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Silicon Imaging SI-2K
2/3" 1080p IT-integrated 10-bit digital cinema w/direct-to-disk recording.


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Old May 24th, 2006, 09:15 PM   #1
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Minimum PC requirements

I've been reading that's possible to capture to a simple PC from your camera head...

...to a core duo laptop above 2.0Ghz or even tablet PC? (because I'm far away from the IT side, I'm not sure if there is Core Duo processors there)

...what are the minimum PC requirements?

...what is the weight of the camera nose?

In this configuration, is there how to capture the audio together with the 10-bits Cineform signal to the PC? And if not (or even besides), timecode option to audio synchro capturing?

(Following my ignorance dealing with computers, I'm sorry but I don't know what I might about this workflow...

Merci!



*EDIT*

$12,500? Including Cineform software, right?

Is it immediately available from now?

Last edited by Mathieu Kassovitz; May 24th, 2006 at 10:42 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2006, 11:32 PM   #2
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Here's what it says about this on the Cineform web site. Apparently you need a mega-beefy computer for full ProspectHD perfromance:

http://www.cineform.com/products/ProspectHDConfig.htm
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Old May 25th, 2006, 10:48 AM   #3
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I doubt those prospect HD specs have a lot to do with the cineform RAW capture. Those have to do with HD-SDI ingest which is 10bit 4:2:2, 2x the data that the siliconimaging camera captures (bayer is like 2:2:0, kinda... or maybe 0:2:2...). also from what i understand the codec is different, since cineform raw was made to be captured portably. I still have no doubt the requirements will be high, probably requiring a higher end core duo or any athlon x2 (so no matter what you are spending at least 35W of power on the CPU). just a guess though. I saw the system they are selling runs with a core duo and probably isnt completely small or light or quiet.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 07:06 AM   #4
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The min config system for SI/CineformRAW recording is a 2.1GHz core duo, dual DDR2 667 and Intel GigE. For Prospect-HD (multi-sream editing)you will likely want a beefier desktop/workstation (assuming not for battery power operation). You can always record on the same system as you do editing. Yes...$12.5K

I will have to check the weight (is there a target while we redesign the mechanicals).

What lens(es) do you plan on using?

We do record PC-Audio 48/16 into the .AVI file and Time of Day Time Code. USB TC sync will be added.
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Old May 26th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #5
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Any more details about system requirements? Is dual core required due to multiple threads for preview and compression etc? its specifically multithreading optimized then? Is intel hardware a necessity? why? From what i've seen AMD's dual core desktop cpus likely beat out core duo and are available in equivalent thermal configurations, they also have more existing platforms and lower prices as they have been around longer.

Regarding audio, the timecode then comes from the computer system? Is that accurate enough? I thought the bios clock only had about 30ms accuracy? or is the timing directly from the cpu cock?
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Old May 26th, 2006, 01:32 PM   #6
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Yes, the program along with the encoder is very multi-threaded, and loves multiple processors.

Also another thing it likes is a decent graphics card (DirectX 9) and good memory bandwidth (dual channel memory is recommended)

Right now we've found that the 2.0Ghz Core Duo's run really nice. They both encode and decode the Cineform RAW footage at 1080/24/25P very well. At 1080/30P, you'll want to jump up to the 2.1Ghz Core Duo and dual-channel memory.

Also make sure that you have 2GB of memory. While you can get by with 1GB, we RAM buffer very heavily, so while we save anything that is shot if you have a RAM buffer over-run, it can be a little bit of a pain to have to start up again after one.

So basically any of the new Core Duo laptops with discreet graphics chipsets (the GMA950 will be supported in the final release, but right now we're supporting Nvidia chipsets) will work great as long as they have Intel gig-e (specifically the Intel gigabit ethernet chipset, not Broadcom, not Marvell, etc.), Nvidia graphics, dual channel memory, and a 2.0Ghz Core Duo.

The above mentioned system should run you around $2-2.5K, but the nice thing is that it can double as an editing system when you're not shooting.

In regards to the timecode . . . the timecode syncs to the system clock, but the actual frame-rate comes from the camera head's clock, which runs at 3ppm, not 30ppm like the computer clock.

Timecode syncs when you first start the program, and then runs off the camera head clock (in free-run Time-of-day), not the computer time. We are working on other timecode modes like record-run, preset, and LTC timecode sycning with external devices.

Hope this helps,

Jason
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Old May 26th, 2006, 08:54 PM   #7
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AMD vs Intel

AMD dual-core systems and multi-processor systems can be used as well. For low power applications we have found the Intel's are doing slightly better with our application.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #8
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Mes amis,

1) processors & PCs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
AMD dual-core systems and multi-processor systems can be used as well. For low power applications we have found the Intel's are doing slightly better with our application.
Just a curiosity: and about an AMD Turion 64 bits? (my personal laptop since yesterday PM; I'm afraid it's not a dual-core though 64 bits ready but will it be less performant?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
The above mentioned system should run you around $2-2.5K, but the nice thing is that it can double as an editing system when you're not shooting.
Online editing at 1080p from a $2-2.5K range??

2) audio, timecode & availability

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
We do record PC-Audio 48/16 into the .AVI file and Time of Day Time Code. USB TC sync will be added.
Uncompressed audio already done? Or still it will be improved in the coming months just to September?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
In regards to the timecode . . . the timecode syncs to the system clock, but the actual frame-rate comes from the camera head's clock, which runs at 3ppm, not 30ppm like the computer clock.

Timecode syncs when you first start the program, and then runs off the camera head clock (in free-run Time-of-day), not the computer time. We are working on other timecode modes like record-run, preset, and LTC timecode sycning with external devices.
I'm sorry but I'm not a techie just a filmmaker, wth does it mean?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noah Yuan-Vogel
Regarding audio, the timecode then comes from the computer system? Is that accurate enough? I thought the bios clock only had about 30ms accuracy? or is the timing directly from the cpu cock?
Any hassles from the actual timecode available by now? Any inconvenient yet to solve just to September? Or is it audio synchro ready (from an external source, bien sur...) ? And about embedded audio together with the 10-bits Cineform signal from the camera head recorded at the same time to the PC -- any tip already field-tested by yourselves or not yet tested?

And the $12,500 offer will be available when? Now? Is it possible to buy it now? And to wait for the final version upgraded next September?

*EDIT* lenses
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
What lens(es) do you plan on using?
Since I'm an experimentalist starting at F-mount Nikkor lenses I'd like have all the options, anamorphic including. Exclusively, at my viewpoint when you are adding PL, B4, F and c mounts, you have the first indie digital cinema camera of the history. I mean truly indie. Cine camera and not video. Yours is not just HD. And after seeing your images, it's possible to compare the filmic CMOS vs the video-like CCD, visually interlaced or fake progressive. Otherwise, also as capture workflow, apparently the Cineform 10-bits codec is more efficient rather the currently used 1080 at 3:1:1.

Last edited by Mathieu Kassovitz; May 27th, 2006 at 02:00 PM.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #9
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Hi Mathieu,

>> Just a curiosity: and about an AMD Turion 64 bits?

I don't think we've had feedback on 64-bit systems. But should work fine, and maybe burst I/O is faster (with 64-bit Windows)

>> Uncompressed audio already done?

Already done: 48K, 16-bit, 2-channel. Later, depending on exactly what our customers want, 24-bit recording via Firewire/USB/ASIO.

This has been tested, although there may be tweaks to the synchronization.

With the SI-1920, I only use C-mount lenses, all spherical.

cheers,

Kyle
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Old May 27th, 2006, 02:20 PM   #10
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Salut Kyle,

Silicon Imaging Team? Or just a customer?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
Hi Mathieu,

>> Just a curiosity: and about an AMD Turion 64 bits?

I don't think we've had feedback on 64-bit systems. But should work fine, and maybe burst I/O is faster (with 64-bit Windows)
And with an AMD Turion 64 bits but working with the 32-bits operating system available by now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
>> Uncompressed audio already done?

Already done: 48K, 16-bit, 2-channel. Later, depending on exactly what our customers want, 24-bit recording via Firewire/USB/ASIO.
Upgrade available then?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
This has been tested, although there may be tweaks to the synchronization.
From the camera head? Embedded audio together with the 10-bits Cineform signal? Or you're referring the timecode in order to the audio recording separately to an external device?
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Old May 27th, 2006, 03:24 PM   #11
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Bonjour Mathieu,

>> Silicon Imaging Team? Or just a customer?

I started working with Ari as a customer/developer about two years ago, although it was clear that the project I wanted to do (build 3D camera system with industrial, "machine vision" cameras, 12-bit uncompressed), had some overlap with where he and Steve wanted to take SI. I met Steve at a trade show in Stuttgart, in October 2004.

Soon after the first versions of our digital cinema application blossomed, and I got to work with the SI-1920, color and mono.

I now work full time with Ari and Jason, as software engineer. Basically, they design it, I program it.

> And with an AMD Turion 64 bits but working with the 32-bits operating system available by now?

Should work absolutely fine, no problem.

> Upgrade available then?

Absolutely. Software upgrades will actually happen fairly regularly.

But if 24-bit (and/or 96 KHZ) audio is an ABSOLUTE requirement, mention that to Ari and Jason. Audio requirments tend to vary quite a bit, from scratch audio only, to 4-channel 24/96, etc.)

>> From the camera head? Embedded audio together with the 10-bits Cineform signal? Or you're referring the timecode in order to the audio recording separately to an external device?

I meant the embedded audio with Cineform.

> timecode in order to the audio recording separately to an external device?

Jason has plans for this, LTC etc., and I should let him answer. Sorry.

cheers,

Kyle

PS: Ari is scouting for a new name for the camera. I suggested "VIGO". Not only in honor of the creator of "L'Atalante", but also for Boris Kaufman, cameraman for Jean Vigo, and also cinematographer for "On the Waterfront". Vous pourriez m'aider... ;-)

We can figure out what VIGO stands for later.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 06:20 PM   #12
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BTW, FYI

24/96, if you require it, can't be embedded in the AVI stream, or we break VFW compatibility.

So don't look for 24/96 until we have QT working around 3Q'06.

BTW, I've mentioned this before, but without good pre-amps, 24/96 is overkill . . . you're just digitizing noise and useless bits.

The current audio implementations work great and run in-sync. The only issues are that we don't have all the timecode options available right now . . . we just have time-of-day free run. This works great though for syncing to external devices with a timecode slate or camera reports.

Thanks,

Jason
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Old May 27th, 2006, 08:04 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
> And with an AMD Turion 64 bits but working with the 32-bits operating system available by now?

Should work absolutely fine, no problem.
The same performance than Intel Core-Duo working with your Cineform 10-bits workflow ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
But if 24-bit (and/or 96 KHZ) audio is an ABSOLUTE requirement, mention that to Ari and Jason. Audio requirments tend to vary quite a bit, from scratch audio only, to 4-channel 24/96, etc.)
I'd like upgraded to when available and to test the embedded audio with Cineform from the camera head also when the audio synchro will be ready.

But now isn't it yet possible in any way other than as 48K, 16-bit, 2-channel and if so, I'm asking if also as embedded audio with Cineform already from the camera head ($12,500 configuration) though 16/48 ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
BTW, FYI

24/96, if you require it, can't be embedded in the AVI stream, or we break VFW compatibility.

So don't look for 24/96 until we have QT working around 3Q'06.

The current audio implementations work great and run in-sync. The only issues are that we don't have all the timecode options available right now . . .


we just have time-of-day free run. This works great though for syncing to external devices with a timecode slate or camera reports.

Thanks,

Jason
Or when you're saying not yet, it will be as 16/48 neither? From the camera head, bien sur... And in this case, alternatives from the $12,500 camera head configuration? Recording to an external device? And in this case until we have QT working around 3Q'06 for 24/96 it will be possible but only as 16/48?

When you're referring QT it means at PC users as well, right?

And after that, for your customers who bought now the $12,500 bundle will it be possible an upgrade option to 24/48? As firmware upgrade or even hardware upgrade?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason Rodriguez
BTW, I've mentioned this before, but without good pre-amps, 24/96 is overkill . . . you're just digitizing noise and useless bits.
I agree. Is good pre-amps included by your offer? Or must be add external solution? Any tip already field-tested?



*EDIT*
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle Granger
PS: Ari is scouting for a new name for the camera. I suggested "VIGO". Not only in honor of the creator of "L'Atalante", but also for Boris Kaufman, cameraman for Jean Vigo, and also cinematographer for "On the Waterfront". Vous pourriez m'aider... ;-)
How? "VIGO" would be a nice homage to a great filmmaker.
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Old May 27th, 2006, 09:06 PM   #14
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Audio Support

The Audio recording is done in the PC not the remote camera head. The current recording application can record Audio from the PC inputs (WAV device) at 48K/16b into the AVI (Audio Video Interleaved) file.

Future releases of the software will have QT support. At that time we can incorporate higher bit depth and rate support. This will require suitable external audio devices.

We would like to chose one or two devices to recommend (likely USB). Any recommendations?
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Old May 27th, 2006, 10:28 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
The Audio recording is done in the PC not the remote camera head.
For sure...sorry me. I meant if the audio synchro it's possible to be done in the PC (a simple laptop with those minimum requirements above-mentioned) embedding the audio with the Cineform 10-bits coming from the camera head? Is that possible by now as 16/48?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
The current recording application can record Audio from the PC inputs (WAV device) at 48K/16b into the AVI (Audio Video Interleaved) file.
Perfect accurate (that is, without hassles) audio synchro? (in the case for a $12,500 handheld configuration and of course, by now, at 16/48)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
Future releases of the software will have QT support.
Then, 24/96 also to a PC basis or just to Mac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ari Presler
At that time we can incorporate higher bit depth and rate support. This will require suitable external audio devices.
So, 24/96 will not be working without an external audio recorder? Or you want to mean another sort of external audio devices... to pre-amps stuff, for example?
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