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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:12 PM   #16
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Flash XDR is not for HV20 owners this is for professional cams such as XL H1 and JVC HD250. If you pay 10k on a camera and maybe another 10k-20k on lenses you can pay 5k to get full raster 1080p in 4:2:2 color space.

I am sure someone will come out with a HDMI version for under 2K. Great job Convergent Designs I see this being big with the rental community. Let me get the XL H1 with the mini 35 and the Flash XDR. It seems like a no brainer for commercial work.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 07:52 PM   #17
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Flash XDR is not for HV20 owners this is for professional cams such as XL H1 and JVC HD250. If you pay 10k on a camera and maybe another 10k-20k on lenses you can pay 5k to get full raster 1080p in 4:2:2 color space.

I am sure someone will come out with a HDMI version for under 2K. Great job Convergent Designs I see this being big with the rental community. Let me get the XL H1 with the mini 35 and the Flash XDR. It seems like a no brainer for commercial work.
Why not? If the HV20 is part of you professional setup....then....with the Nano-XDR combination it can be used for the HV20 and other HDMI capable cams. Grant it this is an expensive solution for the average consumer...but not necessarily for pro-sumers.
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Old August 29th, 2007, 09:29 PM   #18
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I agree, $5,000 seems like a lot for a CF storage option.

This seems like the norm for anything HD, way more expensive than what we are used to paying for SD.

For $5,000, can one record straight to a laptop with external drives?

The SDI output will probably not be used for "run & gun" shooting anyway.
Keep in mind that this box ENCODES to XDcam HD, HDV or 50 Mb/s 422 profile MPEG2 HD. Laptop options capture existing bitstreams, but there are very few practical options for real-time capture/encode.

SDI can and is used for all kinds of things. The connection has very little to do with the devices portability. This thing is slightly bigger than four decks of playing cards...you can velcro it on the camera.

I think when anyone compares pricing on these "HD" items to "SD", they're actually not thinking "SD", they're thinking "DV". Capturing (and usually encoding) 4:2:2, high bandwidth standard definition material isn't nearly as cheap as all the solutions for capturing 4:1:1/4:2:0 DV material.

I think this a significant point as this device has capability beyond HDV workflows...
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Old August 30th, 2007, 02:39 AM   #19
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What kind of batteries does it use ? just wondering if it also has a commercial mount option eg- vlock or anton
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Old August 30th, 2007, 08:01 AM   #20
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The thing comes with an Anton Bauer ElipZ 10K Battery, which will run the device for 8 hours by preliminary calculations.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 06:07 PM   #21
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Thanks for your presence here, Mike.

Whilst the design announced is very welcome, would you have any thoughts on it becoming part of a 'family' of products?

Versatile it may be, but for some a simpler, cheaper option (also smaller and lighter) may be more appropiate? Effectively giving the facilities of a Firestore with solid state removable media? Valuable though the features may be on occasion, much of the time light weight is of prime importance when attached to the camera.

Another thought would be to have a degree of compatability with Sonys SxS system (2xCF slots and 2xSxS, maybe?). This could be valuable for a user required to work for a future SxS client, and requiring a degree of compatability with their workflow, whilst using their own camera. The client would be able to issue a stock of cards at the beginning of the shoot, gather them at the end with material.
Hi David-
Yes, this very well may evolve into a family of products with different feature sets at different prices. We'll be listening for feedback from intiial customers to determine the configuration of future versions.

Regrading the cheaper, lighter version, are you proposing a simple recorder box that accepts HDV over 1394 and records to Compact Flash instead of a hard-drive? So, a version of the Flash XDR w/o MPEG2 encoder and HD-SDI I/O?

Yes, we thought about the Express (Flash) card as a storage option. It looks attractive and offers high read-write bandwidth (800 Mbps). But the design time for the PCIe interface is lenghty and we don't want to delay introduciton of out box. Secondly, most laptops only have one PCIe external slot, which most videographers would like to use for a RAID hard-drive. If you use Express card memory, you are forced to Firewire-800 external drives.

So, we think using a Firewire-800 reader for the Compact Flash and leaving the PCIe slot for the RAID hard-drive is a better overall solution (at least for laptops). Besides, Compact Flash already has a read speed of 340 Mbps, which supports file downloads of 60 minutes of XDCAM HD material in under 8 minutes.

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Old August 30th, 2007, 06:51 PM   #22
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Hi David-
Yes, this very well may evolve into a family of products with different feature sets at different prices.
Good to hear, Mike!
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Regrading the cheaper, lighter version, are you proposing a simple recorder box that accepts HDV over 1394 and records to Compact Flash instead of a hard-drive? So, a version of the Flash XDR w/o MPEG2 encoder and HD-SDI I/O?
That would certainly be one option, and may be more attractive to some than what you have already announced - not just because of cost, but also because it's less weight to hang on a camera. Not just HDV, but also DV, and maybe DVCProHD to make it compatible with the HVX200. Effectively a solid state Firestore with removable media. (And hopefully more weatherproof, and without any fan noise.) I do stress I would see this as an ALTERNATIVE to the XDR - not instead of - the enhanced feature set of the XDR may well outweigh the cost/weight penalties in many instances.
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Yes, we thought about the Express (Flash) card as a storage option. It looks attractive and offers high read-write bandwidth (800 Mbps). But the design time for the PCIe interface is lenghty and we don't want to delay introduciton of out box. Secondly, ..........
At the moment, much production (at least in the UK) is still SD widescreen, and the use of such DVCAM cameras as the DSR500/570/450 is very widespead. High Definition and tapeless working are on the agenda, and likely to form two essential items when camera upgrades are required.

In practice, the tapeless facility of a camera is likely to be used much earlier the High Definition capability, though this will obviously vary from user to user. A lot of advance interest has been generated by Sonys announcement of SxS development. A device such as yours with SxS cards would enable a broadcaster to move on to a solid state infrastructure based on that platform, without needing to immediately replace all existing cameras. It would also enable a DVCAM tape recording to be made as backup/archive simultaneously to a tapeless recording intended for more immediate use.

It would also be potentially very valuable to such as a freelance with a DSR450, who may be working for clients who start to demand SxS compatibility. Until they start to require HD, he would be able to satisfy their needs without having to buy another camera.

I accept what you say about development time - but maybe another idea for the future? For a self contained operation, I agree that it may offer little advantage over Compact Flash and may indeed be less desirable for the reasons you say, which is why I wondered about 2 SxS slots IN ADDITION to 2 Compact Flash - not in place of. The choice of using one or the other may be very useful.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 07:39 PM   #23
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I would think it very likely that most of the buyers of the EX would love to have the availability of a 2nd recording sysem you could run at the same time with little weight, ....just in case of a bad card?

Cheers Vaughan
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Old August 30th, 2007, 07:44 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
Good to hear, Mike!

That would certainly be one option, and may be more attractive to some than what you have already announced - not just because of cost, but also because it's less weight to hang on a camera. Not just HDV, but also DV, and maybe DVCProHD to make it compatible with the HVX200. Effectively a solid state Firestore with removable media. (And hopefully more weatherproof, and without any fan noise.) I do stress I would see this as an ALTERNATIVE to the XDR - not instead of - the enhanced feature set of the XDR may well outweigh the cost/weight penalties in many instances.

I accept what you say about development time - but maybe another idea for the future? For a self contained operation, I agree that it may offer little advantage over Compact Flash and may indeed be less desirable for the reasons you say, which is why I wondered about 2 SxS slots IN ADDITION to 2 Compact Flash - not in place of. The choice of using one or the other may be very useful.
Hi David-
Thanks for the feedback and recommendations. Yes, I can see that a FLASH based equivalent to a Disk-Drive based system would offer many advantages in terms of weight, power, noise, size and reliability.

I also agree with your points on the SxS cards. As this format becomes more popular, many videographers will carry these cards as part of their basic kit, so compability will becomre more important. We'll continue to study this option for the future.

If anyone is attending IBC, please stop by our booth at Stand 7.703.

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Old August 31st, 2007, 05:29 PM   #25
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I also agree with your points on the SxS cards. As this format becomes more popular, many videographers will carry these cards as part of their basic kit, so compability will becomre more important. We'll continue to study this option for the future.
Again, good to hear! I feel quite a likely scenario with cards (once solid state acquisition starts to become mainstream) is that the ownership of the cards is more likely to rest with the client than the cameraman - be issued at the start of the shoot, collected at the end.

It's been pointed out to me that in addition to any simpler device being able to record HDV, DV, and DVCProHD, the obvious other candidates are 35 and 50 Mbs XDCAM-HD, for cameras able to output one or both over Firewire. This would obviously be valuable to XDCAM-HD owners - the card recording being most suitable for immediate use (faster download, easy use with laptops without separate readers etc), the disc forming the archive/backup. It would also potentially benefit XDCAM-HD disc camera owners who find clients starting to embrace SxS for similar reasons to before - they could satisfy those clients requirements without purchasing a new camera. This does assume that such a device supports SxS as well as CF.

When used with a larger camera, it is extremely useful to be able to power the Firestore from the main camera battery - the same facility would be very desirable in any device you produce. It would also be useful if the device could power up quickly as the camera is switched on, maybe using the switched power output of the camera? In an ideal world it could be fixed to the camera, connected via power and Firewire, and clone the tape or disc recording with no further user operations, switching on and off with the camera? Hopefully solid state devices could go from power up to record ready in much less time than the Firestore.
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Old September 3rd, 2007, 02:21 PM   #26
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Again, good to hear! I feel quite a likely scenario with cards (once solid state acquisition starts to become mainstream) is that the ownership of the cards is more likely to rest with the client than the cameraman - be issued at the start of the shoot, collected at the end.

When used with a larger camera, it is extremely useful to be able to power the Firestore from the main camera battery - the same facility would be very desirable in any device you produce. It would also be useful if the device could power up quickly as the camera is switched on, maybe using the switched power output of the camera? In an ideal world it could be fixed to the camera, connected via power and Firewire, and clone the tape or disc recording with no further user operations, switching on and off with the camera? Hopefully solid state devices could go from power up to record ready in much less time than the Firestore.
Hi David-
Good recommendations! Yes, we can power this device off the main camera battery, Flash XDR has a input voltage range of +5V to +17V, so we can accomandate a wide range of power supplies / batteries. Yes, we can trigger a record based on the Firewire connection. I don't think we can power up and down automatically with the camera, but the "boot-up" time is rather short for our box (under 5 seconds) anyway. The power consumption of our box is rather low (under 8 watts active), so we won't drain the battery too quickly if left powered-on.


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Old September 7th, 2007, 08:06 AM   #27
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Does the XDR have a line-out so you can take the 50mps 4:2:2 signal out and capture it to your computer directly? I'm wanting to capture 3 cameras and switch them live, and I understand if they each had an XDR that would give a relatively high quality compression, without the massive data of the "uncompressed" signal that comes from the HD SDI output.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 08:32 AM   #28
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Keep in mind that Serial Digital (SDI, HDSDI) is a "baseband" (a term that would be more accurately applied in the world of analog) transmission method...it's uncompressed. It is an actual video signal traveling through the line as opposed to a file transfer when you bring in DV or HDV (or on a Mac, DVC ProHD) through FireWire for example.

If you took an HDSDI output from the unit it would likely be a loop through, which would of course, be uncompressed, but even if you played out compressed footage from a flash card in the box through HDSDI, the video coming out would be "uncompressed", or maybe more properly, "decompressed' to a full bandwidth stream.

Maybe the ideal thing for you might be to run a Flash XDR downstream from the switcher? remember that the encoding to the 50 Mb/s bitstream is inside the box itself and the way you would move that as data would be to perform a file transfer from the flash memory cards themselves.
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Old September 7th, 2007, 04:28 PM   #29
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Thanks Tim--that helps
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Old September 7th, 2007, 06:05 PM   #30
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...AND FWIW:

I just got clearance to mention that the device will now arrive with 160 Mb/s 4:2:2 I-Frame (No...that is not a typo. this thing will do MPEG2 I-frame at a data rate higher than HDcam).

I love these crazy guys...
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