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IO HD Hard Drive Question

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Shaun Gish
IO HD Hard Drive Question
on Jun 18, 2009 at 5:25:28 pm

I just purchased an IO HD and I'm curious about the first project I'm going to work on.

I will have a couple of different sources:

- P2 in AVCI100 that will be pulled off of the cards and transcoded to ProRes HQ
- XDCam EX that will be pulled off of the cards and transcoded to ProRes HQ

All of the footage is mulitcam (5 sources for the p2 - a concert - and 3 sources from the XDCam EX - interviews). It's all 1080i59.94

The plan is to edit everything on a MacBook Pro using the AJA IO HD to view material on a consumer HD television. Once the edit is locked, I'll finish on a tower with an internal RAID 0 that will be hooked up to scopes and a broadcast monitor for grading.

So - my questions are:

1. Is transcoding everything to ProRes HQ the way to go? We will be doing extensive grading and I know I want to keep the AVC stuff 10 bit - but I've heard mixed reviews on whether or not the HQ will buy us anything (especially on the XDCam EX footage).

2. What sort of hard drive setup do should I plan on using for the laptop if I want to try to edit in ProRes HQ. (Or is that a stupid thought to even consider? Should I just create an offline version of media and do a traditional offline/online?) Obviously it needs to be an eSATA Expresscard type setup - what's the best combo out there?

3. Anybody see any red flags for the workflow?


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Bob Zelin
Re: IO HD Hard Drive Question
on Jun 20, 2009 at 4:55:06 pm

Shaun writes -


1. Is transcoding everything to ProRes HQ the way to go? We will be doing extensive grading and I know I want to keep the AVC stuff 10 bit - but I've heard mixed reviews on whether or not the HQ will buy us anything (especially on the XDCam EX footage).

REPLY - well, ProRes422HQ looks great, and it outputs very nicely out of the I/O HD with no issues. When you have to output to tape, you will have no issues. I would certainly consider working with the ProRes422HQ codec - ESPECIALLY if you are using the I/O HD, which was specifically made for this codec.


2. What sort of hard drive setup do should I plan on using for the laptop if I want to try to edit in ProRes HQ. (Or is that a stupid thought to even consider? Should I just create an offline version of media and do a traditional offline/online?) Obviously it needs to be an eSATA Expresscard type setup - what's the best combo out there?

REPLY - there is a buss speed limitation on the slot 34 adaptor, so all these "super duper" drive arrays can only get so fast becuase of the buss speed limitation. The same drive arrays would work faster on the MAC Pro tower. Do your off line on your MAC Book Pro at any resolution you want, and recapture on the tower for your online. What kind of drives - anything on your MAC Book Pro (FW800, eSATA) -
get a good card from Sonnet or Cal Digit for eSATA for the slot34 adaptor.


3. Anybody see any red flags for the workflow?
REPLY - did you say that you are going to do color grading with a consumer TV ? I must have read that wrong ! Everyone wants the Mac Book Pro to be the equivalent of a MAC Pro tower. It's not.

Bob Zelin






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Shaun Gish
Re: IO HD Hard Drive Question
on Jun 20, 2009 at 5:35:33 pm

Thanks for the feedback - just to clarify - there is absolutely no intention of grading on a consumer screen (or using the macbook pro) - I just want to be able to see my edit on a consumer screen from my macbook pro in the offline.

The online and grading will be performed on a tower with the IO.


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Jesus Ali
Re: IO HD Hard Drive Question
on Jun 26, 2009 at 5:35:34 am

Right now I am working on a project where I've got 4 tracks of ProResHQ (1080P 23.976) in FCP 6.0.5 on a dualcore 2.0ghz 17" MacBook Pro. Each track of ProRes looks to have around a 17mb/s data rate. But I am not doing anything with Overlays and my 4 video tracks are cut pretty tight so there isn't much overlap.

I have the footage stored on and am working from a Lacie Big Disk 1TB connected to the MBP over Firewire. But my MBP only has a 6-pin, 400mbs FW port. I am using a 6- to 9-pin cord to connect to the Lacie's FW 800 port, but the drive is stuck using the lowest common FW speed, so it's only coming in at 400mbs.

The Lacie Big Disk is actually a RAID 0 with two 512GB drives.

This configuration can play back the 4 tracks and a stereo AIFF stream in Safe RT without an IoHD connected. Every now and then I'll do something that causes me to drop frames, but saving, closing and reopening the FCP file has been fixing that problem.

Multiangle clips are quite processor and disk intensive. The IoHD will take off a lot of the Processor load, but simultaneously playing 5 ProRes HQ's is going to tax the drive(s) most of all.

If you do a test to nail down a reliable Offline to Pickup workflow before starting the entire project, it might help you decide if it's worth investigating an additional drive to support the ProRes. If the Offline works smoothly enough just go that way.

Good luck.


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