one thing...easy enough. But CAPTURING with an AJA I/O is quite another. Jeff, this is a CONSUMER machine, not designed for this. That firewire bus is your issue, and I can't see any way to get around that.


At the last LAFCPUG meeting my buddy Leslie (formerly from a raid enclosure company) has made a device that is like a PCIe expansion chassey. It had a FIBRE card, a Kona LHe card, and a couple other cards. Not on the market yet, but man...I want to test one when it is.


Listen to THE EDIT BAY Podcast on iTunes
Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 12:20PM
Yup, you're absolutely right, Shane. These are consumer machines, and not suited for what we want to do with them. Alas, they're the machines we have ? they were bought and installed long before I came aboard ? and I was asked for options.

I'm going to recommend we repurpose some old, but top-of-the-line for their time, G5s instead. Add Decklink cards, move some existing FCP licenses around and call it a day.

Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 12:50PM
Shane couldn't jeff get a telestream pipeline for about 2000. Its an sd model and hooks up thru gig ethernet on a network. Then you could capture sdi with imacs.
Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 14, 2009 01:09PM
Theoretically, yes. But that's not a solution I'd be willing to bank our business on. We'd need to buy at least two of them just to have enough channels, and we'd really need four for redundancy in case of hardware failure. It's a neat option, and we're evaluating Telestream encoders for other uses, but it's not the right solution here, I don't think.

Re: OT: SDI to iMac?
May 15, 2009 12:54PM
how much drive space do you have on those iMacs?
capturing as Standard Def Prores to the internal wouldn't be impossible, i imagine.
(if the box can do ProRes)

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