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Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe

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Alex Geis
Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe
on Dec 19, 2008 at 2:43:24 am

I've been using Media100HD on a HDx card in a dual g5 for quite a while, and have been very happy with it. As of recently, I was looking into expanding our video setup by trying out HD suite on a MacPro we've been using a Kona LHe card on.

I downloaded the new version 13 to try out, and while all the usual editing and etc works wonderfully, I've noticed a lot of problems with trying certain standards and down converting to work.

My basic setup: kona LH rackbox out
via SDI to Aja Hi5 via HDMI to sony 46" screen
via component SD to sony 14" playback monitor

Two tests:

Test 1: 1080p 23.976 clip
Play out of SDI as 1080p/psf in M100 out prefs - unsupported format error on 46"
Play out of SDI as 1080i in in M100 out prefs - unsupported format error on 46" and aja control panel still says its 1080/sf
Play out of Component as 525i - blank black image on 14", aja control panel shows the down convert, and when i click out of M100 into the control panel with input set to hold last application, the still from the video comes up

Test 2: 1080i 29.97 clip
Play out of SDI at 1080i (works)
Play out of component at 525i 29.97 down convert (works)

It seems as though anything in progressive format won't convert to interlaced and that M100 can only play out as sf progressive (which I read that the hi5 wont handle). I don't mind having to have it display at interlaced, although it seems that the only way around it is converting all my footage to 29.97 by hand...

Any ideas? I've tried this with aja driver 6.01 and 6.02 (I actually had v13 coming up on 6.02 fine, figured I'd mentioned that since I saw the other post).

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Michael Slowe
Re: Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe
on Dec 19, 2008 at 6:53:28 pm

Two points Alex on your post.

It is said that down converts (HD to SD) within Media 100 are better quality with the HDx board than with the new AJA one. Problem is we have to ditch the HDx if we want to work with the new Intel Macs.

As regards Progressive I found that with my version 12.1.1 I can take in 1080 25P (PAL land) but in the bin it is listed as 1080i so Media 100 must be interlacing as the media comes in. I can't set the codec to Progressive on my version. Presumably version 13 will allow this?

Michael Slowe

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Wickham Strub
Re: Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe
on Dec 19, 2008 at 7:43:40 pm


One of our engineers has looked at the code and says that you may have indeed discovered something out of whack. We'll be able to find out more on Monday and will let you know.

In regards to Michael's HDx-related ruminations, it's not about the software, it's about the hardware. HDx has fundamental limitations that the AJA hardware does not.

This has the potential of becoming one of those crazy conversations where everyone thinks their on the same page but are really talking about different things. I have found that simply listing bullet points is the easiest way to address subjects like this.

- Media 100 running on HDx hardware CANNOT deal with progressive frame rates of any kind, even with v13. This dictated by the hardware.

- Media 100 running on AJA hardware CAN deal with many progressive flavors of video. Also dictated by the hardware.

- Currently, there is no version of Media 100 that can convert frame RATES (this includes Interlaced to/from Progressive). This is confused the "PSF" flavors which are really interlaced clips being treated as if they were progressive. They will often appear to play to an interlaced monitor or record to an interlaced format just fine.

- Depending on the model and hardware along with exactly what it is that you'd like to do, Media 100 CAN convert frame SIZES.

- All models (including Producer) can up and down-convert frame SIZE using the Conform feature.

- SDe (based on the AJA LSe card) does NO real-time up or down convert.

- HDe (based on the AJA LHe card) can do real-time down-convert from HD to SD on both input and output but CANNOT "cross-convert" (1280x720 to 1920x1080 or vice versa) in either direction.

- HD Suite (based on the AJA Kona3 card) can do it all where scaling is concerned. Up and down-convert on input and output, cross-convert in both directions and even real-time letterboxing of 16x9 SD to 4x3 SD.

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Alex Geis
Re: Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe
on Dec 19, 2008 at 8:04:52 pm

Thanks for the quick responses guys.. starting to make a lot more sense! Just to revisit one or two things with a little more detail, although the info for the HDx, and hardware limitations for the AJA stuff made total sense. Last Qs:

So take the media I'm trying to work with.. some ProResHQ 1080 23.98p material.
To test out that my displays are actually working as they should, I tried the following with the AJA TV app:

When I tried playing it out via primary using SDI via AJA Hi5 to HDMI on the 46", when playing using 1080psf23.98, the tv said "unsupported format"... I read in some Hi5 forum somewhere that that's cause the Hi5 cant handle 1080psf, so I switched the output format to 1080p23.98 and it plays beautifully.

Then I tried playing out via secondary using component at 525i29.97 to the 14" (which is a non progressive tv), and that played fine too.

Now, when I bring the same clip into media100, and play out, i get unsupported on the 46 and black on the 14. Kona control panel says that its stuck to 1080psf23.98, and from how I interpreted the reply, I'm guessing there's no real way to change that unless I actually use 1080 29.97 footage?

And with the 14", I'm totally at a loss since the down convert icon shows up in the aja control panel when im in media 100 and it says its shooting out at 525 29.97, but the screen is still black.

I'm thinking it's just as you mentioned that media100 reads the 23.98 footage and is treating all the output strictly as psf23.98?

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Michael Slowe
Re: Down Coverting doesn't work - AJA LHe
on Dec 20, 2008 at 11:34:43 am

Wickham, you're great! You have answered one of my puzzles with the current Media 100 options. I now understand that we have to have the AJA board to edit progressive, that is not widely understood over in Europe by the people I speak to. It does seem sensible now to migrate to the new Intel Mac, pity, the other G5 is not that old yet.

You mention that Media 100 does not deal with Progressive but I acquired into my version 12.1.1 material shot as 1080 25P with the EX1, that's for sure. I then looked at the information in the bin and it said Interlaced. Since I obviously couldn't set the correct codec I left it at Media 100 HD. How did it deal with the Progressive media?

It is really appreciated that you watch the posts on this forum and I'm sure I speak for all Media 100 editors that it's a good feeling that our hopes and fears are in your capable hands - Happy Christmas!

Michael Slowe

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