Sunday, January 17, 2010

Uncompressed video from HDMI out

One of my readers, Ultraman38 has commented in my post, "Burning DVD's and File Size (dated May 6, 2009)" that it is possible to capture uncompressed video by using a video capture card such as the Blackmagic Intensity, from the HDMI output port of the HD2000. Several comments later another reader Khalis, commented that he is also trying to do the same thing. Since I am a stranger to this stuff, I think it is best that I start a new post on this to enable easy access for Ultraman38 and Khalis as well as other readers who may be interested in the same subject,. Otherwise this stuff may be hidden under that old post and escape the attention of other interested readers. Thus I have reproduced the relevant comments on this subject verbatim from that old post below.

Here goes. Quote.

1. Ultraman38
its so awesome that the cradle has HDMI out, Im doin some research and finding using a capture card such as the one made by Blackmagic Intensity Pro can really make a diff. The video is somehow compressed when recording to the SDHC card, but if you have it connected to HDMI with the BM card you can capture up to 1080i/59.99 fps uncompressed! It will require a RAID video card w/ lots of memory and 3 harddrives becuz the files will be so huge, but the possibilites are endless! But this will be more for studio recording where you have the computer and camera connected.

2. Ultraman38
I tested and hooked up the cam with cradle to LCD thru HDMI and the camera outputs to LCD while connected to HDMI in record mode! I even was able to zoom in and walk around a lil bit, but Im limited as the HDMI is connected. If you wanna see how awesome the potential for capturing live uncompressed HD is, do a google search for Black Magic Intensity Pro Capture, you will come across sites that state how wonderful it is to be able to capture raw, uncompressed HD.

3. Me
Hi Ultraman38, very interesting. What exactly is the setup to view on external LCD while recording? Normally once recording starts, the output to HDMI is cut off and only the camcorder LCD shows the recording.

4. Ultraman38
well, yes, it doesnt record when you press record but that dont matter your not recording the video with the video camera(that would be compressed HD and defeats the purpose), your capturing it with the BM capture card, just make the settings the highest setting- 1080p and then the footage will be captured by the card. The video will go out from the cradle HDMI and directly into the capture card. I will update you on this as Im awaiting the card. I also understand the BM card works will w/ Adobe Pro CS4. keep in mind all this uncompressed video is more suitable for studio shoots and indoors where the camera will be connected to your computer while capturing.

5. Khalis
Hi, Ultraman38! I'm also trying HD2000+BM Intensity Pro -- not working, the card can't see camera. I'm in Win 7, all the drivers are new. If you get luck please share =)

Funny, right after I wrote here I get first pictures.. If anybody interested: in the camera tv out mode is auto, hdmi-cec is on (but maybe it doesn't make difference), in Media Express v 2.0.1 (program frome the Black Magic site) input mode either 1080i 59-something or 1080i 60, unfortunatelly Intensity doesn't support 1080ps.By the way camera in this mode doesn't show anything on it's LCD, and ON LED is orange when connected.

6. Ultraman38
yeah, I had the same problem, called tech support and told me to make sure the cam is outputting 1080i NOT 1080p. I changed the output in the cam and finally got a picture to capture. To give you an idea how much space uncompressed HD holds, Adobe Premiere gave me an estimate of 1 hour video/ 500GB space! Now Im having problem with getting sound and also not getting the BM card to record my PS3 thru compenent video. I may return this card and get another it may be defect, called tech support countless number of times and not resolved it.


So dear Ultraman38 and Khalis (and other interested readers), this post is all yours and you can add your comments to yours hearts' content. Enjoy the testing and the discussion!

Ronald Kwok

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Playing video files on Media Player

Stand alone media players are now becoming very popular and recently I had the opportunity to test run some HD2000 videos on two media players, one the Western Digital WDTV and the other, the Sony PS3. OK, the PS3 is not exactly a media player but many people use it as such in addition as a game machine. Below are the results and since I do not know which version of firmware both units have, this may not be the latest but just a guide. Both were connected to a HDTV with HDMI cable.

For both players, I used a test video each shot with the HD2000 in the following resolutions.

1. Full HR, 1920x1080, 60p
2. Full HD, 1920x1080, 60i and
3. Full SHQ, 1920x1080, 30p

First the PS3. Both the 30p and 60i video played without problem. When it came to the 60p, the video played smoothly but at a lower speed; roughly it was at one and a half times meaning a 2 minute clip played for 3 minutes and thus the video played as slow-motion. The audio played correctly at the normal speed and so the audio finished ahead of the video and is out of sync. The last third of the video played in silence.

What about the WDTV? As in the case of the PS3, both the 30p and 60i videos played correctly. There was also problem playing the 60p video. In this case the video played correctly most of the time but at certain intervals, the picture breaks while the audio started playing OK but soon became jerky and finally became dead.

Thus the 60p videos cannot be handled correctly by both the WDTV and the PS3 and I wonder if there are any media players out there that can play these videos properly. Any users with such a player should leave your comments here for all to share.

So if you intend to make use of the WDTV or PS3 to view your HD2000 videos, shoot at the lower resolution of 60i or 30p. For normal video for casual viewing, there is not much noticeable difference from the 60p. You will also save some file space and will have less headache using external editing software. After all, other consumer camcorders only offer 60i or 30p as their highest resolution.

Ronald Kwok