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Old January 10th, 2006, 07:45 PM   #1
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Hdu-1

I just got a little approval to put my website back up.

So I'm going to let the cat out of the bag.

We are currently finishing up coding for the HDU-1 Deck. Uncompressed and portable and battery powered. It does use FPGA's and will be very simple to operate.

www.engr.mun.ca/~wakeham/index.html

Datasheet will be updated soon. And target price with a drive pack (800GB or 0.8Tb) is going to be cheaper than building a hd-sdi computer with similar storage. (Plus it will be able to hang off the back of a XL H1 and not make you tip over)
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Old January 10th, 2006, 08:38 PM   #2
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Interesting. It would be great if it could somehow ingest HD via component as well, so it would work with the HD100 and Z1 too.
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Old January 10th, 2006, 10:58 PM   #3
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KEITH!

AWESOME!

Just make sure it:

1. BNC for HD-SDI IN
2. 4-PIN FIREWIRE 400 for TIMECODE IN "AND" AUDIO L+R IN
3. BNC for HD-SDI OUT or FIREWIRE 800 for TRANSFER OF FILES TO PC

Ensure that you can trigger the unit to record with the button on the camera instead of forcing the Camera Operator to push a button on the unit.

If you successfully engineer these features into your unit, you will be a company that will offer someting never before offered in the world.

If you do this:
4. BNC x3 for COMPONENT IN *optional*
consider yourself an instant millionaire.

If you need a beta tester, I'm the best there is.

- ShannonRawls.com
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Shannon W. Rawls ~ Motion Picture Producer & huge advocate of Digital Acquisition.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:44 AM   #4
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The old concept on the site is... well, old. I'm still finishing up cleaning up the playback side of the coding and still working on finalizing the code for the interface.

Their will be HD-SDI in, and a passthrough, plus hd-sdi out (possibly 2) for playback.

Right now timecode is designed to be set with the deck. But that doesn't mean that it will be like that when we ship the product.

Right now we are getting the most basic setup to work - Which is really close to being able to build the pcb and put it in an enclosure.

Some things we wish to add include

- Sony 9 pin control (don't have a clue about firewire)
- Composite / RGB / DVI output (not sure which, its just a possibility that is easy to code, just uses a lot of FPGA IO's)
- Mega Drive Pak - for studio and display uses, upto 5TB
- Solid state pak - for those shots that are just to shaky for the regular pak
- Timecode via BNC


I'm not 100% sure that the analog these cameras output is compliant to the analog aspect of SMPTE 274 or SMPTE 296. If They are, then expect component - Either as an add on or as another device (such as a component to paralle smpte 274/296 to bypass the serialization)

Drive paks will be removable and a firewire (800) dock will be provided with the HDU-1.

Their will be a remote jack on the device for seperate Record control and one of the ideas I'm toying with right now in addition is to make the whole display and button assembly removable like the SRW-1.

Beta's will not do audio :(. Their is a provision for it though and it all has to do with what the files look like to the computer. Right now the files are pretty much uneditable with out a little translation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
If you successfully engineer these features into your unit, you will be a company that will offer someting never before offered in the world.
Come on, give me a break - I'm coding and designin my butt off and you want more ;)

I'm hoping to give a more finalize bit of information with regards to the display and buttons and stuff.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:36 AM   #5
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Good work Keith, hope to see it soon.

Just got around to reading your reply, after I emailed about some of the same things.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #6
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Keith, I know it may be a little early for that, but do you have any idea of when it might be shipping or at least for beta testing? At least a rough idea.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 05:41 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wakeham
It does use FPGA's and will be very simple to operate.
you guys designed your own fpga's? serious engineering.

doing the deck instead of the camera is a very smart idea... once people see the picture quality of 4:2:2 uncompressed over hdv, it'll be a no-brainer decision.

everything that i have been shooting over the last few months has been tapeless, direct to the hard disk of the fs-4, and i don't expect to ever shoot on tape again.

based on the above experiences, can i suggest something.

the ability to see the deck going into record mode when you have your eye up to the viewfinder is very important... using firewire to convey deck status to the camera viewfinder has proven to be indispensible for what i do, but worst case, even a port on the deck that allows for the attachment of a wired record led to be visible with the left eye.... maybe put the led in a bracket, fastened to the camera viewfinder?
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:23 PM   #8
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I think that a unit with a component uncompressed input would sell 20x better than the HDSDI unit.

Check this:

Sony sold 60,000 HC-1 HDV cameras so far. Now that is within several months.

They probably sold a lot more FX-1/Z1 units.

The new JVC HD-100 has a component out with 720/60p output.


HDSDI has the advantage that you can run the coax for about 200 feet, but with your setup you don't need to.

Z1 image is amazingly clean and may provide full 10 bit accuracy.

HDSDI is too expensive. If there would be a way to transfer the data from the unit to a computer via firewire and let the computer compress it, it would be perfect. It would not have to be in real time. You could should during the day, transfer the footage 2x a day and let the computer compress the footage overnight. Then there would have to be a way to get the footage into the 10 bit FCP, 8-bit Vegas, etc.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 06:44 PM   #9
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Well, we didn't design the fpga, we just wrote the vhdl and it was translated to a circuit schematic and the fpga was programed from this. We still have the body design and the PCB to get through yet. Right now still an design board with stuff connected to it.

We're still at a prototype stage and as much as we want to add features things have become an oxymoron. We want to add features but want to streamline it so we can get it out quickly. So their is definetly a remote jack and I'll definetly put and LED line in it. Great suggestion Dan.

I very much realize that a lot of people want component - And after HD-SDI I'll be all over that. But we are designing a high end professional tool.AJA makes a nice little box that will convert component to HD-SDI. These are around $1K USD I think and should work also.
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Old January 11th, 2006, 09:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Keith Wakeham

- Sony 9 pin control (don't have a clue about firewire)
- Composite / RGB / DVI output (not sure which, its just a possibility that is easy to code, just uses a lot of FPGA IO's)
- Mega Drive Pak - for studio and display uses, upto 5TB
- Solid state pak - for those shots that are just to shaky for the regular pak
- Timecode via BNC


I'm not 100% sure that the analog these cameras output is compliant to the analog aspect of SMPTE 274 or SMPTE 296. If They are, then expect component - Either as an add on or as another device (such as a component to paralle smpte 274/296 to bypass the serialization)
I checked the specs on the JVC and it is compliant with the component to HD-SDI converter that AJA make and therefore I guess is SMPTE compliant. That's untested of course.

Id say yes to the Sony 9pin control, not sure about the others although the DVI sounds useful.

Do you mean timecode in via BNC? or a complete I/O?

A solid state pack sounds nice, but wouldn't you have to mortgage your house for anything more than a few gigabytes...

A 64GB RamSAN for instance has a list price of $142,000....
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Old January 11th, 2006, 11:40 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Petr Marusek
HDSDI has the advantage that you can run the coax for about 200 feet, but with your setup you don't need to.
There are component/rgb over cat5 cable converters, I think that some will work over 1000 feet, but I'm not sure of the quality on the image though.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 09:40 AM   #12
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John - was thinking 4 GB CF cards in an array. Would Give a few minutes of recording but thats all. Haven't priced a 4GB CF card though.

I'm hoping that a common display converter will be useful for people running more professional setups with hd-sdi cards. They can connect it up to the deck and then run something like an apple cinema display or a dell 2405 without having to buy another converter. The reason being it is really really really easy to build in but at the cost of useful I/O pins and nothing more.

I meant timecode input, but but I can see Timecode out as useful. Like I said, the prototype being built now is very much a prototype and as such is very basic.

Oh, and keep in mind that we can completely reprogram the whole thing in a few minutes as many times as need be. So if we have the I/O's already their then we can just reprogram them to do something else, or add a new feature.
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Old January 12th, 2006, 07:02 PM   #13
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Wayne - I have used cat 5 balun converters for exhibition / installation purposes in Museums and tradeshows - they are good - excellent actually - to hook up a display - like a big 3 gun LCD projector or even a few of them - but they are not for critical program transpost applications.

200ft over BNC coax is gotta be enough......?

BTW - great idea guys - and yes - component in is a good idea!

....and timecode out [passthrough] so you can send wireless TC to an Audio recorder.

my 2c
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:05 AM   #14
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sorry, this would sound like a bump....
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Old January 13th, 2006, 08:37 AM   #15
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didn't get to update the website - again - I'm really really really busy with finishing off the menu control system.

From the emails I'm recieving and seeing on the boards here the big issues that people are seeing is
3) Audio - concerns for audio syncing and capture. I have provisions for this to be put in place.
2) TimeCode - in/out. Mainly issues with syncing audio and they want audio recording in the device. - It shall be not, but not right away

and the number 1 issue is the whole component debate. Its not forgotten. The whole thing is based more around smpte 274 and 296 then hd-sdi - HD-SDI gets deserialized via external chip and the device just sees smpte 274. So from some reports its a good chance I'll be able to get a cpld device programmed along with adc built that can covert component to 10 bit x 2 channel smpte 274.
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