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Why Io?

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mingusman
Why Io?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 6:59:13 pm

I know next to nothing about this NLE world yet so I'm hoping you all can clarify something for me. In my research on the topic I have been running into the mention of capture cards and break-out boxes. The name AJA and its Io box come up frequently as desirable products. What I don't understand is why you would want/need one? It doesn't sound like it performs any other tasks a VTR with firewire would perform.

Any enlightenment on this subject would be greatly appreciated.

alan b


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JeremyG
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 9, 2007 at 9:56:32 pm

what if your deck doesn't have firewire...or if your deck has firewire, but you want to bring it into an uncompressed environment? How do you get the footage into FCP, then?


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 10, 2007 at 1:33:07 am

Firewire interface is not used by most professional facilities. These are the formats used by most facilities, where people actually make a living

2K
HD-SDI 4:4:4
HD-SDI
SDI
Analog HD
Analog component
Analog composite
S-Video

Firewire products often frustrate most professionals, and companies like Miranda, AJA, and Convergent Design make converter boxes, to change Firewire to these professional formats. Companies like Sony eventually "give in", and come out with VTR's that DO NOT have Firewire interfaces for professionals - a current example is the new HDV VTR, the HVR-1500.

With that said, if I was a "hobbist", a student, or a reporter in Iraq, I would only want to use Firewire.

Bob Zelin


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mingusman
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 10, 2007 at 5:25:32 am

Interesting. Your reply begs some questions:

--You say firewire can "frustrate" pros, Why is that?
--if these VTRs don't have firewire interface what connects them to the CPU?
--also, re the previous response, I was under the impression that DV in was DV out; i.e. no compression. But I'm reading things about special cards and boxes such as the AJA Io that capture "uncompressed." Could you clear up that disconnect for me?

I have my eye on a Panasonic DV deck that has firewire i/o as well as S-video and some other type that I can't recall. Is there anything more a "serious amateur" would need beyond that?

Thanks for your help

ab


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 10, 2007 at 8:33:42 pm

Mr Mingusman,
you write -
Is there anything more a "serious amateur" would need beyond that?


Ya know what - if you are a "serious amateur" - I take it all back. Keep using Firewire - it will be fine for you - you don't need any AJA product. I can't picture any of John Apt's family members using any AJA product, while working on family videos (not unless John shoots family videos with a Varicam).

bob Zelin


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mingusman
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 12:15:47 am

I'm sorry. Forgive me if I am being overly sensitive but I'm sitting here wondering if I am being talked down to but can't be sure.

Am I supposed to know who John Apt is? It sounded as though I should, somehow, so I even went so far as to Google the name. With nearly 0 hits, I have to wonder. Sounds like an inside joke I'm supposed to be in on...or not.

Sorry if I'm asking such stupid questions folks. I don't know if I am a "serious amateur" or not. Just seemed like a convenient label to assign myelf so people would know not to snear at me for not knowing everything on the subject. Believe me, I'm not working on "family videos." I'm not even doing weddings. I haven't made any money at it so that makes me an amateur, yes? But I am serious about it, so... For your information I am looking towards documentaries; even have a subject lined up. I'm just here trying to get information like everyone else.

Again, if I did misread your reply and you were, in fact, NOT being a snide pissant, I apologize.

ab


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JeremyG
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 12:49:49 am

The io is a wonderful capture device if your deck does not have firewire output, or if you want to take footage from your firewire capable deck and edit in an uncompressed video space for graphics and color correction.

It's really that simple.


Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 2:47:37 pm

I apologize to you, for foolishly assuming certain things. John Apt owns AJA, yet his family, shooting family videos (or his kids potentially practicing working with Final Cut Pro) would have no use for AJA products at home. AJA and Blackmagic products (and a lot of the stuff you see advertised on these forums) are for professional users that have to deal with multiple formats of videotape, that have been developed over the years. You can have the greatest documentary that you created, yet you can't even get someone to look at it, unless it's on a certain format, that a TV station, or agency wants to view it, or broadcast it on. This is what all this equipment is about - it's about meeting the multiple standards that are used in our confusing business. It's not about making great programming.

Once you create your documentary, you will soon find that Discovery Channel, PBS, The History Channel, will start to torment you, about delivering your show in a format, other than what you shot it in. You may find that you are forced to incorporate footage that is different from the DV camera that you currently own. When you say "well, how do I accomplish this?" - this is when you need all this equipment.

Bob Zelin


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mingusman
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 4:35:14 pm

Well that's all well and good, but in this "too many things to have to know" atmosphere, I should think these forums are places to alleviate the burden of the enormity. While I'm sure you speak the truth about multiple formats and the obstacles they create for hopeful filmmakers, your pointing out that fact when a questioner is looking for nuts-and-bolts answers isn't terribly helpful. In my ignorance I asked a simple straight-forward question and received little to work with--except, perhaps, peripherally.

I'm not going to beat this to death. I went elsewhere to another forum and was given a concise answer to my question without a hint of editorializing. I was under the impression Creative Cow was a place to go to for that sort of exchange of information.

ab


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 5:46:25 pm

Mr. Mingusman,
no one can give you a detailed answer on the history of video, and all the variables of working with every single format of video, in a single answer. This is a huge study - this is our careers, and is not something that can be answered in a single paragraph. Working with firewire is ok, but if you do this for a living. and need to deal with VHS, Beta, Digi Beta, Panasonic and Sony HD VTR's, HDV, and everything else (all analog and all digital formats - both SD and HD-SDI) - Firewire is NOT the way anyone works. If someone has responded to you that you can get converters to get anything converted to Firewire - they simply have no clue to professional workflow. When you deal with Beta, Digi Beta, VHS, DVD-R, and hi def VTR's on a daily basis - all of them - and need to interface between them - products from every professional manufacturer - AJA, Blackmagic, AVID, and others - all work very well. What DOES NOT WORK is using firewire only. If someone has informed you that that firewire is the answer - they are wrong.

If your question now becomes "well, why isn't firewire the answer - it's all digital, and you can get converters for anything to firewire" - this is beyond the scope of this forum. Believe me, there are professionals out there that are under the impresssion that they can "get away " with using only firewire, and don't need all of this "stuff" that you see all over these forums. These people are WRONG. I am not trying to badger you, but you seem to want a detailed answer as to why you should or should not use AJA equipment. For your application, with DV gear, you don't need AJA equipment. If you want to buy it - go right ahead - your DV stuff from your DV camera won't look any better, and you may feel - "why did I just spend all of this money for this". But if you have to deal with all of these differnet formats, and all of the different montioroing tools - both audio and video - THEN you need all of these products.

Some people ask for a simple answer to many questions "how do I read a waveform montior", or "how do I get shared storage to work on 2 MAC's". There is no one paragraph answer to these questions, in the same reason there is no one paragraph answer to why people use AJA products.

Bob Zelin


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Christopher Wright
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 8:29:46 pm

Sigh!!
This reminds me of having to constantly educate my clients on the difference between DV or HDV(firewire)compression versus 8 bit uncompressed and 10 bit uncompressed workflows. It really does separate the men from the boys. I have edited for 20 years and have never used firewire or DV compression, finding them both lacking in quality and ability to composite and color correct cleanly.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 10:17:22 pm

This will continue at NAB. We will see the introduction of 4K this year, and there will be one side (we must shoot and edit in 4K, even if we deliver on VHS), and the other side (can I use my DV VTR to create
4K movies if I upconvert or render). It's a constant battle, and in my opinion, the only winner is who creates the best programming - equipment be damned.

Bob Zelin


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mingusman
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 11, 2007 at 10:51:12 pm

Okay, I wasn't going to take this any further but I need to point out something that somehow seems to have been missed here.

Your last reply conveys implications of things I asked/said that I never asked/said. Things such as "If someone has informed you that that firewire is the answer - they are wrong." (never said that) and "...you don't need AJA equipment. If you want to buy it ..." (never said I wanted to) Or you say: "Working with firewire is ok, but if you do this for a living..." (well, remember what I said about being an amateur? Fine, when I go pro, I'll know to get the proper hardware.) So maybe I do follow up with something like "well, why isn't firewire the answer - it's all digital, and you can get converters for anything to firewire" as you hypothetically ask for me. You make it sound as though I'm challenging you when all I'm doing is trying to get information.

All I wanted was a brief overview, just a clue as to the operation of such hardware and what their purpose is. Nothing more. I made no assertions that I had preconceived notions regarding these products or what their uses were. That's what I had come to you all for, yes? What I was looking for was this that I received from another forum:

"The short version is that DV is already compressed. It's compressed in the camera 5:1 when you shoot it. The bit for bit ingest you do through firewire doesn't add any more compression to it, but it's still compressed 5:1 because that's where you started.

A capture card that can handle real uncompressed can handle at least 80% more information than your original DV footage has. These are for folks who are working in formats that are lightly compressed, like DigiBeta, all the way up to uncompressed HD formats."

That was their complete reply (except for a follow-up with some helpful links for me to go to for more research). It answered just what I asked and it has given me the kernel of knowledge I needed and a direction to proceed in doing the research and self-education I need to do. Until I was given that very (very) basic knowledge I was completely rudderless. Now, you may take exception to that small kernel I was handed but at least it gave me parameters to follow on my own and did not reply to me as though they were someone born with this knowledge and why wasn't I?

Good day to you all

ab


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JeremyG
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 12, 2007 at 1:10:11 am

AB, obviously you haven't been introduced to the likes of Bob Zelin. Search his name, read some of his posts, and you will understand that Bob can be ornery. Don't take it personal, really. Bob makes assumptions about what you need becuase that's his job. He has figure out the best solution for someone just like you, and sometimes that involves making a certain amount of assumptions.

Your question has been answered many posts ago and perhaps you just don't understand what this is for. I will repeat my above answer here for your convenience:

[JeremyG] "The io is a wonderful capture device if your deck does not have firewire output, or if you want to take footage from your firewire capable deck and edit in an uncompressed video space for graphics and color correction.

It's really that simple.


Jeremy"


That's what the other person was saying form the other forum. If you have no need for it, you don't need it. DO you need to ingest Digibeta, BetaSP, VHS, DVDs, Hi8, DV50, DV, or any other SD format into your project to an uncompressed timeline? If yes, the the io will help facilitate that process for you and get the job done. If all your material is shot on dv, and you are content with working in a dv timeline, then the io will not help you.

Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Why Io?
on Mar 13, 2007 at 12:18:45 am

I apologize to this forum in advance for my nonsense response here.

Mr. Mingusman,

I am more than happy to answer ANY technical question that you have. I will answer any question - personal or work - nights, weekends, holidays - in an emergency situation, or a casual situation. I will go above and beyond to give you accurate technical information, that you cannot get from manufacturers, in off hours, or on nights/weekends. I will do this for you - or anyone else - for free, whenever you want it.

However, if you think that I should not be a smart ass in my response - well, that's your problem. I am disrespectful to my family, my friends, company presidents, and my clients, so I will certainly be disrespectful to you. However, I would be happy to help you in any way that I can, to aid you in your knowlege, so you may further your career, and your knowlege in this industry. Let me know what equipment you need assistance with, and I will assist you.

Bob Zelin


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David Notowitz
Re: Why Io?
on Apr 24, 2007 at 11:03:56 pm

Related question:
I need to copy footage from a Sony VX2000 in the best possible way to preserve the quality of the image. I could come out of the camera via firewire or via an S cable plus separate RCA cables for audio.

I could then go into my Mac Book via something like the AJA io or something else? I haven't done all the research about what I need on that part of the input chain.

Preserving the highest quality of the image possible is CRUCIAL, and budget is less of an issue.

What do you recommend? Since the footage is on mini-DV already, would there be ANY quality difference between the firewire or the S cable?

Thanks,
David

Notowitz Productions
Videos that touch the heart.
http://www.Notowitz.com


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