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Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget

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mike slee
Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 24, 2008 at 4:35:39 pm

I have a Quad core 2.8, Kona 3. I have four internal 1k drives. I also have for other 1ks that I want to put into a tower and attach for uncompressed playback for final output. Currently what is the best SATA or SAS card and tower I can get into for little cost (On a budget). Is there a way to get my internals to run fast enough to playback at speeds fast enough for lay off. (seagate Barracuda 1k gig, 3.0 Gigb, 32mb cache?

What do you like for the price and ease of work? It only needs to be for six months to a year until the crazy high end fiber stuff becomes a little more reasonable for my wife to let me spend that kind of money. Cause you know who you work for if you are married... LMOA!

Thank you for the insight.


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cow
Bob Zelin
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 24, 2008 at 11:58:27 pm

I dont' understand your question. You are on a budget, and you want to work with UNCOMPRESSED HD, even though most TV station, and professional production companies use Apple ProRes422HQ or DVCProHD. Even AVID users use DNxHD145 or DNxHD220 - not uncompressed HD. So you are "working at home" on a tiny budget, yet you want to do UNCOMPRESSED HD ? Why - who is your client - what "small budget" job requires uncompressed HD ?

If you want to use DVCProHD or ProRes422HQ, you can easily to nothing other than use 1 or 2 internal SATA drives in your MAC Pro and go to work. But if you want uncompressed HD, you are going to spend between $1500 - $2000 for a RAID 5 SAS/SATA array from either Maxx Digital (which you can get at Markertek) or Cal Digit new HDElement (which you can get at B&H). For this money, you will get very small drives, all stripped RAID 5 to give you performance greater than 250mb/sec that you will need for uncompressed HD. Uncompressed HD requires about 118mb/sec, but this is theoretical, and you will NEVER get sustained performance playback with an array that runs this slow(two internal SATA drives stripped RAID 0 with Apple Disk Utility will do about 128mb/sec, but you can't do a real job with uncompressed HD with 2 internal SATA drives - it just won't work).

SO, no money - start using ProRes422HQ or DVCProHD - just like professionals with LOTS of money do every day. But want to be Mr. Prima Donna, and do uncompressed HD for very little money - Maxx Digital and Cal Digit have your answer.

Bob Zelin




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mike slee
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 7:14:45 am

Wow, I come to Creative Cow for a little technical insight and advice from the experts and I get called a Primadona?

Man, I have been following this website for years... And I have learned a lot from it and have enjoyed the friendly energy of people wanting to help others struggling to advance their knowledge base. And I have received a lot of great information from a lot of great people. But I have never been called a Primadona here before. This is a first.

And yes BOB I am well aware of the benefits of the ProRess codecs and I have my additional drives striped, thanks for the heads up bro. But that wasn't the question now was it? And your right, you didn't get it. You see, I do have the money for a fiber system but don't see the reason to spend that kind of money on a single job. I was asking to see if anyone had a suggestions of a short term system inexpensively.

But in your reply you repeatedly ask why would I want to work uncompressed... what business is that or yours "Dear Abby"? Well if you must know, BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THE CLIENT REQUIRES FOR HIS DELIVERABLES! I'm just trying to get a job, I'm not questioning him about his requirements, I'm just reading the sheet he gave me and asking those who deal with the latest tech info for a suggestion... the question wasn't that difficult BOB?

So Bob, does this make everyone else who works on uncompressed projects a PRIMADONA in your book too?

Yeap, this will be my first stop every time I have a technical question, Creative Cow. Ask a question and get belittled by Bob, YAHOO!



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cowcowcowcowcow
Paul Provost
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 4:11:13 pm

i actually did my first hd job on the 3 internal drives on a mac pro striped raid 0. it was a 30 min short film. we onlined from D5 10 bit UNCOMPRESSED (call me a primadonna i guess). and then graded in color (32bit float- primadonna again). then layed back to D5. it worked fine.

BUT, it was a 1080 23.98 10bit project. and that as they say is a big but.
1080 59.94 was enough of a increase to break it.
so it depends on what flavor of 10 bit your doing.
you can build a cheap sata raid buying mailorder parts (port multiplier enclosure, 500 gb drives) just make sure you get a good sata host card like the caldigit which will have stable drivers.
not ideal or as rock solid as a big caldigit sas, but hey...


"HE'S SUCH A GIRL" HD feature film
grade and finish @ post + beam
http://www.hessuchagirl.com
http://www.postandbeam.tv


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mike slee
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 4:19:40 pm

Thank you for the information. This is all very valuable info to work with. I'm an independent documentary producer. I don't pretend to know everything, but after 18 years I have a pretty good handle. But when I'm not sure on a post question I come to the COW where I know I can get good advice that comes from sound experience. Thank you for answering my question and not belittling me.

I understand the importance of the stable host card. I already have four new 1k drives. Is there a tower you suggest that is better over another or will I need to go with completed tower and drives buy one of these companies?

Thanks bro.



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Bob Zelin
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 5:41:34 pm

If you already have 4 new "1K drives" (what is a 1k drive - do you mean 1TB drives ? ) - you can either follow my advice and buy a 1TB (4 250 gig drives) of Cal Digit HDElement or Maxx Digital 4 bay EVO2, and throw out the 250 gig drives, or you can get an empty chassis from Proavio (Enhance Technology) and use your 4 new "1k" drives in this chassis. Of course, if you do this, you will need a host controller card, from a company like ATTO (the R380 card) or Highpoint Technology (ugh !) - the highpoint will only give you about 158 Mb/sec at RAID 5 (this is what the G-Tech GSpeed eS uses), which will not be reliable enough for a real uncompressed HD job. And if you do this, you will be calling ATTO for support on setting up the R380 host card. You can also choose a 4 bay solution from Sonnet, but they too will not sell you an empty chassis. Sometimes its easier to buy a preconfigured system - but if you have the "1k drives" already, you probably want to use those.

AND it is YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to torment and torture your client, and demand to find out EXACTLY why they want uncompressed HD - are they doing a feature film ? They certainly don't need it for broadcast television. This is not part of the delivery requirements of the most stringent broadcasters like Discovery and PBS and NBC/Universal !

And don't call me Bro !

bob Zelin (always here to give you detailed specific answers to your questions, Bro !).





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Bob Zelin
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives /alternate
on Nov 25, 2008 at 8:12:55 pm

Hi -
I have rethought a solution. You have 4 1TB Segate Sata drives. Although I wouldn't do this - you certainly can just get the Cal Digit RAID card for $469 at B&H, and create a RAID 5 that will do over 250Mb/sec with this card just using the internal 4 drives (you will have to boot off an external drive, like a FW). I think that you might be intimidated about following the instructions to rig up the Cal Digit RAID card to just use the internal drives to do this - but maybe you won't. They certainly provide the instructions to do exactly this, and then, you can do uncompressed HD with your 4 1TB drives, without going over $500, and using what you already own.

Your delivery requirement to the History Channel, however, should not be for uncompressed HD, and if you do have this delivery requirement, you should tell me who is making this requirement at History Channel. I know that you spent a lot of money for the CineAlta, but ProRes422HQ does look damn good, and is certainly acceptable for what you are doing. Remember, there will be a delivery requirement for the VTR delivery format, not for uncompressed HD.

And just remember Mike - if it's not on tape ... it didn't happen.

Bob Zelin




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mike slee
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives /alternate
on Nov 25, 2008 at 9:00:26 pm

You were right the first time, it's for an indi feature, not for History Channel. Thank you for the suggestions. All good ideas. I will look into it, thank you.



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Mark Griesbauer
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 26, 2008 at 5:53:09 pm

LOL! "Help save the client from themselves" I hear that from my boss all the time.



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Alan Okey
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 8:46:20 pm

Mike,

Here's a cheap and dirty option:

Connect an external drive (Firewire, etc.) to the Mac Pro and boot from it as your system/apps drive. Create a software RAID 0 volume using the 4 1TB drives in your Mac Pro (no RAID card necessary). You'll have enough disk bandwidth to output uncompressed HD, but you'll have no redundancy. If you can live with that, then you'll be able to do what you want pretty cheaply. Just make sure you have backups of any important files, because if one of your four internal drives goes down, you'll be hosed.

As for your long range RAID plans, Fibre Channel isn't necessarily the best option anymore. The newest technology RAIDs use a PCIe expansion card (external PCIe) to connect to the external enclosure. External PCIe has a much higher theoretical bandwidth than Fibre Channel, and it's cheaper. The only advantage Fibre Channel really has anymore is its ability to use fiber optic cable to connect the host system to the storage system over a great distance. If you're going to keep the RAID in the same room (or same house) as the host computer, external PCIe will work just fine.



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mike slee
Re: Uncompressed HD home drives on a budget
on Nov 25, 2008 at 9:03:24 pm

Hmmm that is an interesting idea... Your right about flying without a net if something goes sideways with an internal drive. This isn't a full-length feature so I don't think the load would be that heavy and won't be more than four weeks five tops. Another good suggestion, thanks for the insight.



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