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Digitizing Uncompressed DV

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Todd Young
Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 13, 2008 at 1:24:28 am

I have hundreds of hours of DV footage from which I'm trying to get the best possible final picture. I have a MacPro, Kona Lhe card and access to decks. What's the proper workflow to get the least compressed, highest image quality from these tapes? Thank you!


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Tim Scarpino
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 13, 2008 at 3:57:01 pm

Well, DV by its very nature is a compressed format.

You're really looking for some kind of "loseless" transfer of the data from your tapes to whatever format you're gonna be working in. Ideally, you might go firewire from source to your master/record device.

Of course, I'm just guessing as to what you're intending to do. Are you getting ready to edit, and simply need to digitize or "capture" your DV media for that purpose? If so, what program are you using to edit?

Some more info would be helpful.

Tim Scarpino

Tim Scarpino


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Todd Young
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 13, 2008 at 4:47:21 pm

I'm working in Final Cut. I understood that digitizing over firewire from a camera delivers a highly compressed 8-bit file while coming in from a DV deck over serial digital through a kona card yields a uncompressed 10-bit file. Is this a myth?



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Tim Scarpino
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 13, 2008 at 5:47:43 pm

Are you working in HD by chance?

Tim

Tim Scarpino


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Todd Young
Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 13, 2008 at 7:35:02 pm

I'm working in Final Cut Studio 6, so yes, i am working in HD. Actually, I'm working in an uncompressed 10-bit sequence and am hoping to upconvert to HD once I figure out how to get the best possible picture from my source tapes. Thanks for your help.



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Noah Kadner
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 14, 2008 at 1:54:02 am

Well just as there is no unscrambling an egg there's no "uncompressing" a DV source. You have a DV signal that is compressed 5:1 25 Mbit. You can certainly play that out over SDI and capture to uncompressed via a Kona card- but all you'll be doing is wrapping a huge data pipe around a tiny fixed one. You don't get any of that compression back. DV is a decent format but it can't be undone. The only way to get uncompressed video is to shoot out of a camera via SDI directly to an uncompressed RAID and avoid DV in the first place. I think I'm going to write a blog about this because it seems to be a very common misconception in the editor world.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the HD Survival Guide!
http://www.callboxlive.com



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Todd Young
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 14, 2008 at 2:21:48 am

Thanks, Noah! Do you know anything about upconverting DV to HD using Compressor and a Kona LHe card?



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Noah Kadner
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 14, 2008 at 3:06:11 pm

Sure it can be done- you can't expect miracles though. For the best hardware upconversion I'd go to a transfer house like Fotokem and do it on a Terranex box.

Noah

My FCP Blog. Unlock the secrets of the DVX100, HVX200 and Apple Color. Now featuring the HD Survival Guide!
http://www.callboxlive.com



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Michael McIntyre
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 19, 2008 at 5:13:19 am

Another way and even more laborious is what James Longley did for 'Iraq in Fragments'. They actually exported individual tiff's for the entire documentary and blew-up that way. I'm not suggesting this - just adding to the knowledge base as it were. I don't even want to know what that cost him.


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Todd Young
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 19, 2008 at 3:19:20 pm

Yeah that was a great piece. mediastorm.org is incredible for that kind of high-end doc work.



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Michael McIntyre
Re: Digitizing Uncompressed DV
on Mar 19, 2008 at 3:27:31 pm

That's who it was! Thanks for sharing, Todd. I just remembered reading a piece on them when all the Oscar nomination buzz was happening for that film.

Fever City Studio, LLC
1035 madison
denver 80206


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