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Author Topic: Video Mixer  (Read 5871 times)

E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2007, 09:16:52 pm »

Love our Tricaster, but desperately wish Newtek would build something HD. I like their products a lot, otherwise. They tell me there's nothing on the horizon that can switch any source higher than SD.  Even the full-blown toaster with it's fancy configurable inputs has the same 720x480 transition layer.

I knew about the Studio in advance, without knowing any details, and was hoping they'd step it up. No love.

I think I'm going to check out Kramer's "dual seamless" scaler next. I have a fade-through-black from them which has done its job as a $1700 item. Some weird frame rate things going on with it, though, like it can't find synch.

Video is expensive.It's getting tougher to sell, with people responding "But I can buy a projector at Office Max for $800!"
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E. Lee Dickinson
Advanced Visual Production Inc.
sound - lighting - video - design
www.avpric.com

Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2007, 10:07:36 pm »

E. Lee Dickinson wrote on Sat, 27 October 2007 21:16

Video is expensive.It's getting tougher to sell, with people responding "But I can buy a projector at Office Max for $800!"


Video can sure bowl some people over. While I can usually understand why stuff costs as much as it does, the one place I really don't seem to understand is when it comes to "cameras" as a category.

Why does a decent fluid head cost 5 grand? Why does a decent (HD) camera block cost 45 grand, why does an HD tape recorder cost 60+ G, and why the F*^$ does that block of glass cost more than my freakin house.

I guess the reason is high technology in an extremely limited market share, but it still never ceases to amaze me.

Karl P
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Sean Hayes

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2007, 10:24:41 pm »

Hey guys, thanks for all of the info. I don't think I am ready to jump into video. It seems to be too big of an investment for how much action the equipment will see. By the time I have enough video bids, my $40K of equipment will be out of date and needing replacement.


Thank You all,
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Sean T. Hayes

Dave Bjornson

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #13 on: November 08, 2007, 11:23:27 pm »

Don't let these old jaded guys scare you off. Laughing
In a small market you can make some good dough with a rugged small setup. Mine is based around the Panasonic mx70, Laptops with s video outputs, two sanyo xp45s, two 10.5 x 14 fast folds,  a small 12 box meyer upa/dm1000 rig, 8 sticks of global truss, 6 rigstar 1 tons, an old strand cd8o dimmer, 24 source 4 fixtures and 300ft of 16' velour P+D. I rent cameras as needed. It ain't rocket science.
I grossed 175k with this rig last year. Paid for everything in 1 year. I bought almost every piece used, resulting in huge savings. Get some clients and the rest will follow. The key is great customer service and effective, creative designs. It's a much easier world to make a profit than SR.
FWIW, I found the Anycast to have unacceptable latency.
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E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2007, 12:03:45 am »

Dave's right. Perhaps it's different in other markets, but everyone I know has worked their way up. No one rolled out of the gates wtih an initial $100,000 investment.

I too started with s-outs on computers into SD switcher, but quickly grew into clients who wanted their 8pt font powerpoint tables legible. Me, I was taught to always use at least 20pt fonts on presentations. Razz

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E. Lee Dickinson
Advanced Visual Production Inc.
sound - lighting - video - design
www.avpric.com

Chris McDonald

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2007, 05:03:37 pm »

We have started to offer video services without breaking the bank. We are using a dual scaler switcher VP-727 Kramer electronics that gives us 8 inputs, a pair of Canon GL2 camcorders, a few low end projectors and a pair of fast fold screens. So far our clients have been happy with the results. We can't take on every contract in our market but our investment has been well under $20,000. The projectors and screens alone have paid for them selfs many times over in the past 2 years. Generally the gigs have been paying for the equipment as we buy it.

The setup we are using is limited. The switcher does not do any form of keying or downstream key. It has limited built in titling which is pretty useless. The transitions are pretty limited and to get a clean switch you must preview the next source first. We generally operate at 1024x768(the projectors native resolution) but the switcher is capable of 1080p. The inputs can be anything from SD video up to full HD. There is no SDI or HD-SDI support but it will take Y/C, component, RGB, RGBHV, RGBS. For monitors I'm just using a pair of cheap LCD computer monitors.

I've gone with all HD-15(VGA) cables with various breakouts. On some jobs they just feed the projectors. On others I use them sorta like a poor mans "triax" carrying y/c video, intercom and video preview(but not power ofcourse). Lots of cables, adapters and amplifiers are a must. Don't forget to factor that into your cost.

I'm also doing video production on the side so I'm looking at picking up a pair of Canon XL-H1. They seem to be the best bang for the buck on the market today. They have component out and HD/SD-SDI for when I upgrade to a real production switcher. The only thing  I don't like about them is the dinky connector for the component out and the placement there of.

On the last job we ended up adding a scan converter to our inventory. The client wanted everything recorded to DVD and the VP-727 doesn't do SD interlaced out. We just recorded to a consumer grade dvd recorder which worked fine. As a backup both cameras were recording to tape and I had a copy of there power point presentation. It wasn't till the night of I found out they needed a highlight real edited down and shipped out to there home office for a board meeting 3 days later. That would be easy if I didn't have to edit on a laptop in premiere. Which took a day to transfer the tapes to and rip the DVDs, then I lost another day when we found out it had to be shipped the day before...

The biggest problem I've been having is finding skilled people to  operate the cameras and switchers. We are in a very limited market that is a days drive from anywhere.
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E. Lee Dickinson

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2007, 08:14:59 pm »

Hey Chris, I've been looking at the 727. Do you ever see any weird frame rates or jerkiness with it? I have a VP724 that shows some flakiness with fast camera moves and full motion video.
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E. Lee Dickinson
Advanced Visual Production Inc.
sound - lighting - video - design
www.avpric.com

Chris McDonald

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #17 on: November 12, 2007, 01:08:22 pm »

E. Lee Dickinson wrote on Sun, 11 November 2007 21:44

Hey Chris, I've been looking at the 727. Do you ever see any weird frame rates or jerkiness with it? I have a VP724 that shows some flakiness with fast camera moves and full motion video.



I haven't had any problems with the VP727 at all. The video quality is great. Well the transitions are nothing great, I just use straight cuts and cross dissolve anyway. PiP works pretty good too, though it doesn't always work as expected, its something along the lines at RGBHV with YC pip works or vice versa but not YC on YC. I'm not really pushing the abilities of the unit at all. I'm only running at 1024x768 and the inputs are typically two PC's at 1024x768@60hz on RGBHV and 2 cameras running 480i over YC. It does take a moment to sync up on the preview before you can get a clean switch. I wouldn't want to have to do a complex production on it.

In someways I wish someone would make a quad scaler. Two more preview buses would be great. But then you might as well go with a real production switcher and a few independent scalers.
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Karl P(eterson)

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Re: Video Mixer
« Reply #18 on: November 12, 2007, 07:04:37 pm »

Chris McDonald wrote on Mon, 12 November 2007 13:08


In someways I wish someone would make a quad scaler. Two more preview buses would be great. But then you might as well go with a real production switcher and a few independent scalers.


Check out the Barco ScreenPro 2.

It gives you a native resolution background, a transitioning layer or two non transitioning layers as well as a DSK. It also has SDI input and output options.

It is a full look-ahead preview as well.

It isn't a miracle machine but considering its price, its great.

If you want an even bigger rig, take a look at the Encore system, you can put together stuff with up to 12 scalers per screen.

Karl P
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