Mac Pro 2.66, Final Cut Pro & Importing Video

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
I have a very stupid question.:confused:
Lets take for example the Canon XL2. I shoot video and then use the FirweWire cable out of the Camera and into the FW800 Port on the Mac Pro Tower.
Final Cut Pro then controls my camera and then begins the importing process.

Do I have all of that correct? I think I do. So my question is - Why do "Video Capture Cards" exisit? Why the need? You just plug your camera into your Mac Pro right? What is this used for?............

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Laslo Panaflex said:
It says why right on the product page:



Hope that helps.
:confused: When I take a camera and directly connect it to the FW800 port on the Mac Pro Tower - Is that NOT uncompressed? Maybe I dont understand all the terminology but it seems like a direct connection from the camera to the tower via FW using FCP is the best solution?

The link was just an example, but in general - Why the need for Video Capture cards when the camera plugs directly into the Mac Pro?

Also, regarding the above link, why could I edit on a LCD/TV (1080i) just by plugging that into the Video card??

What am I missing here? :confused:
 

MovieCutter

macrumors 68040
May 3, 2005
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Washington, DC
Tattoo said:
:confused: When I take a camera and directly connect it to the FW800 port on the Mac Pro Tower - Is that NOT uncompressed? Maybe I dont understand all the terminology but it seems like a direct connection from the camera to the tower via FW using FCP is the best solution?

The link was just an example, but in general - Why the need for Video Capture cards when the camera plugs directly into the Mac Pro?

Also, regarding the above link, why could I edit on a LCD/TV (1080i) just by plugging that into the Video card??

What am I missing here? :confused:
MiniDV like an XL-2 is highly compressed. In fact, you're looking at 3.5 MBps versus 24 MBps for uncompressed SD video. Uncompressed HD can go as high as 166 MBps. THat's what the capture cards are for. Anything beyond DV where the amount of bandwidth needed goes beyond the capability of firewire.

You can edit on an LCD Tv without that video card if that LCD has DVI or HDMI in it. For DVI, you just run a DVI cable from your Mac Pro to the LCD tv. With HDMI, you get an HDMI to DVI adapter and do the same. You set Final Cut to playback the video out that DVI port and into your LCD TV. Or you can get a capture card like a blackmagic or a Kona card. For instance. I edit HD with a 17" Panasonic HD Broadcast monitor. It has SDI input, which is fully uncompressed digital signal. I have a blackmagic card in the Power Mac at work, which has SDI out. I run a BNC cable between the two and walla!

EDIT: Just noticed the link you posted. My guess is some HDV cameras have a signal out cable like and HDMI style cable before the video gets compressed through firewire or something like that. By capturing directly from the camera through HDMI, you apparantley bypess the compression, though the quality of the camera weighs heavily on whether there is a difference or not.
 

spicyapple

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2006
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When you're using firewire to capture video, it's basically transferring a file. MiniDV tape stores video as DV25, so when your Mac Pro goes to capture it, it's just transferring the raw data from tape to the computer, and adding a QT wrapper so it's easier to access.

Capture cards (like what you linked) are normally used to capture uncompressed video coming out of the SDI ports of tape decks, and some cameras like the Canon XL-H1. You can capture HDV or MiniDV footage, but the capture card automatically transcodes the video on the fly to another codec. Usually these other codecs have lower compression (or no compression at all) and they are production-quality codecs that can stand multiple generations. HDV and MiniDV are acquisition codecs and they don't stand up well with multiple re-compression generations.
 

PowerMike G5

macrumors 6502
Oct 22, 2005
459
176
New York, NY
Tattoo said:
I have a very stupid question.:confused:
Lets take for example the Canon XL2. I shoot video and then use the FirweWire cable out of the Camera and into the FW800 Port on the Mac Pro Tower.
Final Cut Pro then controls my camera and then begins the importing process.

Do I have all of that correct? I think I do. So my question is - Why do "Video Capture Cards" exisit? Why the need? You just plug your camera into your Mac Pro right? What is this used for?............

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/
The FW400 port is enough for this ... miniDV footage has already gone through DV25 compression, so FW transfer is your best bet as its a 1-1 transfer.
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
SMM said:
Beside that which has been posted, many video cards allow you to capture from analog sources and convert it to digital on the fly.
Thank you for your response. Interesting what you mentioned how some cards allow me to import analog material - like maybe VHS tapes?

Would you be so kind enough to link some items for me to view?
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
spicyapple said:
When you're using firewire to capture video, it's basically transferring a file. MiniDV tape stores video as DV25, so when your Mac Pro goes to capture it, it's just transferring the raw data from tape to the computer, and adding a QT wrapper so it's easier to access.

Capture cards (like what you linked) are normally used to capture uncompressed video coming out of the SDI ports of tape decks, and some cameras like the Canon XL-H1. You can capture HDV or MiniDV footage, but the capture card automatically transcodes the video on the fly to another codec. Usually these other codecs have lower compression (or no compression at all) and they are production-quality codecs that can stand multiple generations. HDV and MiniDV are acquisition codecs and they don't stand up well with multiple re-compression generations.

Very nice explanation - thank you.
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
MovieCutter said:
MiniDV like an XL-2 is highly compressed. In fact, you're looking at 3.5 MBps versus 24 MBps for uncompressed SD video. Uncompressed HD can go as high as 166 MBps. THat's what the capture cards are for. Anything beyond DV where the amount of bandwidth needed goes beyond the capability of firewire.

You can edit on an LCD Tv without that video card if that LCD has DVI or HDMI in it. For DVI, you just run a DVI cable from your Mac Pro to the LCD tv. With HDMI, you get an HDMI to DVI adapter and do the same. You set Final Cut to playback the video out that DVI port and into your LCD TV. Or you can get a capture card like a blackmagic or a Kona card. For instance. I edit HD with a 17" Panasonic HD Broadcast monitor. It has SDI input, which is fully uncompressed digital signal. I have a blackmagic card in the Power Mac at work, which has SDI out. I run a BNC cable between the two and walla!

EDIT: Just noticed the link you posted. My guess is some HDV cameras have a signal out cable like and HDMI style cable before the video gets compressed through firewire or something like that. By capturing directly from the camera through HDMI, you apparantley bypess the compression, though the quality of the camera weighs heavily on whether there is a difference or not.
Thank you for your indepth response. Ive learned alot from you. Im not sure if I should be editing on lets say a 42" LCD/TV (1920*1200 rez) or a 30
Apple Cinema Display. Many have told me that using the LCD/TV will allow me to view the end result (DVD Movie) on the same monitor rather than having to purchase a 30" ACD and another TV for final product review.
 

MovieCutter

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May 3, 2005
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Washington, DC
Tattoo said:
Thank you for your indepth response. Ive learned alot from you. Im not sure if I should be editing on lets say a 42" LCD/TV (1920*1200 rez) or a 30
Apple Cinema Display. Many have told me that using the LCD/TV will allow me to view the end result (DVD Movie) on the same monitor rather than having to purchase a 30" ACD and another TV for final product review.
True that the LCD TV will allow you to view the end result. I have a 30" that I keep my workspace on, but if I try to view SD footage on it, and I magnify it so I can see the damn thing, it looks like crap. The 30" makes for a great workspace, but a very poor broadcast monitor for post production.
 

techster85

macrumors regular
Oct 17, 2006
190
0
Lubbock, TX
Tattoo said:
Thank you for your response. Interesting what you mentioned how some cards allow me to import analog material - like maybe VHS tapes?

Would you be so kind enough to link some items for me to view?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=282800&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

That's the AJA breakout box for FCP. It lets you capture any analog signal you can plug in to it. Although, I'm sure there are some cheaper alternatives that would do the same thing possibly. Also, I wouldn't suggest using an XL2 as your capture deck. You'll rack up threading time really quick on the heads and eventually the camera will break down simply from you using it to capture so much. I went to best buy and bought a $200 Canon for my capture deck so that I don't screw up my PD170. It's just a thought if you are going to be capturing a lot of footage with the XL2.
 

LethalWolfe

macrumors G3
Jan 11, 2002
9,368
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Los Angeles
techster85 said:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=282800&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

That's the AJA breakout box for FCP. It lets you capture any analog signal you can plug in to it. Although, I'm sure there are some cheaper alternatives that would do the same thing possibly. Also, I wouldn't suggest using an XL2 as your capture deck. You'll rack up threading time really quick on the heads and eventually the camera will break down simply from you using it to capture so much. I went to best buy and bought a $200 Canon for my capture deck so that I don't screw up my PD170. It's just a thought if you are going to be capturing a lot of footage with the XL2.
Pretty much any DV camera will allow pass thru so all you need to do is hook your VCR up to the analog ports, hook the computer up via FW and you are set. The camera will do the analog to digital conversion.


Lethal
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
techster85 said:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...s&Q=&sku=282800&is=REG&addedTroughType=search

That's the AJA breakout box for FCP. It lets you capture any analog signal you can plug in to it. Although, I'm sure there are some cheaper alternatives that would do the same thing possibly. Also, I wouldn't suggest using an XL2 as your capture deck. You'll rack up threading time really quick on the heads and eventually the camera will break down simply from you using it to capture so much. I went to best buy and bought a $200 Canon for my capture deck so that I don't screw up my PD170. It's just a thought if you are going to be capturing a lot of footage with the XL2.
Thank you very much for the tips!
 

Tattoo

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
273
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Miami, Florida
LethalWolfe said:
Pretty much any DV camera will allow pass thru so all you need to do is hook your VCR up to the analog ports, hook the computer up via FW and you are set. The camera will do the analog to digital conversion.


Lethal
Execellent idea! I will do just that.:)
 

Tattoo

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Original poster
Mar 30, 2005
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Miami, Florida
MovieCutter said:
True that the LCD TV will allow you to view the end result. I have a 30" that I keep my workspace on, but if I try to view SD footage on it, and I magnify it so I can see the damn thing, it looks like crap. The 30" makes for a great workspace, but a very poor broadcast monitor for post production.
Have you or you know of anyone that uses a 1920x1080 LCD TV as the main monitor? Im curious as to how that would look. I was told that its similar to a HUGE 23" Apple Cinema Display - but you can watch the end product right on the same monitor.
 

PegasusMedia

macrumors member
Mar 29, 2006
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0
Jacksonville, FL
LCD is not a good chice if you want to view SD footage. You'll be better off with a good old fashioned CRT. Colors will be truer, room light will effect it less, and you will be seeing the true resolution of your footage in it's "native" format.
 

MovieCutter

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May 3, 2005
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2
Washington, DC
Tattoo said:
Have you or you know of anyone that uses a 1920x1080 LCD TV as the main monitor? Im curious as to how that would look. I was told that its similar to a HUGE 23" Apple Cinema Display - but you can watch the end product right on the same monitor.
Yeah, I use a 1920x1080 LCD TV as my HD viewing monitor. It's only 17" though.
 

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