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portable, uncompressed HD capture


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#1 sean mcveigh

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 01:06 AM

A bit of a hypothetical, but practical, opinion probe...

If you owned a camera with an uncompressed output, and there was a portable recorder (say, lunchbox-sized) that could capture the output from it uncompressed, what sort of features would you be looking for, and what would you be expecting to shell out for such a thing? ($20k? $10k? $5k? :P )

ie.
HD-SDI/HDMI/component inputs?
outputs?
multi-stream?
audio?
monitoring? (on-board via LCD?)
ingest options?
minimum run time?
weight?
compression option?
timecode?

As a big studio or broadcaster, obviously "everything, and more!" is the expected answer, but as an indy, what would you be willing to "get by" with? what would be "nice-to-have"s? Would you be first in line for such a box, or is HDV / DVCPRO-HD good enough?

Cheers,
Sean

just wondering.... ;)
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#2 John Sprung

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:52 PM

Have a look at http://www.stwo-corp.com/

>HD-SDI/HDMI/component inputs?
Yes

>outputs?
For monitoring on the field record device, for transfer to any possible format on the post production end

>multi-stream?
No, let each camera record to its own unit.

>audio?
Absolutely, at least 4 channels, perhaps up to 12

>monitoring? (on-board via LCD?)
On board LCD confidence monitor, HD outputs for an optional separate broadcast quality monitor

>ingest options?
Whatever any camera can output

>minimum run time?
10 minutes absolute minimum, 30 would be nice, more than 60 is a waste because it's unwise to have that much work schlepping around in the field. You'd want to break off for insurance.

>weight?
Absolute max of 50 lbs -- so one person can carry it. It would ride the dolly most of the time, like a film camera's battery

>compression option?
Yes -- as a practical matter, compression will be a good idea for a long time to come. It just has to be done right.

>timecode?
Yes, absolutely necessary.



-- J.S.
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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 12:59 PM

Chasing Venom, are we?

I built one of these for a magazine article. It's not terribly hard, especially with the availability of solid state storage of a reasonable size.

The market is getting pretty saturated, to be honest, or I'd have pursued it.

Phil
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#4 sean mcveigh

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 05:45 PM

Chasing Venom, are we?

I built one of these for a magazine article. It's not terribly hard, especially with the availability of solid state storage of a reasonable size.

The market is getting pretty saturated, to be honest, or I'd have pursued it.

Phil


Have a link to the article phil?
I find it difficult to believe you put an uncompressed HD recorder together using flash. At 185MB/sec, that'd fill up pretty quick, not to mention the write-speeds of flash media would call for massive parallelism.

maybe I should mention that I'm not talking about compressed recording.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 08:00 PM

I didn't do it with flash, I did it with normal disks, but you could swap it out in minutes.

32Gb SSDs now exist in the real world and they're already massively parallel to get that capacity on a single chassis. You'd only need three for reasonable capacity (say four for speed, if you want to allow for fragmentation).

SSDs are a lot easier as they're reliable enough to make RAID-0 acceptable.

Phil
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#6 sean mcveigh

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Posted 20 September 2007 - 09:21 PM

I didn't do it with flash, I did it with normal disks, but you could swap it out in minutes.

32Gb SSDs now exist in the real world and they're already massively parallel to get that capacity on a single chassis. You'd only need three for reasonable capacity (say four for speed, if you want to allow for fragmentation).

SSDs are a lot easier as they're reliable enough to make RAID-0 acceptable.

Phil


Interesting. I haven't paid attention to SSDs for a couple of years.. I did a stint working on radiation testing off-the-shelf units for space-based applications. the technology sure is improving. Cost is down around $10/GB it seems. Or $2/second for the uncompressed High-Def application. Still a couple orders of magnitude above spinning disks, but the reliability, noise, and power budgeting shine favorably upon them :)

I'm going to push on with my current designs for a portable hardware-based capture system (ie. no CPUs)... trying to hit the $5k price point with about a 2 hour uncompressed capacity in a shoebox-sized form-factor and around a 30-40 watt power budget.

What I'm looking for here are what people's expectations of such a thing would be... I know a bunch of people who would line up for something at that price point, but what features would be sorely missed if they prove too costly?

Cheers,
Sean
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#7 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 11:56 AM

The recorder is not difficult (although I don't think you can get enough flash to do what you're after for $5000). What you need to do is to ensure that you have a decent and workable tape based backup system for long term archive.

None of it is hard. Unfortunately as I say the market is completely saturated with S2, Codex, Colorspace, etc. If it was worth doing, I'd be doing it.

Phil
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