About the H.264 Pro Recorder, I posed this question in the thread the comments below are from before realizing it's an old thread and will probably never get answered. So, could someone clarify the interlacing support issue? I've read that whole thread to get end-user feedback before buying, but am now only confused by contradictions in the feedback ...
This comment seems to say the units do not accept interlaced sources ... [Heinz Bihlmeir] "As long as you don't need encoding support for interlaced formats ... Interlaced sources should be de-interlaced externally before encoding."
These two seem to say the units do accept interlaced sources ... [Scott Francis] "Since it states in the tech specs that it does 1080i (60) I suspect it will accept the signal from the camera" [Joshua Helling] "As far as interlaced support, how it works now is that if you feed 1080i59.94 to the encoder it will output 1080p29.97. Same data rate, its just doing a deinterlace. I think we'd like to add proper interlaced support to it in the future."
This one seems to say both since a deinterlacer has to exist in order to be of bad quality. So, how can there be both a bad-quality deinterlacer AND "lack of support for interlaced encoding"? [Lauri Ahonen] "... the only real concern is the bad quality of the deinterlacer and lack of support for interlaced encoding."
Thank you, Joshua. Your explanation does clear up the subject and makes perfect sense ... I guess my having gotten too little sleep, combined with my impression that the device wasn't intended for generating broadcast/interlaced H264, made me look right past the idea that the person must've been wanting interlaced to interlaced.
Even so, this one comment still seems counter to what you've explained: [Heinz Bihlmeir] "Interlaced sources should be de-interlaced externally before encoding."
I think that comment was Heinz's personal preference. I believe what he is saying is that he's happier with the results of de-interlacing the stream first and feeding 1080p30 into the Pro Recorder as apposed to letting the Pro Recorder do it.
So...either way will work. You can externally de-interlace it, or you can rely on the de-interlacing that the Pro Recorder can do.
what I wanted to express was that an external de-interlacer may achieve better results than the use of the internal one provided by the Pro Recorder. But it would be nice to have the option of interlaced encodings as well.
Maybe pro video users think this box is featuring an interlaced capture mode because specs lists 1080i50, 1080i59.94, 1080i60 as supported formats but no where in the user guide or on the Backmagic website I can find anything clear about an "internal deinterlacer". As buyers rarely read the user manual before owning the product, they will discover when reading the page 11 :
"Capture from progressive and interlaced video sources is supported and the captured file is stored in a progressive format for maximum compatibility…"
I think this important information should be added to the specs sheet on the Blackmagic H.264 Pro Recorder product page for clarity. Video professionals that need it for interlaced capture will stop buying the box and less peoples will be asking for an native interlaced capture mode.
I'm glad to heard you very much want to add that feature in the future. I only hope it will be as soon as this year.