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Old February 6th, 2005, 04:58 PM   #1246
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From what I've read, it supposed to become widely available this summer (for DVX only), at a price point less than what a new DVX would cost.

So, theoritically, by the end of the summer, for what an XL2 or Z1 would cost, you could have a DVX with Andromeda that will shoot 4:4:4 12-bit 720p video - plus the laptop and external drives you're going to need for capture.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 07:08 PM   #1247
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Juan do this with the XL2 instead!!

Juan,
You should really consider making this mod for the XL2, and not the dvx...and I'll tell you why. The Chip on the XL2 is a double sized, cropped 4:3 chip. They crop it to allow for true 16:9. If you did it this way, you'd have no trouble what so ever obtaining a true uncompressed HD single from a DV cam.

You'd have to imagine that with your mod, and a 16:9 lense converter the images would be out of this world for the cost.

Thanks,
Frank
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Old February 8th, 2005, 09:37 PM   #1248
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I think he might be able to the do the xl2 eventually. They might be trying to figure the xl2 out still.
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Old February 8th, 2005, 11:29 PM   #1249
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Frank,


Juan started this project MANY months before the the Xl2 was even announced. He's no doubt invested a LOT of time and money in the DVX mod. If you look at the website
www.reel-stream.com
you'll see that the next camera they plan to mod is the xl2.

The work they are doing isn't exactly easy... so... one camera at a time my friend. You shall have your Xl2 mod, but not before the DVX.
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Old February 9th, 2005, 06:30 AM   #1250
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If memory serves there was also a problem with the green CCD offset on the XL2. The CCD is only offset horizontally so it was only possible to interpolate more resolution horizontally, as opposed to the DVX which is offset diagonally so 720P can be taken from it. Like I said I am just going from memory on this but I am pretty sure that was one of the big XL2 problems.
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Old April 20th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #1251
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Has any info been released at NAB on this system?
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Old April 21st, 2005, 07:54 PM   #1252
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carl Merritt
Has any info been released at NAB on this system?
I was looking for it at NAB and had no luck. It is possible they were
stuck in a back room some place, but as I said, I couldn't find anything
and I looked.
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Old April 22nd, 2005, 08:44 PM   #1253
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Hello,

Yes, Reel Stream was at NAB in booth SU9969.

We showed the final form factor of the Andromeda device, installed on the DVX100A. The device now resides completely inside the camera itself, such that the only external physical change is the addition of a USB2.0 Mini-B plug on the side of the camera. Thus all accessories, such as the mini-35 adapter can be used.

The Andromeda device, when installed on a Panasonic DVX100(A), allows the user to record the uncompressed stream of image data right after it has been digitized from the CCD's, and bypassing all compression, decimation, and all other deterioration caused by the in-camera hardware. This allows for a maximum recording quality of full bandwidth RGB(4:4:4) at 36-bits per pixel in the full CCD frame size, as well as HD resolutions by making use of the physical optical pixel shift inherent in the hardware.

We demostrated footage shot on DV tape and Andromeda simulatenously on the same camera, and perhaps the most shocking improvement was the increase in dynamic range. The uncompressed footage exhibits 2-3 additional stops of dynamic range as compared to the standard DVX.

The final release will sell for $2999, and includes installation of the device, software, shipping back to your location within the U.S. and a warranty. The turnaround time is expected to be less than a business week.

There will also be a hardware/software beta testing stage, for which applications have been posted on our website: www.reel-stream.com. Because of the large number of applications we will have to chose a smaller number of people than all who have applied, and those selected will be notified by email on April 30th. The cost for beta testing is $1500 and includes hardware as well as software.

Please feel free to post any questions you have on this thread, or email me directly at Juan@reel-stream.com.

I just got back from NAB and I probably forgot to mention something, so ask away!

Cheers,
Juan
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 01:13 PM   #1254
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Gee Juan,

I am SO SORRY I missed your booth. I could not remember
Reel Stream and found nothing under Andromeda.

If I had found you (and I'm an idiot for missing you since I thought
I had covered the whole thing like glue & really wanted to see what you've
accomplished ;) these would be my questions:

1) How do you capture, convert and edit footage (workflow)?
(I work on a 2g/2g Mac G5 and FW800.)

a) File format? b) bandwidth in megabits?

2) When will you be able to offer this mod for the XL2?
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 01:28 PM   #1255
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In addition to Mr. Mersereau's questions -
- When will it be available for purchase?
- Will you sell packages of pre-made DVX100a's with Andromeda, or would we have to buy the DVX100a, then ship that to you for you to convert?
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 04:56 PM   #1256
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Hello,

No need to apologize, our booth was hard to find, and even though we got a continuous stream of people, a lot of people showed up with cocktail napkins that had our booth number on it and such. We distributed postcard-size flyers which hundreds of people got but they didn't have the booth number on it either. These were factors unfortunately out of our control.

Here are the answers to your questions:

Workflow:
For capture you connect the USB2.0 mini plug on the Andromeda DVX to your macintosh computer. We have been using a powerbook for everything, and have tested it on the mac mini, G5 and G4 desktops.

Our software SculptorHD allows you to monitor the uncompressed stream in real-time, along with the added dynamic range. Initially you capture to a raw uncompressed file which is then processed with SculptorHD into whatever format you desire. You can export individual frames, such as DPX, CIN, TIFF, etc. Or you can export movie clips in any Quicktime codec you already have installed, from uncompressed formats to compressed formats such as DVCPROHD. If you already have Final Cut Pro and/or Shake, you get the exact same codec list you can use in those programs. Essentially, the integration with editing/fx tools on MacOSX is as transparent as it is with any other aquisition system, because you can put the original uncompressed data in whatever format you desire.

Bandwidth:
At the maximum quality, the data rate at 24P is around 34MB/sec.

Installing on cameras other than DVX:
We will definitely move to another camera at some point, although at this moment we haven't made a decision. It could be one of the new HD cameras or an SD camera with HD capability at the chips such as the XL2.

Release date:
There will be a hardware beta testing stage for which there is an application on the website www.reel-stream.com. The beta testers will be selected by April 30th, and they will essentially be the first people to get to use the system. Depending on how beta testing goes, i estimate 1-2 months after beta testing starts.

Hope this helps,
Juan
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 06:51 PM   #1257
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This is the first I've read that it will connect with Mac laptops.
- Are PC laptops also going to be supported?
- Will it be possible to capture directly to a portable HDD device, like Firestore?
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 07:09 PM   #1258
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All throughout development we've been working on Macs. There will be a PC port but not for a few months.

I've discussed with several people about the difference between having a laptop versus a hard drive. First of all, having a hard drive is a lot more expensive for both manufacturing and the end customer. We couldn't make it as inexpensive if we had a direct to disk connection.

I had a discussion at NAB for example, with a person who shoots hanging from cliffs, etc. He asked why it couldn't connect instead to a USB2.0 drive directly. We both started thinking about what it would take...for example, assuming it did connect to a USB2.0 drive directly, what drive can you get that can handle that data rate...we both came up with a LaCie d2 at least. This is a drive that's bulky, heavy, and not designed to be banged around, rather than sit on a desk. On top of this, you still would have to figure out how to provide the 12V from which it runs on. The resulting drive+battery(ies) is heavier, and bulkier than an inexpensive Apple ibook, which can easily record to the internal hard drive.

If you need more storage, you can easily add inexpensive SmartDisk firelites or similar tiny drives on the laptop. The point is, power has to come from somewhere. The minute you think about making the camera the host(whether USB or firewire) and connect directly to a drive, the idea of having the device inside the camera goes out the window, and you need to carry yet another box which prevents accessories from being mounted on the DVX, not to mention the actual drive. There's just no way around it, because we are working with an already designed camera and there is limited space in it.

It ends up being much simpler and lighter to carry just the camera with an internal device, and a small notebook, which nowdays are light and slim. All accessories work as usual on the DVX, and the device takes power from the USB bus, which is already managed by the laptop. An ibook or powerbook running with the screen off in a backpack/shoulder bag is a tiny price to pay to get uncompressed 24P HD. Your other options are extremely expensive and/or heavily tethered.

Cheers,
Juan
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 07:43 PM   #1259
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OK, so what are the minimum specs required for the mac?

Assuming one had a Powerbook with 5400rpm 100gb hdd, and I kept 1/2 of that for capturing footage, how many minutes could I expect to capture of maximum quality 24p?

When I have reached capacity, would I then dump the captured files to an external drive and then reconnect the Powerbook to the Andromeda to continue shooting, or is there some kind of way to route the footage straight through to the external drive if I wanted and just swap external drives?
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Old April 23rd, 2005, 08:59 PM   #1260
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Basically, you can use the 34MB/sec for a good approximation. Take the number of free space in MegaBytes, and divide it by 34, this will give you the number of seconds of uncompressed video you can store...this is at a 1540x990 native frame size.

Do remember however, that you do not HAVE to record at the maximum quality. You can take your pick of any sampling pattern as well as color precision, and take advantage of the reduced data rate and increased recording times.

You can record the footage on whatever drive your computer recognizes. One of the features I am about to write will allow you to write to a drive and then seamlessly transfer to another without stopping the camera, thus allowing you to 'ping-pong' back and forth...so you can start at an external drive, switch over to the internal when it is full, during which there is enough time to swap external drives, or even unload it.

Machine wise, I think any new mac will do. I haven't tested on the tiniest ibook, but we are going to aquire one soon and test it. The mac mini works just fine, the internal drive seems to be as fast as the one in the powerbook.

Cheers,
Juan
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