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DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro

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Ali Jafri
DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro
on Jul 3, 2008 at 11:28:40 pm

Although the Black Magic Intensity Pro is primarily an HDMI card it does have a component input albeit using RCA jacks instead of BNC. My questions to the experts out there is: can I capture Digital Betacam footage using BNC to RCA converters, with the Intensity Pro? Will I maintain the 4:2:2 colour space of the DigiBeta format? What would be the workflow?

I currently have a Core2Duo PC machine with 2GB RAM running both Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 and Vegas Pro 8b and will probably be getting new hard drives which I'll stripe for better performance. Will this setup work well with the Intensity Pro and digibeta capture I intend to have? What would be the best format to capture in? uncompressed? mjpeg? any other?

Some people see things that are and ask, Why
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.


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Luke Maslen
Re: DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro
on Jul 4, 2008 at 2:56:22 am

Hi Ali,

The Intensity Pro does not feature SDI connections and nor does it feature RS-422 device control for controlling the Digibeta. You could capture component analog video without device control but you won't be able to capture the analog audio without additional equipment. This is because the analog XLR outputs of the Digibeta are professional level, balanced analog outputs whereas the Intensity Pro has unbalanced, HiFi level audio.

If your PC has a spare PCI slot, you could the US$295 DeckLink card. It has SDI input and output as well as RS-422 device control. This means you can capture and output 10-bit, uncompressed, digital video and audio via SDI. The DeckLink card supports 8 channels of audio via SDI which is more that enough for the 4 channels of audio in your Digibeta. There is a spare SDI output on the DeckLink card for monitoring and an SPDIF audio output for 2 channel audio monitoring. This card is specifically designed for use with Digibeta decks and would be a much better option if you mostly work with Digibeta decks.

Hard disks are fast these days and you can usually capture uncompressed standard definition video to a single SATA hard disk inside your computer. However if you are using real time effects, it's better to use two or more disks striped together to improve performance. If you want to fit a lot of video on your disks, you may choose to use the MJPEG codec. It is a very high quality, compressed codec which is perfect to use if you don't have lots of storage space on your disks. I would recommend the MJPEG codec over the DV codec as MJPEG is much higher quality and retains the full 4:2:2 color space so your colors will be preserved.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Ali Jafri
Re: DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro
on Jul 6, 2008 at 1:28:50 am

Thanks luke! Your information was invaluable. I couldn't really make out which card to get from the black magic website, but now i understand things better. I just have one more question though: since i have to ultimately always master everything in dvcam should i still capture and use effects in either uncompressed or mjpeg and then downconvert to dv just before printing to tape? Or should i capture, edit, and color grade everything in dvcam to avoid any further gen loss? Which workflow would yield the best results?

Some people see things that are and ask, Why
Some people dream of things that never were and ask, Why not?
Some people have to go to work and don't have time for all that.


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Luke Maslen
Re: DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro
on Jul 9, 2008 at 5:35:36 am

Hi Ali,

It sounds as though you are working with both uncompressed Digibeta video and also compressed DVCAM video. If you ingest your DVCAM material via Firewire, then it makes sense to continue working with DVCAM for your effects, editing and grading to avoid unnecessary generational loss and long render times when moving to uncompressed and then back to DVCAM formats.

However if your DVCAM has SDI input and output, then it would make a lot of sense to capture to an uncompressed timeline via the DeckLink card and you can also capture your Digibeta material to the same uncompressed timeline. The great thing about uncompressed is that you can render it as many times as you like, add effects, transitions, graphics and text and there will be no generational loss of quality. Once you have completed all of your editing, you can then output your uncompressed material back to the deck via uncompressed SDI. Your DVCAM deck will record the video and audio back to the DVCAM tape format. This is particularly useful if you need to do a lot of editing where multiple levels of generational loss will become quite obvious when working with a compressed format such as DVCAM. Using an uncompressed timeline takes up more storage but guarantees that you do not lose any picture quality during your editing. Graphics and text remain sharp throughout the editing process and will not become soft before you master to tape. So the resulting master will look as crisp as is technically possible.

If your DVCAM lacks SDI connections, it might have component analog video and analog XLR audio. We have other models of DeckLink cards which can connect to both SDI decks and analog decks. The DeckLink Extreme and DeckLink HD Extreme are two such cards. The DeckLink HD Extreme also features HDMI input and output.

Regards,

Luke Maslen
Blackmagic Design


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Rodolfo Coloma
Re: DigiBeta workflow with the Intensity Pro
on Sep 13, 2008 at 6:17:26 pm

Hi
Hi I been reading your question, Anybody knows if you could export/playback component analog video without device control into DigiBeta deck using a G5 with Final Cut 6.0.4 using the card Intensity Pro? We are stuck at this moment with this elements and we need to generate a Digibeta tape but we don't need at this stage to control the time code. Just export the image.



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