Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K workflow guide with Avid

Summary: This post details a fast and fluid workflow for Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K footage in Avid systems. You can read on to figure out how to transcode PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K files to DNxHD for use in Avid with best quality.
Sony PDW-HD1550
“Hi, fellows, I’m wondering if you can help. I am trying to work with 4K video files from the Sony PDW-HD1550 recorder in Avid MC 6. The camera uses a flavor of MXF that is called XAVC. I have tried the traditional importing method and it’s a no-go. I have also tried AMA using Sony’s XAVC AMA plug-in, however the plug-in doesn’t seem to support Avid MC 6. Do you or anyone have any idea how to fix this? Is some kind of conversion step necessary, and if so what’s the best way to accomplish that? Please advise options. Thanks in advance.”

To be able to edit Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K footage in Avid systems fast and smoothly, Sony has developed the XAVC/XDCAM Plug-in for Avid. This free of charge AMA plug-in comes with support for XAVC and XDCAM / XDCAM EX files in Avid Media Composer, Symphony and NewsCutter products, allowing viewing and editing capability. If for some reason this plug-in doesn’t work for you or you dislike using it, you will have to re-wrap the PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K files to DNxHD QuickTime .mov files for AMA. This requires 3rd party software like HD Video Converter.

By using this HD Video Converter program, you are able to convert Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K MXF files to whatever format you need for editing and playing. It comes with very easy to use menus and produces very good quality DNxHD QuickTime .mov conversion as well as bulk processing so you could load it with files and leave it alone to do the job.

You can download a demo version (for both, Mac and PC) to have a try. They are not free but it is totally worth it.
Mac Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K Converter for AvidSony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K Converter for Avid

Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K workflow with Avid – transcode Sony PDW-HD1550 MXF video to DNxHD MOV for Avid editing

Follow these steps:
Step 1: Start up HD Video Converter as a Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K Converter for Avid. When its main interface pops up, click ‘Add File’ to input your source media.
workflow for Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K footage in Avid systems

Step 2: Choose output format for Avid MC
From ‘Format’ bar, select ‘Avid DNxHD (*.mov)’ as output format under ‘Avid Media Composer’ column.
transcode PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K files to DNxHD
Important: If you’ve loaded a number of video clips to do batch conversion, please do remember ticking off ‘Apply to All’ option before you start.

Step 3: Custom video and audio settings
If necessary, you can click ‘Settings’ button and go to ‘Profiles Settings’ panel to modify video and audio settings like video encoder, resolution, video bit rate, frame rate, aspect ratio, audio encoder, sample rate, audio bit rate, and audio channels. 3D settings are also available.

Step 4: Start Sony PDW-HD1550 XAVC 4K to MOV Conversion with DNxHD codec
When ready, click ‘Convert’ to start format conversion. As soon as the conversion is complete, you can click ‘Open Folder’ button to get the exported DNxHD MOV files for use with Avid apps.

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