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PCIe desktop card in laptop - HDMI import?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by NoahFuLing, 19 Aug 2007.

  1. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Hey, it's been a while. I've got a question for all of you knowledgeable people. It involves many things; HDV cameras, HDMI, PCIe, and more, so everyone can get involved! (By the way, I'm still not used to the new classification system, so if this is the wrong tag, I'd be happy to change it if I can {can I?}).

    I'm about to purchase an HV20. Now, when I'm on the go, I'll certainly be recording to miniDV in HDV. However, in my soon-to-be-finished studio (complete with stage lights, green screen, and microphones, if the theatre director complies), I'll want to be recording in the highest resolution possible. Now, the Canon HV20 has a sensor that records full 1920x1080 at 24p, and that is what is pushed over the HDMI-out when in live mode (albeit with 2:3 pulldown). However, as soon as the signal goes through the DSP, it goes down to 1440x1080, as well as dropping the overall image quality and colorspace from 4:2:2 to 4:2:0. On to the method of importing.

    I plan to purchase a BlackMagic Intensity card to import the uncompressed video over HDMI. However, since I don't want or need to invest in a Mac Pro (although it's a thought), I want to find a way to get this video onto a MacBook Pro. However, given that the MacBook Pro only has an ExpressCard/34 slot, I need to find an inexpensive method of converting a PCIe desktop-style card to an ExpressCard/34. The two solutions I've found are the Magma ExpressBox, costing a whopping $729USD!, and the Catalyst PCIE2EXP, costing about 275euro. The AJA IO HD is unfortunately out of my range, being something like $3000USD. I don't mind spending $250/$350USD on the card itself, but I don't want to spend 2-3 times that amount just to be able to use it.

    Anybody have any ideas? Also, if anyone can provide solid proof that the HDMI-out of the HV20 is not, in fact, raw 1920x1080 from the sensor but in fact upscaled 1440x1080 from the DSP, I'll drop the whole thing. Thanks!
     
  2. sandys

    sandys Multimodder

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    Haven't really got a clue about what you are talking about so what I am about to say could be complete rubbish but if the sensor is 1080p which looking at reviews it appears to be, and the DSP output is coming out at 1440x1080 then the only thing I could think of there there is that the DSP is not handling 16:9 and outputting 4:3 perhaps there is a setting you have missed?
     
  3. NoahFuLing

    NoahFuLing What's a Dremel?

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    Basically, the sensor in the HV20 seems to have a raw pixel output of 1920x1080. That's square pixels. In the camera's compression, these are converted to 1440x1080 rectangular pixels at a ratio of 1.3333. This means that in post-production, the resolution can be uprezzed back to 1920x1080 (as far as I can tell, it's certainly a more complex process than that). The problem is that I'm losing color definition and the compressed HDV video doesn't look as good as uncompressed. Therefore, I want to capture the raw output of the sensor minus all of the compression.

    However, as per this thread on Adobe Forums, I seem to be getting mixed answers about whether the HDMI logic is BEFORE the DSP (the top fork on the image about halfway down) or AFTER (the bottom fork). If the HDMI is before the DSP, then that means the HDMI out is getting the true uncompressed 1920x1080 picture, complete with 4:2:2 colorspace. If it's after the DSP, then it's just upscaling from the compressed video, basically what I'd already get if I took it from the tape.

    My question is therefore a 2-part one, I'll try to restate it in a clearer manner.
    -(A) Is the HDMI-out from the Canon HV20 taken from the uncompressed pre-DSP signal, or the tape-quality post-DSP signal?
    and
    -(B) If part A results in the signal being uncompressed, is there a way to convert a desktop-style PCIe card to a laptop ExpressCard/34 style card without spending more than the card itself costs (I.E., ~$350USD)?

    Sorry if I was unclear!
     

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