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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:50 PM   #1
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Is A Mercom Core 2 Duo Capable of Propect HD Injest?

Compared to a desktop, it has a slower front side bus, lower clock speeds, and 5400 or 4200rpm disks instead of 7200. And at most 2 disks in an array.

The advantage would be a battery operated capture system.

If it is possible, how would the capture link to an HD-SDI or analog HD component card?

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Old August 5th, 2006, 10:25 PM   #2
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The issue is the capture card, none will work in a laptop yet. We don't know yet if a fast Memrom is sufficient for HD-SDI ingest, but we will learn soon.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 03:12 AM   #3
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There have been a few murmerings of HD-SDI via ExpressCard but nothing that is a real life product we can test. Such a solution would really NEED CineForm Prospect Ingest because...

a. Your storage solution on a laptop is already compromised in terms of space - would 2x120gb HDs in RAID-0 be enough for anything meaningful? I don't think so.

b. How fast is a laptop 7200rpm hard disk? Even in RAID I do wonder if it could handle the extreme bandwidth of an uncompressed stream... and if uncompressed capture is not possible, how many hardware producers will release a product like this when it will be entirely reliant on CineForm compression?

I've done a fair bit of research into this, and the bottom line is that if your one key advantage is a battery powered system, you might as well give up now.

I'd say there's a good possibility that a high-end Merom could capture in realtime, but it's going to be maxing out both cores, putting a lot of stress on the hard disks etc. So how long will the battery last, exactly? 45 minutes?

I'm looking into this solely because I'm encountering a lot of jobs whereby I need to pack up, jump on a plane and instantly capture in HD, preferably editing on-location too - especially to cover trade events etc. So while I consider a laptop HD capture system to be highly advantageous for my own work, I don't expect it to be battery powered. I'd also expect to have to factor in a VERY large external hard disk too.


So when all's said and done and you're looking at an on-location 'capture box', you have to wonder if all the hassle is worth it when there is a proven solution out there in the form of the Wafian HR-1. If you're talking about RAID laptops, those things are enormous and weigh a ton, so with the battery powered requirement out of the window, Wafian suddenly takes centre stage.

Last edited by Richard Leadbetter; August 13th, 2006 at 04:01 AM.
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Old August 13th, 2006, 10:01 AM   #4
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The Waifan is way expensive ($17k) and says its a plug in device. A twin disk laptop with 2 120gb 5400rpm disks is under $3k. Core 2 versions should be comparably priced. And new disks should raise that to 200gb or 250gb each.

For AC power, a Waifan sized LAN party configuration, with terabytes of 7200 rpm disk would be less than $3k. However, you still need a monitor, keyboard, and mouse...making it rather bulky.

One limitation of the ExpressCards is limitation to HD-SDI without analog support. This limits camera selection to the H1, G1, and HD250, eliminating the HVX200, A1, and HD100/110/200.

In 3 years this maybe a historical argument, as in camera recording uses 10-bit Hi444P@Level 4 H.264 encoding to its native media.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 12:11 AM   #5
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The hardware solutions you moot might indeed be cheaper, but as I said, desktop replacement laptops cannot be realistically run from battery when performing ultra-CPU stressing tasks such as CineForm realtime capture. My own DTR notebook (Dell XPS M1710 - running a T7400 Merom - with an enormous battery) decodes and plays 720p/60 CineForm files off the hard disk for less than an hour.

Also consider that laptop SATA drives are not as fast as their desktop brethren - so my point about whether any one will actually produce a card that is entirely reliant on CineForm compression remains. I'm not 100% convinced that a laptop RAID-0 array could manage sustained uncompressed capture, but I'm sure that a 7200rpm SATA laptop drive would cope with CineForm capturing (indeed CineForm RAW runs from 5400rpm drives if memory serves).

The discussion is kind of moot in that as David pointed out earlier, there is no capture card available. In fact, all I've seen is a CAD-rendered 3D model of an ExpressCard34 that *might* be coming out. If you have further info, please let me know.

Whichever way you look at it, right now the only realistic option is a Wafian capture unit. I'm sure you could build your own unit pretty close to their design, but obviously your $3k build cost is not realistic - as it does not factor in Xena AJA hardware, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, nor the Prospect HD Edit/Ingest packages you will need to buy.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 11:42 AM   #6
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this company has a lot of interesting stuff in development
http://www.vydeo.com
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Old August 14th, 2006, 01:56 PM   #7
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Yeah, that's the company with the CAD diagram - the site hasn't been updated for some time. It looks as though that one captures into the Avid codec.
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Old August 14th, 2006, 04:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard Leadbetter
Whichever way you look at it, right now the only realistic option is a Wafian capture unit. I'm sure you could build your own unit pretty close to their design, but obviously your $3k build cost is not realistic - as it does not factor in Xena AJA hardware, Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0, nor the Prospect HD Edit/Ingest packages you will need to buy.
I've suggested previously that you could build a small PC with an HD-SDI capture card, RAIDed hard drives, Prospect HD ingest, Premiere Pro software, LCD monitor, etc. for about half the price of a Wafian unit - and you'd get a complete on-site editing system in the process. Not as pretty or convenient as a Wafian perhaps, but given this option I'm puzzled by the Wafian pricing.

As far as laptops are concerned, I did a quick Google search and found hints that there may soon be HD-SDI capture solutions for laptops with expresscard slots (e.g. see link below). If so, put one of these on a laptop with 2 or more internal hard drives and a large external batttery, and you just might be able to assemble a fully self-contained ProspectHD ingest setup. Just speculating about the possibilities, but why not?

http://www.vydeo.com/products/EC34.html
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Old August 14th, 2006, 06:58 PM   #9
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We saw the vydeo link many weeks ago and of course got excited by it. But despite both phone and emails into them I have had zero response. By description it seems their product is pre-designed specifically for Prospect HD HD-SDI ingest on a laptop, so if they're real I would have assumed they'd respond to us.

We're awaiting a Merom laptop to validate encode performance - we don't have one yet although we have both Conroe and Woodcrest systems.
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Old August 15th, 2006, 12:09 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
I've suggested previously that you could build a small PC with an HD-SDI capture card, RAIDed hard drives, Prospect HD ingest, Premiere Pro software, LCD monitor, etc. for about half the price of a Wafian unit - and you'd get a complete on-site editing system in the process. Not as pretty or convenient as a Wafian perhaps, but given this option I'm puzzled by the Wafian pricing.
Price up a DVCPRO-HD tape deck and suddenly it's the Wafian that looks like the bargain - cheaper, far superior quality, you name it ;) You can't really judge this type of product by the build cost - you have to factor in the amount of sales they are likely to get, the R&D that went into the unit, the marketing, the price of the competition, etc etc etc.
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Old August 16th, 2006, 11:57 AM   #11
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I think the whole laptop from Camera issue is a good excuse to check the the Silicon Imaging setup, since it's Gigabit Ethernet based and most moderm laptops and dekstops come equipped out of the box. I guess another option is to get a small form factor desktop that can fit into a pelican case and rent a small generator if needed. Honda 2000i generators are inverter gens that are safe to hook computers and other sensitive electronics to. They output 1600 watt continuous and weighs 45lbs. Run 6 hours on a single tank (1 gal). Nothing a PA couldn't handle.

Frustrating to have to wait for developments for real needs isn't it?
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Old August 16th, 2006, 02:50 PM   #12
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and rent a small generator if needed.
What about the noise of a small gas engine?

Best,
Christopher
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Old August 16th, 2006, 04:43 PM   #13
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Those Hondas and another brand named Kipor are rated at 55db at 21 feet, basically the sound of normal talking without being intrusive. Not very loud at all. I've used them on location before and you still need to do some additional sound dampening, but not a lot. Make sure the exhaust isn't pointing to a hard surface.
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