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MoviePak FAQ

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An Introduction to RasterOps Video Digitizers

  • What is the MoviePak system?
    • The MoviePak2 product line was a QuickTime video system that has been available in several configurations. The MoviePak system captures and plays back full frame, full motion video and can output directly to NTSC or PAL. MoviePak2 also inputs and outputs RGB directly, allowing high-end encoding into broadcast video or Betacam formats.
    • There are three components to the MoviePak system. The first is the digitizing card, or base card. This card digitizes the incoming video (from a VCR, camcorder or camera) and converts it to a form that a computer can process. The base card allows the Macintosh to grab individual video frames and show live video in a window. The base card is also a Macintosh display adapter that provides 24-bit color monitor support.
    • Each captured frame of video is very large, however, and a constant stream of video simply contains too much information for your computer to do much with it without some kind of compression.
    • This is where the second component, the MoviePak2 daughtercard, comes in. The MoviePak2 attaches to the base card and compresses each digitized frame. This reduces the amount of data enough that every frame of video can pass over the NuBus and be stored on your hard drive. The end result is a video clip that can be edited using any QuickTime editing package, such as Adobe Premiere and played back on your computer monitor as full frame, full motion video.
    • The third part of the MoviePak system is our Video Expander II encoder. The Expander attaches to the output of the base card and converts the analog RGB video signal into one that can be displayed by a broadcast video monitor or recorded by a VCR. A television with a video input connector can also be used. The Video Expander II outputs in S Video or Composite video. The Video Expander was available in NTSC and PAL formats.
    • The base digitizing cards have been produced in four varieties. All support true 24-bit color. These cards include the 24XLTV, 24STV, 24MxTV, and MediaTime. All of the cards support an Apple 13" or 14" monitor, or larger multisync, at 640x480. The 24MxTV will support up to a 16" or 17" monitor at 832 x 624. The 24XLTV (the base card of our MoviePak2 Pro Suite) will support up to a 21" monitor at 1152x870. The 24MXTV and 24XLTV both feature QuickDraw acceleration and PAL support at a full 768x576 resolution. The MediaTime offered 16 bit 44.1 KHz stereo audio digitizing & playback.
  • What are the differences between the MoviePak I and the MoviePak II?
    • MoviePak I only captures 640 x 240 while MoviePak II captures a full page 640 x 480.
    • MoviePak II has user-selectable compresssion rates and MoviePak I does not.
  • What Macs are recommended as hosts?
    • If your requirement is full-screen, full-motion, 30-frame, 60 field video, we would recommend the use of a Quadra 800, 840AV, 900, or 950. Changes made in the NuBus of the Power Macintosh make full-screen capture and playback very difficult.
    • The MoviePak system is compatible with any NuBus Power Macintosh, full-screen, however full-motion video is not possible.
    • While the Quadra 800, 900, 950, and 840AV are the only Macintoshes supported for full-frame, full-motion video, all other NuBus Quadras are capable of doing industrial-quality video with the MoviePak2 system, capturing and playing back 30 fields/second at 640x240. Pixel doubling will yield a full 640x480 playback.
    • All Mac IIs except the II, IIx, & IIcx will work wit the MoviePak system, achieving at least 320x240 capture with full-screen interpolated playback.
  • Why don't you suggest Power Macs?
    • The MoviePak daughtercards were designed very specifically to be used in the NuBus of the Quadra 800, 900, 950 and 840AV. Apple made many changes in the timing, structure, and operation of the NuBus when the NuBus Power Macintosh was designed.
  • I'm determined to use a Power Macintosh. Is there anything I should know?
    • Full-frame, full-motion video capture and playback is only possible with the MoviePak system when used in conjunction with a Quadra 800, 840AV, 900, or 950. The MoviePak cards will function as accelerated display cards and as frame-grabbing cards in any NuBus Power Macintosh. The MoviePak and MoviePak2 compression daughtercards function unpredictably in a Power Macintosh.
    • Your 24XLTV, 24MxTV, 24STV, or MediaTime board requires ROM v2.0 to achieve correct performance with QuickTime version 2.0 or later, System 7.5, or the Power Mac. This upgrade is available at a nominal fee. You can check your ROM version by looking at the small, white number at the top, right-hand corner of your startup screen. Contact RasterOps Technical Support for more information.
    • Incorrect termination and other problems have been widely reported on the Power Macintosh 8100. The termination is on the middle slot; avoid it if possible.
    • Use of the sound features of the MediaTime card may cause crashing or other unpredictable effects.
  • Why don't you support the Mac II, IIx, or IIcx?
    • Unfortunately, we can't offer code support for non-native 32-bit addressing and 32-bit QuickDraw in the most recent ROMs for our 24XLTV, 24MxTV, 24STV, and MediaTime. This means that the current versions of these cards will not function correctly with the Macintosh II, IIcx, or IIx.
  • What drives are suggested for use with MoviePak?
    • "A/V compatible" (Disk Arrays) drives are a requirement for good results. These drives do cost more as they offer the ability to store massive contiguous amounts of data nonstop. Most non-A/V drives must pause at regular intervals to thermally recalibrate (tcal). For most other applications, which can stand slight pauses in the read/write processes, this is not a problem. The MoviePak system, on the other hand, cannot wait for a drive to timeout, recalibrate, and resume video capture. There is simply too much data streaming. The usual result of thermal recalibration is dropped frames.
    • Below is a chart of data rates in the MoviePak2 video format. Please keep in mind that manufacturers' claims of disk performance are often difficult to replicate on a daily basis. Often these manufacturers quote burst rates under ideal conditions, rather than sustained rates that users will actually see. In our experience, subtracting about 30% from the manufacture's claimed sustained data rate will give you a fair indication of how that drive will perform with the MoviePak system.
  • Data Rates in the MoviePak2 Video Format (@30 fps)

      Compression Quality Settings Resolution - Least - - Normal - -
          Most - Standard 8MB/min 32MB/min 96MB/min (320x240) 150K/sec 600K/sec 1.6MB/sec
          Full Horizontal 17MB/min 72MB/min 192MB/min (640x240) 300K/sec 1.2MB/sec
          3.2MB/sec Full Vertical 17MB/min 72MB/min 192MB/min (320x480) 300K/sec
          1.2MB/sec 3.2MB/sec Full Frame 25MB/min 144MB/min 384MB/min (640x480) 600K/sec
          2.4MB/sec 6.4MB/sec <br>
          
    • Remember: These figures are approximate. The data rate & file sizes will vay, depending on the source material. Also, as a disk nears its capacity, fragmentation becomes more of a problem.
    • This table refers to images only. 16 bit 44.1 KHz stereo sound will add about 10 MB per minute (about 170K/sec).
    • For editing movies, a good rule of thumb is to use a disk (or set of disks) at least twice the size of your original recordings. This means you can copy, paste, and generally play around without having to loose your originals or start going to awkward backup schemes.
    • For example, 15 minutes of full motion at standard resolution, normal quality requires 480 MB (15*32 MB). Double that to allow for editing and you are up to 1 Gigabyte.
    • Optical, floptical, cartridge and tape drives are not fast enough to record or play back movies: You need to play back at the same rate at which you recorded. They are, however, wonderful for cost-effective archiving and transporting of movies.
    • One popular way to achieve high throughput is with a RAID, or Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks. Two (or more) drives are configured so that they act as a single drive. This can be done either from a single SCSI bus, or on the dual SCSI busses of the Quadra 900 or 950 or the Power Mac 8100. There is a known incompatibility with the ATTO Silicon Express II SCSI Accelerator card. There are no other known incompatibilities with other SCSI cards.
  • Are any products known to be incompatible with RasterOps digitizers or other MoviePak Products?
    • Systems
      • All MoviePak products are compatible with System 7.0 to 7.5.1, if using the current ROM and software for the card. The current ROM is v2.0, introduced in July of 1994. You can check the ROM by looking at the small number at the top, right corner of your startup screen. The current software is available for purchase at (800) 729-2656, option 2.
    • QuickTime
      • QuickTime 2.0 with the Apple Multimedia Tuner v2.01 is suggested. While we have done no extensive testing with QuickTime 2.1, we have found no glaring incompatibility, simply a small drop in performance. As an aside, if using QuickTime 2.1 you may find it necessary to change the order in which extensions load, so that RasterOps controls loads before QuickTime.
    • Software
      • There are no known software incompatablilites: any QuickTime 2.0 compatible application should function correctly with the MoviePak system or any RasterOps digitizing card.
    • CPUs
      • With ROM version 2.0, your RasterOps digitizing card or MoviePak system should be fully compatible with any NuBus Macintosh or Power Macintosh except the II, IIx, or IIcx. Optimal capture is only achievable in the Quadra 800, 900, 950, and Quadra 840AV.
    • Other Hardware
      • The ATTO Silicon Express II SCSI card is incompatible with the MoviePak daughtercard: attempting to capture through that SCSI card results in static in the record window and on the captured video. No fix for this is available or currently planned.
      • The Kensington Turbo Mouse and Trackball extensions cause a dramatic loss in capture and playback performance; these should be disabled for optimal performance.
  • How do I output to a normal television monitor?
    • Your computer video is a format called non-interlaced RGB . It takes a lot of information to display a picture in this format. Furthermore, it isn't especially good at displaying motion. NTSC (the American broadcast standard) is an interlaced YIQ format. This format is better at displaying motion and also takes a less bandwidth to transmit. The process of translating from the computer video format into the NTSC (or PAL, the European standard) format is called encoding . The process of translating from the NTSC into the computer video format is called decoding
    • The MoviePak base cards- the 24XLTV, 24STV, MediaTime, and 24MxTV- have decoders built-in. An external encoder is needed to output NTSC. MoviePak system included our Video Expander II encoder, although ANY ENCODER CAN BE USED. Encoders are commonly available from many sources, ranging from broadcast houses to computer superstores.

 

Troubleshooting - Digitizing Problems

  • Tip : Fill all open Floppy and CD-ROM drives with disks. Your Mac checks these drives periodically to see if they are filled. Inserting disk(s) will prevent the system from wasting valuable system time to check status of these drives.General Digitizing ProblemsGeneral Problems
  • General Digitizing Problems
    • Help! every time I try to digitize video my machine stops & gives me an error ode.
      • The only error codes most users will see are the following:
        • -1means that the video digitizer (vdig) could not lock on to the video signal for compression.
        • -2 means that the input signal has been lost somehow.
        • -8960 means that the video is being cropped improperly or the video is improperly sized.
      • Ways to prevent these errors from occurring:
        • Make sure the MoviePak daughterboard is firmly attached to the base video card.
        • Make sure your video source is connected to the video card and the source is turned on.
        • Make sure your video source is free of signal discontinuities.That is, make sure the source signal is not interrupted. Signal interruptions can happen, for example, if you are filming with a camcorder and you stop and start the camera leaving sections of blank tape. This can also happen if you turn video equipment on and off while recording movies.
        • Make sure your video signal is free from noise. Use quality cables and video tape.
        • Avoid 2nd or 3rd generation video tapes.
        • -1 and -2 errors can also be caused by bad Preferences files. Throw away the Preference file for the digitizing application you are using (i.e., Premiere or MediaGrabber).
      • If you are having your problems digitizing from tape, try passing through a live camera feed. If the live feed digitizes correctly, there may a problem with your tape deck. A slight wow or flutter can make a signal quite difficult for MoviePak to grab hold of.
    • I can't seem to capture video correctly!
      • The most common digitizing problems are:
        • Apple Talk "ON". Always turn Appletalk OFF when you are capturing or playing back video. Even if you are not on a network, you may be using Appletalk to drive your laser printer or other peripheral.
        • Using a fragmented drive. Always defragment your drive before trying to capture a clip on your MoviePak system. As your drive becomes cluttered, the mechanism spends more and more time trying to find where to place (or find) the next piece of data. One good strategy for hard drive usage is to maintain two partitions, one of which is always kept clean and used exclusively for video capture & playback. Defragmeting the drive routinely is suggested. Reformatting occasionally is suggested.
        • Turning quality up too high. Please realize that your drive, your NuBus, QuickTime, and MoviePak all have limitations. Unless you have a very fast machine and are capturing to or playing from a RAM disk, recording at Best quality will be difficult.
        • Not allocating enough memory to the application. QuickTime 2.0 is powerful and resource-hungry. Although Adobe Premiere can run in a smaller partition, experience tells us that a 16MB partition (24MB on a Power Mac) is the absolute minimum for reliable full-motion capture & playback. If this s not practical or possible, we suggest capturing in MediaGrabber, a smaller, dedicated application that came with your MoviePak system.
        • Having the disk cache set too high. In your Memory Control Panel, set your disk cache to 32K.
        • Extension conflicts. Before attempting to capture or playback video in real time, start up with a minimal set of extensions. For best results, 24XLTV and 24MXTV owners should turn their Accelerator Control Panel off while capturing. System 7.5 users should make sure that their Menubar clock is off (in the Date & Time control panel.
    • Using the Photoshop Plug-in to capture stills at 640 x 480 or above, I am also capturing some elements of my desktop.
      • Click on the hide background icon on the Photoshop toolbar. The icon is located on the bottom row of the toolbar, center icon. Alternately, you can capture in MediaGrabber or reduce the size of the captured image to below 640 x 480.
  • Specific Digitizing Problems
    • When recording a movie at 320 x 240 on my Power Mac, I see some strange artifacts on the screen.
      • When recording using the audio digitizer built into the Power Mac, compression artifacts can occur if the MoviePak resolution is set to the "Standard" (320 x 240 for NTSC) . We recommend setting a higher resolution when recording audio with the Power Mac.
    • I have problems capturing when I crop the incoming video.
      • If you plan to crop video, make sure you do not crop to the extreme bottom edge of the video or MoviePak may return a -1 error during digitization. You also may notice severe compression artifacts (colorful small blocks).
      • If you record Full Frame or Full Vertical video and crop to less than half size vertically, you will obtain a movie with a black bottom half and a top half containing the video reduced vertically. To avoid this, ensure your crop rectangle is larger than half size vertically.
    • I am capturing a lot of blank white frames.
      • You are running into a signal problem that is usually caused by cables. Try to shorten the length or improve the quality of the video cables you are using. You might also reread the above paragraph for more information on preserving signal quality.
    • When my disk drive is on, I see static in my video capture window.
      • Some third-party hard drives and drive arrays will cause this when installed internally. The solution is to move them to an external case. This can also be caused by the ATTO Silicon Express II, which is NOT compatible with the MoviePak system.
    • I told MediaGrabber to record at 640x480, but when I Export to Video with no zoom, it plays at a smaller size!
      • When a preview window is open, select "Show Movie Information" from the Movie menu. "Size" is the size of the open window. This is the default size for the Export to Video routine. "Resolution" is the actual size of the QuickTime movie. To play at full resolution, either drag out the corner of the preview window to make it 640x480 before Exporting to Video, or select Zoom Method "Software", "Best" in the Export to Video dialogue box.
    • Adjusting my sound volume during playback gives be problems with capturing video correctly.
      • We recommend setting the movie's sound volume prior to playback. The MediaTime/MoviePak combination may cause audio or visual artifacts when adjusting a movie's sound volume during playback if MediaTime is used as the sound output device.
    • If I look at a single captured frame it appears that there are some lines missing.
      • If incoming video is resized without cropping to anything other than 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 160 x 120, or other integral subdivisions of 640 x 480, the resizing algorithm will drop lines. To maximize image quality, we suggest either cropping the image or capturing at one of the above resolutions. If this is not practical, a 4:3 aspect ratio will minimize artifacts.
    • I'm trying to capture video without using MoviePak compression and am getting some strange results.
      • When recording video in a third-party application using a non-MoviePak software CODEC (compression scheme), it is important to set the video image to begin on an even line on the screen. If you see a white line at the top or bottom of the image before recording, or if the image shifts up and down while playing, then move the recording window up or down one line. This will correct the problem.
    • When using VideoFusion or FusionRecorder to record a MoviePak-JPEG movie, it is not resizing correctly.
      • In VideoFusion or FusionRecorder, a MoviePak-JPEG movie may not be resized correctly when the size is changed from the Menu. Resizing the movie using the window grow box will correct this.
    • I'm capturing video in RGB, and I can't adjust the hue or saturation of the incoming video.
      • As an RGB signal has no hue or saturation element, these cannot be adjusted.

 

Playback & Export to Video Qutions

  • I can capture a movie correctly, and it even plays back OK in the little Preview window. But when I try to Export to Video or just play back a movie, I get dropped frames and distortion.
    • There are several possible causes for this. Here are some suggestions:
      • (a) If the movies "paint" on your screen at a rate of about 1 or 2 frames per second, you are probably seeing a software, rather than a hardware decompression of the movie. The first thing to verify is that the size of your movie is not larger than the size of the screen it is playing on. For example, are you trying to play a 640 x 480 movie when you are outputting a 576 x 432 underscan signal? Remember, the size of the movie must be the same size as or smaller than the screen it is playing on in order to playback correctly.
      • If that was not your problem and you are using a system with more than one monitor, you could be hitting a conflict with the placement of the monitors in the Monitors Control Panel. Open the Monitors Control Panel and move the screen being driven by the MoviePak system to the right of or below whatever other monitors you are using.
      • (b) If the above is not the cause of your problem, you are probably hitting a limitation on bus or processor speed. The "Disk Performance" test under Video Options in MediaGrabber, or in Premiere under the Video Input... selection from the Movie Capture menu will give you an idea of the actual throughput rate that your system is capable of achieving with your existing hardware. You can compare this figure to the expected data rates listed in the back of your MoviePak manual or on this FAQ list.
      • Keep in mind that the data rates shown by the "Movie Analysis" tool in Premiere are averages of the flow of movie information only, and as such do not account for QuickTime overhead, or accurately represent the adaptive compression techniques that make MoviePak's instantaneous data rate vary immensely.
  • I told MediaGrabber to record at 640x480, but when I Export to Video with no zoom, it plays at a smaller size!
    • When a preview window is open, select "Show Movie Information" from the Movie menu. "Size" is the size of the open window. This is the default size for the Export to Video routine. "Resolution" is the actual size of the QuickTime movie. To play at full resolution, either drag out the corner of the preview window to make it 640x480 before Exporting to Video, or select Zoom Method "Software", "Best" in the Export to Video dialogue box.
  • After I Export to Video through my Video Expander (using Video Passthrough), control does not return to my regular monitor. All I get is a black screen.
    • Some monitors, including some RasterOps displays, shut down if they receive a signal that they don't understand. In this case, the Expander is passing through an interlaced video signal that, once encoded, can be understood by the NTSC equipment. The (non-interlaced) computer monitor interprets this signal as garbage and stops displaying it. The solution in this case is to turn the monitor off and back on again. The RasterOps video card should be switched back to a non-interlaced resolution.

 

Video Expander & Video Pass-through Questions

  • I can't seem to get Video Passthrough to work correctly.
    • Concept
      • Video Passthrough does not enable your MoviePak system to display the same picture on an interlaced NTSC or PAL monitor and a non-interlaced computer monitor simultaneously. It simply eases the change, enabling you to switch monitors on the fly. This allows you to capture, preview, and edit movies using your computer monitor, and to switch to and from your NTSC or PAL monitor to view or export your movie. The Video Expander is an encoder, not a scan converter.
    • Setup
      • Setup is simple: Hook up the normal Apple 15-pin to 15-pin connector from your RasterOps video card to the Expander. Run the composite or S-Video cable to your NTSC monitor. Now take your Video Passthrough cable (that strange 3-BNC to 15-pin female cable that came with your Expander) and hook up the red, green, & blue cables to thered, green, & blue outputs. Now ust hook up the 15-pin female connector to the input cable of your monitor. Or simply consult the diagram that came with your Expander.
      • Video Passthrough requires a monitor that is capable of accepting a "sync on green" video signal. This includes most third-party monitors and all RasterOps monitors EXCEPT the Sweet 16AV (part #1649AV). If your monitor does not accept sync on green but has BNC (small round) inputs, you can run a BNC cable from the External Synch output to the external sync input of your monitor.
      • Two popular monitors that cannot be used with Video Passthrough are most variations of Apple's 13" and 14" monitors, and the Apple Two Page Color Display. These do not accept sync on green and have a 15-pin input rather than BNCs. In some cases, a special cable can be constructed. Contact Cables to Go at (800) 826-7904 for more information.
  • I just hooked up my Video Expander, and all I see on my NTSC monitor is some junk with a vertical bar moving horizontally.
    • First, make sure that your CB SELECT switch is set correctly (consult your manual). If that is not the problem, all you need to do is fine tune your Video Expander. It takes 5 minutes and a Phillips head screwdriver.
  • After I Export to Video through my Video Expander (using Video Passthrough), control does not return to my regular monitor. All I get is a black screen.
    • Some monitors, including some RasterOps displays, shut down if they receive a signal that they don't understand. In this case, the Expander is passing through an interlaced video signal that, once encoded, can be understood by the NTSC equipment. The (non-interlaced) computer monitor interprets this signal as garbage and stops displaying it. The solution in this case is to turn the monitor off and back on again. The RasterOps video card should be switched back to a non-interlaced resolution.
  • I'm trying to genlock my MoviePak system and am not getting correct results.
    • You may need to adjust the internal Venus switch. Consult your manual or contact RasterOps technical support for more information.
  • Can I play back movies to my TV or VCR without using the Video Expander or another encoder?
    • All of the cards used in our MoviePak system can be used to output a grayscale (up to 256 grays) NTSC signal. All you need is a cable, part #9000-0020, available from your RasterOps dealer or Technical Support. For more information regarding this option, consult your manual.

 

Monitor Support Information

  • When I hook up my MoviePak system to a 16" or multiscan monitor, it comes up initially with a blank screen.
    • Many cables or adapters that plug into the video out port of your MoviePak system have sense codes (combinations of special pins) built in to provide handshaking with the Macintosh internal video. Some of these sense cables tell your MoviePak system to initially put out an interlaced NTSC signal, rather than a non-interlaced computer video signal. Your monitor does not understand this signal, so it stays dark. This can be avoided by holding down the Command, Shift, and Option keys on startup as outlined in your manual. If your Macintosh system is utilizing more than one monitor, simply correct the resolution in the Monitors Control Panel.
  • How do I output to a normal television monitor?
    • Your computer video is a format called non-interlaced RGB It takes a lot of information to display a picture in this format. Furthermore, it isn't especially good at displaying motion. NTSC (the American broadcast standard) is an interlaced YIQ format. This format is better at displaying motion and also takes a less bandwidth to transmit. The process of translating from the computer video format into the NTSC (or PAL, the European standard) format is called encoding. The process of translating from the NTSC into the computer video format is called decoding.
    • The MoviePak base cards - the 24XLTV, 24STV, MediaTime, and 24MxTV- have decoders built-in. An external encoder is needed to output NTSC. MoviePak system included our Video Expander II encoder, although ANY ENCODER CAN BE USED. Encoders are commonly available from many sources, ranging from broadcast houses to computer superstores.
  • When I go into the Options section of my Monitors Control Panel, I am not offered every resolution that the card supports.
    • If you have ROM v2.0 or later, you need to hold down the "option" key on your keyboard while clicking the [Options...] button. This will offer you every resolution that your card can support, including NTSC and PAL resolutions.

 

Other Problems

  • I've just put my board in a Power Mac, installed System 7.5, got QuickTime 2.0, and my RasterOps equipment doesn't work correctly!
    • Your 24XLTV, 24MxTV, 24STV, or MediaTime board requires ROM v2.0 to achieve correct performance with QuickTime version 2.0 or later, System 7.5, or the Power Mac. This upgrade is available at a nominal fee. Contact RasterOps Technical Support for more information.
  • I just installed Premiere 4.0, Photoshop 3.0, (insert application of choice), or some other new application and suddenly my RasterOps equipment does not work correctly!
    • The above applications, and many others, update your version of QuickTime to 2.0 as part of their installation procedure. You need to update the ROM of your digitizing board to the current version. Contact RasterOps Technical Support for more information.
  • My 24STV board stopped working when I installed the new ROMs.
    • There are a very small number of early 24STV boards that will not work with ROM 2.0. Have your serial number ready (from the white, bar-coded sticker on the back) and contact RasterOps Technical Support for more information.
  • Help! I just upgraded my MoviePak system and my old movies don't work correctly.
    • Movies that are recorded under QuickTime version 1.x may not play back correctly with QuickTime 2.0 or later. Simply open and save the movie before playing it back. This "rechunks" the movie, and prepares it for QuickTime 2.0. IMPORTANT: Any movie that is created or saved under QuickTime 2.0 may not play back correctly under QuickTime 1.62. If you plan to go back to an earlier version of QuickTime for any reason, make backups.
  • Using the Photoshop Plug-in to capture stills at 640 x 480 or above, I am also capturing some elements of my desktop.
    • Click on the hide background icon on the Photoshop toolbar. The icon is located on the bottom row of the toolbar, center icon. Alternately, you can capture in MediaGrabber or reduce the size of the captured image to below 640 x 480.

 

Miscellaneous Questions

  • I have an early version of the MediaTime, 24STV or 24XLTV. Can I use it with the MoviePak system?
    • Some early version of these boards may need minor modifications to work with MoviePak. Write down your serial number (from the white, bar-coded sticker on the back) and contact RasterOps Technical Support for more information.
  • How do I play back my movies on other Macintoshes that don't have a MoviePak installed?
    • While a MoviePak system is needed to achieve real-time playback of your finished movies, it is possible to view them on other Macintoshes.
    • The recommended method is to capture and edit your movie with MoviePak Video compression. When it is ready to be viewed on other Macintoshes, change your form of compression to one that does not require MoviePak by choosing Save as...in MediaGrabber or in Premiere, selecting Compression from the Make menu. Consult your Premiere or RasterOps manual for more information about other CODECs (compression schemes).
    • Alternately, you can capture in the MoviePak JPEG format. This style of compression can be read by the Apple Photo JPEG CODEC that is a part of QuickTime. This style of compression can be read by the Apple Photo JPEG CODEC that is a part of QuickTime. The advantage? It's possible to view and edit these movies on a non-MoviePak system immediately after capture. The disadvantage? The JPEG algorithm is relatively slow, so that converting to a different CODEC will be necessary for the best playback.
    • Some versions of the MoviePak manual state that movies in the MoviePak Video format can be played back in Macintoshes without a MoviePak system if the RasterOps Video control panel is installed. This is no longer possible; it worked only with versions of QuickTime previous to 2.0, and would not work at all with movies larger than 640 x 240 (one NTSC field). Performance was similar to that achieved by the JPEG playback method discussed above.
  • How do I play my MoviePak movies on Windows or UNIX machines?
    • You can play back your movies on any QuickTime-aware platform. All you need to do is "flatten" the movie. This removes the Macintosh resource fork, which non-Macintosh computers cannot use. You can do this by selecting (from the File menu) Export Movie | Cross Platform in Media Grabber or Export | Flattened Movie in Premiere.
  • How do I import or export Betacam or RGB footage with my MoviePak system?
    • The MoviePak system cannot import or export directly from Betacam. However, all of the base cards can export RGB. This can be fed into a transcoder which then converts the signal into the Betacam format. The 24XLTV additionally has the ability to capture video in the RGB format. Contact you RasterOps dealer or RasterOps Technical Support to order the proper cable, part #9000-0005.
  • Can I use my MoviePak NTSC to capture or play back in the PAL format?
    • Any of our digitizing boards can capture PAL without any modification. With a PAL Video Expander II or any other PAL encoder, any of our boards will play back in the PAL video format. The 24MXTV and 24XLTV will play and capture PAL at up to 720 x 576. The 24STV and MediaTime will capture and play back PAL at 640 x 480.
  • I've spent a lot of time and effort creating animation or movies that look great on the computer monitor but look terrible on my NTSC monitor.
    • The interlaced NTSC and the non-interlaced computer monitor signals are quite different If your final medium will be NTSC, you have to plan ahead. We suggest that you regularly preview your movie on an NTSC monitor as a work-in-progress. RasterOps Export to Video is ideal for this application. If you want more information about preparing video for output to NTSC, consult your manuals or call our RasterFAX FaxBack service and request document #4602.

 

Development

  • All of the MoviePak system's digitization, display, and compression abilities are implemented strictly according to Apple guidelines. This means that standard Toolbox and QuickTime calls are all that are needed to fully access the features of any of our MoviePak system.
  • QuickTime programming provides the best results.For more information about QuickTime programming resources, we suggest that you contact Apple.
  • RasterOps does not support development on this product.

See Also