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  1. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2005
    Location: USA
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    Hello everyone,

    I am capturing some HDV/720p tapes into my Mac for a friend. I'm using a Sony GV-HD700 deck, output via HDMI to a Blackmagic Intensity converter box (because the deck won't output 720p via FW), and then out to the Mac via Thunderbolt. Capture is done using Blackmagic's Media Express software because it's the only software that could find the HDMI/720p signal.

    I was able to get the Blackmagic to successfully capture the tape to a ProRes 422, 1280x720, 59.94 fps file, in a MOV container.

    Here's my question: Should this file be converted to a different type of codec, or is ProRes 422 in MOV a good/widely-compatible codec to use? My friend will likely be editing these files in iMovie or FCP, and I want to give him something that won't give him any trouble. (He normally works on SD video in DV/DVC-PRO, as a comparison.) I saw that there are alternate codecs like Apple DVCPRO HD and Apple HDV available in MPEG Streamclip; would converting the captured file to one of these be more preferable than ProRes 422/MOV?

    Thanks in advance for the help!
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  2. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2005
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    seems a strange way to capture HDV. to go from 1440x1080 hdv to 1920x1080 out the hdmi to 1280x720 mov? the best way is the normal one - HDV out the firewire port to the mac and capture the original HDV.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  3. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
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    Pro Res is decent choice under the circumstances. But if you can find a deck or camera that will output your 720p HDV via firewire, that would be even better.
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  4. Member
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    Well, unfortunately I have only come across one deck that can output 720p, and that was the original JVC camcorder, which goes for $800-$900 used on eBay (as in, not a possibility). If someone can recommend another deck, I'm all ears.

    Aedipuss, the Sony deck will not output 720p via the Firewire port. It only plays back 720p HDV tapes. So the only other options to output the signal are HDMI, component cables, or composite cables. What would be your choice? I was told that next to FW, HDMI was the next best option, but would component would be preferable?
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  5. aBigMeanie aedipuss's Avatar
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    sorry passed over the 720p60 part. you might find a jvc br-hd50u deck to rent if you live near a big city. if not what you started with is probably fine (hd prores 422) especially for another apple user.
    --
    "a lot of people are better dead" - prisoner KSC2-303
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  6. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2005
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    Thanks for your responses. Aedipuss, I checked eBay as well as a local AV rental shop for the deck you mentioned.

    I do have a question, though. Wikipedia says that frame size for HDV 720p is 1280x720. That's what I captured. (HDV 1080i is listed as 1440x1080.) But you wrote that I was going "from 1440x1080 hdv to 1920x1080 out the hdmi to 1280x720 mov".

    But I'm not reducing the frame size of the original tapes if they never were 1440x1080, right? I'm new to this 720p technology and I know that Wikipedia has its drawbacks, but if HDV 720p IS 1280x720, how am I downgrading/altering the frame size by using the setup I described?

    The only thing I would gain from using FW with a JVC deck would just be obtaining the original MPEG-TS stream, correct?
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  7. Member
    Join Date: Jun 2012
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    Originally Posted by moxiecat View Post
    The only thing I would gain from using FW with a JVC deck would just be obtaining the original MPEG-TS stream, correct?
    By going through the Blackmagic box and converting to ProRes you are altering the source - albeit minimally. FW transfers a bit for bit clone of your original.
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  8. Member
    Join Date: Jul 2005
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    Thanks for all your responses.

    I can live with the minimal alteration to the source. Unfortunately, now I have another problem: the ProRes file plays in FCP's viewer without sound. The stereo waveform is there, and the same file plays fine, with both video and audio, in Quicktime Player and MPEG Streamclip. But for some reason FCP cannot play back the audio.

    Is this normal for a ProRes file? Does it have to do with the 59.94 frame rate? I am using FCP 6; maybe there are HD limitations in that version. Anyone have any ideas?
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  9. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    And lossy recompression is still lossy recompression - 1 generation down. And it's hard to say whether there is any back & forth colorspace conversions going on there. So, yeah, there could be a number of things going on with the HDMI route that isn't with the FW route.

    I agree - unless you have a whole LOT of tapes, and as this sounds like a one-time thing, I'd rent a 720p->Firewire compliant deck if you can. Otherwise, you're already doing your best to stick with ProRes 4:2:2 throughout the process (including Final Edit Master) until you are ready to make consumer/target distribution copies.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
    Location: Deep in the Heart of Texas
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    Just saw your last post: something else is wrong.
    The MOV format has no problem with incorporating audio along with whatever video. FCP could have a bug like that, though I haven't heard of such, and I would expect that to not be the case, as thousands of Pro users are doing ProRes+FCP and surely a limitation such as that wouldn't have gone unnoticed, nor unfixed.
    And by playing that same file in QT, you've shown that it does HAVE audio. BTW, it is FLATTENED, yes? That might affect the importing into FCP, though I doubt it.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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  11. Member
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    Okay. Duh. No audio problem. Somehow the AV Devices/Video Playback setting in FCP got switched to one of the Blackmagic options when I was trying to find a preset that would connect to the HDMI. Changed it back to "none" and now the audio plays fine. Sorry for the dumb error and question.

    In case anyone wants a resolution: I think I am going to go with the HDMI/Pro Res setup unless I hear back from the rental company I contacted and they have a good price. We're talking about 15-20 tapes here, all family video (I think he bought JVC's first HDV cam when it was first released) and at most, he will be editing the videos for his family. This is not a professional situation. So I think the Pro Res solution may be OK, although normally, I would certainly agree with everyone that the FW capture would be best, and definitely understand why.

    Thanks for all the assistance on this thread today--I really appreciate your help.
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
    Join Date: Oct 2001
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    Well, I was kind of thinking along the lines of PEBKAC/settings error, but didn't want to come right out and say it just yet.

    While I like to think of family video as just as precious as video done for professional/business reasons, I know where you're coming from and yes, the difference between the 2 would probably not be so great as to even be noticeable by laypeople who are unfamiliar with the goods and bads of video.

    Good luck and let us know how it all plays out.

    Scott
    "When will the rhetorical questions end?!" - George Carlin
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