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NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP

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Matt Campbell
NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 22, 2011 at 3:03:58 pm

Have a digiBeta that we need to convert to PAL. We all have AJA IoHD's here. My question is, (1) is it better to capture the digi in NTSC and have either FCP convert by dropping into PAL sequence or using Compressor (which IMOP is better). Or (2) have the IoHD convert on ingest directly to PAL?

It's been my understanding the hardware is always better than software but we're having a hard time trying to figure out how to set up the IoHD for NTSC In and PAL Out for capture. We can't get proper picture on the monitor or capture windown.

I found this thread with good tips from Rafeal but this is Compressor method:
http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/8/1141494#1141495

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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John Pale
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 22, 2011 at 3:23:59 pm

You can't use the AJA io for that.

When people say "use hardware", they mean the right kind of hardware. A quality standards converter, such as an Alchemist. Usually this is done at a dubbing house, as such equipment is very expensive.

If you are on a tight budget, you can do it using Compressor (free, but slow) or the Nattress Standards Conversion Plugin ($99, faster). In either case, the results are not of the quality of a good hardware conversion.


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Rafael Amador
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 22, 2011 at 5:52:22 pm

Hi Matt,
As John wrote the AJA is not made for standard conversion.
You need something like the Alchemist, or the famous Teranex.
As John also mentioned, the Nattress is a good option (good critics) seems to work faster than compressor, but I guess Compressor may beat him on quality. With the Nattress is FC who takes care of the NTSC>PAL rescaling, but Compressor has better filters than FC for the task.
You may try MPGStreamclip too. I heard good things about and seems very fast.
Set it for the best rescaling.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Matt Campbell
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 23, 2011 at 1:58:08 pm

Rafael/John, thanks a bunch. I'll stick to the Software method than and plan on using the Compressor method. But I'm guessing you would only want the Frame Controls On Best for Scaling. Because Best under Rate Conversion would redraw every frame and would not look right? Does that sound right? Using Fast would pull out the proper frames.

OS 10.6.7, Mac Pro 2 x 3 ghz quad-core intel xenon, 4 gb ram and AJA IoHD


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John Pale
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 23, 2011 at 2:45:24 pm

I usually set it to BETTER for resize and BEST for rate conversion when I need to do this.

If you set everything to BEST, you might end up with an encode time of a month or two :)

Best setting for Rate Conversion uses Optical Flow, which is very good, but can cause artifacts on some material. Do a short test and decide.

The other options mentioned by Rafael are much faster than Compressor, so you might want to try them first and see if they do the job to your satisfaction.


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Rafael Amador
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 24, 2011 at 8:40:47 am

[John Pale] "Best setting for Rate Conversion uses Optical Flow, which is very good, but can cause artifacts on some material. Do a short test and decide."
No reason for Optical Flow when we are just dropping frames (30>25).
"Nearest frame " should be the best option.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 24, 2011 at 11:28:09 am

Depends on what the final use will be. Dropping frames will get you a technical fail every time at a UK broadcaster - it has to be motion predictive to get through over here.

OTOH there's no point in going to the expense if it isn't for broadcast on regular TV.


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Rafael Amador
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 24, 2011 at 12:31:24 pm

[Andrew Rendell] "Depends on what the final use will be. Dropping frames will get you a technical fail every time at a UK broadcaster - it has to be motion predictive to get through over here. "
What i mean is that going NTSC to PAL, beside the geometry change, in the end is all about discharging information.
No in-between frames need to be generated.
No point to reprocess the whole movie, pixel by pixel (Compressor OpticFlow), for this purpose.
Out of compressor the movie may look choppy, but not muddied.
Standard or not in the UK, to get something better you'll need a Teranex or an Snell&Willcox.

When going PAL to NTSC, yes I would consider Motion Prediction, but not Compressor OpticFlow.
No Movement detection/Mask control. No way to avoid interpolation when no needed.
Again, reprocessing the whole movie just to create few in-between frames (that might have no much movement) IMO is not much worth.
Some times works better a humble frame blending.
rafael

http://www.nagavideo.com


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Andrew Rendell
Re: NTSC to PAL using AJA IoHD & FCP
on Sep 24, 2011 at 4:12:14 pm

[Rafael Amador] "What i mean is that going NTSC to PAL, beside the geometry change, in the end is all about discharging information.
No in-between frames need to be generated."


Yes, I'm talking about going from NTSC to PAL as well. But the point I'm making is that your (or my, or anyone else's) personal opinion of whether a jerky frame-dropped transfer from 30 to 25fps is good enough is irrelevant if it's for broadcast as the broadcasters' technical requirements are for motion predictive conversion, so if you don't do that you'll fail the tech checks and the programme will be rejected.


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