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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old December 16th, 2009, 10:06 PM   #1
Convergent Design
 
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Flash Recorders Road Map

As we near the end of the year, I think it's worthwhile to take a moment and recap our progress thus far and lay out our plans for next year.

There is no doubt that 2009 was a watershed year for Convergent Design and our Solid-State Recorder development and sales. We rolled out a significant number of product enhancements and delivered over 650 nanoFlash units in about 4 months. But we have not stopped. We have an exciting road-map for our Flash-based recorders (nanoFlash and Flash XDR) for the first half of 2010.

Here’s a summary of where we have been…

2009 Achievements
Product Enhancements
• Time-Lapse Recording
• Pull-Down Removal (1080i60 -> 1080p24) for HD-SDI and HDMI
• Sony Optical Media Compatibility (MXF file format)
• 280 Mbps I-Frame / 180 Mbps Long-GOP
• MPG File Format for DVD and Blu-Ray Authoring
• Pre-Record Buffer (7 seconds for 100 Mbps and less)
• 2X/4X Playback as well as Pause Function
• Jam-Sync
• Added Adobe Premiere CS3/4 Support via the Main Concept Plugin
• Qualified 64GB CF Cards from Delkin, PhotoFast and SanDisk
• Enhanced Standard-Def Support: SD-SDI on Playback
• ASI Encode and Decode (99% complete) – Extra Cost Option
• QT -> MXF File Converter
• Developed Spatial Mapping (GPS) product with Red Hen Systems

Here’s our Near Term Beta Firmware Plans:
• Loop Record
• 720p30/25/24 Support, including 720p24 over 60, 720p30 over 60, 720p25 over 50 frame removal
• Over / Under Crank
• Audio Tones in HP for Start/Stop Record
• 30/40 Mbps IMX added
• 35 Mbps (1440x1080 raster) – nano only
• Audio Level Meters on Playback

Sales / Applications
• Rebuilt website
• Delivered over 650 nanoFlash units in first 4 months of shipments
• Successfully deployed recorders in a wide range of applications:
o 98,000 feet Helium Balloon Shot
o F22 Raptor, pulling over 12 Gs
o 3-D Underwater Shoot at 450 feet below sea level
o Hot Humid forests of Papua New Guinea
o High-Vibration, high-temp race cars
o Several Full-Length Feature Films (output to film)

And here’s where we’re going…

2010 Plans
Here’s a summary of the different features we are considering for our Flash recorders. Most of these features will be available as a free firmware update. We cannot guarantee all listed features will be implemented.

• Hot-Swap Compact Flash cards: replace a card while continuing to record with the option to force the recorder to switch to the other card (you can remove the current card and immediately start the edit).
• 8-Channel Audio including the ability to add the two analog channels to the embedded audio (the max number of audio channels is still limited to 8)
• Redundant Record – two identical CF cards created simultaneously – one for the edit and one for the producer, etc.
• Delete Last Clip
• GPS Support including the ability to time sync nanoFlash and/or embed GPS data into the video – extra cost option
• Configuration Program with 8 Up-loadable Profiles (via CF card) defined on the PC/MAC
• Meta-Data Support
• Revised Menus, including the display of the total playback time
• Wireless Control for playback control and metadata upload
• Improved Playback Control, including advance from clip to clip using the up/down arrow keys
• Record Indicators on Loop-out Monitors
• Record Review of last 10 seconds
• HDMI–SD Support (HDMI-HD is working in current firmware)
• Audio / Video Sync Adjustments to compensate for system delays (switchers, etc)
• New mounting options from 3rd parties, including underwater housings.

Here’s some longer term enhancements still under investigation:
• Image Flip to compensate for special lenses and prisms
• Native integration into Adobe CS Next – more to follow…
• Avid AMA Support

Thanks to everyone for their feedback and recommendations. We will keep rolling out the features as fast as reasonably possible. We recoginize that different users have different priorities; but we'll do our best to accomdate your requests.
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Convergent Design
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:24 AM   #2
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Thanks for the update Mike,

Nice to be riding the leading edge with Convergent Design. I look forward to your continued updates and some exciting new features which my clients will appreciate.

The last few days I have been logging stock clips and thought I had a problem. No problem it was some clips were shot at 420 35Mbps and I have become use to looking at 422 50Mbps and up. No need to go back now!

Keep up the great work.
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Old December 17th, 2009, 10:56 AM   #3
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Great work guys.

I already talked to my purchasing dept. about buying a Nano next fiscal. We'll see what happens. I love what you guys have done, and what you are continuing to do.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 10:26 AM   #4
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Great List

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
As we near the end of the year, I think it's worthwhile to take a moment and recap our progress thus far and lay out our plans for next year.

There is no doubt that 2009 was a watershed year for Convergent Design and our Solid-State Recorder development and sales. We rolled out a significant number of product enhancements and delivered over 650 nanoFlash units in about 4 months. But we have not stopped. We have an exciting road-map for our Flash-based recorders (nanoFlash and Flash XDR) for the first half of 2010.

Here’s a summary of where we have been…

2009 Achievements
Product Enhancements
• Time-Lapse Recording
• Pull-Down Removal (1080i60 -> 1080p24) for HD-SDI and HDMI
• Sony Optical Media Compatibility (MXF file format)
• 280 Mbps I-Frame / 180 Mbps Long-GOP
• MPG File Format for DVD and Blu-Ray Authoring
• Pre-Record Buffer (7 seconds for 100 Mbps and less)
• 2X/4X Playback as well as Pause Function
• Jam-Sync
• Added Adobe Premiere CS3/4 Support via the Main Concept Plugin
• Qualified 64GB CF Cards from Delkin, PhotoFast and SanDisk
• Enhanced Standard-Def Support: SD-SDI on Playback
• ASI Encode and Decode (99% complete) – Extra Cost Option
• QT -> MXF File Converter
• Developed Spatial Mapping (GPS) product with Red Hen Systems

Here’s our Near Term Beta Firmware Plans:
• Loop Record
• 720p30/25/24 Support, including 720p24 over 60, 720p30 over 60, 720p25 over 50 frame removal
• Over / Under Crank
• Audio Tones in HP for Start/Stop Record
• 30/40 Mbps IMX added
• 35 Mbps (1440x1080 raster) – nano only
• Audio Level Meters on Playback

Sales / Applications
• Rebuilt website
• Delivered over 650 nanoFlash units in first 4 months of shipments
• Successfully deployed recorders in a wide range of applications:
o 98,000 feet Helium Balloon Shot
o F22 Raptor, pulling over 12 Gs
o 3-D Underwater Shoot at 450 feet below sea level
o Hot Humid forests of Papua New Guinea
o High-Vibration, high-temp race cars
o Several Full-Length Feature Films (output to film)

And here’s where we’re going…

2010 Plans
Here’s a summary of the different features we are considering for our Flash recorders. Most of these features will be available as a free firmware update. We cannot guarantee all listed features will be implemented.

• Hot-Swap Compact Flash cards: replace a card while continuing to record with the option to force the recorder to switch to the other card (you can remove the current card and immediately start the edit).
• 8-Channel Audio including the ability to add the two analog channels to the embedded audio (the max number of audio channels is still limited to 8)
• Redundant Record – two identical CF cards created simultaneously – one for the edit and one for the producer, etc.
• Delete Last Clip
• GPS Support including the ability to time sync nanoFlash and/or embed GPS data into the video – extra cost option
• Configuration Program with 8 Up-loadable Profiles (via CF card) defined on the PC/MAC
• Meta-Data Support
• Revised Menus, including the display of the total playback time
• Wireless Control for playback control and metadata upload
• Improved Playback Control, including advance from clip to clip using the up/down arrow keys
• Record Indicators on Loop-out Monitors
• Record Review of last 10 seconds
• HDMI–SD Support (HDMI-HD is working in current firmware)
• Audio / Video Sync Adjustments to compensate for system delays (switchers, etc)
• New mounting options from 3rd parties, including underwater housings.

Here’s some longer term enhancements still under investigation:
• Image Flip to compensate for special lenses and prisms
• Native integration into Adobe CS Next – more to follow…
• Avid AMA Support

Thanks to everyone for their feedback and recommendations. We will keep rolling out the features as fast as reasonably possible. We recoginize that different users have different priorities; but we'll do our best to accomdate your requests.
...Hi Mike:
This is a great list and I look forward to these developments. Regarding the XDR specifically, what about the promised A) Uncompressed recording option ?
B) Turning on the RS-422 interface for deck control for VTR dubbing with HDCAM SR/SR Lite format to clip recording and back. Please advise.

Respectfully,
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Old December 18th, 2009, 11:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
2010 Plans
Here’s a summary of the different features we are considering for our Flash recorders.
• Wireless Control for playback control and metadata upload
Hmmm... so are we talking about possible Wi-Fi control via an iPhone kinda thing? The ability to have the iPhone track the recording process, marking takes "Buy, Hold, NG", make other comments... and then embed that in the metadata with each clip?

That would be too sexy for words. Please move that to the top of the list... right after hot swap.

BTW, I have been consulting with a guy who is developing an iPhone video logging program. If you are looking for a development shortcut, maybe you guys could talk. Let me know.

You guys are the best! My order is going in this week.

Thanks!
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FireDancer Productions, Inc.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 03:18 PM   #6
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This is a good list Mike. Any plans on doing any XDR specific development? There's a few capabilities on the XDR that are currently not being used. I'm curious if there are any plans that the XDR users can get excited about?
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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:11 PM   #7
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dont forget us cheapskates
1 good file format
1 set prime HD resolution
1 good codec
0 confusion
64gig chips
long recording time
low battery consumption
small size
zero "features"
reliability
CHEAP

and if your going to stuff 4-8 channel recording in, then stuff a set of simple secondary audio inputs on the Box itself, the cams are not doing a great job of letting us feed more audios into them, an external input that could be adapted to even, could stuff in a board feed, or backup mics, or something, even if the audio is not directally synced , due to camera buffering the video.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 06:21 PM   #8
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"• 8-Channel Audio including the ability to add the two analog channels to the embedded audio (the max number of audio channels is still limited to 8)"

I'm anxiously awaiting the four channels.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 08:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Job View Post
...Hi Mike:
This is a great list and I look forward to these developments. Regarding the XDR specifically, what about the promised A) Uncompressed recording option ?
B) Turning on the RS-422 interface for deck control for VTR dubbing with HDCAM SR/SR Lite format to clip recording and back. Please advise.

Respectfully,
Hi Mark-
We'll do the best we can, but our engineering resources are tapped out for the immediate future.

Best-
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Convergent Design
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #10
Convergent Design
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aaron Newsome View Post
This is a good list Mike. Any plans on doing any XDR specific development? There's a few capabilities on the XDR that are currently not being used. I'm curious if there are any plans that the XDR users can get excited about?
Hi Aaron-
Almost all these features also apply to the Flash XDR, except the GPS and the HDMI I/O. Yes, we agree, there are some XDR specific capabilities which have not been enabled.

If we continue to see strong sales, we plan to hire more engineering resources to accelerate these developments.

Best-
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Convergent Design
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:04 PM   #11
Convergent Design
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Griffiths View Post
Hmmm... so are we talking about possible Wi-Fi control via an iPhone kinda thing? The ability to have the iPhone track the recording process, marking takes "Buy, Hold, NG", make other comments... and then embed that in the metadata with each clip?

That would be too sexy for words. Please move that to the top of the list... right after hot swap.

BTW, I have been consulting with a guy who is developing an iPhone video logging program. If you are looking for a development shortcut, maybe you guys could talk. Let me know.

You guys are the best! My order is going in this week.

Thanks!
Hi Bob-
We are considering this sort of wireless. No guarantees, but we agree, this would be very sexy. We are studying the various hardware implementaions now.

Thanks for the incoming order, we should have available stock.

Best-
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Convergent Design
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:06 PM   #12
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If you guys can get the redundant recording by 2Q, I think I am good to go. I've got a huge project that I'd like this unit for, but I'll put it off until the fall if you guys can get that feature installed.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
If you guys can get the redundant recording by 2Q, I think I am good to go. I've got a huge project that I'd like this unit for, but I'll put it off until the fall if you guys can get that feature installed.
Hi Perrone-
I am expecting redundant recording in 1Q 2010. We have plenty of requests for this feature from the Sports community.

Best-
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Convergent Design
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Hi Perrone-
I am expecting redundant recording in 1Q 2010. We have plenty of requests for this feature from the Sports community.

Best-
Best news I've had all day!
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DVX100, PMW-EX1, Canon 550D, FigRig, Dell Octocore, Avid MC4/5, MB Looks, RedCineX, Matrox MX02 mini, GTech RAID, Edirol R-4, Senn. G2 Evo, Countryman, Moles and Lowels.
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Old December 18th, 2009, 09:15 PM   #15
Convergent Design
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty Welk View Post
dont forget us cheapskates
1 good file format
1 set prime HD resolution
1 good codec
0 confusion
64gig chips
long recording time
low battery consumption
small size
zero "features"
reliability
CHEAP

and if your going to stuff 4-8 channel recording in, then stuff a set of simple secondary audio inputs on the Box itself, the cams are not doing a great job of letting us feed more audios into them, an external input that could be adapted to even, could stuff in a board feed, or backup mics, or something, even if the audio is not directally synced , due to camera buffering the video.
Hi Marty-
We can deliver on most of this list, but we're not likely to offer zero "features" or CHEAP. We add value to the product through our software and already think the nanoFlash is a bargin.

The nanoFlash offers two channels of analog audio (consumer level) now. We do plan to allow users to add these two analog channels to the HD-SDI embedded audio (total number of audio channels limited to 8).

Best-
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