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Old November 9th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #1
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Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Friends,

I wish to announce that we started shipping the Gemini 4:4:4's yesterday.

We are shipping in limited quantities this month and we have a substantial backlog.

We have performed thousands of hours of testing and are very happy with the firmware. We feel that the Gemini 4:4:4 will prove to be a very reliable device.

In order to provide adequate time for testing, we have only enabled some of the features of the Gemini 4:4:4. Additional features will be enabled in the "near term", approximately 30 days from now.

Then we will follow that with more features, as outlined below.

We have two major extra cost firmware features planned:

1. Full 3D Support. This is planned for our near term firmware update, so this should be available in around 30 days.

2. ARRIRAW Support. This is planned for next year. Our goal, but not a promise, is to have this upgrade ready around April 2012. After we have this implemented, then we have to get formal approval from ARRI.

Our intial firmware supports 1080psf23.976 (23.98), and 1080p25 only.

We are being very conservative. As the frame rate increases, so does the number of bytes per second that we have to write to the SSD's.

At this time, we are writing to one SSD only. When one SSD fills up, then we automatically switch to the next SSD (spanning). Later we will be writing to two SSD's simultaneously, which will enable support for higher frame rates.

Thus in a later release we will add 1080psf29.97 and even higher frame rates.

Also, our initial firmware does not support audio recording. This is scheduled for our first firmware update.

For cameras such as the F3, this is a very minor issue. One can record video / audio on the SxS cards and match the audio to the uncompressed DPX files based on timecode.

The Sony PMW-F3 is an amazing low-noise camera. Both the nanoFlash and Gemini work exceptionally well with the F3 to produce stunning images.

The Gemini 4:4;4 is an ideal match for the Sony PMW-F3 with S-Log.

At this time, Sony is running, for United States based customers, a substantial rebate program. If one purchases an F3 + Gemini 4:4:4 at the same time,then the rebate is $1,250.

If one purchases a F3 with a nanoFlash, then the rebate is $1,250.

There are other rebates for the Sony EX1R, EX3, PMW-320, PMW-350, plus the nanoFlash.

The attached file is our Quick Start Guide for the Gemini 4:4:4.

The attached file lists HDMI Output support to be enabled later. We have included this in our initial firmware.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Gemini 444 Quick Start Guide 2011-10-26-001.pdf (4.91 MB, 276 views)
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Dan Keaton
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Old November 9th, 2011, 12:41 PM   #2
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Congratulation to the whole CD team, this is a nice achievement!

I saw a Gemini prototype, this morning at the Satis Expo in Paris. Unfortunately it was not operational, so I couldn't appreciate the quality of the LCD screen, but the construction seems to be solid.

However I don't understand why only the Convergent Design's SSD will work? Honestly, some cheaper SSD wouldn't work? I suppose that you want to guarantee the quality of the SSD but what about a certification process like the one of the CF cards for the Nano?

Anyway, I whish you a lot of success with this new recorder!
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Old November 9th, 2011, 01:25 PM   #3
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Ronan,

I understand your wanting to purchase SSD's from other sources.

At least at this time, there are no other SSD's that are fast enough.

We have tested many SSD's.

For example, SSD's with SandForce controllers, are not fast enough, even though their spec's, on paper would indicate that they are fast enough. We do not recommend these SSD's for recording 4:4:4 video.

2.5" SSD's are more common than 1.8" SSD's.

The 1.8" SSD's are ones that we have to purchase in very large quantities, they are not available on the open market.

Thus, if you attempt to use a 1.8" SSD from another source, it will most likely not work.


The second issue is that we want to ensure the reputation of the Gemini 4:4:4. It could be easily destroyed by using an SSD that has no chance of working, thus ruining a shoot.

Thus, we thoroughly test all of the SSD's at elevated temperatures and eliminate the ones that are not up to speed.

Sometime in the future, much faster SSD's may become widely available.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 03:33 PM   #4
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Dan,

Good to hear the Gemini is starting to ship. I have a question if I may.

In a post a few weeks ago you alluded to a potential forthcoming announcement that I took to be some form of compressed recording.

Is this still on track or will the Gemini only ever be uncompressed ?

As others mentioned at the time, I'm not interested in buying an uncompressed only unit but would purchase the Gemini if it had a compressed option as well. Otherwise I think it will have to be the Cinedeck

regards,
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Old November 9th, 2011, 06:11 PM   #5
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Hi Dan,
Congratulations to you and the whole team!
Now sit back, have a nice cool drink, and wait for the onslaught of questions ;-)
Very much looking forward to seeing it in action -- and keep those firmware updates coming!
Best,
Dave Sperling
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Old November 9th, 2011, 07:24 PM   #6
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Simon,

We decided to hold off on that announcement.

The reason is very easy. We did not want to be a company that always announced items for the future, with a substantial delay before we can deliver the item.

The feature that you have requested is very important to us also. But we are not formally announcing it at this time.
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Old November 9th, 2011, 08:21 PM   #7
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Dave,

Thanks for the congratulations.

Our team has been working very hard, as you may imagine.

Each Gemini 4:4:4 undergoes many days in our burn-in chamber to ensure that any weak components are weeded out.

Each SSD also undergoes stress testing. We are able to detect and segregrate any SSD's that are not up to speed.

During the test of the Gemini 4:4:4 and SSD's, we are running the system at a very high throughput, around 250 Megabytes per second.

The firmware testing has taken thousands of unit-hours. We have had 16 to 48 Gemini 4:4:4's at a time running firmware tests. Then for many of the tests, we examine each file, and sometimes each frame of video for any problems. This is a very tedious task for our team.
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Old November 10th, 2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

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

We decided to hold off on that announcement.

The reason is very easy. We did not want to be a company that always announced items for the future, with a substantial delay before we can deliver the item.

The feature that you have requested is very important to us also. But we are not formally announcing it at this time.
Ok thanks for the reply, I appreciate it is a difficult question for you to answer. I'll try my luck with one more.

Can you give a rough time frame 6 months, 1 year + ?

Regards,
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Old November 10th, 2011, 05:30 PM   #9
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Re: Gemini 4:4:4 Shipping

Dear Simon,

We will be developing three major items (almost) simultaneously with some taking priority over others.

1. Promised Firmware Updates for the Gemini,

2. ARRIRAW Support

3. The formally unannounced project.

Our goal, but not a promise, is to have item 2 around April 2012.

A separate person will be doing the major, but preliminary work, on Item 3, while Items 1 & 2 are being implemented.

It is way to early for me to give you a time frame, sorry.
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