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Mike Healey
DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 3:55:58 pm

Hey folks - Purchased the HVX200 back in December. Getting my feet wet and learning the new technology and workflow. So far, I'm loving it!

I purchased Barry's HVX Boot Camp series DVD's and really like the features of DV Rack. I've learned it's no longer available unless you buy the entire Adobe bundle. I have no use for the bundle so the question is, is there another similar product out there that offers monitoring via 1394 and w/f vector features similar to DV Rack?

Thanks!

~Mike~


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 5:51:01 pm

Mac or windows?


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Mike Healey
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 6:17:55 pm

Windows. sorry... my bad!



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Kurt Schultz
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 8, 2008 at 11:56:43 pm

You are in luck, On Location (new name of DV Rack) is included in the Windows version of CS3 Adobe Premiere - it is not included in the Mac version!

Kurt Schultz
Alpha Cam



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 1:24:37 am

Yes, it is included with the Mac version as Adobe knows that many run it under Bootcamp or Parallels. It comes on a separate disc that is included with CS3. It is simply not a Mac program but it is there.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
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Chris Clephane
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 8:04:58 pm

SW-only edit suite people, plugin fans and laptop nuts...please accept my advance apology for this patently sacreligious reply.....

For monitoring signal levels....Stick with a real waveform monitor. (Used on Ebay $100-$600)
For technical reasons too numerous to list here we finally abandoned the "convenience" of a SW scope suite for the real thing.

If you are used to working with a real "tube", the SW versions really just do not compare.

FYI- The waveform/vector monitoring section of the new Panasonic portable lcds are fabulous.

-C


I edit video. I post sometimes.
I fix things. I eat marshmallows.
I play drums. I drink scotch.
I like TV.

Done typing now.


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Rennie Klymyk
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 9:19:01 pm

[Chris Clephane] "If you are used to working with a real "tube", the SW versions really just do not compare. "

Hey Chris
I've heard good things about Scopebox and you just don't find HD scopes on ebay for $700.00. Have you any experience with Scopebox?

"everything is broken" ......Bob Dylan


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 9, 2008 at 10:28:03 pm

[Rennie Klymyk] "Have you any experience with Scopebox?"

I was just going to start looking at this paired with an ioHD. It can be a capture tool as well. Seems kinda cool, don't know how well it works with hardware, though. They speak well of it in the advertisssments.

Jeremy


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Kirk Melby
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 12:02:05 am

Isn't Scopebox Mac only?



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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 12:09:03 am

Yeah, think so.


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Ron Lindeboom
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 12:54:10 pm

[Chris Clephane] "For monitoring signal levels...Stick with a real waveform monitor. (Used on Ebay $100-$600). For technical reasons too numerous to list here we finally abandoned the "convenience" of a SW scope suite for the real thing. If you are used to working with a real "tube", the SW versions really just do not compare."

I couldn't agree more ... but that wasn't the question. But a $100 Ebay special is not likely to get you a broadcast monitor that you'd really be able to trust.

Best regards,


Ron Lindeboom
http://www.linkedin.com/in/ronlindeboom
Publisher, Creative COW Magazine
Join the COW's LinkedIn Group

Now in the COW Magazine: Commercials. A look at the history, strategy, techniques and production workflows of successful commercials. All brought to you by some of the COW's brightest members. Accept no substitutes!

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Chris Clephane
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 10, 2008 at 3:13:58 pm

Thanks Ron. I assumed that everybody knows (hopefully!) that most pro-video stuff purchased from Ebay (regardless of how it is advertised) needs to be checked out by a tech and ESPECIALLY in the case of monitoring gear...it always should be calibrated.

We purchased 2 older units to carry in the field. (Call me crazy...but simply I refuse to carry a $7+k HD Tek on location where it could be dropped, etc.) Point being -- I am not going to lose as much sleep if a sub-$1k unit is damaged/dropped/gaussed on location.
And again, I should have mentioned, when we buy E-bay junk, we do have it/them serviced and calibrated by a local shop.
And yes, this does add significantly to the price.


HD Monitoring question:

We work with 2 combinations of gear. High end and budget.

HIGH END: When we shoot HDCAM (and occasionally DVCPROHd), we use the Panasonic BTLH900A HD display. The built-in WFV monitoring functions rock. Off subject: In my opinion, this monitor can't be beat.

LOW END: We use 3 HVX200's for multicam location shoots and low-end commercial shoots. We still shoot HD in most cases. for visual reference we shoot these units we use with lower cost Marshall HD monitors which have no built-in WFV functions. (Always shooting HD allows greater flexibility in post and helps future-proof the client's footage.)
Back to the point....on these units, if WFV monitoring is needed, we simply hook a waveform to the HVX200's composite out (always SD). Its great for setting up green screens and a real tube WFV gives you TONS more feedback than camera zebras and most of the SW suites we tried. An added advantage here is that you can also STILL use your firewire out with a firestore or DVCPro Tape backup if you are not recording to P2. This is really useful if you are recording long-form stuff.

Just FYI, we also tried using FCP to record via firewire and use the monitoring suite built into FCP, but again it quickly proved unreliable on-location for critical work.

In Summary, it boiled down to three factors for us:
1) Economy.
Losing/damaging an old sub-$1k tube on location is much more appealing than damaging a $2.5 k laptop.
2) Reliability.
Laptops have failed us on location. More than once. Humidity/travel/age and random fluctuations of the universe cause us more trouble on location with computers than any other piece of gear. For greatest reliability, we try to stick with dedicated hardware as much as possible.
3) Speed.
Power On/Power Off. A dedicated scope is simple to operate. The dedicated SW suites we tried often did not react well to sleep-mode on the computers we used. Firewire activity does not seem to handle sleep-mode well either. In the end we were often forced to reboot several times over the course of a day, especially when we moved shoot locations or changed setups. From our perspective, clients often seem to perceive rebooting the computer on set as a bad thing. (They often ask "Did it crash?). Little things like this do matter when dealing with clients. Perception IS important.

So again, I reiterate, If you need to monitor on location regularly, get a real tube--or drop some serious $$ and check out the Panasonic displays with built-in WFV scope functions.
If you only shoot once or twice a month and have never worked with dedicated HW monitoring in the past....the SW suites will probably suit you just fine.




I edit video. I post sometimes.
I fix things. I eat marshmallows.
I play drums. I drink scotch.
I like TV.

Done typing now.


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Tim Kolb
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 11, 2008 at 1:28:55 am

Hmmm...

Well, I think we all know where Chris stands...

I've used DV Rack in many situations, though not with DVC ProHD...SD DV and HDV and have found it to be pretty damn accurate. We've set up shots based on what we see and haven't been disappointed. With a software based system like DV Rack, you have WFM (I often ran two WFM's simultaneously set to YUV and RGB parade in a keying situation..and had a vectorscope open as well...).

(You shut off blanking/sleeping/standby modes on a shoot...)

Carrying old tube-based scopes around in the field probably isn't a foolproof practice either...shock wasn't exactly a friend of the classic old units. I still have several around, bt i will admit to there being something reassuring about the decidedly analog nature of the old displays to those of us who have been around a long time...

I haven't seen anything as full-featured as DV Rack (Now Adobe On Location) on the windows side of things in both measurement and capture... There are several shareware-ish scope programs out there, but whether they work live with an input to a computer varies. And keep in mind that you may have only an analog SD output to monitor from, requiring another unit like an ADVC-110 to convert that to a FW-borne DV signal to get into the laptop anyway, which presents questions on whether all that signal conversion is giving you a faithful signal to monitor anyway...

With the HVX-200, monitoring is far from ideal if you aren't capturing with the same tool as you need to shut off "PN" mode to enable the live FW output (or you did the last time I worked with one anyway) which means you have to capture at full 100Mb/s ...quite a data premium when you could shoot 720p24 at 40 Mb/s in PN mode. So if you use the FW to an external recording device like a Firestore, which will extract the pulldown instead of the camera, or if you choose to use PN mode and record to your P2 cards, you are left with SD downconverted analog 601 signals to measure your digital 709 video parameters. It's certainly better than running no test displays at all, but it's not ideal.

We need an inexpensive version of the Leader LV5750...and we'd all be happy!





TimK,
Director, Consultant
Kolb Productions,

Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
http://www.focalpress.com
http://www.classondemand.net


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Chris Clephane
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 11, 2008 at 2:23:57 am

Tim after re-reading posts I have to agree.....My coffee was perhaps a bit strong this morning. LOL
-C


I edit video. I post sometimes.
I fix things. I eat marshmallows.
I play drums. I drink scotch.
I like TV.

Done typing now.


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Dave Martin
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 16, 2008 at 10:32:24 am

I hope this isn't a dumb question but...is it possible to monitor composite out of the HVX 200 into Final Cut (with an IO HD)and use the waveform/vector in there?

Advisable on a green screen shoot?




Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 3:15:43 pm

[Dave Martin] "Advisable on a green screen shoot? "

Maybe. In a pinch I have used it, but it's not the best. I use a BT-LH900A Panasonic monitor that has a waveform on it. That works much better. Why use Composite when you can monitor/capture component?

Jeremy


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Dave Martin
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 5:17:15 pm

Thanks Jeremy

I'm sorry...I didn't realize the HVX had component out? (First time I've used it).

If I didn't have an awesome monitor like you 8-) but I did have fcp and an IO....could you suggest a good workflow for a simple green screen shoot?

Thanks so much...



Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 17, 2008 at 10:01:23 pm

Besides what's already in this thread? What else do you need to know specifically?

Jeremy





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Dave Martin
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 19, 2008 at 3:29:38 am

Let me read the thread again...thanks Jeremy!

Dave Martin

- MacPro - MacBook Pro -


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: DV Rack Alternative?
on Mar 19, 2008 at 3:34:03 am

No worries. Write back if you have specifics.


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