2 Replies Latest reply on Aug 30, 2010 3:24 PM by BVX3001

    XDCAM XD files in .mov form for Windows import

    BVX3001 Level 1

      A clent spent two weeks shooting in Mexico and brought me a portable drive with nearly 2000 clips / 500GB / 20 hours of footage. I had expected XDCAM EX files in the BPAV folders that I've worked with before. The shooter instead assumed I had a Mac like him and transferred them all from the SxS cards to the drive resulting in re-wrapped .mov files which will not open in Premiere CS5 which lacks the right codec.  The original files are now long gone.


      Thanks to a search here I found that Calibrated{Q} XD Decode has worked for people. I've installed the trial version and it indeed works pretty well, but my new loaded MPE system cannot handle more than a few layers before smooth playback turns to stuttering. Rendered sections look fine.

      So I'm wondering if XD Decode is still the best available tool of choice out there or if there's something new that I can't find. Or would I be much better off in the long run using a Mac and FCP to export everything out in a form my system would rather play with?


      I don't have a RAID on this new system yet - could that be the bottleneck?


      Thanks much in advance for any help, insights & suggestions!


      -- David


      System: HP Z800 w/ dual quad core, 24 GB, NVidia Quadro FX4800, 7200 RPM drive, Win 7, CS5 Production Premium

        • 1. Re: XDCAM XD files in .mov form for Windows import
          Colin Brougham Level 6

          Blame Apple for the lack of a Quicktime XDCAM codec on Windows...


          How many layers results in "stuttering?" Two? Five? Ten? If you're talking about five or so, that's probably due to a hard drive bottleneck issue; even though the compression is pretty high on XDCAM (35mbps), multiple streams can add up quickly and lead to stuttering on a single drive. Beyond that, XDCAM is MPEG2 compression, and so that incurs some processor-overhead to decode (even the native files would suffer this).


          However, if it's only a few clips, you've probably come up against the limitation of 32-bit QuickTime support. Adobe had to develop a translator of sorts to enable QuickTime playback (which is still 32-bit on Windows; again, thanks Apple) on the 64-bitness that is Premiere Pro CS5. There is some overhead involved in this on-the-fly conversion, so that may be a factor in the stuttering.


          You could tried batch converting the files to DVCPROHD using AME; AME will create a P2-compliant folder structure, and while the bitrate is higher on DVCPROHD (100mbps, though actual muxed rate depends on the format of the DVCPROHD you encode to), there is less processor-overhead needed. It's going to be a case of "six of one, half dozen of the other," I'm afraid. You could also consider an offline workflow, where you transcode to something more editable yet, like DV, and then swap out the DV files for the XDCAM files later.

          • 2. Re: XDCAM XD files in .mov form for Windows import
            BVX3001 Level 1

            Thanks for those insights Colin. Yeah, I've learned that a lot of this is due to the sometimes petty Apple vs Adobe & Microsoft battles.


            My dropped frames were coming on just three layers with the XD Decode codec.  Good call on the AME suggestion -- it seems obvious now and with the added codec it can definitely help with this. The resulting .mxf and .avi test files I've just created can do a dozen layers or more, though I found the mxf files 60% larger and avi's around 250% so that's the penalty.


            I'll keep exploring.  Luckily, this project doesn't kick into full gear until late October.