Following on from the question about displaying video in Pro Tools that we covered in Podcast 5 that John from New York posted on the Linked In group. This information initially came from a post on the DUC. I have added some comments of my own but respect must go to Carles Vila from Barcelona for putting this together and starting the ball rolling.
1. QuickTime to desktop monitor (1st, 2nd or 3rd monitor port, with or without DVI-video adapter)
Any Mac or PC with a secondary DVI or equivalent monitor output
PROS: Cheapest solution. Low latency. Good quality when DVI or VGA is used. Handles most codecs quicktime can play back. You can use a DVI or VGA splitter to feed multiple screens for the client, the VO booth and for the engineer.
CONS: You only have one monitor left for Pro Tools. Uses CPU for video decoding, thus less power available for other tasks (such as RTAS). Output only. Does not output a native video signal: may cause visible tearing due to refresh rate not equal to frame rate.
2. Canopus converter (ADVC110 is the most popular and approved by Avid)
Any Mac with Firewire port (Firewire 400). FW 800 to FW 400 adapter cable may be needed. Should be used in a dedicated Firewire 400 bus, not in the same bus as interfaces or audio hard disks.
PROS: Cheap hardware. Controlled latency (about 18 quarter frames) . Captures SD analog video in DV format as a bonus (using third party application). Frees CPU from video decoding.
CONS: Mac only. Video must be available in DV format. SD only. Composite or S-Video output only. Irregular and unpredictable sync
Any Mac or PC with Firewire port (Firewire 400). FW 800 to FW 400 adapter cable may be needed. Must be used in a dedicated Firewire 400 bus, not in the same bus as interfaces or audio hard disks.
PROS: Direct Compatibility with Avid video files (MXF). No latency with avid video. Captures video directly into Pro Tools session in sync. Frees CPU from video decoding. Mojo can play out anything quicktime plays. Mojo with reference feed is frame accurate. Mojo can play MXF files directly from the editor.
CONS: Quite Expensive. SD only. Struggles with codecs other than Avid’s. Hogs a full firewire buss. If this is a problem and you have a spare pci slot then consider the Blackmagic card.
There are a lot of older Mojos on sites like Ebay
Main system must be Pro Tools HD. Needs a second computer dedicated exclusively to video output. Connects to the main PT system via Ethernet.
Secondary computer could be a Mac Mini, but then you’re stuck with the drawbacks of desktop video quality. For best performance, secondary computer should be a Mac Pro with a Decklink HD card.
PROS: Dedicated, stable, scalable and flexible solution from Digidesign. Frees main CPU from video decoding.
CONS: Relatively Expensive, hassle of second computer
Also see this post on the DUC here
6. Chase video deck
Pro Tools System with Machine Control ability and of course a pro video deck.
PROS: You can use professional deck for direct playback and layback. No capture or conversion needed.
CONS: Very specific workflows. Tape-based, linear. Additional wear of deck heads. Downside when editing: forward-selecting to picture is not possible because PT only outputs positional info when selecting backwards.
Notes:The Rosendahl Bonsai Drive can be used as a standalone non-linear VTR, eliminating the drawbacks of tape-based decks. SD only. However it was discontinued in Dec 2010.
Any Mac Pro with a free PCI-e slot
PROS: Very good price/performance. Avid approved solution. Accepts all Quicktime-playable codecs. Very good video quality. Controlled latency.
CONS: It uses CPU Power for video decoding. Does not capture into Pro Tools or handle Avid video, unlike Mojo. Doesn’t work on PCs, so Mac only
See also notes from the Avid Knowledge Base
Third party software installed on a secondary Macintosh computer for dedicated video playback and recording.”Can be externally controlled via Midi, Sony 9-Pin protocols or TCP/IP, and can also synchronise playback, chasing timecode, even in multi-channel configurations.”
PROS: Basically the same as Video Satellite LE
CONS: Basically the same as Video Satellite LE, Mac Only
Other useful links