Tricaster to HD DVD workflow (mac-based please)
Please help me. I just started using a NewTek Tricaster TCXD300 in our studios and shoot several 1-hour shows per week in HD. I record 1280x720 hour-long shows on the tricaster which saves them as high quality mpg files. That's great, except:
I then have to add it to an editing software (I used the speedEdit that came with the tricaster for the first time) to add a slate for the cable TV requirements (5sec title/duration slate, followed by 5sec of black, then the show, then 5sec of black)
Next ,I have to render out to the highest quality HD video that I can so it can be authored to a DVD. I rendered to mpg2, because after many trials in SpeedEdit, it seems to be the only format that keeps the quality...Is this true?
Then, since I'm a Mac-based studio (which is why I think NewTek hates me) I have to convert it to a format that DVD pro will read (and its suppose to read mpg2)....so I render it out to and external hard-drive (after installing a program that allows the PC to even acknowledge my mac) then use iskysoftly to convert it to an .mov,, import it to DVD Pro... 5+hours from when the show was done. I shoot 12+ shows per week. Please, give me my life back. I ask you; what can I do to streamline this process? I need a mac-based work-flow that can allow me to deliver the highest quality DVD to clients in the fastest way possible without ever talking to NewTek again.
The only thing I see on NewTek forums for this is DVD settings from Tricaster to Premiere, that doesn't help me. Everyone there seems to be on a PC, which is fine, but I'm not. And I've registered so I could post this question but they haven't given me posting privileges yet. And don't get me started on their customer service. I emailed them 10days ago, and again 4 days ago and called them twice. I waited almost an hour to talk with someone who was so short with me I felt like I was bothering him with my childish question, even though my company just wrote them a check for $16,000. It made me want to call Apple just to hear a friendly voice. I don't see one bad word about NewTek on the web, so it must just be me, and I'm a really nice guy. I realize this is probably due to my lack of experience with PC work-flows...I'm humble, and sincerely think its probably my fault since I can't find anyone else with this problem.
By the time I'm done with my shows I'm exhausted, now I'm spending all night troubleshooting DVD workflows. Thank you for any suggestions, and sorry about my sleep deprived ranting about NewTek.
First and foremost, HD DVD is dead, period, DVD is SD 720x480. If you need to give your client HD it needs to be as a file or on BluRay.
Why can you not edit in FCP, but if you are going to edit in FCP you need to transcode the video from the Tricaster to something like ProRes with Compressor. Then do your edit and say the file at the current setting. If you use Premiere Pro you will not have to do the transcoding.
DVDSP needs an m2v file for video and audio should be ac3. We have a ton of post about converting if you need to truly author a DVD.
Also, say you convert the file to an .mov mean nothing, that just means it has a quicktime wrapper. Like telling a mechanic you have a CAR, what kind of car is it.
Thanks Michael. I must admit, I don't have much experience making large DVD's and I think my clients (although I shoot in HD) wouldn't know the difference. The thing is we sell our studio as an HD studio so I've been assuming I need to deliver an HD DVD. And since I'm finally getting an answer from somebody who knows about this: does that mean when I deliver a DVD to my local cable company it wouldn't be running in HD anyway unless it was on an HD channel? And if I give a client a normal DVD and they watch it on their HDTV, its basically like any other DVD they would rent, right? Because if it is I should just be making a regular DVD anyway, sounds like.
As far as workflow; would your advice be to take the file from the Tricaster and move it to my mac, edit in fcp, export and convert for DVD?
Anything I can do to speed up that process that you know of?
Thank you so much for your time, I really, really appreciate it!!!
Talk to the engineer at the cable company and get the specs of what they want/need delivered. That is the first step. Most of them have MPEG-2 playout servers, and you can simply create an .mpeg file for them, which is MPEG-2 with audio included. This is not a regular DVD that would play in a DVD player, but rather just an MPEG-2 file that they can put on their server. You CAN deliver the file on DVD media, but it is just a "data disc" as that point. This is typically how it works with cable companies. And as Michael pointed out, it is normally 720x480 SD.
I haven't worked with Speed Edit in some time, but I'm fairly sure you ought to be able to export an MPEG-2 file pretty easily for this purpose and not even involve the Mac at all.
Safe Harbor Computers
Thank you Jeff,
The cable guys said I would be able to give them an Mpg2 on a data disk! Thank you! But they are still making me add that slate at the beginning. Anyway, I still have to get my 30gb show onto a 4gb DVD (any suggestion on that workflow?) but I'm saving some steps, thanks to you.
Would you also agree on the work-flow from the tricaster for DVD authoring for clients.? Export Mpg2 to an external hard-drive to compressor to DVD Pro?
Thanks again Jeff.
I'm getting a new TriCaster HD demo unit in this week, at which time I can do some experimenting on your behalf, but for now I have to go from general knowledge.
Your original file is a very high-quality, editable, HD file. DVD is SD, and very highly compressed for delivery, not editing, so it is not unreasonable to be able to squeeze 30GB down to 4.7GB. I'm currently working on 2.5-hour stage shows mastered out at over 100GB, being encoded down to fit on a 4.7GB DVD-R with decent quality!
Part of the space-savings is that MPEG-2 for DVD is "Long-GOP", meaning only a few complete frames are saved every second, with the remaining frames only recording the changes from the complete frames. This differs from your I-Frame codec you're beginning with, where each frame is complete and therefore takes a lot more storage space.
Not being familiar with using Compressor, not sure what to tell you for the best file format to bring into it for DVD authoring. If SpeedEdit will burn a basic DVD without menus, maybe you can use an app like HandBrake to then "rip" that DVD into a file that will work in Compressor, where you can then add menus and such?
Jeff, thank you so much! I'm putting it out there to see if anyone has made DVD's from a Tricaster with an external burner and whatever software that would require. If its at all possible to ask your demo guy what he would recommend for a Mac-based studio getting an authored DVD, I'll buy you all the beer you can drink:-)
But seriously, thank you for your information; you guys are the only ones who actually helped and I really appreciate it.