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DTE (Direct To Edit) systems which bypass the video capture process.


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Old February 9th, 2009, 08:59 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
This may be the understatement of 2009.

Uncompressed 1080 is about what? 550GB/hr or 9GB per minute. That would give me 7 minutes on two 32GB SDHC cards *IF* they could sustain the data rate.. which they cannot. So you're going to need several spindles of RAID to get the transfer rate..

I don't care if it's compressed. Make it JPEG200. Something with low or no licensing costs and free readers. And easy support in NLEs.
...I am understanding you meant "overstatement." You are assuming super, super fast SD cards alone is the only way to record uncompressed video. First, you stripe two cards in Raid 0. Raid 0 gets you a data rate more appropriate for sustained data writes. Raid 0 alone is still not enough to get you to an appropriate sustained writing speed for uncompressed HD 4:2:2 video. Caching the data will also assist you in hitting SD card terminal writing speed. Also, there is faster writing speed capable SD cards coming out. Here's another over-statement for 2009 - We're not only going to get uncompressed HD 1080 24 F and P in 4:2:2 colorspace, but we're also going to be able to capture uncompressed 4:4:4 colorspace video to SD cards.

EDIT: 64 GB SD cards will be out this Spring. Two 64 GB SD cards should give you close to 15 minutes of 4:2:2 uncompressed HD video.

Last edited by Mark Job; February 9th, 2009 at 10:03 PM.
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Old February 9th, 2009, 10:00 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
We're not only going to get uncompressed HD 1080 24 F and P in 4:2:2 colorspace, but we're also going to be able to capture uncompressed 4:4:4 colorspace video ! How's that for an overstatement Perrone ;-)

EDIT: 64 GB SD cards will be out this Spring. Two SD cards should give you close to 15 minutes of 4:2:2 uncompressed HD video. This is more than a 1,000 foot roll of 35 mm film at one heck of a cost savings.
SDXC cards may get you there, but I don't see how SDHC will get you anywhere CLOSE to being able to capture 1080p 4:4:4 cached or not.

For grins, I just did a render of some uncompressed material I had laying around. 1 minute of uncompressed 1080p was 44.5GB. That same render to lossless Jpeg2000 was 629MB with a data rate of about 90Mbps. To me, wavelet compression is going to be the answer. It's good enough for feature film, and it's good enough for VFX. Why kill yourself over uncompressed HD? No one needs it.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:10 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
SDXC cards may get you there, but I don't see how SDHC will get you anywhere CLOSE to being able to capture 1080p 4:4:4 cached or not.

For grins, I just did a render of some uncompressed material I had laying around. 1 minute of uncompressed 1080p was 44.5GB. That same render to lossless Jpeg2000 was 629MB with a data rate of about 90Mbps. To me, wavelet compression is going to be the answer. It's good enough for feature film, and it's good enough for VFX. Why kill yourself over uncompressed HD? No one needs it.
...Hey Perrone :-) I was discussing uncompressed capture in context as another feature for those who need to shoot 24 F or 24 P for later filmout. You also wrote no one needs uncompressed HD. This is not true if you are planning a filmout for cinema release and intend to use visual effects with multiple layers of digital compositing, as is often the case with VFX. Regarding the SDXC card, we have reviewed this technology, but have not come to a decision to use it or exclude it. The SDXC format is supposed to be an "open" format and is to be compatible with legacy SD and SDHC cards. One of the things which we're trying to confirm is if a single SDXC card would be fast enough to record in uncompressed mode 24 frames per second HD 4:4:4 ? I have read varying levels of of maximum speed from 104 to 300 MBytes per second for SDXC cards. If SDXC is as fast as even 104 MBytes per second, then this would leave us the possibility to use only one card slot instead of two. Obviously, the option to also use a faster removeable media in the same card slot would lower design and manufacturing costs. We're also concerned about what the initial price point of SDXC cards would be to our clients. (??) A possible scenario could be the option for shooters who don't need uncompressed video to be able to use standard SD or SDHC cards, while uncompressed shooters could use SDXC cards. We had concluded any new removeable media technology would be so expensive as to deafeat the purpose of building a cost effective SSDR unit. Perhaps SDXC cards will not come onto the market with the same price points that CF card technology has ? Another question we have had about SDXC is what we had about CF removeable media - Will SDXC cards be readily available like SD and SDHC cards are ? If so, then great ! SDXC card technology is worth consideration for inclusion into our design Perrone.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:57 AM   #19
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Mark,

Clearly my opinions are just that, but what exactly is your target market for this unit? I own a camera with an SDI port and would like to have high quality external recording. That puts me as a potential customer (depending on budgets) for your unit, the Nano-Flash, and the XDR. The Wafian units are just too expeinsive and I could never justify them.

So let's get back to the meat of the matter. How many users shooting on consumer based cams are going to be doing film-outs? And of those, how many are going to need to send VFX plates from a handycam to a VFX studio? Even if you were pulling raw sensor data, the BEST you could hope for off one of these cameras is a 2/3" sensor's RAW data. Meanwhile, over in RED land, they are taking the RAW sensor data, and using wavelet compression to bring that 4k/3k/2k/1080p image onto REDDrives, or CF cards. And they are doing it at either 224 or 288 Mbps (28MBps or 36 MBps respectively). If the RED team thinks they can get motion picture quality from a wavelet based codec compressing 4K images at 36 MBps, then why on earth do you think you need to approach 100 MBps to encode 1080p? You are unnecessarily complicating the workflow for users who neither need it nor want it.

I also think you'd be doing yourself a terrible disservice to limit the unit to one card. For those who want and can afford SDXC, the extended recording capacity will likely be most welcome. For those who cannot afford SDXC, the multiple slots will be necessary to have any decent recording time. Especially, if you press on with the idea of uncompressed HD.

I think you could do a good thing here. In some ways, I think Convergent missed the boat in a few areas, especially with respect to the codec. Mpeg has some nice advantages, but I would have preferred an intra-frame codec, and especially a wavelet one. It would have greatly eased media spec issues, added some cachet by being intra-frame, and would have been just as easy to cut due to lower bitrates.

Please try to think of the workflow of your potential customers. I'd venture to guess that less than 1% of readers on this board could handle uncompressed HD coming off your unit. And probably the same percentage would have true interest in filmout and VFX. But I'd bet a LOT of folks here would be THRILLED to have an easy cutting intra-frame codec that was visually lossless from uncompressed, at a reasonable price.

While I have no love for HDV, I think it's probably prudent to include it for compatibility's sake. In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea to include a tiered approach to the available recording codecs.

1. DV for legacy recording
2. HDV - low end HD recording with extended record times
3. DNxHD - cross-platform compatible codec that is more standardized than MXF
4. JP2K - Wavelet codec offering truly lossless or visually lossless compression.

Of course, finding chip encoders for these could be tricky, and doing it in software is always dicey.

But again, look at your potential audience, their needs, and their pocketbook. In this regard, I think Convergent has it about right. Releasing a strong entry at the 5k range for pro shooters, and releasing something in the $3k range for amateur shooters with more modest needs. What we don't have is something in the $1500 range that shoots on SD cards for those looking for a Firestore replacement.

Anyway, just my thoughts from the customer side.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...Hey Perrone :-) I was discussing uncompressed capture in context as another feature for those who need to shoot 24 F or 24 P for later filmout. BTW, HDV is now gaining some acceptance for feature film production since at least one picture has now been successfully produced using this format for a filmout to 35 mm (The Signal). We do plan to offer HDV streaming capture to our device via FireWire interface. You also wrote no one needs uncompressed HD. This is not true if you are planning a filmout for cinema release and intend to use visual effects with multiple layers of digital compositing, as is often the case with VFX. Regarding the SDXC card, we have reviewed this technology, but have not come to a decision to use it or exclude it. The SDXC format is supposed to be an "open" format and is to be compatible with legacy SD and SDHC cards. One of the things which we're trying to confirm is if a single SDXC card would be fast enough to record in uncompressed mode 24 frames per second HD 4:4:4 ? I have read varying levels of of maximum speed from 104 to 300 MBytes per second for SDXC cards. If SDXC is as fast as even 104 MBytes per second, then this would leave us the possibility to use only one card slot instead of two. Obviously, this would lower design and manufacturing costs. We're also concerned about what the initial price point of SDXC cards would be to our clients. (??) A possible scenario could be the option for shooters who don't need uncompressed video to be able to use standard SD or SDHC cards, while uncompressed shooters could use SDXC cards. We had concluded any new removeable media technology would be so expensive as to deafeat the purpose of building a cost effective SSDR unit. Perhaps SDXC cards will not come onto the market with the same price points that CF card technology has ? Another question we have had about SDXC is what we had about CF removeable media - Will SDXC cards be readily available like SD and SDHC cards are ? If so, then great ! SDXC card technology is worth consideration for inclusion into our design Perrone.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 05:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post

I think you could do a good thing here. In some ways, I think Convergent missed the boat in a few areas, especially with respect to the codec. Mpeg has some nice advantages, but I would have preferred an intra-frame codec, and especially a wavelet one. It would have greatly eased media spec issues, added some cachet by being intra-frame, and would have been just as easy to cut due to lower bitrates.

Anyway, just my thoughts from the customer side.
Hi Perrone-
I don't know if you are aware, but we just released the firmware to support 100 and 160 Mbps I-Frame only recording and playback (4:2:2, full-raster). Yes, this is MPEG2, but it's 100% intra-frame.

The choice of a particular CODEC is a balancing act between many factors, including cost, power, quality, size, flexibility, and NLE support. I still think we made an outstanding choice to use the Sony MPEG2 CODEC module in our products.

We have excellent NLE support with FCP, Avid, Edius and in the future Premiere. We offer outstanding video quality, especialy at 100Mbps Long-GOP. Just ask Richard Wolenowski, a Viper camera shooter who plans to use the XDR for a couple of upcoming films.

Our CODEC is extremely flexible and can operate from 18 Mbps (for proxy) up to 100 Mbps Long-GOP or 160 Mbps I-Frame only. It is also reasonably priced and very low-power (around 3W). It is also small enough that we can build a miniature recorder like the nanoFlash!

Best-
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Old February 10th, 2009, 07:37 AM   #21
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Yes Mike, I am aware of the i-Frame modes on the XDR. And I do think these are a step in the right direction. Part of me just wishes they weren't mpeg2. Not to say they won't LOOK great, just that I think the same quality could have been had a lower data rates and in less storage space with different choices. But I understand when doing things in hardware, choices have to be made, and there probably aren't a lot of wavelet chip compressors out there and Mpeg2 compressors are likely plentiful.

You are right on the codec support front with NLEs. However, I think it's a pretty basic matter to ship a CD with the product that installs a quicktime and/or VFW compatible driver or codec for the support. But that may not help you inside the unit.

I've looked at the video samples you guys have posted so far, and will be looking at more. So far it's been very good, but my opinion doesn't mean squat. I still want to see some HD-Stream footage going into the unit, on some narrative or sports shooting, and see how that looks. And how much space we are talking per minute for that look.

I am glad to see this market heat up. A lot of people are going to benefit what you guys are doing. I just want to see realistic options coming from them. And frankly uncompressed HD going onto SDHC or even SDXC cards isn't going to be all that helpful to me, or anyone I can think of shooting on sub 10-k cameras.

I know Mark is talking about the unit supporting 4:4:4 but how many dual-link of 3g-sdi cameras are out there? And is this really the target market? As soon as you say HDV the dual link guys are going to tune out, and the sub $10k folks are lucky if they even have single SDI ports. In fact, I think only the EX1/EX3 and HPX cams have the capability. Maybe the higher end JVCs do, but I'm not sure.

Good luck to all of you guys as far as I am concerned. I certainly wish a realistic option had been available last year when I got my cam, so I could have replaced the firestore.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 10:53 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Mark,

Clearly my opinions are just that, but what exactly is your target market for this unit?
....Man, there are so many issues to take up with you here. I thank you for your post :-) We appreciate being able to bounce our ideas off of you guys, because it helps us narrow down and focus on what needs to be the essential functionailty of our unit. To answer your first question, we have two markets with a *main* market in the prosumer $950.00 to $1,500.00 US, with a secondary broadcast-digi-independent-underground-let's make a picture to sell at Sundance market.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I own a camera with an SDI port and would like to have high quality external recording. That puts me as a potential customer (depending on budgets) for your unit, the Nano-Flash, and the XDR. The Wafian units are just too expeinsive and I could never justify them.

So let's get back to the meat of the matter. How many users shooting on consumer based cams are going to be doing film-outs?
...This is not the point Perrone. We have ascertained no consumer-prosumer will be doing filmout, but our secondary market in broadcast and digi-independents will want to do this. Also, what about our esteemed Thompson Viper man on this forum ? This man gets to plug his 4:4:4 Viper stream directly into our unit. Perhaps you don't know this, but there are encoder chips which do both 4:2:2 & 4:4:4. Also, there is another way to get 4:4:4 from 4:2:2 via a special algorythums. I don't understand how the heck this works, but our electrical engineer insists it can be done and economically so.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
And of those, how many are going to need to send VFX plates from a handycam to a VFX studio?
....None. So ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Even if you were pulling raw sensor data, the BEST you could hope for off one of these cameras is a 2/3" sensor's RAW data. Meanwhile, over in RED land, they are taking the RAW sensor data, and using wavelet compression to bring that 4k/3k/2k/1080p image onto REDDrives, or CF cards. And they are doing it at either 224 or 288 Mbps (28MBps or 36 MBps respectively). If the RED team thinks they can get motion picture quality from a wavelet based codec compressing 4K images at 36 MBps, then why on earth do you think you need to approach 100 MBps to encode 1080p? You are unnecessarily complicating the workflow for users who neither need it nor want it.
...Hardly. Consumers will use the FireWire or HDMI interface. You will use the HD-SDI interface, and George Lucas will use our 4:4:4 HD-SDI interface. You imply disparity where there is none. Who set those rules anyway ? Who says a unit targeted primarily at a consumer-prosumer market cannot have any professional features to service a secondary market ? For us, the final determining factor is the cost of adding those features, not what market lines we may blurr because price point allows us to offer more features. How much does a 12 bit encoder chip cost versus a 10 or an 8 bit engine ? What is the quality per price point ratio of these different IC's ? How much is the PCB board design stage going to cost versus the size of the little box we want to cram everything into ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I also think you'd be doing yourself a terrible disservice to limit the unit to one card. For those who want and can afford SDXC, the extended recording capacity will likely be most welcome. For those who cannot afford SDXC, the multiple slots will be necessary to have any decent recording time. Especially, if you press on with the idea of uncompressed HD.
...I agree with you. I think this point is valid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I think you could do a good thing here. In some ways, I think Convergent missed the boat in a few areas, especially with respect to the codec. Mpeg has some nice advantages, but I would have preferred an intra-frame codec, and especially a wavelet one. It would have greatly eased media spec issues, added some cachet by being intra-frame, and would have been just as easy to cut due to lower bitrates.
...We're looking at Intra-frame and we're looking at wavelet compression, and we're looking at several other possible ways to encode. No decision has been made yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Please try to think of the workflow of your potential customers.
...I am an Avid Media Composer editor. I understand NLE file compatibility is one of the deal breakers for folks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
I'd venture to guess that less than 1% of readers on this board could handle uncompressed HD coming off your unit. And probably the same percentage would have true interest in filmout and VFX. But I'd bet a LOT of folks here would be THRILLED to have an easy cutting intra-frame codec that was visually lossless from uncompressed, at a reasonable price.
...Are you forgetting we're not interested in producing a recorder box which sits on cameras alone ? We are thinking outside of the box (Pardon the pun) to make sure this little box functions as a full fledged VTR as well. Our unit shall have confidence playback of video and audio while on a camera, or sitting on a table in a post suite. Let us not forget if you capture in Avid Quicktime MXF or some other format and you find out later is not compatible with the NLE you have, then just hit play and capture into your FCP NLE in whatever codec it needs. Even better - Connect the RS 422 batch capture and get it in there via HD-SDI or firewire, or HDMI. Too time consuming to batch capture ? Pull out the cards and use them as DTE clip based media. The same is true for Avid, Vegas, or Edius NLE's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
While I have no love for HDV, I think it's probably prudent to include it for compatibility's sake. In fact, it wouldn't be a bad idea to include a tiered approach to the available recording codecs.
...Yup. I had decided to do this from the very beginning,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
1. DV for legacy recording
2. HDV - low end HD recording with extended record times
3. DNxHD - cross-platform compatible codec that is more standardized than MXF
4. JP2K - Wavelet codec offering truly lossless or visually lossless compression.
...Yup, also include Quicktime MXF and Pro Res on that list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Of course, finding chip encoders for these could be tricky, and doing it in software is always dicey.
...Big time ! What chip at what price is the equasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
But again, look at your potential audience, their needs, and their pocketbook. In this regard, I think Convergent has it about right.
... I must respecfully disagree on this point. With the $995.00 uncompressed shooting upgrade, then you are moving into Wafian range.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Releasing a strong entry at the 5k range for pro shooters, and releasing something in the $3k range for amateur shooters with more modest needs. What we don't have is something in the $1500 range that shoots on SD cards for those looking for a Firestore replacement.
....That's right. There needs to be a Firestore replacement. I respectfully disagree regarding the Nanoflash that it is in any way a viable consumer alternative to Firestore because it cots $3,995.00 US retail and doesn't even have a firewire interface, so how does this fall into a consumer market which ranges from $950.00 to $1,500.00 US max.

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Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Anyway, just my thoughts from the customer side.
...I appreciate your feedback Perrone :-)
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Old February 10th, 2009, 12:28 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
....Man, there are so many issues to take up with you here. I thank you for your post :-) We appreciate being able to bounce our ideas off of you guys, because it helps us narrow down and focus on what needs to be the essential functionailty of our unit. To answer your first question, we have two markets with a *main* market in the prosumer $950.00 to $1,500.00 US, with a secondary broadcast-digi-independent-underground-let's make a picture to sell at Sundance market.
Nice to be able to have this back and forth, and have it be civil! :)

Ok, now I better understand where you see this going. I think it's going to be tough to hit both markets with a single product. Basic rules of marketing (market segmentation) typically dictate product differentiation. You don't sell a Cadillac to a Chevy buyer and vice versa. But maybe you can make it work. A good product at a great price is always welcome!

As such, we can probably agree that the "consumer" buyer is going to be most interested in the firewire and HDMI connection to the unit, is likely going to want the 4:2:2 since that's all his NLE will handle, and is going to want a codec that s/he can cut on in Vegas/Liquid/FCP/FCE/ etc. The Indie shooter is going to be interested in 4:2:2 or maybe 4:4:4, will welcome the SDI connection, will welcome an HDMI out for monitoring, and will be interested in wavelet codecs, maybe uncompressed HD (though I still have my doubts), ProResHQ, DNxHD or AvidMXF, and the rest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...This is not the point Perrone. We have ascertained no consumer-prosumer will be doing filmout, but our secondary market in broadcast and digi-independents will want to do this. Also, what about our esteemed Thompson Viper man on this forum ? This man gets to plug his 4:4:4 Viper stream directly into our unit. Perhaps you don't know this, but there are encoder chips which do both 4:2:2 & 4:4:4. Also, there is another way to get 4:4:4 from 4:2:2 via a special algorythums. I don't understand how the heck this works, but our electrical engineer insists it can be done and economically so.
The Viper guy would likely love to have an economical 4:4:4 recorder that he could send his Filmstream mode to. At this point, the Convergent box is not capable of handling that mode. And yes, I had forgotten about the algorithm to extract 4:4:4 from 4:2:2. I've just never seen anything that did it. I can't even remember where I read about it now.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...Hardly. Consumers will use the FireWire or HDMI interface. You will use the HD-SDI interface, and George Lucas will use our 4:4:4 HD-SDI interface. You imply disparity where there is none. Who set those rules anyway ? Who says a unit targeted primarily at a consumer-prosumer market cannot have any professional features to service a secondary market ? For us, the final determining factor is the cost of adding those features, not what market lines we may blurr because price point allows us to offer more features. How much does a 12 bit encoder chip cost versus a 10 or an 8 bit engine ? What is the quality per price point ratio of these different IC's ? How much is the PCB board design stage going to cost versus the size of the little box we want to cram everything into ?
I see where you are going. But I have to believe that others have looked at this path before, and determined, at least in their timeframe, that the costs or effort was simply not feasible. I have to believe that the Cineform guys, and Convergent (as well as the Wafian folks) would love to have a small unit that could record 4:4:4 onto cheap solid state. That's a mass market item. I am sure the Firestore folks would have had a look to since this is their primary market. None chose to go down the path. I'm not saying it can't be done. But I'd be asking some pretty hard questions about why it hasn't been done.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...We're looking at Intra-frame and we're looking at wavelet compression, and we're looking at several other possible ways to encode. No decision has been made yet.
Good. Keep options open. I firmly believe wavelet is the future. And proprietary codecs are the past. NLE support is the Achilles heel though. If you can push compatibility through Quicktime (like DNxHD, ProRes, Jpeg2k, etc.) you may be onto something. Not sure of the licensing issues with J2K but it MAY be free. Looking at Dirac may also be worthwhile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...I am an Avid Media Composer editor. I understand NLE file compatibility is one of the deal breakers for folks.
Yea, because Avid doesn't play well with anyone else. Amazing that you can have Sony MXF, Avid MXF, and Panasonic MXF, and none of them cross. It's a pain, and would make me stay away from MXF altogether. Metafuze is useless to me because of this problem. When they get DNxHD in it, I'll be all set.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...Are you forgetting we're not interested in producing a recorder box which sits on cameras alone ? We are thinking outside of the box (Pardon the pun) to make sure this little box functions as a full fledged VTR as well. Our unit shall have confidence playback of video and audio while on a camera, or sitting on a table in a post suite. Let us not forget if you capture in Avid Quicktime MXF or some other format and you find out later is not compatible with the NLE you have, then just hit play and capture into your FCP NLE in whatever codec it needs. Even better - Connect the RS 422 batch capture and get it in there via HD-SDI or firewire, or HDMI. Too time consuming to batch capture ? Pull out the cards and use them as DTE clip based media. The same is true for Avid, Vegas, or Edius NLE's.
I forgot about your VTR use. I never used my Firestore that way, so I tend to forget about it. So you're going to have an RS422 port on it as well? Interesting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
...Yup, also include Quicktime MXF and Pro Res on that list.
I wonder how much licensing ProRes would cost. That might knock you out of contention right away. And I honestly wouldn't bother with the MXF formats. Too big a mess.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
... I must respecfully disagree on this point. With the $995.00 uncompressed shooting upgrade, then you are moving into Wafian range.
The Wafian's are $15k+. At least when I looked. The XDR is less than half that amount, even with the Uncompressed upgrade. Yea, that's not going to cut it for the wedding shooter, but for the guy doing work for BBC/NatGeo/DiscoveryHD, it's not too bad.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Andrew Job View Post
....That's right. There needs to be a Firestore replacement. I respectfully disagree regarding the Nanoflash that it is in any way a viable consumer alternative to Firestore because it cots $3,995.00 US retail and doesn't even have a firewire interface, so how does this fall into a consumer market which ranges from $950.00 to $1,500.00 US max.
Your market assessment is different than mine. If we look at media costs for higher end consumer space (or prosumer space) we find SxS and P2. For those without the ability to take a laptop along (nature shooters, wedding shooters, docu shooters, conference shooters, news crews) the ability to roll 2-4 hours is real and pressing. 4 hours of SxS is $1424.95 x 2 according to B&H. That's most of the way to a NanoFlash, and that is WITHOUT the benefit of intraframe 4:2:2 recording. Panasonics current 64GB P2 card (1 hour) is $2399. Multiply that by 4 to get 4 hours and you could almost get both a Nanoflash AND a convergent box for the same money.

Now, not everyone is going to need 4 hours of time, but when we look at the original market for the Firestore, that is EXACTLY what it offered. It was EXACTLY what I needed, and we bought one. I even upgraded it to HDV so I could use it with the EX1. The Firestore proved to be immensely popular with Panasonic HVX users because of P2 card costs and hugely limited capacity. I think the market is there, I just happen to think it's all higher end market for many of these more expensive products. Folks are not going to pay more for a recorder, than they did for the camera. Unless they are getting paid to do so. It seems that people are willing to pay 1/4 - 1/3 the camera costs for long-form recording solutions if I read the market correctly.

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...I appreciate your feedback Perrone :-)
Glad to offer it. And again, it's just my opinions as an event shooter and Govt/Corp. shooter. I have no real narrative shooting opinion but you can get those from others here. I was shocked to hear how much footage the Wedding guys were shooting, so long form solutions seem tailor made for them. Especially solid state which is quiet.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:18 PM   #24
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What should the box material be made of ?

Hi friends. We need your help. Please tell us what you think. What should the box be made of ??? Plastic ? Metal ? Waterproof to 150 fathoms ???? I want the box dimensions to be 4 inches Wide X 4 inches Long X 2 1/2 inches deep. I'm playing here with a piece of Balsa wood to try and get a physical size idea and parking that on the end of my Canon XL H1. I'm editing two shows and drinking my 5th cup of Java and fighting off a high fever at the same time. Perhaps we should add an EMT person to our development team ?
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:30 PM   #25
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Hi friends. We need your help. Please tell us what you think. What should the box be made of ??? Plastic ? Metal ? Waterproof to 150 fathoms ???? I want the box dimensions to be 4 inches Wide X 4 inches Long X 2 1/2 inches deep. I'm playing here with a piece of Balsa wood to try and get a physical size idea and parking that on the end of my Canon XL H1. I'm editing two shows and drinking my 5th cup of Java and fighting off a high fever at the same time. Perhaps we should add an EMT person to our development team ?
I am going to suggest a material that you've probably not heard of. But when you have a look at it, you'll understand why I think.

It's called Delrin and it's popular in military applications and in SCUBA (especially cave diving). It's reasonably light, darn near bulletproof, non-metallic, non-magnetic, can be cut on a lathe or with machining tools, can be painted, grooved, sanded, etc. Love the stuff. As for physical size, I'd vote for something like the Firestore FS-4. Plenty of room for connections and cables, you can get a firm grip on it, and you can actually LABEL the connections properly.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:42 PM   #26
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I am going to suggest a material that you've probably not heard of. But when you have a look at it, you'll understand why I think.

It's called Delrin and it's popular in military applications and in SCUBA (especially cave diving). It's reasonably light, darn near bulletproof, non-metallic, non-magnetic, can be cut on a lathe or with machining tools, can be painted, grooved, sanded, etc. Love the stuff. As for physical size, I'd vote for something like the Firestore FS-4. Plenty of room for connections and cables, you can get a firm grip on it, and you can actually LABEL the connections properly.
...You actually like the dimensions on the FS 4 ? I found it like a brick. Delrin ? Sounds interesting. I wonder what the cost of this material is per square or cubic foot ? Do you get it in sheets or in large cubes or rectangles ? I wasn't serious about the 150 fathoms spec ;-)
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Old February 10th, 2009, 01:53 PM   #27
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...You actually like the dimensions on the FS 4 ? I found it like a brick. Delrin ? Sounds interesting. I wonder what the cost of this material is per square or cubic foot ? Do you get it in sheets or in large cubes or rectangles ? I wasn't serious about the 150 fathoms spec ;-)
I don't spec the Delrin, but have MANY friends in the dive industry, and many of them do spec it for their products. I'd be happy to put you in touch with a couple of them. One is an engineer so should be right up your alley.

The FS-4 is like a brick. But I'm an earthy guy so I like bricks. What I don't care for is piddly electronic things that feel like I am about to break them if I touch them wrong. Selling someone a brick for $2k is a HECK of a lot easier than selling them something that looks like an iPod for $2k! :)

Thinking about what you're going to have going on in that box, you're going to need a heat-sink in there since you are probably NOT going to want a fan. You'll need vent holes and air flow. You'll need room for a screen unless you are thinking of trying OLED. I've got some friends doing that technology for other products if you're interested.

Is the unit going to have a on-board power supply, or a cable assembly with an inline transformer? Will it have battery capability? If so, you're going to need size for that, and some depth to accomodate it. LiON is clearly the way to go there. Or maybe LiPoly. LED status lights to keep the power requirements down.

This could be a fun project, and you could draw real inspiration from a number of sources. I kinda wish I was involved in something like this. I have tons of ideas.
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Old February 10th, 2009, 02:45 PM   #28
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The FS-4 is like a brick. But I'm an earthy guy so I like bricks. What I don't care for is piddly electronic things that feel like I am about to break them if I touch them wrong. Selling someone a brick for $2k is a HECK of a lot easier than selling them something that looks like an iPod for $2k! :)
....I'm leaning towards some kind of lightwight aluminium (Maybe T-6 Aircraft grade ?) Whatever our box size will finally end up being, a good portion of the front top service space will be a 3.5 inch 16 x 9 screen for menu and full realtime confidence monitoring of picture and audio levels.

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You'll need room for a screen unless you are thinking of trying OLED.
...Yes. I'm interested in OLED because it is much lower power consumption and a much more vibrant picture quality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
Is the unit going to have a on-board power supply, or a cable assembly with an inline transformer? Will it have battery capability? If so, you're going to need size for that, and some depth to accomodate it. LiON is clearly the way to go there. Or maybe LiPoly. LED status lights to keep the power requirements down.
...Don't laugh, but I was thinking of an even simpler solution. I was thinking to use 2 x 9 volt batteries of the Nickle Metal Hydride Rechargeable type inside the box for a strong 18 Volt operative circuit, or backup power to extend recording time.

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This could be a fun project, and you could draw real inspiration from a number of sources. I kinda wish I was involved in something like this. I have tons of ideas.
...You are a part of the project and we welcome your input. We are listening and taking all feedback into review and consideration. Our electrical engineer has also expressed the opinion that he considers there to be great value in exploring all leads. Information is value and it helps us to continue to refine. We do appreciate all feedback.
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Old February 14th, 2009, 09:38 AM   #29
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Project Update For Saturday Feb 14, 2009

Hi friends. Things are truly moving along quite well in our SD card recorder development project. We should have feature set, interface, and IC spec'd out by next week. After this stage is complete comes the horendous FPGA process ! There are three stages minimum to the motherboard design. We think we can now build the first prototype for about 40 % less than we originally thought we could do it for ! Yay ! :-)
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Old February 14th, 2009, 10:15 AM   #30
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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.
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