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HD and UHD ( 2K+ ) Digital Cinema
Various topics: HD, UHD (2K / 4K) Digital Cinema acquisition to distribution.


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Old February 4th, 2007, 03:29 AM   #1
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CSI: lossless portable tape solution for HD-SDI?

Hey guys,

I've been reading over the DTD solutions section and there are lots of people trying to go HD-SDI route onto tapeless system.

Now everyone seems to say at this current point there is no solution.

So how about at this current moment, somebody being able to put together a DSR-11 type system but recording onto full HD tapes.

Would this not give people the higher recording format but in a portable HD-SDI format? That could be run from V-Lock batteries and has HD-SDI in with audio too?

It's a long shot but it's just hit me that if HD-SDI is what people are striving for on for instance the XLH1 but portable DTD system is unavailable, then the closest solution at the moment would be a high quality portable tape solution.

I know i'd be definately interested in this, as the higher quality would benefit me more then not having to capture the footage again.

Ive gone through about 4 or 5 pages of this board and not seen any reference to this so sorry if it's been discussed.

Thanks
Martin
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Old February 4th, 2007, 06:56 AM   #2
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There's far too much data coming from the HD SDI for a low cost tape system. The high end HD VTR recorders can take it as an input, but you're into a different price bracket. Also, there's no point in having a DV based system because the highly compressed HDV is already out there.

Showreel magazine has an article by Phil Rhodes about recording the HD SDI from the Canon H1 and JVC HD 250 onto a hard drive.
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Old February 4th, 2007, 07:54 AM   #3
 
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www.wafian.com
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Old February 4th, 2007, 10:55 AM   #4
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Hey guys,

I know what you mean, however I wasn't talking about a DV solution. My mention of the DSR-11 was mearly referring to the form factor and wondered if it was possible to get this "portable" size machine with a HDSDI input.

If it's not possible then there definately isn't a solution wether tapeless or tape that is portable.

Martin
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Old February 7th, 2007, 06:18 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Downer
wondered if it was possible to get this "portable" size machine with a HDSDI input.

Hey guys,

We, over at Colorspace, just announced the upcoming availability of our ICON Recorder. Our uncompressed solution offers recording of up to 3Gbits/sec and our HD solution utilizes high bitrate compression, targeted for use with prosumer HD cameras. One of our main design considerations for this recorder was a small and lightweight form factor allowing for on board recording.

For more information, please check out the product page at www.colorspaceinc.com/icon. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Thanks,
Adam Burtle
Colorspace, Inc.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #6
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Adam,
GREAT ! We are all waiting for someone to hop on this...

...woah...30k...?

Last edited by John Benton; February 17th, 2007 at 09:19 PM.
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Old February 17th, 2007, 10:49 AM   #7
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this is the next revolution...we have all these relatively cheap cameras with the ability to ingest uncompressed footage and no reasonable solution for recording it. the solutions that do exist only work in a tethered studio environment. what's really needed is a reasonable portable field device.

are there advantages to your uncompressed recording device at $30,000 that the wafian, at half the price, does not have, adam? is there an advantage in terms of portability, battery operation, or something that justifies twice the price? it's exciting that more third-party manufacturers are considering these devices, but for what you pay, RED still seems to promise the mostest for the leastest.....and the soonest, if they hit their NAB release date.

for half of 30K, i can build a dave perry-ish "mobile" uncompressed recording unit, with RAID, Kona card, tower, monitor, cabling, etc. i would love to know what the advantages are of the colorspace device. more competition in this arena and more options would be great....

i'd love to see one of these at NAB, but i'll be out of the country shooting in a remote location, wishing i had portable uncompressed field recording solution....
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Old February 17th, 2007, 11:56 AM   #8
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There doesn't seem to be any pictures of the icon recorder or sizes/dimensions mentioned.

How do you guys classify a mobile solution? To me its something that can be carried on your person, not something that isn't fixed into a studio environment.

The wafian for sure isn't mobile even if it was battery powered. I'd definately have a bad back with a Wafian and an XLH1 to lug around the hills of a motocross track.

Do you think there will ever be a true uncompressed solution (or cineform equivalent) HD-SDI ingest recorder that can be attached to XLH1 or in a backpack for instance?

If only it were possible i know i'd be on the list to purchase.

Martin
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Old February 18th, 2007, 08:10 AM   #9
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The Colorspace's pricing will be critical with cameras like RED and the SI-2K coming out this year.

There needs to be a worthwhile price difference between these new cameras and a Canon H1 or JVC HD 250 ( which seem to be the two cameras this product is aimed at) Colorspace shooting package to make an impact in the lower budget digital cinema market.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 03:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Benton
Adam,
GREAT ! We are all waiting for someone to hop on this...

...woah...30k...?
I know, $30k isn't chump change. On the other hand, the only other truly portable HD-SDI recording solution I know of is around $60k for 10 minutes of 1080p recording. So in that context, half the price for 3-5x the recording length is a pretty good value, in my opinion. Plus touchscreen and all sorts of other features. Ultimately, we realize that not everyone who wants portable HD-SDI recording can afford $30k for the uncompressed ICON, and by offering a version with high bitrate compression, we can offer a substantial savings to those users. That would be the version of the product most relevant to the DVinfo crowd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meryem Ersoz
are there advantages to your uncompressed recording device at $30,000 that the wafian, at half the price, does not have, adam? is there an advantage in terms of portability, battery operation, or something that justifies twice the price? it's exciting that more third-party manufacturers are considering these devices, but for what you pay, RED still seems to promise the mostest for the leastest.....and the soonest, if they hit their NAB release date.

for half of 30K, i can build a dave perry-ish "mobile" uncompressed recording unit, with RAID, Kona card, tower, monitor, cabling, etc. i would love to know what the advantages are of the colorspace device. more competition in this arena and more options would be great....

i'd love to see one of these at NAB, but i'll be out of the country shooting in a remote location, wishing i had portable uncompressed field recording solution....

There are lots of advantages, but the two most apparent are: 1, portability.. 2, lack of compression.

1: Lots of environments are suited to tether recording.. in a studio or on many types of sets, a 110v-powered suitcase-sized recorder with a 50ft tether to the camera isn't a big deal. In many other environments though, a <12lb battery-powered recorder that mounts to the back of the camera, on a steadicam, crane, etc.. is of huge benefit, and that's the point of the ICON. It's completely portable, and will work in a variety of environments that one wouldn't dare take a studio recorder.

2: Many users are fine with compression, but as a general rule, this is not true of large budget productions. They want quality approximating film, and the only way to truly do that is to follow an original camera negative production model, where you're capturing as much information as physically possible. Ultimately, for these types of users, saving a few thousand dollars on archiving costs or media pack costs just doesn't balance the tradeoff in risk to the quality of their footage. Plus, the workflow benefits of recording directly to an industry-standard format (as opposed to something proprietary) are hugely attractive to many.

The Wafian is a good solution for certain types of users, but the ones who are asking us for the uncompressed ICON are the ones who can't even consider compression, for a variety of reasons (one or two of which I touched on above). Whatever their reasons, there's a market there, and we chose to serve it. By building modularity into the ICON, we knew we could scale the recording downward to a compressed model, and serve the indie community too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Downer
There doesn't seem to be any pictures of the icon recorder or sizes/dimensions mentioned.

How do you guys classify a mobile solution? To me its something that can be carried on your person, not something that isn't fixed into a studio environment.

The wafian for sure isn't mobile even if it was battery powered. I'd definately have a bad back with a Wafian and an XLH1 to lug around the hills of a motocross track.

Do you think there will ever be a true uncompressed solution (or cineform equivalent) HD-SDI ingest recorder that can be attached to XLH1 or in a backpack for instance?

If only it were possible i know i'd be on the list to purchase.

Martin
We're inviting people will come to NAB to see the ICON in person. I'd like that to be the first real look the community gets at the product, and exact specs, photos, etc will follow.

With respect to "mobile" and "portable" .. I believe these words are over-used nowadays. I like the word "on-board" as it implies what the product really is meant to do-- be used ON BOARD the camera.. whether it be on your shoulder, on a steadicam sled, etc. Portable *SHOULD NOT* mean "can be carried by a weightlifter" ..at least in my opinion. Portable means "i can hold this in one hand."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Downer
Do you think there will ever be a true uncompressed solution (or cineform equivalent) HD-SDI ingest recorder that can be attached to XLH1 or in a backpack for instance?

If only it were possible i know i'd be on the list to purchase.

Martin
That *IS* the whole idea of the indie-version of the ICON recorder! ;) To have it *sitting on-board an XLH1* and recording CineForm or equivalent footage. And doing so to hot swappable media packs, battery-powered, touchscreen, etc. The one downside of the XL series cameras in my opinion is that they are very front-heavy, and the ICON mounted on the back of an XLH1 will actually help to improve the ergonomics of this camera. We'll be showing more at NAB, but I think many people will be pretty amazed with the quality you can get out of an XL-H1 recorded direct to disk (out the HD-SDI).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Drysdale
The Colorspace's pricing will be critical with cameras like RED and the SI-2K coming out this year.

There needs to be a worthwhile price difference between these new cameras and a Canon H1 or JVC HD 250 ( which seem to be the two cameras this product is aimed at) Colorspace shooting package to make an impact in the lower budget digital cinema market.
This is quite true, and we're working very diligently to get the pricing as low as possible. I believe there will be a lot of people who will benefit from the low cost of a RED ONE-- but on the other hand, once you add in lenses and peripherals, you're still talking $30-50k for many peoples' complete packages.. and I believe there will be many Indie users who are solidly in the $10-15k for a complete camera+recording package.. that's the market we're trying to serve with the compressed version of the ICON. SI-2k with their DVR recorder will end up lower in price than a complete RED package, but still will be out of reach for some users.

Not to mention the modularity of the ICON.. as your production level grows, and you move into a newer/better camera, the ICON will move upwards with you.. you don't need to sell it. I think this adds a lot of value for users, as they can sell their camera but keep the recording solution. The modularity of the ICON means that even as they move from shooting XL-H1 to high end digital cinema cameras like the Viper, the ICON can be easily upgraded to suit.
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Old February 19th, 2007, 05:03 PM   #11
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great post, thanks for the info, adam, you've clarified a lot of questions. it sounds like a very promising prospect. i'm hoping to already have a compression solution in RED, but will look forward to your product release with interest.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 12:49 AM   #12
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We are also in need of a product like this (in truth, who's not), and have been asking many of these same questions. In our small studio we run the Multibridge Pro through the Mac Pro, but I shudder every time I even think about taking it on the road. The Wafian is a great product, but at the cost of two JVC 250's (with decent glass) it's not an easy purchase, and it's anything but "on board". Put the Wafian at around 10K-14K and we might own one by now, at 8K we would buy one for each camera. I know, that's another no brainer.

With the release of more affordable SDI/HD cameras, you would think more companies would be announcing support products like this left and right, but we have seen very little activity. You can spend the extra money for a camera that has SDI, only to find out you just bought a bullet, and now need to buy the gun before you can start shooting.

We need an SDI portable solution right now for the JVC HD250, and for the future with RED. The education around the limitations of HDV compression has grown a lot in the last year, I only hope it grows larger so the demand for SDI/HD solutions become more common place.

I'll put the soap box away for now. Good luck with the product Adam!
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:39 AM   #13
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daniel, bring that soapbox back. i have some questions! how are you liking your multibridge pro? what apps are you using it for? why blackmagic and not AJA?

thanks....
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 08:46 AM   #14
 
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you gotta be kidding me, right? If anyone thinks I'll drop $30k on an SDI recorder when I have, roughly, $10k invested in a camera, has GOT to be dreaming. The current price point for AJA, Blackmagic, and a terrabyte of fiber storage is around $2-3K. This price point, like DV tape storage, is about right, i.e., the recording system equals the camera cost. $30-$50K might be OK for a studio, but, you have missed at least 75% of your potential market if the price exceeds $10k. Yes, I understand that you need to recover your non-recurring costs, but, until you realize that you need to buy your way into the market, your sales will be small.

Last edited by Bill Ravens; February 22nd, 2007 at 10:09 AM.
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Old February 22nd, 2007, 10:59 AM   #15
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No argument from us Bill, we are all speaking the same language.

Meryem,
Since creating the following post, we have had good results with Multibridge HD/SDI and the JVC HD250. No easy carry, but it works well in the studio. This should answer your questions and then some.
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ultibridge+pro
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