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Articles on Professional Video and Audio Distribution

In the past few months, I've finally had time to post more information about two projects I've worked on in the past year or so at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis—both of them having to do with the sending and receiving of video and audio signals through a very large building.

Click one of the titles to read the article:

XLR over Cat5 - Balanced XLR Mic/Line Audio over Cat5e

In this article, I explain how we sent crystal-clear audio (used for both communication/VOX and broadcast TV) over a distance of about 300' using nothing but shielded Cat5e cable. Pictures, diagrams, etc. included.

Sending High-Definition Video over Long Distances with Cat5

In this article, I explain how we sent very sharp high definition video (up to 1080p) over about 100' using component video baluns and shielded Cat5e cable. (You can also use these baluns to send digital/coax audio).

Sending High-Definition Video over Long Distances

I'm working on increasing the quality of video sent through the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis' in-house video distribution system (right now they use passive composite video connections over Cat5 cabling, and video is very blurry with lots of ghosting), and I thought I'd briefly share my findings in this area.

I've decided to go with an 'active' (powered) video send/receive unit, from Knoll Systems:

Knoll US-V3 Sender

Importing HDV footage from Sony HDV Cameras into iMovie '11 (or '08/'09)

I have had a ton of trouble today getting a rented Sony HVR-Z1U HDV Camera to work with iMovie '11 - I was having trouble both importing pre-recorded footage (in VCR mode) and importing live footage (in Camera mode). QuickTime Player would allow me to import video from the camera at DV quality, but I couldn't get HD.

I found that the camera was downconverting the video to regular DV (squeezing the pixels so it would still be a 16:9 widescreen picture) when using the i.Link (FireWire/IEEE 1394) port. After trying out a variety of settings, I was finally able to set up the camera so it would import (both in VCR and in Camera mode) HD video, directly into iMovie '11.

You simply need to set the following settings in the camera's menu:

Is the iPod Touch another Nail in Flip's Coffin? (HD Video Recording)

HD Video Recording on the iPod TouchWith Apple's introduction of the latest iPod Touch (which now includes an HD video camera on the back, and a VGA-resolution camera on the front), I believe that products like Flip's portable video recorders and Kodaks line of dedicated video recorders are going to decline in popularity to an even greater extent than they did after the iPhone 4's introduction.

Many of those who would want to use the Flip/other video recorder are also those who already have, or would like to have, an iPhone or iPod touch (at least, in my experience).

Converting High Definition Movies to Watch on Mac/PC

NOTE: I have since written a newer article that makes it MUCH easier to do just about everything, making use of MakeMKV. The new article: Ripping Movies from Blu-Ray, HD-DVD and DVD, Getting them onto Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, etc. &mdash I am leaving this article up for historical purposes, though, as there is some good information in here still...

This article will help you to convert HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies to QuickTime compatible files so you can watch them in high definition in iTunes, Front Row, or QuickTime Player. The guide will also help you to be able to convert the videos into other formats so you can preserve the surround sound and the highest picture quality.

Blu-Ray and HD-DVD Logos

Converting the HD-DVD or Blu-Ray

1. Copy FEATURE_1.EVO and FEATURE_2.EVO to hard drive by decrypting them using AnyDVD, DVDFab HD Decrypter, or some other decrypter. Some DVDs use different naming schemes, but the files you need are the two largest 'EVO' files.

NOTE: I have only been able to work on HD-DVDs, so Some of the steps here don't work (or only partially work) with Blu-Ray, but I hope you can find some inspiration for getting your blu-ray files to work with Quicktime, if you so desire. Google can help you find how to get the blu-ray files ready for demuxing/conversion. Soon I will get myself an external Blu-Ray drive and start tinkering around with Blu-Ray movies... but for now I'm happy simply working on HD-DVD.

NOTE 2: I simply used the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive, as I found one cheap locally (through Craigslist), and it works via USB 2.0. It's also quite compact! If you do so with Windows XP, you'll need to load a driver to enable support for the UDF 2.5 file format HD-DVDs and Blu-Ray discs use.

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