Image Processing Reference
Auxiliary-Powered FireWire Interfaces
Another good approach is to have a spare FireWire drive sitting idle on the shelf just ready
to be plugged in, assuming that you have a FireWire interface available. FireWire is fitted
to most new computers or can be added easily with a PCI card. If all your available
FireWire ports are used, add an auxiliary-powered FireWire hub. This gives you extra con-
nectivity and reduces the current load on the FireWire ports in your main logic board since
some additional power is provided separately. Because the same FireWire bus is being
shared, the throughput will remain the same. That is only increased if additional FireWire
buses are installed.
Providing additional sources of auxiliary power is always a good thing when equip-
ping your computer with extra FireWire PCI cards and USB or FireWire hubs. It is possi-
ble to blow up a FireWire bridge chip on your logic board very easily if you try to draw
too much current. The same applies to FireWire bridges on PCI cards that don't have
the auxiliary power connector. Belkin offers a useful FireWire PCI card that has a socket
for the same kind of power supply that you might provide to an extra internal drive.
An example of this card is shown in Figure 29-10. So long as you have sufficient spare
power-supply capacity inside your PC, you can use it to drive the FireWire interface.
AJA also offers a range of I/O products called the Io (Figure 29-11). These come in several
models—analog only, digital only, and multi-channel audio/video. They offer very good
performance if you are looking for a FireWire bridge. The Io will also deliver uncom-
pressed video down the FireWire interface. This is a very good solution when combined
with a Macintosh G5 running Final Cut Pro. Having some xRAID storage on hand in suf-
ficient quantity provides somewhere to store the massive amounts of video that you will
be tempted to ingest.
Blackmagic Design Multibridge
Another new product from BMD is the Multibridge. Combining this with the workgroup
router and DeckLink video cards allows you to build a very flexible and articulate work-
group solution. The bridge is extremely compact and can be mounted within a video rack
in a variety of ways (see Figure 29-12).
Other FireWire Bridges
Other cheaper FireWire bridge solutions have been around for some time, such as those
made by Datavideo and Miranda. The Miranda hardware is also marketed under other
brand names, such as PrimaVideo, Dazzle, and Hollywood. These are good for capturing
short sequences. Check that you have the latest drivers for them.
AJA Video: http://www.aja.com/