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Old September 18th, 2005, 11:19 AM   #16
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Good points Graeme!

I don't think anyone would look at REV as a long term storage medium. When BR-DVD *finally* is distributed it will undoubtedly be adopted widely in the media business. The REV drive is being looked at as a intermediate storage medium. Work flow: simultaneous recording for redundancy to CF and REV, feeding footage via REV into your NLE, editing and compositing, mastering for broadcast out to required tape format (HDCAM, etc.), and if BR-DVD is available, archiving on BR-DVD and tape. The alternative to that workflow would be to use the CF for loading into the NLE, and once the footage is safely into the NLE, keep either the CF or REV footage until mastering and archiving are completed, and empty the other for re-use.

REV is in wide use in the graphic design industry, which, with media convergence, is essentially now a part of the television and video production industry. Nobody disputes that Iomega had problems with some of their previous cartridge systems. REV has proven to be much more reliable. The drives could be around for a long time. As noted, a 70GB cratridge is reportedly in development. I don't see REV as a competitor for BR-DVD, but rather an intermediate, temporary storage medium with distinct advantages.

If we wrote off every tech product company that had problems with a product we would be writing off every company on the planet. Which automobile manufacturer has never had a recall for technical problems? And yet we all still drive cars made by them. Which computer company has never made a faulty product? And yet we all still use their products. Which aircraft manufacturer has never had tech problems with their product? And yet we all still fly. Which camera manufacturer has created a perfect camera? None, and yet we still use their cameras. If we start writing off companies like Iomega for previously having problems with a tech product, then shouldn't we keep writing off other companies until nobody buys any products of any kind? I'm obviously being facetious.

Our industry is full of old technology that was supposed to go away and didn't - Beta SP, tape itself, and on and on. I see REV as a good answer right now for an intermediate recording medium in the workflow I described above. Obviously Thomson GV agrees with that. My original post that started this thread simply expresses that Panasonic should consider the same thing as an option for the HVX200. Panasonic likes to talk about the tapeless workflow of P2 - while they've still included a tape drive in the HVX. The GV Infinity at least made the leap to entirely tapeless acquisition. I like Panasonic. I regularly use a Varicam, SDX900, and a DVX100A. But I'm brand agnostic - I use cameras from multiple manufacturers. My taking the time to suggest a REV drive as an option for the HVX was not a criticism of Panasonic, but rather a constructive suggestion for tapeless production workflow.

P2 is another story. Keeping project budgets manageable is paramount in today’s business climate, and Compact Flash is a lot less expensive than P2. The Infinity's use of inexpensive CF, plus the excellent JPEG2000 compression, is a wakeup call for Panasonic to lower the cost of P2 and increase its storage capacity. The Infinity should be a serious competitor to many of the higher-end Panasonic cameras. Competition is good for us consumers...
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Old September 20th, 2005, 06:50 AM   #17
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Storage Decisions

We are at an inflection point in medium data storage. Rotating memory (aka disk) versus solid state (aka chips). Products will fall on one side or the other. As a product designer, I'm always wrestling with these kind of technical choices.

I think though we are starting to see a move to flash memory (and other chip based solutions) for data storage under 100Mb. The technical roadmaps from the flash memory manufacturers are showing this to be a cost effective technical solution in the near future.

Certainly Apple's decision to go with flash memory for it's Nano iPod is a clear indication they see this as the way to go. I think Panasonic's decision to use P2 makes sense, although at today's prices/densities you might not think so.

That's not to say it is only way to go. Clearly optical storage will also play a role as will magnetic disks.

At least we have choices.
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