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  1. I'm using Aja Kona LHE Plus and Medialooks Directake to capture some Betacam tapes in Prores format. Mediainfo reports the scan type as progressive, I can see field lines. How do I set the scan type to interlaced to get rid of the field lines while viewing?
    Last edited by digicube; 18th Nov 2016 at 15:57.
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  2. What Windows software would you recommend to capture analog betacam video in Prores format?
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  3. Member
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    AFAIK, Apple has embargoed ProRes encoding on the Windows platform. FFmpeg is the only library I know of to encode ProRes on Windows. Perhaps Directake is using FFmpeg under the hood? I don't think ProRes has an interlaced flag and so MediaInfo defaults to "progressive." You will need to turn on a deinterlacer in your viewing software to get rid of combing.
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  4. What software and codec do you recommend for archiving analog betacam videos?
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    For longterm archiving, I use FFmpeg to code FFV1 in an MKV wrapper. It's a high-compression lossless codec with built-in error detection.
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  6. Since it's a lossless codec, wouldn't it take up a lot of space? How many GB is 1 hour of FFV1 video?
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    Of course, it depends on the compressibility of the material, but 30 GB is a reasonable estimate for 480i at 29.97 fps.
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  8. 30GB/hr is not a lot at all. MKV doesn't sound suitable for editing though. Is there a better container?
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    This combination is intended for longterm archiving, not editing. For that purpose I'd rather have HuffYUV or Lagarith in an AVI.
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  10. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Uncompressed SD pro video (which Betacam is equivalent to) is ~167Mbps / ~20MBps / ~75GBperHour for 8bit (x 5/4 for 10 bit). Lossless compression is by nature variable bitrate, but averages ~50% of uncompressed. Ffv1 is slightly better than some, averaging around 46%. Which calculates to ~34.5 GBpH for 8 bit.

    Scott
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  11. I sense people on this forum are not fans of Prores or DNxHD? Why are these two formats so widely used by professionals?
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  12. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    In a Mac-Only workfkow, ProRes is perfectly fine & strongly suggested to use for DI/editorial/compositing.
    It sux on the PC side because of Apple's insistence of "my-way-or-the-highway" to the extent of dropping QT Win development, never starting development of 64bit AVFoundation for Win, nor any development of porting the ProRes codec to other architectures, nor of even allowing regular 3rd party licensing of the codec, nor of submitting the codec to be open source, and in fact have been agressively pursuing those who have created reverse engineered 3rd party solutions, either legally or technologically (breaking/fudging support for non-blessed encodes).

    Dnxhd/dnxhr is similar & different. Different because it is platform-agnostic, similar because they have their own issues licensing to 3rd parties. Similar because of technological underpinnings and performance. Different, because it relies primarily on MXF-container workflows.

    You do have other options: Cineform was very popular and boasted performance better than those other 2, but GoPro bought them out and let the tech die on the vine, plus you couldn't get full features out of it without transcoding through their proprietary app (not really available now).
    Canopus had HQx, but they were bought out by Grass Valley (good) and then by Belden (not quite so good).
    Their codec is cross-platform IIRC, and is still supported by them though continued development is questionable. And they were always an also-ran. Performance not quite as good as the others, except on GV equipment.
    Jpeg2000 is a possibility too, but isn't without cost/licensing issues.
    Avc-Intra, Avc-Ultra, MPEG2-Intra, and DVCPro/HD have their place but that is more the realm of quicker & dirtier broadcast types.
    I'm hoping the MOX format initiative would get off the ground but it's been a year with no news...

    So there's no clear winner here, and it is frustrating to pros as much as to this community. Lossless has a number of decent options these days, but high perf. slightly-lossy intra-codec with pro- and forward-looking features still needs a better, more universal champion.

    Scott
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  13. Anyone on this forum build themselves a Hackintosh? I'm considering to build one so i can use FCP.
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  14. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    You already have a modern copy of FCP? And you know whether it actually works on a Hackintosh?

    You likely won't be able to DL it from Apple Store, and it ain't free.
    There are some valid reasons for using a Hackintosh, but I would say this isn't one of them.

    Scott
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  15. Do you recommend getting a real Macintosh instead? Most software can be purchased at a discount from colleges.
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  16. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Mabye you could use lossless Ut Video pro YUV422 10-bit, which is a free codec and with decent support. It would be cheaper if you could get that to work, and if needed just buy more HDDs. Considering 4TB HDDs can be had for less the $150.

    I can't get Ut Video Pro YUV422 10-bit to work in Virtualdub Capture Mode, but then again I don't own a capture card that supports 10-bit.
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  17. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    Do you recommend getting a real Macintosh instead? Most software can be purchased at a discount from colleges.
    Re: purchasing software
    Only if you are officially affiliated with one (as faculty, student, staff). But if so, you should be able to get a Mac and get a discount on hardware & software. Of course it depends on the institution. I am affiliated with one so I know this to be true and in fact have benefitted from both hardware & software discounts.
    But why FCP? Everybody's different, but I put it further down the list when considering BEST OF NLE apps.
    And Apple's continued transition to mobile-centricity does not bode well at all for Mac desktops & desktop apps. Support, features, performance, even availability are all taking a hit.

    Go back to "what do you want to do, and why?". You have an Aja capture device - how do you want to leverage it?

    Scott
    Last edited by Cornucopia; 24th Nov 2016 at 08:37.
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    Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    I sense people on this forum are not fans of Prores or DNxHD? Why are these two formats so widely used by professionals?
    DNxHD does not support 480i.
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  19. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    I suggest you use the best tool for the project/workflow. Sometimes that is ProRes, sometimes DNxHD, or Cineform, or lossless or uncompressed or raw or even dv/mpeg2/avc etc.

    If you aren't already a Mac user nor owner of a ProRes device, nor collaborating with those who are, then it is a major undertaking to ally with ProRes. DNxHD is more agnostic and cross-platform but is mainly allied with Avid equipment and users.

    Decide what your needs and budget are, and work backward to figure the most appropriate tools (codec, platform, apps).

    Scott
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  20. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Would Betacam even benefit from 10 bit capture. Considering it seems to have a chroma resolution somewhere around VHS SP.
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  21. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    Betacam would (high bandwidth, 4:2:2 equivalent, component), Betamax probably would not (low bandwidth, 4:1:0 equivalent, composite).

    Scott
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  22. Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    I sense people on this forum are not fans of Prores or DNxHD? Why are these two formats so widely used by professionals?
    I author much of my content in ProRes 422 HQ, and I am exclusively PC (never even owned a hackintosh). In terms of decoding support, all my workflows are vetted for each application I use, so I do not incur ANY of the color/gamma shifts that people often report. Playback and editing is smooth on my machine. There are even some programs that now natively decode ProRes and don't require QT. However, decoding support with the free tools that 95% of the users tout on this forum (e.g. Avisynth) can be a challenge and is rarely worth it. Therefore, I imagine that is why you don't see many users on this forum recommending ProRes, or DNxHD/HR for that matter. Also, only a handful of the posters on this forum author their own content (although I believe most of the responders in this thread do). Therefore, if all you do is capture streaming video or rip optical media, AFAIK none of those tools use ProRes. So I agree with Cornucopia that integrating ProRes into a workflow on a PC has to make sense and is largely a function of the acquisition hardware and software you own or use which brings me to my next point.

    The "only" real hiccup in using ProRes on a PC is encoding to ProRes. I am only aware of three "free" options on a PC, none of them are NLEs or capture tools, and I have yet to test whether FCP will ingest them. And, I am very skeptical of the "paid" options as they are mostly built on the backs of the free options. I never capture to ProRes and only rarely transcode to or deliver ProRes, but if I had a production facility where delivering ProRes content that FCP users will not choke on was an integral part of my daily workflow, I would probably just buy a Mac.

    Lastly, many, many professional videographers use Avid as their NLE. And that is where DNxHD/HR is from while FCP editors use ProRes. I am not an Avid user, and my meager testing of DNxHD was not very successful hence the reason I don't use it.

    HTH
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  23. @SameSelf
    Are you able to capture 480i analog video in Prores in Windows?
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  24. As I already stated, I am only aware of three "free" ProRes encoding tools for the PC, and none of these are capture programs, unless someone else chimes in with a solution. Otherwise, your only hope is to capture to a 422 format and transcode to ProRes with possibly a de-interlacing step included. But since most NLEs handle lossless codecs fine, you really don't benefit from transcoding and actually introduce some lossiness into your workflow.

    Tell me again, what is your motivation to capture to ProRes on a PC? It is one thing to include ProRes in your workflow because your camcorder natively supports it, but it is quite another to seek it out just because it sounds like the codec of the month.
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  25. I choose Prores because of its popularity. Welp, looks like I won't be able to use it on a PC. Is it a bad idea to capture analog video as progressive?

    I captured some footage using HuffYUV codec. Mediainfo reports the video as interlaced but I can still see field lines while playing with Media Player Classic. I thought the player is supposed to deinterlace it while viewing.
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    I'm not a video programmer, but to my knowledge, converted video is stored as progressive frames regardless of the source. It's only the interpretation of that frame which renders it progressive or interlaced. So what you are really asking is if it's a bad idea to deinterlace while capturing. The answer is not necessarily, if your hardware supports it and you are happy with the job and have no need to redo it in software.
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  27. Member Cornucopia's Avatar
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    When analog, interlaced fields are separated in time and are a continuous serial stream, including the blanking.
    When captured to digital, there is no real computer file unit for fields - all discreet units are frames, and fields are specially encoded frames that have 2 time-separable elements within the frame.

    I'm old-school about this so I think that with Analog Interlaced source material, one should always capture as interlaced, and usually edit maintaining interlacing throughout (unless you are mixing interlaced & progressive - particularly with HD - or are definitely only targeting progressive destinations).

    Scott
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  28. Originally Posted by digicube View Post
    I choose Prores because of its popularity.
    I suspected as much.

    ProRes is only "popular" because of its widespread implementation in prosumer and up cameras and its long history. But once you move into the realm of pro codecs, you quickly get into lots of others in addition to ProRes like DNxHD/HR and the ubiquitous log based codecs requiring custom LUTs that continually pop up now. And the things that make ProRes "popular", like 422 support and light compression, aren't unique to ProRes. But that long history is also a liability in this fast changing world, so it wouldn't surprise me if ProRes starts to fade in "popularity".

    You are capturing analog SD interlaced content. The most basic form of video there is. There is no benefit to be gained from transcoding your lossless captures to ProRes. You will actually be degrading your footage as ProRes is not a lossless codec. Also, ProRes is not a delivery format. And it is always important to minimize the number of digital intermediates in your workflow. Now sometimes transcodes cannot be avoided. I use an NLE that does not support DV-AVI. However, I do not transcode to ProRes just because the opportunity now presents itself. For that footage, I transcode to UYVY which is also lossless and does not degrade the footage. So I would focus on making sure your workflows are solid and not degrading your footage versus trying to drive towards some sort of intermediate solution because it sounds sexy. Video is hard enough without unnecessarily complicating things.
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    (Bumping an old thread, but for others who come here searching this might be useful.)

    I've managed to capture Prores on Windows using VirtualDub2 and the Prores codec that comes with it (or is it from the FFMPEG package, I'm not sure). Note that it only captures in AVI containers though. I found I needed to convert it (losslessly) to a MOV container to import it into Davinci Resolve (which does not support AVI).

    See screenshot:

    Image
    [Attachment 50031 - Click to enlarge]
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