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RedRay Take three....


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#1 Keith Walters

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 12:06 AM

In 2008 I started This thread which attracted the usual flack from the usual suspects and never answered a bloody thing, and was eventually closed.
A year later in 2009 I ventured to reopen the discussion with pretty much the same results.
I should have made this an annual series, but I guess it never occured to me last year. :P
So, where are they with RedRay 3½ years on?
Three years is a long time in technology.
It's hard to believe that Pearl Harbor and Hiroshima were only about 3½ years apart.
I would have thought they'd be selling RedRay in Wal-Mart for $199 by now, but apparently not....
Will all be revealed at NAB?
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#2 Peter Moretti

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 02:23 AM

Okay, Keith, I'll bite.

I've waded through the threads you linked to. I think the "secret" to RedRay is that it's probably playing compressed mosaiced image information. So the RedRay is probably a mixture between a DVD player and RedRocket card (which performs demosaicing and decompression). There is no DVD or Blu-ray player that can do both of these.

And this is probably why the RedRay hasn't been released, b/c it's going to be wildly effing expensive when compared to a B-r player. So home theater consumers aren't going to buy it. And why would movie theaters buy it, b/c when they they go digital they are going to need DCP players? DCP is consortium that I doubt Red will be allowed to crack.

Anyway, RedRay images would use significantly reduced bandwidth by dealing with mosaiced images (one half the bandwidth when compared to 4:2:2 and 2/3rd's the bandwidth when compared to 4:2:0). Hope my math is correct, LOL.

It's a slick idea, and I'll bet that it works. But I'm not exactly sure who buys it.

... Well that's my take/guess on it, FWIW.
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#3 Keith Walters

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 06:22 PM

Anyway, RedRay images would use significantly reduced bandwidth by dealing with mosaiced images (one half the bandwidth when compared to 4:2:2 and 2/3rd's the bandwidth when compared to 4:2:0). Hope my math is correct, LOL.

I don't see how that would get you anywhere near the compression level required to put 2 hours of 4K on a DVD9 Disc which is what has been claimed. (And not denied by Red)

The latest crop of DVD "Backup" programs now offer Blu-Ray copying as well, which includes making a standard DVD (either DVD5 or DVD9) from a BD disc.
Intriguingly, some of them also offer to make "BD9" copies, which is a Dual-layer DVD designed to play like a Blu-Ray and which will not work in a standard DVD player.
The basic facts are that in a lot of cases, the actual movie files that people want to watch, can be fitted onto a single layer DVD with no additional compression.
1920 x 1080 video has about 5 times the pixel count of DVD video, so if you used MPEG2 compression, it would take at least 2 x DVD9s to hold a full HD movie. However if you used h264 and maybe a little bit more compression, you should be able to get that down to one DVD9 wihtout any major drop in quality.
I've never seen a BD9 disc, but from what I've read, most people would have trouble telling it from the original.

So from all the information currently available, you could just about fit a 1080p feature on DVD9 disc, with a level of quality depending on the length of the feature, the aspect ratio and so on, but still a considerable improvement over most DVDs. (With some of the earlier Blu-Ray releases, it was somtimes difficult to see much improvement over the DVD release, but that seems to have changed now).

But an otherwise identical 4K feature is going to need four times as much data, and I'm pretty sure we've gotten pretty much all we're going to get out out of current compression systems, so something has to give.

There have been proposals for so-called "3-D" compression systems that basically treat the image data stream as a continuous three-dimensional temporal and spatial block, which allows more direct pixel manipulation and so higher levels of compression, but there are doubts about whether this would ever be practical with current computer technology, to say nothing of the level of programing skill required.

Which all boils down to the same old same ol' same ol':
If they have found a way to actually do that, RedRay seems a remarkably trivial application for such an advanced technology.
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#4 Peter Moretti

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 03:04 AM

Keith, I also think that compression of mosaiced can be made to be more efficient than compression of YCbCr or RGB images. It seems likely that when you break an image down into R, G and B, there will be less variation among like colors (i.e. R, G or B ) than when the colors are combined into RGB.

So if I were designing a mosaiced compression scheme, which I've never done, instead of using blocks of pixels I'd use groups of same color pixels.

Here's the way I see it: If an HD movie can fit on DVD9 disc, then just from a bandwidth perspective, mosaiced will save you 1/3 over 4:2:0. Then I'm going to say that standard RedCode is one third more efficient than H.264. Throw some inter frame compression in there that could save you another 1/3, and you're essentially there. 4 * 2/3 * 2/3 * 2/3 = 1.185.

Who knows if I'm right or not, but I don't think it's that amazing, b/c it requires some serious hardware vis a vis a normal disc player to pull off.
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#5 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:18 AM

. Then I'm going to say that standard RedCode is one third more efficient than H.264




That's a bit of a leap.


P
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#6 Peter Moretti

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 04:26 AM

Maybe so. But giving Long GOP only a 1/3rd advantage at low bitrates is being rather conservative. From my experience, 50 Mbps Long GOP looks like 100 Mbps I frame only. So 2/3 * 2/3 = 4/9. But 1/2 * 0 = .5. So I don't see the big difference, or why RedRay should be thought of as so good that it's not believable?
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#7 Michael Olsen

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 10:49 AM

So I don't see the big difference, or why RedRay should be thought of as so good that it's not believable?


I think the idea is that RedRay - purportedly - will project a 4K image on a 40ft screen that equals or surpasses DCP quality while using less than 10% of the DCP rate. That magic Red Ray figure being 20 Megabits per second (Mb/s). I'm not sure, of course, as I haven't been able to try for a number of reasons - but I don't think many other codecs can come close to matching that sort of - again, purported - performance.

Of course, that's a great idea - I love it! But what matters is what it will actually do when it becomes available for purchase - and at what price.

To answer Keith's question - "Where are they now?"

I suspect they have been waiting for 4K to become more of a standard. Or at least to be easily visible as a standard. I also assume they have been waiting for the price of 4K display technology to fall, or become more highly integrated. And, as was mentioned, I assume they have also been waiting for component prices to drop somewhat so that they can debut at a reasonable price point. NAB this year sounds as good as any.
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#8 Michael Olsen

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 06:46 PM

I apologize for the second reply - I can't find the edit button...

News from Jan 23, 2011 suggests that Red Ray Pro will be shipping in April. We'll see soon enough!
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#9 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 08:59 PM

To answer Keith's question - "Where are they now?"

My original question was basically: if RedRay can fit 2 hours worth of 4K video on a DVD9 disc, then is it also possible to fit 8 hours of 2K video on the same size disc, or 4 hours on a single-layer DVD?
In other words, if it is possible to fit 2 hours of 4K video on a DVD9, using Red-Ray you should also be able to fit at least two full-length 1920 x 1080 Blu Ray movie on a single-layer DVD.
That would seem a simple enough question, but I have never received an answer. (People saying "of course you can!" is an opinion, not an answer....)
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#10 Keith Walters

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 09:02 PM

I apologize for the second reply - I can't find the edit button...

You only get a few minutes to edit with a basic membership. If you become a sustaining member, you get 24 hours.
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#11 Michael Olsen

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 12:04 AM

Fair enough - I'll have to ante up for that sustaining member status. It's worth it.

And as to fitting the data on discs - are you expecting the Red Ray to play DVD9 discs or Blu-Ray? If so, I don't think it will. Based on the specs available, it looks like the interface will be limited to REDFLASH CF, REDFLASH SSD media USB-2, FireWire 800, and e-SATA drives. Thunderbolt would probably be a welcome addition at this point, but that's beside the point I think...

It seems like, though, you are really asking:
If 4K runs at 20Mb/s, does 2K run at 10Mb/s?

If so, none of my searching can help - I can't find a single definitive reference to that question.
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#12 John Sprung

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 02:07 AM

.If 4K runs at 20Mb/s, does 2K run at 10Mb/s?.


You'd kinda expect it to vary with the square rather than linearly. 2K should be both half as wide and half as high, a quarter of the pixels of 4K. So, if 4K works at 20 Mb/s, you'd expect to get 2K in 5 Mb/s.

ATSC HDTV is roughly 2K in 19.39 Mb/s, for comparison. Sound would be an added constant, but fairly small...





-- J.S.
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#13 Peter Moretti

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 07:05 AM

I just wanted to add that Red could also throw in Log encoding, which would save even some more space. I too am curious to find out how Red is doing what it's doing.

But I think what's crossing a lot people up is the idea that the form of compression is similar to what can be played on cheap players bought at BestBuy and conforms somewhat to current standards.

When you open up to the idea that the player is high powered and iconoclastic, more encoding options open up. And what would have been thought of as impossible can move w/in reach.

What I don't understand is the reaction that Red is blatantly lying.
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#14 Michael Olsen

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 11:00 AM

You'd kinda expect it to vary with the square rather than linearly. 2K should be both half as wide and half as high, a quarter of the pixels of 4K. So, if 4K works at 20 Mb/s, you'd expect to get 2K in 5 Mb/s.

ATSC HDTV is roughly 2K in 19.39 Mb/s, for comparison. Sound would be an added constant, but fairly small...





-- J.S.


This is very true, and that is what I'd expect. Unfortunately, the only bitrate specs RED has discussed are about 4K, so it will be interesting to see what happens at 2K, 1080p, and 720p.

And the 20Mb/s figure from RED is supposed to include multichannel audio.
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#15 Keith Walters

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:17 PM

And as to fitting the data on discs - are you expecting the Red Ray to play DVD9 discs or Blu-Ray?

This is the article that started the original discussion.

Quote:
"works with NORMAL DVD burnable media - as in “buy it AT Fry’s” DVDs according to Ted Schilowitz, Leader of the Revolution for Red.
Now maybe that's only what a reporter has reported, but if Ted didn't actually say that, nobody from RED has made any attempt at correcting it, including Jim Jannard when he posted on that very same thread.
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#16 Keith Walters

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Posted 08 March 2011 - 08:22 PM

What I don't understand is the reaction that Red is blatantly lying.

I don't know if ignoring pointed questions can be interpreted as lying.
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#17 Michael Olsen

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 10:23 AM

This is the article that started the original discussion.

Quote:
"works with NORMAL DVD burnable media - as in “buy it AT Fry’s” DVDs according to Ted Schilowitz, Leader of the Revolution for Red.
Now maybe that's only what a reporter has reported, but if Ted didn't actually say that, nobody from RED has made any attempt at correcting it, including Jim Jannard when he posted on that very same thread.


Understandable, Keith. Though it seems like you may have been bitten by the "everything can/will change" clause.

The "facts" now, as close as I can see, are as follows:
-The RED website has a section under products for "RED Ray". After entering that page the only product listed is "RED Ray Pro™".
-The specifications page for RED Ray Pro™ lists the following media: "REDFLASH CF, REDFLASH SSD media Supports USB-2, FireWire 800, e-SATA drive".
-There is no mention on any of the pages for any kind of spinning-disk media.


My suppositions of possibilities based on those facts are as follows:
-RED Ray Pro™ is an early model aimed at professional users, who have options above and beyond a DVD drive and would probably prefer to use rewritable media than burn DVDs. A standard RED RAY will follow for more typical consumer release and include a DVD drive.
-RED Ray Pro™ will be the only model made available, but an external DVD drive for playback may be used and connected via USB-2 or FireWire 800. Alternatively, the inputs may be modular, allowing for a user-installable DVD drive module to take the place of, say an SSD reader.
-RED has decided not to use DVDs for some reason and instead is pushing forward with the idea of either streaming data, or a solid-state media future.

--

Of course, I have no idea which of those scenarios could be true, or even if it will be something else entirely. With RED, I find everything is a "guess in an increasingly correct direction" until products ship. I imagine we'll probably be getting more information at NAB.

Edited by Michael Olsen, 09 March 2011 - 10:25 AM.

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#18 Keith Walters

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 06:29 PM

Being able to fit a 2 hour 4K movie on a BD25, let alone a DVD9, would have been big news, opening up 4K distribution to people on very limited budgets.
Doing the same thing on a far less portable hard disc system is nowhere near as exciting, particularly with multi-terabyte hard discs already dirt cheap and falling.
If you can't use cheap disposable media, do we even need an ultra-high compression scheme any more?
All the other proposed features may have their place in the Red universe, but they're still really only a workaround for the RED's lack of live full-resolution output, which like it or not, is still a major deal-breaker.
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#19 Michael Olsen

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 09:12 PM

Frankly, I agree with the need to support DVD, Keith. A $0.50 disc is far cheaper than even a bulk-order 8GB flash drive. I really hope that RED will have a solution for this, and I really hope that it will come in the way of a built-in drive - not an external USB drive.

One could (and many have, of course) argued that DVDs are just going to go away. It'll be a digital download that you can either stream over the LAN or put on a reusable thumbdrive and and be done with it - in far less time than burning a DVD. However, as you said, there are definitely times when "disposable media" has its place - and it's advantageous price.

Lack of full-resolution output - I assume you are looking for a 5K stream RAW and unprocessed right out of the camera? I know it's off-topic, but why would you personally like that ability? To record in tandem so you end the take with two identical 5K copies of the same footage?

Edited by Michael Olsen, 09 March 2011 - 09:12 PM.

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#20 Keith Walters

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Posted 09 March 2011 - 11:12 PM

Lack of full-resolution output - I assume you are looking for a 5K stream RAW and unprocessed right out of the camera? I know it's off-topic, but why would you personally like that ability? To record in tandem so you end the take with two identical 5K copies of the same footage?

Me? I couldn't care less.
Certainly the general Industry feedback I get is that for TV production anyway, most people would be happy with 1920 x 1080 4:2:2 realtime ProRes, with 5K for archiving. Most people outside the RED fanbase seem to regard the "Raw" concept as somewhat over-rated.
But Red seem obsessed with telling them that, no, they don't really want that, what they actually want 4/5K RAW and just a reduced-spec live output.
In any case, I was really only interested in the possibility of a system that could deliver at least 2 hours of at least 2K cinema quality on a sub-$1 optical disc. Clearly that's not going to materialize, so I have no interest in the rest of the Red Ray concept. Doing that on a BD25 would still be a workable concept, but nowhere near as appealing as the DVD option.
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