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Old October 20th, 2009, 04:40 PM   #1
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nanoFlash versus the competition

Competition is good, and it greatly benefits the consumer. We welcome competition as it benefits everyone.

We feel that the nanoFlash offers significant advantages over its competitors, so I decided to make a partial list. Of course, our competitors also have their strong points.

First and foremost is size. We believe that the nanoFlash is currently the smallest, lightest, high-quality HD/SD recorder/player in the world. This has significant advantages when mounting a recorder on a camera, whether it be on a tripod, or especially hand-held. If one is mounting a recorder on a tripod, one must also take into consideration the weight of the battery. In some cases, with other devices, a larger tripod may be necessary.

Also, the nanoFlash consumes far less power that most of the other recorders. This contributes to longer run times, using a smaller, lighter battery. Using small, light weight batteries is a big plus for traveling or lugging your equipment to a remote site. The nanoFlash is one of only a few recorders that can share a battery with a camera and still obtain reasonable run times. Our own 3 ounce Lithium-Ion battery will power the nanoFlash for over 3.5 hours.

In terms of image quality, we offer very high quality images. Our 100 Mbps Long-GOP is visually indistinguishable from uncompressed. Playback looks the same as the original live image.

Equally important is that we offer a wide range of modes / formats / frame rates/ bit-rates, etc. One can choose from 5 to 9 Mbps MPG for creating SD DVDs. or choose 35 Mbps 4:2:0, or 4:2:2 at 50 / 100 / 140 and 160 Mbps Long-GOP which offer stunning image quality, or 100 / 140/ 160 and 220 Mbps I-Frame Only.

Our nanoFlash creates clips in native Quicktime (".MOV") or native MXF for Avid, Sony Vegas, Edius and others. Our files are now supported by a wide range of editing systems. Avid 4.0.2 now works well with our Long-GOP footage. MainConcept is about to release codecs for Adobe CS3/CS4 and CS5 is scheduled to natively support our files. Files can be played, directly off the CompactFlash card, without a transcode. And our files never need to be transcoded to be edited.

We are about to release a significant advancement in that our files will be fully compatible with the Sony Optical Disk system. Thus one can archive our footage on the Sony Optical Disk, or deliver on Sony Optical Disk, if desired, and use their free Plug-In to edit MXF files in Final Cut Pro. Thus our MXF format will be almost universally compatible with all of the major editing systems.

Some of our competitors will beat the "10-Bit Drum". Our nanoFlash is 8-Bit only at this time, which offers just under 16.7 million colors. We acknowledge that 1 billion colors is better.

But, we have found that some of the issues that many associate with 8-Bit color, are actually associated with, or caused by, bit-starved compression schemes. No one has ever complained about our images, nor has anyone ever reported color banding.

One reason why our video is so stunning, is that we do not sub-sample the video. If we are fed 1920 x 1080, then we record the full raster, no resolution is lost. One 100 Mbps footage is way beyond the 100 Mbps footage of the past, as it was typically sub-sampled prior to being compressed.

More importantly, for 1080 modes, we always record 1920 x 1080, which dramatically reduces the workload on your editing computer, resulting in a very responsive editing system.

Another significant advantage of the nanoFlash is the compact size of our files. Yes, one can shoot in 220 Mbps mode, but we find that the 100 Mbps Long-GOP is equal or better in quality and offers more record time and much smaller file sizes.

Smaller file sizes have quite a few advantages. One is that our files, with an appropriate CompactFlash card reader, can be played in real-time. And with smaller file sizes, the file transfer time is significantly reduced.

One should note, that with a reasonably equipped PC or Mac, one can edit our files with ease. Final Cut Pro on most all modern Mac's offers a nice, responsive editing system. Avid 4.0.2 also seems to be very responsive with our Long-GOP files. It should be noted that older versions of Avid do an outstanding job with our I-Frame Only files, but are limited to 50 Mbps for Long-GOP.

It is a great advantage to be able to edit in either the Mac or on a PC using a wide variety of editing systems. If one records in Quicktime, we offer a Mac utility to convert to ".MXF" for the PC.

The nanoFlash also records in ".MPG" format. This allows one to create, in the nanoFlash a fully rendered file for Blu-ray, in real-time. For SD, one can record in 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 or 9 Mbps so that one can burn a SD DVD without rendering using proper burning software. This is a huge time saver for some.

Shortly, we will be able to record 8 channels of audio, if provided via audio embedded in the HD-SDI input stream.

The nanoFlash was designed to be 100% solid-state. There are no moving parts, and there is no fan, nothing to interfere with your audio, or to ingest dust.

We designed the nanoFlash using CompactFlash as opposed to a hard disk drive. The lower power is a distinct advantage. but there is a more subtle advantage. We can handle quite a bit of vibration, movement, and very high-altitudes. High Altitudes are not a problem for most, but many hard disk drives, while recording, have a problem with vibration or possibly even aggressive camera moves. To be fair, hard disk drives have always been more cost effective, but CompactFlash cards now offer very high capacity and high performance at attractive prices.

We are currently qualifying a 64 GB, very high performance CompactFlash card which retails at $299 (US).

One hidden advantage of the nanoFlash, over most other recorders is that we handle progressive and progressive segmented frame formats. For example, other recorders may omit support for 24p or omit support for Pulldown Removal. For some recorders, these may only be a temporary limitations.

Another advantage is that we offer a track record of adding additional features on a regular basis. Some of these features were items we promised, others were a complete surprise to our users.

One feature that is currently in development is the ability to record two simultaneous original, identical master copies. One can be kept on site, one can be sent to post. Or they can be kept in separate locations for safety. And this should completely alleviate any fears that the media may fail.

In summary, we have a small device, that delivers stunning images, typically dramatically better than most camera's internal recording facilities, whether it be tape or file-based.

All of this in a rugged, field-proven package that is easily camera mountable and weighs just over a pound including a 3.5 hour battery.

On top of all of these advantages, the nanoFlash is the smallest, lowest power, and least expensive of all quality HD/SD recorders.

As of today, the nanoFlash is in stock for immediate delivery.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 05:32 PM   #2
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I'll agree with Dan about nearly everything posted here. I especially wanted to point out the 8bit versus 10bit issue. I can tell you from first hand experience, there is no banding with 8bit 100Mbs Long GOP. Torture test it if you want but there is no banding or blockiness in skies, shadow areas or anything else that I've been able to uncover.

I'll agree that banding in footage probably has to do as much with codec exhaustion than anything else.

If anyone tells you that an XDR can't get images indistinguishable from uncompressed, then they are probably trying to sell you something.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 06:33 PM   #3
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Competition is Bad for any company that wants you to buy their product

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
In terms of image quality, we offer very high quality images. Our 100 Mbps Long-GOP is visually indistinguishable from uncompressed. Playback looks the same as the original live image.
.....With all due respect Dan, I agree the 100 Mbps looks very, very clean, but it is visually distinguishable from uncompressed for sure. It is far superior to DVC Pro 100 HD (Another 100 Mbps second codec out there), but not visually equal to uncompressed if you are evaluating on a studio monitor or a large size flat panel TV. However, your 140 and 160 Mbps Long-GOP in particular *is* indistinguishable from uncompressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Avid 4.0.2 now works well with our Long-GOP footage.
....Uhh, just a minute. What data rate Long-GOP files work with Avid Media Composer version 4.0.2 ? Has Convergent Design tested Long Gop 100 Mbps and higher data rate files with Avid Media Composer 4.0.2 to see if the edited sequence is fully exportable ? I have experienced very serious difficulties trying to edit Long GOP 100 Mbps in Avid.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Some of our competitors will beat the "10-Bit Drum". Our nanoFlash is 8-Bit only at this time, which offers just under 16.7 million colors. We acknowledge that 1 billion colors is better.
.....Uhh, just another minute. The issue of 8 bit versus 10 bit is not about banding versus unbanding. The issue of 8 bit versus 10 bit comes into play when you need to *treat* the signal in post. For example, when you need to apply Primary & Secondary Color Correction. I have observed a noticeable advantage to capturing or sometimes even transcoding 8 bit video sourced footage into a 10 bit processing codec like Avid DNxHD 220 X and bringing that into full CC. Another place where the 8 vs 10 bit comes into play is in digital-multi-layer compositing and green screen compositing. Here the difference is Night & Day. 8 bit is OK if you don't have many layers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
But, we have found that some of the issues that many associate with 8-Bit color, are actually associated with, or caused by, bit-starved compression schemes. No one has ever complained about our images, nor has anyone ever reported color banding.
......All MPEG, be it I-Frame or Long-GOP is an 8 bit format. The Long - GOP out of the Flash XDR (I'm assuming the same is true with the Nano) is the highest quality I have ever seen in MPEG encoding. Nothing tops the Convergent Design MPEG encoding quality IMHO !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
One reason why our video is so stunning, is that we do not sub-sample the video. If we are fed 1920 x 1080, then we record the full raster, no resolution is lost. One 100 Mbps footage is way beyond the 100 Mbps footage of the past, as it was typically sub-sampled prior to being compressed.
....CD is only company I've ever come across that offers MPEG 2 based Digital Encoding which doesn't subsample or reduce the full HD raster in order to grab the incoming video signal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Avid 4.0.2 also seems to be very responsive with our Long-GOP files. It should be noted that older versions of Avid do an outstanding job with our I-Frame Only files, but are limited to 50 Mbps for Long-GOP.
...Again. you write. "seem to be very responsive." OK. What does that mean, please ? Do you mean "Fully Functional ?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
The nanoFlash also records in ".MPG" format. This allows one to create, in the nanoFlash a fully rendered file for Blu-ray, in real-time. For SD, one can record in 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 or 9 Mbps so that one can burn a SD DVD without rendering using proper burning software. This is a huge time saver for some.
...Yup, and no other SSDR records in MPEG TS, which you can demux and make elementary streams if you need to with MPEG Stream Clip. Outstanding convenience !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Shortly, we will be able to record 8 channels of audio, if provided via audio embedded in the HD-SDI input stream.
...Way to go CD !! Yay !
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:11 PM   #4
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Dan, you have stated before that Avid would work with your 100 Mbps files in this thread:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...ability-3.html

I tested some files from your site within Avid 3.0 and kept getting buffer errors. I decided to wait on ordering your product until there was better compatibility between the Nanoflash and Avid even though you stated that Avid will handle the files properly.

Now it seems that you have stated that the 100Mbps files never did work with older versions of Avid! This is confusing.

I will be upgrading to Avid 4.02 in the weeks to come and plan to test some 100 MBPs files again in Avid to see if they will work properly. If they do I will look more closely at your digital recorder.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Will Test Avid Long GOP 100 Mbps Files in AMC 4.0.2

Hi Bob:
I am upgrading to Avid MC 4.0.2 next week and I have an XDR, so I could test 100 Mbps Long - GOP and let you know how it goes if you want.
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Old October 20th, 2009, 07:51 PM   #6
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Thanks Mark,
That would be great. I'm looking forward to 4.0.2, but I need to finish a project before upgrading.

Hope it works!
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Old October 20th, 2009, 09:36 PM   #7
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Dear Bob,

We had tested our 100 Mbps Long-GOP files with Avid.

We had success in editing and rendering the file out to a supported Avid output file format.
But, we had problems with the buffer errors, which we disclosed.

Then, some users had problems rendering our files to a supported Avid output file format.

It appeared to be dependent on the user's configuration, system, or something else.
So, we backed off and started telling people that our 50 Mbps Long-GOP worked, which, of course is true, and that all of our flavors of I-Frame Only worked.

This weekend I was working with a person who is very knowledgeable in Avid and she reported to me that 100 Mbps Long-GOP is fully functional in Avid 4.0.2 on her system.

Previously, on her system, she could not render her timeline out. She installed Avid 4.0.2 and it worked - fully functional, no buffer errors, no problems whatsoever.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 01:31 AM   #8
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More than One Person Confirmation Please

Hi Dan:
Yes, I can confirm all 50 Mbps Long-GOP and all I-Frame data rates are fully functional in my Avid Media Composer. (I use version 3.1.3.2). I would like to know if any other user of the new Avid Media Composer (Ver 4.0.2) can confirm if Long-GOP 100 Mbps files are fully functional.

* Definition of Fully Functional:

1. Files Import.

2. Files playback both from Source Window and from the timeline and are editable (Record Window)

3. Edited Sequences (Timelines) are fully outputable or Exportable via QT Reference, QT Movie, HDV Movie.

I offer up this definition in order to clarify how the Long-GOP files behave in the application. Also, I consider failure to meet criteria No. 3 to equal total failure of compatibility. At least three persons using the latest AMC with Long GOP 100 Mbps successfully would be a good basis for supporting the recommendation.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 05:14 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
If anyone tells you that an XDR can't get images indistinguishable from uncompressed, then they are probably trying to sell you something.
or they work in visualfx and/or a colorist. :)
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Old October 21st, 2009, 09:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Job View Post
Hi Dan:
Yes, I can confirm all 50 Mbps Long-GOP and all I-Frame data rates are fully functional in my Avid Media Composer. (I use version 3.1.3.2). I would like to know if any other user of the new Avid Media Composer (Ver 4.0.2) can confirm if Long-GOP 100 Mbps files are fully functional.

* Definition of Fully Functional:

1. Files Import.

2. Files playback both from Source Window and from the timeline and are editable (Record Window)

3. Edited Sequences (Timelines) are fully outputable or Exportable via QT Reference, QT Movie, HDV Movie.

I offer up this definition in order to clarify how the Long-GOP files behave in the application. Also, I consider failure to meet criteria No. 3 to equal total failure of compatibility. At least three persons using the latest AMC with Long GOP 100 Mbps successfully would be a good basis for supporting the recommendation.
Mark,
As far as Avid is concerned, you cannot export any Long-GOP file via QT reference. It is just the way that Avid handles the Long-GOP files. You can mixdown the sequence and then export or you can transcode the material to Avid DNXHD and export as QT reference.

My workflow is to rough cut the Long-GOP material (Points # 1 and 2) then to mixdown my sequence to finish effects, titles and color correction ( all DNXHD ). Then I can easily export a QT reference (same as source ) for final handling.

You can export a QT movie with Long-GOP material and I do use this sometimes to archive a project file.

Because CD states that they believe that 100Mbps is the sweet spot for the Long-GOP files I want to be sure that they work in Avid as well as the 50Mbps files. It would be very useful for Green screen work. I do agree with the rest of your points for full functionality.
For video assist work I need to be able to bring the files into Final Cut or Avid to work on various projects.
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Old October 21st, 2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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Long-GOP 100 Mbps in Avid Media Composer

Hi Bob:
No. No. That's what I meant. Sorry, I should have been more clear in my definition of functionality that Avid mixes down the Long-GOP in versions of MC prior to Media Composer 3.5.x, but since this version, it is no longer necessary to perform a transcode or video mixdown to DNxHD to obtain output via QT Reference. You must be using a version of AMC prior to 3.5.x.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 07:57 AM   #12
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Is there any way to convert the 100Mbps Long gop files to work with Premiere Pro CS3 on a windows machine?
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 08:14 AM   #13
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Dear Ron,

MainConcept appears to have released their codec package, as a plug-in for Adobe CS3/CS4.

One can obtain a demo download at this site:

MainConcept: Information

MainConcept has been working with us for quite some time now to ensure that they work with our Long-GOP files.


Note: We are working to ensure that our MXF files are fully compatible with the Sony Optical Disk format. As such, we have sent test files to MainConcept.

The current demo download does not support our new Sony Optical Disk format, but, of course, neither does our nanoFlash at this moment.

Since the changes that we are making to ensure compatibility with the Sony Optical Disk format are relatively minor, we do not expect a major delay in MainConcept supporting our new files.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:04 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Job View Post
Hi Bob:
No. No. That's what I meant. Sorry, I should have been more clear in my definition of functionality that Avid mixes down the Long-GOP in versions of MC prior to Media Composer 3.5.x, but since this version, it is no longer necessary to perform a transcode or video mixdown to DNxHD to obtain output via QT Reference. You must be using a version of AMC prior to 3.5.x.
If I understand you correctly, this is not the case.

You must mixdown or transcode all Long-GOP material to DNXHD to export via QT reference in any and ALL versions of Avid MC. Versions 3.5 and 4.0 have not changed this. My version of 4.0.2 will arrive next week and after I get a chance to install the upgrade I will run some tests.
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Old October 22nd, 2009, 09:46 AM   #15
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Hi Bob:
According to the literature from Avid, version 4.0.2 does not require any video mixdown or transcode to output any long GOP projects via QT Ref. I believe version 3.5.4 also allowed HDV projects full exportability via QT Ref without a video mixdown. Make sure you have updated your Quicktime Player components to the approprate version for the version of AMC you are using.
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