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Old May 26th, 2005, 11:43 AM   #1
New Boot
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 6
The Future of Video Recording

First off, thanks to everyone for such great discussions. Awesome resource.

Second, I will giving a talk in a couple of weeks on the future of video recording--with a strong emphasis on a tapeless world.

I was just curious to hear everyone's take on where they see the industry heading. I'll be covering such products as the Quickstream, Firestore, DV Rack, and the latest gizmos such as the JVC 4gb solid state camera and Panasonic's P2 offerings.

Also, are there advantages and disadvantages people see in what's currently available out there for anyone attempting to go tapeless?

Thanks in advance!
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Old May 26th, 2005, 01:54 PM   #2
Serious Magic
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 68
At Serious Magic, we urge DV Rack users to continue recording to tape as backup. Here's a statement along these lines that I drafted a few weeks ago--not sure what if anything was ever done with it.

Direct-to-Disk? Yes!
Tapeless recording? Now possible, but….
Using tape as a safety net? Common Sense!!!

One of the great advantages of DV Rack is that it records to a hard drive and thereby saves you the time and trouble of capturing clips from tape. Some of our customers are so enamored of this ability that they abandon tape altogether when recording with DV Rack. Enticing? Certainly, particularly considering that you reduce the wear and tear on your camera’s recording heads in the process.

But consider the risk, and the potential cost. Remember, DV Rack is running on an operating system that crashes with enough frequency that one of its failure modes has not only a name but an acronym: BSOD (for the blissfully uninitiated, “blue screen of death”). FireWire cables become unplugged at the most inopportune times. Hard drives and video cards give up the ghost without warning. Batteries run out when you’re not looking. Laptops jump from their perches only to discover that gravity combined with a hard surface is one of their fiercest predators. And, yes, as much as we strive for perfection, DV Rack itself may on occasion hiccup with unfortunate consequences.

If any of these chickens come home to roost during one of your shoots—and you’re not rolling tape as a backup—then you’ll be out of luck. Best case scenario, you’ll have to reshoot a scene; worst case, the moment is lost forever. So think back to the days not so long ago before the term “direct-to-disk” had even been coined much less brought to fruition. Recall the accelerated hair loss suffered by countless videographers and editors who were bitten by the dreaded tape dropout and would have gladly sacrificed a limb, even one of their own limbs, for a pristine backup copy. Now you can count your blessings that you have such an option. With DV Rack, hard drives have supplanted videotape as the primary recording medium. This marvelous program has not, however, made tape obsolete but rather just relegated it to the proverbial bench. If all goes well, as it has already done with countless DV Rack users, you’ll never touch the tape after a shoot. But when gremlins strike, it could save your @ss.

TIP on Keeping DV Rack rolling when camera stops: If you start recording in the Slave-to-Camera mode and for any reason you want to stop recording on the camera while DV Rack continues recording, simply click DV Rack’s Record button before stopping the camera. This starts a new clip—without dropping a frame—and in the process breaks the slave link so that when the camera stops (manually to swap tapes or automatically upon reaching the end), DV Rack keeps rolling. Of course, this means that you will have to stop recording in DV Rack by clicking the Stop button or pressing F4 because the program is no longer responding to actions at the camera for the duration of the current clip.

Just some food for thought when talking about tapeless recording, at least when it's done on a computer as with DV Rack.
Mark Mapes
OnLocation QA Manager, Adobe Systems
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Old May 27th, 2005, 07:49 AM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Frankfurt, Germany
Posts: 571
I am definitely doing everything I can to go the way of direct to disc recording. I think that it makes sense for several reasons, and I am sure that it is the future of video recording.

The notion of going tapeless is however, not the same as recording direct to disc. And I don't think that tape will never be eliminated from the process, as long as it remains to be the cheapest way to store video data. Recording direct to disc still requires the use of tape as a cost effective way to empty the HDD after a project is finished.

How I see it, D2D reverses the order of when video tape is used. With D2D, you shoot, edit from disc, and then record to tape. This has the following advantages; that you can begin editing immediately after shooting, and that you save tape by selecting only the "good" material to archive on tape, over the present way. The present way, is to shoot, record to disc, edit. The time needed to do all these tasks is basically the same, for both methods. You don't really save time by using D2D, you are just more flexible with how you use it.

The disadvantages of going D2D are that with, the external units like FS-3, FS-4, DV Rack, Nnovia, Citidisk, and Firestore, you have one more device that you have to pay attention to, in addition to the camera itself. This includes, no matter how well the device works, that there is an additional trouble source.

The basic advantages of D2D recording are the time advantage from shoot to edit, and the disappearance of recording defects, like dropouts, or the risk of recording head malfunctions which can happen when recording to tape.

Different products offer individual advantages or functions, in addition to the basic advantages of D2D recording. DV Rack, the FS line and I think the Nnovia, offer functions for recording and playback that augment the functions those of the cameras themselves. For example single frame time lapse, vector scope, or random access playback to mention a few.

I hope that helps
Daniel Kohl

Frankenstein meets XL1
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Old May 28th, 2005, 01:12 AM   #4
Major Player
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Independence MO.
Posts: 316
Memory Cards

"I was just curious to hear everyone's take on where they see the industry heading."

It is my hope that the little memory cards (SD cards, etc) will soon have enough capacity that they can simply be plugged into a camera and one can record to it. I also hope this can be done using DV and not mpeg. I think there are some out there now that use mpeg4 or something like that but I want the format to be DV.

Eliminating the mechanical problems associated with capturing video is a goal I hope the industry will achieve.

Danny Fye
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