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Old April 18th, 2008, 02:29 AM   #1
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Any news from NAB on the U1 firmware?

The lack of write ability continues to be a huge daily frustration here :(

Anyone got any word of mouth from NAB on the real release date for the U1 firmware?

Cheers,

Paul.
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Old April 18th, 2008, 12:18 PM   #2
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No word, and my last credible information was that it would be weeks, at the soonest, which I interpreted as at least a month, probably two or three.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 12:56 AM   #3
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At the NABSHOW, the Sony person I asked told me June/July of this year.
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:07 AM   #4
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So that will be 6 months after I bought the U1 - very disapointing :(
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Old April 20th, 2008, 06:55 AM   #5
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I guess it will be released around IBC 2008 in Amsterdam.
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Old April 23rd, 2008, 03:10 AM   #6
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June is what I heard, too.

Given the fact that there is a whole big piece of software to be written Iīd not complain about the time it takes the U1 to be write-enabled...

Itīs great to have a single IT-drive instead of buying a recorder/player.

My 2c.

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Old April 23rd, 2008, 02:47 PM   #7
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The windows version will be the first released, with the Mac ver much further out.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 07:47 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Steve Cahill View Post
The windows version will be the first released, with the Mac ver much further out.
Surely both the Mac and PC client software for writing to an XDACM device via FAM already exists ... what's needed then is for the XDCAM device itself (eg the U1) to have the ability to be written to, hence the need for the firmware update. Any insight as to why writing to the U1 will need such a significant client update too?
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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:17 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Andy Mees View Post
Surely both the Mac and PC client software for writing to an XDACM device via FAM already exists ... what's needed then is for the XDCAM device itself (eg the U1) to have the ability to be written to, hence the need for the firmware update. Any insight as to why writing to the U1 will need such a significant client update too?
Andy, I have had conversations with one of the Sony folks who is very knowledgeable about this process. There are a couple of issues at play. First, is that the U1 is truly a 'dumb' device. Therefore, all of the code for writing to it pretty much exists in software. This is unlike every other XDCAM unit where the process takes place in hardware. Secondly, he went on to say that with Windows, the programmer can hook into the OS code that deals with CD and DVD devices which makes less work for them. OTOH, OSX does not have the same generic hooks and they have to write additional code for it to work. That's probably the reason why, as Steve stated, OSX capability will lag behind Windows.

-gb-
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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:30 AM   #10
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So glad we bought into this device in November when they told use the drivers would be ready in Feb. Now if I have to wait even longer for OS X support... I'm a little perturbed to say the least.

I love the device cause it's small, convenient and fast, but I guess I'll have to go back to using my camera for all my ingest.

BTW, the company I work for bought 6 of these doorstops, um, I mean drives.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 08:38 AM   #11
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but I guess I'll have to go back to using my camera for all my ingest.
Doesn't your drive already ingest? It's the write back to disc that's taking time to implement.

Keep in mind, the initial purpose for this drive was to be an inexpensive device for ingest so that places like broadcast and post houses could have some way to accept an XDCAM disc directly.

-gb-
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Old April 24th, 2008, 09:33 AM   #12
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Doesn't your drive already ingest? It's the write back to disc that's taking time to implement.

Keep in mind, the initial purpose for this drive was to be an inexpensive device for ingest so that places like broadcast and post houses could have some way to accept an XDCAM disc directly.

-gb-
Yes it does ingest and quickly which is why I love it. The problem comes when I can't name the disc. It just shows up untitled which really makes it a pain for using the transfer software for organization. You also can't change clip names on discs or anything on the disc.

Now I can hook up the camera change the disc name than throw the disc into the drive and do the speedier ingest. Frankly that just adds more steps.
Either way I end up wasting time.

At the company I work for, Intermedia Outdoors, we do episodic outdoor television. Last year I had 60 discs of footage for my 13 half hour episodes that I work on. As we didn't have the drives last year I found the work flow to be pretty easy. Hook up the camera, name the disc in the transfer utility by shoot location, shooter and # of #. Load the proxies and really easy to find selects on shots using the transfer software. Now using the drive I pop in a disc get Untitled disc and I'm not able to change it. I now have Untitled disc 1-12 in my transfer utility.

So the drive was supposed to speed up the process which it does during the ingest, but now I still have to hook the camera up to change names. I don't need it to do masters to or archive to, (I have HDCAM for that) just simple things like naming discs. It would also be great to send project files back to the disc with the footage instead of burning them on DVD's at the end of the season.

In short I can do everything that I want to do, just not the way we were sold on it. It will be nice when it finally works the way it is suppose to.

I had a workflow developed that worked for me. Now I throw the drive into the mix and I have to change my workflow. I thought it was suppose to speed up my workflow not make me develop a new one.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 11:49 AM   #13
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Jeremy,

Would it be too much of a hassle to use your camera to rename the disks, and then use the U1 to ingest? Once you rename your disks, the U1 should be able to read that name-change.

On to other subjects.....I'll be very happy with the Windows-only version coming out. In our workflow, we want our producers to be able to log disks, and set in-points and out-points on shots before they go into the edit room. I don't want producers to use an editing system for this sort of mundane decision making. The PDZ-1 software is great for this, but if we can't write those decisions back to the disk, then we are back to writing notes on paper to take into the editing room. There is some value to that, but it still falls far short of the potential of the entire workflow.

I actually saw an early version of an Apple logging application. I'll also be happy when that finally comes out, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

By the way, my Sony rep told me June for write capabilities on the U1.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 12:21 PM   #14
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Jeremy,

Would it be too much of a hassle to use your camera to rename the disks, and then use the U1 to ingest? Once you rename your disks, the U1 should be able to read that name-change.
Too much of hassle? Probably not, but still a hassle and not a proper workflow. Not to mention the times someone is out shooting and the camera is unavailable to someone in the edit suite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Allison View Post
On to other subjects.....I'll be very happy with the Windows-only version coming out. In our workflow, we want our producers to be able to log disks, and set in-points and out-points on shots before they go into the edit room. I don't want producers to use an editing system for this sort of mundane decision making. The PDZ-1 software is great for this, but if we can't write those decisions back to the disk, then we are back to writing notes on paper to take into the editing room. There is some value to that, but it still falls far short of the potential of the entire workflow.
And I ask you is a paper edit too much of a hassle?

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Originally Posted by Tim Allison View Post
I actually saw an early version of an Apple logging application. I'll also be happy when that finally comes out, but I won't be holding my breath waiting for it to happen.

By the way, my Sony rep told me June for write capabilities on the U1.
This is a workflow we were sold on last year being told it would be ready in Feb. Now we're being told June or July. What's the date after that going to be?

I understand this takes time, I just wish they were better at estimating time.
Are there workarounds that work? Yes. Does it work right now? Yes. Is it the workflow we were sold on? No. Is it too much of a hassle? Depends on your situation I guess.
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Old April 24th, 2008, 02:17 PM   #15
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Thanks for expanding and clarifying your workflow, Jeremy. I agree that naming the discs is most important for managing a library of discs. I have been very religious about that from the beginning.

That's why I wish we could create the volume name for the disc using the camera itself. I see no reason why not since we can now enable disc file naming by using the clip title. That would have helped alleviate your dilemma at the moment.

-gb-
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