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I/O cards and file output vs tape

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Matt Campbell
I/O cards and file output vs tape
on May 22, 2013 at 1:15:39 pm

I'm looking into purchasing either a Thunderbolt I/O or the Decklink 4K, but this question is really for any of the I/O cards/devices. When we all talk about do the conversion on output, I would assume most are referring to output to tape, like an HDCamSR for the highest quality. But in this digital era, outputting to tape is not in my workflow and most likely never will be.

So, can these I/O cards do standards conversions on output to a digital file? For instance, if I have a 1080p23.976 timeline in FCP and I want to output to 60i for broadcast, will the I/O card, hopefully via hardware, do the conversion and add in the proper 3:2 pulldown on output to a self-contained Quicktime, say ProRes HQ?

I know you have the option to select a BM codec (that was installed with driver) from the output settings, so will selecting that proper codec take advantage of the I/O card or simply keep it as a software only output?

OSX 10.7.5 with a 3.39 Ghz Intel Core i7 on a built up Hackintosh
16 GB of RAM with OSX on SSD, (2) internal HDDs RAID'd 1 for project files and External RAID 5 for all project assets (media, GFX, stills, etc.)

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Glenn Sakatch
Re: I/O cards and file output vs tape
on May 24, 2013 at 2:13:37 pm

Your IO card isn't doing any processing if that is what you are asking. I guess by giving you those codecs, it is "helping" with your output, but a different card from Blackmagic won't affect the quality of your output via a file based method.

Of course using the best method to get the footage into the box, will eventually give you better results coming out of the box simply because you are working with cleaner video. (HDSR source vs mini dv) but strictly speaking, you could pull all your I/O cards out of the box, and still output a perfectly clean uncompressed quicktime movie of your project.


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