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play Kona video without Kona hardware?

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jeremydehn
play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Aug 16, 2007 at 3:30:18 pm

Hi. So I'm a student and really cheap even when I'm not a student, so I don't have a full setup. If I want to edit something other than DV, my workflow is to go to a post house to capture using their Kona hardware, then edit at home on my computer with no additional hardware, then go back to the post house to output. I generally output both the final online quality at the post house and some DVDs for review purposes made at home.

With this being the plan, I captured uncompressed 10 bit standard def video (from digibeta), and it looks fine at the post house, but looks terrible back here at home. I've tried different digibeta tapes captured from two different post houses, and they're identically poor on my Mac Pro, whether played through FCP6 or quicktime 7.2. It's got a bad jitter and extreme interlacing look.

Now it is interlaced footage--24p film transferred to 29.97 digibeta, and I know I'm likely to to get some of that look on my progressive display, but A) it looks far more pronounced at home than it does at the post house, and B) it looks even worse when I export the video (same settings quicktime, self contained or reference) and send it out through iDVD to play it on a separate TV. Last time I did this same workflow it was on a much slower G4 running FCP 4.5, and that had display issues too, but it put the 10 bit footage back together again just fine when I output to DVD. (And even then I'm reluctant to think that my new quad 2.66 Mac Pro with 3 gigs of RAM is still struggling to properly display 10 bit standard def. I also checked issues like drive speed--ran the video through a raid with no change, and it plays fine at the post house even through firewire 400.)

So I'm left to conclude that my new Mac Pro simply doesn't understand that video well enough to read it and/or transcode it successfully into mpeg2 for DVD output. I thought it might be a codec issue, but theoretically Apple and Kona use the same codec for 10 bit uncompressed. I downloaded Kona codecs anyway (tried Kona 2 and Kona 3), but they didn't help. In fact they seemed to introduce separate bugs with FCP's title tool--bugs that went away when I removed the Kona codecs.

Does anyone have any idea what I'm doing wrong? Do I need to actually have Kona hardware in addition to the codecs for it to play properly? Thet's the only fundamental difference between the post houses and me at home. One of the things that's really throwing me is that my older computer actually performed better in this regard. Have any of you seen incompatibilities between older (FCP 4.5 and 5) codecs and newer (FCP6)?

I'm probably just going to run all of the footage through Cinema Tools, cut at 23.98 so I can actually stand to watch it as I cut, then have the post house re-apply the pulldown when it outputs real time through the Kona card to my digibetamaster. That seems to work (output tests at the post house and my DVDs made at home both look fine), but it runs counter to the fundamental idea of determining my output and doing post in that same format, so it bothers something deep in my reptilian editor's brain. and I just want to know what the issue is so I don't worry that some inexplicable problem is still floating around out there waiting to screw something else up.

Any thoughts? Alternatives? Help is much appreciated. Long live the cow.

-Jeremy


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Shane Ross
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Aug 16, 2007 at 6:07:49 pm

Install the KONA drivers and you will be fine.

Actually, there was a big discussion on the FCP forum about this. That the Kona uses the APPLE codecs, so you probably won't need the drivers at all.

Either way...it'll work fine without the hardware.



Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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jeremydehn
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Aug 16, 2007 at 8:08:20 pm

Ok, but that's what I'm saying. It should work, but it isn't working either way.

I read the thread about the Kona and Apple codecs being the same, and according to that thread I shouldn't have a problem, but I still do.

And I also tried installing the Kona codecs and they didn't help either.

So neither one of those ways works.

Any other thoughts on what might be happening? Thanks.

Jeremy


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Shane Ross
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Aug 16, 2007 at 10:49:20 pm

Now hold on a moment...

[b]whether played through FCP6 or quicktime 7.2. It's got a bad jitter and extreme interlacing look. [/b]

You can SEE the footage. It plays...therefore you have the codec and it is working. NOW...your issue isn't that, it is that playback isn't happening smoothly. I see.

OK...I don't know what is happening here. No experience with this.

sorry


Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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jeremydehn
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Aug 17, 2007 at 12:57:43 am

That's OK. Thanks anyway for trying.

I have an e-mail circulating around AJA... seems it's an unusual deal. So hopefully they'll figure something out.

If anyone else has any thoughts, I'm all ears. Thanks again.

Jeremy


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peterd
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Sep 10, 2007 at 1:09:44 pm

May seem obvious but have you tried simply uninstalling and reinstalling all of the codecs involved?


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jeremydehn
Re: play Kona video without Kona hardware?
on Sep 10, 2007 at 6:52:21 pm

Good call, but yes, I tried it. Reinstalled both the codecs and FCP itself. I stopped short of wiping the drive and/or reinstalling the OS, but that was only because I'd found the problems almost immediately after taking the computer out of the box and installing my normal software on it.

In addition to the tests I mentioned above, calls to both Apple and Kona tech support bore no fruit, although I did speak to someone with whom I edited a film a couple of years ago, and he reminded me of some inexplicable but similar problem we had on that project--our editing computer had a different version of Kona card than the capturing computer had. They theoretically should have been compatible, but it looked similarly poor until we we changed out the card and made both computers match.

So I still don't understand exactly what the problem is, but I have to conclude that the card isn't quite as smoothly integrated into FCP as it's supposed to be--at least not in the particular configuration of hardware and software I have now.

I couldn't spend any more time on this, so finally just gave up, ran the footage through Cinema Tools, and am cutting now at 23.98. I'm not thrilled about changing timebases midstream (and I had to re-sync most of the footage) but this is the only way my tests come out OK.

Thanks to all who tried to help. I still love the Cow.

Jeremy


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