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AJA HD Codec

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Vance Piccin
AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 12:10:48 am

I will be using a FCP system with a Kona 3 card this fall on a sports tour. The editor I am working with is anxious to work with the Kona Codec, while I am leaning to DVCPro100. We will be cutting 1080i footage. One of the devices we interface with, a server, is capable of providing the DVCPro material, but not Kona.

Is there somewhere I can find documentation comparing these codecs, or a white paper on the AJA Kona codecs?

Thanks-
-Vance


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gary adcock
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 12:53:34 am

[Vance Piccin] "We will be cutting 1080i footage. One of the devices we interface with, a server, is capable of providing the DVCPro material, but not Kona"

Vance I do not understand

if you are talking about EVS- it captures an industry standard DVCPROHD which can be read by FCP

AJA only supplies custom codecs for AE workflows

But DVCPROHD is a Panasonic Standard codec and is usable within FCP by the Kona cards.

What ever the HD format you are working in - the HDSDI can be converted on the fly by your Kona 3 to DVCPROHD without issue.

gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Chicago, IL


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 1:12:18 am

Gary-

Thanks for the reply. The EVS is the device that I am talking about. There are two ways to gather material into FCP. The "easy" way is to play a clip on the EVS and just do a capture now. That is what my partner is now doing, using what he describes as either the "Kona" or "AJA" codec. Does the Kona card install additional codecs in FCP?

The alternate is to use the EVS hardware to transcode it's material to DVCPro clips, then network the clips to the FCP system. I would like to experiment with this workflow. The problem here is the DVCPro material is pretty heavily compressed. That is fine for stuff comming from the EVS, but a little harsh for our other (graphic) elements.

In any event, I am curious to find information on the data rates and compression type of the Codec my partner is discussing.

-V


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gary adcock
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 1:46:33 am

[Vance Piccin] "That is what my partner is now doing, using what he describes as either the "Kona" or "AJA" codec. Does the Kona card install additional codecs in FCP?"

My guess is that he is not working in one of the custom Aja codecs- The are custom to specific workflows, and I have never heard of these Uncompressed 8 and 10bit animation codecs being used in broadcast.

[Vance Piccin] "The alternate is to use the EVS hardware to transcode it's material to DVCPro clips, then network the clips to the FCP system."
This is exactly the way that FOX did the ALCS and World Series the last 2 years, not to mention the Superbowl, the Daytona 500 and Nascar every weekend.

[Vance Piccin] "The problem here is the DVCPro material is pretty heavily compressed. That is fine for stuff comming from the EVS, but a little harsh for our other (graphic) elements."

Well do you want to be able to play in realtime or do you want to render. I was talking to Tom Meegan from Woven Pixels today at the C4 sports show and confirmed that he is in fact using DVCPROHD for all of his graphics during the World Series for the last 2 years.




gary adcock
Studio37
HD & Film Consultation
Post and Production Workflows
Chicago, IL


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 2:08:03 am

--->I was talking to Tom Meegan from Woven Pixels today at the C4 sports show and confirmed that he is in fact using DVCPROHD for all of his graphics during the World Series for the last 2 years.

I do think that we would be OK working in the DVC Pro codec. As our work will be feed back into an EVS before it goes to air, it is going to be stepped on anyway.

--->This is exactly the way that FOX did the ALCS and World Series the last 2 years, not to mention the Superbowl, the Daytona 500 and Nascar every weekend.

As for the Superbowls, I have done the last 6 in one capacity or another, and I have yet to see FCP interfaced to the EVS at the network level. In HD it has not been possible until recently to have the EVS transcode to HD QT format. Everything I have seen has been transfered baseband.

-Vance


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walter biscardi
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 19, 2006 at 11:59:55 am

[Vance Piccin] "The problem here is the DVCPro material is pretty heavily compressed. That is fine for stuff comming from the EVS, but a little harsh for our other (graphic) elements."

Actually, we work in the DVCPro HD codec all day, every day for HD Network broadcast and it's comopletely pristine for creating motion graphics and animations.

We create 30 - 60 second animations and motion graphics for the episodes and graphics is one of the areas where I find DVCPro HD indistiguishable from 8 or 10 bit uncompressed HD.

In addition, we ingest and edit all of our episodes in the DVCPro HD codec. It's extremely clean.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com

"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 20, 2006 at 2:03:11 am

Thanks Walter. I have never had a problem using DVCPro 100, tho I have always used it at 720p. I have yet to see it with 1080i footage, but I can't imagine it would be much different.

My partner does most of the graphics work, and really perfers not to compress till the last possible moment. As the fill the donut guy, most of my source footage is already in some contribution codec anyway. My workflow and storage would be much easier in the DVC codec, but I am not sure I can sell him.

-Vnace


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tony salgado
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 21, 2006 at 3:32:36 am



Just because one compressed codec is acceptable for some does not imply it should be acceptable for others just because the "big boys" use it.



just my two cents.



Tony Salgado


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 21, 2006 at 10:53:55 pm

Tony-

Sorry I missed your response the other day. While I agree that just because others do something it may not be right for any given application, there is some utility to knowing what "the big boys" are up too.

They often have the need and resources to research the technology they use and buy. If your work is similar to theirs it can be helpful to know how they are working.

-Vance


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Tom Meegan
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 20, 2006 at 9:24:49 pm

Hi Vance,

You and I worked together on the Final Four this year. Hans Waters introduced us.

DVCProHD 720p is indeed what we used on the World Series inside FCP. Also from what I understand, this is what was done on the FCP systems for the Super Bowl in 2005. I used the FOX NASCAR system on the MLB All-Star game in Pittsburg, and it was set up for DVCProHD, so I assume those guys are using it that way as well.

In all the live, editing during the game, applications I've seen, it has always been baseband video in through the card of choice, either Kona 2, Kona LH, Kona LHe, or a Black Magic Design card (I'm not as familiar with their product line.) I talked a bit with the EVS guys about the MediaXchange product. It is still not quite there for FCP. I would talk to them directly if you want to go this way. It sounds like this will happen eventually, and the more of us who ask, the better I think.

I can certainly understand your partners reluctance to add another layer of compression.

Both Ryan Leimbach (Sunday Night Football) and Jim Dove (Sunday Night Baseball) are capturing uncompressed 10-bit via HD SDI (baseband video from the router) for their EVS to FCP transfers. Both are using AJA boards now, although, Jim previously was using Black Magic Design.

Contact me if you would like to get in touch with Jim or Ryan.

I hope you are doing well.

Tom Meegan
tom@wovenpixels.com


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 20, 2006 at 10:48:34 pm

Hi Tom-

I spoke with Hans the other day. He was on his way to boating around Tampa Bay.

As I said in my offline reply, I am comming to understand that what my partner is talking about is an FCP setting using the Kona card to capture uncompressed rather than a compression codec. I will have to do some expermenting to see if there is any visual difference if I compress his elements to DVCPro to work with the game footage, or up rez the game footage to work uncompressed. If the difference is not noticable there are obviously a lot of advantages to working in the DVC coded.

-V


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Tom Meegan
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 21, 2006 at 10:41:36 am

Hi Vance,

You are probably aware of this site, but just in case...

http://codecs.onerivermedia.com/

Click codec resources and explore away. It is a pretty comprehensive look at codecs, and combines a good mix of the technical and the subjective.

Best of luck this fall!

Tom


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Vance Piccin
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 21, 2006 at 10:55:52 pm

Tom-

Great site. It has not been updated in two years, so I wonder what has happened since then. That is a long time in computer years.

-V


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Tom Meegan
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 22, 2006 at 2:55:50 am

I'm glad you liked the site. The guy to thank, though, is Marco Solorio


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Monstergrafx
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 23, 2006 at 3:33:12 pm

Hey Tom,

I have been messing with mediaXchange, a bit. Works, but I still have issues. I am using it on a Standard Def truck racing series, well at least we are trying. the EVS>MJEP-A wrapper. do you notice any wierd artifacts or banding sort of things during playback in FCP. It works nice, X-file crushes through 20 minute clips in around 4 minutes, with 10 isos its not to bad....just wondering if you have noticed anything.

Philip Link
phil@monstergrafx.com


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Tom Meegan
Re: AJA HD Codec
on Jul 24, 2006 at 11:45:25 am

Hi Phil,

Nice to see you here Phil. I haven't seen you since chatting in Chicago nine months ago!

I haven't worked with MediaXchange beyond understanding the workflow, and pushing enough buttons to figure it out. I did this experimentation on a trade show floor, not in a truck, and so the fact that I haven't seen the banding you are refering to, definitely doesn't mean much.

Is your truck series the one that Scott Mulvehill is on? Just curious.

Best,

Tom





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PMHKeene
Re: AJA HD Codec (FCP & EVS)
on Jul 23, 2006 at 8:49:27 pm

[Tom Meegan] "I talked a bit with the EVS guys about the MediaXchange product. It is still not quite there for FCP. I would talk to them directly if you want to go this way. It sounds like this will happen eventually, and the more of us who ask, the better I think."

We have been using MediaXchange with FCP for several months now, mainly in SD but more recently in HD as well. The issues at the moment are mainly caused due to the limitations of FCP when dealing with MotionJPEG material, so as I understand it we need to ask Apple as much if not more than EVS. Anyone have any contacts at Apple who might be able to help?

We have also been in contact with AJA who have been very helpful and proactive in getting the Kona range of cards to work in the workflow that we are trying to achieve.

Regards,

Patrick Keene,



--
Patrick Keene,
London, UK


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Tom Meegan
Re: AJA HD Codec (FCP & EVS)
on Jul 24, 2006 at 11:35:25 am

Hi Patrick,

For what sort of production, and more particularly, workflow have you been using MediaXchange? I'm really glad to hear you are having success with it!

I definitely was unclear in the sentence you quote. I intended to say that MediaXchange was not quite there for a live work flow


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Philip Link
EVS IMX codec
on Dec 11, 2007 at 4:50:41 pm

Hey Tom,

I was was installing a rental XT2 the other day and as soon as I started it up it came up this an error message. Please change codec to match. Aparently the XT2s also can record in IMX instead of MJEPa.....which according to EVS you can -file the clips then just load the drive on you FCP and off you go. Right now this only works in SD but HD is in works according to Gerg Lawler at EVS.

Should be cool once the get it worked out, according to Greg MediaXchange is a bandaid till they get this all worked out with Apple.

Philip Link
monstergrafx@wi.rr.com


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Tom Meegan
Re: EVS IMX codec
on Dec 11, 2007 at 7:56:42 pm

Hi Phil,

Martijn Swart of the Netherlands set us up with this work flow last winter on the World Cup Bobsleigh Tour. xSan, three FCP stations, two XT2s, XStore and some hubs


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