Friday, December 19, 2003

Got my Mojo working
Avid introduced their new hardware platform at NAB this year - the DNA series includes the budget Mojo i/o box for their DV products ExpressPro and NewscutterDV. It's about a grand and allows you to do analogue i/o and with ExpressPro you can get at more 'traditional' Avid data rates - 15:1 and even uncompressed. It's all here on Avid's site and although they don't actually say it has broadcast output by mentioning uncompressed and component video o/p in the same breath you kinda imply it.

Now, tele people are notoriously cheap, and to engineers the idea of getting broadcastable pictures out of a £1k box seems laughable but we have clients that are buying it with just that expectation and I'm sure it's going to fall on the resellers when QC'ers start sending finished programmes back. Now this isn't just me venting my old-school engineering spleen but me and my colleague Rupert (see his blog in the side-bar) have now tested two Mojo units and they both exhibit the same problem - when driving it in component mode (from the video o/p tool) you get what looks like a vestige of the horizontal interval and subcarrier all over the U o/p. This is no suprise when you realise that in analogue component mode they re-use the S-Video connector for Y and V and the Composite connector (RCA, not BNC! cheap as chips!) for the U signal. I bet they've implemented some 50p switching chip to go between PAL and U and the inputs to the switch are cross-talking.

Oh, it has unbalanced audio as well - The Guild Of Wedding Videographers unite!

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