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Sony XDCAM EX CineAlta
Sony PMW-EX1 / PMW EX-3 / PMW 350 XDCAM recording to Express Card flash memory.


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Old December 3rd, 2008, 10:28 AM   #1
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The magic box for viewing EX footage!

Amazon.com: Western Digital WD TV HD Media Player: Electronics

Just got this and it's GREAT! Plug in a cheap USB2 drive (even 5400 rpm) and watch the output via HDMI in full 1080p glory! You need to make your files in a format it can read, but H.264 or MPEGs look GREAT! It can read MANY, MANY file formats. I've been waiting for Apple to support Blu-ray mainly so I could hand my clients an HD master for their use (alot of corporate clients), but now this is so much better (and cheaper!). Instead of factoring in Blu-ray players, blank media etc., I'll include this unit and a drive in the cost of the production! About $200 total.

The quality is stunning! It's very small and even with the drive can fit in a purse or carry on luggage! So far I have EVERY HD master file I've made on 1 - 350GB drive (only half full!).

Unlike the Apple TV which can only do 720p at 24fps, this can do any size up to 1080p! Really an amazing product that is long overdue. People have had issues with making SD DVDs from EX footage, or had to show it in HDV res off a tape, but now, show it in it's full raster glory.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:05 PM   #2
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Any thoughts on how it compares to this:

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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:40 PM   #3
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Great find Paul just what I need for a few clients who have HDTV's and want to see the footage in HD. Perfect for trade shows.

Placing a order now since you can't go wrong with the price and besides your review all reviews praise the unit.

Like you site. Grew up on the Hudson River
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:42 PM   #4
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FYI - Apparently 1080p is limited to 24fps on the WD TV.

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Old December 3rd, 2008, 01:50 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve still worth a look and to show a few clients.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:19 PM   #6
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I wonder if it would work with a USB thumb drive. That would eliminate having to power a secondary device.

That would work to show a a couple of small movies. I'm thinking like commercials or a wedding video.

Very interesting indeed. Now to buy an HDTV!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:25 PM   #7
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I have this box, and it's awesome. It even plays Quicktime MOV files in 720p from my EX1, even though that format is not in the list.

Awesomeness aside, it does have some drawbacks. It's always on, even if you soft-power it off. The remote control is weak and requires double button pushes. The box is confused if you pull out the USB media while on and requires a hard reboot. The glitziness of the user interface animations slow down navigation. It doesn't decode DTS from MKV files, but I'm trying to get a DTS receiver for the job. This thing needs a firmware upgrade, that's all.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Gibbons View Post
FYI - Apparently 1080p is limited to 24fps on the WD TV.

SG
I've seen that too but can assure you I have played 1080p 30fps files with no problem! I encoded them to H.264. The big drawback now is the extra encode time to H.264, or even making an MP4 takes a while. I'm experimenting with taking an HDV master file and seeing if I can just change the extension to something it will play (HDV is an MP2 file after all), however I'm on a MAC so everything is in a QT wrapper. Only QT it will play is if it's Mpeg or MP4. It doesn't seem to like 48k audio as it'll say "Audio not supported" if that is present.

Also trying different programs to encode (Compressor/MPEGstreamclip/QT Pro etc.). I'll report back if I find any quick work arounds. I'm using an older G5 dual PPC so the encode time is horrible.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:35 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Gibbons View Post
Any thoughts on how it compares to this:

LaCie - LaCie LaCinema Rugged

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Steve, Checking that out and it doesn't really say it'll play HD files. It says will use HDMI upscaling. Maybe it can, and having the hard drive all as one unit is good, less cables, though if your hard drive goes down, so goes your player! Having them seperate can have some advantages too...different drives can be brought with only certain things on it. If it gets lost or stolen, not everything is gone. Plus the WD will read off of flash drives! An 8GB drive can hold quite a bit of stuff for only about $30! Talk about small and portable!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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Thanks for posting. They donīt have them in stock yet here in Norway, but are expected shortly.
We are producing content for 5 big screens in placed in different bars at a ski resort here in Norway and we shoot everything with EXs.
We were trying to figure out how to deliver the content to the HD TVs, everything from using PCs, burning Blu-Rays and keep them running in loops.

Now this comes out and itīs better AND cheaper that any other solution
(and we already use WD Passports for file handling.)
Thanks for making my day
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 02:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by James Huenergardt View Post
I wonder if it would work with a USB thumb drive. That would eliminate having to power a secondary device.

That would work to show a a couple of small movies. I'm thinking like commercials or a wedding video.

Very interesting indeed. Now to buy an HDTV!
James, It does indeed power an external drive (thumbdrive) I'm using a 320GB WD Passport and it doesn't need power at all!
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:00 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Joachim Hoge View Post
Thanks for posting. They donīt have them in stock yet here in Norway, but are expected shortly.
We are producing content for 5 big screens in placed in different bars at a ski resort here in Norway and we shoot everything with EXs.
We were trying to figure out how to deliver the content to the HD TVs, everything from using PCs, burning Blu-Rays and keep them running in loops.

Now this comes out and itīs better AND cheaper that any other solution
(and we already use WD Passports for file handling.)
Thanks for making my day
This really made my day too! As stated, it needs firmware update for some things like playing DTS files, and being able to fast forward, rewind some other formats but otherwise for corporate client stuff, it's good to go right now! Just always remember to eject the drive before shutting it down. On AVS forum, a WD rep said they were planning better power management for a future firmware upgrade.
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:44 PM   #13
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Links etc. to reviews of it in this thread

WD HD Media Player (with HDMI out etc.) - The Digital Video Information Network
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 03:50 PM   #14
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How loud is this thing?
Not like my PS3 I hope
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Old December 3rd, 2008, 04:25 PM   #15
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looping?

anyone know if you can loop for in-store displays? i have a work around for looping using apple tv, but it's kind of a pain.
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