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Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?

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Amy DoKona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:12:03 am

Has anybody ever done a side-by-side comparison of a Teranex box & Kona 3 upconversion of SD (MiniDV) to HD conversion?

I read about the Teranex Mini vs Kona 3 comparison, and I know Teranex always seems to be the best suggested route, but I haven't read about anybody actually doing an actual side-by-side comparison.

I'd be very interested in hearing about any of your results!

Thanks so much!


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Bob ZelinRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 13, 2009 at 3:24:52 pm

I can answer your question, but this is a much better answer. YOU should do the comparison for yourself. The Teranex Mini has been a huge failure for Teranex, even though it is a fine product. Most people cannot tell the difference, and most people simply use their AJA/Blackmagic/Matrox products to do the upconversion. Now I am not saying that this is correct, but this is what most people do.

Stop listening to stupid sales people, and LOOK AT the comparison for yourself. Make your own decision. Teranex is a fine company, but has a very hi end client base that is very limited because of their costs. The Mini was an attempt to sell a "low end" $3000 box, but with the low costs of the Kona 3, and it's competitiors, no one relies on the Mini - or few people do.

When you talk about upconverting from miniDV - I am going to assume that you have an excellent quality DV VTR to play back from - like a Sony DSR1500, 1600, 1800, or 2000, because if you don't, you are simply wasting your time here.

Bob Zelin




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Amy DoRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 13, 2009 at 8:52:33 pm

Thanks for your response, Bob!

The footage was brought in through firewire on a Sony DSR-11. Do you think it would have looked better coming in through component? I'd appreciate your thoughts here.

My posthouse simply took a Same-As-Source Uncompressed Quicktime from my Avid and used the Kona 3 card to upconvert it to HD. It looks great, but I'm curious to know if running it through a Teranex box (not the mini) would have yielded better results. I'll have to ask if other posthouses would charge for a test clip or not.


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Bob ZelinRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 1:14:18 am

the DSR-11 (a now discontinued model) was a piece of crap when it was introduced, and it's really a piece of crap today. (no different than the Sony HVR-M10U HDV VTR when it was introduced - it's no match for the modern HVR-1500A, which is a piece of crap in itself compared to modern hi end products, like Sony XDCam EX, etc.).

So for you to consider a quality difference between an AJA Kona 3 or Teranex Mini is just rediculous, considering you are coming from a Sony DSR-11 (and God only knows what source camera you shot this stuff on). A Teranex Mini - or a $60,000 hi end Teranex or Snell and Wilcox is not going to improve the quality of your DSR-11 DV25 master. If you have access to a Kona 3 - keep your money in your pocket, and just go with it.

Bob Zelin




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Amy DoRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 2:15:35 am

I think you're right Bob, considering that I am on a very tight budget. The source footage was shot on Canon GL1 & XL1.

Thanks for your insight.


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Jeremy GarchowRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 14, 2009 at 6:08:05 pm

There's no doubt a full size Teranex will look better, especially when coming from dv. But be prepared to pay for the privilege.

My suggestion would be to use the K3 upconvert in the offline, but at the very end for the online, consider running just the shots you need through a teranex.

Are you in the Chicago area by any random chance?

Jeremy


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Chad BrewerRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 29, 2009 at 7:58:25 pm

Bob Zelin,
I have the Teranex top end box in my broadcast video facility as well as multiple Kona 3 cards. I've done all the side by sides one can imagine, including all of my Panasonic HD deck upconverts.

Since I have my OWN conclusions just like anyone else who has the mental capacity to "form an opinion," I'll keep them to myself and let the clients shooting DV and upconverting feature films to HDCAM wonder why some shots look "soft."

The other day I downconverted from HDCAM SR to VHS for a client. Not for screening purposes, but as a final deliverable.
After I performed said task, I went outside and cleaned the INSIDE of the exhaust pipe of my car. It's real clean now.

chad
http://www.televersions.com


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Amy DoRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 29, 2009 at 8:07:05 pm

Chad,

I'd be very interested in hearing your opinion on the side-by-side comparison. I cannot afford to do my own tests.

Thanks so much,
Amy


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Jim NewmanRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 15, 2009 at 10:20:07 pm

I'd be careful with the mini. We have one here in the office and we also have a Kona 3 for our I/O card. We ran tests on both the up convert and the down convert and pretty much across the board it's been a hung jury.

Half the office feels the picture quality is sharper through the mini and half feel it's the same. This is going to sound extremely inefficient to most, but we actually end up injesting through both pieces of hardware and outputting with both on a layoff. We then sit there staring and arguing. We've found that opinion changes per a project basis.

I do have to admit we've never done an up convert with mini-dv, usually DVCPRO.

Most the time the mini sits in a box in the closet and has become a bit of a joke when deciding if we should try to lose it on craigslist.

We use a JVC DT- V24L 1D if anyone is curious.


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erik hansenRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 18, 2009 at 6:49:44 pm

The Teranex Mini is a joke. If you need a standalone converter get the AJA FS1. If you need to do serious image/cross-conversions/inverse-telecine look at the Snell Wilcox Alchemist...

If you have the Kona3 and happy with the result, use it and be done.

- Erik



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Chad BrewerRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 29, 2009 at 10:21:32 pm

The Teranex fully loaded VC300 is far from a joke. I'm lucky to have one. I don't see how the mini model could be financially/technically justified.

Amy, I agree with Jim Newman here. Different types of video content (e.g. amount of motion, camera movements, CG's, etc.) are handled differently by different types of hardware. Some do better jobs than others on certain projects, but my only input is that the Teranex outperforms all video cards and most other stand alone converters (I've never seen Snell & Wilcox's Alchemist though) It simply has tons of options to cater towards whatever video you put into it. As it should considering the price tag. Don't ask. You don't want to know.

chad



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gary adcockRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 12:04:11 am

[Chad Brewer] "Some do better jobs than others on certain projects, but my only input is that the Teranex outperforms all video cards and most other stand alone converters "

I have always agreed that something dedicated will always do better.

I have access to both a VC300 and a Mini, but neither of them do what they do in real time, with the I/O delay increasing with things like noise reduction and grain removal are being done, thing that your Kona card are not able to do.

Well shot, well lit content from a uncompressed master converts better than VHS or DV does, take into account what your original is and what your final output is.

Erik posted that he "did not have enough money to test" - well if you are talking to a facility that does this and you are considering using this technology ask if they can test a clip for you, many companies have reduced rates for this type of work.

Nothing beat seeing the differences with your own eyes, if we are talking about realtime conversion without the bells and whistles from a pristine master it will be hard to tell. If we are talking about kicking it up a notch from a less than perfect original, Teranex wins for a reason- thats all it was designed to do, so don't try and capture content into FCP with one, thats what the Kona is for.




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows for the Digitally Inclined
Chicago, IL


http://library.creativecow.net/articles/adcock_gary/AJAIOHD.php




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Chad BrewerRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 3:18:12 am

Gary, I'm in Chicago as well. We should talk. There could be a mutual relationship here. I've got every HD deck in house.

http://www.televersions.com

-chad


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Richard DeeRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 7:19:46 am

This is way off topic, but here goes.

I happen to watch HD cable/DVD/Bluray on almost a 14 foot diagonal 1080P DLP projection screen, so I pretty much see each and every artifact from my close sitting position. I find that even the best HD up conversion jobs seen on the major networks looks rather poor. However, I recently got a new Oppo HD-83 upconverting DVD/bluray player. The upconverting chip is the VRS Anchor bay, and this Oppo unit supposedly has the best dvd upconversion right now. The quality of DVD's looks quite a bit better to me than anything I've seen on HD cable upconversions.

I know the anamorphic content of DVD's gives it some additional vertical resolution, but is that solely responible for a $500 dvd player looking better than an expensive professional grade upconversion?





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Chad BrewerRe: Kona 3 vs Teranex box for SD to HDCam - side by side?
by on Sep 30, 2009 at 11:52:03 pm

Richard,
Most TV stations don't do expensive professional grade upconversions. Some major networks might have the hardware to do so, but in the end, they want HD delivered for HD broadcast. If they will accept SD content and will upconvert it for you which is rare, they probably don't have the time or hardware to do a really good upconversion. Nor do most stations care at that point. They are very stringent about what you give them for broadcast. Plus, in the end, most TV signals are MPEG2 transport streams of some sort as ingested into the TV station's internal system and what the satellites and fiber channels can handle. Some TV stations are notorious for "stepping on" content as it's ingested into their own systems.
I say, as long as the pictures keep moving and the sound is in sync, we can all "get the picture."

chad


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