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  1. #1

    Do you think you'll use SSD's instead of video tape before this year ends?

    I recently returned from NAB, and one theme I saw developing was the move by many companies to promoting video recorders that use qualified SSD's (solid state discs - especially the 2.5" like you put in your laptop) for recording both compressed and uncompressed video.

    Maybe the most important announcement in this area was from Blackmagic, which will soon ship a sub-$350 uncompressed HD and SD recorder called the Hyperdeck Shuttle. But there were also devices like the Atomos Ninja (and Samurai), the Convergent Design Gemini, the Cinedeck, and more.

    Currently, the cost of an SSD that can record an hour of uncompressed video (around 600GB) is almost $1K, but these costs will continue to drop, and sizes will continue to grow.

    Can you see yourself using one of these devices with your current camera - especially if they give you a format superior to the one your camera currently records?

    How long of a record duration would you need?

    I really think this is going to be huge - but it isn't quite mainstream yet.

  2. #2
    Senior Member SC358's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    Due to Japan's nuclear disaster, we speculated like many others that there will be shortage of video tapes. A big tape order was placed immediately, which is now causing us to take the next move to researching which hd solution to come up for studio and remote shoots.

    Since we provide content to PBS, we will be conservative in using HDcam tapes sparingly due to their tape requirement delivery or until digital files would be required.

    Believe it or not, due to disasters that happen, other changes take place indirectly due to repercussions. Japan has been a power house in the broadcast industry, will other manufacturers from other countries take over? Will Japan slow down to 2nd, 3rd or 4th place? What's going to happen to Extreme High Definition?
    Relationships are based on compromises - behavior accepted is behavior repeated.

  3. #3
    Camera Operator/Producer lake54's Avatar
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    Jun 2009
    Manchester, UK
    The actual technology to get uncompressed video from a camera is pretty simple. I had an email conversation with someone who had managed to squeeze 4:2:2 at 1980 x 1080 out of the Sony HD1000, which 'records' to 4:2:0 at 1440 x 1080 (the HDV codec). He then said that whilst that is good, the machine he uses to record onto (a small PC with an HDMI input) is too bulky for general use. He is going to get an Atomos Ninja.

    One word of warning about SSDs, which I only found out recently, is that their write 'limit' is extremely low compared to traditional spindle drives, so you would certainly go through quite a lot over the years, depending on how much you recorded or edited. And one big 'no' at the moment is to use them for anything but temporary file storage (e.g. video previews or caches), since if the drive fails, it's failed permanently in that sector.

    I can see the market to continue to grow for solid state memory like P2 and SDHC. In fact, my next camera 'must-have' SDHC or similar to be a contender!


  4. #4
    The situation in Japan has definitely been a big influencer on customer purchasing decisions. We've seen that first hand. Since we are an authorized reseller of the Sony HDCAM SR decks, we saw a big halt in sales since every buyer insisted on a large number of tapes with every deck purchase. This was impossible, because within a week of the earthquake, all the available supplies of HDCAM SR tapes were gone.

    We finally saw a shipment of tapes (20) arrive last week - and we know Sony got one of their finishing factories back online so they could finish packaging the tapes for sale. But last I checked, the only actual factory that can manufacture the tapes was still closed (it was under water), so I'm not sure when they will restore production.

    Many of the companies that are dependent on HDCAM SR are now looking at either Panasonic D5 decks and tape, or toying with going tapeless for certain applications. We'll see which direction they ultimately head, or if the supply of tapes will increase and, like gasoline consumption, they will return to their established habits.

  5. #5
    I have looked at the AJA KiPro systems recently. They look nice. I haven't seen the BlackMagic product yet.

    Where I work, we have one of the P2 'editing laptop' recorders but use it rarely, our primary format is DVCProHD (1080i). Our editors send HD files directly to our server for air, so we don't have additional tape steps, except when we need to caption (we run live encoding through an HD caption encoder/decoder/converter). Even if we could move to a (mostly) tapeless workflow for production, we would need to find a non-linear captioning system that actually works both with our editors (FCP) and the rendering method we use with our video server. I know that there are solutions existing but all that I have seen either require a specific format on the video server (which doesn't match what we are using) OR require processing through flipfactory/carboncoder/the like.
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  6. #6
    The captioning element is a great observation of a practical problem preventing video files from staying in file format vs having to be passed back through baseband again for specific needs. I think we will see more complete solutions for captioning files soon. The market is demanding this.


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