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Old February 14th, 2009, 11:28 AM   #31
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There are additional things to consider: 'voice of the customer' surveys, ergonomics, field testing (accelerated stress testing, firmware testing, drop testing, wide variety of camcorders, climate extremes), RF interference certification, firmware revision, injection molding/machining, PCB manufacture, distribution, packaging, marketing etc.
...Indeed. However, many of these issues come into play once a decision to commence mass manufacture has been made. For now, I have made no plans beyond the creation of a fully functional one or two off prototype unit for us to test.
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Old February 19th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #32
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Project Update

Hi friends. The SD card SSDR project is still moving forward. We haven't run out of money yet, so everything is in push forward mode. All is running well and we are getting work done.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 04:07 PM   #33
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Thank God For Universities

Hi friends. We've had an interesting development in our Solid State Digital SD Card Recorder Project. Shao Feng An, who is one of our technical project electrical engineers, has a very nice afiliation with one of the local universities here, and the university has its own brand new FPGA circuit board machine ! This is one heck of an expensive machine ! What this machine does is take code you write and it makes the circuit board design with all the right pathways and layers of electrical pathways, so you can cram all your chips into as small a space as possible ! One of our goals is to design a SSDR, which is small and way light. As soon as I can take a picture of this wonder machine, I will try and post it. We think we can get the university to do our circuit boards for us, thus saving considerable time and some money too.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 01:08 AM   #34
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that sounds like a great thing for you AND for the university. I just read this thread and it is getting exciting.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #35
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that sounds like a great thing for you AND for the university. I just read this thread and it is getting exciting.
...Hi David. Yeah, we're encouraged by this development allot, beacuse the process of designing and making the mother board in the shape and layout we need, and making it fit into the size of our little video recorder box, is a really hard, long, and pretty expensive proposition. However, if we can get it done locally at the university, then we could, in theory, reduce our costs for this stage of the project by as much as 50 % !

About the box. What do you guys think it should be made of ? I'm leaning toward aluminium (Perhaps a T 6 aircraft quality of metal ??). There is also a good argument for plastic. I think plastic says "cheap," and I'm dedicated to this box looking really, really, cool !
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Old March 7th, 2009, 12:49 AM   #36
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Well done aluminum says bullet proof rugged, well grounded, impervious to all but the most severe electrostatic shock and RF interference.

Well done plastic can be rugged and more pleasing feel to the hand.
In hot weather it doesn't burn your hand like bare metal will.
In cold weather it doesn't freeze your hand like bare metal will.

You could have some plastic wrapped around a metal core for the best of both worlds.
That's what a lot of video and still cameras do.
But you knew that already.

My 2 cents.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:23 AM   #37
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Well done aluminum says bullet proof rugged, well grounded, impervious to all but the most severe electrostatic shock and RF interference.

Well done plastic can be rugged and more pleasing feel to the hand.
In hot weather it doesn't burn your hand like bare metal will.
In cold weather it doesn't freeze your hand like bare metal will.

You could have some plastic wrapped around a metal core for the best of both worlds.
That's what a lot of video and still cameras do.
But you knew that already.

My 2 cents.
....Yes Bill. That was a good 2 cents worth :-) I'm leaning towards metal because I find plastic can be so smoothe you can loose a solid grip on the device and drop it ! I'm just the guy to drop and smash a camera (I've done it before and I don't even drink !). I am assumning folks will drop my device at least once in their life and I want it to survive at least a drop on concrete from waist height.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 02:09 PM   #38
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as a guy who shoots alot in the snow I would want it to be plastic or at least have a rubber layer around the metal.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 05:39 PM   #39
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as a guy who shoots alot in the snow I would want it to be plastic or at least have a rubber layer around the metal.
....Well, here's another vote for plastic. Can you elaborate a little more as to why you consider plastic to be more favorable to cold conditions than metal ? Plastic does become increasingly brittle as the temperature drops below 32 degrees Farinheight. I think whatever it is, it should be covered with some kind of rubberized plastic or some waterproofing material.
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Old March 7th, 2009, 06:18 PM   #40
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A 10-bit codec would be nice, with inter and intra options. If it has mathematical lossless, that would be great, and defeat the need for uncompressed. Maximum quality, down to usable quality, in keeping with your all things for all people ideal for the product.
It would need to run off standard video AB and V-Lock voltages, anywhere from 11 to 18 vdc. You might also have application in film for off-line and dallies, so over 24vdc.
Mounting options need to be considered too. For most ENG and Steadicam work, a V-Lock pass through would be perfect, but that leaves you nowhere to put your LCD. A retractable pop up LCD could work, but adds complexity into a small space.
It needs to be light of course, and impact resistant. Perhaps a rubberized sheath or harness covering the edges, over aluminum.
You will need remote triggers and tally lamps. Perhaps an optional wired remote LCD, as well as some serial port protocols used in video and film.
Having a USB host port or even an eSata port which you can directly dump data to a portable HD without the need for a laptop would be nice.
eSata may even be worth investigating as the main storage interface. 2.5" SSDs are becoming cheaper and faster every week, along with the huge range of platter based drives already out there. Add to that RAID hardware is very common, and I imagine adaptable to your application without to many hassles.

I'd buy that :)
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Old March 7th, 2009, 10:46 PM   #41
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Can you elaborate a little more as to why you consider plastic to be more favorable to cold conditions than metal
I dont want to touch it and freeze my fingers off, nor have them stick to it.

really though, as long as it has a rubberized something-or-other on the outside I'd be happy.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #42
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I dont want to touch it and freeze my fingers off, nor have them stick to it.

really though, as long as it has a rubberized something-or-other on the outside I'd be happy.
...Oh Yeah ! Good point !
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Old March 8th, 2009, 03:46 AM   #43
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I've had a few more thoughts on this device, and I've thought of a potential way to make it fully programmable, basically codec agnostic. I'm not a programmer or asic designer, so I could be totally wrong, but I know computers and keep up with technology. I'm sure it could work, but it may not be practical.
The current graphics cards available have huge processing potential that is only just starting to be used outside of games and CAD. A sub $100 card can transcode 4 full HD mpeg2 streams into mpeg4 simultaneously faster than real time. The graphics card companies are starting to release development tools to harness this now. They also develop low wattage mobile versions for laptops, in modular form.
These chips have great deal of dedicated video processing for decoding AVC and VC-1, as well as HDMI interfaces, audio passthrough, scaling, and bucket loads of DSP power.

http://img209.imageshack.us/img209/2...3d000edf28.jpg

ATI Mobility Radeon™ HD 4830 / HD 4860 Graphics - Overview

GPU Technology for Accelerated Computing

In it's low power state it might have more than enough power to encode a HD stream into any format you like. The wattage needed for real time is your main stumbling block with this I think.
The software development tools seem to be there. I think a company like ATI would probably offer the support needed to overcome major hurdles, especially if it can open a new market for them.
This may not be practical in the short term, but for a highly flexible programmable mobile encoding platform it could be a hugely powerful device. People would be able to add any codec they cared to, you could also use it to transcode from anything to anything.

All pie in the sky stuff, but worth pondering :)
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Old March 8th, 2009, 02:53 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
A 10-bit codec would be nice, with inter and intra options. If it has mathematical lossless, that would be great, and defeat the need for uncompressed. Maximum quality, down to usable quality, in keeping with your all things for all people ideal for the product.
....Our device will be 10 bit and possibly even 12 bit in order to handle 4:4:4 colorspace as well as 4:2:2. We are taking a hard look at MPEG 4 AVC HD as a main codec.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
It would need to run off standard video AB and V-Lock voltages, anywhere from 11 to 18 vdc. You might also have application in film for off-line and dallies, so over 24vdc.
...We are leaning more toward a voltage range of 9 to 14 volts DC with a chamberable 9 volt DC battery option and a standard 4 pin XLR for 12 volt external power.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
Mounting options need to be considered too. For most ENG and Steadicam work, a V-Lock pass through would be perfect, but that leaves you nowhere to put your LCD. A retractable pop up LCD could work, but adds complexity into a small space.
....The LCD will be 16 x 9 in aspect ratio and will measure about 3.5 inches diagonally. The LCD screen will be the main feature situated on the front of the device for confidence recording and playback. You will see picture overlayed with full time code and vu meters.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
It needs to be light of course, and impact resistant. Perhaps a rubberized sheath or harness covering the edges, over aluminum.
You will need remote triggers and tally lamps. Perhaps an optional wired remote LCD, as well as some serial port protocols used in video and film. Having a USB host port or even an eSata port which you can directly dump data to a portable HD without the need for a laptop would be nice.
....We are looking to keep the device to within 15 to 16 ounces in weight. There will be one heck of a bright Red tally lamp on the top center of the box. It will also say Record in captitol letters for two seconds on the screen, then revert to normal screen view with picture, sound (Monitor out), TC, and VU meters. superimposed over live action screen.

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Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
eSata may even be worth investigating as the main storage interface. 2.5" SSDs are becoming cheaper and faster every week, along with the huge range of platter based drives already out there. Add to that RAID hardware is very common, and I imagine adaptable to your application without to many hassles.
...No. Absolutely not. This is an SD Card removeable SSMRD. There shall be no expensive SSD or micro HDD's on my device.
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Old March 8th, 2009, 03:27 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
I've had a few more thoughts on this device, and I've thought of a potential way to make it fully programmable, basically codec agnostic. I'm not a programmer or asic designer, so I could be totally wrong, but I know computers and keep up with technology. I'm sure it could work, but it may not be practical.
The current graphics cards available have huge processing potential that is only just starting to be used outside of games and CAD. A sub $100 card can transcode 4 full HD mpeg2 streams into mpeg4 simultaneously faster than real time. The graphics card companies are starting to release development tools to harness this now. They also develop low wattage mobile versions for laptops, in modular form.
These chips have great deal of dedicated video processing for decoding AVC and VC-1, as well as HDMI interfaces, audio passthrough, scaling, and bucket loads of DSP power.
....It is interesting you mention this, because we have been tossing around the idea of incorporating a digital video conversion circuit. This circuit will enable us to record in any kind of video format, but write to any other format as it gets onto the SD cards plugged into the sockets. How about shooting in Blu-ray disc format ? Why not ? The camera encodes a stream of audio and video data using its own encoder circuitry into HDV format anyway ! So why not program a hardware engine to re-wrap or convert the Long GOP as Blu-ray and add additional scaling to unsqueeze the HDV out to 1920 x 1080 Blu-ray pixels. In this mode what you would get is either an Blu-ray .ISO you could burn to disc directly from the SD cards, or an unwrapped M2TS Blu-ray you could author yourself. I think the device must be able to record in MPEG 4 AVC HD, QT MXF, RAW uncompressed, HDV all with either standard embedded TC from the camera, or generated from the box, or inputted from an LTC BNC input from an external source. You want to be able to Jam - Sync the box directly in case you're using a camera which cannot have its TC externally jam synced (For music video and Music Concerts shooting).

Quote:
Originally Posted by David C. Williams View Post
In it's low power state it might have more than enough power to encode a HD stream into any format you like. The wattage needed for real time is your main stumbling block with this I think.The software development tools seem to be there. I think a company like ATI would probably offer the support needed to overcome major hurdles, especially if it can open a new market for them.This may not be practical in the short term, but for a highly flexible programmable mobile encoding platform it could be a hugely powerful device. People would be able to add any codec they cared to, you could also use it to transcode from anything to anything. All pie in the sky stuff, but worth pondering :)
...Not at all. All is worth pondering. I don't want to limit any discussion or feedback from you folks. We are listening. We may not actually do all the stuff you are suggesting to us, but we're open. At this stage of our project, there are no plans to partner with any company. The only person I wish to please right now, is myself ! If I can get a fully functioning prototype unit to work with my Canon XL H1 camcorder on our web Tv series, then I will be *very* happy. Where we go from there will be a decision I will make when the project is at that stage of development.
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