View Full Version : A (un)compression question

09-10-2003, 08:42 PM
I am about to buy a Video Toaster.

My DPS Perception quit on me a few days ago, after 8 years of reliable and loyal services.

The Perception was great in that it was able to stuff hours of video, hundreds of thousands of frames, in only 36 GB of disk space.
By moving forward to the uncompressed 'feature' of the VT[3], I have concerns about the huge storage I may need if I want to keep on working with these massive video files.

Does the Toaster works _only_ uncompressed, or it does allow one to 'activate' some compression option, and have the frames to be recorded at a 2:1, 4:1, 5:1 or even smaller file size? I am doing feature films (720x486 video), and usually work with an average of 4 hours of video stored on the video drives. I don't really need full scale quality, all the time, and I can easily live with compressed quality of 7MB/second, which roughly equals to BetacamSP quality.

Does the VT[3] allow to record 7MB/s or it is locked to 30MB/s?

Thanks. This answer will decide if I go VT[3] or not.

Paul Lara
09-10-2003, 10:00 PM
You can work uncompressed, but also capture and store files in several compressed formats, including

09-11-2003, 05:43 AM
OK, MJPEG is just like the Perception, right? Recording ten second of video cause the Toaster to create a folder with 300 JPEG frames in it.

This is what I need.

Thanks ever!

Paul Lara
09-11-2003, 06:10 AM
No, MJPEG is a motion jpeg format, saved as an AVI. The advantage of MJPEG is that you can apply variable compression. It looks very good at compressions of 3:1, but if you need a lot of off-line footage, you coulc crank it way to up 20:1 or greater if you wanted.

09-11-2003, 07:20 AM
OK I see... I guess I won't see anything like the Perception anymore...!
I guess editing AVI files or uncompressed ones is no big deal. Problem is just with me being used to edit with folders of thousands of frames. I must have been too long with the Percpetion!! Hehe


Jim Capillo
09-11-2003, 05:31 PM
Big storage is pretty cheap nowadays. Many folks are getting decent results with IDE RAIDS.

Uncompressed is pristine! :)

09-11-2003, 05:41 PM
I have been told that IDE drives do work with video editing, but due to the demanding needs and sustained data rate, they are likely to have a shorter life. How true is this?


Jim Capillo
09-11-2003, 06:24 PM
Geeze, I don't know. I can tell you that I've had my IDE RAID in the machine for almost 2 years now with no failures of any of the individual drives. :confused: They are (4) 40gb's and they report around 76mbs on autoconfigure.

09-11-2003, 06:27 PM
Well I'd say that 2 years with no flaw is already a good average. I'd buy that!


09-11-2003, 10:22 PM
BTW, uncompressed is 22mb/sec, not 30. ;)

09-12-2003, 02:33 AM
I replaced a "dead" PVR with a VT2, later the PVR was revived (I put it on a different motherboard and it worked again!) But I don't use it anymore, it's SOOOO slow compared to the toaster.

Loading and saving PVR files on afterFX, or Aura or LW took 30 times longer than the toaster with MJPEG, DV or RTV(uncompressed). You can use any drive in your system capable of playing the video.
The machine that hosts the PVR is now mostly an AFterFX station that renders to MJPEGs in Morgan codec to be sent to the Toaster host for mastering to tape. Sometimes I render as PNGs so I can have image sequences that are small, uncompressed and with alpha channel.