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HDcam native codec

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Anhtu VuHDcam native codec
by on Dec 4, 2011 at 6:25:08 pm

Is it possible to capture HDcam and HDcam SR in its native codec for playback ??

I work for a conservation/archive facility. One of the main goal is to always broadcast the our archives in its original/unaltered format. Until now, we've used an HDcam SR deck to playback HDcam/HDcam SR materials. We are moving to file based broadcasting and i'm unsured which Codec i should use for HDcam. Thanks

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Jeff GreenbergRe: HDcam native codec
by on Dec 4, 2011 at 11:24:08 pm

I don't think there's been a sub 3k editorial tool that handles direct HDCam; most are having you work uncompressed or with the NLE's highest quality, least compressed codec. I do know some government branches use JPEG-2000 as an 'archive' compression type...

I think you're going to have to have a conversation internally - uncompressed HD is huge. I'm not sure of the 'big iron' - Quantel or Smoke- they both have 4x speed acquisition, which makes me think they do.... The question becomes, do you purchase one of those just for this ingest need?


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Anhtu VuRe: HDcam native codec
by on Dec 5, 2011 at 2:42:11 am


Not sure i follow you here. Are you saying that one needs 3K and above tools to handle HDcam directly ?? Why as HDcam is not even 2k ?? Is data recorded on an HDcam a proprietary CODEC from Sony ??

I assume what's on an HDcam tape is simply digital info, so coudn't this be transfered to to a hard disk bit for bit ? Just like DV, DVCpro HD...

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Jeff GreenbergRe: HDcam native codec
by on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:24:22 am

No -sorry - my language mistake

I meant an editorial tool that costs less than 3k.

Sony Xpri had direct access to the HDCam codec. It runs less than uncompressed. I think Smoke+IQ can access it as well. But MC/Premiere Pro/FCP/FCPX/Vegas? I don't think any can directly grab the underlying data. They either capture uncompressed or compressed (into codecs like ProRes/DNxHD/Cineform.)

Panasonic licenses the DVCProHD Codec. Sony licenses the XDCam codec. But the HDCam? I don't think they do (or do so at a very high license rate.) It was built into Xpri. I'm assuming that Smoke + IQ can do it, because they can ingest at 2x RT (which has to be a low level deck data flow.)

Hopefully that makes sense.

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Mark SpanoRe: HDcam native codec
by on Dec 5, 2011 at 3:10:16 pm

You'd need an SR/2 deck with Ethernet adapter and software that understands the protocol - I believe Sony has a proprietary app that can ingest/output the HDCAM-SR codec MXF. I saw this on display last year before the /2 deck launch. Other apps that can understand and access this are Avid Media Composer and Sony Vegas.

Is it worth it? IMHO, No. The tapes are better storage units. If you really want to archive as files, go with Apple ProRes HQ or Avid DNxHD. You will make everyone down the line much happier.

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Gautam PandeyRe: HDcam native codec
by on Jan 17, 2012 at 10:14:21 am


We're kind of in the same boat.

Wondering of you found a solution?



Gautam Pandey

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Juan SalvoRe: HDcam native codec
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 3:38:36 am

As of today still only Vegas and avid with AMA plug. But I think you can expect more support at least for hdcam sr codec as the f65 and sr r1 recorders will be supporting this as a native codec. As far as archiving hdcam (not sr) tapes, I think the way to go is capturing to prores or DNxHD over hdsdi.

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Juan SalvoRe: HDcam native codec
by on Feb 7, 2012 at 4:35:13 pm

Actually with the HDCAm sr viewer software you add an SR qt codec. and the viewer can rewrap sr... so now this works for FCP as well.

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Breno BedeRe: HDcam native codec
by on Mar 30, 2012 at 9:08:15 pm

Is that what you are talking about?

I found some explanation about working with native hdcam-sr format in Sony site link to sony

At the tag "SR-R1 SRMemory recorder", look for:

Direct-to-edit NLE and finishing workflow

The combination of MXF file transfers and third-party support for the SR Codec translates into something wonderful: native SR Codec editing. Sony has been cooperating with nonlinear editing vendors to deliver on this promise.

Final Cut Pro v7. The Final Cut Pro QT v7 plug-in decodes SRFiles, enabling you to edit and directly read the files. (Encoding/creating SRFiles is not currently supported.) The plug-in maps the MXF wrapper to the QuickTime environment so no re-wrapping or other conversion process is needed. This enables native, direct to edit access of the files in Final Cut Pro.

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