Re: Digital Conversion
Fri, 6 Dec 2002 04:48:11 -0800 (PST)

Sorry if this topic has since expired, but here's my thought on digital

Most of the real-time MPEG hardware seems to be Windows based, we've had a
tough time tracking down good cards for the Mac, which is our preferred
environment. We've done MPEG-1 projects with Win cards from Broadway,
FutureTel and Osprey. User interface was particularly bad on the FutureTel.
Quality has been pretty good with all three up to about 1.3-1.5Mbps. Realtime
conversion, which you should expect with any hardware-assisted compression at
this point. Osprey also has MPEG-2 cards (again, for Windows) and these seem
to be a good bet, though we're not using them on a regular basis.

You could also skip the workstation altogether and go with a VBrick, Minerva,
Amnis, etc. appliance MPEG-2 workstation. I know VBrick allows recipients to
receive either an MPEG2 stream or a Windows Media stream. It's been a while
since I've looked at Minerva and others. Our campus dorm cable system is all
MPEG2 based multicast and the encoding is done at the server level, but the
library is doing a pilot with the vendor to test different encoding scenarios;
they build their own MPEG hardware.

If anyone finds a nice MPEG2 card for the Mac I'd love to hear about it. Right
now our Mac environment is very much like Judith's, and the only MPEG-2
compression we do regularly there is for DVD mastering. Otherwise, strictly
Real, WinMedia and QT output, with a slight preference for Real due to metafile
annoyances with QT.

> Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2002 14:44:02 -0500
> From: Judith Thomas <>
> To:
> Subject: Re: Digital Conversion
> Message-ID: <>
> We do a fair amount of video digitization - using Mac G4s, Finalcut,
> Cleaner, QTPro and Imovie, depending on the task. We output to a number
> of different formats (especially MPEG1 and soon MPEG4), also depending
> on the intended use. We often write out to DV, DV-cam or mini-DV. We've
> done a fair amount of REAL production but are moving away from that as
> fast as we can. We maintain both a Real and a Quicktime streaming
> server.
> Quality, of course, is in the eye of the beholder. Mostly we're
> creating short clips for instructional purposes - faculty seem perfectly
> happy with 320x240, 1.8 kbps. We've recently embarked on several
> projects where we're creating access copies of VHS or film originals for
> which we have rights. That material is going on tape first; we'll then
> create copies appropriate to the format du jour and the delivery
> environment.
> Let me know if a complete hw/sw list would help -
> Judy Thomas
> On Wednesday, December 4, 2002, at 04:18 PM, Mark W. Kopp wrote:
> > --=====================_28386285==.ALT
> > Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"; format=flowed
> >
> > OK Video Guru's, I have some questions.
> >
> > Of those who are doing some Analog to Digital Conversion (VHS to MPEG),
> > what equipment and software are you using? How long is it taking? What
> > kind
> > of quality are you getting?
> >
> > Thanks,
> >
> > Mark
> >
> > *************************************************************************
> > ***
> > Mark W. Kopp
> > Circulation Coordinator
> > Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8
> > Instructional Materials Services Department
> > 580 Foot of Ten Road
> > Duncansville, Pa 16635
> > (814) 695-1972 Phone
> > (814) 695-3018 Fax
> > E-Address:
> > mail
> > See us on the Web at:
> > <>
> > Click on; "Instructional Materials Services"
> >
> >
> >

M. Claire Stewart
Head, Digital Media Services
Marjorie I. Mitchell Multimedia Center
Northwestern University Library