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Sony DV Tapeless Workflow for RT.X2

Tapeless workflows are rapidly becoming very popular because they eliminate the lengthy process of capturing footage from video tape to the editing system hard drive. Video clips recorded to flash media in the camera can be quickly transferred to the editor’s hard drive at faster-than-realtime speeds so he/she can get right to work. In fact, the editor may be able to edit directly from the flash media when a compatible card reader is attached to the edit system, though transfer to a hard drive is recommended.

The popular Sony HVR-Z7U camcorder can record DV video directly to a Compact Flash card, but the Matrox RT.X2 hardware does not work with the DV AVI Type 1 files written by the Sony unit. While Premiere Pro will accept Type 1 or Type 2 files, Matrox requires Type 2 files for realtime playback.

Type 2 files follow the VfW (Video for Windows) standard, with the audio recorded as a separate file in the DV data stream, while Type 1 files have the audio multiplexed into the video stream. Type 1 files are slightly smaller than Type 2, and perhaps this is why Sony chose to write Type 1 to the flash memory.

Sony also makes an optional accessory recording unit called the HVR-DR60 for users of other Sony camcorders having 1394 output. The DR60 records the same Type 1 DV files as the Z7U camera, so RT.X2 users will run into “red lines” in Premiere Pro with these files as well.

The fix is to convert the Type 1 files to Type 2 so they will play realtime in a Matrox DV project. The quick and easy conversion method is to use a conversion utility from Canopus, who has for many years provided DV capture hardware for PC editors. The free Canopus DV File Converter software should allow you to quickly find and download this handy utility – you can download it here.

Conversion can be done on individual files, or you can quickly batch convert an entire folder at once. Using the Microsoft DV AVI 2 setting produces files that work in realtime with the RT.X2 hardware, enabling users to enjoy a realtime, tapeless DV workflow.

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Sony DV Tapeless Workflow for RT.X2