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  • Xdacm transfer speeds and large project

     Andy Mees updated 13 years ago 3 Members · 4 Posts
  • steve knattress

    May 8, 2009 at 9:10 am

    I have just finished a motor racing project using dvcam ingest from XDcam optical discs using sony’s XDCam transfer software V2.9.0

    I had my external G-raid2 1TB FW800 drive connected to an express34 FW800 card and a sony PDW-1500 connected to the internal FW400 port on my 17″ 2.66 Ghz MacBook Pro (4G memory)

    What speed transfer should I have expected?
    The sony transfer software showed that I was getting a 2.5x RT transfer rate from the dvcam material off the 23GB full XDcam optical disks. (A quick test with an IMX50 SD XDCAM gave approx 1.5x RT with my system)

    Every one tells me that this should be quicker!
    (there was a total of some 700GB of material: 5 cameras covering a motor race weekend, recording continuously(ish) for each race, multclip worked a treat for editing , an interview cam, together with 4 on-board mini dv cameras… The ingest took for ever!)
    I did experience some delays and crashes when my project got to 300MB, Even a trim and some housekeeping only got it down to 200MB, There were seven multicam race sequences nested inside a final programme sequence.

    The PDW1500 is meant to have twin optical heads, is 2.5x all I can expect from FW400 FAM?
    There is a network connection. would this be faster?
    With avid I could edit with the proxy files (50xRT import) then “make hi-res”, this is not an option with fcp.

    What speed are people experiencing with xdcam tranfers?
    Would a PDW-U1 be faster?
    What are the options (cameras,computers,drives,decks?) in speeding ingest up, or am I at a maximum? We need to do it again next month!

    Thanks Steve.

  • Mark Raudonis

    May 8, 2009 at 3:02 pm

    2.5X RT isn’t fast enough for you? Geez. You must be too young to have worked with linear tape!

    [steve knattress] “Every one tells me that this should be quicker! “

    Who is “everyone” and what are their qualifications?

    I think you’re confused between “proxy” ingest and full rez ingest. Yes, proxies load much quicker.
    And NO, you can’t edit with them in FCP without transcoding them to a FCP friendly format.

    [steve knattress] “With avid I could edit with the proxy files (50xRT import) then “make hi-res”, this is not an option with fcp. “

    You’re misinformed. We do EXACTLY that with FCP and XD-CAM. It’s the classic “off-line to on-line” workflow. You’re going to need to figure out some workflow details, but it can be done.

    We use multiple PDW-U1’s in “FAM” to ingest mountains of media. Did you know that you can runTWO pdw-u1’s on the same computer… simultaneously? You can buy several PDW-u1’s for the cost of one 1500 and be able to bring in multiple streams of media simultaneously.

    At NAB this year, there was a company in the Sony booth demonstrating a system that uses SIX PDW-U1’s to ingest six streams simultaneously on one computer. They added a second USB card to make it work. I’m told that the bottle neck is the USB speed Not the disc read speed. This system was not available yet, so don’t bother looking for it.

    Meanwhile, either suck it up at 2.5X or figure out the “proxie” to on-line workflow for FCP.

    Mark

  • steve knattress

    May 8, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Hi Mark, thanks for your input.

    2.5X RT isn’t fast enough for you? Geez. You must be too young to have worked with linear tape!

    Not that young, I started on VR2000, over 30 years ago! (2 inch days of edivue and the microscope.)
    I am used to tape offline-online editing as well as broadcast avid fcp work.
    I have not however previously used FAM ingest from XDcam so was unaware of what speeds to expect.

    [steve knattress] “Every one tells me that this should be quicker! ”

    Who is “everyone” and what are their qualifications?

    I think you’re confused between “proxy” ingest and full rez ingest. Yes, proxies load much quicker.
    And NO, you can’t edit with them in FCP without transcoding them to a FCP friendly format.

    The production team and cameraman were saying they had seen it faster!.
    It turns out that they had been viewing short clips, not the 20min plus continuous race clips that I was importing.
    It is mentioned in the 1500 manual that due to dual optical heads the theoretical speed with dvcam was 5x, but I am now satisfied that the 2.5x was what “every” one else gets!

    I know the proxy files import at about 50x, and very good they were to, via the sony software to preview the rushes.
    The proxy files can be exported from the sony software as mp4 files with 8Khz audio from the proxy cache, and carefully re-named to match the xdcam files.
    As you state the nine+ camera angles would then have to converted into a FCP friendly format for multi clip editing.
    I believe also that if I were to try to batch ingest, after the “offline” the clips need to be imported in their entirety. ( ie a 5 sec shot used in a 1 hour clip would need all of the clip to be ingested?
    Unless I decompose the offline sequence and real time video digitize the sub-clips from over 20 xdcam discs (using the 1500 in RS422 video mode.)
    The avid ability to automatically, via a menu item, to “make hi-res” would appear to be simpler, but just as time consuming.
    If all the continuous running cameras were used at least once, all the camera clips would still have to be ingested I believe?

    We use multiple PDW-U1’s in “FAM” to ingest mountains of media. Did you know that you can runTWO pdw-u1’s on the same computer… simultaneously? You can buy several PDW-u1’s for the cost of one 1500 and be able to bring in multiple streams of media simultaneously.

    Thanks for the information about the capabilities of the PDW-U1s. Are they faster than a 1500 at FAM or the same? (1.5 xdcam, 2.5x dvcam from xdcam?)
    I assume that I can use 2 usb ports for this on a MBP simultaneously, or do I need a hub?
    Do I need two copies of the sony xdcam transfer software running or will one copy cope with two xdcam drives?

    Meanwhile, either suck it up at 2.5X or figure out the “proxie” to on-line workflow for FCP.

    Perhaps I should have said to “easily” use the proxies!
    I don’t believe the time constraints on this programme would helped by a proxy workflow…
    ingest then edit, or edit from proxies then ingest ?
    …unless any one know better…?

    Thanks again Steve

  • Andy Mees

    May 9, 2009 at 12:17 am

    In my experience, 2.5x RT is about right for ingest of 25Mb/s material from XDCAM HD optical discs.
    One of the factors that might have skewed expectations is that many (many) folks now use and equate XDCAM as being XDCAM EX, to the point at which if one sees the term XDCAM one can assume what’s really meant is XDCAM EX. XDCAM EX users are generally shooting the larger 35Mb/s HD format to SxS cards or similar, and these cards can be mounted directly in an ExpressCard 34 slot for direct file access which is of course offers a much faster than file transport over FW400 or USB2. As such, the import speeds reported are much much quicker than those for ingest from XDCAM HD’s disc format, even with the newer twin read capabilities of the U1 and 1500 decks.

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