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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:02 PM   #61
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FWIW, George Lucas shot SWII, III almost exclusively with DTE drive arrays and used them for a limited shot selection on Episode I. ;-P

But in all seriousness, I do agree these are things to be concerned about. Those shooting LIVE EVENTS will have the most to be concerned about. Studio setups are really not that concerning (and I'm pretty much a studio workflow guy). I do a lot of shooting in the outdoors, some scenary and wildlife, but this is for my own use as stock footage. If the hard drive craps out when doing this, I may be disappointed, but nothing critical is lost. The other crowd who may have some concerns is the ENG people. For ENG, it makes the most sense to have 2 or 3 P2 cards with the P2 store clipped to your belt. But you never know what could happen. IMO, the P2 Store looks very solidly built and I wouldn't stress over it too much as long as you take care of your gear (and hope your employees do the same).

Overall, I've had very good luck with hard drive reliability. I won't say that I've never had one fail. But it's not something that I stress over on a daily basis. Yes, I would be nervous about an HDD recording unit failing in the middle of shooting a concert or live performance type event. I probably would refuse to shoot with anything less than a RAID-5 array, preferably two of them mirrored. Then I wouldn't think anything of it, probably less of a concern than P2.

As for DTE record solutions for the HVX200, Firestore makes me nervous. It seems overpriced and we're putting a lot of faith into a single 100GB 2.5" HDD running at 7200rpm. The CinePorter seems like a better solution as it connects to a P2 slot and will have all the metadata in addition to the A/V stream and timecode. Word has it that the Cineporter will hold 2 x 2.5" drives. Sure, with current capacities that would give us 220~240GB. But how about a 160GB record drive with a second mirror HDD? I suppose it would also be possible to record to both the CinePorter and a Firestore simultaneously. If one fails, the other should still be OK.

This also brings up a question I have been wondering... Can the HVX200 record the same thing to two P2 cards simultaneously? Seems like a no-brainer and no real technical reason it couldn't, but did Panny think of implementing this feature? May be helpful to record to two CinePorters at a time or if nothing else, it would facilitate future situations where P2 cards are cheap and you shoot one for yourself and the second can be instantly handed off to a producer or client.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 12:10 PM   #62
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Originally Posted by Steven Thomas
Man, I'm already taking chances with my NLE by running RAID 0 drive arrangements.
You've got some big, hairy balls. :)

Actually, I run RAID0 on a few minor systems and my gaming rig at home, etc.. But for a production environment, it's pretty trivial and not all that expensive to add the third HDD and run RAID-5. If you have a 4-drive config in RAID-0, add just one more and reconfigure.

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I think a lot of this worry will be put to rest as more higher data capacity media solutions hit the market over the next couple years.

By the way, I do have an HVX200 preordered through EVS, but I must admit that the Canon XLH1 is one NICE package!
Yeah, I think a lot of these concerns will disappear over the next few years as more solid-state options become available in the form of larger P2 cards or other formats. And I'm sure there will be plenty of lessons learned this next year for all us HVX200 adopters.

I have mine on order thru EVS as well... I'm probably somewhere at the bottom of the list, which is fine with me. As for the XLH1, I would have already bought one if it had the frame rate options of the HVX and didn't build 24F mode from an interlace scan. Although, I still may pick one up as I do run a 2 camera workflow and I'm planning to start by replacing my B camera (a DVX100) with my DVX100A and making the HVX my primary. If all goes well, I'll be replacing the 100A with either another HVX or an H1. Which I will probably have to do anyway to keep everything in HD.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 01:46 PM   #63
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd
Well, here's how I look at it.

This is a practical community focused on usability. In other words, DV Info Net is about sharing tips, tools, techniques and learning from each other with regard to this amazing digital content creation technology. It's about ideas and results and the hardware and software we use every day. Key focus here is in what we're using or in the pre-purchase stage, what we're planning to use. Many of our members are experts on the tools they're using.

I can think of no greater waste of time and effort than to spend energy talking about what you're not using. What's the point. It's just so much negativity. A person can't be an expert on something they choose not to use, therefore, what advice can they give? None. And who can learn from it? Nobody.

When a Ford owner posts in a Chevy forum about how un-great and un-exciting a Chevy is, all that does is upset the Chevy owners. That's called a platform war. As I've said before, we don't do platform wars here. DV Info Net isn't about making war, it's about peace and harmony and sharing with others and learning a thing or two while having fun along the way (now I remind myself of Bill Cosby). The way we keep the peace around here is by having the P2 folks stay on their turf and the HDV folks stay on their turf, or Canon vs. Nikon, or Panasonic vs. Sony, or Final Cut vs. Vegas, or PC vs. Mac, or whatever. Pick a brand, we've got a room for it here at DV Info Net.

So we've always had this rule, which goes like this... this is somebody else's description of it: "(regarding DV Info Net) the policy is that you aren't allowed to bash something that you neither own nor use. Only legitimate critisism from actual owner/users is allowed. This is to keep trolls from infesting the board and engaging in vendettas to destroy a product. Unfortunately that happens all to much around the net. He allows you to expresss your opinion once like 'I don't like this camera and won't buy it,' then move on. More than fair."

I want this place to attract serious people who are interested in learning and sharing, and part of the process of getting these folks to come to this site is our real-names-only policy plus the fact that we don't engage in platform wars. The internet is chock full of places where people can bash stuff all day long... we're different. We're more of a "what are you about" kind of experience as opposed to a "what is that thing about" kind of deal.

Hope that's clear anyway.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 02:00 PM   #64
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Hmm, after reading all these posts, you all have convinced me of one thing,
I should hold out for the upcoming XDCAM HD which will give me the best of both tape and Disk recording on a nearly indestructible Mini Blue Ray disk. You can use the camera as an external removable media device for your NLE via firewire if you want to. Tapeless, yet better than tape or magnetic disk.

Thanks folks, thanks a lot, now I have convince my better half why the budget went from 10k to over 20K. Just to save you from her wrath, I won't tell her I got help from DVINFO.
(just kidding folks, almost).
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 02:46 PM   #65
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The bottom line....

Tape is on it's way out. There's no question about it. I stated I want a tape after production is over, but in reality...I would in fact prefer to be tapeless. Anybody who thinks otherwise is just blind.

Just like 8-track, just like VHS, just like Cassette Tapes, and now...CD's. In fact, you couldn't PAY ME to buy a DAT recorder for field recording today. Compact Flash all the way!

When I slow down and think of that silly statement I made about prefering a Tape after production.....Well, my only Gripe, and the reason "I prefer Tape" today, is the price of P2.

See the reason why you couldn't PAY me to buy a Fostex PD-4 DAT player today, is because the Fostex FR-2 takes a Compact Flash Card. Quiet, Clean, Fast and Just as good! The CF Cards is someting I can get at Circuit City or eBay for a few bucks. If HD or HDV cameras were able to accept MicroDrives or 8GB Compact Flash cards, and I were able to buy them on eBay as readily as I can now then I would drop MiniDV tape in a HEARTBEAT! But that's not the case. MOREOVER, if HD or HDV cameras were able to record directly to 2.5mm laptop drives directly....I would say "GOODBYE MINIDV, HELLOW LAPTOP DRIVES"

Alas, that's not the case. P2 Cards are proprietary and expensive and hard to find and usable for one thing and one thing only. (unlike laptop drives and CF cards).

So I guess that's the issue. But yes. TAPE IS ON ITS WAY OUT.....FLASH MEMORY IS ON ITS WAY IN, and it's a better way of working in ALL workflows. There's no arguing that fact. And anybody who owns a digital camera and takes it on those special one-time-only vacation, honeymoon, wedding moments should not say otherwise.

WHEN...is the only argument.

and personally, I don't even like the XDCAM discs. FLASH MEMORY is what these companies should be concentrating on. Sony should be trying to figure out a "SUPER MEMORY STICK" or a way of implementing a CF card rather then pouring into XDCAM discs. The xdcam recording format is fine, the recording medium is not.

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Old December 22nd, 2005, 03:09 PM   #66
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Originally Posted by Joe Carney
Gee Chris, that was me over at gyhduser. I've never been quoted before, thanks.
That was you, Joe? Well, you said it very well, better than I could, so I appreciate that very much, thanks. I'm glad I found it to begin with.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 03:53 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Peter Richardson
Regarding the simultaneous recording to P2 and miniDV, or any other tape format for that matter (Barry please feel free to chime in here): Wouldn't it be possible to simultaneously record to P2 and go Firewire or component out to an external deck?
For firewire, it'd have to be to a device that supports the same mode as what you're recording on the card (i.e., if you're shooting in DV50 mode, the firewire will output the DV50 signal, so you could record that on a DV50 deck. If recording in HD mode, the firewire's outputting an HD signal, so you'd need an HD deck to capture it). For component, yes you absolutely can. The component outputs can set to output the same signal, or a cross-converted signal (i.e., you're shooting 720p but component output can be forced to 1080i) or a downrezzed-to-SD signal.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 03:59 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
Firestore makes me nervous. It seems overpriced and we're putting a lot of faith into a single 100GB 2.5" HDD running at 7200rpm. The CinePorter seems like a better solution as it connects to a P2 slot and will have all the metadata in addition to the A/V stream and timecode.
FireStore is supposed to have all that same capability. They're developing it in partnership with Panasonic, so the firewire port is apparently going to output the same metadata to a firestore.

Regarding the CinePorter's dual-drive capability, presumably they'll build in a mirrored RAID potential for those who want additional protection. That could be a big advantage for those concerned about ultimate reliability.

Quote:
I suppose it would also be possible to record to both the CinePorter and a Firestore simultaneously. If one fails, the other should still be OK.
Interesting -- an expensive and clumsy solution, but one that should absolutely work.


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Can the HVX200 record the same thing to two P2 cards simultaneously?
I haven't found any menu option that allows it. But remember, the cards are meant to work in serial with each other, not in parallel -- i.e., rolling over from one card to the next. Recording to both simultaneously raises some issues, such as: what happens when one is half-full and the other is freshly empty, and so when recording you hit the limit on one but not the other? Or, what if you have a 4gb card in one slot and a 16gb card in the other... does it stop recording when the 4gb is full? I don't know... I'm sure that prior to the cineporter being announced, there was probably no real reason to allow parallel recording. But with the cineporter prospect on the horizon, now it makes a lot of sense.
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 04:15 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
P2 Cards are proprietary and expensive and hard to find and usable for one thing and one thing only. (unlike laptop drives and CF cards).
Comparing 4gb to 4gb, a P2 card isn't expensive at all, considering its speed. The fastest 4gb CF card is the Sandisk Extreme III, and it retails at $599. The P2 card is 4x as fast and costs $51 more.

Now, with that said, what I'm hoping to see is a CF-to-P2 adapter. I'd love to see something developed that lets you plug in an off-the-shelf CF card and record straight to it. The problem is the speed of the cards -- the only card fast enough for full-bandwidth HD recording is the Extreme III. But for 720/24p, or for DV50, you should be able to get along fine with an Ultra II.

I'll ask Spec-Comm to consider developing such an adapter. With their CinePorter they've already reverse-engineered the P2 card slot and all the associated LSI functions; it would seem reasonable that making a CF adapter wouldn't be that much work for them, yet it would be a delightful addition to the recording options!
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Old December 22nd, 2005, 05:45 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Barry Green
Comparing 4gb to 4gb, a P2 card isn't expensive at all, considering its speed. The fastest 4gb CF card is the Sandisk Extreme III, and it retails at $599. The P2 card is 4x as fast and costs $51 more.
Yep. And it's not like P2 is truly proprietary... They're just a PCMCIA storage device. These have existed for years. The P2 obviously has some extra ID features and whatnot so that devices like the HVX know for sure they have a proper P2 card inserted rather than just a 32bit Cardbus hard disk. P2s are built out of commodity components into a commodity interface, prices will drop as the format gains acceptance and expands to third party manufacturers.

Quote:
I'll ask Spec-Comm to consider developing such an adapter. With their CinePorter they've already reverse-engineered the P2 card slot and all the associated LSI functions; it would seem reasonable that making a CF adapter wouldn't be that much work for them, yet it would be a delightful addition to the recording options!
That may be a bit tricky as CF doesn't have the I/O speed needed (although, like you said, the Ultra III would possibly work). I bet a P2 adapter that uses two CF cards in an interleaved fashion would be just great and not a big challenge. Likewise, the same thing using 2 to 4 off the shelf SD chips should be easy to make as well. However, I start to question the logic of this because the actual cost savings (if any) would be minimal to the end user. Buying 4 capable SD chips plus a P2 adapter for them is going to be about the same price as buying a P2 card of the same capacity...
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 12:17 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Jeff Kilgroe
bet a P2 adapter that uses two CF cards in an interleaved fashion would be just great and not a big challenge.
It's 4 SD cards in a raid if I remember correctly from NAB. I think the controller is proprietary (just a guess) and that's what Panasonic is making their money on. The price will come down when Panasonic decides to lower it... but only part of the price is the SD price, the rest is whatever that raid costs + profit margin.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 12:25 AM   #72
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Tape may be on the way out but it will not be replaced by HDD. Too many moving parts IMHO. We are a ways off from reliable solid-state (be it flash or burnable) media that is large enough to make tape obsolete. If you have a tapeless workflow I hope you are backing stuff up to DLT or at a minimum a mirror or Raid5.

Even then HDDs fail, check out the testimonials from GIANT projects with redundant back-ups that were recovered over at drivesavers.

I agree that, like audio, video will move tapeless but it wont be as fast as you think. Remember, almost every single TAPELESS recording studio backs up all their data EVERY NIGHT... to tape...


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Old December 23rd, 2005, 03:55 AM   #73
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Originally Posted by Bob Grant
I think the biggest issue with HDV is the cameras used to shoot it and how it's shot. Biggest killer for mpeg-2 compression is noise, from my experience the more pristine the source the better it survives high levels of compression.

Years ago now I used to make VCDs from off air VHS, the results looked absolutely horrid, barely watchable. And then the same clients gave me a SP studio master to turn into a VCD and the results were remarkably good. In other words the amount of degradation suffered by the VHS was dramatcially higher than what happened to the SP.

I've seen the same thing with DVDs, given footage from a 2/3" DB camera and the results look pretty close to the original, start with VHS or poor DV and things go downhill really badly.

Same has got to happen with HDV, I'd bet starting with HDCAM you could produce a HDV master that held up very nicely, run some upscaled noisy SD through the same process and it'll fall apart real quick.

Starting with noisy HDV and as said decompressing and recompressing that is a formula for things getting ugly quickly, so much of the available bandwidth is being used up by the noise. When the bandwidth is exhausted artifacts creep in and they need more bandwidth during the next pass.

Given that mpeg-2 is the standard for HD broadcasting I think an issue that needs more attention is the noise level of any of these camera. Recording DVCPRO HD to P2 cards avoids the issue at acquisition, but still the footage has to pass through the same process during broadcast. Perhaps some form of noise reduction in post would help out, certainly that'd work better with DVCPRO HD than HDV acquisition.
The noise does not increase in all digital domain chain.
Or did you mean compression artifacts?

The difference between vcd/dvd and hdv is that priors are used for distribution and the latter for acquisition.
It wouldn't look so good if you'd take that vcd made from db and used that as a post production original.

And I think the biggest problem with these "barely acceptable quality" solutions (like digital broadcasting many times is with demanding material) is that they limit the artistic expression. You can't use noise or grain to make certain look, because it will get blurred at some point of the chain. Or shaky handheld. Or special shutter speeds. Etc.
Well, actually compression artifacts can also be exploited in artistic way... ;-)
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 05:56 AM   #74
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Originally Posted by Ash Greyson
Tape may be on the way out but it will not be replaced by HDD. Too many moving parts IMHO. We are a ways off from reliable solid-state (be it flash or burnable) media that is large enough to make tape obsolete.
50GB BluRay disks. That'll hold nearly 50 minutes (some head room of course probably 45 minutes) of 1080p60 and more at lower resolutions. That's certainly more than BetaSP 30 minutes tapes many pros are used to shooting with. I think we'll be at that point by Q3 or Q4 2006, not years away.

How fast the movement is in the "prosumer" market vs the "pro" market depends on the price of burners and media.

Write and copy times will have impact too. Even if 50GB BluRay is only 2x that makes redundancy back up faster than cloning a digital video tape.

The one advantage tape has is if there's damage one can work around it to retrieve the rest of the material. Retrieving a corrupted file or data from a physically damaged disc may be near impractical.

Probably something closer to a practical "field" workflow would be recording to 16GB P2 cards and then backing up to a portable self powered (battery) BluRay recorder at 2x or 4x speed. Otherwise it might be something like an XDCAM like camera attachment . . . all the more reason to believe Sony will make a 1/3" XDCAMHD camera if the HVX proves popular . . . and another reason why I don't think the HDV format will be around more than a few years as a "dominant" prosumer format.
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Old December 23rd, 2005, 08:58 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Shannon Rawls
Tape is on it's way out....WHEN...is the only argument.
One obvious answer would be when tapeless solutions are more cost-effective and practical than current tape-based options. If you shoot DV or HDV that's probably a long way off in the future; if you shoot on more expensive tapes it might happen a little quicker. This is also dependent on what and how you shoot: if you're a solo event shooter who needs to be able to record several hours of footage unassisted, that's a different scenario than if you're shooting short takes for a movie with a big crew of people around. In the latter situation it's a lot easier to work with current tapeless options than it would be for event work.

You could also make a comparison here to film versus digital options for photography. If you do a lot of photography, today's digital solutions can quickly pay for themselves and the cost of new digital cameras compared to the cost of shooting film. The same may hold true for film versus the alternatives for video, but we're talking about videotape versus tapeless video recording. In several years of shooting video the cost of the tapes I've used would pay for (at best) a few hours of DTE recording capacity, which might just barely match the cost of tapes I'd use in the next few years. And that same amount of money would only buy a few minutes of P2 memory card recording capacity, so that's not even close to being a cost-effective option.

As far as wokflow is concerned, one thing tapeless solutions have going for them is that they give you instant access to your data for editing, something you can't get from tape. But if that's not a vital concern, today's tapeless options don't necessarily offer much workflow benefit compared to tape-based recording. In this discussion we've seen it suggested to record video on tapeless solutions and then archive the resulting data to DLT tape -- which is essentially just the opposite process of recording to tape and then bulk-capturing that to a computer hard drive. Maybe not quite the same in terms of time requirements, but not substantially different either. I suppose if you're still batch-capturing your footage from tape by reviewing each clip first then tapeless solutions would look appealing, but that just shows how out of date the batch-capture process is. So it's not tape-based recording which is on its way out here, it's batch capturing. Tape-based recording will be around for at least another five years or more, until some really cheap and effective alternative becomes commonplace.
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