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Old August 13th, 2004, 04:47 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Los Angeles/Alaska
Posts: 3
recording digi video from analog source


New user - great forum board!

Quick question, I’ll try to be brief. I produce outdoor adventure programming for cable nets.

I am attempting to build a portable Sony XC999 cigar camera system to be used in extreme shooting environments in outdoor adventure situations.

The unit will need to be light, portable, shock resistance and operated on DC batteries.

Entire recording system will be enclosed within a waterproof pelican case of small dimension for ease of handling and protection of system.

I presently mate an analog Sony XC999 cigar camera into the Sony DSR V10 DVCAM portable tapedeck. These units provide supplemental POV footage to compliment digital broadcast acquisition shot.

I am considering replacing the tape decks with either the Sony DSR-DU1 recorder or the FOCUS portable FS-3 or FS-4 when that ships.

Potential problems I see:

Converting analog video to digital (SDI –DV conversion) passing into 1394 for record….

I have researched a few converters including Miranda DVC-100. Converter needs to be small, light, portable and DV powered. Not sure what will or will not work for my application.

Storage of acquired footage while on location…

It appears that 6hrs of field recording can be accomplished with an 80GB portable drive. Times that by two recording systems over several days of remote field recording and you could potentially be looking at 500 to 600 GB to store in the field as you would need to transfer and clean your portable recorders daily to free up recording space. What are my options here? Transfer to portable firewire drive via a laptop? Most notebooks only hold up to 80 GB so that alone wouldn’t be much help.

Question regarding the Sony DSR-DU1. Its suggested use is as a companion to tape acquisition. Is it not reliable enough for use as a stand-alone recording device?

Thanks for any input.

Tim Delarm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 14th, 2004, 11:08 PM   #2
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Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Campbell, CA.
Posts: 508
Hi Tim,

The FS-3 and soon to be released FS-4 will both do what you are looking for in a DV disk recorder. DTE Technology will also allow you to record in your NLE's native file format (Avid-OMF, QuickTime etc. etc.). With FS-3, it is possible to daisy chain up to four FireWire drives from the unit for very long recordings (this is not possible on FS-4). When one drive fills up, FS-3 will automatically start recording to the next drive. Also what might be of relevance to this application is the Retro Disk function on FS-3 and FS-4PRO. This feature will begin to record in a loop to a pre-determined capacity on the drive. If no action happens, don't do anything...FS-3 will continue to record over itself in a loop. If something does happen, you can take it out of retro mode and continue to record without erasing the contents of the loop. Not sure if it is relevant in this case, but I thought I would throw it out there.

As for the analog to digital converters, you can use something like the Miranda DVC-100. We do support it. You could also use a simpler and cheaper solution such as the Canopus converters which do accept DC power (from an AC wall wart), you may have to rig your own cable though from an appropriate battery system.

Hope that helps,

Matt McEwen
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