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economic capturing of RecRun-HDCAM-tapes ...

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Matthias Halibrand
economic capturing of RecRun-HDCAM-tapes ...
on Nov 18, 2011 at 11:22:51 pm

Hi there,

since the new capture utility by AJA is not out, yet, and neither FCP nor VTRexchange do what I want them to do, I'll quickly describe my problem and hope that at least one of you guys knows a solution:

I have a bunch (and a lot to come) of documentary HD-CAM-tapes in 1080psf @ 25fps.
These were shot with the LockIt TC-Synch connected to the TC-IN of the HDCAM to easily synch with the extra recorded sound on a sounddevice 744T. The Camera recorded RecRun, of course.

So, what I'm stuck with will be around approximately 100h worth of HDCAM-tapes which will need capturing.

When I tell FinalCut to capture (from an HDW-D1800 via the ioExpress or the Kona3) and create a new clip on TC-breaks it takes about 2 minutes for each new clip to find the TC-break, so if a clip is 30secs, which might be around the average, a 40min tape will take 240min to capture and I will loose a minimum of 1 second preroll time.

The idea to capture via VTR-exchange using the LTC to write in one file also doesn't work, since the QuickTime file apparently only saves one TC which cannot break in between (so it's the continued TC of the first clip). VTR-exchange does not offer to begin a new file on TC-breaks.

So, I'm looking for a solution which captures an HDCAM tape over HDSDI using an AJA io-device with TC-breaks, preferably without any extra-time per tape and I end up with either one QuickTime file per clip or a big QuickTime-file and reference QuickTimes with correct TCs, or some sort of FinalCut XML linking to the big QuickTime with correct TCs.

And yes, someone could sit down and log every tape from in to out of every clip substracting prerolltime, etc.. I'm looking for a more economic solution.

Preferably it should work just with LTC over HDSDI, so we don't need to rent a deck every time we got a few new tapes and can just capture directly from the cam.

The capturing will be in ProRes422 which I consider online quality for that project, so preroll-times can be ignored since there should be no recapturing necessary.

Thanks for your ideas, be it a software I always wanted to know, an unbelievable simple workaround I never thought about or some cool (non-black)magic. :)


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Matthias Halibrand
Re: economic capturing of RecRun-HDCAM-tapes ...
on Nov 19, 2011 at 12:19:58 am

As of my further testing the demo version of SoftronMovieRecorder also doesn't allow the desired functionality.

And it looks suspiciously like a spiced up version of AJA VTRExchange, or better, the other way around, VTRExchange looks like a dumbed down version of the MovieRecorder.

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gary adcock
Re: economic capturing of RecRun-HDCAM-tapes ...
on Nov 20, 2011 at 3:00:30 pm


You can do this with a KiPro recorder, where every single clip is now a new editable file for post, as defined by the TC breaks on the tapes .

With the KiPro, the transcoding process is done with embedded TC, and you will only need to actively touch the system when you need to replace the SR tape.

gary adcock

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL

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Bouke Vahl
Re: economic capturing of RecRun-HDCAM-tapes ...
on Nov 26, 2011 at 10:40:03 am

If you have an audio channel to spare, you can capture without machine control, and feed the TC to an audio channel.
(I assume you have a TC OUT connector on your deck. No matter the connector (probably a BNC), it is an audio signal)

Then, use my Aux TC reader:

It can analyze the entire clip, and create new clips (self contained or reference) based on the breaks.

It also comes with helper applications to easilly sync your BWF's to the new clips.


smart tools for video pros

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