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Old March 21st, 2011, 01:01 PM   #16
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Stone View Post
Question for the Convergent Design people. The monitor is to be daylight viewable. Do you know how many NITS the screen puts out when in daylight viewable mode and are you planning to put a transreflective layer on top of the screen to add to the daylight viewability?
Dear Andrew,

Our 5" Monitor puts out 800 Nits (Cd/M2).

This level of brightness, from a 5" monitor is a real advance.

Most monitors of this size put out 300 to 250 Nits.

The monitor has a LED Backlight and In-Plane Switching.

This is a very advanced monitor.

No, we will not be adding a transreflective layer.

Typical, normal brightness levels will be near 10%, with higher levels used when outdoors in the bright sunlight.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 01:09 PM   #17
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Gemini 4:4:4 Brochure

Here's the Gemini 4:4:4 Brochure with Tech Specs.
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File Type: pdf Gemini 444 Brochure.pdf (466.2 KB, 398 views)
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Old March 21st, 2011, 01:19 PM   #18
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dear Friends,

Here is an interview with Mike Schell, that provides more details about the Gemini 4:4:4.

Convergent Design unveils Gemini 4:4:4,
A Revolutionary Uncompressed Video Recorder


Our Newsletter editor Amber Cowles, interviews Mike Schell, President of Convergent Design, about the new Gemini 4:4:4 full uncompressed recorder.

Can you give us a brief description of your new HD recorder: Gemini 4:4:4?

Gemini 4:4:4 is a revolutionary full uncompressed HD recorder which stores video/audio data onto two removable 1.8” SSDs (Solid State Drive) for playback/transfer to a PC/MAC. Gemini supports most HD/2K formats in 4:2:2/4:4:4, 8/10-bit formats with single-link HD-SDI/3G or dual-link. A built-in 5.0” sunlight viewable (800 cd/m²), 24-bit, 800x480 color LCD touch-screen serves as a high-quality monitor and playback screen. Gemini also features an industry first: the unique ability to record to both drives simultaneously, creating identical masters.

The 1-lb Gemini with milled aluminum case measures 5.4 x 4.5 x 1.1” or about the same size as the popular SmallHD DP6 monitor. But, of course, Gemini also includes recording, playback, image processing, etc, etc.

Convergent Design has been very successful with the nanoFlash, why go uncompressed?

With an installed base of over 3,500 recorders, nanoFlash has been a huge home-run for Convergent Design. However, while many users are very pleased with the 8-bit MPEG compressed video from the nanoFlash, we’ve received continual requests for higher bit-rates, 10-bit, and greater color sampling (4:4:4) as well as 2K/1080p50/60 support. All these goals were simply outside the design capabilities of nanoFlash.

After considerable technical research, we determined that an affordable uncompressed HD recorder was now feasible. This, coupled with the recent introduction of low-noise high-quality cameras, like the Sony F3, opened the market for our third-generation recorder.

Are you guys crazy, uncompressed is a ton of data?

Yes, uncompressed is a lot of data, typically in the range of 125 to 150 MBytes/sec (1000 to 1200 Mbits/sec). But, technology advancements now make full-uncompressed workflow quite manageable and affordable. For example, using the new 10Gbps Thunderbolt technology from Apple/Intel, it is now very reasonable to edit uncompressed using a laptop. New $180, 3-TByte (TeraByte) HDDs enable portable RAID arrays with 9-12 TBytes of storage (sufficient for 18-24 hours of uncompressed 1080p24 4:2:2 10-bit).

Full uncompressed capture/editing enables the ultimate in quality with no compression artifacts, added noise, or multigenerational losses. But, you still have the option to work in CineForm/DNxHD/ProRes, etc. via a simple encode process (using programs such as Compressor or Media Encoder).

So Gemini lets you choose any CODEC you want?

Precisely! The uncompressed HD-SDI output from your camera is exactly the same data that is fed to the internal in-camera hardware CODEC. While your camera (and most recorders) only supports one CODEC, Gemini frees you to use any CODEC/format.

We found that oftentimes the workflow and editing system is not well defined at the beginning of a production, or the client may want the footage in a different CODEC/format. Gemini gives you the flexibility to deliver accordingly, at the best possible quality levels. So after two weeks of shooting, when the director brings word that you’re changing from PC to MAC (or vice versa), you’re ready to encode that pristine uncompressed footage into a new CODEC / format, while maintaining the highest possible quality.

Consider also, that all professional video is ultimately transferred off the capture-media (typically Flash) onto HDDs, optical media or LTO Tape. Using high-performance multi-core processors, you can transfer and encode with little additional time penalty (compared to a simple transfer).

For example, using an 8-core Mac Pro we’re getting transfer (SSD → HDD) + encode (to ProRes HQ) at 1/2 real-time. So, 30 minutes of uncompressed 1080p24 video requires a total of 15 minutes to transfer off the SSD and encode to ProRes. By comparison, a simple transfer of the same footage (without encode) occurs in 1/3 real-time, or 10 minutes.

Earlier you mentioned dual recording capability, can you elaborate on this feature?

Gemini offers two recording modes: span data across both drives, for longer record times or simultaneously record the same video to both SSDs, creating two masters (auto backup).

Two masters bring the added insurance against lost footage, while enabling some innovative work flows. For example, one SSD can go directly to the online edit station, while the second SSD can be used to generate offline proxies or H.264 footage for mobile devices / internet upload.

Speaking of media, why the switch from Compact Flash to SSD?

Compact Flash is a great choice for most compressed recorders, but it simply lacks the required performance for uncompressed video. Compact Flash tops out at about 90 Mbytes/sec, while uncompressed video ranges from 100 to over 300 Mbytes/sec; so clearly, it’s impossible to record uncompressed video onto a single CF card. Additionally, CF card capacity maxes out at 128GB, while SSDs are now available up to 512GB.

Built on cutting-edge 25nm technology, Gemini SSDs provide read/write speeds of 415/260 (Mbytes/sec) respectively. For most video formats, a single SSD has a sufficient bandwidth; however, 1080p50/60 formats generate over 300 Mbytes/sec, requiring us to strip the data across both drives. We do, however, combine the data into a single file during the offload of the SSDs to your MAC/PC.

High-Speed SSD media is currently available in the following sizes and storage capacities:
256GB SSD → 32 minutes @ 1080p24 4:2:2, 10-bit
512GB SSD → 64 minutes @ 1080p24 4:2:2, 10-bit

Using 512GB SSDs and spanning across the two drives, you’ll get a generous 128 minutes of uncompressed 1080p24 record time on Gemini (without swapping drives).

OK, but everyone knows that uncompressed recorders are big, heavy, power-hungry, and expensive. What makes Gemini so different?

Gemini follows the highly-successful design philosophy of nanoFlash to make the smallest, lightest-weight, lowest-power recorder that current technology will allow. So instead of building a PC-based recorder, which consumes 60 to 75 watts of power, we designed full-custom hardware drawing 8 to 15 Watts. Rather than designing proprietary Flash mags, we utilized off-the-shelf SSD drives, dramatically reducing both the media and transfer-station cost. (Editor’s note: The Gemini recorder package includes a 6Gbps SSD transfer station).

Machined from solid aluminum billets, the case is very strong and lightweight, making Gemini ideal for extreme environments. The lower power enables completely silent operation (no fans) and a wide operating temperature range (projected to be -30 to +50 C).

At a volume of only 10% greater than the hand-held nanoFlash, a weight of only 1 lb, and a low-power budget, Gemini is far smaller/lighter/less power hungry than most uncompressed or compressed recorders!

Gemini obviously supports 4:4:4, but what about S-Log?

S-Log, as you may know, maps 12-bit (or higher) linear data into a 10-bit log space (for transmission over HD-SDI, which is limited to 10-bits). Gemini maintains the highest possible quality, by recording 10-bit S-Log video in an uncompressed format, so there’s absolutely no added noise or artifacts.

Gemini also supports user-programmable 1D viewing LUTs, which can be selectively enabled for one or more of the SDI/HDMI outputs. Additionally, in dual record mode, you can simultaneously record the native S-Log video to one SSD (online) and the same video with burned-in LUTs to the second SSD (offline / H.264 generation).

Will Gemini have a 3D or stereo option?

Yes. From the beginning Gemini was conceived as a dual stream recorder. Gemini will independently record two video streams to individual SSDs, for all formats except 1080p50/60. You can synchronously play-out the two individual streams or combine into side-by side, 50/50 composite or anaglyph formats. Gemini uniquely allows you to simultaneously view 3D video in multiple formats, such as side by side and 50/50 composite, which should be very helpful in 3D camera alignment.

Is Gemini going to replace the nanoFlash?

By no means, Gemini compliments the nanoFlash. nanoFlash will continue to find applications needing long record times (10 hours), and/or requiring a strictly compressed workflow. At $1/minute (50 Mbps) for the Compact Flash media, nanoFlash still offers the lowest media cost for broadcast quality video.

Everyone hates to see their latest purchase upstaged, will Gemini be obsolete in 6 months?

HD will be the mainstream delivery format for the foreseeable future. Gemini already supports all the major HD formats up 1080p60 as well as S-Log, 4:4:4, Dual-Link, 3G, and 16-Channel Audio. 3D will be available, through an optional firmware upgrade. So, it’s really hard to imagine obsolescence any time soon.

Based on customer feedback, Convergent Design added feature after feature on the nanoFlash, at no charge. Will Gemini follow a similar pattern?

Yes, although most of the nanoFlash features, with the exception of pre-record buffer, should be enabled when Gemini ships. That said, we anticipated many special requests, so Gemini was designed with 5X the programmable logic compared to nanoFlash, giving us quite a bit of room to grow (feature-wise, that is).

What are the target markets/applications?

If you a filmmaker/cinematographer/Indie producer (or aspire to be one), then Gemini is a perfect choice. Sony F3 owners with S-Log and 4:4:4 will likely find Gemini an invaluable addition, as these capabilities are far beyond the native recording capability within the camera. The lightweight and low-power of the Gemini, make it ideal for Steadicam operators and anyone shooting in extreme environments, such in jungles, underwater, at high-altitude, etc.

OK, Gemini offers the ultimate quality and flexibility, but is it affordable?

The base Gemini package includes the recorder, an SSD to eSATA transfer-station, AC power supply and cables in a custom-fitted hard-case for US $5995 (retail). Prices for the 256GB and 512GB SSDs will be announced at NAB.

Other recorders may offer different features, but no recorder offers better video quality than Gemini 4:4:4.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 02:40 PM   #19
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Congratulations on what looks to be a useful, well made new recorder. As with the nano, it appears you have come up with a flexible design that does much more than anything else on the market.

I have a question about record times. You mention:
Quote:
High-Speed SSD media is currently available in the following sizes and storage capacities:
256GB SSD → 32 minutes @ 1080p24 4:2:2, 10-bit
512GB SSD → 64 minutes @ 1080p24 4:2:2, 10-bit
What is the record time for 1080i59.94 4:2:2 10-bit?

Billy
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Old March 21st, 2011, 02:53 PM   #20
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dear Billy,

I tried to provide this information in the text of this message, but it was difficult to format.

Thus, I have added this important information in the form of an attachment, a Word Document.

The recording times vary, 8-Bit verus 10-Bit, Frame Rate, 4:2:2 or 4:4:4, etc.

To answer your question directly:

With one 256 GB SSD, 1080i59.94, 4:2:2 10-Bit is 27 Minutes.

With one 512 GB SSD, it is 54 minutes.

With two 512 GB SSD, it is 108 minutes.

And of course, one can hot-swap, thus extending the maximum record times.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Gemini444 Video and Storage Rates 005.pdf (63.6 KB, 837 views)
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Last edited by Dan Keaton; March 21st, 2011 at 05:21 PM.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 03:19 PM   #21
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Our 5" Monitor puts out 800 Nits (Cd/M2).
Everyone; for a handy dandy "real world" reference, an iPhone 3GS is about 469 nits, while the iPad is only 373 nits.

Apple's iPad - The AnandTech Review - AnandTech :: Your Source for Hardware Analysis and News

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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:03 PM   #22
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

I fished around a bit on the Internet for 1.8" 512GB SSD drives without any luck. Some 256GB SSD drives are available at arount $600 - $750. I have a couple of questions for Mike or Dan;

* What are the projected prices for the yet-to-be announced 512GB SSD drives in a ballpark amount?

* There is no mention of a projected/target delivery date for the Gemini?

* What would the target date for 3D functionality be?

* Any pics of the SSD transfer station available?
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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:21 PM   #23
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dear Friends,

Here is our Gemini 4:4:4 Brochure.

The second page has the Technical Specifications.

Please note that the "Actual Size" image may not be actual size, depending on your monitor and zoom factor.

The actual size is 5.4" wide, 4.5" tall, and 1.1" thick.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Gemini 444 Brochure 2011-03-21-001.pdf (460.7 KB, 334 views)
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Old March 21st, 2011, 04:41 PM   #24
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruce Schultz View Post
I fished around a bit on the Internet for 1.8" 512GB SSD drives without any luck. Some 256GB SSD drives are available at arount $600 - $750. I have a couple of questions for Mike or Dan;

* What are the projected prices for the yet-to-be announced 512GB SSD drives in a ballpark amount?

* There is no mention of a projected/target delivery date for the Gemini?

* What would the target date for 3D functionality be?

* Any pics of the SSD transfer station available?
Dear Bruce,

We are not ready to disclose the prices of the SSD's. Too much may change between now and NAB.

We intend to announce the SSD prices at NAB.

You will not find our 1.8" SSD drives on the internet. These are the latest and greatest from a reputable SSD manufacturer.

Your ballpack price for the 128 GB SSD is "in the ballpark", but is subject to change.

We hope to show 3D funcationality at NAB. The price of the 3D Upgrade is $1,995. We have lots of this functionality working in our lab right now. It has been our goal for months now to show the Gemini 4:4:4 with 3D working at NAB 2011.

Gemini 4:4:4 3D is a one unit solution. The nano3D consists of two nanoFlashes plus special firmware.

Thus, one needs to purchase a Gemini 4:4:4 plus the $1,995, for a very sophisticated 3D recorder and playback device.

Especially important is that one can output a 50%-50% composite output via one HD-SDI output, and a second HD-SDI output (or on our built in monitor) can be Anaglyph.

This is a very flexible 3D device. The above are just examples of what can be performed.

Of course other items such as Image Flip, Image Flop or both on one or both inputs is possible.


Our goal for for shipping the Gemini 4:4:4 is by the end of July, 2011.

This is a goal, not a promise. We are a very long way into this project, as we started last summer.

We have a lot working, such as recording, playing back, HD-SDI inputs, HD-SDI outputs, displaying footage on the Monitor, etc. But we have more to finish.

We do not have pictures of the transfer station yet.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 05:53 PM   #25
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Great work guys! I have a few questions for you:

1) What camera outputs 2048x1080?

2) Have you tested it with an Alexa? If so, how does the Alexa's 2880x1620 get recorded?

3) Will you be selling additional offload docking stations? Or will standard external Sata docking stations work as well?

4) Will the DPX feature be added by the time the Gemini is released? How would the audio then be recorded, ie WAV, BWF?

5) With the MOV wrapper, does it work natively in After Effects?

6) Will you release a MOV to DPX converter? I ask because I find image sequences to be smoother and easier to scrub.

7) Will it have the ability to record 2 1080/30p 422 cameras at the same time, NOT Stereo 3D but like a multi-camera shoot.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
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Old March 21st, 2011, 11:04 PM   #26
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Keaton View Post
Dear Andrew,

Our 5" Monitor puts out 800 Nits (Cd/M2).

This level of brightness, from a 5" monitor is a real advance.

Most monitors of this size put out 300 to 250 Nits.
That's great! A good 300 NITS higher than I was hoping.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:05 AM   #27
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Genesis of Gemini?

Hi Dan,

I found my clairvoyant post, dated April 23, 2010:

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/converge...nk-hd-sdi.html

It's interesting to look back at what was said at the time, from

"this is pure science fiction"

to

"we had not thought of this."

All the best,

Jeff
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 01:34 AM   #28
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dear Jeff,

We took your request for 4:4:4 into consideration when we started designing the Gemini 4:4:4 last year.

We attempted to listen to our customers.

But, we were very happy to see such a capable camera, such as the Sony F3, come out with 4:4:4 and other features at such an affordable price.
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 02:32 AM   #29
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dan,

What you've done is pretty amazing, and will probably drive sales of 4:4:4 cameras.

Best of luck to you!

Jeff
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Old March 22nd, 2011, 07:47 AM   #30
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Re: Official: Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4

Dear Jeff,

Thanks!

I am getting great reports that our nanoFlash works exceptionally well with the Sony F3.

The Gemini 4:4:4 is a perfect match for the Sony F3.

So, one can use the nanoFlash, if desired and achieve great results.

Or one can use the Gemini 4:4:4 if one wants the ultimate in quality.

If one is going to upgrade their F3 with the firmware update, then the Gemini 4:4:4 is definitely the way to go.

Or if one is going to record 3D with two F3's (with the 3D firmware upgrade), then the Gemini 4:4:4 with our 3D upgrade is the way to go.
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