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Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2

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Thomas Miguez
Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 2, 2014 at 7:22:55 pm

I was very excited after purchasing a PDW-U2, looking forward to deliver a 26 x 52' episodes TV-series, as it looked like the perfect match for my post-production XDCAM workflow.

To my frustration, after successfully exporting a few short advertising clips, I started having trouble exporting a 52 minute MPEG HD 422 from my NLE system (FCP 7.0.3, originally). Needless to say, I was using the appropriate 50Gb discs for the operation.

After checking on all the do's and dont's of the Sequence Settings, having read ALL the posts available on the matter on the web (and here), I get the feeling that no one, regardless of the NLE being used, have solved the issues that are being presented.

I even went further as upgrading my entire hardware to the latest MacPro (8-core, 16Gb Ram), tried FCPX, Adobe Premiere CS6, Content Browser, etc, tried variations on the OS (Lion, Mountain Lion, Mavericks) and none of them seem to have fixed the bugs that keep the U2 from working swiftly as we would expect from a Sony product.

Still hoping that Sony would address the issue as to when will the PDW-U2 work on what NLE system as we would expect.

Ian, is there light on the end of this tunnel?

Thomas Miguez
São Paulo, Brazil


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Ian Cook
Re: Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 2, 2014 at 8:57:09 pm

Please provide some details on what the exact behavior is and how the transfer fails.

There are no serious existing problems with FCP export. Likewise there are no major U2 bugs. This has been working very soundly for years on most editors, including FCP. FCP 7 has memory issues that crop up with long clips of any format so if there are crashes happening we may have to try exporting in shorter chunks. FCP X makes exporting multichannel files difficult but the process does work and the # of steps involved has nothing to do with XDCAM. If you are in fact having issues with crashes in 7 I would not expect them to happen in X.

Any export requires you to have the right driver installed. Without it the disc will be read-only and will not present Mac OS with the correct folder structure. http://www.sonycreativesoftware.com/xdcamdrive . Make sure you update the driver and also the firmware. The latter is updated using the bundled application that is installed with the driver. Also any export requires the file going to disc to be mxf-wrapped, which is where our plugin steps in.

If the above does not help please post your versions and the steps you are using and what exactly happens. We can talk offline or I can have you call this into support if any real troubleshooting is required.

Ian Cook
Sony Broadcast and Professional Services


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Thomas Miguez
Re: Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 2, 2014 at 11:34:19 pm

Hello Ian,

Thank you so much for such a quick reply!

I have the latest XDCAM Driver (5.0.1), Content Browser 2 (Standard License), XDCAM Transfer (2.13.0) and a brand new PDW-U2 on firmware 2.800. I run a FCP 7.0.3 on a Mavericks (10.9.4) OS, on a MacPro 6-core Intel Xeon E5, 16Gb Ram.

Having set my Sequence to XDCAM HD422 1080i60 (50Mb/s), with 2 audio outputs on dual mono, 48kHz and 24-bit, I've tried to export it either through Sony XDCAM or through Sony Content Browser, but in both cases FCP will crash either on the beginning or when it hits 19% of the initial FCP render.

Tried this on different machines on my office, with OS X 10.8 and 10.7.4, and got the same crash. Even tried on different projects (of different episodes), all with the same setup.

Then I tried running it on FCP X, on which I couldn't even set to export the file with the proper settings, not to mention that there's no link to the XDCAM device. And could't find anywhere on all the literature available from Sony or Apple on how to set this to work.

I even tried it to work on Adobe Premiere CS6, but again, no info on how to set it up from Sony or Adobe.

Tried to figure out a way of exporting or converting other formats directly in Content Browser, for MXF, for example, but couldn't make it.

Being a Sony enthusiast since my early days on this business, I feel like (1) Sony has yet to figure out (and publish) a way to make it work with major NLE systems or (2) I'll have to move up to a much more expensive PDW-HD1500.

If we could chat about it offline I'd much appreciate. I'm sure we can find a way to work around this.

Best regards!


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Thomas Miguez
Re: Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 3, 2014 at 1:11:05 pm

I'd like to add that I understand that I'm using an obsolete application (FCP 7.0.3), once that Apple is no longer developing it, and this is probably the cause of the constant crashes.

I'd gladly purchase any software if I could receive strong advice on which NLE is consistent with Sony's technology and PDW-U2.

Thanks again for your time and attention.


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Ian Cook
Re: Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 3, 2014 at 3:26:36 pm

Again, re the request for advice, see my other posts. This has been working well for years with Avid, FCP, Premiere, Edius and Vegas. Please try the shorter export from FCP as a test.


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Ian Cook
Re: Can't export from FCP to XDCAM disc on PDW-U2
on Oct 3, 2014 at 2:33:16 pm

Before we get into the cause of the crashing it would be a good idea to revisit some of the basics.

1. FCP 7 and FCP X export require plugins to rewrap back to .mxf. Adobe does not. You select the MXF op1A option in Premiere to export XDCAM files.

2. FCP X requires the Content Browser export plugin to be set up as a share destination. See the release notes. You have to set up an 'open with-->Sony Content Browser Exporter' action in the Share settings.

3. Crashes during rendering have nothing to do with the U1/U2 or any of the XDCAM software. Until the render is done and the Sony Export window opens up the U1/U2 isn't even involved. As I mentioned earlier this symptom is very common with long clips as FCP does not handle memory well and will regularly crash on long file transcodes. This is more likely to happen with certain older NVIDA QuadroFX cards. Try rendering five minutes out to the U1/U2 or rendering the same five minutes out locally and then manually importing/copying to the CLIP folder on the disc.

4. When exporting from FCP in the HD422/50 Mb codec you need to select 8 channels of 24 bit audio

5. The comments about Sony 'not figuring out or publishing a way to make the U2 with with major NLES' are not accurate. I say this not out of loyalty or Sony groupthink but because I have been dealing with XDCAM FCP/Avid workflow since the format was launched in 2006. Most of the import/export workflow was nailed down years ago and the U1/U2 is no different than the HD1500 or a camcorder in terms of the basic export. It's USB, but that's about the only functional difference. You still just cue a render and point it to your locally connected XDCAM. If there is a problem it should be investigated but again, this has been working soundly for years and there is plenty of documentation out there on working with XDCAM. It's really not much different from any other high end file-based format.

Please try the short render from FCP 7 with 8 x 24 bit audio, both locally and to the disc. Let me know how that goes and we can investigate a bit further from there.

Cheers


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