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Kyle Balmer
New Broadcast Station
on Oct 14, 2008 at 2:57:39 am

Hello,

I'm helping to set up a new television channel in Asia and I've been trying to work out some of the technical requirements for the new station. The problem I'm having at the moment is working out the best way to ingest digibeta material for dubbing and broadcast. We have some well fitted out MacPros with FCP for editing and I was wondering what additional equipment I needed to purchase to get the digibeta material into FCP? I seem to need a Digibeta reader (or recorder if I want to make duplicates) and an ingest card like the AJA Kona. I was wondering what where the best tools to go with and whether I needed any more than just these two pieces of equipment. I also wanted to know what the best format was for editing the footage - can we edit at a lower resolution and then export the edits back onto duplicated digibetas? Also, it is at all feasible to archive the digibetas onto a server rather than creating tape duplicates or is digital archiving still prohibitively expensive? We're going to be broadcasting in SD but need to keep the option of HD open for the near future.

Apologies for the barrage of questions but I haven't been able to find any good information on digibeta workflows and equipment requirements. If anyone knows any good resources I'd be very happy to know of them.

Many thanks,

Kyle





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Del Holford
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 16, 2008 at 4:35:08 pm

The AJA Kona will do what you want for input and output. If you're making material for Asia, what standard will you be working in? NTSC? SECAM? PAL? It seems like standard challenges may outweigh the simple editing problems you have.

Del
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del underscore edits at wtvi dot org


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Kyle Balmer
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 17, 2008 at 5:09:43 am

The country uses PAL for its TV broadcasts. We'll be getting content from the US primarily so I assume this will be in Digibeta NTSC. I will ask for PAL versions but if they are not available is there a way to convert the format, preferably through FCP or another software solution rather than through an expensive piece of hardware?

Many thanks






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Kyle Balmer
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 17, 2008 at 7:24:00 am

I've been around the broadcast dealers looking for a digibeta recorder and player but have only been able to find the J10 Betacam player (for $9000). This means I'l have to order in a Digibeta recorder and they are already very expensive. Is it possible to avoid putting the programme back onto Digibeta?

I know it is plausible to copy from a digibeta master onto a HD for tapeless editing/dubbing/broadcasting and archiving but I'd prefer to keep a physical copy of each of these tapes. Are there any alternatives to rerecording the edited programmes onto digibeta? This would mean I could avoid buying a digibeta recorder (which I shall only be using for the duplication of these tapes) and instead use a recorder that is also being used for production - ie. a DVCAM recorder or even an XDCAM recorder. Would this lead to a massive deterioration of quality from the original digibeta?

Thank you



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Del Holford
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 17, 2008 at 2:34:49 pm

I'd upconvert within FCP and work in PAL but if you don't have a way to lay off the PAL to DigiBeta in the US you'll have to do NTSC, lay off to DigiBeta and then convert on input at the station. Snell & Wilcox makes awesome converters but they are a bit pricey.

Del
fire*, smoke*, photoshopCS3
Charlotte Public Television
del underscore edits at wtvi dot org


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Joey Burnham
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 20, 2008 at 9:55:57 pm

What you are going to be doing is pricey so if that's an issue get a business loan or something. And keeping your options for HD open is going to cost you WAY more. I know the COW is awesome but it sounds like you really need to hire an engineer who puts these rooms together for a living and save the aggravation.

Here is our general setup at work:

2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
2GB (2 x 1GB)
320GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256MB (Two dual-link DVI)
SATA 1TB internal
DUAL-LINK HD/HD/SD 10-BIT CAPTURE AND OUTPUT PCIe
CARD
Break Out box for AJA Kona 3
APC BACK-UPS RS 1500VA

This of course does not include wiring, monitors, scopes, and decks of course.

Oh and is your source going to be PAL or NTSC? Hopefully PAL, otherwises you need to transfer. And as the person stated before me, high quality converters are expensive.

Joey




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Scott Warren
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 22, 2008 at 9:14:25 pm

I use the AJA FS1 all the time at my work and man it is a GODSEND!! Something to consider if you plan on doing anything in HD as well. It allows you to be extremely versatile with whatever type of footage you have. just something to consider.

"Live in the Beauty of your own reality."


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Kyle Balmer
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 23, 2008 at 3:24:09 am

Thank you everyone for all the help.

I agree that this requires an engineer. I'm talking to people at the moment and getting quotes but I also wanted to have a good idea myself of what we require so that I can communicate this to the engineer and understand their suggestions.

As for digibetas I'm now looking at setting up a powerful central ingest station that can take in digibeta through a J30 player as well as ingesting the live streams from our two studios into a RAID. This central station would be linked to substations where the editing would be performed. My worry is whether we can find a computer capable of simultaneously ingesting from Digibeta and our studios. This computer may also be used to create our final output material - which I have recently found out to be in MPEG 2 - for broadcast.

This central station would be responsible for taking in the footage from the studios. As such we would skip out the P2s in the studio environment and record straight to RAID HDD for short to medium term storage whilst we edit. In the studio it seems to make sense to record straight on HDD as the price per GB for HDD is a great deal cheaper than the P2s at the moment. We will still use P2s for field shooting, probably combined with the Firestore 100 or MacBooks with Duel systems adapters and large external HDDs for dumping the data.

For the studios, I've been looking at getting a MacPro with internal RAID and Xsan and using this as the primary ingest station. I've also been looking at external RAIDs which I've been told are more reliable and capable of higher speeds. That said the Mac RAID can apparently take in data at 3GB/s. Even if we were recording on three cameras per studio (at a very max of 100Mbps) this seems to mean the MacPro would be capable of taking in all this data (600Mbps?).

I also wanted to get a Panasonic HS300 vision mixers in each studio so the 2/3 cameras in each studio feed into the vision mixer and the resulting feed only is put into the RAID. The reason for this is to give our production director's control over the first phase of editing. I know I can feed all the streams into FCP and then use multicam editing to cut between them but it seems to me that a vision mixer would be simpler for our directors to use and they wouldn't need to learn to use FCP. The use of an vision mixer for the first step in editing would also have the effect of decreasing the data stream from the studios to the RAID.

Can a MacPro internal RAID take these levels of datastream. I want the system to have a large redundancy even if we were using the system for all of its functions simultaneously (ie accepting streams form Studio 1 and 2, ingesting digibeta and mastering into MPEG2). I've been looking at the top of the range MacPro Xeons with 16GB of RAM and the largest RAID possible but this still seems like too much data for a single computer to process.

Does anyone have any thoughts about using P2 cameras but recording straight to HDD? I also looked into just getting tape based DVCPRO HD cameras but they appear to be more expensive than P2 based DVCPRO HD recorders... is this correct?

Many thanks all.

Kyle



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Gary Hazen
Re: New Broadcast Station
on Oct 24, 2008 at 10:31:40 pm

"Can a MacPro internal RAID take these levels of datastream. I want the system to have a large redundancy even if we were using the system for all of its functions simultaneously (ie accepting streams form Studio 1 and 2, ingesting digibeta and mastering into MPEG2). " - Kyle B.

Nope.

Multiple streams of playout/record is routine business for a typical broadcast operation. However it's not something that's done on a MacPro. It requires some heavy duty hardware - an Omneon Mediagrid will handle your needs with plenty of room for growth.

http://www.omneon.com/mediagrid/index.html

There are other broadcast servers on the market such as Thomson Grass Valley's K2 and Avid's Air Speed. But the industry leader in this arena is Omneon.

There's also a Mac based file server from Bug TV:

http://www.bug.tv/CLASS-R.html

Not in the same class as the heavy weights, but worth a look - affordable.

I'm of course speaking to the larger picture of broadcast operations as opposed to a small scale post production environment.







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