Advice and Guidance on Video Equipment

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Ricksg, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    I'm a newcomer to this forum and I'm searching for some guidance and or advice on external video recorders from fellow members.

    I have a blackmagic design hyperdeck shuttle video recorder that I use with a Panasonic HVX--170 video camera to record video.

    My question is that why is it that whenever I transfer the video files to a laptop computer and try to playback these video clips using Quicktime or Media Express, the software freezes and have to force quit the programs?

    I'm using a Macbook Pro laptop with 16GB of RAM running Snow Leopard connected to a Seagate Thunder bolt adapter and a 246GB Vertex SSD drive.

    Does anyone out there have experience using this type of recorder and computer set up that have had similar problems?

    Not sure if this belongs in the same forum, but is having a RAID necessary to playback any video files recorded on SSD's? If so which ones should I get? What brand, make or model would fellow members recommend?

    Any advice and guidance would be greatly appreciated.
  2. macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    What are the required specs to run the BMD?
    Ive ran into issues with BMD hardware where they are so finicky on specific specs :p

    Now is the freeze up during playback or when the app starts?
    The HyperDeck2 can record to ProRes and DNxHD, do you have the right drivers for that?

    So many factors to consider.
    I dont usually playback back native files with the exception of R3Ds (using a ROCKET).
    I usually convert all acquisitions to whatever workflow codec I need it to be.
    Mostly ProRes4444 for what I do but at times ProRes422 and even DNxHD##.
  3. macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I'm sure the SSD is fast enough for real time playback. The problem is likely the file format or codec that quicktime can't handle.

    You have to post a tiny example of your file someplace for other to see.
  4. macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    To be honest Snow Leopard could also be the culprit.
    So many factors to test.
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Advice and Guidance on Video Equipment

    According to black magic design support as long as you have a thunderbolt drive, you should be able to playback compressed and uncompressed video.

    They never mentioned anything about going through an intermediate codec or converting it to apple prores codec.

    Another question I have for other video producers out there, is what other video recording options are availalble now that record uncompressed video?

    Also, what are the pro's and con's regarding recording uncompressed video?

    In terms of video quality, is uncompressed video ten times better than compressed video?
  6. macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Well that depends what you mean by Uncompressed.
    Im not sure what codec your recording too.
    HD Uncompressed in ProRes is different from the other options e.g. DNxHD.
    Both codes Ive mentioned are really no Uncompressed.
    You might be overthinking this whole process.
    Your camera is HD right?
    Real time recorders like Atomos and HyperDeck have their own codecs.
    I dont know if Atomos does actual uncompressed video.


    Okay Im pretty sure that whatever wrapper BMD is using for Uncompressed isnt any of the ones I mentioned.
    However, Ive never ever had real-time playback with QT Uncompressed (none) with clips over 30 seconds on a beefed up Mac Pro with 32GB RAM playing off a SAS RAID.
    So I cant see how youd want to try that off a laptop even if is SSD.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Advice and Guidance on Video Equipment

    The 10bit uncompressed video is in native Apple Quicktime format. So you would think it would play flawlessly,but it doesn't.

    The following is from the black magic design website :

    Unparalleled File Compatibility

    HyperDeck Shuttle captures the world's most popular video files in native uncompressed 10-bit QuickTime and compressed Apple ProRes 422 (HQ) or Avid DNxHD MXF files. Recording straight to ProRes or DNxHD is perfect for working with the full Avid Media Composer family of software including NewsCutter and Symphony. There is no need to reformat or transcode your files, so you get the most efficient Avid workflow. DNxHD files can easily be graded natively with DaVinci Resolve using full AAF roundtrip with Media Composer. HyperDeck Shuttle also records direct to mathematically perfect quality uncompressed 10-bit QuickTime files that can be used with all popular video software like Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro, After Effects, DaVinci Resolve and more!

    I'm recording video with my Panasonic HVX-170 using an SDI cable connected from the camera to the Hyperdeck Shuttle. The camera has an SDI output that was one of the reasons getting it.

    When I've used final cut 7 it plays some of the files but sometimes only the audio plays. For some reason AVID doesn't have problems playing the videos. Although there is conversion process before you're able to use the files for editing.

    So I'm trying to find what is the best workflow for using the equipment that I have.
  8. macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Avid via AMA or Import?
    It does do a conversion to DNxHD.
    Honestly trying to get true Uncompressed isnt all that cut out to be if your deliverable are Web or SD.
    Now if its HD and your trying to keep the workflow fluid then shoot to ProRes 422(HQ) or DNxHD for Avid use.
    I work with R3Ds mostly with the occational XDCAM.
    The only real Uncompressed workflow I have is straight from After Effects consisting of CG from Maya/Photoshop/AE combined layers.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2007
    Your HDD isn't able to serve up the data fast enough to play uncompressed. Record as ProRes HQ — it's just as good as uncompressed in most scenarios.
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 21, 2013
    Advice and Guidance on Video Equipment

    Thanks for everybody's helpful responses.

    Sorry if I hadn't replied earlier, but being busy at work delayed me a little bit.

    I should explain the reason for seeking advice on this matter.

    I'm currently working on a short documentary. And I wanted to get the best possible video quality with the equipment that I have.

    In searching for recorders this particular black magic shuttle seem to offer some advantages and theoretically better image quality because it records at 10 bit uncompressed.

    Also, I have noticed that when I shoot with P2 cards and edit the footage using there seems to be a lot of video noise. Especially when you export it to make a dvd. Now correct if I'm wrong but if you shoot with P2 cards isn't the video compressed to begin with. Then when you create a dvd, isn't it compressed again.

    So, I figured that by shooting in uncompressed I would get better images and when I finished editing and made dvd's I wouldn't be getting hardly any video noise. Is that wrong logic?

    Are there any other documentarians out there? I would be very interested in finding out what kind of camera other filmmakers or video artists are using for indie projects. Is everyone just using dslr's? Am I too out dated with the equipment that I have?

    Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated and thanks again for all of your responses.
  11. macrumors demi-god


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    10 bit uncompressed recording from the HVX170 is a bit like pouring a liter of Coke into an empty 2 liter bottle. You have a bigger bottle but still the same amount of Coke.

    The logic is sound in theory, but in reality you have a workflow that requires large amounts of fast storage but doesn't result in anymore quality gains. Recording in regular ProRes would yield much smaller files than 10-bit uncompressed and I'd bet there isn't a visible difference between the two (the camera is only 8-bit to begin with). If you are feeling paranoid you could use ProRes HQ but even that I feel like would be over kill.

    The doc in my sig was shot with a DVX100 and became available on cable VOD and all major streaming outlets (iTunes, Netflix, Amazon, etc.,) in spring of 2012. I don't recommend working in SD today, but don't get obsessive about image quality (especially for a doc where the audience is truly more interested about what it's about than how it looks).

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