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Component vs FireWire

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Tucker Lucas
Component vs FireWire
on Dec 21, 2010 at 5:47:48 pm

Hey everyone,

I was just wondering if someone could break down the technical aspects of something.

We shoot DV footage onto both Mini-DV and DVCAM tapes. We have a Sony DSR-1500A DVCAM tapedeck with FireWire, Composite and Component outs (no SDI unfortunately), and we have an AJA KONA LHi with SDI, Composite and Component ins. Of course, my Mac Intel tower has a Firewire connection (as does my RAID), and I'm running FCP7.

Here's my question: is there a technical benefit to capturing my footage via FireWire vs. Component, or vice versa? Id like to edit using ProRes 422.

I'm looking for a highly technical breakdown here, so that I can fully understand this subject. Thanks!


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Michael Kammes
Re: Component vs FireWire
on Dec 21, 2010 at 6:14:08 pm

Yes.

When ingesting via firewire, you are getting a signal that is DV. Thus, it's compressed signal that you cannot convert to *another* format until you are done capturing. So, for ProRes, you would have to capture, then transcode to ProRes.

When going component, it is no longer a digital signal, and your capture card (Kona) can do a real time encode into ProRes. This is a one pass job, as opposed to 2.

Benefits? Component is real time AND you can choose a more robust codec than DV.

Downside: The source is still DV compression on the tape. Can't get around that. You also have to (obviously) run extra cables, including audio. Storage space is also reduced, as ProRes eats up more space than DV (3.8MB/s for DV, 6.1 MB/s for ProRes, 9.1MB/s for Pro Res HQ)

I would ALWAYS go component for the added ability for using a more robust codec.

~Michael



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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Tucker Lucas
Re: Component vs FireWire
on Dec 21, 2010 at 6:49:24 pm

Thanks man! This answer a lot!


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Tucker Lucas
Re: Component vs FireWire
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:44:13 pm

Does my DV image off the tape lose any information when it's being sent out of the deck via an analog component connection, versus via Firewire which is straight digital? Or am I not looking at this from the right angle?


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Michael Kammes
Re: Component vs FireWire
on Dec 21, 2010 at 8:53:32 pm

I guess it depends how you look at it.

Capturing DV - then transcoding to ProRes, there may be a slight quality "shift".

Having the deck do DV - baseband component conversion, then capturing ProRes...is again, a quality "shift".

Yes there is conversion. Will you see it visually or on the scopes? Most likely No.



.: michael kammes mpse
.: senior applications editor . post workflow consultant
.: audio specialist . act fcp . acsr
.: michaelkammes.com


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