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Old 06-29-2007, 07:19 PM   #1
Mark Von Lanken
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Default Capturing HQ to an external drive

I have a Same Day Edit coming up next weekend. I have done some testing to make sure I will not have any surprises, but I would really like some additional input.

I am working on a Dell Inspiron 9400 laptop. Core 2 Duo, 2.0 GHz, 667 FSB, 2 GB DDR2 667 ram.

In my test I have captured 35 minutes of HDV footage in HQ to an external USB 7200 RPM drive. It edits just fine. I have been told this would not work and I needed to use an eSATA drive, but my test has shown otherwise.

The edit will be farily simple. Slow motion, B&W, dissolves with a couple audio lines.

The Same Day Edit does not have to be in HD the night of the event, but it does need to be in HD for the completed DVD. So what are your thoughts?
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Old 06-29-2007, 07:30 PM   #2
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USB 2.0's maximum theoretical transfer is 480 Mbps, however, this can be significantly reduced by reality and other traffic on the bus (mice, etc).

That said, Canopus HQ averages 120-160 Mbps, so if you're not doing other things over USB and your USB drive isn't fragmented or using a stupid (underperforming) USB bridge, then it should be OK.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:10 PM   #3
Mark Von Lanken
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Hi Brandon,

Thanks for your insight. The drive will have about 300 GB of free space and I will make sure it is recently defragged. I hadn't thought about the mouse effecting the performance of the drive, but it makes sense.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't asking for trouble by editing in HQ on an external USB drive. Thanks.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:22 PM   #4
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Hey Mark....can't wait to see a HD SDE from you guys.

Just so you know I did my first HD project in HQ a few months back. It was a 2 cam shoot of a memorial service. I uploaded and edited the whole thing, even the 2 cams of the service in multicam just fine off of an USB external RAID (WD My Book). Not a problem at all.

I am not standardizing on eSATA external drives and found enclosures with both USB and eSATA on the back. I can use USB on my older systems for encoding and stuff but will use the eSATA version for the main editing. Here is the throughput I got with eSATA and USB. I found an eSATA express card for the laptop (same one you have) for under $40 and got the following results from a Hard Drive speed test.

I got 15+ times RT throughput or 500+ frames per second. (assuming SD editing sized frames). With USB2.0 I got around 6-7 times RT (assuming SD editing sized frames). I was able to edit 2 streams in multicam just fine with an old USB 2.0 drive and CanopusHQ even with color correction on each track.

I would move to eSATA drives from now on....then you get true desktop speed.

I have done a few SDEs with the HD cams but just downconverted each one in cam. One customer did get the HD upgrade for her package but I explained the SDE would be in SD just because I wasn't ready to risk the HD edit with the tight turn arounds. I know it would probably work fine but just didn't want to take the chance since the laptop was still very new and I had not put it through the paces enough to feel comfortable. Now all you and I need is a HD projector and we can do HD SDEs....how cool is that?
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:30 PM   #5
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I agree with Philip - for future (especially if you see using multiple external drives), I would definitely aim for going with eSATA, and USB as a "fall-back."

USB also tends to be more CPU-intensive on storage transfer compared to both SATA and FireWire.
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Old 06-29-2007, 08:50 PM   #6
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Hea Mark,

Because DVD is SD (and reasons from above), I'm kind of surprised you would consider a SDE in HD.

I capture/edit 16:9 DV w/Edius, output to MS .avi and use a laptop for playback, then copy the same .avi to a Mac formatted harddisk and use directly in DVD Studio Pro for a Same-Day-DVD! (w/rockin' menu too) Clients flip!

I use external drives for my SDE's without a hitch. I start with an empty drive and copy any required files from my main editor. No fragmentation... yet. Day of, fragmentation is bound to occur. (shrug)

Thanks Mark for your workshops and inspiration,
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Philip View Post

...I found an eSATA express card for the laptop (same one you have) for under $40 and got the following results from a Hard Drive speed test...


I have done a few SDEs with the HD cams but just downconverted each one in cam. One customer did get the HD upgrade for her package but I explained the SDE would be in SD just because I wasn't ready to risk the HD edit with the tight turn arounds. I know it would probably work fine but just didn't want to take the chance since the laptop was still very new and I had not put it through the paces enough to feel comfortable. Now all you and I need is a HD projector and we can do HD SDEs....how cool is that?
Hi Philip,

I found some PCMCIA to eSATA cards, but then discovered the Dell doesn't have PCMCIA. I found a USB to eSATA, but wondered if it would be limited to USB standards. I didn't know the Dell had an Express card slot. Where did you find the eSATA Express card?

All of the SDE's have been downconverted. Then on that one minute trailer we did is SD, I recaptured it in HD. It was pretty easy since it was only a one minute clip. The difference between SD an HD is eye opening.

When we were down in Tampa I left a copy of the HD trailer with David. He is going to make a Blue Ray copy for me. When I was down there I got to see how the demo SD right next to HD in their sales presenations. It's amazing to see the difference. They are using 2 $750 projectors that have RGB inputs for the side by side comparison, so HD SDEs are not that far away.
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Old 06-29-2007, 09:31 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty View Post
Hea Mark,

Because DVD is SD (and reasons from above), I'm kind of surprised you would consider a SDE in HD.

I capture/edit 16:9 DV w/Edius, output to MS .avi and use a laptop for playback, then copy the same .avi to a Mac formatted harddisk and use directly in DVD Studio Pro for a Same-Day-DVD! (w/rockin' menu too) Clients flip!

I use external drives for my SDE's without a hitch. I start with an empty drive and copy any required files from my main editor. No fragmentation... yet. Day of, fragmentation is bound to occur. (shrug)

Thanks Mark for your workshops and inspiration,
Rusty
Hi Rusty,

The reason I want to capture and if possible, edit in HD for this SDE is because the completed DVD will be in HD, so I would like the SDE to be in HD as well. The laptop handles HDV pretty well, but if it slows down during the time crunch of the SDE, we can always change the setup to SD for that night, but then change the settings back to HD for the final DVD.

We have been using the system drive of our laptop for the last three years without a problem, and that was with a 5400 RPM drive. When we got the new Dell laptop I went with a 7200 RPM drive and have done SD SDEs without a glitch. I was concerned about doing an HD SDE on the system drive.

Thanks for the kind words. We are glad to help out whenever we can.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Von Lanken View Post
Hi Philip,

I found some PCMCIA to eSATA cards, but then discovered the Dell doesn't have PCMCIA. I found a USB to eSATA, but wondered if it would be limited to USB standards. I didn't know the Dell had an Express card slot. Where did you find the eSATA Express card?
I got mine at www.cooldrives.com They had a 34mm eSATA Express Card for under $40. They had a 54mm card on the site but none in stock. The 34mm card works fine .... it just doesn't fill up the entire slot but it is pretty secure in there. It works really well. Like I mentioned .... I can get desktop throughput from the eSATA drives.

I am much more comfortable playing with HQ files on the laptop now and may try my next SDE with HQ files. Problem is I have to retrain my wife to capture with Edius. She does the capturing in SD using Scenalyzer and can have all the scenes named for me before I sit down to edit. She is not an editor and doesn't really want to go there. I wish they made a utililty like Scenalyzer for HD files. That may be the main problem for me doing an HD SDE. Maybe next year when we have a third person along under our new business venture.
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Old 06-29-2007, 10:20 PM   #10
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Recently I did some tests with USB2.0 vs FireWire800...FireWire is about 20-30% faster than USB2.0, even though on paper USB2.0 looks good, firewire is less dependent on the CPU and thus has a faster datarate.

As others have stated, an eSATA RAID0 or even a RAID1 (Mirroring just in case anything goes bad) with 2 fast drives would be more than enough for you. Or Raid 0 if you don't care about security and only about speed.
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