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View Full Version : Clarification - MainConcept, PH Mode, Mac?



ullanta
11-09-2008, 01:24 AM
I'm just wondering if anyone can confirm:

1) The MainConcept transcoder supplied by Panasonic works well, with all modes of footage, and framerates? No problems as we see with PH modes / framerates in other software?

2) Can anyone confirm whether this transcoder will work under any of the virtual Windows environments available for Mac (Parallels/ VMWare, etc).

3) Does the transcoder let you, e.g., transcode 720p30 AVCCAM to 1080p30 DVCProHD, to preserve the full-raster resolution?

4) Has anyone used a workflow involving 720p30 PH AVCCAM -> ManConcept -> DVCProHD -> FCP?

Thanks in advance for any onformation from your experience!
-Barry

Geoffrey Robson
11-09-2008, 10:32 AM
I can only comment on your second question by saying that today I tried using the MainConcept transcoder with Wine on Linux. Although everything appeared to work fine, the XML files in the CLIP directory were not written, so FCP couldn't see the clips. Very annoying, since it seems the transcoding itself worked fine. The version of Wine I used is quite old (0.9.5 something), so it would be worth trying a more recent one. I'll post back if I have any success.

Geoffrey Robson
11-09-2008, 03:11 PM
I've just tried the MainConcept transcoder with Wine 1.0 without success. The XML files in the CLIP directory still aren't being produced. I'll see if MainConcept can suggest a solution. It might be something really simple to fix.

ullanta
11-09-2008, 04:31 PM
Interesting - thanks! Maybe someone running MainConcept under "real" Windows can comment?

ullanta
11-11-2008, 02:02 AM
bump... ANYONE using the MainConcept transcoder for PH mode?

ullanta
11-12-2008, 07:53 PM
bump

mcsmooth
11-13-2008, 10:16 AM
1) The MainConcept transcoder supplied by Panasonic works well, with all modes of footage, and framerates? No problems as we see with PH modes / framerates in other software?
I have yet to see any issues with anything I have thrown at it (and used with PPro) although I have mostly worked with 24p and 60p settings. The non-PH modes should have worked with the old version, but I am pretty much only using PH and as mentioned, have not had problems. I can't speak for other NLEs.


2) Can anyone confirm whether this transcoder will work under any of the virtual Windows environments available for Mac (Parallels/ VMWare, etc).
Can't confirm, but I would guess you might have better luck with Parallels/VMWare (than Geoffrey did with wine) since the program isn't doing much other than number crunching.


3) Does the transcoder let you, e.g., transcode 720p30 AVCCAM to 1080p30 DVCProHD, to preserve the full-raster resolution?
Unfortunately the framerate and resolutions are constant. What you put in is what you get out, there are no options. Download the documentation, there is a table that explains exactly what you get from every type of input.

This is a bit of a drag for many of us who work in 720p since there is a noticeable loss in sharpness. So if you needed to shoot something, edit in DVCproHD right away and get the best quality, I think 1080 might be the way to go for now. Ideally, I would just like to be able to edit/output with DVCproHD now, then know I can replace the source clips with the MTS originals and re-render to better quality when the NLEs have ironed out the bugs. Editing natively seems to be a hassle for even those with monster machines at the moment, so this workflow could be valuable for some time.


4) Has anyone used a workflow involving 720p30 PH AVCCAM -> ManConcept -> DVCProHD -> FCP?
I thought I read people were having trouble with 30p transcoding from FCP, so hopefully this method works better.

ullanta
11-13-2008, 11:45 AM
Thanks, McSmooth - I had only been looking at ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/Panasonic/Drivers/PBTS/papers/green_avccam_combined.pdf for some reason, and a seemingly much older document. Since your setup seems to be working well... any chance you'd wanna sit the camera on a table and shoot a card's worth of 1080p30, and see if you can transcode it? (As I mentioned in another thread... I've been able to do a little testing on an old, slow T42 laptiop, and it works fine in general but always stops in the middle of hour-long clips with an "a frame couldn't be read" error...)

mcsmooth
11-13-2008, 01:01 PM
The only reason I hadn't already tried things like this is that I'm totally out of disk space (and dvcprohd eats another 6x the space). Fortunately a TB disk was just delivered today. I'll give it a shot, my card will fill up well before the drive is done formating!

ullanta
11-13-2008, 04:07 PM
Great, thanks!

You always do such a low-level format of new drives?

mcsmooth
11-14-2008, 10:34 AM
The clip I took was 98 minutes, 1080p30 spanned over 4 files. Transcoded overnight with a P4 2.8Ghz. Importing to CS3, don't see any issues at all. I would expect the file to work with any P2 NLE, but can't verify this. If you try to transcode one of the spanned files, the program actually warns you that the beginning of files (other than the first) may lose frames. This makes it pretty clear that spanned files are intended to be treated as a single clip. Software that doesn't will likely have issues. I would also guess that software that works with non-PH modes and fails with PH was probably not designed with that mode's different encoding in mind and can be fixed in an update.

It may be old habit, but I never quick format a new disk. Most drives that fail early will go within the first month (if they aren't already DOA) and often show signs there may be a problem. Full format checks the entire disk for errors (checking the SMART info is key too). I would rather find out problems up front rather than after valuable data is on it. ;) I've noticed the larger drives today seem to have a much higher fail rate, so until I have an insane array, I'll prob stay paranoid. Format was under 3 hours, was expecting much longer.