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NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP

Posted by Welts Paintball 
NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 03, 2009 05:14PM
Okay I spent a few weeks going through all of the different posts reltaed to HDV, and although I found there are many on here who don't like HDV (for whatever reasons) I am putting together a system for the work I am doing.. and I made some purchases, but find a few mis-match issues and I need some advice...

I allocated a specific amount of money to purchase the following systems, and I made the following purchase.... two identicle systems of the following

Canon XH A1S HD CAMCORDER - CAXHA1SJ
Sony HVR-M15AU DIGITAL HD VTR - SOHVRM15AU

Mac Pro (Tower)Configuration - One 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
8GB (4x2Gsmoking smiley 640GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s -1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s -1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s - 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s -ATI Radeon HD 4870 512MB -One 18x SuperDrive -
FCP Studio 2
AJA KONA LHI 12-BIT CAPTURE CARD W/HDMI - AJKONALHI


As I am putting everything together I noticed the HDV Deck does not have BNC connectors, but the AJA Kona Card uses BNC only....

So here is where my question comes up!!! with this mismatch which would be beneficial...

1) Keep everything as it is, and the AJA Kona card will still help during Digitizing and Editing.. and at a later date update the deck.

2) Return the AJA Cards for now, work with FCP2 without it...

or

3) Return one Deck, one AJA Card, and use that money to purchase 1 Higher end Deck....


I am trying to figure out if I am getting my monies worth if I just do 1.... would i lose alot of productivity if I do 2.... or am I creating two mismatched ssytems which will be a bigger problem later....


Hope I was clear on this question.... thanks for any and all help...

BTW I shoot paintball related videos and marketing promos.. all short format, I deliver HDV Masters, with SD DVD Duplication masters, and HD QT Files for online distribution...

Jason C

Could I have built a better mousetrap??
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 03, 2009 05:51PM
Yeah, I'm afraid you're kind of off the mark here in several areas.

The deck you've bought won't play well with your camera. Incompatibilities between Canon-shot HDV tapes and HDV decks are pretty extensively documented elsewhere; you can google around for details if you want. Also, that particular model only does Firewire and analog.

Return the deck, return the Kona board, buy an HV40, a Blackmagic HDMI output board and a consumer HDTV with HDMI input for monitoring. Unless you already have an HD-SDI broadcast monitor, in which case keep the Kona board but ditch the deck for an HV40.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 03, 2009 06:05PM
Ae you saying I should use the HV40 as a Deck??

I never would have thought about doing that.... or am I reading your post wrong?
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 03, 2009 07:05PM
Nope, you're not reading it wrong, and yeah, wacky as it sounds, that's what I'm saying.

There is no VTR on the market that can play back HDV tapes recorded on Canon cameras reliably. They're all incompatible in certain relatively minor ways, but those minor ways can bite you in the butt. Buying a virtually disposable ? eight or nine hundred bucks ? HDV camera to use as your Firewire deck saves you wear and tear on your A-camera, plus it makes a fine B-camera if the need ever comes up.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 03, 2009 11:21PM
SO I would get the Blackmagic HDMI Extreme, and using the HDMI, or the Firewire from the HV40 Digitize into FCP in HDV..... and for a client monitor, just get a small 235 HDMI Walmart special TV, and use the HDMI from the HV40..... okay, i'm thinking about that now....

And this won't look all jinky!!!

I'll squeeze the numbers tomorrow morning...

thanks so far.. anyone else with a different perspective, please let me know....
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 12:41AM
potentially useful bit of info over here : [forums.creativecow.net]
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 08:13AM
Digitize over Firewire. And yeah, basically just buy a consumer television with HDMI and use that as your client monitor.

Please take note, however, of the difference between a client monitor and a broadcast monitor. A broadcast monitor is typically built to a fairly strict set of tolerances, and usually can be calibrated to within an inch of its life to give you the most reliable reference picture for, for example, judging white and black levels and color saturation.

Consumer televisions aren't like they. They're built by the tens of thousands, with virtually no quality control compared to proper broadcast monitors. They lack, to name one example, the option to turn off the red and green and show only blue, which is a very useful tool for monitor calibration. And of course, no consumer television includes a waveform monitor or vectorscope.

So why would I recommend buying a consumer TV over a broadcast monitor? Only one reason: cost. Consumer HDTVs with HDMI in come free in cereal boxes these days, practically, while broadcast monitors still start in the mid-four figures and run all the way up to $20,000 or more. If a proper broadcast monitor is out of your reach then a consumer-grade client monitor is better than nothing. At least a client monitor will show you what your footage will look like on a television. That's something you can't simulate.

Andy, that page you linked to asserts that the HVR-M35U will play back all tapes on shot Canon HDV cameras. I've heard different, but I haven't put my hands on that deck to try it myself, largely because, well, I heard different so chose not to bother trying it out. Buyer beware on that one. But note, Jason, that if you opt out of the Kona board and put in a Blackmagic HDMI-only output board instead, the M35 will give you nothing that an HV40 wouldn't, except a bigger, cooler looking piece of kit for your room. If you have a Kona board and the M35 (and the M35 will play back Canon tapes reliably as asserted on Andy's link) then you've got a great setup that will allow you to capture the HDV material you shoot in any format you like in real time, rather than digitizing it in real time over Firewire and then converting it in a batch process to whatever other format you might need.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 08:55AM
I disagree with using a standard consumer TV - that is no monitoring tool if color correctness & temperature is important to you no matter what type of work you are doing. You can get a highly professional (calibratable) Panasonic BT-LH1710 for under $3,000:

[www.bhphotovideo.com]

If it's your only option, with a consumer monitor you get what you see and that's that.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:17AM
The guy's building a system to cut HDV, Joey. He's not gonna be doing intricate color grading. If the 1710 (which I haven't used) is closer to the 1760 (which I have) than the 1700 (which I also have) then it'd be an okay monitor, but Jason would still have to have an HD-SDI I/O board to feed it. So that $3,000 price tag is more like a $4,000 price tag at the minimum.

And this is the most important point as far as I'm concerned: if one cannot accommodate $4,000 or more in the budget for monitoring, then having a consumer-grade client monitor is better than having no monitor at all. Having no monitor at all and trying to cut using only the Final Cut UI is, in my opinion, completely unacceptable.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:50AM
Okay... so now that I have had time to sleep over it a bit I got to thinking.... Also a hot cup of morning coffee helped me out too...

If the majority of my problems come from the Canon HDV XH A1s (which is sooo sexxy) why don't I just swap out the Cameras....

Would there be a comparable HDV Camera, and format that would work better with my system... I have to search the halls of B&H for a bit....

if I swap out the camera, then the decks would be more useful, and then does the Kona Card work or should I lose that too....

Hmmmmm eye rolling smiley
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:51AM
That's why forums like this are so great...opinions are posted and not everyone has the same views & recommendations. God bless forums grinning smiley

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:53AM
Why HDV? Have you looked at AVCHD (CUT TO: jeff's head swelling like in "SCANNERS"winking smiley?

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:00AM
this is my first step into HD content production.. I have been doing SD video Production & Post for over 18 years...... I'm already having issues with this attempt.... so I would rather take cautious steps into new technology...not daring leaps!!!

but thanks for the input...
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:12AM
Issues with what attempt...HDV or AVCHD?

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:21AM
We're in a transitionary period in low-end HD technology right now. HDV is on the way out, DVCPRO HD may be as well, though it'll remain a staple for a long time. AVCHD may be the next HDV ? the consumer HD variant ? but it may not, it's too early to be sure. AVC Intra is poised to replace DVCPRO HD, but the computational requirements and DVCPRO HD's massive installed base will make that a gradual thing, not an overnight sea change. And only God Himself knows what the 5D Mk II and the upcoming Scarlet are going to do to the state of the art. The big boys are going to stay with the F35 and Genesis and One and eventually Epic, but at the low end, anything could happen.

Consider not buying any cameras or decks right now. Consider investing in the best edit system you can possibly afford, but renting cameras and decks for the next year. Make a good, solid estimate of how many days you plan to shoot over the next year, look into rental rates on HVX200s and equivalent P2 gear and do the math. There's a very strong argument for staying out of the hardware business until things settle down a bit.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:21AM
i havent looked at AVCHD so it would be my attempt to create a HDV System I'm having issues with... SEE ORIGINAL POST....
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:22AM
Easy, man...OK. Have fun.

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:30AM
not shutting you down.. but I am trying to keep this convo on track... I have looked at HDD/SDHC systems, and I have too many concerns about archiving to get into them here...... thats why I don't want to go that route with the convo right now...

I appreciate all advice, as long as it is in the direction of the targetted issues right now.. we can chat later on HDD/SDHC Systems...
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:34AM
Well, Jason, that's just the thing. Everything's connected, as you discovered before you made your first post. You have a camera (that shoots a specific format) which means you're limited in your deck options, and the deck you choose determines whether or not you need HDSDI I/O, which informs your monitoring choice. Every domino knocks over the next one.

If you're committed to HDV, then my recommendation remains what I said above: Keep the XH A1, replace your VTR with an HV40, replace your Kona board with a Blackmagic Intensity, buy a consumer television to use as a client monitor. It's not great, but it'll all work.

It's just that along the way, you got some free advice from smart people about whether or not that's your best option. Yay for getting free advice?

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:42AM
will I have issues with editing in FCP... I assume for 189.00 the Blackmagic Intensity is not helping out there at all.... and Do i need the help there.... or am I wandering too far off track now...
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:44AM
Huh? Issues?

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:55AM
well the Kona card was purchased because of AJA's claims of it assisting in rendering HDV Footage for quicker playback and higher processing power Blah Blah Blah.... will the Blackmagic Intensity assit in processing, or is it just an IO card....
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 10:59AM
Ehhhh, I think you might want to check those claims again. To the best of my knowledge, the Kona board only performs a real-time 1440-to-1920 scaling on your HDV material, which your computer is more than capable of doing by itself. I've cut HDV material on a Kona LH-based system and on my MacBook Pro, and there was no noticeable difference in real-time performance that couldn't be handwaved away by the inherent differences between the two host platforms.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 12:54PM
Okay.. update... I decided enough talk, more action....

I went and shot a myriad of format types of footage with my Canon....

i used my Sony HVR M15AU to digitize said footage (firewire 400)....

all of the footage was able to be captured onto my MBP FCP2 with minor machine control issues...

when Digitizing SD 24F, 60I, and 30F at 16:9 i was able to use the FCP Capture tool with machine control under the Firewire NTSC Device Control..

When Digitizing HD 60I, 30F, and 24F I could use Apple intermediate codec, and Prores 422, but I could not get machine control.. I had to play the deck, then when I triggered (Command 8) i was given a text field to name the clip (alone), and once I hit enter FCP showed me a capture preview screen (no Controls)


sounds like to me the Deck works with this camera, and the various formats... the only issue is machine control....


Let me know what you guys think...

Jason
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 01:26PM
That's really surprising. Sony HDV decks (with apparently the possible exception of the M35) are explicitly not supposed to play back Canon-recorded tapes in 24F format. If what you describe is true, that's big news.

As for your device settings, there are a couple different flavors of Easy Setups in Final Cut for working with HDV. There's the regular 1080i60 preset, then there's a "Firewire Basic" preset. I don't recall off the top of my head which one of those Sony gear prefers. For 1080p24, of course there's only the "Firewire Basic" preset, so that's the one you have to use.

Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 01:37PM
the great thing is the deck has indicator lights that show 60i 30p 24p 50i 25p

and as the footage changed the indicator lights changed as well.... of course when digitizing FCP would hickup on the change from SD to HD, and framerate to framerate....

and the best part is the Sony deck HVR M15AU was only 1959.00 from B&H....

so I think what I will do is loose the kona card, and just get the decklink card reccommended for output monitoring to a consumer grade Client Monitor...


thanks for all the help guys....
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 05:09PM
> There is no VTR on the market that can play back
> HDV tapes recorded on Canon cameras reliably.


You might want to check out and see if a Sony GV-HD700 is available on Ebay or somewhere else. I've been using this deck with firewire to bring in either HDV or SD (it can downconvert on import) for at least 2 years from a Canon XH-A1A and HV30.
No problems whatsoever.

Just checked. There's a few new ones on Ebay.
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 08:52PM
heres another related thread on the topic of multi format HDV playback from Sony decks: [forums.creativecow.net]
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:07PM
>so I think what I will do is loose the kona card, and just get the decklink card reccommended for output monitoring to a consumer grade Client Monitor...

If you're going this route Jason, I'd strongly recommend the Matrox MXO2 Mini ... it has the same basic HDMI I/O as the Intensity but with some added advantages too, including a built in tool to calibrate it's output to better match your consumer grade client monitor.

Check it out over here: [www.matrox.com]
Re: NEW HDV System Configuration issues!! HELP
August 04, 2009 09:14PM
Thanks for posting that link, Andy. That information about the M35 postdates my research into it, so I'm not surprised that I missed it. Of course, I got so badly pissed off when I was looking into VTR options that would work with my XL H1, I refuse to believe any of that stuff until I actually make it work with my own hands, but it's good to know that at least there's a possibility of something other than "nope, can't be done."

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