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Old November 12th, 2008, 08:49 PM   #1
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Firmware Vr 0.0.144 - A Major Step Forward

We just posted vr 0.0.144 firmware for the Flash XDR. This is a substantial update with several critical issues resolved:
1) Major improvement in recording reliability. I have now recorded over 200 QT files without any issues whatsoever.
2) Quicktime Playback now working properly. The menu defaults to play the last clip, but you can also select the option to play all clips.
3) Failure to stop recording (after pressing the "Stop" button) has been fixed.
4) 1080i50 QT playback has been corrected (playback previously had corrupted frames).

The next firmware release (due 14-Nov) will include the following:
1) 720p50/60 recording and playback at 100Mbps corrected.
2) Menu settings saved through power-down.
3) Microphone Phantom power enabled.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 05:53 AM   #2
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Software Update

Hi Mike,

I am a DoP from Germany and I am happy to play around with one of your XDR units since yesterday. I update the unit with software version 0.0.140 yesterday and got trouble with Qiucktime Replay again. On the other hand I use the unit for recording with the F900 HDSDI signal in CDV format and this works absolutely perfect. So now I will start to play in the version 0.0.144 and have a look what happends with the QT Playout after this Update.

Some words about the unit I have here on my table now. The unit looks professional and the housing seems to be build good inough for every day use. The backplate for mounting different power adaptors is a little unstable because it has no contact with the unit itself. So if I screw a magic arm in the hole the plate bends very fast. If the could make the plate thicker it will work much better. I tried to find the screw holes for a anton bauer gold plate adaptor and could find only 2 which fit but need 4. The unit I have here has no cover for the screen so if only one raindrop falls it could be a mayor problem.

Very important for the use in record mode is a trigger to start recording of the xdr. I thought and remember that this is possible if a timecode starts the unit. So if I start with the HDCAM the TC starts the xdr and stops if I stop the HDCAM record. The TC is embedded in the HDSDI signal and for security I use the TC Out of the camera and plug it into LTC in jack on the xdr. But the recording did not start if I hit the record button on the camera. This function is very important for me and all other users I think. How could I force the unit to start if tc from camera starts to play.

Last question, is true 24Psf recording possible at the time? If I run my camera with 24P the xdr get no signal on the HDSDI input and prompt "NO SRC"

Hope I could help with my infos about the first check of a XDR unit. In the end I would like to say that you do a great job on the unit and you are on the right way in my opinion. I will buy one for sure but have to make a decision beetween xdr or nano because of the size of the xdr unit. A little smaller will may be do a better job on board of such a big camera as the F900.

Best regards

Helmut Brueker
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Old November 13th, 2008, 06:25 AM   #3
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Update on 0.0.144

Supplement:

I update the XDR with version 0.0.144 and now it is finally possible to record Quicktime 100Mb and Playout perfect on my HD Monitor.

Strike :-)

Now both formats CDV and QT are working perfect. Thanks!

Best wishes Helmut
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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:20 AM   #4
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Dear Helmut,

Thank you for posting your comments and concerns.

At this time, the feature to start recording via a change in the timecode is not enabled.

This is one of the remaining features that we promised that we need to complete.

Yesterday's annoucement was a major one for us. Our team has been working very hard to achieve rock-solid reliability. This, of course, is a major goal for us.

Now that we have achieved great reliability, we will be adding other features as soon as we can. We have promised another firmware release tomorrow.

I am surprised that you had trouble with our mounting plate. We will check this out as soon as possible. Which Anton Bauer gold mount and battery were you using?

We highly recommend that everyone read the release notes and quickquide that is included with each release. These release notes attempt to document which features are enabled and give general advice on using the firmware release.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 05:56 PM   #5
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Stability

Dear Dan ,

thank you for the fast response. I record several 100Mb QT Files today, the Quality is amazing and and it all functioned perfectly. I just want to give some hopefully useful information for the further development of the XDR unit. I respect your work very much and what the developement team decide to do or not I leave in your hands.

I have another question regarding the Play Menue. If I could play "all" Takes may be it is also possible to go to the "next" Take with one cursor or F button? The last Take Funktion is very important and "play all" also but if I could go forth or may be back in Takes will help very much to check records in daily use.

I am happy now with the QT and CDV Files and will wait for further updates. Again I say great work and if I could help a little it would make me more happy.

Greetings to the developer and have a nice day.

With regards

Helmut

P.S. You can be sure that I have read all papers and manuals you have published. Today I got the Update Information for Version 0.0.140 via email from my german dealer Kamtek just as I install the Version 0.0.144. Yesterday QT is not playing very well today it works perfect. Nothing more to say :-)
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:00 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Helmut Brueker View Post
I have another question regarding the Play Menue. If I could play "all" Takes may be it is also possible to go to the "next" Take with one cursor or F button? The last Take Funktion is very important and "play all" also but if I could go forth or may be back in Takes will help very much to check records in daily use.
Hi Helmut-
Excellent recommendation! I will pass this idea onto our software developer, Brent. He is now finishing the code to remember the menu settings, which should be released tomorrow. So, we will next begin work on timecode and playback control (as you have suggested).
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Old November 13th, 2008, 08:37 PM   #7
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Dear Helmut,

We are very pleased that version 0.0.144 is working fine for you.

A lot of work went into finding and fixing every bug. As of today, we have tested over 250 clips (takes/files) with the latest release, and they have all been perfect.

I can promise you that your idea will be implemented. It is very important to us for you to be able to quickly play the last take, and any other take that you desire.

Thanks for the kind words and support.

We are expecting our next release, with more features, tomorrow or in a few days.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 03:20 AM   #8
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For a very user friendly and professionnal daily use of the Flash XDR, I think we need the same kind of files operations that those we find in digital audio recorders, like the Zoom H2 for instance.

The management of the recorded files, which is explained between pages 48 to 53 of this H2 operating manual, may be a good source of inspiration.
http://www.samsontech.com/products/r...ser_manual.pdf
It explains how to select a recorded file, display it, display size, lenght and formats information, rename files, play in fast forward, delete the file…

Maybe these kind of features are already planned in a near future for the Flash or Nano XDR?
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Old November 14th, 2008, 05:14 AM   #9
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Dear Ronan,

Here is what is planned: (This is preliminary and subect the change.)

Play = Playback

Left Arrow (while playing back a clip) = Restart playing at the start of the current clip.
Or if you are playing the first few seconds of a clip, playback of the previous clip.

Right Arrow (while playing back a clip) = Start playing the next clip.

Stop = Playback Stop.

(We may implement a play/pause function and/or a shuttle/jog type feature at some time in the future.)


Anytime after recording a clip, you can press the play button to playback the clip.
(The option to playback the last clip must be set in the menus.)

While playing back the clip, you can press the left arrow button to immediately start playing back the previous clip. For each press of the left arrow button you backup one clip.

While playing back a clip, you can press the right arrow button to immediately start playing back the next clip.

At any time, you can press record and the unit will immediately start recording.

The recording will not write over any clip, as a tape would, it starts recording at the first first available place on the CompactFlash card (as it should, of course).

This is a major advantage over tape based cameras as one is always ready to record (providing one has at least one recordable CompactFlash card in the unit.)

We are also planning a scrollable directory listing for all of the recorded clips on each CompactFlash card. Pertinent information about each clip will be displayed and then you can directly select which clip to play.

Ronan, deleting of clips, will not be available on the Flash XDR / nanoFlash.

Deleting of clips would cause recording problems.

If there are deleted clips, then the file system can get fragmented, which would, in some cases, cause the record process to get slower as it would have to do extra work to determine where the next data should be stored. It is of the utmost importance for us to keep the overhead down to a minimum so that we can record at very high speeds.

We may allow for the last recorded clip to be deleted. This has not been determined.

We recommend that you transfer all of the clips, or the ones you want to keep, to another device such as a laptop or Nexto device.

Then you can format the card in a laptop or other device, or the unit itself.

At this time, I do not know if the Nexto device can format a CompactFlash card or not.

If you are not actively recording, just format all of your CompactFlash cards in the Flash XDR / nanoFlash itself. This process just takes a few seconds. I do not remember the exact times, but I think it is about 5 seconds per CompactFlash card.

Caution: When formating, remove all cards from the unit which you do not want to format. After appropriate warnings and confirmations, the unit will erase all existing clips and format all of the CompactFlash cards currently in your units.

With the very low cost of very high quality Transcend CompactFlash cards, and the long recording times, it is appropriate to have enough cards on hand for your recording needs.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 03:27 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Ronan, deleting of clips, will not be available on the Flash XDR / nanoFlash.
Thank you for all these details, Dan.
Indeed it would be great to be able to delete the last recorded file, at least. For instance, in wildlife filming, you often record a long shot, waiting for the animal actions. So if nothing happen, it would be useful to not have wasted spaces on compact flash card by immediatly delete the uninteresting shot.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #11
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Dear Ronan,

That is a great use of "Delete the Last Take" feature.

We will do our best to include this feature in a future release.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 05:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Ronan,

That is a great use of "Delete the Last Take" feature.

We will do our best to include this feature in a future release.
Dan, these types of scenarios are what drew me to XDCAM HD disc recording. Another feature that helps is cache record functionality. If you have some type of ram buffer to let stuff loop in until an event happens, it saves precious card/disc space.

When Sony added the ability to delete clips in the middle of a disc, they did so with the limitation that it much add up to 30 seconds minimum before any disc space will be released. This addresses your concern about file fragmentation. That's how they seem to manage it.

regards,

-gb-
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Old November 15th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #13
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Dan or Mike,

When will 720P 30p/60p be ready? I use this format a lot with the high motion shooting for my business.

Mike any updates on the next batch of units?

Keep up the great work.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 05:14 PM   #14
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Dan or Mike,

When will 720P 30p/60p be ready? I use this format a lot with the high motion shooting for my business.

Mike any updates on the next batch of units?

Keep up the great work.
Hi Paul-
720p60/50 will be part of the next firmware release, due out Monday or Tuesday. Also included is this update is the ability to save menu settings and a correction to the phantom power control.

Next batch of units are on the production line and expected in about 2 weeks.
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Old November 16th, 2008, 12:09 PM   #15
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Thanks Mike,
I am impressed how fast you are able to update the firmware. 720P 30P/60P overcranked is very important to me glad I will be able to use that format right away.

I look forward to using my unit full time upon delivery.
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