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Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD

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Khashyar Darvich
Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 15, 2015 at 3:16:15 pm

Hi Everyone,

We just purchased an AJA io XT, and we have several DV tapes (as well as a Sony DSR-25 DV deck that has a BNC output).

We are working on a 1920x1080 project, and wanted to use the io xt to upconvert our DV footage.

Does the io xt upscaling hardware produce significantly better results than upscaling software like Red Giant Instant HD?

As far as the workflow to import the DV into the AJA io xt... We were thinking of purchasing a "AJA D10AD Analog to Digital Video Converter" so that the composite signal can feed into the D10AD and then into the io xt via SDI.

We were also thinking of purchasing a used Sony DSR-45, which has Component output.

(Does anyone else have any suggestions as to the best way to import and upscale DV to 1080 via the io xt?

Thank you for your thoughts and feedback.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 15, 2015 at 4:17:33 pm

By the way, I know that the rule of thumb is that hardware conversions/upscaling is better than conversions done with software.

But. How much better is the io xt than software like Red Giant Instant HD?

Thank you for your feedback.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 16, 2015 at 2:30:20 pm

In case this helps others who want to upconvert DV to HD using AJA upscaling hardware:

After hours of research, I learned that there is a discontinued DV to SDI converted (the Miranda DV Bridge), that will accept a firewire DV signal and then output via SDI... (they are available used on ebay for about $200/$250).

We will connect the Miranda SDI out to the AJA io xt SDI in and let the AJA's hardware do the upconversion.

We will test this out and see if we get a better upscaling quality than we did through After Effects and the Red Giant Instant HD software.

But, it is said over and over that hardware upconversions are better then software upconversions, I'm crossing my fingers that the DV to 1080 upconversion looks better than thru Instant HD.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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frank underwood
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 20, 2015 at 7:40:34 pm

I was hoping to see more interaction on this topic! I have quite a few MiniDV tapes I too, want/need to capture for a documentary spanning ten years.
I have a Sony 1800a with the optional up conversion card, and the AJA IO Express. I was hoping the 720x480 16:9 24p (shot on the canon XL2) would pop at 720, but was looking at pushing to 1080.
I am thinking that the hardware options would deliver better data versus software?

my deck will output HD-SDI which I thought I would feed the AJA IO Express and then capture with ??? maybe a KiPro mini.

How did your results turn out?

You are never too old to have a happy childhood!


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 28, 2015 at 3:07:27 am

Hi Frank,

I'm in the process of running tests now...

I purchased a used Sony DSR-1500A (with SDI out), and I am trying to run SDI out from the 1500a into the AJA io xt....

I'm using the FCP 7 "log and capture" window, and am getting audio, but the video was there for a minute, then I am getting a black screen...

I will let you know how the quality of the AJA hardware upscale compares with the After Effects/Instant HD software upconvert once I can get the AJA to upscale.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 28, 2015 at 4:27:33 am

I just did a test upscaling DV footage from our Sony DSR 1500A (SDI out) to the AJA io xt (SDI in), and using the AJA upscale feature to go from 525i 29.97 to 1080i 29.97 (Apple ProRes 422 HQ: which is the only codec that the AJA software uses for 1080)...

I compared scenes from the AJA upconversion to the 1080 upscale I did with After Effects (using the Red Giant Instant HD plugin)...

...and the Red Giant software upconversion appears to have more artifacts in its footage than the AJA upscaled footage does.

More specifically, the AE/RG footage had:

1) more visible jagged edges (than did the AJA footage)

2) less detail (The AJA footage seemed to interpolate detail better.... On some of the AE/RG footage that had lots of details, there were more artifacts in the detail)

3) the color depth seems to be better in the AJA upscaled footage. Some of this might be because the AJA footage is ProRes 422 HQ

This is what I've noticed so far.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 28, 2015 at 5:22:39 am

Hi Frank...

Much success and luck with your project.

I also will have one of those decades long film projects that we will be resume working on after we finish our current project.

Based on what I've been experiencing and research, here are some thoughts about your situation:

1) I have read that Sony DVCAM decks (with the upscaling card) do a pretty good job at upscaling. If it does a DVCAM to 1080 upscale, then definitely try that and bring it in via SDI into your AJA.

I just checked your model of AJA (lo Express), and as you probably know, it can down-convert but not upscale. In the ideal world, it would be interesting to see how the Sony 1800a upscale compares with the AJA upscale hardware.

2) If you have the choice to upscale to 720 or 1080, you should definitely upscale to 1080, since that is the standard delivery and consumer format (until 4k becomes more consumer friendly).

3) If you have tens or hundreds of hours of footage, and don't have the hard drive capacity to store all of the upscaled DV footage to 1080, then I would recommend doing an offline edit in SD, then upscaling only the footage that will make the final cut and do an HD online edit.

Good luck.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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Khashyar Darvich
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 28, 2015 at 4:38:53 am

For anyone who wants to upscale DV (or SD) footage to 1080, I would definitely recommend:

1) Using hardware over software. As I mentioned in my previous post, I did tests comparing DV to 1080i upscaled footage with After Effects (using the Red Giant Instant HD plugin) and a hardware upscale using the AJA io xt, and the AJA had less noise, more detail and more color depth than the upscaled footage using AE/RG. The prices of hardware are coming down, and we bought our AJA io xt from BHPhoto for $1295 a couple of weeks ago.

2) going SDI out of your DV or SD tape deck and SDI into the AJA... I have read that the Sony DVCAM tape decks (that have SDI out) do a very good job of converting the DV codec into a larger color space so that the AJA has more depth to work with as it upscales. We recently purchased a clean used Sony DSR-1500a (with SDI out) and with low hours on ebay for $250. We took some time waiting and watching items coming up for auction, but there are good similar decks for $350 or less.

Producer-Director
Wakan Films
Hollywood, CA
http://www.wakan.com


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frank underwood
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Aug 31, 2015 at 6:07:09 pm

I got very lucky on my Sony DSR1800a WITH up-conversion card on eBay- $90
I was just wanting a 'cheap' deck to input to my CS4/firewire HP computer, and was going to keep playing in SD.
Now I am scrambling to take advantage of the HD- up conversion and getting my workflow flowing. I have four external 2TB drives to archive to.

I have known for years that hardware up-conversions have always been the best choice- but until recently, a costly one.
cheers,

You are never too old to have a happy childhood!


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frank underwood
Re: Quality of Aja io video upscale conversion compared with conversion software like Red Giant Instant HD
on Sep 28, 2015 at 7:43:58 pm

Khashyar,
what is your thoughts on choosing 1080i over 720p?
I am getting 720p out of my Sony 1800a and output is HD-SDI

Do you have any miniDV shot in 24p or 16:9 or both? All my miniDV is both
cheers,

You are never too old to have a happy childhood!


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