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Oliver Simons

DIT - can you ingest and transcode at the same time?

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Hi everyone, 

I'm new to working in data transfer, so sorry if anything is obvious here. 

I can't work out how to do it! Very basic question here:

If I have one computer, I don't think I can ingest media and transcode media at the same time. Is that right?

So it would be difficult to finish all work on the day. 

But if I had 2 computers – and 2 hard drives (master and backup) – then I could only ingest and transcode at the same time IF I kept unplugging one drive. 

Is that right?

Or is there either:

a) a way to attach drives to 2 computers 

or

b) a way to ingest and transcode (and even playback) at the same time if needed?

 

Thanks everyone!

 

Oliver

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This is what DIT Charlie Anderson told me:


This is correct, you cannot ingest and transcode at the same time, you CAN however use cascading copy to transfer from the card to a SSD Raid and then from the raid to a backup drive, allowing you to be able to transcode off the camera mag, but I don't recommend doing that unless you're hard pressed for time.

The best way to do it is to use a SSD RAID and SSD Shuttle drive and copy to both at the same time, which is super fast, and then transcode off of the SSD RAID, back onto the SSD RAID, as you'll have the most throughput with that RAID due to all of the raided SSDs in it.

You cannot have 2 computers connected to the same hard drive because of the way macs works (and windows doesn't do it either) allowing only one system to mount the drive at a time.  The only way to have multiple computers be able to access the same drive is via networking and unfortunately the fastest way to do it is to have fiber networking within your cart, which isn't very viable or cost effective.  So it's easier to just use the SSD RAID option as that'll be your fastest way to get to transcoding footage ASAP (as your bottleneck will be your media at that point).
 
This is unfortunately the issue we run into all the time when working on commercials that need to walk away with footage at the end of the day.  The best way to do it is to constantly reload the camera, ingest as fast as possible, render as fast as possible with the best NVMe drives or SSDs, as well as with the best GPUs.  This is why the mac pro is so damn expensive because you are literally throwing money at a solution with hardware, and it's worth every dollar.

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Thank you so much David! 

That information is very helpful. 

So definitely not two computers onset – the key is to have one with the fastest possible throughput (SSDs, cables, GPU for transcoding). 

 

Thank you again!

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Well I guess you can ingest and transcode something like simultaneously, if you've got enough storage performance to ensure the former stays ahead of the latter.

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Even if you could, you wouldn't want to. You want to make sure you have a verified backup before doing anything else. If something goes wrong during the download, you risk corrupting the footage. More often than not, production isn't going to give you fast drives and if you're using a laptop, it's going to bog everything down. So it's best to do one task at a time. 

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This is one reason not to use laptops, particularly Apple laptops, for this sort of thing, but that's been a bugbear of mine for a while. Apple laptops are absolutely the most expensive and least effective way to buy computer horsepower. The Mac Pro itself is comically overpriced and far less suited for field operation than a cheaper, faster, more effective... anything else. I've been irritated more than once by hanging around for someone to dump a bunch of files or render a preview on a Macbook; you ask what sort of hardware it has, and the answer is "it's a 2019 16-inch macbook pro" as if that tells us anything. It's exasperating considering these people are supposed to be professionals with an in-depth knowledge of their field.

A properly configured system could make simultaneous working very possible.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Phil Rhodes said:

This is one reason not to use laptops, particularly Apple laptops, for this sort of thing, but that's been a bugbear of mine for a while. Apple laptops are absolutely the most expensive and least effective way to buy computer horsepower. The Mac Pro itself is comically overpriced and far less suited for field operation than a cheaper, faster, more effective... anything else. I've been irritated more than once by hanging around for someone to dump a bunch of files or render a preview on a Macbook; you ask what sort of hardware it has, and the answer is "it's a 2019 16-inch macbook pro" as if that tells us anything. It's exasperating considering these people are supposed to be professionals with an in-depth knowledge of their field.

A properly configured system could make simultaneous working very possible.

 

I'm with you- tons of extra money for a computer that has the components glued in.

But........they used to say nobody ever got fired for buying IBM, so.....maybe that's it. Too many full stops.

Edited by Mark Dunn

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Thanks @Phil Rhodes

I think @Steve Woronko is correct, that simultaneous writing would never be possible / advisable. Too much risk of data corruption. 

It's not a Mac or PC thing, just a hard drive / buffer constant that means you shouldn't be writing that much data to the drive from two sources at the same time. 

On the Apple laptop point – I understood that PCs still can't properly write ProRes, which is what 99.9% of post-production houses want.

Do you know if they can?

Thanks

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