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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old June 11th, 2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Portable Computer for Intensity Injest?

Anyone out there interested in a small portable computer out there that will injest HDMI thru the Intensity card?

I'm considering putting together a small package for people who want to injest to a computer. What options would you all be interested in?

Needs to be super quiet.

more than one intensity card for live switch?

come standard with Cineform codec? Premiere?

Onboard LCD for monitoring?

What else could you think of as an option.

Chris Swartz

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Old June 11th, 2007, 10:49 PM   #2
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How about Super Cheap.

Im looking for something now I have a 3 year old Sony Vaio, I love it but I need a P.C designated for editing. I'm looking at building a PC for around $1,200 -1,500 what can you offer me as in portable.
Thanks
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Last edited by Corey Sosner; June 12th, 2007 at 07:05 AM.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:41 AM   #3
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Chances are, most of your customers will already have laptops. But maybe not. I'd focus on just getting the intensity to work with an Express Card/34 slot. I know there's at least one product that might work, but haven't heard of anyone trying it yet. Pricing is going to be tough. People who buy $900 camcorders won't want to spend several thousand more on a specialized portable ingest station.

I'm looking for a solution for my mac book pro.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 10:21 AM   #4
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I'm interested, since I've been looking into building such a computer myself. It's true that most $900 camcorder users might not be interested, but maybe portable hdmi capture users would be interested in a $900 camcorder. Anyway, sounds good, but portability is a huge issue. I imagine something not unlike the si-2k body that silicon imaging makes (which is a XPe PC). Preferably smaller though. And a lot less expensive...

oh as for those options, I'd be interested in something with one intensity card and probably no software to keep costs down or at least configurable with no software. LCD would be great, especially if it has a quick release to be either mounted right on the computer or run a few feet away. By my calculations, something like that could cost under $2000

what about a pointing device? touchscreen?
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:20 PM   #5
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I definitely understand price is a huge factor in a decision, but think of it this way. A box that is going to be able to capture the footage is not going to be just a capture box, but also can be used as a main editing machine. Now all the extras is what's going to cost. For example.


Off Blackmagic support


Traditionally uncompressed HD video has required the use of very fast, external disk arrays. However the high quality Online JPEG codec included with the Intensity drivers means that you can capture high definition video to a single, internal SATA disk. If you want to work with uncompressed video, you'll need at least two SATA disks in a RAID 0 configuration for standard definition. For uncompressed high defintion we'd recommend at least four SATA II disks (with 16 MB cache and running at 7200rpm) in a RAID 0 configuation. The motherboards listed above are inexpensive and assume the use of internal disk storage for capture and playback of video. The following list of chassis note whether there is enough space and power connections for an internal SD or HD disk array.


Do you want uncompressed, or do you want to use their motion jpeg compression, or do you want to pay a little more and use Cineform (which is what I'd do)?

If you want uncompressed, you need a desktop. I can raid 2 or 3 of these drives into a small case and get close, but I can't promise anything untill I test it. More drives cost more. Laptops are just out straightaway.

As for an LCD, the case will have as an option a 7" lcd touchscreen that hides in the case like a car radio LCD so you won't have to lug around a monitor. How's that for cool.

I'll put one together and let you guys know. This would be a great thing for doing 2 camera live shoots as well. 2 HVR20's shooting a live event and mixing in HD. That sounds awesome.

Chris
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #6
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Sounds cool, uncompressed is overkill, im pretty sure everyone here would be OK with cineform capture or blackmagic MJPEG. I imagine that is all flexible and based on the intensity drivers, so technically you could offer recording of any compressed format that will compress fast enough on whatever hardware is included. You might want to leave that up to the buyer? Or are you going for a turnkey setup without too many options to confuse people?

stowable LCD is great as long as it is also removable to run tethered. I'd only be interested in one intensity card rather than two, but I guess thats an alright option to have as long as it doesnt increase the form factor and price.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #7
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I'm going to put one together without the LCD, since that will add about $400 to the equation. The idea is for it to be turnkey so you can turn it on and go. So are we talking about Intensity or Intensity Pro?

I should be able to get one together by early next week and have some pictures up for people to look at.


Chris
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Old June 12th, 2007, 01:28 PM   #8
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There are mini-itx boards out there that have PCI-Express slots, so a DIY luggable capture PC is definitely doable. Logic Supply carries a selection of Intel Core 2 Duo Mobile compatible boards.

Aside: The specs for the MSI 945GM2 at their site seem to imply two PCI Express slots, but according to the manufacturer's site it only has one PCI Express slot which supports either x16 or x1 cards. It does have an additional standard PCI slot; handy if you want to add Firewire and/or TV tuner card.

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Old June 12th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #9
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Great idea.

I agree on using a codec. Don't think RAW content is worth the price. I've been using Cineform Aspect HD tria for some time and think their codec is more than enough.

Four HDD's... too much weight, and too much noise, maybe. Price will be seriously changed as well.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 02:48 PM   #10
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so whats the configuration? windows? embedded? running on a HDD or flash? removable HDD storage? for footage? the device silicon imaging is using looks like a good option for removable HDD media (http://kingwin.com/kf25bk.asp). Easy enough to drop in a 250GB 2.5" hdd and hot swap them between shots.

This is all battery powered, right? what are you doing for PSU/battery? I always say the more modular the better.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 04:38 PM   #11
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Boot the OS off an internal 2.5" HDD or CF card but use a removable SATA to capture video.

For power there are all sorts of Automotive DC-DC supplies that should do the trick. You probably want the wide input voltage range so you can power it off car, generator, and/or power-tool batteries, and have the extra electrical noise suppression.

...at least that's how I'd approach designing such a system.

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Old June 12th, 2007, 04:48 PM   #12
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I'm not really into the 5.25" HDD enclosure since i'd hope the final product would be only 1-2x the size of a 5.25" device altogether. Definitely boot from flash and capture to 2.5" HDD.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 08:36 AM   #13
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Just had a few thoughts. With at least one eSATA port you would be able to hook up something like an ESATCASE2 for high-speed archival purposes.

A lot of the newer mini-itx boards support gigabit ethernet too, so you could go the NAS route. Either make the custom PC serve data to other machines or give it the ability to push data to NAS. You trade the speed of eSATA for convenience of ethernet.

Both approaches would help keep the capture box more compact, sealed and rugged. Moving parts=bad.

If the Linux drivers existed for all the parts, that's the OS route I'd take to build a well-tuned, application-specific capture machine. However, when it comes to off-the-shelf A/V hardware, it's a challenge on the best of days getting full Linux support. WinXP is the more likely route.

...Oh yeah, the crucial part will be sourcing the right-angle PCI-Express adapter so you can mount the Intensity card parallel to the board. A Google search turned up these cards by Orbit Micro but I haven't had occasion to use them (yet).
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:05 PM   #14
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Right now here's what I'm thinking.

For the first one I'm not thinking shooting in the field, unless you can run a power cable to it.

Themaltake Lanbox case
500 watt PS Quiet
Intel Micro ATX MB w/ onboard Video (w/ 2 PCI-E slots, if you want to use 2 cards)
Core 2 Duo E6600 2.4 Ghz w/ Silent Cooler
2 Gig Ram
DVD Burner
2 500 Gig Seagate drives in a raid 0 array (for speed)
Onboard TI Firewire
Onboard Sound
Onboard Video, unless specified GMA 3000
Several USB 2 ports
Intensity Card


The case is a bit big, but is a nice balance between portable and functional. It has a nice big handle. http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/produc.../vf1000bwa.asp

Should be very quiet. I'll get some pictures up later. Other nice thing is you can use this for capture and then bring it back and actually edit on it. Should be enough horsepower to use as desktop edit box.

All the other suggestions are helpfull as well, I'll look at them more indepth soon.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 02:50 PM   #15
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Lets not forget you would still need to use a keyboard, mouse and monitor in order to do anything with this box. Thats why laptops are so nice. The keyboard, mouse and monitor are already built in.

By the time you have to haul a keyboard, mouse and LCD monitor with you to a shoot it wouldn't really matter if the box itself was a micro style or a normal mid sized tower.

In order for this micro box to work it would have to inlcude the 7" LCD screen but the screen would have to be a touchscreen with a virtual keyboard application. This would eliminate the need for a keyboard, mouse and monitor.

I still think it would just be better For Blackmagic to make a Express Card slot version of the Intensity card.
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