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Old September 10th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #1
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Press Release: FireStore for DVCPRO HD

This press release from Focus Enhancements is located at:

http://www.marketwire.com/mw/release...lease_id=94941

Excerpts:

"It is exciting to further expand our partnership with Panasonic and to extend our FireStore DTE platform to include a portable DVCPRO HD variant capable of 100 Mbps video bit rate," said David O'Kelly, vice president of business development of FOCUS Enhancements.

The FireStore DTE recorder for HVX200 is expected to be available in March 2006 and price will be less than $2,000.
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Old September 12th, 2005, 02:07 AM   #2
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Very expensive, but compared to 2 8gb p2 cards, seems a LOT more value for money. $9950 HVX + 2 8gb p2cards = 16 min DVCproHD. $5995 HVX Camera + $2000 Firestore= $7995 90gb DVCproHD recording= 90 min of DVCPROHD

Now why the delay in relation to the launch? Almost 4 months, forcing the early "pioneers" of the camera to go with P2 and not have the option of the Firestore. I believe the firestore device is done and could go on sale from day one.

Anyway, its off putting to have to wait for the camera to arrive 2 months after the USA release in Pal land...
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Old September 13th, 2005, 03:31 AM   #3
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Sergio, the device is not done. Especially since the HVX200 isn't even done yet.
I've spoken to Panasonic people at IBC and some details of the HVX200 weren't
even set in stone yet (like which frame rates will make up the variable framerate
feature).

I'd say it would be a pretty bad idea to sell such an important add-on device
without at least testing it properly on the FINAL camera models (which are not
due for at least December 2005, even Q1 2006 for the European model!!).

Since the European model does not arrive until somewhere early next year I'm
betting they want to make sure it works with the PAL version as well.

If you really need this camera you can afford to get it with P2 media. Or use
some other way to record the signal.
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Old October 9th, 2005, 05:27 PM   #4
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I would also warn against being too optimistic about this device being released anywhere around when it is scheduled to. I have become a "fan" of Focus' FS-4, but Focus has unfortunately demonstrated a custom of announcing things way, way, way before they can deliver them. They do seem to deliver what they offer in the end (although many are still waiting for the HDV software upgrade (which they pre-ordered and already paid for)).

So I wouldn't suggest anyone holding there breath on this one.

And I hope that Focus takes some of the suggestions made by users in the FS forum to heart, when they start building the FS-1000, otherwise it will be a flop for professional users.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 01:32 AM   #5
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I don't want to be negative but this still isn't going to help event people. While I don't see a lot of event video shooters wanting this camera at first it might blow away HDV so a lot will start to jump on board or at least they would like to.

The problem with the firestore is that the drives are built into the device. a 80GB drive and 80 minutes of HD is a lot but not nearly enough for people used to shooting 4-5 hours worth of footage nonstop with very few breaks to transfer video. Yes you can transfer video from the Firestore to a laptop but it will take a little while to transfer 80GB worth of data. Can an event shooter say it is safe to spend 10-20 minutes to transfer video and not miss anything. For there shooters they would almost need two or three Firestore devices or hope somebody else comes up with a solution that can swap drives. By the time you buy 3 firestore devices they might be better off just buying 3 P2 cards and a cheap laptop and hire somebody to keep swapping the cards.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:44 AM   #6
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Well, not necessarily, Thomas. Two Firestores would be much better to go for than two P2 cards. P2 doesn't hold a lot right now remember? So, the event shooters would be swapping more frequently while they can simply load another Firestore up and download the other data while they shoot, basically this is like working with P2 cards but with two high capacity hard drives instead.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 08:58 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
The problem with the firestore is that the drives are built into the device.
Sorry but that's not entirely true. The FireStore FS-4 has a built-in drive. The FireStore FS-3 has removeable, hot-swappable drives. The FS-100 for DVCPRO HD is built on the FS-4 design, but who is to say there won't be an FS-3 version with the removeable drives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
a 80GB drive and 80 minutes of HD is a lot but not nearly enough for people used to shooting 4-5 hours worth of footage nonstop with very few breaks to transfer video.
Actually the FS-100 is a 100GB drive. That's 100 minutes of DVCPRO HD at 1080i60 or 720p60, and more than two hours at 720p24. This is much, much more than you could record in one shot with the currently available P2 cards.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Smet
Yes you can transfer video from the Firestore to a laptop but it will take a little while to transfer 80GB worth of data. Can an event shooter say it is safe to spend 10-20 minutes to transfer video and not miss anything. For there shooters they would almost need two or three Firestore devices or hope somebody else comes up with a solution that can swap drives.
Two FS-100's would be plenty sufficient; download one while recording another. Considering that DVCPRO HD tape cassettes cost $100 each for a maximum of 126 minutes, plus the need for a DVCPRO HD deck for capture, it's easy to see that the cost of two FS-100 units is still a relative bargain in comparison.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 09:34 AM   #8
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I would be careful about planning to use two FS-100s like two P2 cards. It seems to me that it is possible to swap one of the P2 card while the camera is recording to the other one. The FS-100 will most likely require interrupting recording in order to swap it out with a fresh one, since there is only one FW in on the camera. The only possibility for long recordings without interruption, would be to daisy-chain a number of FS-100s, assuming that that function will be carried over from the FS-4.

I guess you could achieve uninterrupted recording with three FS-100s if it were possible to set the FS-100 to main target disc or to overflow. If the daisy-chained FS-100 were the main target disc and the FS-100 directly attached to the camera were always the overflow disc then this would be possible. You could then swap two daisy-chained FS-100s and the directly connected one would record the gaps between swaps. But it sounds far fetched.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 09:45 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kohl
I would be careful about planning to use two FS-100s like two P2 cards. It seems to me that it is possible to swap one of the P2 card while the camera is recording to the other one. The FS-100 will most likely require interrupting recording in order to swap it out with a fresh one, since there is only one FW in on the camera. The only possibility for long recordings without interruption, would be to daisy-chain a number of FS-100s, assuming that that function will be carried over from the FS-4.

Yes that's what struck me too. Perhaps a compination of one P2 card and 1 Firestore might make more sense? I'm wondering where you're going to download all these 100gig firestores though; most laptops don't come with hard drives that big, so I guess you're looking at external storage like firewire or USB (or a very expensive laptop). What would be cool was if the Firestore could download directly to an external Firewire/USB drive like a Lacie or a Maxtor without a computer...
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Old October 10th, 2005, 09:58 AM   #10
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Sorry for editing while you were replying ...

Your idea is better. The P2 would pick up the gaps while swapping between two FS-100s. But that sounds too good for it to actually work.

That would require some minimal intelligence in the camera for source swapping without frame loss ... I don't think it would work... And you would look like a friggi'n clown in back of the camera juggling P2 cards and FS-100s.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 10:23 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kohl
Sorry for editing while you were replying ...

Your idea is better. The P2 would pick up the gaps while swapping between two FS-100s. But that sounds too good for it to actually work.

That would require some minimal intelligence in the camera for source swapping without frame loss ... I don't think it would work... And you would look like a friggi'n clown in back of the camera juggling P2 cards and FS-100s.
Not really Daniel, the firewire output should be "live" and the FS100 triggered by the same record button as the P2. Recording to P2 and Firewire at the same time would be the same as recording to tape and Hard drive at the same time surely... Disconnecting say an external firewire tape machine/hard drive from a camera should not stop the internal mechanism from recording or the P2 cards from recording.. just supposition anyway at this stage.

You may be right that output over firewire and to P2 is an either/or situation but I wouldn't understand the logic.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 10:45 AM   #12
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The problem is that the P2 medium will reach it's capacity way before the FS-100 if they are both recording at the same time.

This set-up would only work if the P2 would kick-in exactly when the FS-100 was disconnected (and that, without losing a frame) to cover the time between when the full FS-100 is being swapped with the fresh one. After the swap and recording switch to the fresh FS-100 the assistant (loader?!?) would pop the P2 out of the camera and dump the full FS-100 and the P2 "swap buffer" onto an external 42 terabyte FW HDD (I'm exaggerating) connected to a laptop, making sure to transfer the P2 medium first in order to get it back into the camera before the next FS-100 swap.

It will be wise to use a stable tripod so that the swap is not picked up on camera due to shake.

But this could theoretically work if it doesn't hurt the P2 medium to be shoved in and popped out while recording (which I assume is the case) and the FW out port always delivers a constant DV stream which the FS-100 can tap into (this also sounds plausible). At worst, there would be a few seconds of overlapped recording on the P2 medium and FS-100 for every swap. I could live with that - even if it sounds like it will be more trouble than switching 16mm film cassettes on an Aaton or Arri.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 10:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel Kohl
The problem is that the P2 medium will reach it's capacity way before the FS-100 if they are both recording at the same time.

.
my understanding from what I've read here is that the P2 will simply loop if you want it too. You could even put it in buffer mode rather than record. Plus you could manually start the firestore... camera shake may be unavoidable - depends on the P2 carrier design.

of course you would have overlapping portions - that is what free run timecode is for.
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Old October 10th, 2005, 03:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Actually the FS-100 is a 100GB drive. That's 100 minutes of DVCPRO HD at 1080i60 or 720p60, and more than two hours at 720p24. This is much, much more than you could record in one shot with the currently available P2 cards.
Has it been verified if the FireStore will allow for storing "active frames" only? If so, that would mean over FOUR hours of 720/24p. But last I heard it might just store the raw stream directly, without parsing out the duplicate frames (which would mean 720/24p would also deliver only 100 minutes). Do you have any more info on this?
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Old October 10th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #15
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I do not -- but my contacts at Focus will. I'll see what I can dig up!
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