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Old June 2nd, 2009, 12:20 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Donald Smith View Post
I'm just asking for what I'm calling a Portable Clip Player and pointing out the need for such a device. No one seems to be listening when I say I need to hand a producer an SDHC card and a PCP of some kind to take to the truck, or take to the edit room, or take to a place where he or she can log the video. Adding in a laptop and a conversion process is just out of the question. When Betacam was new there were portable Betacam players and VTRs that could be handed to a truck operator or to an editor in an edit room accommodate the new format. My point here is that with low-cost SDHC cards there should be a low-cost Portable Clip Player. I'm just hoping others will sign on as agreeing with me in the hope that JVC or another developer will take up the cause.
VTR's were never cheap. And as the prices of tape were down, the players/vtr's remained high. I don't think there is a big need for "clip player" as your situation is rather unique. After shooting I was able to view all the clips and log them in on my Macbook Pro, within seconds of finished shots. Therefor for 99% of users it would be completely useless. I think the way to approach is is to talk to networks to accommodate trucks for this new work flow.
I think much there is much bigger need for a storage unit for the situations where the computer is not handy.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 06:26 AM   #17
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RE: "Yeah, but for the kind a player you describe with SDI output, $4000 is inexpensive."

I believe that not to be true and let me tell you why: A few years back I interested a company to build a custom converter box so that legacy Betacam tape could be brought into the digital domain in pristine condition. They built a converter that had a Firewire interface to the computer and an SDI connection to that model Betacam deck that looks like a half-deck and has SDI in/out. You could also put an RS-422 cable between the Betacam and the converter. The laptop thought it was connected to a DV deck. You could J-K-L control it and capture video in it's most pristine form as it came out of the Betacam deck through SDI and was converted to Firewire on-the-fly. The SDI port was bi-directional. They sold the converter for $800. My imagined Portable Clip Player only has to have one-way SDI.

But, let's go over my imagined PCP again; small box. Card slot. Reference (read: Low Quality) LCD. SDI switchable HD/SD out. Composite Out switchable between letterbox, anamorphic (squeezed) and center-cut (side-cut). Let's include a headphone jack and power it with replaceable batteries if possible, and if not, a wall-wart. In other words, the clip player from the camera without the camera. And with more media being recorded to cards of some kind, I'll bet a manufacturer could build this box, put in a couple more card slots to accommodate a wider range of formats, and sell it for under 1k. Or, think of it this way; you can pay $3500 for an HM100 and get the same thing (OK, HDMI instead of SDI but that can be swapped) and then take away the price of the camera part and the price of the lens and the price of the on-cam mic, and you can imagine that the clip player part can't be that expensive.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 07:00 AM   #18
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VTR's were never cheap. And as the prices of tape were down, the players/vtr's remained high. I don't think there is a big need for "clip player" as your situation is rather unique. After shooting I was able to view all the clips and log them in on my Macbook Pro, within seconds of finished shots. Therefor for 99% of users it would be completely useless. I think the way to approach is is to talk to networks to accommodate trucks for this new work flow.
I think much there is much bigger need for a storage unit for the situations where the computer is not handy.
VTR's, by themselves, weren't cheap, but they were cheap by comparison with the cameras of the time. Since then, everything has gotten much cheaper. The HM700 I just bought for 7k beats the pants off the Betacam I paid 40+k for (without the lens) 20 years ago. Today, I describe a converter in my previous message that demonstrates you can have a box converting to and from SDI very cheap.

My situation is not as unique as you characterize it. I represent a whole market that many companies see as large enough to build for. I'm in the "ENG" (Electronic News Gathering) group. You see hoards of ENG people at major news events all the time. You see hoards of camera people (poorly) depicted in movies and TV shows all the time. There are many of us out there and you'll see a large market catering to ENG people. I'm not talking about EFP (Electronic Field Production). That's a whole 'nother animal although some products are interchangeable.

Yes, you can take a few minutes with your laptop, but your camera is down for the time that your attention is drawn elsewhere. There's more infrastructure to deal with and more things to carry out to the field.

I must be talking to production guys because production guys just don't "get it" about the immediacy of news. And, please, I don't mean that as an insult. As a news guy I'm sure you can point out that I don't "get it" when it comes to some production issues that you understand clearly. I mean, I can't "view all clips and log them within SECONDS" as quoted above. I guess you production guys learn tricks that are kept secret from news guys. The reality is that there are production guys and there are news guys and it sounds from what I'm reading here that production guys don't understand why I can't carry the extra equipment and take the extra time to get my news video fed through an uplink truck or taken to an edit room by a producer for immediate editing (unless that edit room is using Final Cut Pro. Most network editing rooms are Avid right now).

The networks do try to accommodate the trucks, but the networks are slow to respond. Besides, look at any major news event where you see uplink trucks and you'll notice that MOST of them are run by independent operators hired by the media outlets and not by the networks. They're freelancers too.

The only common denominator right now is SDI and/or Composite. As long as you can give a truck or an edit room an SDI out or a Composite Out, you can feed them any format you like. That's my point; I want to easily give them what I know every has.

Don Smith
NewsVideo.com
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 08:52 AM   #19
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Look at this:

Welcome to Usb.brando.com.hk

Mouse over the object among other products on the left side. Second one down on the right. It says it's a media player, it has an SD card slot and HDMI out. Not exactly what I have in mind but we're getting there. Can't see right off the bat the price, but it demonstrates that manufacturers are starting to think about playing video from cards.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 10:00 AM   #20
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Option

Donald

How about this as a work around? Purchase a Cannon VIXIA HF S10 Dual Flash Memory High Definition Camcorder (aprox. $1300 USA) { or similiar} consumer camcorder that has the required outputs to match the trucks inputs. The cam can act as a back up and player for your SDHC cards.

Very interested in the outcome ... keep us posted.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:18 AM   #21
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Donald, our workflow was as follow. We were shooting in 720/60p. There were 4 cards, we ended up using 3. When one card was getting full, I would pop it out, hand it over. My partner then would copy/paste the .mov files via USB reader. I know that the process took way less then 10 minutes per card. We were able to view the clips in QT Player on Macbook Pro instantly, as the files can be played from the card.
I don't have your experience and expertise in the field of ENG. However it sounds to me like you'd like to continue betacam workflow, without usage of a computer, all on a consumer budget.
As far as "handing over a card" there is no difference between handing over SDHC or an external HDD (which can be hooked up to PC or Mac for viewing or editing). I simply don't see where the issue is in this regard. For PC there is a free browser to vie the clips: https://servicesplus.us.sony.biz/son...del-XDZP1.aspx. If recorded in ISO format, XDCAM is compatible with AVID (or any other platform). I just think (no offense) you are trying to recreate beta workflow in tapeless system.
"The only common denominator right now is SDI and/or Composite. As long as you can give a truck or an edit room an SDI out or a Composite Out, you can feed them any format you like. That's my point; I want to easily give them what I know every has."
There is your answer in this situation
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...l_Capture.html
This will enable you to connect Macbook Pro to any SDI or Composite.

Last edited by Robert Rogoz; June 2nd, 2009 at 12:20 PM.
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Old June 2nd, 2009, 11:26 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ron Edwards View Post
Donald

How about this as a work around? Purchase a Cannon VIXIA HF S10 Dual Flash Memory High Definition Camcorder (aprox. $1300 USA) { or similiar} consumer camcorder that has the required outputs to match the trucks inputs. The cam can act as a back up and player for your SDHC cards.

Very interested in the outcome ... keep us posted.
Unfortunately, the Canon VIXIA series is AVCHD, not MPEG2. It would be unable to play clips from the JVC. (I have the earlier Canon VIXIA HF 10, for example.)

There are other cheap media players out there that accept SD cards, but I don't know of any which will unwrap a QuickTime .MOV file with the XDCAM EX codec. Such a box might exist -- the manufacturer may not even be aware that the particular combination works -- some trial and error and a lot of research would be required.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 06:09 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Robert Rogoz View Post
Donald, our workflow was as follow. We were shooting in 720/60p. There were 4 cards, we ended up using 3. When one card was getting full, I would pop it out, hand it over. My partner then would copy/paste the .mov files via USB reader. I know that the process took way less then 10 minutes per card. We were able to view the clips in QT Player on Macbook Pro instantly, as the files can be played from the card.
I don't have your experience and expertise in the field of ENG. However it sounds to me like you'd like to continue betacam workflow, without usage of a computer, all on a consumer budget.
As far as "handing over a card" there is no difference between handing over SDHC or an external HDD (which can be hooked up to PC or Mac for viewing or editing). I simply don't see where the issue is in this regard...
Hi Robert.. I appreciate the thought you've put into this and I want to be careful that you or anyone else don't take it personally when I say you're still not getting it. I'm not trying to recreate a Betacam workflow on a consumer budget, I'm saying that I want a workflow that scales with the cost of the gear. This is the normal progression of technology. As I've pointed out, one manufacturer made a box at my suggestion for $800 that had SDI in/out and Firewire for another purpose. Manufacturers can't expect you to buy a 7k camera but still sell you 20 or 30k of infrastructure to feed the material. I mean, I just bought a refurbished still camera for $57 that takes SD cards to record and play back. A few years ago the NBC News Southwest Bureau, where I was doing most of my work, was instructed by the network to temporarily switch to DV cameras as an experiment. Like the case now with solid-state media, uplink trucks didn't have the means to feed out DV tape, so NBC gave us little DV decks, that cost less than a thousand dollars for a producer to take to the truck. That's the answer I'm looking for. I don't want something for nothing, I just believe that the process is scaled with the new technology that permits the playback of video from SD cards at a price that's compatible with the price of the new camera gear that does so much for so little money.

And, despite my saying repeatedly here that in news you often can't take your eye off the camera, everyone keeps suggestion scenarios where "it only takes ten minutes...." to <do something else>. What part of "I can't take my attention away from the camera" is everyone not understanding? What part of "the truck can't deal with the added infrastructure of laptops to convert video first" is everyone not understanding? Right now, you would have to have a "processing station" for someone OTHER than the camera person to transfer that video to a medium the truck can handle. Until the time when feeding from solid-state media becomes ubiquitous, the best I can hope for is a hand-held device that will play out the video through either SDI or Composite because that's what every truck and every edit room can take.

So, Robert, if I met you in person I'd love to buy you a cup of coffee and talk DV. It's so hard to tell the tone of someone in a text message and I want to say again that none of this is personal. I'm just trying to get people who haven't done breaking news to understand what I'm up against.

On a completely new subject, and maybe I should start a new thread on this except that it really doesn't matter to anyone but me, but I did my first commercial shoot yesterday with a loaner HM700 and, man, I just loved it. The producer I was working for flipped! The reseller who had sold me my own HM700 had loaned me their rental camera since I had paid for the new camera but it hadn't arrived yet. Yesterday, while on the shoot, I was informed that my own camera had arrived. This being June I thought for a moment that the camera would have the Canon lens, but it had the Fujinon, which performed for me beautifully on the loaner camera, so, I'm a very happy camper. The producer will copy the cards and mail them back to me and when he does, I'll post a little of the nicely-lit interviews I did for everyone to see. OK, maybe when I get the video back I'll start a new thread with a link to the video.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 07:51 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Robert Rogoz View Post
...
There is your answer in this situation
AJA | IoHD FireWire-800 Analog/Digital Capture Device | IOHD
This will enable you to connect Macbook Pro to any SDI or Composite.
Love that box. Want one. But, where is the SD slot? Of course, I ask that question in jest because we all know that you must first use a card reader to feed the laptop to feed the box to feed the truck to catch a fly. I don't know why she swallowed a fly. Wouldn't the new mini-MXO2 work better if we were to go that route?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 09:41 AM   #25
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Donald, this is another case of so close, yet so far. I think what would serve the purpose for both of us (and most of other users) would be a storage device with SDI/Firewire 800 ports and a thumb pictures of the clips, AA battery powered about 1 pound. I am shooting on Rainier at 14,500 feet and laptop is out of the question. I hear your need, what I am trying to do is to suggest the solutions with existing equipment you already have or equipment already is on the market.
I think the fix should be that the manufacturers should think about whole systems rather just individual pieces of equipment, in real production world.
Now back to regularly scheduled program;)
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 10:16 AM   #26
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..I am shooting on Rainier at 14,500 feet..
Damn! You're a better man than I! Are you shooting with an HM100 or HM700? I sure would be interested in seeing a few seconds of the video posted online. As soon as I get my cards back I plan to post a few seconds of nicely lit (in my own mind, anyway) interviews I did yesterday with an HM700.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:43 PM   #27
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Donald -

I hesitate to link to this, because it is a no-name product being sold on eBay, and there's a very low chance that it would work with HM100/HM700 files, but it does _claim_ to support full HD, MPEG2, and .MOV files:

Full HD 1080P HDMI Media Player H.264/MKV/RMVB CardRead - eBay (item 250427483745 end time Jun-17-09 20:00:27 PDT)

Also, given the price, the image quality (at least on composite / component) might be just atrocious.

Anyone want to take a $109 gamble?
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 12:56 PM   #28
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One more lead... I've found a US-based importer/vendor who is willing to test an HM700 file on a media player product he markets. I'll be sending him a link today.
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 01:44 PM   #29
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One more lead... I've found a US-based importer/vendor who is willing to test an HM700 file on a media player product he markets. I'll be sending him a link today.
Great work Bob. I read the eBay listing carefully. It indicates MPEG-2 and it indicates .MOV files, but, and correct me please, isn't the underlying CODEC XDCAM-EX?

And, is there such a thing as an HDMI-to-SDI converter?

Don Smith - NewsVideo.com
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Old June 3rd, 2009, 01:57 PM   #30
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Great work Bob. I read the eBay listing carefully. It indicates MPEG-2 and it indicates .MOV files, but, and correct me please, isn't the underlying CODEC XDCAM-EX?
It's my understanding that the fundamentals of XDCAM-EX are variants upon MPEG2 ... how much is different and how much is in common I'll leave up to greater geeks than me to explain.

Quote:
And, is there such a thing as an HDMI-to-SDI converter?
There are a few out there in the $500+ range.

Here's one I turned up first on Google:
HDMI to HD SDI converter
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