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The Costs of Nonstandard Video

 
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ssontech
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Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 611
Location: Valley Forge, Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 10:41 am    Post subject: The Costs of Nonstandard Video Reply with quote

There are a number of new video file formats entering the market, especially driven by Panasonic's AG-HVX200A and now AG-HMC150. You might have an MXF file to work with, or a whole small folder of files for a single shot.

The good news is that these files are based on MPEG and offer good compression.

The bad news is that they are based on MPEG and its patent licensing pool.

I'd love to have SynthEyes be able to read every kind of shot from every camera as directly as possible. But to read them, I'd need to use 3rd party software and licensing, and at present this licensing is very expensive, plus the engineering cost to integrate it must be considered. It would add hundreds of dollars of hard costs to SynthEyes's price.

But this applies not only to SynthEyes, but to every video app on your system that you would like to use these files with. It does not make sense for each and every application developer to spend hundreds of dollars to support MPEG-based files. (OK, Apple and Adobe have a big enough volume they have probably squeezed better prices from the MPEG licensing group.)

What does make sense? The whole point of Apple's Quicktime and Window's AVI/DirectX software is to move file compression from every application to a shared library. SynthEyes and most other apps do not natively decode ANY movie compression formats, that's a job for the operating system.

So, rather than asking "Why can't SynthEyes read these files?" you need to ask "Why can't Quicktime read these files?" or "Why can't Windows read these files?"

I invite you to 'encourage' both Apple and Microsoft to add mxf and avc format support to their respective video libraries. The licensing costs *will not go away*. They are substantial and reading the files will doubtless require a "Quicktime Pro" sort of extra-cost approach. But it makes a lot more sense as an industry to pay that cost once, at a high-volume discount, rather than over and over for each application.

Panasonic and others should be helping make this happen; it is in their interest as well, even to the extent of helping to subsidize some of the development costs. As we all enjoy the fruits of the labor of many to produce efficient compression algorithms, we need to bear the costs, but we can be smart about it!
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LFGabel



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Don't these cameras come with tools to convert to frame sequences? That should be the ultimate goal.
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triplej96



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 40
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is rather unfortunate Russ. I downloaded some footage from a HMC from a friend. As you said I couldn't edit the file naively with Avid so I used this free transcoder from Panasonic www.panasonic.com/avccam

It transcoded the file to DVCPRO HD which worked fine in Avid and After effects. I didn't test it out in Syntheyes but I imagine it would work ok.

Josh
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LFGabel



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If it worked fine in AE it could spit out a frame sequence too.
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triplej96



Joined: 19 Jun 2008
Posts: 40
Location: St. Louis, MO

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 2:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LFGabel wrote:
If it worked fine in AE it could spit out a frame sequence too.


Good point LFgabel. I could easily export some tiff or jpeg frames!
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Animulsion



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Burnaby / Nanaimo / Victoria / Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had been struggling with m2ts footage as well from Sony's hdr cameras. Finally though I have found a free application that will change any video footage nearly from any other type of file into any type of file including a lot of high def formats. It's a freeware project by a commercial company. Anyone interested just message me.

Cheers.
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LFGabel



Joined: 16 Mar 2005
Posts: 298
Location: Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used SUPER before, and it seems pretty robust. It's free too.

http://www.erightsoft.com/SUPER.html
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Animulsion



Joined: 26 Feb 2008
Posts: 16
Location: Burnaby / Nanaimo / Victoria / Vancouver

PostPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2008 8:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Lee!

In fact that's the very application that I was talking about. Unfortunately it's still giving me some grief to try m2ts files that are longer than 4000 frames. (I know that's a lot of frames) but it konks out randomly.
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benyaboy



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 3
Location: NYC

PostPosted: Mon May 25, 2009 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

AVC and MXF support would be nice but I'm just choking on the lack of the most common codecs for 64bit. Most of our stuff has been quicktime or various huffYUV, h264 etc. I have to convert everything into frames or Lagarith avi just to use any of the 64bit applications.

Ben.
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GraphicsKid



Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 484

PostPosted: Tue Aug 25, 2009 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can use VLC player to convert file formats. I use it on the .tod files that my JVC GZ-HD7 spits out.
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