Capture Magic HD Monitor Magic

HDV is slow

There is a lot of work involved in monitoring HDV. With normal DV, whether it is standard definition or high definition, each frame is discreet so when monitoring, frames can be dropped, and apart from a lower frame rate, there are no other issues.

HDV however is very different. HDV frames are compressed so that there is an I-frame, which is a self contained frame just like a DV frame. However after every I-frame there are fourteen frames that are difference frames. You start with an I-frame, and then in order, each difference frame is applied, and importantly, the difference is cumulative. What this means is that difference frames cannot be dropped because if you drop one, then all frames will be corrupt until the next I-frame.

So what can you do to optimize Monitor Magic and Capture Magic HD if you are having performance problems? There are two option in the Preferences Panel on the Devices tab that you can use. The first one is sampling. This means that sampling for preview, waveforms, and all the other scopes can be done on a full frame, a half sized frame or even a quarter sized frame. This will help a lot. This even works for DV, not just HDV.

If you recall the explanation for how HDV works, then another option is to ignore the difference frames. This will lower the frame rate, but if you are trying to control lighting in a scene, then this is okay. To do this, select the Decode I-Frames only option.

Capture Magic HD Capture Magic SD

Apple Remote Support

Apple RemoteWith the launch of Capture Magic HD came a version 1.2 update for Capture Magic SD. Both these products have support for a cool new feature. If you are lucky enough to own a Mac that shipped with an Apple Remote, then you can use this remote to stop and start recording from across the room. This is great when you are focusing your attention on your talent. You don’t need to step away from them to start recording!

To use the remote, first go into the Preferences and enable the Apple Remote. One enabled, Front Row (the Apple application that uses the remote) will no longer work while Capture Magic is the active application. Instead, Capture Magic uses the remote. To start recording press the Play/Pause button on the remote – that’s the big one towards the top of the remote. You’ll hear a beep and recording has started. Once you are done, press the Play/Pause button again and recording stops and you get another beep to let you know.

If you have other ideas that you think the remote can be used for then let us know and we will look at integrating the best features that are suggested.