I have some extra money in the budget, that is either use or lose and am looking at the Kona LHe card.
I produce video for use in distance education and online learning. We shoot on a HVX200 w/P2 and bring everything into FCP via FW800 (once the aj-PCD20 arrives)
Since we distribute strictly through the web we never really need to use a reference monitor or create a final HD Master, does the Kona card really offer me that much of a performance increase in editing to justify the expense?
We do shoot multicam projects? I just finished a jazz performance for example. Can the Kona help with this and speed up editing with a DVCPro HD codec? or is this useless now with the Apple RT effects? I've seen some contradictory statements on this board and others and am trying to understand exactly what benefits card provides in terms of editing performance.
The Kona isn't an accelerator card. It handles a few minor processing tasks for video (such as stretching 960x720 to 1280x720 for output) but it won't help speed up multicam or anything major. A nice disk array will help with that. The Kona will help you connect to VTRs and monitors, it will help you downconvert to those tapes and monitors, it will whisper softly into you ear as you fall asleep next to your computer after a long night's editing. Ok maybe it won't do that last part, but it should.
Really, for you, the KOna will help you watch your projects on a proper monitor and make any subsequent tape masters (in Hd or SD) should you ever need to. Really, for you it becomes a monitoring device for FCP, Motion, AE.
Honestly for your workflow, no the Kona boards won't really offer you much of anything. They are necessary for monitoring to external monitors and allowing you to convert video (HD to SD for example) on the fly in realtime. Obviously there are a lot more benefits to these cards, but primarily in the video / film centric world.
For the web, I think your workflow via Firewire is just fine. If you run into a situation where you're need to convert HD to SD a LOT then a Kona LHe card can really help you by doing this in realtime.
Thanks Guys. You pretty much confirmed my thoughts that the card isn't nessecary for my workflow at this point. I'd hate for gear lust to get the better of me and spend $ and not get a return on productivity. thanks again.