Thursday, August 21, 2008
Wireless HD SDI
I'm sure if you receive any magazines or news letters you have already heard about this. The IDX Cam-Wave HD.
There is a good overview of the product on Studiodaily.com
There are many great cameras for many situations. I personally am not brand loyal -- If you were to look at my home entertainment center, there are no two pieces of equipment that are the same brand. I like to buy the best product to suit my needs. With video cameras, typically the brand you choose will dictate the codec you work in. If you mix brands of cameras you will need to mix codecs. If you're lucky you won't also have to mix resolutions!
SDI is a standard, it is uncompressed video. most high-end cameras now have HD SDI, so you can either use a $20 cable to your DVR or a $6000 wireless HD SDI system to get to your DVR.
Here is the beauty of using an SDI workflow- The DVR doesn't have to be an expensive tape deck, it can be an inexpensive computer. On the high end is the Wafian HD-1 and similar models at about $17,000. If that is out of your budget then you can build a very capable PC that has raid for redundancy with a capture card and the wonderful Cineform codec for about $5,000. Imagine a stack of these in a truck with calibrated monitors, and soundproof walls, your location shoot could have studio comfort and quality. If you love FCP and have no desire to work in the PC environment then you can do that same thing on a MAC, it will only cost a little bit more, and you will have many Apple codecs and even Cineform if you like that. I personally would always opt for a multi-platform codec. If time is critical then you must consider the Gallery PictrueReady software. That product deserves a post of it's own. Please spend some time on their site, it will blow your mind! Imagine a live multicam shoot that you begin editing in FCP while then multiple cameras are still recording the LIVE event! That seems like the ultimate ENG solution.
What I have been talking about isn't new for 2008, but the addition of Wireless HD SDI helps us to overcome a major hurdle in this workflow.