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AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?

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Richard Eary
AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 8, 2007 at 4:22:00 pm

Which would be more useful? Adding a AJA LHe card to my current workstation or building a second video editing workstation?

I have a lot of parts left over and for about the same price as the AJA card I can complete a Xeon 3.2, 4 gigs, 1 terabyte raid system. My wife believe the second workstation would be more useful. I believe the AJA card would be more useful since it would add HD SDI captures and playback, color correction, and make editing a little easier. I should note that I do have a good JVC broadcast monitor with RGB analog inputs and a HDMI 1080i monitor (would use HD-SDI to HDMI convertor).

So any comments would be great! I should mention that my wife believes a second editing workstation would improve workflow since HD takes forever to render.



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Jeff Brown
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 13, 2007 at 1:54:16 pm

What kind of work are you doing? And in what format? What is your deliverable?

That might help folks better advise.

-jeff


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 13, 2007 at 9:35:45 pm

If you are really working with uncompressed HD (which is the assumption when you say "HD" in reference to a Xena card) and not a compressed version like HDV, then there might be some workflow logistical problems when trying to introduce a separate "render workstation".

Trying to share a terabyte or more of media between two machines might be more hassle than just having your workstation render overnight.

Also don't forget to factor in the cost of extra software licenses for the second machine like Premiere Pro and any plug-ins you use.


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Tim Kolb
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 14, 2007 at 3:28:27 pm

I think I'm with Jeff...I'd like to know a bit more about your -current- typical project scenario (including project settings) before I make any recommendations...




TimK,
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Creative Cow Host,
Author/Trainer
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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 1:53:54 am

Sorry about the delay in my response. Here is a quick overview of what I am doing.

What kind of work are you doing?
Promotional, documentaries, and event

And in what format?
Standard and high-definition (1920x1080)

What is your deliverable?
Broadcast, Internet, and digital media (DVD/Blu-Ray)

The majority of my work is standard definition with a few jobs in high-definition. Al thuogh, any work done in high-definition seems to take a while to process. Prospect 2K seems to improve my workflow. Al though, it makes my Blackmagic-Design equipment useless.

I believe it is best to go with the AJA LHe for the below reasons:

- Color Correction (using broadcast reference monitor)
- Compatibliity with Prospect 2K
- Ease of Preview and Editing
- HD-SDI / SDI input and output connections

The second machine can wait because it is more important for my primary machine to be properly configured. Plus, the hardware I need for a second machine will be cheaper in the future.

Additional notes:

Second computer - $2600 (dual Xeon 5300, motherboard, 4 gig memory, case, and Win XP Professional) I should mention that I already have the remaining hardware needed and planned to use and old copy of Avid Liquid 7.2.

AJA Upgrade - $2300 (LHe and Hi5 (analog to broadcast monitor and HD-SDI -> Hi5 -> LCD wirescreen)

So in your opinion, does it look like I am thinking straight? or a second workstation makes more sense so that one job does not delay other work because of rendering issues? I would probably only install Liquid and Lightwave onto the second workstation in a dual boot configuration (32/64-bit).




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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 4:58:44 pm

The addition of an Aja card is not going to make the machine render any faster.

You need to decide which is a bigger problem...

1. Work not getting done because the machine is tied up rendering (buy a new machine)

or

2. The lack of an HD-SDI connection (buy an Aja card)


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 5:16:35 pm

I decided to purchase the AJA card because of the HD-SDI connections. My second priority is to setup a second machine to help workflow. This is something I plan to do after the new year. Maybe the hardware prices will be less.

Do you have any recommendations for a HS-SDI to HDMI convertor? I am interested in the two below.

Blackmagic-Design HDLINK Pro
AJA Hi5


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:10:26 pm

I'm not sure if this is released yet, but Convergent Design makes good products...

http://www.convergent-design.com/CD_Products_nanoView.htm

... it lists for $325


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 6:32:02 pm

I will check that out.. thanks.


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Frank Tucker
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 8:20:07 pm

I believe that you will need to upgrade to the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe in order to edit uncompressed HD. The Avid Liquid 7.2 will handle the HDV ok but not uncompressed HD (??)

This Aja card (Xena LHe) is the recomended hardware to use with the Avid Liquid Chrome Xe software.

Copter Doc
The spin starts here (;->)


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Jeff Brown
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 16, 2007 at 10:45:11 pm

Richard, you may have considered this:
Get a somewhat cheap 2nd machine as an "offline" edit machine, and use it to edit DV downconverts, use the beefy machine for finalizing.

-jeff


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 17, 2007 at 3:29:15 am

In the past, I thought about purchasing a notebook as a second machine. Al though, I figured I would have to spend at least $1800 to get a decent notebook. Add a little more money and one could put together a dual Xeon machine.

Thank you again for your advice.


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 17, 2007 at 3:32:11 am

Avid Liquid Chrome Xe only cost about $600 to upgrade from Liquid Pro and would allow the use of a AJA LHe card. I am not sure if Avid Liquid Pro supports uncompressed HD video. I will have to check.


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 20, 2007 at 8:33:39 pm

If you want to edit uncompressed HD, you are going to need a very fast raid array. Remember that when pricing your machine. It is really hard to find a decent raid controller for under $800. The ones around $500 are very "hit and miss" (usually a miss).


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 21, 2007 at 1:57:17 am

I have found when using the Adaptec SATA II 8-port raid that the computer is able to keep up. Al though, I would highly recommend a 16-port raid card if using SATA II drives at 7200rpm.

The only issue that I ran into is that 2TB is not nearly enough space for uncompressed video. It would cost at least 6k to build an internal raid that would provide around 16TB. Oh, you can't exclude the 18 bay case and 1000w power supply.

Cineform Prospect 2K seems to be fine with 2TB, but you lose some of the realtime previews when adding effects.


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 21, 2007 at 2:42:23 pm

There is a big difference when it comes to resources when comparing Cineform which is compressed and uncompressed HD.

It is easier to find a controller to handle a RAID 0 solution than it is to handle a RAID 5, but RAID 0 should handle it.

Another issue is that the built-in motherboard RAID controllers don't offload any of the work from the CPU and they still use a lot of system resources. Where a lot of the time they will do the job, they might be doing so at the cost of something else (e.g. CPU cycles).

I've got a 16 bay case and a 1000 watt power supply with only 4TB of RAID 0, really good Areca controller, and it still isn't enough in terms of space. It is plenty fast though! :)

I'd be running Cineform, if I could use Boris, Magic Bullet and Adobe's Color Correction tools with the preset forcing me to render everything :(


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 21, 2007 at 3:46:17 pm

Yes, there is a big difference with compressed and uncompressed. I figured I would need at least 16TB to work in an uncompressed environment without running in space issues. The good news is that SATA 3.0 drives are larger and cheaper now. Raid 5 or 6 is good.

I almost did not purchase Cineform until I found that I could preview unrendered video using control-spacebar. Of course, it leaves out frames but it gives me a clue on how the effect might look.


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Jeron Coolman
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 21, 2007 at 4:20:09 pm

Yeah, actually I think I used the shift+JKL keys for the preview when evaluating Cineform. It basically just uses the PPro engine instead of the Cineform one. Scrubbing with a jog shuttle was better for preview in the Cineform preset, because using the PPro engine was too slow compared to just using uncompressed or compressed like HDV.

What I don't understand is, why the Cineform preset can keep up rendering each frame with non-RT effects when I'm scrubbing, even if I scrub faster than real-time. Obviously if it can keep up rendering each frame with the non-RT effects when scrubbing, why can't it just play them back when I hit the space bar?

I think Cineform's developers need to revisit the preset. I suspect some of this logic has been there since the days of the single core chips. I'm sure they can "fix" it to work with non-RT effects, especially on my dual quad core machine.


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Richard Eary
Re: AJA LHe or Second Editing Workstation?
on Nov 21, 2007 at 4:58:20 pm

That is a question that I don't have an answer. Good reason why not to use compressed codecs and stick to the uncompressed format that AJA supports.


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