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Spectra Offering Direct to Hard Drive Telecine


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#1 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:03 PM

Hey everyone, I looked around and I don't think this has been posted previously so I wanted to mention that Doug and Jerry have upgraded their telecine capabilities. They are now using a URSA Diamond and offer direct to hard drive telecine. Its an SD SDI work flow using a Mac Pro with a Black Magic card working in real time.

I have yet to see the results, but I will be doing telecine there in two weeks so maybe I'll post some comments at that time.

anyway I just wanted to get the word out.
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#2 Nate Downes

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 08:35 PM

Hey everyone, I looked around and I don't think this has been posted previously so I wanted to mention that Doug and Jerry have upgraded their telecine capabilities. They are now using a URSA Diamond and offer direct to hard drive telecine. Its an SD SDI work flow using a Mac Pro with a Black Magic card working in real time.

I have yet to see the results, but I will be doing telecine there in two weeks so maybe I'll post some comments at that time.

anyway I just wanted to get the word out.

Single frame capability or just video?
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#3 Chris Burke

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Posted 27 March 2008 - 09:45 PM

Hey everyone, I looked around and I don't think this has been posted previously so I wanted to mention that Doug and Jerry have upgraded their telecine capabilities. They are now using a URSA Diamond and offer direct to hard drive telecine. Its an SD SDI work flow using a Mac Pro with a Black Magic card working in real time.

I have yet to see the results, but I will be doing telecine there in two weeks so maybe I'll post some comments at that time.

anyway I just wanted to get the word out.



You sure about that, there is no mention of it on their website. They did say they have moved, but no new telecine formats.
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#4 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 12:45 AM

You sure about that, there is no mention of it on their website. They did say they have moved, but no new telecine formats.


Am I sure about that? Now you throw me into a philosophical crisis of Platonic proportions. After all did they really show me the new equipment in their bay on Tuesday? How can I know that my vision accurately represents reality? What of the words we spoke to each other in conversation? In the context I assumed that Black Magic was a proper noun but maybe it was actually a description of the metaphysical practice they enjoy after work. :-)

They may be slow updating their website, and also to be fair I think they might still be doing final testing on the direct to hard drive end of things. Nonetheless, this is where they are going and I am planning on doing a direct to hard drive telecine there in about two weeks, so they better be ready, darn it!

You should call them and say "Hey some jerk named Douglas Hunter is saying you guys are continually upgrading and offering newer and better services at reasonable prices. What the heck is up with that?!?!"

O.K. I've had my fun. Thanks for having patience with me.
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#5 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 01:23 AM

Single frame capability or just video?



If you have a reasonably recent incarnation of a telecine it has SDI out of the TK or Color Corrector which is easily piped to a Blackmagic or Aja card for recording uncompressed. Single frame for super-8 is a joke unless it is a real 2k scan, i.e. "single frame" is a guy in his basement with a projector and a DV camera.

-rob-
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:49 AM

If you have a reasonably recent incarnation of a telecine it has SDI out of the TK or Color Corrector which is easily piped to a Blackmagic or Aja card for recording uncompressed. Single frame for super-8 is a joke unless it is a real 2k scan, i.e. "single frame" is a guy in his basement with a projector and a DV camera.

-rob-



Is uncompressed enough, or does it have to be "24P" uncompressed?

Is it an uncompressed "A/B" NTSC video signal, or is it an uncompressed digital file signal that can then be turned into whatever one wants? Are the above two scenarios entirely different animals or not?

By the way, don't discount DVC pro 50 as a codec. It may be an ideal way to improve quality over dv 25 without filling up a computer with a ton of memory. I have read on the internet that uncompressed files don't work as well or as easily in some NLE situations as a compressed codec. The advantage of the DVC Pro 50 codec is that it is like digital betacam in quality but superior to DV 25. DVE Pro 50 should be plenty for both Super-8 and any color correction or matting situation that one encounters.
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#7 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:59 AM

Is uncompressed enough, or does it have to be "24P" uncompressed?.



There is no progressive SD video format, any telecine (real one like a Rank or Spirit) scans progressive and outputs interlaced for SD ntsc or pal. Any real suite will do this over a SDI 10 bit pipe, no firewire or YUV analog signals. If you are using a mac you can record this all digital 10bit 4:2:2 video signal as DV, Dvcp50, 8bit 10bit uncompressed, etc as these are just settings in the capture preset panel.

-Rob-
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#8 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 11:19 AM

In respect to Robert's posts above (I somewhat agree on your 2K scan comments, based on what I have seen here in London at Todd-AO, however, any uncompressed HD option to hard disk is much welcome in an industry awash with projection-2-miniDV cellars), I am still wondering about the exact set-up that is now supposedly used at Spectra for their telecine?

Is there any more precise info around about that, Douglas? Or have you been fooled by intoxicating chemical fumes out of their processing lab that made you hallucinate that Ursa... after all, seeing is believing... hey, it's California, who knows what's in the air there?

(the latter sentences are joke-ish remarks, ... just to make this clear :) )
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#9 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 02:51 PM

I am still wondering about the exact set-up that is now supposedly used at Spectra for their telecine?

Is there any more precise info around about that, Douglas?


I am not sure what you mean exactly, its pretty simple:

As is to be expected their Diamond / Da vinci system outputs an SD SDI 29.97 video signal which they route directly to their Mac Pro with a Black Magic card. The Black Magic ingests the SDI signal making it possible to create 10 bit 4:2:2 video files (quicktimes) which they will then transfer to a client's fire wire hard drive. (Is that what you mean by more precise? sorry if I'm missing your meaning.) After that take the hard drive home, do a back up and get to work. Working with the 10 bit 4:2:2 files might be a bit cumbersome so it may be necessary to work in low quality play back mode OR render a different version of the files with a DV codec or something like that, then do an "in the box" on line when picture is locked by blowing out the low res media and re-linking to the 10 bit media to create the on line master file.

What I'm not sure of is how they want to handle the back end, that is going from file to tape for broadcast or festivals etc. We talked about it a bit, clearly they can do it, but I don't know how they want to price or it fit that sort of operation into their daily schedule. Anyway that's not for me to say. I'm just glad they are going in this direction and I'm looking forward to my next telecine there.
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#10 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 04:30 PM

In respect to Robert's posts above (I somewhat agree on your 2K scan comments, based on what I have seen here in London at Todd-AO, however, any uncompressed HD option to hard disk is much welcome



I think we need to separate HD (Hard Disk) from HD (High Definition) as HD is often used to describe both. I was talking about Standard Definition (NTSC or PAL) transfered as a 10bit 4:2:2 over SDI as many Telecine houses (such as Spectra or us at Cinelab) are doing using commonly available Mac/PC and Decklink/AJA hardware. A scan to HD (High definition) such as a Spirit with a Super-8 gate will do is a whole other more expensive beast and a true 1080P 4:2:2 or 4:4:4 super-8 scan will be in the same class as a 2K scan you can get from a Spirit, etc. And then you have people with projectors and camera running a aireal projection, I set one of these up at Cinelab but could not get the same kind of quality as we get from a highly modified Rank.

-Rob-
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 07:00 PM

There is no progressive SD video format, any telecine (real one like a Rank or Spirit) scans progressive and outputs interlaced for SD ntsc or pal. Any real suite will do this over a SDI 10 bit pipe, no firewire or YUV analog signals. If you are using a mac you can record this all digital 10bit 4:2:2 video signal as DV, Dvcp50, 8bit 10bit uncompressed, etc as these are just settings in the capture preset panel.

-Rob-


Yes, they have an SDI output but I don't know what the bit rate is, it's probably either 8 or 10.

So if they can do a 10 Bit SDI and it goes straight to an uncompressed hard drive or as a DVC Pro 50 codec and then is uprezzed to HD, would that be considered an acceptable and doable approach?

Edited by Alessandro Machi, 29 March 2008 - 12:17 AM.

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#12 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:13 AM

So if this if the 10 Bit SDI goes straight to uncompressed or DVC 50, and then is uprezzed to HD, would that be considered an acceptable and doable approach?


For my money I would not want to upres DVC pro 50 to HD. there are better codecs for that purpose. But any upres is going to be iffy.
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 29 March 2008 - 12:37 PM

Yes, they have an SDI output but I don't know what the bit rate is, it's probably either 8 or 10.

So if they can do a 10 Bit SDI and it goes straight to an uncompressed hard drive or as a DVC Pro 50 codec and then is uprezzed to HD, would that be considered an acceptable and doable approach?


I am going to be buying a Teranex SDI to HDSDI up converter for Cinelab, shortly, we have a Mac-Pro now with a Decklink HD card. I think it is best to use a specialized box like the Terranex or Rezzer to do the uprez and then capture in 720P or 1080i instead of uprez in FCP or similar. Will it be as good as a Spirit HD transfer? No, but if you are working in a compressed HD format (Like with HVX footage) it may be just right and a fraction of the cost of a real High Definition transfer.

-Rob-
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#14 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 12:31 PM

I think we need to separate HD (Hard Disk) from HD (High Definition) as HD is often used to describe both.


Quite right! The advent of flash memory or rather solid state drives in computers already heralds the next terminological issue, as those are shorted to SSD (as to Hard Disk drives, which actually should be HDD). But I already encountered the first monkey making incorrect abbreviations usage. He talked about 'SD's... so there you go :rolleyes: ...
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 03:33 PM

I am going to be buying a Teranex SDI to HDSDI up converter for Cinelab, shortly, we have a Mac-Pro now with a Decklink HD card. I think it is best to use a specialized box like the Terranex or Rezzer to do the uprez and then capture in 720P or 1080i instead of uprez in FCP or similar. Will it be as good as a Spirit HD transfer? No, but if you are working in a compressed HD format (Like with HVX footage) it may be just right and a fraction of the cost of a real High Definition transfer.

-Rob-


If the actual transfer has had all the quality squeezed out of it in terms of contrast, sharpness and color, then it can be better because the operator can spend a bit more time tweaking because the room rate for an SD room is half the price of the HD rooms, maybe even less than half the price depending on where one goes.
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