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Playing HD content on an SD monitor

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Playing HD content on an SD monitor
on Oct 30, 2006 at 7:34:55 pm

We just got our new Xena LH workstations installed last week and are very impressed with the systems so far.

I do have a question regarding HD content.

Our two workstatsions do not have HD monitors. On one, we have one Sony PVM-20L5 SDI monitor (without the $4,000 HD card), and the other has a standard Sony analog monitor with component ins only.

We were under the impression that the Xena LH cards with Premiere Pro 2 can output (or, downconvert) HD material to play on a SD monitor. However, when I try, it appears that the video is skipping frames, or perhaps, playing at a slower speed. The audio quickly gets out of sync, as that seems to play normally. If I set my output to be 1280x720p, the video plays back fine on my computer's Dell 24" widescreen monitor via the DVI input (but of course, I can't see Premiere when using my PC's monitor as the video monitor). When I make the playback set to 720x486i 29.97fps, the video on the monitor "stutters" during playback.

Is it that the hardware can't downconvert the material in real time on the fly? The sequence doesn't indicate the clips require rendering.

Were we wrong in assuming we could downconvert on-the-fly our HD projects on a SD monitor, or am I just setting something up wrong?

In a nutshell, here's my set-up:

BOXX Workstation Dual Core AMD Opteron Processor 270
2.0 Ghz, 2.0 GB RAM
SATAMAX RAID Video Storage, 2.5 TB Capacity
Dell 24" PC Monitor, widescreen, with DVI in
AJA HDP HD-to-DVI converter box (to play HD material on the PC monitor)
Sony PVM-20L5 SDI Monitor

We shoot on a Panasonic Vericam, and are eventually getting a Panasonic AJ-1400 source deck. For now, as a test, I acquired HD material right out of the Vericam's HD-SDI output and into the Xena LH card.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: Playing HD content on an SD monitor
on Oct 30, 2006 at 9:20:32 pm

I think I got it. Tell me if this is the correct way of doing it:

I used the PRIMARY and SECONDARY SDI outputs. I set the PRIMARY to 1280x720p and the SECONDARY to 720x486i @ 29.97fps. I'm then able to specify if the analog out is either letterboxed, anamorphic, or cropped.


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AJA Xena Support
Re: Playing HD content on an SD monitor
on Oct 30, 2006 at 11:06:50 pm


Likely your problem has to do with your output setup. What you'll want to do in the Premier Playback settings is to set the Primary format to match the actual size and framerate of your source footage. Then set the secondary format to NTSC. Once you have done this, you can choose either Primary or secondary formats as your SDI or Analog Outputs.

Example Settings:
Primary Format: 1080i 29.97
Secondary Format: NTSC
SDI 1 Output: Secondary
Analog Output: Component SMPTE (SD)

Hope this helps!

AJA Xena Support

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