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Old March 17th, 2008, 11:36 AM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam Letch View Post
mate this is all good news, I'm constantly thinking "If only I didn't have sucky compressed audio for this situation". This will help when I'm soloing in documentary and events land and have no sound man.

Cheers

Adam
Hi Adam-
Thanks! I would also emphasize that if you purchase Flash XDR only for improved video and audio quality, you will be missing half the benefits of this box. You see, if addition to improving both video and audio quality, Flash XDR will offer file-based tape-less workflow with search-able metadata and the ability to mark clips (good, better, best).

So, you should be able to save time in post by downloading only clips marked "good". Also you can search the metadata, which can be opened in Excel to locate clips based on GPS coordinates, director, event, date, camera number, etc. We'll have some predefined templates, but you can also create your own fields or entirely new templates.

We think this post-production work-flow enhancement will be as valuable as the A/V quality improvements. In the end, Flash XDR should enable you to produce a higher-quality product (video or tape) and save you time in post.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #122
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Transcend 32GB Compact Flash Card

We just finished some initial tests on the Transcend 32 GB CF card. This is an amazing card for only US $150; readily available from many retailers (I just purchased 4 from Newegg). It's also about 1/10 the price (per GB) of P2 or SxS cards.

Our tests indicate a write speed of 115 Mbps and a read speed of 330 Mbps. (Read speeds are, quite often, much faster than write speeds with Flash memory). So this card can easily support 50 Mbps and likely 80 Mbps MPEG2 streams (4:2:2, full-raster, Long-GOP).

We will also test the new Lexar UDMA Firewire 800 reader ($60) tomorrow. You can daisy-chain up to 4 readers together and set up an (unattended) batch transfer of 128 GB (4 cards) of video to your internal or external drive. So, for around $250, you basically get the same capability as the $1800 P2 reader (which admittedly holds 5 cards).

Given the huge price advantages of using a consumer memory and card readers, you can buy a Flash XDR + 4 Transcend CF cards for the same price of 6 of the 16GB P2 or SxS cards! You'll also get the improved video and audio quality, at no extra charge.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #123
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I am trying to figure out if this has any use for EX1 owners. The uncompressed recording is nice but 128gb for 17 minutes doesn't work for me. That's about a TB for every two hours.

I haven't tried the AJA box, but it claims to convert the footage live to 10 bit 422 ProRes HD. That is great because it is reasonable compression.

Am I missing something?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:21 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Mike Testin View Post
I am trying to figure out if this has any use for EX1 owners. The uncompressed recording is nice but 128gb for 17 minutes doesn't work for me. That's about a TB for every two hours.

I haven't tried the AJA box, but it claims to convert the footage live to 10 bit 422 ProRes HD. That is great because it is reasonable compression.

Am I missing something?
Hi Mike-
You don't have to go to full uncompressed for significant improvements in video / audio quality. Your EX1 uses MPEG2 4:2:0 Long-GOP compression at 35 Mbps rate. With the Flash XDR you can go up to 100 Mbps Long-GOP 4:2:2 or 160 Mbps 4:2:2 I-Frame only (which is above HDCAM quality). Either of these rates give you reasonable storage times. And of course, Flash XDR is certainly much more portable and battery powered compared to direct ingest into a laptop + IO HD.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 08:53 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Mike Testin View Post
I haven't tried the AJA box, but it claims to convert the footage live to 10 bit 422 ProRes HD. That is great because it is reasonable compression.
I hear Mikes response to that - Flash XDR is more portable etc - and it's certainly true.

But I suspect I'm not the only one here to think "wouldn't it be nice to have a box the size, weight etc etc of the XDR that recorded to ProRes.........?" It's called having cake and eating it.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #126
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Originally Posted by David Heath View Post
I hear Mikes response to that - Flash XDR is more portable etc - and it's certainly true.

But I suspect I'm not the only one here to think "wouldn't it be nice to have a box the size, weight etc etc of the XDR that recorded to ProRes.........?" It's called having cake and eating it.
But then you wouldn't get that sweet 50 Mbps setting that should really be a sweet spot for most people.

I hear you David but the shoot hdv and render to ProRes workflow works pretty well. Apple should focus on getting Other programs (After Effects) to work with it.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:51 AM   #127
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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Hi Mike-
You don't have to go to full uncompressed for significant improvements in video / audio quality. Your EX1 uses MPEG2 4:2:0 Long-GOP compression at 35 Mbps rate. With the Flash XDR you can go up to 100 Mbps Long-GOP 4:2:2 or 160 Mbps 4:2:2 I-Frame only (which is above HDCAM quality). Either of these rates give you reasonable storage times. And of course, Flash XDR is certainly much more portable and battery powered compared to direct ingest into a laptop + IO HD.
Mike, can you please explain how your product would benefit me as an Gy-HD200 owner. I wanna get the best quality out of this thing, so please tell me in layman's terms, how my GY-HD200--Flash XDR--FCS2 workflow would be and what's the highest quality I can expect, as opposed to what I get now with the Firewire capture. Thank you.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 10:55 AM   #128
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Originally Posted by Nikol Manning View Post
But then you wouldn't get that sweet 50 Mbps setting that should really be a sweet spot for most people.

I hear you David but the shoot hdv and render to ProRes workflow works pretty well. Apple should focus on getting Other programs (After Effects) to work with it.
We are seriously looking at a program to transfer our MXF files from the Compact Flash card and transcode to ProRes in a one step process. It won't occur in real time (maybe 2 to 3x), but we are hoping users can load up 4 CF readers, pick the files they wish to transfer (and concatenate) and optionally transcode to ProRes. Once the process is started, it should run unattended (run overnight).

Long-GOP MPEG2 unquestionably produces the best quality video for a given bit-rate below 100 Mbps. This is accomplished by the use of both spatial (I-Frame) and temporal (P and B frame) compression. MPEG2 does enable very high-quality video on low-cost Compact Flash cards, while providing long record times; a task not easily accomplished with I-Frame only CODECs.

But, Long-GOP MPEG2 is also undeniably more difficult to edit, so a transcode to the I-Frame ProRes as the data is being copied from the CF cards might be the best solution.

I would welcome your comments and suggestions.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:06 AM   #129
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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Our tests indicate a write speed of 115 Mbps and a read speed of 330 Mbps. (Read speeds are, quite often, much faster than write speeds with Flash memory). So this card can easily support 50 Mbps and likely 80 Mbps MPEG2 streams (4:2:2, full-raster, Long-GOP).
Hi Mike

Is this 50 Mbps speed with just one card or do you need four in striped in a RAID?

Stefan
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:15 AM   #130
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Mike,
Forgive my ignorance on codecs... but recording to a codec that one could also use as a delivery codec makes a lot of sense to me - no renders, no transcodes, it stays "pure"... so if one of the HD delivery darlings for High Def is H.264, what would be the disadvantages of using this codec with the same dialup options of Mbps?

Thanks,
Lonnie
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:29 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Stefan Sargent View Post
Hi Mike

Is this 50 Mbps speed with just one card or do you need four in striped in a RAID?

Stefan
Hi Stefan-
We can easily record the 50 Mbps on one card, no striping required. It looks like the Transcend 32 GB card will work up to 75 to 80 Mbps.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:31 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Lonnie Bell View Post
Mike,
Forgive my ignorance on codecs... but recording to a codec that one could also use as a delivery codec makes a lot of sense to me - no renders, no transcodes, it stays "pure"... so if one of the HD delivery darlings for High Def is H.264, what would be the disadvantages of using this codec with the same dialup options of Mbps?

Thanks,
Lonnie
Hi Lonnie-
Ultimately, the H.264 will be a better solution. But, we have not found a high-quality reasonably-priced hardware CODEC. In a few years, I am sure the semiconductor technology will be available.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 12:23 PM   #133
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Hi Stefan-
We can easily record the 50 Mbps on one card, no striping required. It looks like the Transcend 32 GB card will work up to 75 to 80 Mbps.
Can you stripe and hit 160 Mbps with 4 cards?

S
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Old March 26th, 2008, 01:03 PM   #134
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Can you stripe and hit 160 Mbps with 4 cards?

S
Hi Stefan-
Very cool idea! Yes, this is certainly possible, but would require some additional development work. We could go one of two routes: 1) Limit the playback to HD-SDI output only (no file transfer) or 2) Develop a program to stitch the files back together during transfer off the CF card.

Let me discuss with our engineers. But I do like the idea of using cheap 32GB CF cards to get better than HDCAM quality video. Excellent suggestion.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 01:11 PM   #135
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Long-GOP MPEG2 unquestionably produces the best quality video for a given bit-rate below 100 Mbps. ........

But, Long-GOP MPEG2 is also undeniably more difficult to edit, so a transcode to the I-Frame ProRes as the data is being copied from the CF cards might be the best solution.

I would welcome your comments and suggestions.
I'd agree with all that. Trouble is, "best solution" can take on different meanings depending which side you look at a puzzle from! :-)

I suspect what you are advocating is the most practical solution, given available hardware at a realistic price. That said, the "ideal" (from the users side!) would be for the XDR to code directly to whatever the NLE is most happy with - ProRes or whatever - and then allow download and ready to edit at a fraction of real time, rather than 2-3x. But presumably the chips simply do not exist (yet) to do that?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stefan Sargent
Can you stripe and hit 160 Mbps with 4 cards?
Shouldn't be necessary. Mike's comments are referring to a specific CF card which is pretty cheap - he quotes 32GB for $150. You can get much faster CF cards if you pay more which should easily make 160Mbs (and more) individually.

[EDIT]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell
But I do like the idea of using cheap 32GB CF cards to get better than HDCAM quality video. Excellent suggestion.
Ah - point taken, getting a very high bitrate recording, whilst still using very cheap memory. Interesting idea.

Last edited by David Heath; March 26th, 2008 at 01:23 PM. Reason: Add comment after seeing Mikes reply
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