Bit Bucket Print

Sony delivers quad-layer professional disc for XDCAM system

Sony Corp. has expanded its SxS-1 memory card assortment with a new generation of media offering 50 percent faster transfer speed and twice the capacity of previous models.

The company has also has expanded its XDCAM Professional Disc product line with the addition of a quad-layer 128 GB disc with more than 2.5 times the capacity of the dual-layer 50 GB disc and 5.5 times the capacity of the single-layer 23 GB disc.

The new generation SBS64G1A and SBS32G1A SxS-1 memory cards can transfer data at up to 1.2 Gbps via the ExpressCard slot, without the need for special adapters. That’s 50 percent faster than the previous generation of SxS-1 memory cards.

This new feature supports the transfer speed requirements of the new PMW-500 camcorder, contributing a significant improvement to the XDCAM workflow with ultra-fast ingest times. Now professional users will be able to transfer 120 minutes of HD422 content directly to a laptop in eight minutes in the case of 64 GB model.

The new quad-layer Professional Disc, model PFD-128QLW, leverages Sony’s blue-laser technologies and newly developed high density recording mechanism. At 128 GB capacity, one quad-layer disc has enough capacity to back up two fully recorded 64 GB SxS-1 memory cards.

Professional users can record up to four hours of HD content on this quad-layer disc when recording in MPEG HD422 mode at 50 Mbps. In DVCAM mode, users can record about 7 hours 50 minutes of content onto the new disc.

The PFD128QLW media is compatible with new XDCAM products planned for availability in summer 2011, including the XDS-PD2000 deck. The quad-layer disc is also designed for optimum performance with future versions of the XDCAM system.

The quad-layer PFD128QLW is a five-inch write-once optical disc with a track pitch of 0.32 μm, encased in a protective cartridge designed to be resistant to dust, shock and X-rays. With the new disc, users can expect long record times for high quality content, more than 1,000,000 read cycles, under specified operating conditions, and an estimated archival life of more than 50 years, according to Sony testing.

The new quad-layer disc will be available in the summer of 2011, coinciding with the launch of the next generation of XDCAM products. Suggested list price is to be determined.

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Zaxcom offers digital recording wireless transmitter

Zaxcom is now offering a new TRX900LTS (LTS) digital recording wireless transmitter, which supports two lavaliere microphones and independent transmission of two isolated audio channels, all on a single RF carrier signal. The unit allows users to, for the first time ever, wirelessly transmit a stereo image from talent via a single body pack. The LTS records timecode-stamped, two-channel, back-up audio directly within the body pack to eliminate the risk of audio loss due to interference or signal dropout. Each LTS unit also features 100-percent digital wireless transmission and an internal SMPTE timecode reader/generator.

The company also markets the TRX900LT digital audio transmitter, which combines wireless transmission, recording, and remote control receiving functions into a single, low-cost system. With 100-percent digital transmission for audio quality that rivals a hard-wired system, all audio transmissions from the TRX900LT are fully encrypted to eliminate the possibility of production audio interception and theft. With a patented internal timecode-referenced audio recorder that backs up all wireless transmissions on a removable microSD card, the TRX900LT eliminates the possibility of audio loss due to interference or signal dropout.

Designed to be extremely lightweight and durable, the TRX900LT is housed in a high-strength, impact-resistant nylon polymer casing that provides protection from both corrosion and water damage.

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Camera-Mounted Solid-State Recorders All The Rage

Looking to help camera operators with tape-based camera record to solid-state media, or provide operators with a second option for recording their footage, several companies now offer small, lightweight options.

AJA Video Systems has introduced its new Ki Pro Mini. Like its predecessor, the portable recorder captures and saves files in the Apple ProRes 422 format directly from camera. This makes the 10-bit 4:2:2 files immediately ready for editing For production, the lightweight flash disk recorder mounts easily to most digital cameras and can fit in small spaces for POV and other types of “B” roll shots.

Ki Pro Mini offers support for SDI & HDMI cameras and key features including 10-bit full-raster recording to Apple ProRes 422 SD and HD formats (including HQ, LT and Proxy); recording of SD/HD files from digital video cameras to Compact Flash (CF) cards; Mac OS X friendly media and native QuickTime files-no log-and-capture required; professional video connectivity through SD/HD SDI and HDMI I/O; 2 channels of balanced XLR audio with switch selectable line/mic levels; 8 channels of embedded digital audio over SDI and HDMI; flexible control options including familiar front panel and web browser interfaces; as well as optional Ki Pro Mini Mounting Plates that attach to hot shoes, battery plates and virtually any other accessory bracket.

The Ki Pro Mini records native Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto CF cards, which are formatted as HFS+ volumes that are instantly connected to a Mac computer via off-the-shelf CF card readers. The unit will ship in October for $1,995.

Convergent Design continues to find success with its field-tested nanoFlash recorder, which is being used in an ever-widening variety of production applications and HD camera models. The unit has even been used for difficult POV (Point of View) Shots, in tandem with small cameras from Toshiba, Iconix and Hitachi, among others.   

The nanoFlash utilizes the Sony XDCAM 422 (MPEG-2) Codec, with bit-rates up to 180 Mbps (Long-GOP) or 280 Mbps (I-Frame).   The video and uncompressed audio (now up to 8 channels) is stored on affordable Compact Flash media in QuickTime, MXF or MPG file formats.   These files can be edited in Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Vegas, or Edius or played directly off the Compact Flash cards.

The low-power (<6W), lightweight (<1 lb), rugged all-aluminum construction makes nanoFlash ideal for intense, high-G applications in the cramped space inside helicopters, acrobatic airplanes, and racecars.   These attributes also make nanoFlash the recorder of choice for many underwater shots as well as 3-D applications (where two recorders can be simultaneously triggered).   Finally, nanoFlash is starting to gain acceptance in the presentation market for both tradeshows and traveling museums, where video quality and portability are paramount concerns.

The company recently launched a 3-D version of the nanoflash and there's a new firmware upgrade for existing models that includes 8-Channel audio, variable frame rate (over/under crank), loop recording and expanded XDCAM Optical support.

Finally a company called Atomos has introduced its Ninja recorder, with a built-in color LCD monitor. The Ninja implements Apple ProRes in hardware to provide real-time, 10-bit recording anytime, anywhere. It interfaces well with HDMI-compatible video and consumer camcorders, as well as DSLRs.
The Ninja uses low cost 2.5 Notebook HDD or SSD hard drives. Spinning HDDs are for everyday use, in normal conditions, while solid-state SSDs can be used in more rugged locations. A 750GB/5400 rpm drive holds eight hours of high quality Apple ProRes footage. These are housed securely inside the Atomos Master Caddy, which locks inside the Ninja. The drives are hot swappable, which means inserting new drives on the fly is a snap.

The unit is powered by an Active/Passive system, which accommodates two batteries that can be hot swapped for continuous recording. When the active battery is depleted, the Ninja automatically switches to the fully charged passive battery. Operators can swap batteries on the fly without affecting operation.

The Ninja's tight Apple ProRes integration means recorded footage is instantly and natively editable in Final Cut Pro. Standard computer connections, such as FireWire 800, USB 2/3 or e-SATA, are provided to give users flexibility when connecting to their MacBook, iMac or MacPro. Simply insert the Master Caddy into the Master Caddy Dock provided and you can begin editing immediately.

The Ninja has just four main functions: Record, Stop, Monitor and Play. The user interface is designed for one-touch operation with every function clearly visible and accessible.

The Ninja is designed to sit silently on or near the camera or camera operator, so it s small, light yet tough. Made from lightweight, high-grade aluminum, the connectors, storage and batteries are all easily accessible. Line level audio provides higher quality audio than most cameras offer, and the 1/4 headphone out allows for audio monitoring level adjustment. A LANC loop is included to allow the Ninja to be operated remotely.

Zaxcom patents wireless recording technology

Audio recording and mixing equipment supplier Zaxcom has received a U.S. patent for the company’s virtual wireless multitrack recording systems. Patent Number 7,711,443 covers the entire Zaxcom TRX family of digital wireless systems with built-in backup recording.

The Zaxcom TRX family of digital recording wireless systems allows users to automatically and simultaneously record multiple tracks of digital audio while wirelessly transmitting the signals. The ability to perform all these functions in a single, compact, reliable system reduces equipment weight and cost while also safeguarding against the risk of lost audio, said Glenn Sanders, president of Zaxcom.

All technologies in Zaxcom’s TRX product line feature 100 percent digital transmission for audio quality that rivals a hard-wired system, and are superior to all analog and hybrid wireless units. With the optional patented internal timecode-referenced audio recorder, each TRX system can be used to back up all wireless transmissions on a removable microSD card. This helps eliminate the possibility of audio loss due to interference or signal dropout. Features include support for reception of IFB audio, timecode, and remote control signals.

A pioneer in audio technologies for sound mixing and ENG professionals, Zaxcom engineered the first digital wireless microphone and the first wireless microphone to feature integrated audio recording, IFB receivers, and time code transmission.

For more information, visit

Panasonic unveils archival Blu-ray disc media

Panasonic has announced a new line of professional Blu-ray Disc media designed for secure digital data archiving in professional applications.

The new recordable Blu-ray Disc (BD-R) will be available in two grades—Archival Grade and Century Archival Grade. The new media will be available in the 2nd and 3rd quarter, respectively, of this year.

The Archival Grade discs have an expected archival life of more than 50 years at a room temperature of 77 degrees F and a relative humidity of 80 percent. TV Rheinland, the quality and safety certification institution has verified the high durability of the discs. All archival discs will be inspected and certified to keep the professional quality, ensuring further enhanced durability.

The Century Archival Grade disc features a new recording layer structure that ensures longer shelf life. The disc’s recording layers are protected on both sides with newly developed layers that are extremely close-grained to keep out external materials such as water and dust. The Century Archival Grade Disc has an estimated life of 100 years.

Both Archival and Century Archival discs feature “Tough Coating,” a double protective layer with hard coat and cover layers for added durability and high elasticity. The new hard coat is designed with a harder material that is more resistant to scratches and fingerprints and offers superior repellency against water and oil. The elastic cover layer material protects against pressure marks.  

Both models will have inkjet printable type and thermal printable type.

Convergent Design unveils nano3D

Building on the highly successful nanoFlash, Convergent Design unveiled today, nano3D, the world’s smallest professional 3D-HD portable recorder/player. nano3D combines two nanoFlash recorders/players, for fully-synchronized stereoscopic recording and playback. Additionally, nano3D can also be used for simultaneous off-line/online (high quality + proxy modes) or redundant (2 identical masters) recording.

The diminutive size: 3"(H) x 4.2” (L) x 3.8"(W), lightweight (2 lbs), and lower power (12 W), makes nano3D an ideal choice for almost every 3D camera rig. nano3D utilizes the very high quality full-raster 4:2:2 Sony MPEG2 CODEC, but extends the bit-rate up to 280 Mbps for superb video quality. Compressed video and audio are stored on affordable Compact Flash media (now up to 64GB) in Quicktime or MXF file format, providing universal NLE support, including Avid, Final Cut Pro, Edius, Vegas and Premiere.

As a recorder, nano3D features dual HD-SDI inputs as well as a LTC input for time-code. nano3D supports a wide range of video formats, including 1080i60/50, 1080p30/25/24, and 720p60/50/30/25/24. I-Frame only recording (up to 280 Mbps) guarantees that both the left and right frames are processed identically, for superior 3D rendering. Finally, up to 8-channels of embedded audio per HD-SDI stream can be recorded in uncompressed 24-bit 48KHz format, enabling full HD 5.1 or 7.1 program creation.

As a playback device, nano3D offers the standard dual-stream synchronized HD-SDI output. However, what really sets nano3D apart, is the built-in combiner function which merges the left and right video into one of the popular 3D formats such as side by side, top and bottom, or line by line. The merged video is output over a single HD-SDI cable for display on professional 3D monitors. Furthermore, the addition of a low-cost HD-SDI to HDMI converter enables the 3D HD-SDI stream to be displayed on consumer 3D TVs. This is important, as a large-screen is considered essential for critical analysis of 3D material.

"The nano3D is a significant advance, since for the first time, a low-cost 3D recorder / 3D playback solution will allow the immediate critical analysis of footage on-set, allowing for an immediate confirmation that the scene was recorded properly. This will enable 3D projects to be shot with confidence", said Dan Keaton, Director of Sales and Marketing for Convergent Design.

"nanoFlash revolutionized the market as an affordable high-quality recorder that could be mounted-on and powered-by, your camera. nanoFlash continues to set the standard in terms of size, weight, power, and quality. We expect nano3D, with synchronized record / playback and built-in stream combiner, will now revolutionize 3D production," noted Mike Schell, President of Convergent Design.

nanoFlash and nano3D can be seen at the Convergent Design booth (C11731) at the NAB show, April 12-15.
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Sony To Show SR Memory Card

Sony will display a prototype memory card for its SR recording system at NAB that stores up to 1 TB on a  single card. The card includes a guaranteed transfer rate of up to 5 Gbps, making it ideally sited to 4K and 3D production. It also features multi-channel HD high frame rate recording, data security (equivalent to RAID 5) and users can cue up a scene in a mere four frames.

The card is designed to go into the company’s new SRW-9000 handled SR camcorder, complete with three 2/3-inch sensors, and PL lens mount.

Sony is also talking about showing a Quad Layer optical disc for its XDCAM HD recording system, capable of storing twice as much information as the latest Blu-Ray disc.

Harris Develops Native XDCAM File Interchange Between Nexio Servers And Avid HD Systems

Due to new development work and a technology sharing partnership between the two companies, Harris Corp.‘s Nexio AMP and Nexio XS video servers now support Avid file interchange of native Sony XDCAM HD (4:2:2) material when using Avid’s Interplay Transfer software.

The Harris Nexio server product line has long supported native Sony
XDCAM file formats—including XDCAM, XDCAM HD422 and XDCAM EX.  The Avid Interplay Transfer support of Sony XDCAM HD422 native files between Nexio and Avid HD News production and editing systems is a new breakthrough that simplifies and improves the HD news production process. 

This tighter integration allows customers editing XDCAM HD content within Avid HD news production and editing systems to seamlessly transfer that content to and from Harris Nexio servers. The media remains native throughout the ingest, editing and playout process, eliminating the multi-generational loss often associated with format transcoding.

The new development benefits broadcasters that are using Harris Nexio servers with Avid production products, such as the NewsCutter and Media Composer editing systems, and Avid Interplay system.  While Avid customers typically use Avid storage systems, such as Avid Unity ISIS for caching their work during editing and production, they often employ the Harris Nexio server to import newly acquired footage into Avid systems or export their finished Avid files to Nexio for playout to air. 

As part of the new workflow compatibility, Harris is offering a free software upgrade that enables existing Nexio AMP platforms and previous-generation Nexio XS model servers to support native XDCAM HD422 file transfers via Avid Interplay Transfer.  The new Harris Nexio Volt server, which offers an economical, slimmed-down version of the AMP feature set, also supports the new native Avid XDCAM HD422 workflow with the addition of inexpensive, external hardware.

Convergent Adds 8-Channel Audio and Variable Frame Rate Capability to nanoFlash Recorder

The nanoFlash Recorder now captures 8-channel audio for true surround sound productions.

Convergent Design, makers of nonoFlash, the world’s smallest, lightest-weight, lowest-power, camera-mounted HD/SD recorder/player, has released new beta firmware that allows users to perform 8-channel audio recording, capture images at variable frame rates (over/under crank), and do loop recording so they never miss a shot. There’s also expanded support for Sony’s XDCAM optical disc recording system.  This new firmware marks the 4th major upgrade to the nanoFlash since its introduction last August 2009.

The nanoFlash utilizes the Sony XDCAM 4:2:2 (MPEG-2) codec, with bit-rates up to
180 Mbps (Long-GOP) or 280 Mbps (I-Frame).  The video and uncompressed audio (now up to 8 channels) is stored on affordable Compact Flash media in QuickTime, MXF or MPG file formats.  These files can be edited in Avid, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Vegas, or Edius or played directly off the Compact Flash cards.

The nanoFlash is used for a variety of applications, but has found success with those shooters looking to upgrade the video quality of solid-state camcorders such as the Sony
EX3, JVC 700, and Sony Z5U.  By increasing the bit-rate (up to 50 Mbps or higher) and employing 4:2:2 full-raster sampling, nanoFlash provides a significant improvement to recorded images.

The nanoFlash is also increasingly being mounted on tape-based cameras, such as the Sony F800, Panasonic VariCam and Canon XL-H1, to allow the user to leverage a file-based, tapeless workflow and improve the quality of the video.  As a testament to the video quality, the nanoFlash is now used on the high-end Grass Valley Viper FilmStream and Sony F35 cameras as their primary (on-line) recorder.

The Convergent Designs solid-state recorder is also being widely used as a POV (Point of View) camera recorder for products from Toshiba, Iconix and Hitachi, among others.  The low-power (<6W), lightweight (<1 lb), rugged all-aluminum construction makes nanoFlash ideal for intense, high-G applications in the cramped space inside helicopters, acrobatic airplanes, and race cars.  These attributes also make nanoFlash ideally suited to underwater shooting as well as 3-D applications (where two recorders can be simultaneously triggered). 

The new firmware brings 8-channel audio support for 5.1 and 7.1 audio programs as well as Holophone recording.  Loop recording provides 24/7 continuous record for applications such as earthquake monitoring and surveillance.  Variable frame rate recording (over/under crank) enables slow and fast motion recording.  Finally, expanded XDCAM optical support adds compatibility for 50Mbps HD 422, 35 Mbps HD 4:2:0, and 30/40/50 Mbps SD IMX formats.

 The new firmware is available to all nanoFlash and Flash XDR users as a free upgrade; downloadable from Convergent Design will demonstrate the nanoFlash at the upcoming NAB show, April 12-15, booth C11731.

Cinedeck Debuts Extreme Camera-Mountable Recorder/Player

The Cinedeck/Extreme unit is portable and can be mounted to a variety of cameras.

At NAB Cinedeck will be exhibiting (in the CineForm booth) its new Cinedeck/Extreme, a portable box that weighs less than four pounds and is the first in a series of camera-mountable devices that double as digital disk recorders and camera-mounted LCD screens.

It records 10-bit 4:2:2 or 12-bit 4:4:4 files in the CineForm intermediate codec, captured via (dual-link) HD-SDI or HDMI input, to off-the-shelf solid-state drives. It supports MPEG-2 compression in an MXF wrapper and, soon, Avid’s DNxHD codec.

While it’s recording, Cinedeck/Extreme doubles as a touch-screen focus monitor, complete with on-screen histogram, aspect ratio guides, and audio recording levels. The screen resolution is half-HD, with a pixel-for-pixel option for detail viewing.

Shots can be played back immediately using on-screen controls, and the output options include the ability to burn in metadata, allowing, for example, the instant creation of dailies with burned-in timecode.

The unit consists of a tiny computer running Windows XP software. It could even be used as an external monitor, mouse and keyboard in the field to drive NLE software for editing in the field or on set. (Optional dual-boot OS and boot disk upgrades are recommended.)

Company reps said the Cinedeck/Extreme was designed with digital cinematography in mind. For example, when you begin recording, the on-board fan slows down to minimize noise during production. (It will come back on once the internal temperature becomes critical.) The fan can even be changed out for a more powerful unit, in case you’re shooting under especially hot conditions.

At the Nab Show, Cinedeck will display a number of different configurations to addres different applications. This includes a unit in a 12-inch form factor for portable 3D viewing and another that supports 2K recording, as well as an HDMI-only version geared toward DSLRs.

For more information, visit

Frontniche modifies Panasonic Blu-ray recorder for broadcasters

The Frontniche recorders reproduce films with colors that are exceptionally faithful to the original.

UK-based Frontniche has modified two versions of a Panasonic Blu-ray disc recorder for broadcast and post production applications.

The model BMR-BS850HSDI and BMR-BS750HDSDI Blu-ray Disc recorders have either 500 GB or 250 GB HDD drives, twin HD satellite tuners, SD memory card slot and USB terminal. They are the first models with an HD-SDI plus embedded audio O/P.

Frontniche said the recorders reproduce films with colors that are exceptionally faithful to the original. The combination of the Blu-ray Disc software encoding technology cultivated by the Panasonic Hollywood Laboratory (PHL) and the decoding technology accumulated by Panasonic has led to the development of the “PHL Reference Chroma Processor Plus,“ a high quality image technology for faithfully reproducing film content.

The recorders operate at 1080P @ 50/60 Hz as well as at 576i, 576p, 720p, and 1080i. There’s a 1080 @ 24p for ideal film reproduction. They feature a genlock option, Dolby 5.1 embedded audio option and hardwire remote control option. They are compatible with Freesat and include a 2 RU mount.

For more information, visit

Sound Devices to intro solid-state digital audio recorder

Sound Devices has developed its new 788T-SSD solid-state digital audio recorder, a new version of its popular 788T recorder.  The new 788T-SSD includes a 256 GB solid-state hard drive, which allows for superior performance in the field.  The new model features enhanced data storage and transfer speed while improving its durability to be nearly impervious to shock.

Sound Devices introduced solid-state recording with CompactFlash cards for the 7-Series recorders in 2004 and the feature is now available in all Sound Devices 7-Series recorders. An internal 256 GB solid-state drive (SSD) in the 788T-SSD gives it the ability to record over 60 hours of uncompressed, 24-bit, eight-track audio to solid-state media, providing users with high quality audio recording, durability and extended record time.

In addition to its shock-resistant design, the SSD drive used in the 788T-SSD enhances data transfer due to its increased transfer speed.  The high-performance SSD media in the 788T-SSD has faster read and write speeds than the 160 GB hard drive in the standard 788T.  Like the standard 788T, the 788T-SSD is equipped with eight full-featured microphone inputs and 12 tracks of recording.  In a stainless steel and aluminum chassis weighing less than four pounds and roughly the size of a hard-covered novel, the 788T accommodates individual controls and connectors for each of its eight inputs, plus numerous additional I/O and data connections.

Based in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, Sound Devices, designs and manufactures portable audio mixers, digital recorders and related audio equipment for feature film, episodic television, documentary, and newsgathering applications.

Frontniche intros professional Blu-ray DVD player

Frontniche has introduced a professionally modified Pioneer Blu-ray DVD player featuring 3G/HDSDI/SDI, embedded audio O/P and multi-region playback capability.

The BDP-V6000HDSDI was designed for the broadcast and post production industries, and also can be used for driving professional projectors in viewing room theatres where only an HD/SDI/P are available. With the hard wire remote control, the product is also ideal for HD and SD ingest.

The player incorporates support for Blu-ray Disc and DVD media in both NTSC and PAL formats. Additionally, the player offers 1080P at 50/60 Hz, a genlock option and RS-232C support for control by remote devices or through the Frontniche Proprietary Control Software.

Users can navigate through a disc’s title, chapter and time code menus quickly and easily. The unit outputs 30 and 25 frames per second, and supports playback of all BD regional titles. One gigabyte of memory allows new video content to be downloaded to the player from BD-Live without having to re-master a BD disc while a USB 2.0 port supports external devices to expand BD Live storage capacity.

DVEO Ships Compact H.264/AVC DDR

DVEO, the broadcast division of San Diego-based Computer Modules, Inc. has announced that availability of the DVEO Millennia HD H.264/AVC digital disk recorder. Applications include TV sports, reality television and portable journalist back packs.

The new DVEO recorder has both removable 120 GB hard drive and compact flash card storage. Its native H.264 codec provides recording of 1080i or 720p content from HD cameras onto the inexpensive media.

Designed as a rugged recorder/encoder for cameras that support the HD-SDI standard, the Millennia HD is a real time, hardware based, 1920 x 1080i H.264/AVC recorder in a 8-inch x 6-inch x 3-inch package that records and encodes simultaneously.

This product, the company said, is designed for anyone seeking a small, portable, and rugged DDR. Additional capabilities include H.264 encoding/decoding to or from DVB-ASI. It also supports LTC time code.

For more information, visit

Data Recovery Services Rescue Panasonic P2 Cards

Too many computer users know the score. Their hard disc drives crashes, but they failed to do a proper backup. The inaccessible data is nearly always valuable, and it will take hours to recreate it.

After trying a few well-known do-it-yourself data recovery programs, the computer owner takes the drive to a repair shop desperate for help.  Usually, the advice is sent it to DriveSavers, the worldwide leader in data recovery services.

Based in Novato, California, DriveSavers handles more dropped, damaged, corrupted and traumatized drives in one day than most data recovery providers do in one month. Their diverse list of customers, who have paid for the pricey data recovery services, include Google, Lucasfilm, the Bank of America, NASA, Harvard University, the Salvation Army and the Rolling Stones.

Now, DriveSavers has announced the capability to successfully recover video data from Panasonic’s P2 flash memory cards. P2 cards, used by videographers around the world, are solid-state memory cards in a PCMCIA (Personal Computer Memory Card International Association) format developed specifically for use in video camcorders.

About the size of a credit card, P2 cards contain four high-speed flash memory cards laid out in a RAID array. These solid-state drives are housed in rugged metal shells for use by production crews to store large amounts of digital video data for high-definition productions.

“P2 cards are considered to be one of the most durable video storage mediums available,” said Michael Hall, chief information security officer at DriveSavers. “But, like all removable media, they are inherently susceptible to physical failure and data will inevitably need to be recovered from these devices. We have successfully researched the cards and have the ability to overcome physical and logical failures of these devices.”

Hall said working on P2 cards to recover video is a more complex process than a standard hard drive, though the price for recovery is about the same. Not only do P2 cards have different interfaces than hard drives, but they also contain a pair of chips acting in a RAID configuration. The causes of failure vary, Hall said, but are usually in the logical or physical category.

With a logical failure, the P2 card is still accessible. But the data set is corrupt or it may appear as if the data was erased. With a physical failure, the card is inaccessible. That’s usually caused by an accident or failed electronic component.

If a videographer loses important footage with a P2 card, DriveSavers said the card should be kept protected to prevent further damage. If it has been damaged by water, the card should be shipped to DriveSavers quickly in a zip lock bag. Once corrosion occurs, it makes the recovery much more difficult to achieve. If the card has been physically destroyed, the user should collect all the pieces and send them immediately to DriveSavers. 

If you’re worried about security, DriveSavers adheres to U.S. Government security protocols to ensure that no data is ever compromised during data recovery. The company maintains the most technologically advanced Certified ISO 5 (Class 100) cleanroom in the industry and is authorized to open drives by all major storage device manufacturers without voiding the warranty.

DriveSaver’s P2 services aren’t cheap, but it’s perhaps much lower than reshooting scenes. Prices for recovering data from an 8GB P2 card begin at $1,000. For a free estimate, call (800) 440-1904.

For more information, visit

New Expanded-Capacity P2 Cards from Panasonic

Panasonic now offers new 16GB and 32GB E Series P2 cards that provide high quality recording for an average of five years with normal operation.

Incorporating a newly-developed memory technology, E Series P2 cards transfer recorded content at a faster rate (up to 1.2Gbps) than professional solid-state memory cards offered by other manufacturers, according to Panasonic.

For example, users can transfer a full 16GB E Series card’s content (any format) in less than two minutes. E Series cards offer the same high-quality recording and capacity as standard Panasonic P2 solid-state memory cards, and feature Panasonic’s signature aluminum die cast casing for exceptional durability compared to plastic-based memory card products.

Unlike other disc-based or solid-state recording systems, P2 cards are a high-speed bit bucket, offering high-quality video recording and optimum flexibility, including reliable performance, instant access to content and compatibility with all P2 camcorders, P2 recorders and workflow tools and all major nonlinear editors and servers. P2 cards store content in the complete range of P2-supported frame rates and formats, from high definition to standard definition and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. P2 cards offer recording of video, audio, and metadata in any environment, even in challenging conditions of extreme temperature.

E Series P2 cards are reusable for up to five years when recorded on once daily, at full capacity (100%); when used at half capacity (50%), the cards can continue to record for up to 10 years. A notification is given (in the camcorder’s LCD/viewfinder or the card reader’s display) as the card approaches the end of its life cycle.

The E Series cards are designed to work with Panasonic’s full line of P2 camcorders, recorders and workflow tools. A free E Series firmware upgrade for P2 equipment is required for optimum performance.* Additional free downloads available via Panasonic’s website include the P2 Driver upgrade (required for operation of cards on Mac or Windows platforms), and the P2 Formatter, a computer software that allows users to display and track the P2 card’s capacity and life.

Panasonic P2 memory cards can be connected instantly to laptop and desktop PCs and are supported by major non-linear editing systems. For connection to laptops with ExpressCard slots or desktop computers, professionals can utilize compatible third-party PC card-to-ExpressCard adapters or the Panasonic’s AJ-PCD35 five-slot P2 solid-state memory card drive.

The new 16GB (model AJ-P2E016X) and 32GB (model AJ-P2E032X) E Series P2 cards cost $420 and $625 respectively.

A 64GB E Series P2 card will be available in August at a suggested list price of $998.

For more information, visit

PanasonicAJA Video Ki Pro Portable Digital Disk Recorder Does It All, In And Out

AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, showed its Ki Pro portable digital disk recorder, which has been endorsed by top camera manufacturers including ARRI, Canon and RED. Virtually any video and audio source can be fed into Ki Pro to record 10-bit ProRes media that is then immediately available to edit within Apple’s Final Cut Studio.

The unit is priced at $3,995 and will ship in June.

Ki Pro records files to the Apple ProRes codec directly from the camera, allowing filmmakers, broadcasters and video professionals to skip the process of re-rendering to an editing codec by giving immediate access to 10-bit full raster edit-ready ProRes files.

The unit provides a new way of connecting production and post with its extensive analog and digital connectivity; Ki Pro allows users to record hours of ProRes media to a removable storage module with built-in FireWire 800, or to 34mm ExpressCard Flash, for immediate editing and file access. The unit can connect to any digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or any analog camera with multiple input options.

Portable Recorder/Players Speed Up Workflow from the Field

It is quite common today to shoot file-based field video onto solid-state, flash-based media. But what happens next to the recorded video can add tremendous speed to the post workflow.

Several manufacturers, including Sony, Panasonic and Ikegami, offer very lightweight field recorder/players that allow an assistant to begin logging video clips seconds after shooting. While production goes on, logging and copying of video can begin right on the set.

PanasonicPanasonic recently introduced the AG-HPG20 portable for P2 users. Featuring AVC-Intra recording, the 2.5-pound device brings easy playback, recording and file copying of 10-bit, 4:2:2 content to field and studio work. Equipped with two P2 card slots and a 3.5-inch LCD monitor, the device lets the user view content immediately in a variety of formats.

The Panasonic portable also serves as a low-cost, master-quality deck. The unit's HD/SD-SDI input terminal gives the flexibility of HD or SD line recording from a wide range of video sources, bridging content to and from older tape-based systems and new HD-SDI infrastructures.

Sony has two portable devices in this category, the PDW-R1 mobile field recorder/player and the PDW-V1 field viewer.

SonyThe DW-R1 is a portable 10.3 pound VTR that can be used as a pool-feed recorder, backup recorder, or standalone deck. This device is capable of playing back and recording both MPEG IMX and DVCAM without the need of any external device. The PDW-V1 is a portable, 7.7 pound VTR capable of playing back both MPEG IMX and DVCAM.

Proxy files, which are small MPEG-4 file duplicates of actual footage, can be viewed up to 30x faster than real time via the simple thumbnail search function on both machines. The R1 model has an RS-422A interface for use in both linear and nonlinear editing systems.

IkegamiIkegami is offering a portable and a player for its GF series flash memory camcorder. They are the new GFS-P10 Station Portable player/recorder and the GFS-V10PL playback deck. The GF system, introduced in 2005 with partner Toshiba, offers HD 1080i/720p format support, an open-codec HD/SD architecture, proxy video, and metadata. Recording and playback is in the MPEG2 HD422 format.

The Station Portable, half-rack wide and 3 RU high, provides a jog/shuttle dial and other VTR-style controls plus cuts-only editing of GFPak video clips. An Ethernet port allows the device to transfer GFPak material via Gigabit Ethernet. A built-in up-/down-/cross-converter is included for playback of HD and SD content, as well as a composite video output for monitoring or playout.

The GFS-V10PL, also half-rack wide and 2 RU high, is a low-cost desktop playback machine for producers or news directors to view raw GFPak footage. It includes Ethernet, 9-pin RS 4:2:2 connectivity, and a DVI-D video output. Prices of the Ikegami devices were not yet available.

Wrangler Allows Efficient P2 Workflow in the Field

A Somerville, Mass.-based manufacturer of PC-based video editing, compositing and storage systems called 1 Beyond Digital Video Systems, has responded to the needs of P2 shooters who desire rapid ingest, scene viewing, and video editing in the field while shooting.

The Wrangler P2 Portable Tapeless Field Ingest/Edit System allows the rapid unload of P2 memory cards, the instant review or adding of metadata to video clips, and high-resolution video preview. As an option, the system allows in-field editing for rough cuts, daily reviews connected to an HD LCD or projector, and instant on-set play for green screen chroma keys.

In news applications, the Wrangler can also be used for remote ENG applications to quickly upload and air video news clips.

There are two Wrangler models. The basic unit has a 17-inch LCD screen, solid-state system/applications disk for high reliability, and two raided video GoHDCart drive cartridges. The unit weights 39 pounds and sells for $6,995.

A Wrangler Pro model has a 20-inch LCD screen, solid-state system/applications disk for high reliability, and six raided video GoHDCart drive cartridges. It weighs 51 pounds and sells for $12,995.

Both units feature parallel multi-P2 unloading with simultaneous writing to multiple devices. No computer knowledge is necessary, since the units operate like appliances. The GoHDCart drives feature 320GB disk cartridges operating at 7200 RPM with cast aluminum housing and rubber shock absorbers. They feature optional 256-bit encryption.

The Wrangler is certified to work on the Avid Media Composer, MoJo DX, Adobe CS3 suite, Matrox Axio, RTX-2, AJA Xena HD, Blackmagic (all), Grass Valley Edius, SP, and Storm. The Pro model can instantly connect to up to five Macintosh or PCs for collaborative instant access. For more information, visit

New Generation of Video Monitors Raises Quality While Bringing Costs Down

Accurate, critical high-resolution video monitors have always been expensive. However, a new generation of professional-quality HDTV monitors is challenging that trend—keeping quality up while lowering costs.focus f5

Panasonic’s Model BT-LH2550, a new 25.5-inch high-resolution LCD HD production monitor priced at $5,995, is a good example. With a full 1920 x 1200-pixel In-Plane Switching (IPS) panel, this new Panasonic features an expanded color gamut, exceeding the NTSC standard, for critical monitoring at a cost far less than premium-priced reference monitors.

Panasonic said the LH2550 offers six color space settings—SMPTE, EBU, ITU-R BT.709, Adobe 2.2, Adobe 1.8 and D-Cinema—to expand the range of colors that can be viewed onscreen for high-end applications. The monitor’s image processing engine has a three-dimensional look-up table (LUT) that calibrates it to reproduce content according to the specific color standard selected.

At $6,245, Sony’s BVMA14F5U 14-inch, 4:3 aspect ratio CRT monitor supports multi-format input, accepting a range of SD and HD signal formats, with the added capability of dual-link HD-SDI input to monitor top-quality images up to 1080/50i and 1080/60i 4:4:4 RGB.

Part of Sony’s newly-upgraded BVM-A series monitors, the BVMA14F5U is configurable with three different option slots in which the user can choose any combination of the three available input option boards. The monitor also incorporates an all-new Ethernet based control system, allowing standard network cables and hubs to be used for easy configuration, high reliability, and good communication speed.

For on-camera mounting, a Houston, Texas-based company called Ikan has introduced the V8000HDe field monitor kit. The new V8000HDe is an eight-inch camera-mounted monitor that works with both SD and HD formats in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios. The kit works with Sony, Canon, Panasonic and JVC camcorders and is priced at $945. For more information, visit Panasonic; Sony; and Ikancorp.

New 64GB P2 Card Boosts Capacity and Transfer Rate

Panasonic is now offering a 64GB P2 solid-state memory card (model AJ-P2C064) that allows professionals to record for hours, offering double the record times of the 32GB P2 card and increased storage capacity for larger high-definition data files. The new P2 card also features an improved transfer rate of up to 800 Mbps for faster transfer and offload of P2 content. focus f5

The reusable 64GB P2 card can hold more than five hours of DVCPRO footage (356 minutes), two hours of DVCPRO50 or AVC-Intra 50 recordings (128 minutes), or an hour of full raster AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD content (64 minutes).

With five 64GB P2 cards installed, a VariCam 3700 or AJ-HPX3000 P2 HD camcorder can record for 10 hours and 40 minutes in AVC-Intra 50, or 5.3 hours in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD (6 hours and 40 minutes in 1080/24pN mode). Up to 13 hours and 20 minutes can be recorded in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD using the 720/24pN mode available in the VariCam 2700 or AJ-HPX2000 P2 HD camcorders.

With P2 solid-state memory cards, users can immediately access recorded content, eliminating the need to digitize or process footage. P2 cards can store the complete range of P2 frame rates and formats, from HD to SD and from DVCPRO to AVC-Intra 100. The P2 card can be connected to a laptop PC with ExpressCard slots by employing a PC card-to-ExpressCard adapter.

The 64GB P2 card (at a suggested list price of $2,600) works with all P2 HD camcorders purchased from May 2007 forward. P2 and P2 HD products purchased prior to that date will need a free, downloadable software upgrade available on the Panasonic website.

For more information, visit

Flash XDR Frees Shooters To Do More

The Flash XDR HD recorder/player from Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Convergent Design is now being used by a variety of applications, highlighting the unit’s versatility’s and file-based workflow advantages.focus f5

Everyone from broadcasters to independent feature productions using HD cameras like the fact that it provides native QuickTime files that don’t have to be transcoded before working in Final Cut Studio. This saves significant time in post.

WJLA, a local TV station in Washington, DC, has tested the unit (and transmitted data directly from it) in the field and, another user, Mark Magin, took one up in his plane during the Oshkosh Air Show (in Oshkosh, Wis.) with POV cameras and, even at 12 Gs of force, it never dropped a frame.

“This workflow will save me a lot of money and the hassle of working with tape,” said Michael Palmer, an independent shooter and one of the first users. “It also allows me to own the camera at a very affordable price, synch time code of multiple cameras, shade the image on set (via a DIT using a video village setup) and it allows me to capture a 1920x1080 signal straight back to a low-compression, low-price recording device.”

Palmer recently shot the second season of “Faithful Friends” on the Animal Planet channel with three Sony XDCAM EX-3 cameras. Through his Heads & Tails Productions, in Bon Fall, Calif., he recorded to a Flash XDR box on each camera and backed it up to SXS cards.

“The [Flash XDR HD recorder] allows you to choose the compression level you want, irregardless of what the manufacturer dictates,” he added. “That’s very empowering.”

Thanks to a licensing agreement with Apple, a new firmware upgrade for the Flash XDR enables QuickTime files to be directly written to the Compact Flash cards. Users will also be able play and edit clips directly from the CF cards via a Firewire-800 reader.

The compact unit (2.7 lbs without battery) offers record and playback at 50 Mbps 4:2:2 in 1080i60/50 as well as 720p60/50. Other features—like 24p removal, 1080p formats, and higher bit-rate acquisition--will be enabled in the coming weeks via additional firmware updates. These upgrades can be accessed via a coded download from the company website. (A special Flash XDR Forum has been set up at:

Including four compact flash slots, the unit features an aluminum enclosure with rubberized protective jacket for greater shock and vibration resistance. Card capacity levels are displayed on the LCD screen and metadata is stored in XML file format. Users can also transfer MXF data files into NLE-compatible formats like AVI.

HD ASI file support (used by news crews to transmit files directly from the box via microwave) will be available soon, according to the company, and will include selectable bit rates from 17.5 to 100 Mbps in 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 formats.

Priced at under $5,000, the company offers specific mounting options for the Canon XL H1 and G1 as well as the Sony XDCAM EX cameras. Other models will follow.

Convergent Design is also planning an uncompressed version of their solid-state recorder, which will necessitate large capacity (and expensive) high-speed CF cards and they’ll have to be stripped together via a RAID-0 configuration to protect the data. The price for firmware upgrade is $995.

For more information, visit

New Hard Disk Recorders Speed Digital Video Workflow

Lightweight and portable hard drives, tied to a camcorder in the field, can offer videographers the ability to record onto both tape and hard drive simultaneously. They greatly speed up workflow by allowing instant editing.

focus f5The FS-5 Portable Recorder by Focus Enhancements is a new class of recorder, weighing only twelve ounces. It brings direct-to-edit recording technology to most camcorders and enables users to add custom metadata while recording.

Featuring a backlit color display with simple menu system, a 100GB hard drive, and a removable, rechargeable battery, the Focus FS-5 passes audio, video, timecode, and control information through a single FireWire cable. It can connect wired or wirelessly via USB 2.0 to an NLE system or PX Media Server. Price is $2,195.

Fast Forward Video’s Elite HD, the first camera-mounted digital video recorder and player to deploy the J2K compression codec for recording HD-SDI video signals, works with any camera with a HD-SDI output at 1080i or 720p. Prices begin at $6,234.
The Elite HD uses J2K, which provides nearly lossless compression within each frame of recorded output. While most outboard drives record using traditional MPEG based compression systems, the Elite HD is able to capture the full potential of the camera by recording the camera’s full, uncompressed signal.

The Elite HD can handle up to eight channels of embedded audio. Video is stored to an off-the-shelf, hot-swappable 2.5-inch SATA drive, which provides up to 10 times more storage at a greatly reduced cost.

Fast Forward Video’s Elite HD, weighing only 1.25 pounds, can be easily detached from the camcorder and connected directly to a nonlinear editing system via USB cable.

Codex Digital has announced a new On Camera recording system set for delivery next spring. It works with HD, 2K and 4K cameras, and can record over two hours of 2K cinema footage, or over four hours of high-end broadcast material.  It features many of the same features as the Codex Portable, a recorder used on many high-end productions.

The new On Camera recorder offloads footage up to ten times faster than real time, in file-formats ready for editing and compositing. It runs off all standard camera batteries (12-28V).
Flexible I/O configurations mean the On-Camera can record from virtually every digital camera available today—including all HD cameras in video mode, plus data-mode from cameras such as the ARRI D-21 and DALSA’s Origin, and others as their data ports become available.
Pricing will be announced at the time of delivery.

For more information, visit,, and

New Panasonic Pro DV Tape Available

No, tape is not dead. Panasonic Broadcast announced two new advancements in its line of professional digital media – the AMQ-Series Advanced Master Quality tape for professional master-quality HDV, DV and DVCAM recording and the new PQUS-Series Professional Quality Pro DV tape for professional Mini DV recording.

Developed for the U.S. market only, the AMQ tape series provides high performance recording using Panasonic’s Super Advanced Metal Evaporation (S-AME) technology. S-AME provides four times the magnetic density of previous tape generations, and +1.2dB higher output than other products on the market, according to Panasonic.

Advancements in Panasonic’s proprietary Dry-Type lubricant and robust Diamond-Like Carbon (DLC) film development help to increase the tape’s durability for high speed shuttling, still-frame, and professional editing.  A surface treatment process extends VTR head life and reduces head clogging and dropouts.
For professional Mini DV users, the new (U.S. market-only) PQUS tape series utilizes an Advanced Metal Evaporation (AME) technology for that provides a high signal output, consistent durability and optimal tape-to-head contact.
The AMQ-Series includes two mini advanced master tapes - AY-HDVM33AMQ (22/33/49 minutes) and AY-HDVM63AMQ (42/63/94 minutes) - and four standard advanced master tapes - AY-HDV96AMQ (64/96/144 minutes), AY-HDV124AMQ (82/124/186 minutes), AY-HDV186AMQ (124/186/279 minutes) and the AY-HDV276AMQ (184/276/414 minutes). The new PQUS mini DV tape series includes the 33-minute AY-DVM33PQUS, the 63-minute AY-DVM63PQUS and the 83-minute AY-DVM83PQUS Mini DV cassettes.

Both AMQ and PQUS tapes are designed with a rugged ABS resin shell construction, which prevents tape warp and cassette housing damage and provides impact-resistant durability. The anti-static cassette lid repels dust and contaminants that can cause dropouts.

AMQ cassettes are packaged in a rugged, side-locking hard case to increase tape protection and prevent against accidental opening.  The case’s non-slip, ribbed finish and special grooves allow for safe stacking and carrying within the production facility.

Each PQUS cassette comes with a durable, two-way opening case made from a soft resin that will not break if dropped. The two-way lid construction enables users to easily extract the tape with one hand, even while recording.

For more information, visit