buying new media 100 hd version 11 or FCP?
Long time m100 user here, although I've been stuck on a G4 1.42 ghz on M100i 8.2.1 for along time. It's worked flawlessly, so no reason th change.
Now I'm looking at buying a new G5 and I'm considering switching over from Media 100 to FCP.
it seems like building a system from scratch with FCP would be considerably cheaper than building one from scratch with m100. Am I correct here?
Currently we shoot on Beta SP and DV, although I'd like to be prepared for a move to HD.
I love media 100, and I already know how to use it, where as FCP would have a learning curve. Has anyone put together a new m100 HD system? Would you share your set-up with me, or tell me what I would need to be up an running from scratch? Thanks.
I'm in a similar situation and have been keeping an eye on developments before taking the plunge. I don't yet have an answer but I'll share some observations.
1. Whatever path you take (FCP or New media 100) you're going to need a new Mac - PCI-E is more than likely going to be used in the new intel Power Macs so buying a PCI-E based card is important as you'll probably want to upgrade the mac before the card. Getting PCI and PCI-X cards out of the equation puts the relative cost issues on more of a level playing field.
2. There are many card makers, but it seems from discussions here and on other cow forums, that AJA is the card of choice for FCP systems. Comparing the costs of AJA (OEM) based Media 100 and AJA (Kona) based FCP systems (card + software only as drives, monitors and the mac are the same for both systems) are again more favorable, though I believe still in FCP's favour.
3. Although it has yet to be proved with a shipping system, FCP might be able to run on Media 100's hardware. But,
4. You can't build a media 100 system by buying an AJA card and the software separately. It comes as a whole so if 3 above proves to be the case, a joint system would have to be based on a Media 100 system with FCP sotware added, rather than the other way round.
The best thing to do is wait a while and see what happens when people get their hands on the new media 100 systems. That said, Boris (the man and the company!) are aiming the new systems at existing users - they see that as their primary market - so the system is going to be developed with us in mind. That alone is a good reason to stick with Media 100 even if it does prove to be a slightly more expensive option.
Just my two cents worth!
Can you explain what the AJA (OEM) is? Is this the same as buying a IO or Kona card with FCP? Does this come with the Media 100?
It seems the aja(oem) card is similar or identical to the kona2-card for mac/fcp - because I can't see a mention of 4:4:4-capability in the m100 HD suite (which is a major selling point for the kona3-card). As far as I've understood from m100/boris's website the different varieties of m100 (all but the software only version) ship with an AJA(oem) PCIe-card aswell as some form of a bob (possibly an oem'd aja "k-box"). Buying final cut studio and an aja card with similar specs as the oem card would probably end up about @ about 50-70% of the price of the m100 alternative. That said; I'm currently an fcp user growing increasingly p*ssd off at fcp's inability to render anything at higher bit-depth than 8bit (an absolute necessity when dealing with colour correction etc.) - that's why I'm sniffing around here at the m100 forums. Although going from fcp to m100 may be an unusual transition - being able to combine the two would probably be ideal; fcp for ingest and play-out, m100 for the rest..?
Any thoughts on this?
From a quick look at the AJA website and Media 100's brochure, it looks like the HDe solution is indeed equivalent to the Kona LHe, but the specifications of the HD Suite don't seem to match any of the cards listed on AJA's retail or OEM site (note Media 100's 8 channel analogue output and 8 channel AES IO - compared to Kona LHe's 2 and 2, and Kona 3's complete lack of any analogue side). This could mean that the HD suite is a custom card?
Good point about the analogue i/o's. Quick change of subject - do you know if the software funtionality (gui-wise) of the sw only ver. is identical or different to the integrated suites? I've just been sitting trying the sw version out and have a sneaking feeling that something is missing - might just be the completely diffent logic at work here though (from other nle's like fcp and premiere i mean) - it kind of reminds me of edit* but not entirely like that either...
The current SW version is AFAIK exactly like the integrated software (just minus IO of course). Coming from FCP or premiere it will feel simpler (and in a lot of ways is). Media 100 lacks a lot of the advanced compositing features found in FCP and the like, as Boris software like RED is expected to be used instead. This hand-in-hand approach is probably why Boris bought Media 100 in the first place!
In the rush to complete the new Media 100 website there was an error on the product comparision page (thank you Kieran & Floh). The Media 100 HD Suite does not support analog audio i/o and I want to apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. The website has been updated.
Rob N-Media 100
So out of interest, which OEM card is the HD Suite based on ?
It seems from the comparison sheet that there aren't that many reasons to plump for the HD Suite over the HDe (especially if you are already a RED user). Could you give us a list of the advantages of the HD suite ?
BTW, are you aware that the analogue IO error is on the hard-copy brochures as well ?
The two main features HD Suite offers over HDe is giving the user the ability to up-convert SD to HD and cross-convert 1080i to 720p or 720p to 1080i. Also, there are certain hardware features the Suite board offers that can be accessed for future development.
BTW: I realize the brochure contains the error and will be corrected for the next printing.
My guess is that Rob's omission of an answer to Kieran's question about the board HD Suite runs on was intentional.
Most OEM agreements require companies to be vague at best about exactly what equipment they are using.
I took a look around AJA's site and found this:
The chart in the PDF shows that there are only 3 PCIe capable boards:
OEM-LS (e), OEM-2K (e) and OEM-LH (e)
I'm guessing that the LS (e) and the LH (e) are the boards that M100 uses for SDe and HDe respectively. This only leaves the 2K (e) as the board for HD Suite. Which makes sense 'cause it's the only board they make that does the up-convert that Rob mentions.
So then, the next question on my mind (and I imagine a few others as well) is how do these compare to the Kona-branded boards?
From what I can see here:
They appear to be the same.
I guess we'll just have to wait for someone with both a Kona board AND an OEM board side by side to be absolutely sure.
I think you are spot on there. It's the confirmation os the 2K bit that I was after. If this is one of the hardware features Rob mentioned for future use then this is good news. Media 100 finally future proofing itself? This just gets better and better!
OEM equipment is made by one supplier (AJA) and sold to another (Media 100) so that they can sell it as their own. Here, rather than Media 100 running on retail Kona cards, AJA is providing Media 100 with a special card that meet its specifications and requirements. This is common practice in the computer industry and AJA does it for a number of other companies.
This is the cause of the issues over whether Media 100 and FCP will ever be able to co-exist on the same hardware. The beta v11 was running on Kona hardware, but until people can get their hands on the OEM stuff, no-one can tell whether the OEM cards can take the FCP drivers.
Media 100 HD-AJA is a complete hardware/software solution and is sold together. According to Media 100, you won't be able to buy the software/drivers on their own.
The Media100 product seems to be geting better and better. We recently decided to go ahead and purchase a final cut accelerated system alongside a blackmagic multibridge extreme. Coming from media100 over to final cut is not easy and i do not recommend it for those who enjoy media 100 for its simplicity. the hardest part is the hardware setup.
Media100 lays everything out to you in a couple of options: acquire uncompressed or compressed SD or HD.
Final cut you must:
set your acquire settings which involves selecting a codec, a resoluton, a pixel aspect ratio, a framerate, and a quality.
then you have timeline settings which MUST MATCH your acquire settings. if it doesnt you will have to software render everything to match you sequence codec.
You also must select video output settings which is a long drop down menu of over 35 items. its pretty overwhelming the first few times.
the biggest drawback of final cut pro is its inability to mix codecs in the same timeline... so if you have some beta footage that you already have digitized at 720x486, then have some dv footage captured at 720x480, you cant mix the footage in the timeline! you either have to render out one of the formats to match the other or redigitize. it can be very frustrating for editors switching over if you dont spend the time to figure out your codecs. this is a major drawback of the final cut system regardless of what hardware you purchase.
also having the nice luxury of "export to after effects" from your timeline is no longer free. you must buy an expensive plug-in to make that happen easily.
also... i dont understand audio in final cut. it seems like in media100 you can have unlimited amount of audio layers and effects happening simultaneously and m100 never skips a beat. in final cut if you import a couple music tracks over one another with some sound effects, you get the red bar and have to render audio!
the fundamental difference between fcp and m100 is the way the two NLEs handle media. FCP keeps media in its native format and m100 converts evrything to its own proprietary codec. well actually not anymore. media100HD now CAN natively playback DV, DVCPRO50, animation, and a number of other quicktime supported codecs without the need to rerender.
i would stick with media100HD if you are comfortable with it. its only going to get better. if anything. media100 seems more "mac- like" to the typical mac user than final cut does with its infinite number or choices. if you have any other questions feel free to email me
Wow, I guess you're not a fan of FCP. It seems to me that I'd be looking at a total system cost difference of around $5,000. Buying all of the same equipment, except that the Media 100 HD would cost $6,000 to purchase. The FCP would be $1,299, actuallt $699 upgrade. after I send them a FCP 3.0 disk.
Here's some other questions. In FCP, once you do all of the codec and output settings the first time, aren't you done? You don't have to do this each time do you? Also are all of these settings due to your blackmagic extreme? Would this be the same with a AJA Kona?
Also, there are not too many Media 100 editors out there anymore. So if I wanted to work in conjunction with another editor would I be able to give them files out of M100HD if they were on a FCP system? Thanks for your advice. I apppreciate your honesty.
I'm curious about how you computed the cost difference.... The Media 100 HDe system costs $3495... This would be the model you'd want in order to continue to work with your Component Betacam material. HD Suite (@ $5995) is SDI only, so unless you NEED that up-convert / Cross convert feature that Rob N mentioned...
And when you consider fcp (ok, fine with all it's associated apps) is $1300, plus the cost of the AJA LHe app $1500 with the break out (K-Box) another $300... seems we're closer to the same overall price: $3100 (ok, you get a discount for upgrading, but that's NOT a $5k difference...)
THEN, any legacy project you had in media 100 i is NOT compatible with FCP, and then Bobby pointed out a number of Unique features of Media 100.
Okay, there's not a ton of Media 100 editors out there, but seriously, how hard is it to learn Media 100? If you've got NLE experience, you'll be editing in m100 in a day.
Okay, my $.02
(P.S. any one else out this wish apple still offered DVD Studio pro on its own? What's up with that???)
I was looking at the M100 HD suite. But to your point sure, I would be better off with the HDe.
So basically we're talking about $3,500 for the m100 versus $2,100 for the FCP with a Kona Card. A $1,400.00 diffference. Not bad.
But now I need new external drives. I can buy 2 G-raid 500 drives for under $1,000. Will the m100HDe
work with those drives or would I need to spend more on better drives with the M100?
Thatnks for your help
[Greg] "But now I need new external drives. I can buy 2 G-raid 500 drives for under $1,000. Will the m100HDe
work with those drives or would I need to spend more on better drives with the M100?"
Like always, it depends. But when comparing a FCP and a Media 100 solution you will most likely need the same performance for the same tasks. If you want to work in SD only, or maybe in compressed HD you probably will be good with the G-raids. If you want uncompressed HD (on FCP or Media 100) you need extremely fast FibreChannel drives. The good thing with Media 100 there is that you can mix different codecs on the same timeline in realtime, which allows a nice HD offline-online workflow. And with a Quad G5 you can even do realtime overlay of clips with moving alpha channel in HD without rendering.
I write as another Long time m100 user
When I was asked 12 months ago to post produce a multi-cam studio tv program which required SD i/out to DBeta and an OMF fed audio mix, I had to look at what you are looking at.
To be fair to BorisFx, this was in the dark days of M100.
But Multi cam in FCP is brilliant and works flawlessly, as does the OMF with audio handle management. I have no hesitiation in recommending a re-seller set up FCP suite. What either system (FCP or M100) can do for the money is amazing even when compared to the ill fated 844x project.
When FCP goes into Vers 6, you will have a mature product with a booming plug ins market and a good pool of users. lets not talk about getting freelancers to help with big jobs and yelling into what seems like a void "Do you know M100?"
So here are my thoughts. And in reading them pls be aware that like Floh (is it ok to compare myself to the Voice?) i have been a loyal user from way back who has spent considerable hours helping and some not inconsiderable monies promoting M100 Mac systems, SW and 844x when the company was owned or run by Molinari, Optibase and now BorisFx.
The main path you have got to obviously is time to change Apple Macs and also drives
this opens the field right up doesnt it?
I have never cut on Avid and I have done 2 jobs on a client's Premiere Pro. For the other 9 years i have been staunchly M100. The past 12 months have been almost exclusively FCP.
I would say that FCP with AJA cards and a good Promax tower have been as reliable and trustworthy as all my M100's from Vers 2.6
I wont get into the costs issue as that varies and i wont jump in on the OEM board comparisons. The fact that M100 has gone to AJA proves that Boris knows his plan.
The big big reason for me to go FCP was as i said was the multi cam feature and the audio export OMF option (which i note now pops up as an option for Media100HD sales) and also the necessary future s/w development of FCP. Apple needs to keep developing FCP and get new users, it will aim squarely at Avid users now that it has effectively seeen M100 fall away.
It seems BorisFX requires at least 2 years of solid sales to existing users to stabilise the ship and gain back the trust squandered by the inept Optibase management.
The main advantage i see for M100HD over FCP is the real time playback of mixed codecs.
But that's it.
Please ask your re-seller when you get a demo, when will M100 deliver native HDV or P2 ingestion capability? Or ask them when they will have sub frame audio editing or any host of abilities that are immediate and available on FCP.
Ask them how many engineers they have working on new features and new code.
No disrespect to Dave C or Marshall here but the money Apple spends on FCP is considerable.
The time to market for new features is quicker when generated usually within Apple than at M100. The user interface and different user options aint that difficult. Seriously.
The UI isnt as intuitive as M100 granted but it does many things you only dream of with your existing system and if you lay out the keyboard with some familiar M100 shortcuts, i would be surprised if you werent cruising in a few months.
If you get a demo of M100 HD and it has everything you want, go ahead and buy it.
Nag the be-jesus out of them for features and push push push.
But if you are waiting on a must have option, and they cant show you it ...dont buy.
IMHO I wouldnt bet my company(again) on a supplier who has a business proposition to sell a system based on the fear of moving to something new. Or that the good stuff is just around the corner.
Sure i am rooting for Boris and the crew but ......
Thats my 50 cents worth, give or take some foreign coin exchange fees
One additional thing you should consider: While the price difference is not really big between Media 100 and FCP on comparable hardware, chances are pretty high that if you buy the hardware from Media 100 you can run both applications (Media 100 and FCP from different boot drives) on it. If you buy a Kona from a reseller will only be able to rung FCP on it.