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DVD encoders - Hware and Sware

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william
DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 12, 2005 at 6:23:32 pm

Hi all.

We have the Sonic DVD Fusion and the SD1000 hardware encoder. It's time to finally move along and modernize that Quicksilver and put it to real use (having to keep OS9 on one machine has become a problem).

What software and hardware encoders can you suggest? We shoot digibeta and cut on AVID MC Adrenaline.

We need something that will give us the best quality we can get yet doesn't take all day to encode. Originally we started with Heuris and then added the Fusion. I'm not sure what Heuris is up to, so I don't think that's a good road to travel and Sonic is out b/c they no longer support the MAC.

Suggestions for tried and true performers would be much appreciated. Image quality trumps speed - to a point.

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you have,
^billy


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Dave Friend
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 13, 2005 at 2:35:12 pm

Bill,

Are you happy with the SD1000 card output? I ask because Sonic uses this card with their current professional products that run on Windows. So, perhaps your card can be used with newer software. The Sonic dealer in your area should be able to tell you if this is true. They might also have a good upgrade path from your current to a new system from Sonic.

It's impossible to beat the efficiency of a good hardware encoder.

For a software encoder my favorite is the Cinema Craft Encoder Basic. This Basic version provides all the functionallity you need to encode from AVI or MOV files at a very reasonable $60. The high price Cinema Craft products are probably only needed if you are encoding from tape and trying to please a hollywood studio.

Dave


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william
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 13, 2005 at 7:55:22 pm

Dave,

We like the SD1000 (though it's beginning to look like it's having problems - it's 3 1/2 yrs old and has had about 200 5-10 minute videos run through it).

We've been looking for a solution that is visually comparable to the SD1000 yet runs on a MAC. We have three dual 2 G5s and three loaded Quicksilvers. I really can't justify A ~$4000 PC that just sits and waits to compress video. This is part of the reason why I'm steamed with Sonic.

If I can find a hardware solution this is comparable to the SD1000 and runs on OS X, that would be a good fix. If not, I need to look for a software solution that's superior to the SD1000 and is a decently quick performer on the G5. This is the goal with which I have been charged.

I did some tests today with Compression Master and Apple Compressor, but they don't cut it when compared to the SD1000.

Thanks for the suggestions, Dave.

^billy



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Dave Friend
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 13, 2005 at 8:51:31 pm

billy,

Not sure you would need a $4K computer if all you wanted it to do was host the SD1000. Seems like you would be happier with mac anyway.

On the mac side Optibase has a card. Details here. I have no first hand experience with this card. A SDI version will run you about $4K.

The one I would look at first is the Mediapress MPEG Encoder which will again run you close to $4K for the SDI version. The analog i/o version is about $2,300. I've seen the output of an earlier version of this card and it look good. Would not be able to comment as to how it compares to the Sonic cards.

Hope this helps.

Dave


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william
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 13, 2005 at 10:25:08 pm

Dave,

Thanks so much for the info...I was just looking at the Wired board.

The $4K for the PC was part of an upgrade path that was offered by Sonic but it's not a good option using the PC. If I was the only person using it, it wouldn't be a big deal but we have 5 producers/editors on staff and some are less technically savvy that others - so I've been charged with finding a solution that's fairly easy for everyone involved. As it is now, only three of us can use the Sonic authoring software so we're looking to switch to DVD Studio Pro since I can set-up standard templates for everyone and we rarely make complicated discs.

You'd think that AVID would have a top-notch MPEG2 compressor crammed into that Adrenaline box, huh? Sure would make life easy to just export in real time from the timeline and author in your favorite authoring program - uh, kind of like FCP. Sometimes I think AVID is trying to scuttle its own ship...like the Media100 slow-mo debacle.

You've pointed me down the right path and I am certainly thankful.

Cheers,
^billy


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Jason Casey
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 15, 2005 at 2:50:30 pm

"it's 3 1/2 yrs old and has had about 200 5-10 minute videos run through it)"

We've had ours for about that long too and have run probably 5 times that much video through it and it is still running strong.


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william
Re: DVD encoders - Hware and Sware
on Sep 15, 2005 at 2:59:34 pm

We've started to pick up what I can only describe as a pulsing in solid, stagnant backgrounds. For instance - a guy at a podium with up-lit velour behind him. Everything will look nice but the background brightness seems to increase and decrease regularly - like a pulse.

This is happening to pristine footage shot on bigibeta and captured with SD1000 via SDI. It's something that just started one day. It's probably not noticeable to people who aren't video professionals, but it's noticeable enough to me to be annoying.

Aside from that and the fact that it's stuck in land of OS9, the SD1000 board is stellar.

^billy


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