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DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime

Posted by VPiccin 
DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 11:28AM
I have a cameraman friend who recently purchased a Firestore to record the DVCProHD output of his camera. I helped him setup an old Powerbook G4 laptop to use to copy the files off to drives he can hand out to his clients.

He would, of course, like to be able to play the clips on the laptop to verify them before he wipes the Firestore.

Well it seems that the DVCPro codec is only licensed by Apple for use with FCP. His machine does not have FCP on it. A web search leads me to only one product that will install the codecs, but that only works on Intel Macs.

[www.apple.com]

Anyone here ever resolved the issue of playing DVCPro HD files on a non-FCP machine?

-Vance
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 11:31AM
You're correct. The Quicktime components bundled with Final Cut Pro (like DVCPRO HD, the 8- and 10-bit uncompressed components and the ProRes encode/decode component) are only licensed for use on a system with Final Cut Pro installed.

But the good news is that your guy's Final Cut Pro license allows him to install the software on both his desktop and his laptop system. It's in the fine print somewhere. I think the license says something about how you aren't supposed to use both installations at the same time, but I could be mis-remembering that.

So the solution is just to take the Final Cut Pro software he already has and install it on his laptop. It's totally within the letter and spirit of the license.

Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 11:39AM
Well the problem here is that he is a shooter, and doesn't edit. He does not own FCP. I suspect that if I tell him he has to pony up $1500 to support a device that cost him less than a grand he may not appreciate the irony. I have considered looking for a use copy of FCP HD or 5.0 but it seems like a long reach just to get the codecs.

-V
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 11:41AM
If he only wants to verify that the clips are there, could he not use Panasonic's P2CMS? It won't convert clips or anything but it will verify. And it's free.

ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 11:50AM
I guess I'm not seeing the irony. If Focus doesn't make clear on the Firestore box (or whatever) that you need Final Cut Pro installed to play back DVCPRO HD recordings in Quicktime format, then that's Focus' problem, and your friend should simply return the device, since he doesn't meet the requirements for using it.

Andrew, P2CMS is Intel-only. There might be a P2 viewer out there that works on obsolete hardware, but I'm not aware of one myself.

Apple shipped the last PowerPC-based Mac more than three years ago. Clinging to unsupported, end-of-lifed hardware is counter-productive, because it wastes time and effort and any success you happen to have along the way is a dead end. It's really time to move on.

Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 12:03PM
Well I am not sure that Focus can be blamed here. They do what they do just fine. They make file based recordings in the DVCPro codec. To return the thing seems a bit extreme, no?

Just because hardware is end of life doesn't mean you can't find a purpose for it. I have one of those old G4 laptops too. I keep in in my bedroom to check the TV listings online when I am in bed. The machine does a fine job copying the files, we are just looking to do a quick verification.

You are right, at Andrew's suggestion I checked out P2CMS. Not for old hardware.

-V
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 03:55PM
>P2CMS is Intel-only.

Nono. Not true. I have a copy of P2CMS running on a G5. Downloaded it by accident because at one time it was universal binary. It ran fine, I only realized it afterwards that it was supposed to be intel only. The only issue is that the DvcproHD codec provided with P2CMS may require an Intel architecture, so it may not work on a PPC.

However, you could try installing Avid's QT codecs, and see if the DV100 codec allows you to read DvcproHD. They're essentially the same codec. This will probably run on Tiger. Not sure about Panther.

[avid.custkb.com]



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 04:27PM
Thanks Strypes, but no joy. I tried both the P2CMS program and the Avid codecs. The laptop my friend is using is upgraded to Tiger, as far as that old beast will go. The P2CMS program runs, and I can see both it's codec and the Avid codecs in the proper folder in the Library.

Still when I play the DVCPro test clip I made with Final Cut all I get is black video.

-V
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 24, 2009 07:39PM
just instal FCP on the guys laptop.
i think the license is for A desktop and A laptop.
not your desktop and your laptop.

OR
rather than messing around with avid codecs,
take the relevant DvcproHD quicktime components from your system and put them on his.

DvcproHD was around a long time before intel-only macs, so it may well work.


nick
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 08:15AM
Quote

i think the license is for A desktop and A laptop. not your desktop and your laptop.

Heh. No, Nick, giving copies of the software away is not allowed by the license. Nice try, though.

Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 08:26AM
Well legal subtleties aside, as I have both a laptop and desktop already running the software I think I have hit the limit.

I checked the specs for FCE and it does not seem to support DVCPro HD. Anyone know from experience that it does?

-V
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 08:38AM
i wonder what a copy of FCP3, or FCP4 goes for these days on ebay?

nick
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 09:48AM
Yea I had thought of tracking down an old copy of FCP HD. I am thinking that would be the first that would likely include the HD codecs.
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 09:58AM
i really wish they hadn't called it Final Cut Pro HD.
SO misleading!

FCP has been capable of working with HD since version 3, i think
pretty sure thats when DVCProHD was added.

but yeah, you probably wouldn't even find that for sale,
and might as well get the latest one that's doesn't seem like to much money for this single task.


nick
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 10:33AM
> FCP has been capable of working with HD since version 3, i think

Nope. Version 4.5. That's why they called it "Final Cut Pro HD". Even Version 4.2 didn't have any HD formats available.


www.derekmok.com
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 10:48AM
no, it really was version 3!

Final Cut Pro HD was only labeled HD because they added support for advanced pulldown via FW,
or some such relatively minor thing.
a regrettable bit of hype, really.

Cold Mountain was FCP3 using DVCProHD.
that's my recollection, anyways.

Aussie ebay has 4.5 for around 350 bucks


nick
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 11:11AM
That is about the price I am seeing on US Ebay as well.

I am going to check out version 3. I have a license for that that I never used. Might be a good place to put it to work.

-V
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 12:00PM
OK just learned two good things. First it seems that the DVCPro codecs are coded differently for Intel and PPC machines. I copied the ones on my G5 over to my ancient laptop and low and behold it plays the DVCProHD files just fine.

Second, for my friends machine I thought I would try an install of the unused version of FCP 3 that I had in the archives. Well don't you know time has passed. The installer had just about started when it tripped up on an error message about wanting the ORIGINAL FCP install CD. Of course that is what I was working from. So I guess Tiger, QT 7 and FCP3 are not going to play nice. Hardly a surprise.
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 12:28PM
OK, so I had a drive that had OSX 2 (which cat was that?) on it to keep alive my copy of Avid DV Express. I installed FCP3 on that. Well, as Derek suggested, there was nothing about DVCPro in that at all. As a matter of fact it had exactly 4 settings. DV in NTSC and PAL, and DV to offline RT in NTSC and PAL.

I do remember early on folks working with HD in FCP, but as I recall it was with the support of an external card by maybe Pinnacle? That must be what installed the additional codecs.
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 03:36PM
>First it seems that the DVCPro codecs are coded differently for Intel and PPC machines.

They seem to be. Having an Intel version of the DvcproHD codec on a PPC machine (via P2CMS), will trigger an error message in the Console.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 25, 2009 09:50PM
Quote

installed FCP3 on that. Well, as Derek suggested, there was nothing about DVCPro in that at all. As a matter of fact it had exactly 4 settings. DV in NTSC and PAL, and DV to offline RT in NTSC and PAL.

well, what do you know.
but it would have had more settings than that.
where are the uncompressed settings?

i still think FCP3 could work with HD material if, as you say, you had the right cards and drives.
must have been uncompressed HD, which is no help to your friend!

Quote

I copied the ones on my G5 over to my ancient laptop and low and behold it plays the DVCProHD files just fine.

glad you found a fix.


all the best,
nick
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 26, 2009 02:35AM
FCP 3 could handle HD but only as Uncompressed or whatever codec came w/the capture card used. IIRC FCP didn't support any HD camera codecs until 4.5 when it added DVCPro HD support via FW.


-Andrew
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 26, 2009 08:03AM
If I remember correctly, didn't Motion 1 have DVCProHD as an export option? (I wrote a quicktip of the week piece on this a few years back). Originally, Motion was sold separately from FCP. You can probably find someone here to sell you a copy of Motion 1 for close to nothing. I think that should give you the DVCProHD QT components and keep you within the EULA.
Re: DVCPro HD codec in Quicktime
October 26, 2009 08:29AM
I'll have to delve back into the archives (read box of old software). I think I had a copy of the original Motion.

-V
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