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Old June 14th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #16
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Mike, When either the Nano or XDR is used as the playback device, how is the footage
played back from either the 2 cards (Nano) or 4 cards (XDR) ??

Will the playback be seamless from each card or will I need to start each card during playback.

I could see using either of these as an HD playback deck for giving presentations with a
nice HDMI input front projector setup. :-)

P.S. I know that add on is required for HDMI....
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Old June 14th, 2008, 09:41 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
Mike, When either the Nano or XDR is used as the playback device, how is the footage
played back from either the 2 cards (Nano) or 4 cards (XDR) ??

Will the playback be seamless from each card or will I need to start each card during playback.

I could see using either of these as an HD playback deck for giving presentations with a
nice HDMI input front projector setup. :-)

P.S. I know that add on is required for HDMI....
Hi Ray-
Good question. Yes, the playback will be seamless across multiple cards. We have not completely defined the playback menus, but initially you will be able to select a starting and ending file and play these files sequentially without glitches.

I am sure we will develop additional capability, such as order playlist in the future.

The nanoFlash does have a +5V power out tap to run the HDMI <-> HD-SDI conveters (for capture or playabck operations). We do have a couple of early adopters planning to use our box as a high-quality playback devices as you suggested.
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Old June 16th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #18
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nanoFlash Press Release

Here's the formal Press Release on nanoFlash. We're reusing 95% of the Flash XDR technology, so we expect the nano to follow very closely behind XDR.

More details and pre-order form will be available on our website tomorrow.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Convergent Design Unveils nanoFlash
Highly Versatile HD Recorder/Player

(Colorado Springs, CO, 16-June-2008) Convergent Design announced today the nanoFlash, the second product in their line of portable HD Recorder / Player products. nanoFlash records video, audio and time-code from an HD-SDI stream onto CompactFlash© (CF) cards, employing the high-quality Sony 4:2:2 MPEG2 CODEC for compression. Boasting the smallest size, (4.2x3.7x1.4”, 106x94x36mm) and lowest power (<10W active, <2W standby), nanoFlash is poised to revolutionize the industry with an MSRP of US $3495 coupled with low-cost CompactFlash Media.

The camera-mountable nanoFlash, a miniaturized version of the award winning Flash XDR, has two CF card slots and embedded audio support only (see Flash XDR for analog audio I/O + four CF slots). nanoFlash can be powered from a camcorder battery (6.5 to 20V) and records 1080i60/50, 1080p30/25/24 or 720p60/50 at full-raster (1920x1080i/p and 1280x720p) 4:2:2 MPEG2 at 50/100 Mbps (Long-GOP) or 100/160 Mbps (I-Frame only). As both a recorder and player, nanoFlash sports HD-SDI I/O as well as LTC-in, RS-232/485 (remote control) and a power/start/tally-light connector. High-quality MPEG2 video and up to eight-channels of embedded audio and time-code can be stored in the MXF format using the FAT32 file system. nanoFlash seamlessly records and plays back across the two CompactFlash cards.

32GB Compact Flash cards, available for US $135 each (about 1/10 the cost of other professional video cards), enable 140/70 minutes of record time of high-quality 50/100Mbps 4:2:2 footage (per load of two cards). (Note: bit-rates above 100Mbps require the 300X 16GB CF cards for US$216 each). Unlike Firewire based hard-disk recorders, which merely copy the native camera video quality, nanoFlash can encode a live camera’s “never-compressed” HD-SDI output to a much higher quality – higher bit-rate with less compression, eliminating most of the mosquito noise and blurring artifacts. Full-raster 1920x1080 (as opposed to 1440x1080 or 1280x1080) processing, coupled with 4:2:2 color (instead of 4:2:0), greatly improves horizontal resolution as well as keying and compositing operations. Unique features such as 24p pull-down removal, image flip, time-lapse recording and RAID1 redundant recording capability (automatic backup) further enhance the workflow.

nanoFlash eliminates the need for costly tape decks. A daisy-chain of up to four stackable Lexar Firewire-800 UDMA CompactFlash readers (total cost = US $240) is the only “deck” required. Editors now have direct access to up to 280 minutes of 50 Mbps 4:2:2 footage (four CF cards) from their NLE timeline, without copying to their hard-drive. High performance (330 Mbps read-speed), coupled with very low access times (0.4 mS) enable up to four streams of 50 Mbps playback from the NLE timeline.

“nanoFlash is a fantastic addition to virtually all HD-SDI based cameras, offering high-quality recording / playback and enabling a tapeless workflow on low-cost CompactFlash media,” noted Mike Schell President of Convergent Design. Additionally, finished projects can be archived by recording back to nanoFlash via the HD-SDI out from an NLE. The file(s) can then be copied from CF cards to a Blu-ray disk for long-term storage (a 50GB Blu-ray disk at US$35 holds 60 minutes of visually lossless 100 Mbps 4:2:2 Long-GOP video).

nanoFlash includes a special +5V output tap for powering HDMI → HD-SDI (nanoConnect) or HD-SDI → HDMI (nanoView) converters. These converters can be mounted on the backside of nanoFlash enabling recording from HDMI based cameras or playback to HDMI/DVI monitors and projectors for presentations, museums, and client review, etc.

nanoFlash can be further enhanced with an ASI I/O firmware upgrade (pricing TBD). ASI I/O (MPEG2 TS) enables use of nanoFlash in HD ENG/EFP (live news coverage) and video over IP applications. Programmable bit-rates from 17.5 to 100 Mbps easily support microwave and satellite transmissions.

nanoFlash is priced at US $3495 and is targeted to ship in September, 2008. More information and ordering information is available at http://www.convergent-design.com
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Old June 17th, 2008, 02:07 PM   #19
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nanoFlash Brochure and PreOrder Posted

The nanoFlash brochure and associated information is now posted at http://www.convergent-design.com The pre-order form is also now available.
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Old June 17th, 2008, 07:32 PM   #20
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Mike, When you announce the firmware upgrade what do you think will be included and
how will the changes look on the codec compare page you have posted??
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Old June 17th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Bell View Post
Mike, When you announce the firmware upgrade what do you think will be included and
how will the changes look on the codec compare page you have posted??
Hi Ray-
Not sure I fully understand your question, but with regard to firmware changes we'll be adding more functionality over time, such as time-lapse recording and remote control commands and other such enhancements.

None of these changes will impact the CODEC comparison chart as shown in this other thread. The video quality is totally controlled by the Sony MPEG2 CODEC, which will not change. The MPEG2 compression is hard-wired in silicon and can not be changed via a firmware update. That said, we find the quality to be absolutely fantastic, especially at the 100 Mbps 4:2:2 Long-GOP level. We did some more record and playback tests (with motion) and the results were stunning. The Sony chart show the 100 Mbps to be above HDCAM quality and near HDCAM SR.

Did this answer your question?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #22
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Maybe Ray was referring to the upcoming option for 10-bit?
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Old June 18th, 2008, 07:53 AM   #23
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Dear Ray,

Were you referring to the optional firmware upgrade for recording uncompressed?

If so, this optional upgrade will only be offered on the Flash XDR and not the nanoFlash.

Recording uncompressed requires a very high bandwidth. In order to support uncompressed we have to write to four CompactFlash cards simultaneously using very fast CompactFlash cards.

Since the nanoFlash only has two CompactFlash card slots, we cannot support the uncompressed recording option.

We have been very pleased with the results of recording using 100 megabit variable bit-rate MPEG2 recording, which is supported by the nanoFlash.

Frankly, we think this is the "Sweet Spot" as this provides very good footage while keeping the files to a manageable size.
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Old June 18th, 2008, 08:56 AM   #24
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Yes, I was asking about the 10 bit upgrade... so its XDR for bandwidth at 10 bit then....
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Old June 25th, 2008, 05:55 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by George Kroonder View Post
After calming down a bit I realize that 10W is way too much to draw from the Sony EX cameras... But it would still be nice to fit it easily on the cam.

George/
If you don't want the extra weigth of a separate battery, you can easily power nanoFlash from the BP-U60 battery, mounted on the EX1/EX3 through Bebob's Coco EX adapter.
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Old June 25th, 2008, 10:27 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
If you don't want the extra weigth of a separate battery, you can easily power nanoFlash from the BP-U60 battery, mounted on the EX1/EX3 through Bebob's Coco EX adapter.
Hi Piotr-
Very cool! I am going to order one and test with the EX1 and nanoFlash proto box.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 02:40 AM   #27
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Mike,

If you think it's a good idea, please give us an option of D-tap cable with nanoFlash.

I originally bought the Coco-ex for powering a lamp from the EX's battery, but the manufacturer soon realized the U60 has not enough capacity to feed anything more demanding than some 10W (apart from the camera of course); now it looks like it would fit nanoFlash perfectly...
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:40 AM   #28
 
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I'd love to have D-tap to power off of my IDX battery system.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by Piotr Wozniacki View Post
Mike,

If you think it's a good idea, please give us an option of D-tap cable with nanoFlash.

I originally bought the Coco-ex for powering a lamp from the EX's battery, but the manufacturer soon realized the U60 has not enough capacity to feed anything more demanding than some 10W (apart from the camera of course); now it looks like it would fit nanoFlash perfectly...
Hi Piotr-
We are still trying to find a reasonable D-Tap solution. However, we do have a 4-pin Hirose connector on the nanoFlash, which should mate quite easily with the Coco (which also has a 4-pin Hirose connector).

Also wanted to mention that we are taking all reasonable steps to reduce the power consumption on the nanoFlash and to simplify the operation. So, when you turn off the EX1, the nanoFlash will automatically go into low-power standby mode (we're shooting for <0.5W). When you powerup the EX1, we detect the incoming HD-SDI stream and will boot-up in about 3 seconds. Then when you press record we detect the incrementing time-code and start recording also.

So, nanoFlash should work with very little user intervention. We'll also have a standby time-out, so if you leave the camera off for a programmable time, nanoFlash will go from standby to complete power-down.

We don't know the active power consumption yet. It will certainly be under 10W, we'll do our best to drive it to the minimum.
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Old June 26th, 2008, 08:20 AM   #30
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Mike,

For some reason, the 2 Hirose connectors are marked 4W max on the Coco-ex...
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