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Old January 2nd, 2011, 04:17 AM   #1
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nanoFlash and Switchers

Hello to Dan et al at C-D.

I have wanted a nanoFlash for sometime and finally need it rather than just desiring one. So far, I have 2 switchers on my list: Panasonic HMX100 and Tricaster TCXD300. If it matters, I will be using an EX1 & EX3 now and either another EX3 or a F3 in a couple months.

I like the Panasonic because it can record in 1080 24p whereas the Tricaster is limited to 1080 interlaced (in addition to 720/60p), and I refuse to record interlaced. Is the nanoFlash able to work magic and take the 1080 60i output from the Tricaster and record as 1080/30p?

Has anyone here used the nano with a switcher? If so, could you post your experience.

My local Abel Cine is shipping in the Panasonic to test with a nanoFlash. Is there anything in particular that I should test?

I found Lance's thread about the Tricaster and nanoFlash files but one thing was left unanswered: does the Tricaster TCXD300 record/output compressed or uncompressed audio?

Thanks
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Old January 2nd, 2011, 05:54 AM   #2
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Dear Steve,

1080psf29.97 (1080, Progressive Segmented Frames, 29.97 frames per second) apprears to a monitor and other devces as 1080i59.94.

Even some serious camera manufacturers label their equipment as 1080i59.94 when it is actually 1080psf29.97.

The nanoFlash can properly process 1080psf29.97 and convert it to proper progressive 1080p29.97 (or 1080psf50 to 1080p25), etc.

But, if the camera is really putting out 1080i59.94 (true interlaced and not progressive segmented frames), then one should not activate our Progressive Segmented Frames to True Progressive feature.

Most all true progressive cameras output their signals as PSF, thus they appear to be interlaced.

With a true progressive camera, the circuitry in the camera (if putting out PSF), puts the odd lines into one field, and the even lines into another field, with both fields making up one frame.

Our PSF to Progressive feature takes the odd lines from one field and the even lines from the other field and combines them into a single frame.

When we do this, with a real PSF source, one gets real Progressive.

When one turns on this feature with an interlaced source, we do the same thing, but the results are not desirable, as the original source was interlaced (with each field from a different point in time).

Now, to answer you question:

To work with the nanoFlash one needs a synchronous switcher.

This would be one that does not put out a glitch on the HD-SDI output when switching from one source to another.

Any quality switcher will do this.

Simple relay based switchers will not.


To answer your audio question: "Does the Tricaster TCXD300 record/output compressed or uncompressed audio?"

Here are the spec's.

NewTek TriCaster TCXD300

While the spec's say that the audio quality is "24-bits, 48 kHz, 4 Channels" which would normally be considered uncompressed", the recorded file formats are quite diverse:

AVI, DV, MPEG-2, QuickTime, HDV, JPG, PNG, and More

Some of the above are capable of recording 24-bits / 48K, others are not.
For example HDV normally uses compressed audio.
MPEG-2, DV, and others allow for 24-bits / 48K audio.

I have attempted to answer your questions.

However, your best answers should come from NewTek as the spec's do not provide enough informaton to truely answer your question.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 12:31 AM   #3
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Hello Steve,
I have been using the Nanoflash and Tricaster TCXD300 for about 9 months and I can recommend this combination. The Tricaster records in itís own Mpeg format which honestly is a pain in the butt to transcode to Final Cut Pro but with the addition of the Nanoflash it's a breeze and it's all in real time. The Tricaster is a great product and it's good value for money over a dedicated switcher. With the addition of the Nanoflash it makes it a top combination. When you consider the cost of the Nanoflash you must realize that the Nanoflash is not just a dumb recorder it is very versatile and has many applications from on camera recording to desktop attached to the Tricaster or the SDI output from your NLE. The Nanoflash offers many recording options over other similar products and has saved my butt on several occasions. With the Nanoflash I have full bidirectional compatibility between the Tricaster , Final Cut Pro and SpeedEdit 2 without having to transcode files. You also have the option to record in MPG to create DVD or Blu-Ray ready to burn files which is what I am going to try next week. I love to use the Nanoflash in it's Time-Lapse recording mode 1 frame a second showing and empty auditorium to a full auditorium Prior to the show starting I import the time-Lapse clip into the Tricasterís DDR and use the Time-Lapse clip as part of the show opener which is a great effect. The Tricaster records in to itís own Mpeg2 I-Frame format at 100Mbps and the audio is 24-bits, 48 kHz, 4 Channels which as Dan said ďThis would would normally be considered uncompressed ď. While the other format are listed I believe they are only available as export formats from within the Tricaster SpeedEdit 2 NLE export options. From the Live controller you have only two record options Normal and HQ and HQ is Mpeg2 I-frame @100Mbps which is what I use all the time. By using the Nanoflash on the Tricasterís SDI output your can record at higher data rates and in other formats, not limiting you to just two record options, how good is that something you just can not get from a dedicated switcher.
It is a pity the Tricaster is not equipped with a GPI port so the Nanoflash and Tricaster could be set to record or stop with just one key stroke. I now also use the Nanoflash to record my completed NLE session in Mpeg Long Gop for archival purpose's because the codec creates high quality video in a small file size.

Cheers
Lance
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:50 AM   #4
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Hi Lance or should I say digiview. I just started posting new threads in the Tricaster forum as specialk90. I can repeat them here or if you could take a few minutes and answer over on the newtek forum. However, I will ask my most important question here: what framerate do you record with the nanoFlash and what are the cameras set at and also the Tricaster? If I can somehow get the nano to record progressive 1080 rather than the XD300's interlaced, then I will be a nanoFlash owner soon.

Thanks
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:32 AM   #5
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Dear Steve,

Thanks for the kind words.

If you are using the MPG feature on the nanoFlash, and using 1.6.245, and using Delkin 450x cards, please contact us. This problem does not work perfectly.

As such, we may be able to send you a version of the firmware which has been treaked to solve this unexpcted problem.

This fix has been added to our next firmware, which we are holding off releasing until we get more feedback from our users.

We just can not tell who has tested 1.6.145 and what their results have been.

We certainly know the feedback that we have received, and it has been positive, except for a very few minor issues, such as the unusual behavoir with one type of CompactFlash card.

This is in no way intended to disparge the Delkin cards. While most people feel that CompactFlash cards are all the same, they are actually quite different.

We have quite a few special things that we do to make various CompactFlash cards work.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #6
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Dear Steve,

Lance is in a much better position to answer your question with authority.

I hope you get your answer soon. We do not have a Tricaster in our lab.

We would love to see you get a nanoFlash so we can all say "Welcome Aboard"!
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Old January 5th, 2011, 04:05 AM   #7
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Hi Steve,
FYI I use Sony EX3's is set at 1080/50i Pal for Australia with the Tricaster also set to record at Pal 1080i.
The Nanoflash is also recording @ 1080i.

I have no experience with progressive recording if someone from CD can reply re the Nanoflash recording in progressive would be best. I did try progressive when I got my first EX3 and motion on a interlaced monitor look crap so I never pursued any further. Next Tuesday I will have some time available and run some test on progressive recording using the Nanoflash Tricaster combination to see what happens.


Cheers
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Old January 5th, 2011, 01:54 PM   #8
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Lance,
Can you do me a huge favor and send me a short test file from the Tricaster's recording so I can test it with Adobe software? I have a yousendit account that I can PM you - PM sent.

Also, a Newtek person said that the recorded audio is COMPRESSED.
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Old January 5th, 2011, 02:49 PM   #9
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Hi Steve,
Yes I can do that for you on Tuesday of next week.
Regarding the audio yes the audio is compressed only when recorded by the Tricaster in fact in the record dialog box also has the option to record the audio to an MP3 file. I believe the Tricaster TCXD300 only applies compression to the SDI signal during record mode and not when passed through from input to output, what goes in comes out. I have noticed while viewing my SDI monitor I get great looking picture and little to no noise in the black. When the same scene is recorded and played back I can see much more noise in the blacks. This would suggest to me that compression is only applied to the recorded cycle only.

Cheers
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