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video/capture card specs to digitise

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dan coopervideo/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 1, 2008 at 11:49:35 pm

I'm wondering whether i need a special video/capture card (eg. canopus) or an add on product (eg. AJA iO), to digitise footage other than DV, for example Beta or HD footage (if i had the appropriate decks).

I'm running off a Dual 2.3 G5, with Final Cut Studio, and my graphics card is a ATI Radeon 9650 (which came with my machine).

I'm planning to do a green screen shoot, but know that DV is terrible to chroma with, so was thinking maybe shooting on digital Beta or a better quality format, but want to make sure that i can capture the footage appropriately.

Your input is welcomed. Thanks,
Dan


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Russell LassonRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 12:14:38 am

You definitely want a video capture card. The two main options are AJA and Blackmagic Design. Go to their websites and check them out. Price ranges from $350-$3500ish. Look for one with component in and out, analog audio in and out, maybe SDI depending on what you want in the future. There are a bunch of options.

Enjoy shopping!

-Russ

Russell Lasson
Kaleidoscope Pictures
Provo, UT


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Joey BurnhamRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 12:47:12 am

If you plan on capturing HD or from Digibeta you'll need SDI as well as HD-SDI. Here at work we have Kona 3's which are fantastic but expensive. Blackmagic has good cards as well. Decklink (from Blackmagic) is a good card and I think is around $1500.
You'll need to figure out how to get reference as well.
Joey





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dan cooperRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 1:29:52 am

Thanks for your responses.

Joey, what do you mean by ' you'll need to figure our how to get reference as well.'

Also, what would be the difference between what you suggested previously and the AJA iO (besides maybe the price)?

dan


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dan cooperRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 3:35:05 am

Another thought to throw out there...

The Sony J30-SDI has firewire ports. Does this mean that i can digitise Beta quality video without a special capture card, etc?


dan


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Marc BrakRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 11:40:51 am

I'm sorry I don't really have anything to contribute, but I'm also very interested in this subject. I could always simply capture video with a firewire port and that was that, and to be honest I don't really understand what this is all about, or why I would need a separate device to downconvert HD to SD, if I can also just do that with Final Cut. For example.

So, I'm hoping to learn something from your post ;-)


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walter biscardiRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 11:59:02 am

[Marc Brak] "or why I would need a separate device to downconvert HD to SD, if I can also just do that with Final Cut. For example."

Because the software downconversion in Final Cut is not nearly as clean as the hardware downconversion you get from something like the AJA Kona boards. Also, these boards perform the task in realtime so there is zero rendering.

So let's say you have HD originated material but your final output is going to be a Standard Def Master. With the AJA Kona, you simply ingest and edit in HD. When you're all done with your edit, you just set the Kona to downconvert and lay off to your SD Master from your HD timeline.

And in the case of the Kona boards, they have three outputs that can all be set independently so you can output HD via one output, SD Downconvert on another, and even cross convert your 720 to 1080i on the third, all in realtime.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
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Joey BurnhamRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 3:19:40 pm

It really depends on what your final output would be and who your clients are. Kona 3 is one of the best cards out there. Full breakout box, up/down conversions on the fly, 2k, and a bunch of other stuff I know nothing about. It's best to go to aja's website and check out the specs.
Not I'm not a techy or anything, just an editor, but I know in my company we could not lock to a d5 or hdcam deck without tri-level sync.

Can anyone else jump in here with more info?

Joey





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walter biscardiRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 11:55:44 am

[dan cooper] "I'm wondering whether i need a special video/capture card (eg. canopus) or an add on product (eg. AJA iO), to digitise footage other than DV, for example Beta or HD footage (if i had the appropriate decks)."

Yes, you will require a capture device.

First off, if you plan to purchase a Capture Card, it will need to be replaced the moment you purchase a new computer. Unless I'm mistaken, that G5 is a PCI-X machine while all the new computers are PCIe. You cannot use PCI-X based capture cards in a PCIe computer.

For something that handles both SD and HD you will need to look at the AJA Kona LHe or Kona 3 for a capture card or the AJA Io HD for an external box.

For your PCI-X machine you would look at the Kona LH and Kona 3X. These are the same cards in PCI-X flavors.

The difference in the Kona cards is the LHe has analog I/O while the Kona 3 has Digital inputs only with some analog output.

Also, the LHe can perform an HD to SD downconversion in realtime, but the Kona 3 can perform that along with SD to HD Upconversion and 720to1080 or 1080to720 Cross Conversion.

The Io HD can perform everything the Kona 3 can do except capture in Uncompressed HD. Not sure if all the features would be available on that G5 though.

As for your other question about the J30 with Firewire, your Beta footage will be degraded to a DV signal if you capture via Firewire. So you're losing video quality when you do this. I own the original J3/902 deck with SDI output and it is a true workhorse with outstanding quality down the SDI pipe.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Biscardi Creative Media
HD and SD Production for Broadcast and Independent Productions.

STOP STARING AND START GRADING WITH APPLE COLOR Apple Color Training DVD available now!
Read my Blog!
View Walter Biscardi's profile on LinkedIn


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Arnie SchlisselRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 10:13:55 pm

[walter biscardi] "First off, if you plan to purchase a Capture Card, it will need to be replaced the moment you purchase a new computer. Unless I'm mistaken, that G5 is a PCI-X machine while all the new computers are PCIe. You cannot use PCI-X based capture cards in a PCIe computer. "

Which is why I bought a used Aja Kona 2 on eBay. You easily find PCI-X cards from both Aja and Black Magic Design on eBay, and they're often 1/2 to 1/4 the price of a new one. Just try to find one from a reputable seller that will take a return on a defective card.

Arnie

Now in post: Peristroika, a film by Slava Tsukerman

http://www.arniepix.com/blog


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dan cooperRe: video/capture card specs to digitise
by on Apr 2, 2008 at 10:46:12 pm

Cool things are becoming a bit clearer.

Walter, referring to the Io HD did you mean that it does capture uncompressed HD whereas the Kona 3 doesn't or is it the other way around?


but the Kona 3 can perform that along with SD to HD Upconversion and 720to1080 or 1080to720 Cross Conversion.

How does upconversion work if you start with lower quality video, and end up with a higher grade such as HD?

Thanks for the feedback.

dan


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