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Convergent Design Odyssey
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Old March 27th, 2008, 07:46 AM   #136
Convergent Design
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 869
Originally Posted by Tim Polster View Post
Mike, this is an off question, but since your are knowledgeable about this space, I would like to ask.

What is the possibility of merging the XDR concept of 4:2:2 SDI recording with a laptop computer?

A combiniation of recording high bitrates along with a high resolution preview monitor would be quite a useful field tool.

Is this a remote possibility of a product offering from your company? Or at least an interface that would work with a laptop?

High resolution monitoring seems so much more important with HD that most would be lugging another device along anyway.

Hi Tim-
Stay tuned this is in our product plans.
Mike Schell
Convergent Design
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Old March 27th, 2008, 07:59 AM   #137
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Houma, La.
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Originally Posted by Mike Schell View Post
Hi Ethan-
I apologize that I missed this post. We've had our heads in the lab debugging XDR. We have a solution coming which will be introduced shortly, just working out the final specs and brochure.
Mike - Thanks for the heads up. I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys offer.

-Ethan Cooper
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Old March 27th, 2008, 09:17 AM   #138
Inner Circle
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Location: Arlington, TX
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Thanks for your reply Mike.

I look forward to hearing what you will come up with.
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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #139
Obstreperous Rex
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: San Marcos, TX
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Meant to get these posted sooner... but swamped as usual with NAB:

Dear Video Professional:

We are pleased to announce our upcoming demo of Flash XDR, our Portable HD Recorder/Player, at NAB next week. Please see the two press releases below for additional information. If you plan to attend NAB, please stop by our booth at SL7828.

Thanks -- Mike"


Flash XDR enables HD ENG at WJLA

(Colorado Springs, CO. USA, April 11, 2008) Convergent Design’s Flash XDR will soon enable HD ENG at TV stations WJLA (Washington DC). This ABC affiliate has placed a 20-unit pre-order of Flash XDR with ASI I/O, as part of their roll-out of HD ENG. Flash XDR will enable cost-effective HD-SDI to ASI encoding (on the camera) as well as ASI to HD-SDI decoding for monitoring (inside the OB truck).

Flash XDR encodes the HD-SDI (video + audio) signal at the camera into a 19 Mbps (MPEG2 TS) transport stream. The MPEG2 TS is then mapped onto a 270-Mbps ASI protocol and sent via coax cable to the OB truck. The ASI stream is then immediately relayed via microwave or satellite uplink to the local station for live-news broadcast. A second Flash XDR, inside the OB truck, is utilized to decode the incoming ASI stream (from the camera) for confidence monitoring. Alternatively, this second Flash XDR can be programmed to perform ASI encoding from a POV camera mounted on the truck or from another HD-SDI source.

In the design of this system, several connection scenarios were also considered, including HD-SDI grade coax, fiber optics, and wireless transmission from the camera to the OB truck. HD-SDI coax would reduce cable length runs from 350 down to 150 meters and required all new cabling. Fiber optical cable, while supporting very long cable runs, was considered too expensive and not rugged enough for the rough and tumble world of ENG. Wireless transmission was also deemed too expensive and added an additional potential failure mode for data transmission. All solutions required HD-SDI to ASI encoding to reduce the uncompressed HD-SDI to bit-rates compatible with microwave / satellite transmission (around 19 Mbps).

The camera-mountable Flash XDR proved to be the simplest and most cost-effective approach. By encoding the HD-SDI signal to ASI at the camera, TV crews can reuse their existing (composite analog) coax cable. Also with slight reductions in the MPEG2 TS bit-rate (from the 19.7 to 19 Mbps), comprehensive error-correction could be added before microwave/satellite transmission, thus improving the overall reliability of the video.

“Stations across the country are faced with the dilemma of how to transition their ENG trucks from SD to HD for live news coverage. After extensive research, we believe Flash XDR with ASI I/O to be the cleanest and most cost-effective solution available”, noted Mark Olingy, Director of Operations and Engineering at WJLA, Washington D.C.

In addition to HD ENG, the Flash XDR Portable Recorder / Player has many widespread applications, including digital cinematography, video assist, surgical (OR) recording, race cars, flight recorders, and POV camera recorders among others. Flash XDR lists for $4995, while the ASI I/O can be added as a firmware upgrade for $995.

More info at www.convergent-design.com or at NAB booth SL7828.

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Old April 13th, 2008, 10:28 AM   #140
Obstreperous Rex
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Flash XDR™ HD Portable Recorder / Player debuts at NAB

(Colorado Springs, CO. USA, 11-April-08) Convergent Design will demonstrate Flash XDR, their new portable HD Recorder / Player, at NAB (April 14-17), booth SL7828. Flash XDR will be recording and playing back an HD-SDI stream, compressed to 50Mbps MPEG 4:2:2, and stored onto a 32GByte Compact Flash card.

Flash XDR is the first portable HD field recorder which utilizes CompactFlash media coupled with the high-quality, reprogrammable Sony MPEG2 CODEC. These two key technologies allow Flash XDR to redefine HD field recorders in terms of size (8x6x2.5”), weight (3 lbs), power (10 watts), noise (no fans), and affordability (US $4995). The all solid-state construction opens up unrealized applications where older tape or disk-drive based solutions were too large, too heavy, too noisy, too costly, or too fragile.

Flash XDR records HD-SDI video compressed to MPEG2 4:2:2 full-raster (1920 x 1080) at bit-rates up to 100 Mbps (Long-GOP) or 160 Mbps (I-Frame only), either of which exceeds the recording quality of most cameras or decks. This superb video is accompanied by 4-channels of embedded or 2-channels of balanced / microphone level analog audio captured in 16/24-bit uncompressed PCM format as well as time-code (embedded or LTC). These capabilities make Flash XDR an excellent recorder/player for POV cameras (Iconix) as well as a high-quality upgrade for HDV/XDCAM/HDCAM cameras, in which the live HD-SDI output is superior to the native recording capability of the camera.

Four hot-swappable CompactFlash card slots support up to 4.5 hours of recording at 50Mbps using low-cost (US $150) 32Gbyte CF cards. Data can be recorded sequentially from card to card or two cards can be configured in RAID1 for automatic backups. Video/audio data is stored in MXF format (OP-1A) which can be readily transferred to most NLE systems via USB or Firewire readers. Four Lexar UDMA Firewire-800 readers can be daisy-chained to create a high-speed (320 Mbps) CF drive for instant edits or offload to a hard-drive.

Additional unique features of Flash XDR include time-lapse recording (popular for nature events), 24p pulldown removal (1080i60 -> 1080p24), image flip (for use with P+S Tecknik converters), and extensive meta-data support. An included PC/MAC program allows users to pre-define operating parameters (data-rates, audio input, etc.) as well as metadata (cameraman, producer, event, etc.) and to store configurations onto a CF card for easy upload into a Flash XDR.

For HD ENG as well as video-over-IP applications, Flash XDR offers an optional ASI I/O firmware upgrade (US $995). Live HD ENG events use Flash XDR to encode the HD-SDI stream at the camera (to a 19 Mbps ASI stream) for transmission over coax to the OB truck where it is relayed back to the TV station via microwave or satellite uplink. Third party ASI to IP converters enable video over IP streaming.

Flash XDR carries an MSRP of US $4995 and is expected to ship in May 2008. For those extremely demanding applications, an uncompressed 10-bit 4:2:2 option (firmware upgrade) will be available this fall. Flash XDR brochure, photos and FAQ are available at: http://www.convergent-design.com

(click thumbnails below to see larger images -- CH)
Attached Thumbnails
Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-vertleft.jpg   Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-vertright.jpg  

Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-reader.jpg   Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-lexar.jpg  

Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-idx.jpg   Updated Convergent Designs Flash XDR F.A.Q.-xdr-canon.jpg  


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