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Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?

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Brett Ramsey
Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 2:52:50 pm

We are currently using FCP to play pre-recorded segments on a live to air TV show. The thing works well in theory but often when we hit the spacebar to play from the timeline the thing just hangs for a few seconds leaving us with embarrassing black and silence.
Is there a better software alternative (cheap!) than FCP for live playout?
Better still is there anyway to guarantee that the segments will play instantly we need them?
BTW we are using a cordless mouse and keyboard ( the annoyingly small apple one) could that be part of the problem?


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Bill Davis
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 5:59:23 pm

Since you're running FCP, you're already a licensed user of Quicktime Pro.

Just output your files as standalone QT files and then you can play them directly out of the QT app.

About the only cost you'd need to incur would be an incredibly cheap VGA adaptor or a video card with a secondary output that you can convert from VGA to video - a process that is as cheap as it is simple.

Good luck.





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Walter Soyka
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Aug 25, 2009 at 6:10:41 pm

Do you have a capture card for your FCP system? AJA has a utility that will play Quicktime videos directly to the outputs of their capture cards -- I believe Blackmagic Design has a similar utility, too.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Mark Suszko
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:47:34 pm

Do you have a link to that AJA play-out utility?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Sep 4, 2009 at 2:55:08 pm

Hi Mark,

http://www.aja.com/products/software

Look for AJA TV. (I think it's on the driver install disc, too.)

You might also be interested in AJA VTR Xchange.

Walter Soyka, Principal
Keen Live, Inc.
Presentation, Motion Graphics & Widescreen Design
RenderBreak: A Blog on Innovation in Production



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Jeff Markgraf
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Aug 26, 2009 at 12:16:39 am

What format are you playing? What drives are you playing from?

FCP, like most NLEs, buffers a bit of the video before playing. It takes longer to buffer a bit of HD or uncompressed SD video than DV, for example. Playing HD or uncompressed SD off anything less than a SATA or eSATA drive is going to be problematic & sluggish, at best. Playing back an h.264 file or some other highly-compressed file format will likely introduce a slight delay as the CPU does the calculations to un-compress the file.

Also, is your system set to NOT put the drives to sleep? If not, and there is enough time for the media drive to go to sleep, there will be a delay of several seconds before playback as the drive comes back up to speed (you'll probably see the spinning beach ball as well).


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Bill Lewis
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Sep 24, 2009 at 6:42:35 pm

I would look at DTVideolabs.com PlayBackPro (MAC ONLY) software, sounds like just what you need. Demo the program sometime.


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Joel Hufford
Re: Using FCP for live broadcast video playout?
on Oct 16, 2009 at 8:16:24 pm

We've been using Playback Pro on a Mac Pro tower with a 3TB RAID Array for several years now and couldn't be happier with it's performance. It has support for Apple's ProRes 422 codec out of the box and provides an exceptional quality at manageable bitrates.

The software is designed to pre-roll clips so that the video is already buffered before you hit play, there is no lag. In addition, the software is also able to modify geometry and levels on the fly. There is only so much you can do with the levels controller as bad levels are bad levels, but the geometry functionality alone, in my opinion, makes this software worth owning.


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