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Jerry Jones
23rd September 1999, 10:26
Here's a post from the Canopus DV Raptor
Users Forum that I found very, very
interesting. It's from Jan De Wever and
his observations of the RT2000
demonstrated by Matrox at IBC within the
past few days:

>Matrox showed the RT2000 (already
>famous here, but as I said before,
>if you look at it closely... a big
>disappointment. Realtime is only true
>on the analogue connections.

>If you need to dump to VHS, YC or
>whatever analog... it's for you.

>Outputting to Firewire still needs
>rendering... about 1.5 to 3.0 times
>real time...

>...the effects are **not** keyframeable
>and there are absolutely no plans to
>make it so. Confirmed by Matrox officials.

>You need the DigiSuite for that.

The post is very interesting and includes
a lot of new informaton about how ARTEL
SOFTWARE is now striving to make the
wonderful BORISFX compositing application
compatible with Canopus RaptorEdit software
and Canopus RexEdit software.

I had good luck with my Matrox Rainbow
Runner, but sold it just this week because
I am convinced DV video is just the best
thing that's happened to video in years.

My Canopus DV Raptor is a gem.

I would've kept the Rainbow Runner if I
could've gotten the Mystique to support
the Raptor... but the MGA chipset simply
doesn't work to support OVERLAY when used
with the Canopus DV Raptor.

So I had to sell the Mystique/RR to get a
new video display card that would support
OVERLAY.

I am not nearly as excited about MPEG-2 as
many people are ... in spite of the fact
MPEG-2 is clearly being the "hot" new
item.

Frankly, I think it's still problematic:

a) where acquisition is from DV camcorders
b) where variations in encoding schemes
can actually take away the benefit of
MPEG-2 and its potential for more compact
file sizes.

Instead, I think my approach will be to
simply buy a DV VCR and store my DV video
on DV tape. In the long run, I think it'll
be less expensive and less of a hassle.

The RT2000 is still very interesting and
I look forward to hearing from those of you
who buy it.

paulw
23rd September 1999, 17:43
Hi Jerry,

You are most likely correct in what you say about the RT2000 and DV. But for folks like me that are using Hi8 and print back to VHS MPEG2 would be a great way to go. Good quality with low resourse over heads. The fact that it ALSO does DV is i feel a bonus for those who will upgrade. Besides whats a bit of rendering these days with P3 500s?? :-)

Elie
23rd September 1999, 20:28
Jerry,

The RT 2000 is not a dissapointment at all.
How many people do you think are gonna output to a DV deck or back to their DV camcorder..???
I think those guys at canopus are also scared and they have every right too http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif

No video NLE card today output's real time DV, so why is it a dissapointment?
The Rex doesn't neither does the DC1000.

If you look at the features the RT 2000 offers.. it put's both Canopus and Pinnacle to shame.

Regards,
Elie

Grigory
24th September 1999, 16:33
I think the expectations were that the card can do transitions in realtime and then the codec inside it can compress output into DV.
This is somewhat possible if you add a codec like what is used inside a camcorder to the card, and provide a digital interface to it.
It is clear not the case.

I personally don't think it is a drawback. I can use whatever transitions I like and render them to DV. This may take a long time if I decide to use non-realtime effect. I suppose that software transitions have much much wider capabilities than what will be possible to do in realtime hardware G400 video processor.

All parts that were not modified are just copied into output file (or skipped while rendering), which gives the speed fro those parts from 0.6 to 0.0 of realtime to render. For transitions, in the case of hardware assistance we get 1.0 of realtime for rendering PLUS compression to DV time. Assume the performance of DV compressor to be x3 of realtime as in the case of say Canopus codec. For hardware effects you get x4 of realtime for transitions.
In my hime movie editing, I have total transition time less or equal to 1/5 of movie length.
So, Export to Tape writing begins after x1.0 realtime or even earlier.
For software only complex effects I might have to wait very long time, but this is true for any card.

I have to add here x1.0 of realtime export to tape process duration.

Finally, I can get for HW accelerated effects x2.0 DV writing time required to make a movie.
I assume that rendering of transitions is done in x4 realtime, from which only 1 unit is for effects, and three for compression into DV. For simple SW transitions like wipes and dissolves in Premiere we get the same timing. The frame(s) is retrieved from hard drive in 1/2 of frame duration, processed in 0.2 realtime, and then compressed in x3 of realtime.

Using Canopus Raptor card and simple software only wipes and dissolves, I can get exactly the same DV to DV rendering performance as in the case of RT2000. Complex effects are a different story. I don't know what is the level of effects comlexity in retail HW accelerated pack of effects. I can only imagine that many of 3D effects that take x100 time in software can be quickly done in G400.

So, TR2000 is good for a movies with a lot of 3D game - style effects.

Next, the ability to create MPEG2 in realtime seems to be the main advantage for home users, provided hardware codec is able to deliver high quality MPEG2.

I think MPEG2 is very attractive for movie storage. For me, I have to choose whether to stor movies on Hi8 tape in DV format (5 $ per hour), our to make 3-4 CD of MPEG2 per hour. 5 CD's give me a balance with media cost.
Typically, it is at least not polite to show a clip longer than 10-15 minutes for your guests http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/smile.gif So, CD storage seems to be adequate for me.

674 MB * 5* 8 / 3600 = 7.48 Mbps. I am pretty sure that MPEG2 with such bitrate can be as good as original DV on average S-video TV set.

I tried to make 5300 kbps MPEG2 with bbmpeg encoder, convert them back to DV with one of so-called DVD-rippers, and got very promising results in quality.
I compared how TV screen looks with original DV and DV made over DV-MPEG2-DV path. There is some quality drop, but the movie is a way better than VHS copy from DV camcorder. The same is true for Hollywood+ card MPEG2 playback on TV.
Note, in DV-MPEG2-DV experiment I checked also the ability to get MPEG2 played on TV in the case hardware decoder will be lost some time.

I expect that I'll be able to recompress/convert this MPEG2 video into another format if say Intel/Microsoft will move to incompatible computer platform 10-15 years later, or a bit will be given N possible values http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif.

I don't believe that "1 hour per GB"
compression is good for anything then marketing division press releases http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif.
2-3 GB per hour look as good saving, compared with 12GB per hour in DV.

I do not believe that DV-MPEG2-DV way of editing/storage advertized for RT2000 is good for editing. However, my tests show that this way is sometimes possible at the cost of reasonable % of quality drop per each saved GB http://forums.murc.ws/ubb/wink.gif. Why Marketing did not calculate such coefficient? Very informative digit, I think.

I doubt that DV tape of any kind has longer life time. I also doubt that current tape media storage solution will not become obsolete some time. In the case of CD, I expect that I can copy files to new media just before the last CD rom drive in the world will fall into recycle bin.
I am not sure about tapes, because they require specialized reading device such as camcorder.
DV tape recorder seems to be too expensive and not permanent long time storage solution for home users.
Any optical storage media that is able to store just files can easily replace MPEG2 CD storage.

Grigory