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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old February 9th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #1
Convergent Design
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Flash XDR NewsLetter

Dear Video Professional-
Here’s a quick summary of recent firmware updates and announcements regarding the Flash XDR:

Flash XDR at Broadcast Video Expo, London’s Earls Court 2: Feb 17-19, Stand G20 (With Symbiosis, Our EU Distributor)
Come see the Flash XDR in action and meet Dan Keaton, our new Director of Sales and Marketing, as well as the Symbiosis team.

Flash XDR Promo Video
Speaking of Dan Keaton, he and his local colleagues just completed a fantastic promotional video! Go to YouTube - Broadcast Yourself. and search for Flash XDR Promo. The full resolution version should be posted on our website in the next few days. Our thanks go out to Rick Kelly, Michael Hennessy, and other members of AugustaFilm for creating this promo.

Thomson Viper + Flash XDR
Mr. Richard Welnowski, an Emmy Award Winning Cinematographer and very experienced Thompson Viper shooter has been thoroughly testing the Flash XDR for use with his camera. Richard normally shoots Full Uncompressed at 4:4:4. He was looking for a way to retain very high quality standards with much more manageable file sizes. Richard has been very impressed with the image quality and ease of editing that this combination offers. He now has offers to film two feature films using this combination. Richard's website is Compositing Expert

Here are two links to Richard's comments and some test images.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/convergen...hen-shoot.html
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/newreply....reply&p=995699

MXF Support
The long awaited MXF file format support was added last month (the older cdv format has been removed). Flash XDR files now play back seamlessly in Avid Media Composer, Vegas and Edius. (Premiere support is expected in the future). The 50 and 100 Mbps files play in all these applications, but 100 Mbps files can cause a FIFO Read error while scrubbing in Avid. (We have sent files to Avid for analysis). A free PC-based MXF player, which supports all our files is available at: https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/son...l-PDZVX10.aspx Another free MXF player, available for both the MAC and PC is available at: VLC media player - Overview

MXF combined with previously available Quicktime format provides near universal NLE support for Flash XDR users. Sometime in the next month, we will introduce a free QT <-> MXF converter for our files for both the MAC and PC. (So, when the client changes his mind midway through the shoot, you can easily convert to the other format). Please note that this format conversion will not change the MPEG2 video or audio whatsoever, we merely rewrap the data with a new header.

I-Frame Only Recording
Vr 0.0.245 firmware added I-Frame only recording capability for all supported video formats at 100 and 160 Mbps. When recording above 100 Mbps, you need to use one of the high-speed Compact Flash cards, such as the Transcend 300X 16GB or the Sandisk Extreme III 30Mbytes/sec 32GB card. Our tests continue to show that 100Mbps Long-GOP is the “sweet-spot,” producing the best overall quality. However, there may be situations where the 160 Mbps I-Frame may produce less motion artifacts. I-Frame only files play perfectly in Avid (MXF), Edius (MXF) and FCP (QT). In fact, in I-Frame only mode, Avid does not report a FIFO read error. Currently, I-Frame mode for Vegas and Premiere is pending.

ASI Encode and Decode
We continue to make solid progress in the development and testing of the ASI encode and decode option. ASI (Asynchronous Serial Interface) allows the transmission of MPEG2 data over standard coax cable at lengths exceeding 350 meters. ASI is used extensively in TV broadcast facilities for live news broadcast and upload of video onto servers. ASI is also found in digital signage applications for transmission of video over a private cable TV network using a QAM modulator.

We are very near successful transmission of video through a microwave transmitter. We are working with several TV stations to debug our video stream using a Tandberg MPEG2 decoder. We have already successfully passed the stream through a QAM modulator and displayed the video on a standard HDTV.

Expanded Compact Flash Card Support
We recently added support for selected Sandisk, Lexar, and Delkin Compact Flash cards, although the Transcend 133X 32GB card (now US $75) remains our #1 recommendation. Please see our website for more details. Additionally, check out the Nexto Extreme ND 2700: Compact Flash -> Hard Drive copy box at: Nexto DI - Next Generation Storage with Digital Interface You can copy your CF cards to an internal hard-drive and then download to your PC/MAC via USB or eSata. (We have measured eSata transfer rates > 65 MByte/sec). This is a great media management tool.

Recent Bugs Fixed / Minor Enhancements
• 720p50/60 at 50 Mbps corrected
• The Time-Code trigger is retained through power cycles
• HD-SDI input now recognized on power-up
• Switching between Record and Stop is much faster now
• File name displayed during record and playback
• Individual Camera/Flash XDR IDs can be set and stored. The Camera/Flash XDR ID is now the first two digits of the file name.

Near Term Firmware Updates
1) Further enhancements to the reliability, including auto-detect of format changes and auto re-start after HD-SDI glitches.
2) Enhanced Playback control, including “play-from”, which allows the user to play forward from any file.
3) Lower Bit-Rate Support: 35, 25, 19.7, 18 Mbps (1440x1080, 4:2:0); for ASI and Proxy Recording
4) 720p30/25/24 formats
5) Audio Level Meters
6) Internal Time Code Generation
7) Interval Recording
8) Hot-Swap and Redundant (Mirror) Recording
9) Pre-record buffer
10) 24p pulldown removal and image flip

Thanks again for your recommendations and bug reports. We will continue with our developments, enhancements and corrections.

Also, check out our website for updated brochures, FAQs, test footage, and a short paper on 20 Reasons to Go Tapeless.

Best Regards-
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Convergent Design
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:08 PM   #2
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Can you please elaborate on "Premiere support is expected in the future", does this mean the MXF wrapper will be altered to suit Premiere, or is a Plugin or an update from Adobe to allow Premiere to read the MXF file format.

As a Premiere user is of most interest to me, also any timescales? Quarter 1-2-3-4 2009?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:19 PM   #3
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Premiere Support

Quote:
Originally Posted by David G. Burt View Post
Can you please elaborate on "Premiere support is expected in the future", does this mean the MXF wrapper will be altered to suit Premiere, or is a Plugin or an update from Adobe to allow Premiere to read the MXF file format.

As a Premiere user is of most interest to me, also any timescales? Quarter 1-2-3-4 2009?
Hi David-
We are waiting for Adobe's support for the XDCAM HD 422 CODEC. We sent some files to the Premiere team for testing. I think the development is moving along, but I can't forecast any release date or even promise if this capability will be added to Premiere.

We do not expect to alter our MXF files for Premiere as they already play in Avid, Edius and Vegas.

Best-
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:26 PM   #4
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I did some tests in yesterday in HK that I had downloaded the latest version of XDR to run both 35Mb / 50 / 100 /160 Mb/s.

MXF files from XDR in Edius a bit strange to me ( 1440 x 1080 ) But I used JVC GY-HD251E in 720/50P on XDR.

Stew.
HKG - CHINA
XDRs owner
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Old February 10th, 2009, 03:55 PM   #5
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Thanks for your prompt reply, I've e-mailed Adobe & will post their reply.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 08:27 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewart Chong View Post
I did some tests in yesterday in HK that I had downloaded the latest version of XDR to run both 35Mb / 50 / 100 /160 Mb/s.

MXF files from XDR in Edius a bit strange to me ( 1440 x 1080 ) But I used JVC GY-HD251E in 720/50P on XDR.

Stew.
HKG - CHINA
XDRs owner
Hi Stewart-
In 720p mode your timeline should be set to 1280x720, not 1440x1080. I suspect this is the problem.

Best-
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