Looking for a sync gen

We had a Videotek sync generator go out on us a month ago. It’s been sitting at Videotek since then, and yesterday I got word that they couldn’t reproduce (or, consistently reproduce?) the problem, and were shipping it back. Bummer.

So we’re in the market for a new sync gen. I’m thinking either going with a fairly basic Videotek VSG-201D which is pretty much a direct replacement for the model we had, or else a Tektronix TG700 decked out with the analog burst and digital signal generators. The advantage of the Tektronix is that it does trilevel sync for use with HD. The disadvantage is that I’m guessing it’s about 10x the cost.

Who else makes a decent sync gen? I guess I should just wait till next week to sort it out …

Macbook Pro Stomps a Dual G5?

Creativemac has some benchmarks up of a Macbook Pro (2.16) running Final Cut Pro 5.1 versus a Dual g5 running 5.0.4. The short story is that the Macbook Pro holds it own, and in some cases absolutely stomps the G5. Not terribly surprising – I’m a bit surprised the G5 did as well as it did actually.

I’m going to be seriously bummed if Apple doesn’t give us some more Intel products at NAB. I had a vision the other night of a 13.3″ Macbook in industrial blue. Please Steve?

Announcing: Synergizer

Hoorah! You can download it!

SynergizerOSX-1.zip Synergizer for OSX

SynergizerXP.zip Synergizer for Windows XP

You need to know the IP address of your Synergy. The username and password default to the Synergy defaults, though you can modify them in the preferences. You also need to have Quicktime installed. Should work on any Synergy MD or MD-X, though I’ve only tested it on my 2MD.

Why would you want to use it? Well, first off, it’s your only option on the Mac. Secondly, it allows you to upload any image file format (jpeg, gif, PSD, whatever), and it’ll take care of getting it into the right format for the Synergy. Drag and drop, easy peasy, hoorah!

Edit: Apparently the Synergy doesn’t like ampersands and whatnot. I’ll fix that in the next release, for now just name your files appropriately.

Texas HD Shootout

Mike from HD For Indies put together a gigantic HD camera test down in Austin. He’s got some blurbs up at his site, and there’s also some thoughts here from Zane Rutledge.

I think their initial conclusions are pretty much in line with what I’d predict – the XL-H1 has the highest resolution of the sub-cine-alta pack, the HVX200 has the most organic picture, the JVC is nice but flawed and the Sonys look like Sonys. These are the sort of tests I want to be doing here…

Ok, not that mad anymore

So, even though Apple wasn’t able to help me (“We don’t support the command line”) I got my question answered on the Discussion forums. Apparently Batch Monitor doesn’t properly deal with the -clustername command, so you have to use -clusterid with the full tcp:// URL.

Happy?

I’ll post Synergizer tomorrow – it seems to be working pretty well internally. ‘Course, I don’t imagine anyone else with a Synergy actually reads these boards…

Reverse Engineering a Synergy

The Ross Synergy MD and MD-X lines of production switchers have a pretty cool ability to load images over the network and play them out through what Ross calls a “global store.” This is a pretty cool feature for doing image playout, as it doesn’t require extra equipment, and gives you three scriptable channels of images. With extra software upgrades, you can also play animations using this feature.

There are few downsides, from my point of view. The Synergy requires specially formatted TGA images. Furthermore, the included software for moving images from a computer to the Synergy only works on Windows, and cannot reformat images internally. With that in mind, I decided to write my own interface software. Wanna know how? Click the link.

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