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16mm to DigiBeta?


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#1 Ole Dost

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 01:03 AM

Dear friends,
I am planing to have 16mm telecined and I am considering DigiBeta. Can anyone tell me how to get a DigiBeta-Tape into the Computer? What cards/slots are necessary? Is a Computer with a Athlon 64 3400+ CPU and 1 GB memory sufficient? And Adobe Premiere Pro able to work with it?
Thank you in advance!!
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#2 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 02:39 AM

You need a DigiBeta deck and a capture card in your PC. Typically you don't do this at home; you have the post house do it for you. You can ask them to digitize it and put it on a hard drive that you give them, for a fee, of course.
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 18 December 2007 - 05:59 PM

Dear friends,
I am planing to have 16mm telecined and I am considering DigiBeta. Can anyone tell me how to get a DigiBeta-Tape into the Computer? What cards/slots are necessary? Is a Computer with a Athlon 64 3400+ CPU and 1 GB memory sufficient? And Adobe Premiere Pro able to work with it?
Thank you in advance!!




You could also rent a Sony deck called, I believe J-30. It will allow you to capture Digibeta material as DV25 over firewire. Usually the cost of deck rental runs about 300.
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#4 Chris Purchase

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:08 AM

Unfortunately 1 GB isn't really going to be enough to cope with the size of the information from a DIGI. An Online Avid Adrenaline will have nearer 50GB. As Chris said, you can take in DV25 through a firewire on a J-30 but you'll lose resolution by down-converting to DV so that Adobe Premiere can cope with it.

Therefore, if you are going to have to down-convert it as it goes into the computer, you may as well get it Telecined onto a DVCAM format.

Have you considered an offline at low res on your atholn and then conform it to DIGI quality later?



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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 06:40 AM

> Unfortunately 1 GB isn't really going to be enough to cope with the size of the information from a DIGI.
> An Online Avid Adrenaline will have nearer 50GB.

I think you're confusing memory and storage. If you can find an NLE that'll run in 1Gb of memory, fine. If you're using something like Premiere Pro, I wouldn't fancy your chances, but you may be lucky. If you can run the application and cut DV in it, there's no reason you shouldn't be able to cut uncompressed SD in it - without the compression to deal with, uncompressed is actually easier on the computer, other than disk bandwidth.

Happily, practically all computers of the spec mentioned can be upgraded for fairly reasonable money - probably under £100 if you have a spare memory slot, and under £150 if you end up replacing all the modules you have. However you do it, you will need capable storage. Many modern hard disks will handle uncompressed standard def without too much drama, although you may prefer to use fresh, new drives and if you're going to do that, you may as well get a couple and put together a simple software RAID, which is easy to do.

> Therefore, if you are going to have to down-convert it as it goes into the computer, you may as well get
> it Telecined onto a DVCAM format.

This is entirely true. In fact, a direct telecine to DVCAM will probably look better, as it won't then have been compressed twice. I know I'm not alone in feeling that digi to DVCAM can actually look quite bad - there's something about digi compression artifacts that DVCAM really dislikes.

> Have you considered an offline at low res on your atholn and then conform it to DIGI quality later?

I'm not sure I'd bother for the fairly minute quality increase. If our correspondent was producing something to a required broadcast spec, or if he was going to grade the footage extensively, digibeta will help a lot. If not, I would suggest that DVCAM is only very marginally less good - well shot DVCAM, grading aside and on average subjects, can be very difficult to tell from digibeta. If it was HDV and HDCAM, then fine, but I would not go round the houses to do uncompressed post over DV if there were not really good specific reasons for doing so.

That said, if you've really decided you want to do it, you have two choices.

- If you're only going to do this once, or a few times, or you only have a small amount of material to do, take the digi tape to a post house and have it transferred onto hard disk. It would of course be nice to get it telecine'd directly to hard disk, but that can be tough to arrange. Digibeta is still not a cheap format and the cost of doing this may be an unpleasant surprise, especially if you have many rolls to handle.

Or:

- Buy something like a Blackmagic Decklink SDI input board. Your computer probably has PCIe slots to accomodate one, or you may be able to get a conventional PCI type. Then, either buy or rent a digibeta deck. This effectively allows you to view the combination of digital betacam and SDI in the same relationship as miniDV and firewire.

This option can be price competitive if you set it all up on your own time - you can also use the Decklink board to drive a nice SDI monitor. The issue is what you do for a deck. I don't know your requirements, but you can buy a J3 digital betacam player quite reasonably. The problem is that this is a player only, and if you have a burning need to do a digibeta post, it strikes me as likely that you will eventually need to record your show back to digibeta for delivery. You can rent or go to a post house to do it, but then you're only using half your SDI hardware investment. Full record-and-playback digibeta VTRs are expensive to buy and maintain and you will need a compelling business reason to own one.

Phil
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#6 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 05 February 2008 - 10:56 AM

I have a Blackmagic Decklink card in my Mac G4. I've digitised Digi-Beta footage thru it into Final Cut as a 10bit uncompressed QT and edited no problem (and my Mac only has 512mb of RAM) The only time I noticed it being slower than dealing with DV footage was when rendering.

You will need plenty of storage though - uncompressed SD eats up space on your drives very quickly.
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