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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old March 5th, 2008, 02:46 AM   #121
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
I'd give my left arm to have better than HDV quality again.
Hi Ethan, I agree. What I listed above is my "Affortable" Ideal Recorder. The hard fact, for me, is that I have an A1 which does not have HD-SDI nor HDMI. For the amount of $ I am prepared to invest in a DDR, I will trade 4:2:2 for lower price, smaller form factor and longer battery life. Furthermore, I have given my right arm to Canon, left foot to Microsoft, eyes to Dell already.

I understand that the XDR comes with many nice features and it opens the door to high fidelity for many. Which is great! However, I just hope that they will also produce a downgraded version that can help low budget guys like me.

Good point about battery, i have edited my last post.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #122
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I have a Canon XH-A1. My primary interest is the tapeless workflow. As a wedding videographer, my ideal DDR has the following functions:

- 1394 & HDMI input/output
- S-video or composite output
- RCA audio output
- 4 CF slots. Non-raid. Concurrent recording to 2 CF for backup would be great! This way, I won't even need tapes for backup.
- B&W backlit LCD display for menu, clip deletion, storage meter, etc. Color LCD for clip viewing is nice, however, I doubt that it's important to event videographers as we download everything to the PC anyway. I will opt for B&W for lower cost and longer battery life.
- records in avi, mov, mt2, cineform avi (may be)
- pre-recording 5 seconds of footage
- Time-lapse function
- 8-bit/HDV quality is good enough for me
- different power options: AA, 12V, Camcorder batteries, etc.
- good battery life, of course.
- can be mounted between the camera and the tripod.

I am sure that you can sell tonnes of these if you can sell them for less than $2000 per unit. I bet that we will see more camcorders with integrated CF recorder coming out after NAB. However, there are many of us who have invested heavily on older HDV/DV equipment and need third party DDR. There is definitely a big market there.
Hi Paul-
Wow, that is quite a list of features for under $2,000. Are you basically wanting to move to tapeless workflow and maintain the same quality level? Do you want a CF version of the Firestore drive?

HDMI I/O implies the need for a MPEG2 HD encoder, which adds considerably to the manufacturing cost and power requirements.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 09:57 AM   #123
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HDMI I/O implies the need for a MPEG2 HD encoder, which adds considerably to the manufacturing cost and power requirements.
So I'm guessing those fancy schmancy Sony MPEG2 encoders you guys are using don't come cheap. Good to know. Is it possible that you guys will be making the same box as your current design but with HDMI in place of SDI?

If so, it seems to me that the HDMI connector itself might be somewhat of a problem area. How would someone keep the connection secure while in the field? This isn't a question I'd expect you to have answered as you don't have a product using HDMI yet, just something that's rolling around in my head.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 10:48 AM   #124
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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Do you want a CF version of the Firestore drive?

HDMI I/O implies the need for a MPEG2 HD encoder, which adds considerably to the manufacturing cost and power requirements.
I've said in the past that a CF equivalent to the Firestore would be very desirable, the question mark now is whether Sony will sell the CF recorder that ships with the S270/Z7 as a stand alone unit in the future?

As regards Mikes second point, then if the bulk of the cost is in the MPEG2 encoder, would a device with HD-SDI AND HDMI input be a realistic option?

I see users wanting a device like the XDR for two basic reasons: increased quality over what a camera provides natively, and tapeless benefits (as Paul says). In the latter case, a "CF Firestore" gives all the tapeless benefits of solid state, without losing the tape ability and without the power etc issues that a harddrive device implies.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #125
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If companies would just build cameras that recorded higher quality to cheap tapeless media we wouldn't be having this discussion. Obviously Sony has a pretty decent MPEG2 encoder that can be had for under $3000 (a guess) so why not put that puppy in an EX1 type camera, and enable 4:2:2 and higher bitrates yourself instead of forcing us to come up with options through third parties?

I'm glad Convergent Designs decided to help us out by building this device, but couldn't Sony (or Canon, or JVC, or Panasonic) just save everyone the trouble and make the camera we've all been wanting all along? Obviously there is a perceived demand for it, since Convergent has sunk a lot of time and money into this project feeling that it will pay off in the end.

Whatever, I'm beating a dead horse, but it is a bit frustrating.
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Old March 5th, 2008, 11:13 AM   #126
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I've gone through the thread looking for it, I'm sure I asked about it at one point, but if we have an HDMI camera, an HV20 for instance, how are we supposed to power a nanoconnect in the field? I thought there was some sort of change a while back to allow for powering an HDMI to HD-SDI converter through the XDR, I could be wrong.

So far, the XDR looks like the CF recorder to beat and I'd like to get it now versus having to look into buying an HD-SDI compatible camera first. Looking around at test footage from other cameras, particularly the EX1, has made me realize that the video from my HV20 is perfectly acceptable and, many times, comparable to other 1080i/1080p cameras. It's only real weakness is tape-based HDV compression.

If there is no solution to this problem yet, then how long could it take to build a nanoconnect-like device that is powered by camera batteries? That would be perfect! =)
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Old March 6th, 2008, 08:55 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
So I'm guessing those fancy schmancy Sony MPEG2 encoders you guys are using don't come cheap. Good to know. Is it possible that you guys will be making the same box as your current design but with HDMI in place of SDI?

If so, it seems to me that the HDMI connector itself might be somewhat of a problem area. How would someone keep the connection secure while in the field? This isn't a question I'd expect you to have answered as you don't have a product using HDMI yet, just something that's rolling around in my head.
Hi Ethan-
This is the fundamental problem with HDMI..it is not a locking connector. Yes, we could make an XDR with HDMI input that would work great on the bench, but in real world applications, we see big problems keeping the HDMI cable connected.

We do have HDMI conversion products (nanoConnect and HD-Connect MI). So we are very familiar with the technology. HDMI is a great solution for the home environment where are the devices are fixed, but a run and gun application would be a disaster with HDMI cabling.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 09:35 PM   #128
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I know this may drive the price of an HDMI device up, but is there any way to make some type of proprietary locking connector for the XDR end of the box while leaving the camera side HDMI? I'd still rather a solution like that over having to buy an HDMI to SDI converter box to attach to the XDR. If I'm using an HDMI to SDI converter box in the field I'm having the same problem we've already discussed anyway while having the added headache of powering two external devices, and finding a way to mount both of them not to mention the added cost of the HDMI to SDI converter.
If you guys develop an HDMI only version of your Flash XDR with a locking connector on your end of things then that leaves me with only one iffy connection to worry about which still outweighs the other options.
Just a thought.
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Old March 6th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #129
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Ethan, just curious, which camera are you using that has an HDMI output?
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Old March 7th, 2008, 12:20 AM   #130
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Tim - I have an FX7 and HV20 that I wouldn't mind squeezing some better quality out of, why do you ask?
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Old March 7th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Tim - I have an FX7 and HV20 that I wouldn't mind squeezing some better quality out of, why do you ask?
I own Mike's naonConnect product and an HV20. I'm pleased to report, fantastic, error-free job getting live footage capture out of the HV20 - full 422 1080 HD. Used it on a controlled outdoor set with a Mac Pro w/HD-SDI - great product Mike! Well worth the cash - allowed for long cable runs with full HD.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 08:32 AM   #132
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
Tim - I have an FX7 and HV20 that I wouldn't mind squeezing some better quality out of, why do you ask?
I did not know which cameras had HDMI outputs.
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Old March 7th, 2008, 08:45 AM   #133
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Mike, this is an off question, but since your are knowledgeable about this space, I would like to ask.

What is the possibility of merging the XDR concept of 4:2:2 SDI recording with a laptop computer?

A combiniation of recording high bitrates along with a high resolution preview monitor would be quite a useful field tool.

Is this a remote possibility of a product offering from your company? Or at least an interface that would work with a laptop?

High resolution monitoring seems so much more important with HD that most would be lugging another device along anyway.

Thanks
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Old March 7th, 2008, 10:19 AM   #134
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Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
I did not know which cameras had HDMI outputs.
Oh, in that case, let me list the ones I know of:

V1u
FX7
HV20/30
(the forthcoming) HCM150
and most sub $1500 AVCHD cameras of which I know little about.
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Old March 27th, 2008, 08:44 AM   #135
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Originally Posted by Ethan Cooper View Post
I know this may drive the price of an HDMI device up, but is there any way to make some type of proprietary locking connector for the XDR end of the box while leaving the camera side HDMI? I'd still rather a solution like that over having to buy an HDMI to SDI converter box to attach to the XDR. If I'm using an HDMI to SDI converter box in the field I'm having the same problem we've already discussed anyway while having the added headache of powering two external devices, and finding a way to mount both of them not to mention the added cost of the HDMI to SDI converter.
If you guys develop an HDMI only version of your Flash XDR with a locking connector on your end of things then that leaves me with only one iffy connection to worry about which still outweighs the other options.
Just a thought.
Hi Ethan-
I apologize that I missed this post. We've had our heads in the lab debugging XDR. We have a solution coming which will be introduced shortly, just working out the final specs and brochure.
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