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Sony TRV950 / PDX10 Companion
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Old September 15th, 2003, 10:29 AM   #1
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Ask Sony for PDX10 firmware update to HD?

Ok. Here are the facts:

(1) we have a high quality DV camera which can already do some low-end MPEG encoding, which has a CCD big enough for images of 1152 horizontal pixels, more than 720 vertical pixels and has some high quality 14 bit image processing built it which can scale images.

(2) even though Sony will tell you the standard is not finalized so people wait for their cameras, we have a working 'HDV' standard embodied in the JVC GR-HD1, which uses the same cassetes and data rate as current DV. More on this is available from
http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/200307/03-0704E/

Are you following me? We ALREADY have a camera which, with some low level tweaking, should be able to handle the new standard, at least in it's most basic 720p@25fps and 30fps forms. Perhaps through a simple firmware upgrade. In the worst case a DSP and ROM chip or two might have to be replaced. We would of course want the camera to continue to be compatible with standard definition DV.

Perhaps if we get enough people to ask for it Sony will do it.

So, how about if we all post our names and PDX10 serial numbers so we can contact Sony when an important number of people have added themselves to this list?

Is this a crazy idea?
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Old September 28th, 2003, 10:49 AM   #2
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Re: Ask Sony for PDX10 firmware update to HD?

Well, I have done some reading around and this doesn't seem to be possible. JVC put a very special NTT chip in the HD1/HD10 in order to do real time MPEG2, and only at 1280x720 30fps. So I guess we will just have to save some bucks and trade up to the HDV version when the time comes.
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Old October 20th, 2003, 12:14 PM   #3
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I've been working with a similar concept myself. In a certain way, it IS possible to do this, but wanting to put it into the HDV standard is just an added complication that is not needed...here's why:

The TRV950/PDX10 and just about everyother DV camera, actually works in full quality up until the DV compression. So the question is, why bother with extracting the video and compressing it so you can put it on an HDV tape, when you can actually extract 14-bit RGB 4:4:4 uncompressed video and put it directly on Hard Disk?

And Ignacio is right in that a camera that has 690k effective video pixels per CCD outputs more than 720x480 pixels. It might not be oriented such that you get exactly 1024x720, but something close to it.

My experiment consists of a PCI Digital Input card with 32inputs and 80MB/s data rate. I am planning on extracting the raw uncompressed 4:4:4 video from the A/D converters directly.

Now, since this involves cracking open a DV camera, I am starting with a cheap 1 chipper...theoretically I should be able to put it back together since I have the full service manual, but just in case. :) Also, I'm probably going to be using a TRV33, which also has 690k effective video pixels, but they are mosaiqued with Cy,Ye,Mg,G filters...still i should be able to get the 690k pixels, uncompressed and in full non-decimated color(after de-mosaic-ing)

BTW...
I've been talking about this aspect of DV cameras in the XL1 forum for quite a while...it makes me mad that we actually have the hardware in our cameras, but we can't use the full potential because of the DV format limitations which throw away 80% of the data! My argument was that since firewire has more than enough bandwidth, cameras should include a mode that streams uncompressed 4:4:4 or 4:2:2 video directly to a computer for recording on a hard disk. There is so little work associated with including this feature, since the signals are already there, but the feature would be so valuable for those of us that want to get the best possible image out of the camera and don't mind being tied down to a laptop.

I will post my results here....

Juan
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Old October 20th, 2003, 01:53 PM   #4
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> but the feature would be so valuable for those of us that want
> to get the best possible image out of the camera and don't
> mind being tied down to a laptop.

Very interesting. Please do keep us up to date. Perhaps your findings on that cam can be usefull for other Sony cams too.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 02:15 AM   #5
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Keep in mind that DV and MPEG2 are 2 completely different formats. It's sort of like the difference between 35mm color slides and color print negatives.
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Old October 21st, 2003, 11:38 AM   #6
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<<<-- the Boyd Ostroff opera company beach stills and vertical smear examples were posted de-interlaced. Am I seeing this right? -->>>

The beach photos were deinterlaced with DVfilm Maker. I don't believe that the vertical smear examples were however. Also, the "nature photos" on my site were not deinterlaced either. Hope this helps.

BTW, you lost me with the "toggle for the zoom" comment. Did you see a modified PDX-10? Mine just has a rocker switch, as discussed in another thread here...
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Old October 22nd, 2003, 05:14 PM   #7
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> I've enjoyed researching the PDX10 and trying out two different
> versions. At J&R it sported a toggle for the zoom and was quite fast,
> whereas at B&H it had the sony style rocker like my VX1000 and
> seemed to stutter a bit.

Really? Another version? Or did it have an attached zoom controller of some kind?
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