Sony PDZ 1 Software Avid DS ALE Fix
HP xw8000 Power Supply
HP xw8200 Workstation and Bios


The Sony XDCAM EX ProSumer system can record at 25 Mb/s-1440x1080 or 35 Mb/s-1920x1080 VBR. It uses the newer 1/2" chips and even at 25 Mb/s-1440, the audio is uncompressed and the lookup table is much better than HDV. The pictures even at 1440/25 Mb/s second are far superior in every way to HDV. Word is the glass, depth of field, quality of blacks, so-called contrast range etc etc is amazing. Only a complaint concerning shooting around strobe lighting has been noted.

That being said, the output files are wrapped in an MP4 wrapper but you cannot just rename them. The XDCAM camera comes with a file browser that will allow you to export the files shot at 25 Mb/s-1440x1080 MXF which the DS can handle currently. The browser utility will also allow export of 1920x1080-35 Mb/s but that will cause DS problems. Hopefully the re-write of DS version 9 or a Quick Fix will handle the EX files directly.

Word on the street is that Avid is late with accommodating EX. THAT is unverified as far as version 8.x. I too believe the the EX format will become the most popular format for general use. Of course movies and artsy material may still resort to SR, 2K, 4K and the sky is the limit.

To ingest footage from the EX you connect USB-2 to Media Composer and the two 16 GB cards will show up on your edit system as drives. You can then import them to Media Composer and current versions of that software will handle them. Then you can transcode the material to MXF, create an AFE and send to DS.

Another way to handle the files is to play back from the camera via SDI output and digitize in but beware of the MANY variables.

Bob Maple's Getting P2/XDCam, etc. into DS 10 tutorial
In order to follow this tutorial, you need to download Sony's XDCam EX Clip Browser for Windows and the NLE Editing And File Transfers software at the same link.

Case Study

If you use the 'Send To' function in MC (or 'Export') as AAF, you can choose separate folders for the audio and video to go to; If you look
at Bob Maple's tutorial at around 8:32 you can see at the bottom of the window under 'Media Destinations' there is a Video and an Audio pulldown widget. Bob selects the same folder as the video, but it can certainly be a different one.

The Consolidate/Transcode function in MC is a totally different dialog and wants to write back into a MC media storage. Bob pretty much always uses Send To so he can do the two exports at once; one to make an AFE for the timeline and another as AAF to consolidate/transcode the media into a separate folder (often over the network directly into DS MXF storage)

Then create the .AFE of the final sequence and move everything over.


Timothy Duncan came up with this workflow, using Frameserver, which eliminates the need for Media Composer for earlier versions of DS

Sony PDZ-1 Software Avid DS ALE Fix

(Copied and pasted (and slightly edited by TQJ) from a workflow posted on Avid's DS forum 1st Feb 2008 by Whitebalance.)

Avid's page on XD Cam Warning, this covers Media Composer only, which is only part of your workflow to DS.

MXF Audio

(Case Study)

I'm assuming I should copy the MXF audio files into and audio MXF folder and add that storage. Is this correct?

You can dump all of them into one MXF storage area you have configured in DS, they don't necessarily have to be split up into a separate 'audio
storage' area unless disk bandwidth is a problem on your system. But you must have the audio and video in a folder set to Read Only. I have an "MXF Storage" folder on my D: drive (the DS video array) and have been fine tossing everything there.

if you use a lot of audio, you are taking away some bandwidth from video streaming. So if you start to drop frames, you know that you should then use a dedicated audio storage NOT on the Video storage.

If you plan to write to your MXF storage for audio and video, you must create specific audio and video folders, and set each to MXF audio and MXF video. If set to MXF video only, don't expect that the audio will magically scan and be online. The Media Indexer probably prefers split storages for audio and video.

Editor's note: The DS Media Indexer will index any media it finds within its indexed path. It doesn't matter if that media is gen, mxf, or wav. (And if it's Quicktime that can cause all sorts of problems but that's another matter.)

If you are writing media then you have to have separate storages for video and audio. If you are only reading media that has come from elsewhere then both audio and video media can be in the same folder. If you are doing this then you are best off making this folder Read Only for the sake of neatness. Furthermore, if you are doing this and have a lot of audio then you could find that there is insufficient bandwidth to support the video media in RT, resulting in dropped frames.

So, very simple rules...

(Thanks to Liz Boyer, Bob Maple Tony Jover and Sylvain Labrosse)

HP xw8000 Power Supply

If you are having problems with your xw8000 not powering on, HP tech support recommends you unhook power supply from mother board, plug in. If the fan doesn't spin, the power supply is toast.

Micro Parts USA has them for $60 cheaper than direct from HP. HP's power supplies may be back-ordered for up to 4 weeks. They may also be able to help you with power supplies for the other HP CPUs used in Avid DS systems.

Editor's Note:

Rick noted that the power supply that was shipped by Micro Parts was apparently used and it did not work on his xw8000. Specifications for a DS system for version 7.5 are at Avid's website. You can also get specifications for other versions of the DS there as well.

(Thanks to Rick Emery)

xw8200 sp33818.exe

HP xw8200 Workstation

This section covers Avid DS workstation specific system items.
HP xw8200 BIOS Verification
The BIOS is a group of software programs that control the system during the boot process and perform other hardware-related tasks. When you start the workstation, the BIOS is the first group of programs to be loaded, even before the operating system.
The BIOS revision for the HP xw8200 workstation is changing during its running life. You should check with Avid Support for the latest qualified HP BIOS revision.
There are two ways to verify the BIOS Version :
While booting the workstation, the BIOS version appears on the upper left corner of the screen when you press Esc (escape) during the HP logo display.
From the Start menu, select All Programs > Accessories > System Tools > System Information. The BIOS Version/Date information appears in the System Summary list.

BIOS program executable:
HP xw8200 BIOS v2.10 (5849K)

HP xw8200 BIOS Settings
If the BIOS is reprogrammed, some critical BIOS options must be verified to avoid any hardware conflict with Avid DS.
PCI-X 133
If the PCI-X 133 MHz default setting is not modified, Avid DS Nitris will start with a Video L-HAL type error. Set the PCI-X bus to 100 MHz to resolve this problem.
  1. Reboot the workstation.
  2. At the start-up screen, press F2 to enter the BIOS setup.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Press the arrow down to PCI Slot 5 (PCI-X 133) and press Enter.
  5. Verify that Bus Mode is PCI-X and Bus Speed is 100MHz. If it is set to PCI and/or Auto, change the values to PCI-X and 100 MHz
  6. Press Esc. The bus displays a PCI-X 133 label although its value is set to 100 MHz.
  7. Next select Device Options.
  8. Select Onboard SCSI Latency Timer.
  9. Set to 160 PCI Clocks.
  10. Pres Esc.
  11. Select Chipset - Memory.
  12. Select PXHA Secondary Latency Timer.
  13. Set to 224 PCI clocks.
  14. Select PXHA Secondary Latency Timer.
  15. Set to 224 PCI clocks.
  16. Press the F10 key to save and exit the BIOS setup.
  17. In the Setup Configuration dialog, select Yes and press Enter. The workstation is restarting.

The Hyper-threading mode must be disabled. Avid DS is multi-processor and does not require this option.

For more information, visit HP's Website

Revised: Jun 5, 2009 1:03 pm