Comparison of Cineform's Codec versus Vegas 6

mdopp wrote on 4/19/2005, 12:43 PM
I did a quick test today to see if there were any differences between Cineform's HD codec and Vegas' 6 new intermediate codec.

So I transcoded a HDV file of 1:10 running time:
Vegas 6 took 3:35 mins to transcode to 1099 MB.
Cineform HDLink (Medium) took 1:38 mins to transcode to 654 MB.
Cineform HDLink (Large) took 1:43 mins to transcode to 808 MB.

Playback speed in full resolution on my 3,06 GHz HT P4 was app. 9 fps for the Vegas 6 file and 6,5 fps for the Cineform HDLink (Large) file.

Conclusion: Vegas 6 took twice the time to render a file 50% larger which plays back 50% faster compared to Cineform's HDLink.

BTW I still can't get Vegas 6 VidCap to work with my Sony HDR-FX1. After I changed the driver to "Sony D-VHS Deck" the error message changed from "... device in use by another application" to "...can not open device". Great.
Capturing with Vegas new internal capture application works fine (as does capturing with Cineform's HDLink and the freeware utility CAPDVHS).
I really miss scene detection for HDV !
Also I miss a decent deinterlacer in Vegas Video. It's about time they come up with something better than those old blend/interpolate fields !


mdopp wrote on 4/19/2005, 1:03 PM
Another funny thing:
I've now tested rendering times with different settings of "Maximum number of rendering threads"
4 threads: 3:35
2 threads: 3:27
1 thread: 3:24
Would somebody from Sony be so kind to explain why one thread is faster than two on my hyperthreading P4 3,06 GHz processor ?
BTW, even when I select "1" the task manager still shows about 80% load on each processor !
B_JM wrote on 4/19/2005, 1:22 PM
as has been shown many times - using HT does not often increase performance in real world experiance .. you still have one cpu, now using LESS than 1/2 its resources per thread ..

in some cases - yes, performance is increased - stil not to the same levels as a dual cpu system and in many cases - HT decreases performance ..

p@mast3rs wrote on 4/19/2005, 1:26 PM
Personally, I prefer using Vasst's Gearshift for working with the capture files. The quality is excellent, albeit a little slower but well worth it for projects intent on high quality.
mdopp wrote on 4/19/2005, 1:27 PM
I'm fully aware that HT can decrease performance slightly depending on the application. However when Sony claims they have optimized Vegas 6 for HT CPU's I would have expected at least a little positive impact...
B_JM wrote on 4/19/2005, 1:37 PM
or you can convert your files into sony YUV (or HUFFYUV-RGB - which is the same quality or better , but smaller file size and extermly fast) and/or Cineform with virtualdubmod or avisynth or procoder or a host of other very very fast methods- many of which are free ..

sony yuv and cineform HD are both available to v-dub now ...
epirb wrote on 4/19/2005, 3:01 PM
you dont capture HDV from your FX1 in vid cap, you do it from the capture button in the media pool. it works fine for me, plus you can set your FX on camera and capture the ;ive feed m2t right into Vegas.
No no scopes on the capture but the live capture ability works I ve tried it. See this post.
mdopp wrote on 4/19/2005, 10:47 PM
As I wrote already in my first mail: Capturing HDV with Vegas new (and undocumented) internal capture application works fine for me.
However I've decided to continue using HDLink because:

- I need to switch applications for capturing HDV or DV anyhow (Vegas new internal capture window offers only HDV and VidCap works only for DV)
- Converting m2t to intermediate avi is much slower in Vegas 6 than in HDLink
- Vegas 6 won't let me choose the compression-ratio of the intermediate codec (HDLink offers "Small", "Medium", "Large" while Vegas always seems to use the "Large" setting)
- Vegas 6 always renders the original 24 bit HDV material out in 32 bit color depth compared to HDLink's 24 bit. Since space is a big issue with HDV intermediate files this is a major concern to me.
- Scence detection is not available in Vegas 6 but it is in HDLink.
tnw2933 wrote on 4/20/2005, 9:17 AM

I agree with your points and I especially miss the scene detection in the Vegas 6 internal HDV capture utility.

However, I have been using Gear Shift and HD Link and here is what looks like a good workflow for HDV projects:

(1) Capture the HDV as m2t files using HDLink. Do not convert to the Cineform intermediary avi format.
(2) Use Gear Shift to convert the m2t files to widescreen standard DV proxy clips.
(3) Place these clips on the timeline and carry out all editing using the DV proxy clips.
(4) Use Gearshift to instantly replace all the proxy clips in the timeline with the m2t files.
(5)Render to the desired format.

This seems faster to me than using HDLink to transcode to the intermediary avi files, and it avoids filling up my HD space with the Cineform intermediary avi files which are huge. The proxy widescreen DV clips are of more than sufficient quality to edit with.

mdopp wrote on 4/20/2005, 10:04 AM
I have to agree - that is indeed a promising workflow. I will look into it and see if I like it.
tnw2933 wrote on 4/20/2005, 1:34 PM
Well, unfortunately there is a flaw in the work flow I posted in the above messages. In ConnectHD when you select in the Preferences not to convert to the intermediary avi format, regardless of whether you have Scene Selection checked or not, it does not split the capture up by scenes but captures until you hit stop. Apparently Scene Selection in ConnectHD is not possible unless you transcode to the Cineform avi files which I now see no reason to do. Since Scene Selection does not work in ConnectHD under these circumstances, I am now capturing the HDV clips using the internal HDV capture utility in Vegas 6 because I can see on screen what I am capturing). However I am not transcoding to the Sony intermediary codec but using GearShift to prepare the proxy widescreen DV files. I then edit with these and then replace the proxy files with the m2t files via one click in Gear Shift. It's not the ideal workflow, but the best that I can see to do until the software enables scene selection in the capture utility with m2t files. I don't even know if this is possible.