Latest post Mon, Jul 11 2016 9:28 PM by Bruno M. 32 replies.
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  • Tue, May 31 2016 10:37 PM In reply to

    • doxilia
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    Re: Hardware Issue and Solution Path

    Bruno M:

    doxilia:
    I also understand that Avid has put a "hardware DNXHR" encoder into their box but I'm wondering if this is of any benefit to our workflow. Does the encoder assist on playack for multiple streams of DNXHR or is it essentially useful for the capture of 4K media via SDI/HDMI?

    As far as I understand it, the DNXHR hardware is only useful if you're ingesting from an external source (tape or disk based) or in some live situation. Most of us are getting our footage as file based, so the Avid DNXIO is just an expensive break-out box. Seems to me if you really need all those pro connections, you may as well get the Blackmagic version. Otherwise, save yourself some money and get one of Blackmagic's cheaper options. I have a Decklink SDI 4K in an HP workstation and it works fine with Avid, Resolve, AE etc. Technology changes so quickly these days that whatever you buy is going to be outdated and overpiced within six months!

    Bruno, it sounds like we're on the same page with this DNxHR hardware encoder in the Avid IO. Unless the encoder assists in playback decoding of DNX timelines (i.e, the BoB is decoding the streams of DNX), it is more or less useless for our workflow since most all material is ingested in the form of data transfer from FS7/F55 cards.

    There are only two scenarios I can see where this encoder might help:

    1) The BoB accelerates the transcoding of XAVC (or RAW) material into DNX over pure CPU transcode.

    2) Sony comes up with an HDMI/SDI based low cost XQD card reader to allow high speed ingest of XVC material into DNX.

    Lacking either of these two scenarios, I can't see any advantage (other than perhaps Avid support but that is also debatable) to the Avid IO vs the BMD box. Further, I'm not certain if the Avid box has hardware assisted H.265 encoding whereas the BMD apparently does (at least the Extreme 3 box). I can see H.265 being a central codec in the approval process of 4K delivered content for us.

    Bruno M:

    doxilia:
    On a related subject of IO, we're also going to need a 4K "client" monitor (i.e., attached to the box) and after having read about the available options, it seems we're currently in a time of compromise.

    I'm in a similar state of mind concerning a suitable 4K replacement for my current HD tube monitors and (original) dreamcolor display. Unless you can afford to spend the sort of money required for a Flanders or Sony OLED, compromise is the name of the game. My thinking is going something like this...

    1) I must be able to calibrate the monitor, so that rules out the LG 31MU97

    That was my first reaction to an otherwise "appealing" spec monitor. I can't understand why LG would release a monitor which has defective USB connectivity if that is the main communication path for calibration software.

    Bruno M:

    2) The Dell seems good value, but reviews have complained about the quality of the panels, with uniformity across the screen being a problem. Also, the Dell profiling software seems to introduce banding issues.

    3) The Dreamcolor Z27x has also come in for a little criticism concerning it's uniformity and light bleed, but I think this has improved with the latest batch of monitors. The Z27x isn't a full UHD  display - you can input UHD, but it will either resize or you can view a portion of the entire image with 1:1 pixel mapping. It does have it's own calibration engine built-in, which will take a variety of professional probes. or will talk to Calman software (over USB) to provide a professional calibration solution.

    4) The Z32x is pretty new and I don't have a lot of info about it. Some reports about it having inferior contrast to the Z27x.

    5) The BenQ PV3200PT is also quite new and in-depth user reviews don't seem to exist. Don't know much about it's calibration options as this is something that manufacturers don't seem too keen to explain.

    6) The Eizo Coloredge CG248-4K has had good reviews. Full UHD monitor with it's own pop-up probe for quick calibration. 100% Rec 709 and 93% DCI gamut and the ability to interface with external calibration software makes this a favourite.

    So, my current choices for a rough $2K budget would either be the Coloredge, or the Z27x (for the colour-critical work) with an additional, cheaper UHD monitor which could also be used as a client monitor.

    Bruno

    While some monitors are not out yet, I'm leaning toward the concept of using dual GPU DP connected 709/P3/sRGB colour calibrated monitors. It seems that the vast majority of these monitors sport HDMI 1.4 ports (4K @ 30 Hz max) and if we are looking for 48 Hz refresh for DCI 24p playback, DP 1.2 (4K @ 60 Hz) is the only viable "low cost" (non multi thousand dollar) option. I would use dual QHD 27" or UHD 32" monitors (the nVidia K4000 should be able to drive them) with the software interface in one monitor and 4K image in the other. A secondary HDMI 2.0 4K TV could be used for screening without relying on it for colour accuracy.

    I'm leaning toward a pair of the Eizo CG248-4K or, if they prove to be "good enough", the BenQ PV270 which aren't UHD but are boasting 96% P3 colour space.

    The considerably more expensive TVLogic LUM-240G might be an option at some point in the future but at that point, there will likely be other comparable 12G SDI solutions.

    David

     

  • Fri, Jun 3 2016 3:53 PM In reply to

    • doxilia
    • Top 500 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Oct 13 2005
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    Re: Hardware Issue and Solution Path

    Bruno,

    so we took some decisions. Based on Eizo's information and their good reviews as well as your wise advise, we decided to go with the setup you suggested. We're going with the 24" Eizo for colour and an E-series 4K Vizio for client monitoring. As for signals, we decided to stick with the 6G BMD Decklink 4K Extreme as 2160p60 is not something we're likely to do in the near future. We basically need support for DCI 23.98p, 24p & 1080p23.98/i59.94 as well as occasional PAL related frame rates.

    Given the I/O of the card, we're runing into a signalling and distribution question which I'm sure everyone else has to deal with as well. The card has two 6G SDI outputs (and equivalent inputs) as well as one HDMI 2.0 each for I/O. Here are my questions to the Decklink card users and their wisdom:

    1) Can the SDI outs be set to different resolutions but same frame rates simultaneosly? For example, 2160p23.98 on one and 1080p23.98 on the other? This would enable feeding both a 4K image and an HD image at the same time to two different monitors.

    2) What quality would be better in order to put up TWO 4K images with HDMI inputs: a) HDMI out from the card with a 2-way splitter going to each monitor (the Eizo and the Vizio) or, b) HDMI out to the Vizio and SDI out with an SDI->HDMI converter to the Eizo? My thinking is that splitters can cuase serious degradation to the image put up on the colour critical Eizo.

    3) If the SDI taps on the DL card cannot be set to output different resolutions, what would be the best approach to output from this card 3 images: 2 in 4K and 1 in HD?

    The last question is basically stemming from my desire to avoid having to buy two additional converters to put on the SDI outputs: 1) an SDI->HDMI converter for the Eizo at 4K and 2) an SDI 4K->SDI HD downconverter for our existing Panasonic HD monitor. Much of our work is still being done in HD but it would be nice to have a setup which allows software to control the output resolution of the DL card and not have to rewire or plug/unplug boxes and cables each time we switch between HD and 4K.

    My preferred route would have been to take one SDI out in HD to the Panasonic HD and the HDMI out in 4K to the Eizo with the latter having a loop out HDMI to connect the Vizio client monitor but I suspect that independent resolution output is not possible nor are HDMI loop outs something present on professional (Eizo) or consumer (Vizio) panels.

    As an aside and all together different topic, is there a good low cost solution for scopes on 4K output? Does BMD have a reasonable solution that might help in solving part of the issues above?

    TIA, David

  • Mon, Jul 11 2016 9:28 PM In reply to

    • Bruno M
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Thu, Feb 11 2010
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    Re: Hardware Issue and Solution Path

    Hi David,

    Sorry, only just seen your recent post on this subject! It used to be that I would get email replies to posts (I have the checkbox ticked) but this has stopped happening recently. Others have reported this problem, so I don't think it's anything at my end.

    Anyway, back to your post. I think you're right in saying that the Decklink cards will only output one common signal to both outputs. I had a look at a video of someone setting up their Decklink 4K Extreme using the Desktop Video utility, and under the conversion tab, there seems to be only one setting for input and output. I think you may be forced to consider some sort of converter box. I would suggest having a look at the AJA range of boxes, which are generally more fully-featured. I believe they have a 4K box that has SDI and HDMI outputs that can have different resolutions. They also provide more options for colour-depth and whether you want YPbPr or RGB outputs, which may be important for the monitors you're feeding. Assuming you can get two identical outputs from your decklink, you could feed the Decklink's HDMI 4K into monitor 1, feed the SDI 4K to the AJA input, then set the SDI and HDMI outputs to 4K and HD for your second and third monitors. The downside is that the AJA boxes are generally twice the price of Blackmagic boxes. I have a couple of AJA mini converters myself, and the config utility (which connects via usb to the converters) is generally superior to Blackmagic's offerings.

    doxilia:
    is there a good low cost solution for scopes on 4K output?

    Proper 4K scopes like the Leader LV5770A or the tektronix WFM8200 are horribly expensive, somewhere between $8k to $14! Blackmagic have the SmartScope Duo 4K which is priced under $1000 but I don't know how accurate it is, athough Blackmagic claim it has broadcast accuracy. That would probably be your best option, as it's self-contained, rack mountable and has a SDI loop-through connection.

    Once you have all your monitors connected up, your next job will be getting them to all look roughly the same, otherwise your clients are bound to prefer the look of their client monitor over your grading monitor!

    Bruno

    HP Z800, HP G3 Studio, SonnetFusion RAID, Mojo DX, Decklink 4K, Symphony 2020, JVC DTV1910 HD tube monitor, HP Dreamcolor, Avid Artist Color, Avid Transport... [view my complete system specs]
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