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Digibeta to hard drive transfer in San Francisco


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#1 Lee Sumners

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 01:57 AM

Hey out there. I'm new to this site and I have an issue that's bugging me.

I shot a music video, super-16, and had it telecined at Spy Post, with output to Digibeta. One of my friends works at a news station and was nice enough to let me use the digibeta deck there, but since my drive was mac formatted and they use PCs, I had to bring my laptop and I couldn't capture it in 10-bit uncompressed NTSC. I could only capture at at DV NTSC, which is compressed and the picture is very pixelated and I want to retry capturing it.

So, now I'm stuck with this tape without a place to transfer it to Hard Drive to start editing it. I didn't do it at spy post because I'm a student and almost all of my money went to just the telecine (which was totally worth it, by the way. Everyone there really knows their stuff).

So what place can I go to where I can drop off my digibeta tape and my Mac-formatted hard drive for a transfer? What does it cost? I'm a student with not much money to spend. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Lee
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#2 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:49 AM

Why not reformat your drive to something both PC & Mac can read? It's easily done in Disk Utilty.
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#3 Bryan Darling

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 02:19 PM

Why not reformat your drive to something both PC & Mac can read? It's easily done in Disk Utilty.



That would be FAT32, however the file size limit is 4GB with FAT32. That would be impractical for his purposes. Monaco Labs in San Francisco just did an uncompressed BetaSP to HDD for me. They are solely Mac based and do offer student discounts. I believe the normal rate would be $150/hr, their student discount was been 25% last time I used it. If you need I may be able to help as I have a working relationship with them.
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#4 Lee Sumners

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 03:21 PM

That would be FAT32, however the file size limit is 4GB with FAT32. That would be impractical for his purposes. Monaco Labs in San Francisco just did an uncompressed BetaSP to HDD for me. They are solely Mac based and do offer student discounts. I believe the normal rate would be $150/hr, their student discount was been 25% last time I used it. If you need I may be able to help as I have a working relationship with them.



Thank you. I will give them a call today. I've been there before. At 150 an hour, is that based on how much footage is on the tape or how long it takes them? I'm new to this.

Thanks again.

Lee
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#5 Bryan Darling

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Posted 11 May 2007 - 04:45 PM

Thank you. I will give them a call today. I've been there before. At 150 an hour, is that based on how much footage is on the tape or how long it takes them? I'm new to this.

Thanks again.

Lee



How long it takes them. I paid $172 plus tax. It was a 62 minute tape and took 1.5 hours at $115 an hour. They told me to send them a Firewire 800 drive because the transfer rate was faster, so my time would be less than using a Firewire 400.
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#6 Evan Winter

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Posted 19 May 2007 - 09:14 PM

As far as I know you'll still run into a major issue. Even if you can get the 10-bit uncompressed files onto your Mac you won't be able to edit or really use the files unless you have an external Raid (or possibly software Raid) or at least a firewire 800 Lacie drive on which to place the files.

The issue is that regular harddrives aren't fast enough to read/write at a speed necessary to edit uncompressed 10-bit (I know someone responded that they used a firewire 800 and were working with BetaSP on their home system but I believe that Digibeta's uncompressed 10-bit files are a different story). You need speeds in excess of 80mb/s to work with 10-bit and Mac's top of the line HDs (same w/ PCs) read/write at around 30 - 40mb/s.

This is why a lot of people end up doing offline editing (using mini-dv with burned in time code) and then get the 10-bit uncompressed footage matched up at a post-production facility that offers online services.

Now, Mac offers hardware Raids (several Hard drives tied together in such a way that information is written/read to all of them simultaneously - effectively multiplying your read/write speeds) starting at around $5 - $6K USD. Alternatively, if you have a Mac Pro with at least 3 internal HDs then you can try using Disk Utility to create a software Raid with the 2 secondary HDs; although this is not typically recommended (software Raid can, in theory, read/write at speeds up to 100mb/s but it's quite possible that it won't run this fast in actuality and may even be too slow to effectively edit your material).

Finally, even if you have the speed&power (typically need dual core 2ghz/2gb ram/256mb graphics card[e.g. nvidia geforce 7300]) to edit uncompressed 10-bit on your system you'll run into issues when you try to export the finished video. The only way to stay uncompressed is to output the final product back to Digibeta (which is what almost all music video stations and other broadcast stations use anyway) and to do this you'll need a AJA or Black Magic capture card (e.g. AJA Kona LHe); which will cost at least $1,500.00 and a Digibeta Deck day rental (typically $200 - $400).

Hopefully this helps and good luck with the project.

Edited by Evan Winter, 19 May 2007 - 09:16 PM.

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#7 Chris Burke

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 07:59 AM

As far as I know you'll still run into a major issue. Even if you can get the 10-bit uncompressed files onto your Mac you won't be able to edit or really use the files unless you have an external Raid (or possibly software Raid) or at least a firewire 800 Lacie drive on which to place the files.

The issue is that regular harddrives aren't fast enough to read/write at a speed necessary to edit uncompressed 10-bit (I know someone responded that they used a firewire 800 and were working with BetaSP on their home system but I believe that Digibeta's uncompressed 10-bit files are a different story). You need speeds in excess of 80mb/s to work with 10-bit and Mac's top of the line HDs (same w/ PCs) read/write at around 30 - 40mb/s.

This is why a lot of people end up doing offline editing (using mini-dv with burned in time code) and then get the 10-bit uncompressed footage matched up at a post-production facility that offers online services.

Now, Mac offers hardware Raids (several Hard drives tied together in such a way that information is written/read to all of them simultaneously - effectively multiplying your read/write speeds) starting at around $5 - $6K USD. Alternatively, if you have a Mac Pro with at least 3 internal HDs then you can try using Disk Utility to create a software Raid with the 2 secondary HDs; although this is not typically recommended (software Raid can, in theory, read/write at speeds up to 100mb/s but it's quite possible that it won't run this fast in actuality and may even be too slow to effectively edit your material).

Finally, even if you have the speed&power (typically need dual core 2ghz/2gb ram/256mb graphics card[e.g. nvidia geforce 7300]) to edit uncompressed 10-bit on your system you'll run into issues when you try to export the finished video. The only way to stay uncompressed is to output the final product back to Digibeta (which is what almost all music video stations and other broadcast stations use anyway) and to do this you'll need a AJA or Black Magic capture card (e.g. AJA Kona LHe); which will cost at least $1,500.00 and a Digibeta Deck day rental (typically $200 - $400).

Hopefully this helps and good luck with the project.



Not nearly as big an issue as you make it out to be. I work with 10 bit all the time on my mac. SATA II raids are getting cheaper all the time. You can even make your own for less money.


But the quick and easy way to get your footage into your mac from a Digibeta tape is to use the Sony J3 deck. In San Francisco, I would be really surprised if you could not find a rental house with one of these. Here in Boston I can get it for $275 per day, so a weekend rental is what I always do. You can usually find one with Firewire and or SDI. You want firewire. Just plug in the deck and put your Digibeta tape in and capture away. You get dv files with the exact same timecode. Do your offline and then online at a post house. Or you can rent the SDI version and for about 200 to 300 you can buy a SD Blackmagic card which will input the material. All the prices that are quoted above are either bloated or book rate at an expensive house. Bottom line. It is not that expensive or hard to get your material into your machine; either offline or online.

Another word on raids.

A RAID that will run RAID 5 and maintain about enough bandwidth for uncompressed HD, not SD in 10 bit will set you back about 1000. So a raid solution that will handle the uncompressed 10 bit SD is even cheaper. Check out this link for pricing:

http://www.macgurus....rtMultiEncl.php
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#8 Evan Winter

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 08:05 PM

Hey Chris,

You may very well be right in advising the original poster as you did and indeed that is the more standard way of going about post on a music vid. The way I took the initial poster's question was: How do I edit my footage uncompressed and output uncompressed w/out incurring too many more additional costs?

The short answer being - you can't.

I thought the poster was hoping that there was a way he could get the 10-bit in his system, cut it, and then get the 10-bit back out and ready for broadcast. Given his likely system specs this will be impossible unless he spends at least a grand. Even with your method (with is definitely cheaper than my 'you'll need a whole new rig to do what you want to do' version) he'll still need to online the footage which typically costs $800 - $1200 depending on f/x and other potential issues. Not to mention the $275 deck rental that you quoted. So really there is no cheap way to do what the original poster wishes to do. Money, and significant amounts of it will have to be spent.

On the high-end the poster gets his rig set up so he can post all his future vids (at around $5K - $7K) or he one-offs this one and captures using a rented deck ($275), cuts using compressed dv footage, and then onlines at a post house ($800 - $1000).

:(

I wish there was a better answer and I'll admit that there still may be one out there...

Edited by Evan Winter, 20 May 2007 - 08:09 PM.

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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 May 2007 - 10:49 PM

I wish there was a better answer and I'll admit that there still may be one out there...


That's what I find cool about Betacam SP, Digitbeta, DV-CAM, mini-dv, and then either the kona card or the black magic card. The combination of those four tape formats and those two transcoder cards have a ton of flexibility with what you can do with them.

The magical jump to a straight 10 bit without going to video tape first should be considered by those who know for sure they have the proper computer system specs in place AND who are also willing to accept the possibility that they could lose their original transfer footage at some point in time. By "lose" I mean the 10 bit uncompressed footage could end up being reformated and accidentally compressed, accidentally deleted, or the hard drive could just stop working. Hard drives are presently being used the way videotapes are being used, but I think there is still a logical reluctance to say goodbye to videotape originals for the time being. Just when harddrives are about to completely take over is probably when affordable uncompressed solid state recording takes over, so jumping from videotape archiving to solid state uncompressed recording with hard drives serving as the stop gap for now is probably the most logical work flow.
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#10 Bernhard Zitz

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Posted 21 May 2007 - 04:53 AM

How do I edit my footage uncompressed and output uncompressed w/out incurring too many more additional costs?

The short answer being - you can't.

Yes you can, I did it.

To optain an uncompressed master, you don't need to edit in uncompressed. You let the post-house dump all the stuff uncompressed on your harddrive, then you make of each file a similar DV-file, then you edit with that, in the end you swap the files in FCP set your sequence settings to uncompressed and you're ready to go...

Another question is grading, a homemade colorcorrection won't be as good as a davinci with good operator.


I thought the poster was hoping that there was a way he could get the 10-bit in his system, cut it, and then get the 10-bit back out and ready for broadcast.

only problem is to get the stuff to digibeta, that's where the part with the friend at the TV-Station comes.

Edited by Bernhard Zitz, 21 May 2007 - 04:54 AM.

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