Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

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AlexLOGIC

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Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostFri Oct 19, 2012 8:46 pm

Which black magic converter do you recommend for converting Betacam SP masters with 2 tracks of audio to HD 720p 16 x 9?
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Albert Chu

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostSat Oct 20, 2012 11:49 pm

Hello Alex,

Our only converter model we have that does upconversion is our UpDownCross, but this will be SDI/HD-SDI input and output only, (and not analog, which you would need for your Betacam). You could first convert the analog out of the Betacam to our Analog to SDI Mini Converter and then take the SDI out to our UpDownCross to upconvert but this would be via daisy chaining two converters, so this may not be the most elegant solution.

Our Teranex 2D can do this this as well but it might be a slight overkill for what you are looking to do.
Albert Chu

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Blackmagic Design USA
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostSun Oct 21, 2012 11:39 pm

I am a bit surprised. There are many betacam sp masters from the 90's and even beyond that people want to simply bump up, as is, with no fancy stuff.

I'm a bit surprised how the world works sometimes. There were a lot of truly authentic projects edited in the 90's, one edit at a time, with built in color correction, audio correctly laid in, that don't need tweaking, just uprezzing.

I have a better understanding of video and audio levels, contrast issues and how they relate to color correction, than 99% of anybody who does it now, because I did it step by step, over and over. I'm amazed at how many people don't comprehend the difference between zero base line IRE and 7.5 baseline IRE.

I kind of feel disrespected that you can't offer a box to rescue betacam sp masters and put them on HD in one easy step, no computer editing system necessary.

Can you recommend a box then? Just one box, that converts my betacam sp master to HD 720P, 16 x 9. By the way, betacam sp is such a resilient tape stock that people are still shooting the format, seems a waste to not avail yourself to these experienced, knowledgeable people.
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Liam Kennedy

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 3:02 am

He did recommend a box... just one box. The Teranex 2D. That will do what you want. Compared with the cost of BetaSP decks - it is still a bargain.

And...what would cause someone to be "disrespected" because a company doesn't happen to have the product for them they expected they would have. Very odd approach to life.

Hopefully you can feel un-disrespected now.
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 4:54 am

This has been an ongoing battle for me for years. It seems that unless one is forced to buy an actual non linear editing system, the person does not exist and has no history of being a creator of finished works. The disrespect aspect is that in the 90's people had to spend 100,000 dollars or more to set-up an edit bay. That was the precursor to gear coming down in price. Now the prices are lower for everybody but the people who spent the most money in the 90's.

2 grand, that's my reward for producing an edit master that needs NO correction or adjusting other than format uprezzing.

I spent 10 years making several hundred tape edit masters, yet, if I owned a mac mini, I can't use the capture cards. But even if I could, I could not just create a finished online file, I am forced to run it into a non-linear editing program and expose it to unnecessary codecs.

If I try and buy consumer grade transfer gear, some set-ups either just don't work, like the audio function does not work and the products get rebranded and sold through secondary markets. Or, the set-up is strictly for streaming copyright content.

It's a real slap in the face to not just be able to get an affordable box that does a straight conversion from a very professional format. I don't direct all of my experiences towards black magic, it's just the same story, over and over. Betacam SP edited master directly into a computer for uploading, nope, can't have it, unless I spend 2 grand.

great.
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Joshua Helling

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 6:41 pm

Today it's 2 grand. 5 months ago it was 40 grand. Slap in the face is an odd way to look at it. As technology improves prices drop. Prices are high, when something is on the very cutting edge of what can be done at the time. A few years later, what required expensive hardware is now done simply with the cheapest computers.

It's the nature of the industry. It's evolving, and it's bringing more tools to more people. It sounds like you spent a lot of time doing quality work. Now we're providing a new set of tools for you to sustain that. But we've also made those tools at a price that other can afford as well. It's not personal. Providing more tools to someone with good levels of experience doesn't put you at a disadvantage.

But...back on topic. The Teranex2D will do what you are looking for beautifully.
Joshua Helling

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Blackmagic Design Inc.
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 7:51 pm

From your perspective, what you say makes perfect sense.

I've been following the issue of SD conversion to digital and now HD for the past 10 years. From my perspective it's been a ten year wait, and now that the prices have come down, I no longer have the resources to purchase your product. Why did I have to wait ten years? I'm not blaming your company, it's rhetorical, yet valid question. Answer, because people that actually did the grunt video editing work in the 90's were quickly marginalized by the non linear industry.

The idea that for the past ten years I was forced to incorporate a non linear editing codec capture for my already finished, edited, color and audio corrected betacam sp edit masters, which degrades the quality by the way, and then recompress it again for placement on youtube or other video venues, seemed like an extra, inefficient step to me.

I did a test ten years ago, Pioneer hardware based dvd burners blew away anything the computer NLE's could do in terms of quality and length of the product. The pioneer hardware based burners could make a 90 minute dvd look good even at some of the lowest quality settings.

I agree your Teranex 2d is probably a welcome, low cost hardware breakthrough, but it's probably too late for me at this point in the game specifically because of the investment I made back then, and all the waiting I have done since.
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Liam Kennedy

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 8:16 pm

I'm curious. What exactly have you been waiting for?
What is it that you want to have that would somehow leverage the investment you made in the 90's into something that would work for you now?
What actually is it that you have anyway (what asset)?
Is it those edited masters hanging around on BetaSP tape?
Does that represent some stock footage library you are wanting to sell?

In any case it would seem to me at least that whatever you created in the 90's will likely have a limited shelf-life going forward. You either have to get it out of that format and in to something that matches what is expected now - or risk losing whatever investment you have made so far. Seems like a simple equation to me. Is the value of the masters you have is greater than the cost of hardware / systems to convert it?

I'm also somewhat lost in your argument about how you are forced in to an NLE world when all you want to do is to transfer and upres your footage to HD and then needing to work with a "CODEC".

It's certainly possible for you to get that footage upresed using a service. There will be a cost-per-tape of course... and you will need to determine if that will be cost-efficient.

The SD world (at least as far as digital transfers) still lives inside of codecs... you can't get away from that. The HD world is no different. Of course with the appropriate hardware you can store your digital masters in an uncompressed format. You just need $$$$ for all that storage.

So... you have a choice to make. Being angry at the industry will make no difference to the result.
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 10:03 pm

Valid Questions, Liam.

I'll answer your questions, but first I have a question about your Teranex 2d. Does the Teranex 2d convert betacam sp to HD, then output it as Pro-Res into the mac mini if I want that choice? And if the mac mini only has a firewire interface , can I still use a Teranex 2d?
---------------------------------------------

I was a member of the original group of editors that sat with "screenplay" for a weekend when they were designing their hardware based non linear editor. It was a decent and I assume continues to be a decent product, but I felt it had issues regarding hard drive costs always being behind the times and much more expensive, so storage costs seemed an issue for me. If a person was just editing, making a few copies, and then deleting, that would be less of an issue.

Prior to Screenplay, I saw computer based NLE's that worked off of field resolution for their transitions effects, which looked absolutely horrible because of the aliasing it created on people's faces.

Before that, I witnessed Avid change their model numbers from AVR 20 series and suddenly go to the 70's, basically dropping the value of the AVR 20 series by over 10,000 dollars overnight, I veered away from considering Avid after that stunt.

When I wanted to upload 30 second commercials, I was held back by youtube limitations that were based on 10 minute projects, so I was hardly using any bandwidth and the projects never looked anywhere as good as they could have.

I also wanted to use segments as various educational demos, and didn't think it made sense to upload video that had the quality muted the quality.

I'm not so much bitter as somewhat odd that people that just created their own projects from film and high end betacam sp in the 90's were forced to run it into a non linear system codec, and use up far too much computer hard drive space, when the project was already done, as is.

And yes, I do have film stock footage that would be nice to show off as HD versus the very low quality compression scheme I had to settle for in the past.

I'm glad you made your product and that it is available.
Last edited by AlexLOGIC on Mon Oct 22, 2012 10:15 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Joshua Helling

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 10:06 pm

AlexLOGIC wrote:Does the Teranex2d convert betacam sp to HD, then output it as Pro-Res into the mac mini if I want that choice? And I only have a firewire interface, can I still use a Teranex 2d?


No. It will convert the signal to HD. Then HD will be passed as an uncompressed signal to the iMac. The iMac will then compress it to ProRes if you have selected this as the format to capture with. You could also select 8bit or 10bit YUV as well (which is uncompressed). But as you mentioned hard drive space is a bit tight, so you could either buy a Thunderbolt attached drive array (like the Promise Pegasus) or capture compressed.
Joshua Helling

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Blackmagic Design Inc.
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 6:09 am

If the transfer is in real time, as it leaves the Teranex 2d as an HD file and enters the Mac Mini, is the Mac Mini actually converting the uncompressed HD signal to a compressed Hi Res signal if that is what is selected?

Or does the uncompressed HD signal enter the Mac Mini as an uncompressed HD file, then, once the transfer is done, I create a new file as a MAC compressed Hi Res file?


What software would I be using? Can I avoid using an NLE software codec, and can I use a firewire interface?
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Liam Kennedy

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 6:41 am

Firewire = NO (not capable of capturing uncompressed HD anyway)

Thunderbolt = YES

That will allow you to capture in uncompressed - no NLE needed.

However... like it or not you will HAVE to deal with the world of compression and codecs at some point. In order to share that video with anyone - you will have to get used to converting that uncompressed master into some compressed format.

It's nice of course to have something uncompressed - but unless you have the budget of a film studio (which your prior posts would seem to indicate you do not) it will not be practical for you to store all your masters in that format.

EDIT: Typos
Last edited by Liam Kennedy on Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 7:14 am

I have no problem with compressed and uncompressed codecs. I would just like to avoid NLE platforms for projects that are already completed.

However, I think I did find a Black Magic box that might satisfy what I need short term.
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Liam Kennedy

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 7:28 am

What box?

EDIT: I see from another post you are asking questions about the H.264 pro recorder. I thought you wanted something that will up-convert? How will that help?
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didikunz

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostThu Oct 25, 2012 8:01 am

The Teranex has also HD-SDI outs, so that you can record your work to HDCAM SR if you don't want to go inside a computer. The HDCAM SR's are cheap, just sell one of you houses and one is yours. :D
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Peter_r

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:47 am

Could you just go from the Betacam SP deck to the Teranex, straight to a Hyperdeck Shuttle, and bypass the computer altogether?

i.e. http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/product ... ckshuttle/
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Peter_r

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostThu Dec 06, 2012 1:57 am

AlexLOGIC wrote:From your perspective, what you say makes perfect sense.

I've been following the issue of SD conversion to digital and now HD for the past 10 years. From my perspective it's been a ten year wait, and now that the prices have come down, I no longer have the resources to purchase your product. Why did I have to wait ten years?


The reason for the wait is that to uprez SD to HD in real time requires a *lot* of computing power, fast buffers etc. and there was no way to do that cheaply, the tech just did not exist at a low cost until recently.
In the year 2000, 4GB of RAM would have cost you $3000 for example, and one TB of storage would have cost you between $8000 and $15000.

There is no conspiracy against us old fellas, it is just that going from analogue to digital, especially in realtime requires a lot of CPU power, a lot of memory and a lot of storage. It just wasn't affordable until recently.

http://www.mkomo.com/cost-per-gigabyte
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AlexLOGIC

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Re: Betacam SP transfer to HD 720p 16x9, which converter?

PostTue Jan 07, 2014 6:59 am

In reading back over this topic I realize I left out something that I should have stated in the beginning. All the transcoders that were being made after 2000 for almost a decade required a full size computer so a board could be installed inside of the computer.

Having just purchased a mac mini around 2007 I discovered that the standalone devices were just not that good and were made for the consumer crowd and the for those who wanted to copy and store TV shows. And because I had a mac mini I could not use any board based transfer system.

The blackmagic video recorder is a terrific option for non HD uprezzing and is compact as well. (however an extension cable does help prevent the device from surreptitiously disconnecting from the computer)

I am interested in the Teranex 2d but don't think I have the room for it near the computer and betacam sp deck.
Is that still the most cost effective option from Black Magic?

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