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Meeting notes: 07.04.24 - Direct to Disk Video Capture

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Wallenberg Hall - Noon to 1pm - Topic for discussion - Direct to disk video capture

Audio of this discussion can be found online at (PIN auth req.)

Bruce Boyd from the d.chool has joined our group and will be helping out. He will be hosting the next meeting there. The subject will be exploring the availability of, or creating, a single site to share all forms of context - photos, video, text, etc. Currently this only seems to be available on separate sites, such as YouTube, FLickr, SmugMug, etc.
This is of high interest for the d.chool, and having it available for everyone to populate. Bruce is hoping to have food there, too!

Forrest mentioned, too, that while we really appreciate the Wallenberg Learning Theatre, he'd like to do more meetings on location.

Direct to Disk - we had a rapid-fire, wide-ranging discussion, including the latest stuff from NAB (Jack Hubbard) and various solutions currently in use across the departments represented there today.

There's a great online forum that gets into the details of direct to disk capture:

Forrest's work is largely in the Entrepreneurial direction (for instance: They hire Stanford video, working mostly with Mini-DV tape and compressing to MP4 with timecode as a reference for editing the material into shorter clips.

Various portable solutions we mentioned and discussed, including:
- Sony DU-1 hard drive
- Firestore
- QuickStream
- nNovia
- ProCon
- Focus Enhancements
- Data Video

Almost all of these devices are formated as FAT-32, and write 2GB files that are then concatenated into a single DV file.
See: for details.

Now, Panasonic is making the P2 flash media, talking about 32 GB of in-camera recording.

Jack discussed the XDCam
with BlueRay disc - HD-DVD coming in December, up to 64 GB SanDisk, under $8,000. Now mostly 8 GB cards.
$350 for 32 GB cards.

Forrest - still not comfortable unless also shooting to Mini DV tape.
He's using Live Capture Plus with laptop and a Firelite 5400 rpm drive in-between (out from camera into drive then to laptop), capturing time code of the tape. He's using full DV - even though compression is available (not time code burn in). The application is really designed more for logging tapes, with error messages for dropped frames, etc, but works well for live capture as well. Final Cut Pro will do something similar, but is overkill without editing. It writes a new file every 60 seconds, so most lost would be one file. Normally, files are concatenated, but where not, an inexpensive program can do this, although some math needs to be done for the time code splits. He uses Episode Pro to burn in time codes. An hour runs around 12 GB. The 5400 rpm drive is OK.

- Panasonic HPX

- Sony makes a 60 GB hot shoe-mounting drive with the small 550 batteries: HVR-DR60

Jack - tape is still the mature, stable medium, and can digitize with FCP overnight as needed.

Forrest - he'd be surprised if Live Capture could handle HD data rates.

Jack - for archival reasons, made switch to HD. Can down-convert to SD as needed - squeeze, pillar, or letterbox. He prefers letterbox. Looks gorgeous. Uses a Sony HVR-M10U deck with built-in LCD.

Environmental Health & Safety ( also shooting in HD now.

Jack - Z-1 great camera.
RedCam - Jim Jannard Oakley ( Biggest booths and lines at NAB. Peter Jacksons "Crossing the Line" WWWI video shot in New Zealand with Red One prototypes. Also assembled using the new version of FCP. Basic camera with lens around 11 lbs. Adding other lens could add to this. It records to a disc array.

Grass Valley full 444 -

Bob Smith - cameras built into rooms in Wallenberg, with 3 passwords, and video piped downstairs to tape drives or machines. OK video and good audio. QT Broadcaster.

Best compressor? Consider H.264

Bruce Boyd - they had various students returning from various parts of the Globe with hours of tape. How to turn into useful resource(s).

Dealing with high volumes of video - we've all been there.
- Throw away 90%, or cut to only 5 minutes (forces students to find their best shots).
- Jack - screen tape and shot list it - or make decision about what to shoot, grabbing only the most important - medium tight, no zooms, no pans. Holding shots for 10 seconds, then another 5 seconds. Have a plan, shoot the plan. Walk through location a day ahead of time, if possible. Make a shot list.
- Bob Smith - appliance cams circa $40 - pull chip and plug into a machine. Crappy sound, but not bad for the price. Also good for scouting a shoot in advance!
- Wireless lavalier mics - they have stereo'd pairs now.
- Try a video story using still photography.
- Dumping cards during a shoot - helps if you have an assistant to do that, while you're shooting the next card.

Brian from SCPD - Archiving to DVD - last three years on DVD

Sony Brevia is a Samsung mechanism

Some final comments
- the notes are very basic - please feel free to correct or add to them on the Wiki.
- any interest in some still photography meetings? Is there an equivalent on campus? Not really. Bob Smith offered to help, since he is working with the Photography Dept. Bob & Chris to follow up...