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Old October 19th, 2005, 06:47 PM   #1
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P2 = PCMCIA Adapter + CF Card?

Hi all,

I was just thinking. If you bought one of those handy dandy PCMCIA type II adapters for compact flash cards and stuck the fastest 8GB card (9MB per second minimum transfer rate), would you then be able to use it exactly as a P2 card or is there something proprietary about the P2?

So there are two questions here:
1. Does P2 = PCMCIA Adapter + CF Card?
2. Would the minimum sustained data rate on the fastest CF card be able to keep up with HDV data rates?

I hope this hasn't been addressed elsewhere, I'm just trying to think around the current horrificly expensive P2 issue.

Thanks,

Tyler
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Old October 19th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #2
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Hi Tyler,

Sorry, but that wouldn't work... P2 cards do use standard SD (not CF) flash memory, but there are some proprietary Panasonic components invovled as well.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 05:00 AM   #3
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thats a bummer... would be good to get aafew 6gb microdrives and connect em this way...

saves ALOT of money...
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Old October 20th, 2005, 09:40 AM   #4
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Peter although Chris is 100% correct, don't be suprised to see the market hit with knock offs, my goal is to find a way to get the hvx to write to a pcmcia card that can be hooked up to a harddrive, compact flash array or whatever...the p2 card basically has embedded chips that give the hx the green light, the key is to get microcode and have them always give the green light...

first person that does this i figure will be quite popular...not sure how legal it will be, it involves reverse engineering, but it can be done...

if a p2 card costs $1,000 for 15 minutes of storage, how much wold you pay for a pcmcia card that will give you unlimited storage (of course you supply the storage)

there are issues if compact flash is fast enough without having an array...or maybe just fast enough to write a dvcpro 50 stream...also data integrety would probably suffer....but that may not be an issue for some folks...
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Old October 20th, 2005, 10:02 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Mann Z.
Peter although Chris is 100% correct, don't be suprised to see the market hit with knock offs, my goal is to find a way to get the hvx to write to a pcmcia card that can be hooked up to a harddrive, compact flash array or whatever...the p2 card basically has embedded chips that give the hx the green light, the key is to get microcode and have them always give the green light...

first person that does this i figure will be quite popular...not sure how legal it will be, it involves reverse engineering, but it can be done...

if a p2 card costs $1,000 for 15 minutes of storage, how much wold you pay for a pcmcia card that will give you unlimited storage (of course you supply the storage)

there are issues if compact flash is fast enough without having an array...or maybe just fast enough to write a dvcpro 50 stream...also data integrety would probably suffer....but that may not be an issue for some folks...
The issue of datarate is also addressed by P2 in that the 4 zero defect SD memory devices are arranged in a raid array. Much of the cost of these cards comes from the spec Panasonic places on the makers of the SD devices. They must be zero defect with high operating temp range. This always exacts a premium price for the chipmaker because not all the devices in a given lot will stand up to this specification. Think of these chips as the cream of the crop cause that's literally what they are and are therefore in shorter supply.

-gb-
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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:15 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler Cartner
I was just thinking. If you bought one of those handy dandy PCMCIA type II adapters for compact flash cards and stuck the fastest 8GB card (9MB per second minimum transfer rate), would you then be able to use it exactly as a P2 card or is there something proprietary about the P2?
9 MB/sec = 72 Mbps, which isn't fast enough to capture DVCProHD data at full 100 Mbps quality. But if it's true that the HVX200 will offer 1080/24p with a data rate of 40 Mbps, perhaps that could work if someone jury-rigged a suitable recording solution. Question is, would you trust important footage from this camera to that sort of a recording setup? Nah, the way to get semi-affordable recording on the HVX200 will be to use the Firestore hard drive solution due to ship next March.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:45 AM   #7
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The prospect of cheap, re-loadable P2-compatible cards is very tantalizing, of course. The SanDisk Extreme III CF card may actually be a single-chip solution that could be fast enough -- it boasts a minimum sustained write speed of 20 megabytes per second -- which would be enough to handle a DVCPRO-HD data stream. The P2 cards are made of four of those same speed class of SD cards, RAIDed together to get an 80mBps data transfer rate, which is very handy for offloading the card at high speed. But for pure recording of DVCPRO-HD, a single Extreme III could be fast enough (presuming that real-world experience matches the printed specs, that is!)

Then the issue becomes making a PCMCIA-to-CF (or SD) adapter that has the proper protocol chips to speak the "P2" language to the camera. I would think a product such as that would prove enormously popular. I don't think for a moment that it would be as bulletproof as a genuine P2 card, but the prospect of having something that could take an off-the-shelf CF card would be most tantalizing.

The thing is, the 4gb Extreme III chip costs about $600 at retail, and the MSRP on the 4GB P2 card is around $900 right now, so once you factor in street pricing on both, there isn't nearly as dramatic a price difference as one would hope, considering that the P2 card would be four times as fast and presumably more reliable too. However, the ability to walk into B&H and pick up a few extra 4gb Extreme III chips right off the shelf does have appeal!

Another way to go would be to come up with a P2-to-hard-disk type of adapter, for those who need long-form recording. A reverse-engineered P2 chip for compatibility, with a 4GB Extreme III on board for buffering, and a firewire or USB2 port for a drive, so the data could be buffered to the Extreme III and then piped out to the drive as fast as the drive could handle -- that would be a quite popular product too, I would bet.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 11:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Shaw
But if it's true that the HVX200 will offer 1080/24p with a data rate of 40 Mbps, .
1080/24p requires the full 100-megabit data rate.

720/24p requires 40mbps.
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Old October 20th, 2005, 04:06 PM   #9
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Thanks Barry, I was wondering if I had that mixed up. So 720/24p would be the way to go to get more mileage out of P2 memory, which isn't a bad option if you like the 24p frame rate. Attach an 80GB DTE recorder and you'd be able to record over four hours of 720p video, which is a pretty decent amount.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 07:55 AM   #10
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If the P2 cards are the biggest stumbling block to making the purchase decision, then no reverse engineering should be necessary. Panasonic should be handing the designs over for a small fee to any third party vendor who they think has the technical expertise to design solutions. They might reserve the right in the contract to approve any design, so no-one is lumbered with lemons.

The amount of profit they might lose on the sale of P2 cards will be more than offset by the increased sales of the HVX. If the P2 cards are analogous to tape then to keep a solution like this proprietary, while it may look attractive to Panasonic corporate, could end up being a marketing blunder. Sony have proved it doesn't matter too much at the professional end of the market with Beta and XDCam, but the prosumer market is much more price sensitive.

Panasonic seem very confident that the card will come down in price as memory cards traditionally have, but only by making the technology competitive and affordable can they achieve this. Relying on the cost of SD chips to plummet will only affect the wholesale price that Panasonic pay and then there will still be a premium on these chips over other solutions. IMO offering the technology for a modest licencing fee can only benefit the entire P2 line of product - including the Panasonic version of the card.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:22 AM   #11
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what would be a better option for long form work (alongside the firestore, which i must add, i wasnt too impressed with when using the pro models with my DVX's .. but thats another story) would be to have an EMPTY p2, card whereby you insert your own SD memory cards.

It works thusly..lol (i hate that word)

ok, in the P2 unit you have 4 SD bays, each are numbered.
as its all raided, what u do is insert a numbered SD card to its respective slot.

carry about 16 of these SD cards at 1gb each and it would still end up being cheaper than, but equivalent to 4 P2 4gb cards

when ur ready to transfer the data, just reinsert the cards into their respective slot order and voila..

pretty simple concept, time consuming but workable..

i love the idea of this camera and the recording format, but the costs involved for HD recording are just too costly to justify purchase.. even a firestore wouldnt be enough.. id need to hack the firestore to fit at least a 120gb drive or more, or use 2 firestores.. and doing a 2 camera shoot...well... thats alot of money to fork out...

but what happens when i have 6 weddings in the one month?? Witha n average of 6 to 12 hours of raw material each...??
How many hard drives do i need to simply store all this?? And what happens if one of those HDD's gets nuked? Do i get twice as many drives?? is there a DVCProHD tape backup system available? or do i need to fork out another 15k for a SD DVCPro50 taoe deck jsut as a worst case scenario option??

it all comes down to how much money its going to cost NOW and in the future.. as well as how much money im likely to make with the unit being a part of the sale process, but right now, i jsut dont see any of this....not one of my potential clients have asked for HD. I do ALOT of corporate work, moreso than weddings, and even with this, theyre really not to phased.. their concern is watchability...

Im gettin bookings over companies which are shooting and deliverin in HDV (i dont use my Z1s for weddings, as low light performance sux the big one and i despise the chunky form factor/ergonomics of these units) but its clear that the wedding and event clientelle are still in the dark about HD and its delivery options. The Z1's were a bad buy decision... at this time at least.. thers no need for them... unless im doing commercial stuff where im delivering in Digibeta or xfering to dvcpro50.. but that another story

No, right now, the risks vs price vs $$ return just doesnt justify using P2 (for me anyway)
I honestly wish i could say differently, but i cant.. i really dont want this camera to fail as i love my DVX's but to be honest, for longform work, it just wont work... not yet anyway...
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:42 AM   #12
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OK, here is an idea. If JVC can make a very small HDV portable deck, why can Panasonic? Will it kill them to make a smal miniDV deck that you can somehow hook up to the HVX (maybe even screw under it to the tripod mount ala Bechteck)? Hook it to a P2 adapter or straight to the FW port.
IM sure it could cost under 1500 and will provide unlimited PERMANENT storage for cents on the GByte. So if people whant their HDV, give htem their HDV (tapes that is).

With such a solution I would preorder a HVX right away, with the current P2 or firestore (maybe) options the camera is a NO, NO, for me.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 08:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Vallarino
OK, here is an idea. If JVC can make a very small HDV portable deck, why can Panasonic? Will it kill them to make a smal miniDV deck that you can somehow hook up to the HVX (maybe even screw under it to the tripod mount ala Bechteck)? Hook it to a P2 adapter or straight to the FW port.
IM sure it could cost under 1500 and will provide unlimited PERMANENT storage for cents on the GByte. So if people whant their HDV, give htem their HDV (tapes that is).

With such a solution I would preorder a HVX right away, with the current P2 or firestore (maybe) options the camera is a NO, NO, for me.
Umm... the camera is not an HDV camera. Panasonic is not part of the HDV consortium, nor do they seem to want to be... Panasonic is attempting to offer what most people consider a superior format to HDV (DVCPROHD) at a fraction of the cost that it is currently available at. The only way to do this was to not use tape, as the DVCPRO HD tape deck would cost more than twice the cost of this camera. So to be competitive with HDV, and yet offer something "better", Panasonic went P2...
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:17 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Dooley
Umm... the camera is not an HDV camera. Panasonic is not part of the HDV consortium, nor do they seem to want to be... Panasonic is attempting to offer what most people consider a superior format to HDV (DVCPROHD) at a fraction of the cost that it is currently available at. The only way to do this was to not use tape, as the DVCPRO HD tape deck would cost more than twice the cost of this camera. So to be competitive with HDV, and yet offer something "better", Panasonic went P2...
Call it what ever you whant, but give us a deck. Im pretty sure that with todays technology and decades of deck making experience Panasonic can come up with a rather inexpensive way to capture the HVX output on tape.

And Im sure they can do it for under $5000, and that is what?, a couple of P2 cards that give you less than an hour of HD? I will gladly pay for it.

Im sorry, but any other explanation than Panny trying to force their P2 platform down our throats won't convince me.

Not that Sony is any better (think Betamax, Memory sticks, XDcam, etc), but I think Panny screwed this one. Unless until I can get P2 cards that store an hour of video for $29, the price of XDCam discs.
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Old October 31st, 2005, 09:21 AM   #15
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The costs of a 16 head DVCPRO HD deck are well documented and $5000 ain't cutting it. But the other thing you have to look at is that P2 is not "one-use" media, like tape. It's something you use over and over again. Technically you could buy three and pretty much never buy again. It's all a matter of switching from a workflow based on analog and tape to one based on the IT infastructure that video/film production is going to... but to each their own.
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