Mac HD Editing Turnkey Solutions

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by zephyrnoid, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #2
    Check out the graphics!

    Option A doesn't give you uncompressed capture. Neither Firewire nor the Drobo have the bandwidth for it. And for field work (ie non-greenscreen) taking uncompressed off the HV20 is much hassle for little gain. I assume the 30" is for switching between viewing footage and FCP real estate? Otherwise it's 7" wasted.

    For Option B, CalDigit do a RAID card. It only works with their own mini-SAS disk arrays, however. I was considering one before getting the weirdest response e-mail I've ever had from their tech support. (Nothing to do with the RAID card — but that was the problem!) But they seem highly regarded. So are Atto. RAID cards need a bit of studying if you want to make sure you're getting a hardware one. And I've heard Encore+Mac+Blu-ray is a bit of a nightmare.


    Are you going to attempt to sell this? Assuming you are, I'd swap the HV20. I don't think many people would want that as part of a bundle that will cost this much. In fact I'd get rid of a camera/shooting equipment altogether. It's more of a pipe-dream than a workable production set-up.
     
  2. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #3
    OK
     
  3. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #4
    An MXO2 won't work with a 30" ACD.

    Drobos are very slow. You can't use them for capturing or editing, really only for archive.

    A better option would probably be an ioHD so that you'll be working with ProRes instead of Uncompressed. There isn't a way to capture uncompressed to a laptop (no way to connect fast enough hard drives). With an ioHD, you'll have to get a real HD broadcast monitor (I recommend JVC's for people on a budget).

    In terms of storage, you won't need anything super fast for ProRes. But a nice big RAID5 is great for editing (safety and speed). I second the recommendation for CalDigit. They have great support and are recommended on a lot of video forums.

    I agress this is a lot of hassle to be shooting with an HV20...
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    I work as an engineer. One that that always bothers me is when people design systems "backwards". You are doing just that. What yo've done is come up with a few proposed solutions. That should the the last step in a longer process. It's the fun part and bypasses a few borring steps so everyone does it.

    What you should do is write down some requirements. What resolutions do you need what file formats. How many streams do you edit at the same time. Do you have a budget? What is it. Do you alrwady own the cameras or is buying some part of the package. What about audio recording. Will you be gettig footage from outside source in digital formats? How many hous of footage do you work with at one time. How much will you need to archive on "near term" media. What about archival storage. And do NOT forget disater recovery (Fire, theft of equipment, hardware failure...) How would you handle this? How long and how much video? Write this all down and then what about budget?

    Now you can start. The first thing I'd do is look at your requirements for video format and number of streams them look up what kind of disks Apple recommednd in the back of the FCP user manual (there is a nice table there)

    As you select parts don't just "check off" each requirement, write a sentence or two about what hardware addresses it. Many you find two or thee items that could address it, choose later write all three down.

    What yo did is just to the end point and ask us "will this handle my needs". Anyone who answers not knowing your needs is giving un-informed advice.
     
  5. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    Turnkey solution for and for what? Is it for your? Your company? Are you planning on becoming a VAR (Value Added Reseller)? What is the budget you are trying to hit? Like ChrisA said, there are some unanswered Q's.


    Lethal
     
  6. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #7
    OK. I left a lot out. But deliberately.
    1- I'm not a VAR nor is the 'system' that we're trying to map out for a magazine article for sale. The exercise is technical/hypothetical.
    2- Of course I just slapped a bunch of bits up to map out the end to end structure. I'm a management consultant in my day job :eek: . This sort of diagram is merely what we term a "To Be". We do have the camera (so cute that HV20) as well as the Mac Pro and a 23" ACD as 'hosts' for the rest of the system.
    3- I am well aware of requirements docs ( breath them every damn day of my life) . But before I can write a competent article, similar to what I have read in the recent past, in an effort to guide neophytes towards informed decisions about the precise basic HD/SW system, something 'straw-man' had to be generated to initiate the conversation. I do appreciate the one post that indeed, listed the requirements categories. I also know that Many, Many indie videographers that must often wear so many hats ( Script writer, Camera, Audio, Director, Editor etc) will aspire to start producing in HD using some of the excellent ( and not so excellent) cameras that have recently hit the market. This article is intended as a springboard
    4- I know there are many different ways to skin a cat so there is no single definitive 'solution' here. But I've already offered so many clues.
    A- Two paths, portable and fixed
    B- Two capture options- Uncompressed and Compressed
    C- Two Delivery media- DVD & Blu-ray
    Given these parameters , there should be at least ONE fundamental and easily upgradeable and fungible system that most of us can agree on?

    Which Monitor for MX02 Broadcast calibration? 30"? Nope! MXO-2 won't support that. Fine, I'll change the drawing to reflect that new information. 23" then. etc...
    It's not my preferred method of architecting a tailored system, but we're talking about a semi-generic HD edit workstation. Thus my straw-man diagram.

    Please do keep the corrections and info coming. It's really helping a lot. Thanks!



     
  7. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #8
    So what is a REAL HD Broadcast monitor's features include?
    I've been working with these HD monitors ( yes they can be RGB color calibrated)....

    http://www.manhattanlcd.com/product_p/7001.htm

    Are they acceptable given your requirements?
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #9
    Apple doesn't sell the 23" ACD anymore and even if they did the MXO2 won't work with it.

    TVLogic is one company that makes broadcast quality LCD monitors.

    Check out ProMax or Silverado for examples of FCP turnkey solutions.


    Lethal
     
  9. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #10
    RE
    " Apple doesn't sell the 23" ACD anymore and even if they did the MXO2 won't work with it."

    What makes you say that? We're getting a test MX02 unit in December + updated software that should allow it to calibrate the Apple 23" Cinema HD Display for FCP grading. I made a typo. Yes it will NOT work with the older and confusingly named ACD 23" (culpa mia). The MX02 has all the necessary I/O and the calibration is software driven.

    Now.. your recommendation of Silverado is appreciated as they seem to be on my wavelength with regard to the configurations but even Mike doesn't go into much detail about his recommendations from a real-world project POV.
    http://silverado.cc/shop/product.php?productid=872&cat=107&page=1
    Ironically, I've been communicating with Mike Curtis and he admits that the specs and some truisms in his April 2007 article, HD Workstation for Indies, needs to be updated. I'm here to help with updating it.
    As an example: This "Well Equipped" config. was authored with no consideration for how to store the vast quantities of data that multiple project would generate over time. I wonder why a hot-swap enclosure was never mentioned for example? I mean, what are editors supposed to folks do to archive their HD files once they filled up the G-Tech 3.0 TB G-Speed RAID that is cited as an example?
    Also, the Matrox MX02 has only just been released and is still being refined. So for UNCOMPRESSED capture + Transcoding, it should have been on Mike's list (or maybe he'll add it now)
    Finally, Even Silverado's astute use of Mike's 2007 article doesn't really get you there without a lot of finessing of the system and workflow. What makes a usable turnkey system usable isn't just the stringing along of a bunch of HW&SW. It's as one respondent to my post stated, stating project requirements and intent in a 'plan' which is then used as a foundation upon which to build the turnkey system. I wanted a generic start and Mike Curtis + Silverado are that.
    I should also point out that too many VARs in America as more than happy to just sell you gear and if you REALLY want help in stringing the RIGHT gear together, you need to enroll in their classes, where you will be pushed towards sales.
    I ponder weather any Film Schools of repute have Instructors that have no vested interest in selling but only in sharing knowledge. That's my next stop in this quest.

    A highly relevant pull-quote from Mike...

    "Keep in mind when calculating storage requiements, you'll need to include:
    -enough room for all your offline resolution media (all your captured source at offline resolution)
    -enough room for your online media (your final selects at full res, uncompressed, with handles)
    -enough room for color corrected renders
    -enough room to render out a freestanding digital master
    -plus plenty of extra for visual effects renders, FCP render scratch space, tests, DVD renders & disc images, etc.
    It is a far, FAR better thing to have too much space and not need it than to have too little and need more.
    And you typically need more than you think."

    Another interesting point about the mismatch between a CRT Broadcast Monitor for Color grading, when the end-users are much less likely to be using a CRT HD TV to view content on...
    "Video Monitoring - at this level, you need to have accurate color monitoring, as well as an accurate view of your pixels - the base config here includes a 17" JVC that will display all video formats (NTSC/PAL/720p/1080i/1080p) you are likely to ever use. Optionally, however, you can add or switch out to a 23" 1920x1200 professional LCD panel with HD-SDI inputs for pixel-for-pixel accurate monitoring to see all the detail of what is happening with your signal. Ideally, you'd have both - the CRT for guaranteed accuracy down into the shadow detail for color work, and the LCD for a precise view of your pixels...and a more realistic view of how your HD footage is going to be seen (HD CRTs in living rooms are a rarity - it is all rear projection, LCD & plasma these days). There's also the larger 20" Sony CRT if you're more comfortable with that brand, but it is quite pricey and only offers 700 lines of resolution in 16:9 mode. "

    TVLogic looks to have the right monitors. This one for example....
    LVM - 091W NEW!
    9 inch Multi-Format Monitor

    Multi-Format 2 Channel SDI Signal Support
    (480i, 576i, 720P, 1035i, 1080i, 1080P, 1080PsF)

    · Input - 1 D-SUB, 3 BNC (Analog), 2 BNC (SDI)
    · Output - 1 BNC (Selected SDI Channel - Active Thru Out)
    · LCD Resolution - 800 x 480 (15:9)
    · Dot Pitch - 0.246 x 0.246 mm
    · Color - 16.7M (true), 24bit
    · Contrast - 350:1
    · Viewing Angle - 170 degrees
    · Power - 12V DC, Standard Integrated V-Mount Provided
    · Weight - 4.6 lbs

    But how much is it and why is it more accurate at calibration than the $600 Manhattan LCD job?

     
  10. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #11
    1) You can't capture Uncompressed HD video on a laptop. Not even with an MXO2.

    2) That 9" TVLogic is more of a field monitor... It doesn't have enough resolution to color correct/judge focus. It is only SD resolution. You really need a 20-24" broadcast display to have enough resolution. JVC's 24" DT-V24L3DU is another great option

    Broadcast LCDs have LUTs for displaying accurate color for video signals. That Manhattan LCD seems like a fine computer display, but not made for video work. That's why it takes a Matrox MXO (not the MXO2) to turn the 23" ACD into a pseudo broadcast monitor. The MXO contains the specific LUT necessary for the ACD (which is the reason they really only recommend using the ACD).

    3) It doesn't matter what software update you get for the MXO2, how could you connect the 23" ACD if the MXO2 doesn't have DVI?

    The reason why I suggested the ioHD is so that all the work can be done in ProRes. You don't need Uncompressed capture. ProRes is an online quality codec. The Avid equivalent to ProRes (Avid's DNxHD) was used for the entire 2008 Olympics broadcast in the US. It's also what we use to online the HD shows that I work on for Discovery (which has some of the most strict delivery requirements).
     
  11. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #12
    "Broadcast LCDs have LUTs for displaying accurate color for video signals."
    Point well taken. Matrox Bill the MX02 as a viable option. I must have gotten my facts wrong. sorry. I'll talk to Matrox on Monday for an official clarification.

    That Manhattan LCD seems like a fine computer display, but not made for video work.
    Indeed. the LCD's are the same as laptops.
    That's why it takes a Matrox MXO (not the MXO2) to turn the 23" ACD into a pseudo broadcast monitor. The MXO contains the specific LUT necessary for the ACD (which is the reason they really only recommend using the ACD).
    Sounds like the MX02 is hobbled. We'll avoid recommending it.
    You can't capture Uncompressed HD video on a laptop. Not even with an MXO2.
    My mistake. Sorry again
    It doesn't matter what software update you get for the MXO2, how could you connect the 23" ACD if the MXO2 doesn't have DVI?
    Really. I thought that it did have DVI & HDMI ( which are interchangeable via an adapter)
    My mistake again it seems. :eek:


     
  12. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #13
    Not at all... It is a very good option, just not with an ACD. With the MXO2, you would use something like a 50" Panasonic Plasma TV as your pseudo broadcast monitor. The MXO2 would adjust the picture on the TV to look as accurate as possible.

    I haven't seen any reviews regarding just how accurate it can get, but I'd assume it would be generally be as good as the MXO+ACD combo (depending on the TV).

    The advantage of the MXO2 is that it is an actual I/O for your NLE, while the MXO is just a monitoring device.
     
  13. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #14
    While the MXO2 is an excellent portbale I/O box, it barely ingests 8-bit uncompressed in real time using a MBP. If a user has a Sata II Raid 0 on the Express card slot of their laptop and the MXO2 is going to port to it, the Firewire 800 interface will be the only option for capture of 8-bit uncompressed video. So how does the MX02 get the videographer using a MBP to ProRes encoding? It doesn't. If you want ProRes then you need the AJA I/O HD or rethink the configuration to a Mac Pro tower instead. So the MX02 really just ends up being a cost effective I/O box for studio capture of 10-bit uncompressed video or a fancy I/O box for field production involving a hobbled 8-bit uncompressed capture
     
  14. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #15
    you could capture to DVCProHD with the MXO2 on the laptop... that'd be a huge step up from the HV20's HDV.
     
  15. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #16
    The HV20 sends a raw uncompressed stream out from HDMI. It only encodes in HDV when saving to tape or sending a stream out via firewire. So in fact a bunch of people on HV20.com have been capturing via HDMI to a capture card on their PC. I thought that the MX02 could therefore be an In port for such capture too.

    Does that help?

     
  16. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #17
    Yes, you would use the MXO2 to input video into the laptop. But you still need to write it to a video codec.

    Uncompressed isn't an option because you cannot connect fast enough hard drives to go along with the MXO2.

    ProRes isn't an option (with the MXO2) because the laptop's CPU can't encode the video fast enough. That's why the ioHD exists. It has the ProRes codec in its hardware and takes care of all the encoding (rather than the CPU).

    DVCProHD is the best option with the MXO2 because you can capture it to a FW hard drive and the laptop's CPU is capable of encoding it in a real-time capture.

    On a Mac Pro, it's a different situation because you can attach fast disks and the CPUs are fast enough for ProRes encoding. So you can basically choose anything with the MXO2 and a Mac Pro.
     
  17. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #18
    OK. That's logic I can get my arms around! Makes perfect sense.
    I'm guessing that the MX02 is only then useful as an I/O interface for laptop users but it becomes a fully functional I/O + Transcoder and from what I understand, an accelerartor when used with a Mac Pro.

    With reference to it's usefulness in setting up a proxy color grading monitor, check out the screen grabbed blurb from a local VAR's website ....
     

    Attached Files:

  18. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #19
    The MXO2 is only an I/O interface... it does not transcode or accelerate anything, even on a Mac Pro. It's recording capabilities are simply dependent on the hardware it's used with, as Macbook Pros get faster, they'll gain the ability to encode to more processor intensive codecs (like ProRes).
     
  19. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #20
    If you are shooting on tape you have your archive right there. Burn your project files (FCP, AE, Color, etc,.) and any other assets (GFX, music, etc.,) you made onto DVDs and you can rebuild your project anytime you need to (assuming you have a proper media management workflow in place). Make duplicates of everything and you are set (one for keeping at the office and one for keeping off site). If you are shooting w/file based cameras then this gets more complicated w/the best solution being data-tape archiving.

    You could always hire a consultant in your area to help you game plan and then work w/a VAR to build the system for you. A nice thing about a VAR is you have one place to call for tech support. If you build your own system you have to maintain it by yourself and deal w/multiple companies whom will all point the fingers at each other when things aren't working right. There is a plethora of free advice available from working professionals on the internet, but I don't think you've gone about getting feedback in the best way. You've obviously done some research but as the saying goes you just know enough to be dangerous.;) Instead of presenting a possible solution you came up with yourself and asking for opinions you should present your problem and let people make recommendations. For example, in a post over at DVXUser you said this setup was for corporate promo/instructional work and not for b'cast. That gives people a ton more info to work w/than the flowchart that you made. CreativeCOW is another great resource and might be more useful because a caters to a broader cross section of the industry where DVXUser is primarily focused on lo/no budget indie filmmaking.


    It's just marketing in the same way that Apple uses terms like "professional quality" when describing aspects of iMovie or iDVD. Just because the MXO2 has the controls to fine tune an HDTV that doesn't mean that the HDTV has the ability to be adequately fine tuned. For example, a $400 HDTV will never look as good as a $5000 reference grade broadcast monitor. Since you will be working w/corporate clients, whom probably want their branding to be reproduced properly, I'd say get the best quality reference monitor you can fit into your budget.


    Lethal
     
  20. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #21
    LethalWolf - Thanks for the detailed feedback. I made an error in not consolidating my plea for feedback in one forum only and then pointing to it at a slew of places. But that's a pitfall of disparate forums and not so much my fault. Eventually, I'll consolidate ALL the great feedback into a list of facts that pertain to that set of requirements I posted on DVXforum.

    As I mentioned before, the diagram was my response to a fundamentally list based system of configuration that you experts use which I have not ever seen in a full turnkey format only piecemeal chunks. I really needed to see it, even in all it's 'wrongheadedness'... in pictograms.

    The details of reconfiguring the components is easy enough to do in modifications.
    You're right about hiring a "consultant", but being one myself in management, I also know that knowledge sharing in COI's is a great start. Is it not?
    In fact I did consult with a local VAR who simply wanted to sell me the single solutions he had in his inventory of vendors with no regard to tailoring the system or allowing it to evolve from Intermediate to an Advanced configuration. Basically, the Pick a Number off the Menu approach is passé.
    That VAR no doubt copied configurations from competitor websites and has never himself ever edited a home movie, much less a feature or corporate video.
    Actual end-users, particularly ones with years of experience actually delivering projects on budget simply don't work at VARs. They should be right here in this and several other discussion forums.

    So on that note, I'll construct a detailed requirements document and post it on some of the other forums that have been suggested.Clearly, my needs are beyond the capacity of my kind fellow Macforums members.
    I really appreciate all your inputs as it's better than my navigating in total darkness.

    I will also challenge Matrox to clarify the 'marketing hype' propagated by that one VAR.:apple:
     
  21. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #22
    The diagram is a good "Hey, this is what I've come up w/on my own" visual aid, but w/o knowing what specific needs and restrictions you have it's impossible to give sound advice (which is why you've gotten nearly as many questions as suggestions thrown at you). It's unfortunate that the VAR you talked to was so poor as a good VAR will work w/a customer to build a system that is right for them. There is definitely a ton of good info lurking around the net (DVinfo.net is another good forum), and I only mentioned the consultant as another option if you couldn't find all the answers you needed on line. Sometimes the communication barriers on the web just prove too restrictive and a bit of good 'face time' w/another person helps to connect all the dots.


    Lethal
     
  22. KeithPratt macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    You've received plenty of good advice here, but if you want a very specific and complete answer you need to be just as specific and complete in your requirements. So far you've been pretty verbose but opaque.

    I think it's in a peculiar situation that a person would benefit from taking an uncompressed stream from the HV20. Green-screen, yes, but in other situations you lose mobility and time (and if you take it on the road you'll probably end up losing your mouse and some point too). Those are not things most — be they corporate videographers or indie filmmakers — can afford to lose. It sounds nice in principle to have uncompressed capture, but you are scraping the barrel of what the HV20 has to offer. I don't think it's worth basing a system around.
     
  23. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    #24
    I agree with Keith and Lethal, try and get a rock solid scenario with needs and restrictions and then we can home in on the details.

    And honestly, Would would a shooter spend all that money on the post equipment only to shoot on a HV20 that has a pseudo focus lever? Odds are probably not.

    If a cinematographer needs uncompressed HD, usually that means a pretty high budget due to the insane amount of hard drives/CPU power/Bandwidth required. a post on the COW had a minute of 1080p24 footage clocking in at nearly 11 gigs. Add in on-set clones, large RAID arrays to handle the extreme bandwidth, and the computer itself. It is not feasible for on location. That's why AVC-I @ 4:2:2 exists within really expensive Panasonic cams and green screen stuff takes place in dedicated studios.

    Even though you are trying to create a generic diagram, they don't really exist in cinema/tv. Each studio/indie filmmaker/tv station/student has different needs/budgets. Try and home in and get specific in terms of budget.

    I'd scrap it all and try and get more experience with the pieces of hardware/software. For example, audio was omitted with these diagrams, and the 30" ACD+MXO goof. Take it back to basics and do more in-depth research. Don't waste your money buying a HV20 when it's a weak contender in the field.

    Get off of forums and hit the books. Read the ProRes whitepaper, the FCS manuals and codecs, compatibility between hardware and software integration. I'm not trying to be rude or arrogant here, and I think it's cool what you're doing, but you gotta hit the books. Learn about the blu-ray workflow and programs, Encore CS3's pitfalls and Netblender's DoStudio.

    Know WHY you are going to recommend each component of your system and WHY it absolutely HAS to be there. But first, know WHY you're doing it all in the first place.

    Good luck.
     
  24. zephyrnoid thread starter macrumors 6502

    zephyrnoid

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    #25
    Absolutely sterling post, as the Brits would say! Thanks!
    I got roped into the challenge of the "what if" scenario - to build a ridiculous system that starts with a consumer camera and ends up with a consumer delivery medium ( Blu-ray ) . I'm a writer and still photographer with solid FCP2 to FCP5 skills, but I'm not an ace editor and have always relied on experts to build the systems for me. I learned not to get too involved in the back-end since I have too much to do in the front end of things.
    The idea with this project was to lay out in a diagram just one possible turnkey that reflected a flexible workflow that may encompass the needs of numerous project types. Hardware is modular and I know that by reconfiguring the components in relation to each other, it's possible to go from simple HDV encoded tape that ends up on a DVD or instead capture uncompressed 8Bit stream for delivery on Blu-ray by changing out the components and configuration. In other words, I need to spec out a system that allows for an upgrade path. Audio is part of the mix for sure and yes, I know it's 70% of a project's success but I needed to keep the diagram as simple as possible.

    There's no actual ONE project here- that's why it's omitted. So let me turn the table over.
    I'll lay out one 'rock solid' scenario and you guys can build the laundry list and work-flow if you prefer. But it has to be flexible. Sure the HV20 is 'modest' by Pro standards, but what were you pros shooting with 20 years go? Betacam. OK then...:D




     

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