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AJA IOHD with the EX1

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John Alder
AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 16, 2008 at 4:49:23 pm

1. Can anyone using the AJA IOHD with the EX1 give me some feedback regarding the 'log and transfer' part of the process? I am not an FCP user nor a EX1 user yet.. :) I will be ordering the hardware in a few days time.

I have been doing some research about this part of the workflow but cant find anything on Google.

2. My project is a reality type show, I have 2 days to film and two days to edit. Imagine for example I have 2-4 cams and a 5-7 hour per day shoot. If the director is uncertain and records every single moment and want to go thru the footages later to select his shots, I am in trouble. So to pre-emp that, I would want to go tapeless.

I plan to have a Macbook Pro on the field with the AJA and have at least 2 sxs cards (cardA & cardB) per cam. As the footage is filled up for cardA, I will extract the card and ingest the footage into FCP.

3. My first question is: After I insert the sxs card into the expresscard slot and with the plugin from Sony installed, using the 'log and transfer' option, does this function import and at the same time transcode the footage into ProRes 422 codec? thru the IOHD ?

4. If yes to the above, how long would it take to transcode the 25min footage from the 8Gb cardA to the harddisk ? Reason I ask is that the 8Gb cardB would be 'recording' at this time on the cam. I need to be able to verify that cardA has successfully 'downloaded' the footage on the harddisk before erasing and getting it ready to record again once cardB is full.

5. I know I should get at least 3 sxs cards per cam but the cards are expensive..

Thanks,
John


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Michael Palmer
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 16, 2008 at 5:37:01 pm

Slow down John, you won't be transcoding anything to Pro Rez in the field from what you have stated. The AJA HD-IO works in realtime from an HD-SDI signal that the EX1 can provide. I believe it is a bit of a ball and chain because you will need constant power to the IO and an external hard drive if you plan on using the MBP Laptop. So if you are planning on multiple cameras then you would need an IO, a Laptop and an external drive for each camera you want Pro Rez from. This means more people and more equipment. If you only have a few days to complete this shoot and edit project I wouldn't even consider Pro Rez and use the EX material natively then render out the final edit to Pro Rez if that is what you need to deliver. The AJA HD-IO doesn't record anything it just encodes the HD-SDI signal and sends it out as a compressed Pro Rez file over firewire. If you have a controlled shooting environment it is possible to live transcode to Pro Rez. If you really need to transcode to Pro Rez and you have the time you could use the camera as the deck and replace the BPAV folder back to an SxS card and play the recorded EX material sending it out of the HD-SDI into the AJA HD-IO into a Mac computer, however you are transcoding a compressed image in this method. This IMO is not even worth the time because the HQ recording mode is IMO broadcast quality to begin with. What is your final delivery?

It sounds like you really need to test the EX1 and learn the workflow to ensure you don't lose anything.
The EX1/3 is just like the P2 as it has it's own raw file format that you will need to convert to a QuickTime .mov and this takes time, however you can quickly dump the BPAV folder into a new folder for each card. You can also review the raw using the Clip Browser program to ensure you have what you need. Keep in mind you may still need a laptop for each camera if you want to continuously roll the camera and yes you should get/rent more cards. Pro Rez is a much larger file and you may need a few large drives.

Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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John Alder
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 16, 2008 at 6:25:17 pm

Hi Michael, thanks for the reply. I would have constant power from a socket somewhere, I didn't mean out in the jungle, just out on a sports field.

1. One method I can thing of: I would have the sxs usb drive, esata drives connected to the expresscard slot and the AJA IOHD connected by firewire on the MBP. Would this be feasible?

2. I understand the AJA doesn't capture the footage, but does it help to encode the sxs card data to ProRes format and save into the esata drive?

3. From what you said, the safest method would be to copy the 'BPAV folder' into the external hdd and keep on doing that thru out the day until I'm back in the post suite. From there on, I will encode the footage into ProRes format.

4. If I edit on EX native format, would I get 'real time' performance on the Macbook Pro and also the MacPro? If so, why would I even need the IOHD? :)

Thanks.



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Michael Palmer
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 16, 2008 at 6:54:04 pm

1. One method I can thing of: I would have the sxs usb drive, esata drives connected to the expresscard slot and the AJA IOHD connected by firewire on the MBP. Would this be feasible?

NO, The way the AJA HD-IO works is from a live HD signal, this could be from the camera or it could be from a deck. I told you both ways you could use the IO but I don't think you understood. The SxS USB Card reader isn't going to product the HD signal, you either do a live capture from the camera to the IO to a computer or use the camera as a deck later playing the media back out in the same way as a live capture.

4. If I edit on EX native format, would I get 'real time' performance on the Macbook Pro and also the MacPro? If so, why would I even need the IOHD? :)
There is no realtime performance from native EX media because there doesn't need to be. I believe you are reading into areas from the AJA brochure that you don't need to be concerned with.
Call Jerry at AJA and he can fill you in on the proper use of the HD-IO Phone: +1-530-271-3190

I don't think you need the IO.
What is the delivery? Why do you think you need Pro Rez?


Good Luck
Michael Palmer


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Don Greening
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 16, 2008 at 9:56:30 pm

A 2-4 camera EX shoot with continuous recording:

Set up a central station with a Macbook Pro. In this case two laptops would be even better because during a continuous shoot the cards from all those cameras are going to fill up at the same time. Hire a card wrangler. Buy some 16 Gbyte SxS Pro memory cards and some FW800 drives and leave the IO HD's on the shelf. USB drives are okay but FW800 drives have a substantially higher sustained transfer rate.

As the cards fill up insert them into the laptop's Express 34 slot and drag the BPAV folders from the cards into separate folders on the external FW800 drive(s). Use a bullet proof naming convention so you know which card came from which camera and the number of transferring cycles each card is currently doing. It helps to get all the folders on your external drives ready beforehand, then it's just a matter of dropping the various BPAV folders into the correct hard drive folder.

I'm using a 200Gbyte G RAID Mini and transferring a full 16 Gbyte card takes about 5 1/2 minutes. Have your card person review the footage using Sony's Clip Browser Software. After the review the card can me emptied by simply dragging the card's BPAV folder to the Laptop's trash. The card can then be put right back into the camera for use without any further preparation. After the shoot hook your FW drives to the Mac Pro and the Sony Transfer Tool will transcode the native EX MP4 files into MOV files for use in FCP 6.

Hope this helps you with your purchasing decisions.

- Don





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John Alder
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 17, 2008 at 1:10:37 am

Thanks Guys, I really appreciate your replies. The hardware vendor in my country didn't tell me these things you guys said.

Hi Michael, I finally understand you cause initially I was led by my vendor to think that the IOHD would use its 'muscle' to encode the data in the sxs card.

So in order to encode the contents of the 'BPAV folder' in the hdd to ProRes, the Intel CPU in the MacBook Pro alone does the job? The only reason why I use ProRes is the quality and realtime editing using the IOHD on the road with MacBook Pro or with a MacPro when I'm back in the office..

This TV series has been commissioned by a TV station.The reason I selected the IOHD is the realtime factor when doing an edit with the TV station person sitting in. Without any 'hardware processing' video cards I guess it wouldnt be professional to have the MacPro stutter and dropping frames along the way when the layers piles up with overlays, filters and such. If HD editing on the MacPro is smooth all the way without any cards like the Kona for example, why do they even sell them? Thanks for any thoughts to this.

Hi Don, that's a great idea! That's what I had plan to do with the folders setup in the hdd and getting a runner to go round collecting cards every 30 mins. I wish I could afford two 16gb cards per cam, where I am nobody rents sxs cards..

I can only afford one MBP unless I borrow one from a friend. However in most situations, it will only be 2 cams. The 4 cams are only use during a game match and the filming duration will not go beyond 30mins. So I can take my time to back those data up when the match ends.

I have even thought of setting up a 4 channel HD-SDI video mixer with cables connected to all the cams and have the director do a live edit on the spot and recording just one final stream into the IOHD, but the cost is too high to setup because no one I know has a HD video mixer for rent and also the cables signal loss consideration.

Thanks,
James







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John Alder
Re: AJA IOHD with the EX1
on Jul 17, 2008 at 2:33:17 am

Hi Folks, as my colleague mentioned, cost is really tight, the IOHD will fill the needs when out in the field and in the post suite, I don't have to buy another hardware card.

When outdoors,if I cant use the IOHD without going thru the IOHD SD-HDI, then I will use a few other PC notebooks available to copy the Bpav folders into the hdds. No need for the IOHD.

The bottle neck would then be getting the Ex data into the MacPro and encoding into the hardware supported codec whichever 'card' I buy and my director doing thru the footage.. I will speak to the vendor again.

Thanks.



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