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Barry_Green
11-05-2008, 09:47 AM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE



PANASONIC ANNOUNCES THE AG-HPG20 P2 HD PORTABLE RECORDER
FEATURING AVC-INTRA SUPPORT


* New P2 HD Portable Brings Full Resolution, 10-Bit
Master-Quality Recording to the Field *


LOS ANGELES, CA (November 5, 2008) – Panasonic introduced the solid-state AG-HPG20 P2 Portable recorder/player with AVC-Intra recording capabilities here at the DV Expo conference. Supporting the 10-bit AVC-Intra codec as well as formats ranging from DVCPRO HD to DV, the P2 Portable will serve as a master quality deck for fast, file-based recording -- bridging content to and from older tape based systems and HD-SDI infrastructures.


With 10-bit AVC-Intra compatibility, the HPG20 P2 Portable brings master-quality recording -- formerly only available in higher cost, full sized decks -- to the field. This extraordinary workflow tool allows users to playback and review P2 cards on its 3.5-inch LCD screen, manage clip files and metadata, record content from a wide range of cameras via its HD-SDI input, and backup data onto hard disk drives. Featuring two P2 card slots, the P2 Portable’s solid-state design holds up to the demands of field operation, yet it is small and light enough (2.5 lbs) for easy transportation.


The HPG20 supports a wide range of high definition and standard definition recording formats. Recording and playback formats include 1080/60i, 1080/50i, 720/60p, 720/50p in the AVC-Intra and DVCPRO HD 4:2:2, independent frame codecs; and 480/60i, 576/50i in DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV. The unit plays back content automatically (no need to change settings) and can operate in 50Hz or 60Hz. For added versatility, the P2 Portable supports up-, down- and cross-conversion for HD or SD transmission. Additionally, it allows “confidence playback” from P2 files stored on a hard disk drive.


A key benefit of the P2 Portable is that it can be paired with a wide range of tape-based and solid-state cameras as well as camcorders from different manufacturers. The unit’s HD/SD-SDI and IEEE 1394 input interfaces open the door for endless applications in HD or SD production. The P2 Portable can be connected to DVCPRO HD, DVCPRO50, DVCPRO and DV tape-based camcorders via IEEE 1394 for solid-state back-up recording in the field. It also accepts and records signals (with metadata) from any camera with an HD-SDI output, making it an essential tool for broadcast field applications such as news crew pool feeds.


The P2 Portable can playback to large HD production monitors or transfer uncompressed content to HD-SDI equipped decks, post production systems and storage networks. When connected to a laptop’s IEEE 1394 output, the portable recorder serves as a transcoder to HD-SDI-equipped monitors, for full real-time playback from the timeline. Using the HPG20’s USB slot (in Host mode), users can easily transfer content to a low-cost USB hard drive for a seamless, IT-based deliverable for clients.


The HPG20 P2 Portable features a host of time-saving P2 clip management functions. In addition to viewing recorded files in clip thumbnail view, users can copy or transfer select clips from one P2 card to another, copy selected clips from a hard disk drive onto a P2 card, shot mark specific clips, edit a clip’s metadata (support for multiple languages included), or save a text memo to individual clips when recording or previewing. P2 cards can also be “hot-swapped” for continuous recording. Additional features include an SD card slot, for loading metadata or saving user files, and helpful recording functions like a waveform/vectorscope display, loop record and auto record commands that accompany the HD-SDI signal. Internal speaker and headphone (M3 mini) jacks are also included.


When using two 64GB P2 cards (available in December) in the P2 Portable’s two card slots, the unit can record for 128 minutes in AVC-Intra 100 or DVCPRO HD, 256 minutes in AVC-Intra 50 or DVCPRO50, or 512 minutes in DVCPRO.


The AG-HPG20 P2 Portable will be available early 2009 and will offer a 5-year limited warranty program.*


About P2 HD


P2 HD products offer the benefits of pristine image quality, ultra reliability, unmatched flexibility and a faster workflow. They deliver solid-state high definition recording without the mechanical wear and environmental limitations of tape, hard disk, and optical disc based systems. P2 HD ensures the highest reliability, especially in challenging conditions of extreme temperature range, shock, and vibration. P2 HD products provide a significant reduction in maintenance costs, longer useful product life, and immediate access to recorded video (no need to digitize, ingest or create proxy video files) and metadata. P2 HD provides the reliability of solid-state production; the immediate connectivity to existing IT infrastructures; the speed, ease of use and portability of P2 cards; and interoperability with leading NLE systems.


About Panasonic Broadcast


Panasonic Broadcast & Television Systems Co. is a leading supplier of broadcast and professional video products and systems. Panasonic Broadcast is a unit company of Panasonic Corporation of North
America. The company is the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation (NYSE Symbol: PC) and the hub of Panasonic’s U.S. branding, marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. For more information on Panasonic Broadcast products, visit www.panasonic.com/broadcast.


*To lower total ownership costs, Panasonic offers a five-year limited warranty (Panasonic Broadcast’s normal 1-year basic warranty plus an extended warranty for years two through five upon product registration).



-30-


EDITORIAL CONTACTS:


Stacy Moore or Pat Lamb
(201) 392-4458 (518) 692-8150
moorest@us.panasonic.com patalamb@aol.com

Joseph Stunzi
11-05-2008, 11:12 AM
Pictures?

mikkowilson
11-05-2008, 12:18 PM
... and price?


- Mikko

Barry_Green
11-05-2008, 01:48 PM
There were no pictures nor price in the press release... I'm sure those are forthcoming. Plus anyone at DV Expo should be able to get more info, as it was apparently released there.

Kholi
11-05-2008, 04:35 PM
Y'know, this could be something nice attached to a RED. Just being able to hand a client a broadcast standard product that originated out of the awesomeness that is RED ONE...

Nice.

Sumfun
11-05-2008, 09:56 PM
Nice. It brings the AVC intra codec to the smaller cameras such as HPX170, or EX1 for that matter. I wish Panasonic had designed in an option to record to CF cards instead of P2, though. If Convergent Designs can record 160mbps to CF, then I'm sure Panny could record 100mbps AVC intra to CF. It might cut down on their P2 sales, but they might sell a lot more cameras and recorders. I for one would much rather have the AVC intra codec over Sony's EX codec, because it's MPEG4 based, 10-bits, and intra frame. But the high cost of P2 cards vs. CF cards makes me give it second thoughts.

Or maybe Panny can make a P2-size adapter that you can plug CF cards in. The ability to use a Kensington expresscard adapter with standard SDHC memory has made the EX1/EX3 more attractive to a lot of people.

Joseph Stunzi
11-05-2008, 11:17 PM
You realize that the EX codec is the same codec used for the Convergent Design Flash XDR right?

I think the P2 Gear 2 is a welcome addition to the Panasonic arsenal. Kholi brings up a great point for Broadcast reasons!

Sumfun
11-06-2008, 04:52 AM
You realize that the EX codec is the same codec used for the Convergent Design Flash XDR right?


Yes. So what I'm saying is that if the HPG20 and the Flash XDR were comparably priced, I'd probably choose the HPG20 for the better quality recording.

shorelinedigital
11-06-2008, 05:06 AM
Pictures?

Looks like the HPG-10 with an extra bnc on the back for the HD/SDI In.

Killer little machine!

Jan_Crittenden
11-06-2008, 07:43 AM
Yes the little guys is pretty featgure packed and on top of the HD-SDI input and the AVC-Itra Recording, it also has the ability to plyback in conficence mode from the HDD.

As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.

Additionally the Convergent Design is using long GOP from an MPEG2 codec, this is a very old codec that doesn't come close to the quality possilbe in an I-Frame codec like AVC-Intra.

It is identical in size to the HPG10, and save for a couple of markings and a extra BNC it could be mistaken.

Barry, If you would like some pictures I can send them on for hosting if you wish. Just let me know.

All the best,

Jan

Pierre N Petit
11-06-2008, 07:47 AM
I found this pic.
http://panasonic.biz/sav/news/081027/081027_02.html

ecking
11-06-2008, 10:37 AM
As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.

Not this again. Sorry Jan I respect what you do and what you guys offer but this is an exaggeration to nth degree. CF cards are not flimsy little things made out of wax paper that just go up in flames or break into dust at an instant. It's been more than proven now that they can and have been battered, abused and used in professional situations. Tell the photographer in the Serengeti or the photojournalist in Iraq that CF cards can't take abuse. Tell those of us who have shot RED CF cards in a RED ONE that CF cards aren't quick enough and don't have this and that to ensure that data gets recorded.

I firmly believe you guys could have just made faster, tougher CF cards charging a bit of a premium if panasonic wanted to, instead of the strange pricing that after all this market penetration still hasn't gotten anywhere near what people (and you yourself have alluded to) think it should be at. People are starting to notice and wake up to the fact that some raided flash chips aren't anything insane and high technology as they use to be, and that's it's largely unnecessary. You guys could have made an extremely competitive product that would have forced more manufacturers to come on board with what your doing and much more quickly at that. Having these things "made by hand in Japan" is overkill (if it's even true), technology has caught up, utilize the advantages (you guys probably already are and just no one knows) and move forward with your customers, not against them, constantly defending why things are the way they are.

As someone who has used a lot of P2 products in a lot of ways I respect what it's about, and as someone who has sold even more P2 product than I have used I can honestly say more of the same isn't working on nearly as many customers anymore, and I'm sure your own internal market data and projections have shown that your competitors are doing much better than anticipated in the same space. This board is proof of that, look around at how long standing members are choosing more than ever to more heavily consider alternative options because these days it seems you guys would rather defend than change.

Now what I'm and others are saying probably doesn't matter too much because with ABC, or NBC and other broadcasters throwing you guys dough I understand that this market segment is a small and probably relatively insignificant piece of the Panasonic broadcast portfolio. However, this doesn't change the fact that the truth is cards cost too much. The HMC150 won't be the DVX of this generation and shouldn't have to be, the HVX and HPX should have been. You guys are unnecessarily handicapping yourselves in the 15k and down space, and other attractive options are starting to pop up and people are listening.

That's enough from me for now, I'm not going to bother getting into how I think all 3 cameras would be better and sharper if the new chips in them were 1280x1080, but that's another day. :)

I think I'm done pouring gasoline on myself. :violent5:

Kholi
11-06-2008, 10:55 AM
Can't say that the point about RED + CF and Photographers + CF is wrong, at all. There are people entrusting thousands of dollars of time and assets to CF Cards at this very moment.

One things for sure, with the way it's moving right now a "real" sub 10k Competitor is going to come along and squash Canon, Pana and Sony in one blow. Whether they want to acknowledge it or not.

mgalvan
11-06-2008, 11:45 AM
Additionally the Convergent Design is using long GOP from an MPEG2 codec, this is a very old codec that doesn't come close to the quality possilbe in an I-Frame codec like AVC-Intra.

But doesn't the Flash XDR also record in the higher end level of the codec, which is 160mb I-Frame? And it'll also provide 10-bit true uncompressed recording as well.

The 100mb from the XDR looks very near visually uncompressed to me.

Does this Panasonic recorder have a AVC-Intra encoder in it? Will it take an HD-SDI signal and encode it to the P2 cards in that codec? That would be interesting.

Sumfun
11-06-2008, 11:47 AM
As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.


I have to second what Ecking said above. Six years ago, CF cards probably were not fast enough to handle 100mbps reliably, but they are now. The recording data rate for the Red camera is over 200mbps, and every Red owner stakes his/her career on CF cards every day. In fact, recording to CF is considered the safest way to record on Red (vs. recording to disk).

With regards to durability, professional still photographers have been staking their careers on CF cards a lot longer than P2 cards have been around. And many of them go through rougher conditions than videographers do.

The HPG20 is obviously targeted to the lower end cameras in the Broadcast division, because the high end cameras already have AVC intra built in. I understand that Panasonic wants to maximize profit, but they also need to realize that the low end is more price sensitive and there are cheaper options available from other vendors. I would even venture to say that if Panasonic had allowed recording to CF they could steal the whole market from Convergent Design - including the Sony EX owners.

Willis Chung
11-06-2008, 12:09 PM
the HPG20 should be able to transcode anything that has a firewire/usb/sdi/hdsdi, i.e. you want your hvx200 transcoded to avc-intra, it'll probably work through firewire. also, if you want to transcode your EX1/3's mpeg2 long-gop 4:2:0 to AVC-Intra 100 4:2:2, it will work.

i guess it's more of a mini p2mobile hpm110, kinda like convergent design w/ its own LCD screen and metadata handling equipped.

LuckyStudio 13
11-06-2008, 12:16 PM
I couldn't agree more with Ecking, Kholi and Sunfum. Too bad Canon is a real conservative conglomerate, otherwise the stage is widely set for them to come up with a real indie film camera (a video camcorder of the 5D). Canon dont have high end camera and lenses to protect unlike Panasonic or Sony.

Joe Lawry
11-06-2008, 12:58 PM
I for one like the fact that i know i can completely trust my p2 cards.. and so do all the broadcasters around the world that use p2.

I know panasonic might be known to make some great small cameras.. but last time i checked the indie drama camera market isnt exactly panasonics main market, even if they do support it.

CF might be good enough for a lot of people.. but in a broadcast ENG/EFP environment who knows.

In my 2 years of shooting p2 i've never had a problem.

But whatever.. each to their own.

Spartacus
11-06-2008, 01:23 PM
The sad part is not P2 being too expensive, the sad part is this constant primitive sales rethoric insulting my common sense.
Guess what Panasonic: I can totally live with you trying to make profit.

ecking
11-06-2008, 03:54 PM
I for one like the fact that i know i can completely trust my p2 cards.. and so do all the broadcasters around the world that use p2.

I have no problem with P2 cards existing, I'm not calling for their replacement with CF cards at all. All I am saying is this whole "P2 cards are expensive because they're hand made from the finest flash chips, they're the only quick cards, nothing else can do what they do, blah blah blah" just isn't true anymore. There are competing products that are built tough and are quick that could easily do what a P2 card does, and they do it for cheaper. Which means at this point Panasonic could do it for less as well.

Joseph Stunzi
11-06-2008, 04:51 PM
Wasn't this thread originally meant to discuss the HPG20. If you want to battle out P2 vs CF and other things, just start a new thread. I'm curious about new news on this device personally.

Jan_Crittenden
11-06-2008, 05:39 PM
Guys,

You misunderstood what I said, and that is that there is more going on in the P2 card than just recording data. I am not trying to insult anyones intellegence, but there really is more going on there than what even the current CF cards do.

The CF card is fine for a certain level of application and then the expection of CYA goes up.

And no, we are not making boatloads of money on the P2 card.

So as I said, unless you have been on the engineering team, you do not know all that is in the P2 card, nor do you know the quality of the memory that is in there, which btw you cannot buy commercially. You do not know about the LSI and all that it does. You can say that you do but unless you work for Panasonic, you don't. So saying that the CF card can do what the P2 card does is incorrect, it cannot.

Sorry,

Jan

mikkowilson
11-06-2008, 07:26 PM
Jan,

You mentioned that the HPG20 can play back from a USB HDD in "confidence mode". What exactly is that mode?

I understand that the unit can record from the inputs to P2 cards. And can move files between P2 cards and USB HDDs. Can it also record directly to USB HDDs?

Also, is the Up/down/cross conversion available live? Or only when recording and/or playing back?

I assume that the unit does not have a Composite input (even for just DVCPRO-25/50 recording)?

- Mikko

Shipsides
11-06-2008, 08:31 PM
The ability to play P2 content directly off a hard drive is a long time coming. If confidence mode allows for playback of backed up content on a USB HDD then this device is even more impressive.

Jan,

My question is will the HPG20 backup data like it has in the past? Making a drive letter for each card copied? As you know there is a limit to the number of drive letters so this backup process has not been preferred. But with confidence mode I would recommended using this option if you wanted to make tape dubs or down converted output of P2 material. Overcoming the drive letter limitation would make this device even better. Also any idea if the P2 Mobile ever get a "confidence mode"? Post houses would love the idea of using the Mobile to play p2 content directly off a hard drive and into their decks.

Barry_Green
11-06-2008, 08:48 PM
It is my understanding that yes, that's what it means. You can play clips straight off a hard drive. I think they call it "confidence" because they can't guarantee that it'll play back flawlessly (as that's up to the hard disk, of course). So you're spot-checking the footage for confidence that it got there.

I expect the same type of drive-letter process, but remember on the HPG10 they added USB host mode which boosted the number of potential partitions from 15 up to 23. USB mode is just better in all ways; it provides for more partitions and it also allows you to assign names to the volumes. And it has bus power. Panasonic has a downloadable program that lets you map an offloaded drive into a folder, rather than having it take up drive letters (like how the P2 Store Manager lets you map all the contents of the P2 Store into an NTFS folder, instead of each partition needing a drive letter).

Jan_Crittenden
11-07-2008, 04:20 AM
Jan,
You mentioned that the HPG20 can play back from a USB HDD in "confidence mode". What exactly is that mode?

Confidence PB is that you can review the PB but isn't full 60oi/60P mode, plays some of the frames just not all. So the PB is not fully smooth but you can check the content. 24P looks more like full playback.



I understand that the unit can record from the inputs to P2 cards. And can move files between P2 cards and USB HDDs. Can it also record directly to USB HDDs?

No, the video must record to the P2 Cards, first.



Also, is the Up/down/cross conversion available live? Or only when recording and/or playing back?.

All the up/down/cross, must be from PB.



I assume that the unit does not have a Composite input (even for just DVCPRO-25/50 recording)?


That is true.

Thanks,

Jan

mikkowilson
11-07-2008, 10:29 AM
I understand that the unit can record from the inputs to P2 cards. And can move files between P2 cards and USB HDDs. Can it also record directly to USB HDDs?

No, the video must record to the P2 Cards, first.


As a follow-up to this...

Can the HPG20 copy from one card to a USB HDD while recording to another card?

This in the hopes that you could use the cards as a "buffer" and then dump on the fly. - The same of course could be achieved using two units (one as a "recorder") and the other as a "dumper" and swapping the cards between them.

Of course the ability to keep up would depend on the speed of the hard drive and the bitrate over time of the video being recorded. Not sure if this could be guaranteed/possible.


- Mikko

dbwolfe
11-07-2008, 05:02 PM
will this unit have component out? I like the idea of using the unit for playback to a projector and most projectors have component but not SDI

Terry Nixon
11-12-2008, 12:03 PM
Jan,
do you have anything that compares the AG-HPG20 to the AG-HPG10 features and price?
Terry


Yes the little guys is pretty featgure packed and on top of the HD-SDI input and the AVC-Itra Recording, it also has the ability to plyback in conficence mode from the HDD.

As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.

Additionally the Convergent Design is using long GOP from an MPEG2 codec, this is a very old codec that doesn't come close to the quality possilbe in an I-Frame codec like AVC-Intra.

It is identical in size to the HPG10, and save for a couple of markings and a extra BNC it could be mistaken.

Barry, If you would like some pictures I can send them on for hosting if you wish. Just let me know.

All the best,

Jan

Mike Schell
11-16-2008, 11:46 AM
Yes the little guys is pretty featgure packed and on top of the HD-SDI input and the AVC-Itra Recording, it also has the ability to plyback in conficence mode from the HDD.

As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.

Additionally the Convergent Design is using long GOP from an MPEG2 codec, this is a very old codec that doesn't come close to the quality possilbe in an I-Frame codec like AVC-Intra.

It is identical in size to the HPG10, and save for a couple of markings and a extra BNC it could be mistaken.

Barry, If you would like some pictures I can send them on for hosting if you wish. Just let me know.

All the best,

Jan

Hi Jan-
This is Mike Schell, from Convergent Design. I have a few comments on your recent post.

First-off, I am not an employee of Panasonic, but I am an Electrical Engineer with over 25 years of digital design experience, so I do know a little about Flash memory, especially since I was formally a EEPROM and Flash memory chip designer. I can tell you we're not talking rocket science here, as P2, SDHC and CF cards are all based on multiple NAND FLASH chips and a (relatively) simple controller chip.

Regarding the use of CF cards vs P2, I seriously doubt there is a significant difference in reliability and performance. CF cards do have built-in CRC error checking, so every write and read transaction is checked. I don't doubt that the SLC (single level cell) NAND Flash chips are slightly more reliable than the MLC (Muli-level cell), but either of these technologies are available in CF cards today. Our own internal testing has shown that both MLC and SLC CF cards are extremely reliable. To date, I am unaware of any recording problems whatsoever related to CF cards. I bet the Red camera folks, as well as 1000's of professional DSLR users will also second this observation.

Regarding performance, today's CF cards are screamers. The lowly 133X 32GB MLC Transcend card (US $82) has a write speed of over 160 Mbps and a read speed of over 320 Mbps. The 300X 16GB SLC Transcend card (US $150) is rated at 360 Mbps write and read speeds. These speeds are more than sufficient for compressed HD video from either of our CODECs.

Yes, 5 or 6 years ago, this was an entirely different story, as CF cards were expensive and slow. But the technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Today's CF cards are very fast, very affordable and very reliable.

Regarding the Long-GOP MPEG2 CODEC used in the Flash XDR / nanoFlash. Yes, the MPEG2 algorithm is over 15 years old. But the silicon implementation has also advanced considerable in the last 15 years! We're now using a 7th generation CODEC, which produces amazing results at 100 Mbps (check out some of the image comparisons in the EX1 area of this forum).

If you try to run Long-GOP at HDV rates, such as 25 Mbps, then yes the video quality does suffer. But we're taking about 100 Mbps 4:2:2 Full-raster (1920x1080) quality, that plays back in Final Cut Pro (today) without transcode or re-wrap...straight off the CF card!

Yes, AVC-I does offer 10-bit, while we are limited to 8-bit, but I bet the differences are very minimal once the video has been compressed. Any compression will tend to reduce the overall resolution of the data. But, MPEG2 Long-GOP does have the distinct advantage of both temporal (I-Frame) and spatial (P,B Frames) compression, which improves the overall efficiency some 2X to 3X over an I-Frame only CODEC.

The AVC-I CODEC should provide superior results over MPEG2 CODEC running in I-Frame only mode. Many people have touted a 2X improvement, but this depends on the bit-rate. All the studies I have read (I also have an extensive background in CODEC technology) has shown that this 2X advantage disappears as the bit rate increases. At 20Mbps, the 2X improvement certainly applies, at 100Mbps, the improvement drops to 30% or less.

Naturally we are comparing AVC-I to MPEG-I, not MPEG2 Long-LOP, which enjoys at least a 2X advantage in compression efficiency over an I-Frame only CODEC.

My point here is that technology moves at a very rapid rate. Five or six years is a lifetime in the electronics industry. So, let's not assume that products or technologies initially developed years ago have not made significant advances in speed, reliability and cost.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design

Jan_Crittenden
11-17-2008, 02:02 PM
Hi Jan-
This is Mike Schell, from Convergent Design. I have a few comments on your recent post.

Hi Mike, Thanks for posting, it gives me an opportunity to give a little more analysis to the situation.


First-off, I am not an employee of Panasonic, but I am an Electrical Engineer with over 25 years of digital design experience, so I do know a little about Flash memory, especially since I was formally a EEPROM and Flash memory chip designer. I can tell you we're not talking rocket science here, as P2, SDHC and CF cards are all based on multiple NAND FLASH chips and a (relatively) simple controller chip.

It isn’t just the memory Mike, it is what else that is in there that matters. Flash memory by itself may have ECC, and yes I have a number of DSLRs that have worked with CF and I have no complaints. What the CF doesn’t have is the parity check and the ability to shift its writing speed to whatever we may choose down the pike and will be able to work with anything that we have produced in the past. So 4 years ago that 4 GB card could work with any thing we may come up with even if it were a 4:4:4 AVC-Intra codec that needed 400 mbs to write it. Of course there wouldn’t be a lot of time but there would be compatibility. Additionally the memory is held within a diecast chassis which of course also gives it the ruggedness factor that it can handle just about anything that gets thrown its way. (For those that have seen my demo, you can smile)


Regarding the use of CF cards vs P2, I seriously doubt there is a significant difference in reliability and performance. CF cards do have built-in CRC error checking, so every write and read transaction is checked. I don't doubt that the SLC (single level cell) NAND Flash chips are slightly more reliable than the MLC (Muli-level cell), but either of these technologies are available in CF cards today. Our own internal testing has shown that both MLC and SLC CF cards are extremely reliable. To date, I am unaware of any recording problems whatsoever related to CF cards. I bet the Red camera folks, as well as 1000's of professional DSLR users will also second this observation.

Well I have yet to see a CF card built into a diecast nor have I seen a CF card that has the ability to write at 800mbs like our newest 64GB cards do. People on the P2 bandwagon are paying for reliability, compatibility and a system that does not have a dead end.


Regarding performance, today's CF cards are screamers. The lowly 133X 32GB MLC Transcend card (US $82) has a write speed of over 160 Mbps and a read speed of over 320 Mbps. The 300X 16GB SLC Transcend card (US $150) is rated at 360 Mbps write and read speeds. These speeds are more than sufficient for compressed HD video from either of our CODECs.

But Mike it doesn’t do the rest of the secret sauce. How is it parsing out the video? What MXF structure is it written in? Is the audio separate for the video? How rich is the metadata, this is even more important in a data domain? Can I edit directly on the card? Write back to the card from the timeline in a universally coded file structure that can be read by any other P2 device or NLE? There are a number of housekeeping issues that are handled by the card with the LSI that is built in the card. It is more than memory.


Yes, 5 or 6 years ago, this was an entirely different story, as CF cards were expensive and slow. But the technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Today's CF cards are very fast, very affordable and very reliable.

I couldn’t agree more but as I said in the beginning of this, the CF card does not do everything that the P2 card does. And because of that Panasonic would not use a CF card. Doesn't have the right stuff.



Regarding the Long-GOP MPEG2 CODEC used in the Flash XDR / nanoFlash. Yes, the MPEG2 algorithm is over 15 years old. But the silicon implementation has also advanced considerable in the last 15 years! We're now using a 7th generation CODEC, which produces amazing results at 100 Mbps (check out some of the image comparisons in the EX1 area of this forum).

I did see those and it is an improvement over the EX1 codec, but frankly you are still betting the bank on MPEG2 and here is where you and I will just have to agree to disagree. The future is not wrapped around MPEG2, it is moving toward H.264.


Yes, AVC-I does offer 10-bit, while we are limited to 8-bit, but I bet the differences are very minimal once the video has been compressed. Any compression will tend to reduce the overall resolution of the data. But, MPEG2 Long-GOP does have the distinct advantage of both temporal (I-Frame) and spatial (P,B Frames) compression, which improves the overall efficiency some 2X to 3X over an I-Frame only CODEC.

I would take that bet actually. And I am not a betting person unless I know the answer. Keep in mind that the efficiency of the codec is not the priority of the Production person that has to get his images through the rest of the production stream. If you have not compared 10 bit AVC-Intra to an 8 bit MPEG2 codec at similar bit rates then you are just making an assumption that is easily proven wrong. The difference between AVC-Intra and any 8 bit codec is frankly night and day when it comes to render tonality, noise and speed of handling each frame on the Desktop.



The AVC-I CODEC should provide superior results over MPEG2 CODEC running in I-Frame only mode. Many people have touted a 2X improvement, but this depends on the bit-rate. All the studies I have read (I also have an extensive background in CODEC technology) has shown that this 2X advantage disappears as the bit rate increases. At 20Mbps, the 2X improvement certainly applies, at 100Mbps, the improvement drops to 30% or less.

Please site your source and not that AVC-Intra (as implemented by Panasonic) is specifically optimized for high data rates. Tests done with reference codecs will not give an accurate assessment. Here are a couple of sources that discuss the beaty of the codec, one is the HPA Award for AVC-Intra and the other is on Compression Technologies.
http://broadcastengineering.com/products/panasonic-avc-intra-codec-post-alliance-engineering-award-1116/index.html

http://broadcastengineering.com/infrastructure/compression-technology-0601/index1.html



My point here is that technology moves at a very rapid rate. Five or six years is a lifetime in the electronics industry. So, let's not assume that products or technologies initially developed years ago have not made significant advances in speed, reliability and cost.

And my point remains that the CF card does not do what the P2 card does. It does some of it just not all of it. Speed isn’t the only argument here. Our customers are looking for reassurances, reliability, future-based decision-making in product design, and believes in a true file-based workflow. Keeping data on cheap cards sort of feels like a tape based workflow, the data is not as accessible and it means that you have to keep a device that will read those cards in perpetuity. If that is what you are looking for; inexpensive media, long GOP recording, efficient codecs, I suggest you look at AVCHD.

All the best,

Jan

Jan_Crittenden
11-17-2008, 02:11 PM
Jan,
do you have anything that compares the AG-HPG20 to the AG-HPG10 features and price?
Terry


Hi Terry,

Pricing has not yet been released but it will be over the $5000 price point. The strongest features in contrast to the HPG10 is that the HPG20 has an HDSDI input, AVC-Intra capability, and the ability to upload Metadata, just like you would on a camcorder with data that you have composed in P2-Log or P2CMS.
It will only stream the 1394 connection, no hosting to 1394 drives, only hosting to USB, 23 partitions, and like the HPG10 in USB mode, it can verifiy data transfer.

You will see a marketing bulltin in late December on this little guy. It is indeed a pretty nice product.

Best,

jan

Willis Chung
11-17-2008, 02:14 PM
Is there any way for P2Gear or P2Mobile to record the HPX3700's 4:4:4 color spacing via their avc-intra 100's codec?

Jan_Crittenden
11-17-2008, 02:25 PM
Hi,

No, you have to go to a 4:4:4 recorder.

Best,

Jan

Sumfun
11-18-2008, 12:06 AM
I would take that bet actually. And I am not a betting person unless I know the answer. Keep in mind that the efficiency of the codec is not the priority of the Production person that has to get his images through the rest of the production stream. If you have not compared 10 bit AVC-Intra to an 8 bit MPEG2 codec at similar bit rates then you are just making an assumption that is easily proven wrong. The difference between AVC-Intra and any 8 bit codec is frankly night and day when it comes to render tonality, noise and speed of handling each frame on the Desktop.


Ooh, I love a good fight. :)

Actually it would be great if you guys can give each other one of your recorders, then do a comparison test. We'll probably get different results, but I think we'll also be able to see the best of each recorder. Any takers?

dbwolfe
11-18-2008, 12:07 PM
so no 1080psf recording and no component out? not complaining, just curious.

Mike Schell
11-18-2008, 03:18 PM
Hi Mike, Thanks for posting, it gives me an opportunity to give a little more analysis to the situation.

It isn’t just the memory Mike, it is what else that is in there that matters. Flash memory by itself may have ECC, and yes I have a number of DSLRs that have worked with CF and I have no complaints. What the CF doesn’t have is the parity check and the ability to shift its writing speed to whatever we may choose down the pike and will be able to work with anything that we have produced in the past. So 4 years ago that 4 GB card could work with any thing we may come up with even if it were a 4:4:4 AVC-Intra codec that needed 400 mbs to write it. Of course there wouldn’t be a lot of time but there would be compatibility. Additionally the memory is held within a diecast chassis which of course also gives it the ruggedness factor that it can handle just about anything that gets thrown its way. (For those that have seen my demo, you can smile)

Well I have yet to see a CF card built into a diecast nor have I seen a CF card that has the ability to write at 800mbs like our newest 64GB cards do. People on the P2 bandwagon are paying for reliability, compatibility and a system that does not have a dead end.

But Mike it doesn’t do the rest of the secret sauce. How is it parsing out the video? What MXF structure is it written in? Is the audio separate for the video? How rich is the metadata, this is even more important in a data domain? Can I edit directly on the card? Write back to the card from the timeline in a universally coded file structure that can be read by any other P2 device or NLE? There are a number of housekeeping issues that are handled by the card with the LSI that is built in the card. It is more than memory.

I couldn’t agree more but as I said in the beginning of this, the CF card does not do everything that the P2 card does. And because of that Panasonic would not use a CF card. Doesn't have the right stuff. Jan

Hi Jan-
It's true that CF cards do not have parity checking, but neither does the incoming HD-SDI video, which is even more error prone. HD-SDI relies on the same CRC check employed in both CF and P2 cards. Also, while CF cards do not have a die-cast chassis, neither does the tape cartridges we have depended on for 30+ years. I am sure this helps, but CF cards have a very reliable track record across an installed base which is certainly over 1000X larger than P2 cards.

CF cards now have plenty of read/write performance for professional HD video. You can now readily purchase CF cards with 360Mbps read/write performance. We're no where close to this performance requirement with either of our CODECs.

Compact Flash is no where near a dead end as we have seen new 64 and 100GB cards introduced from several manufacturers this year. The current CF spec supports a data-rate up to 1000Mbps, so we have plenty of growth potential. CF has a very large following with DSLR cameras and of course there are 1000's of Red users that rely on CF media every day.

Also, we implemented the "secret sauce" capabilities inside our box. We have a powerful FPGA to manage the CF media and to keep track of the video, audio, metadata and file structure data. Yes, you do need a hardware based controller to manage these functions, but why not implement these functions (once) in the recorder (or camera) instead of adding cost to the media?

Yes we can play/edit directly off the CF media without transcode or re-wrap, using a $60 Firewire-800 CF reader. Last time I checked you could edit AVC-I directly off the P2 card in Edius, but you are forced to trancode to ProRes when using FCP. That's because the processor load for AVC-I decode is substantially greater that MPEG2, which plays back fine on 3-4 year old MACs.

I know you can play / edit DVCProHD files directly off the P2 card, but this CODEC is not competitive (in quality) to our 100Mbps MPEG2 4:2:2 full-raster CODEC.


I did see those and it is an improvement over the EX1 codec, but frankly you are still betting the bank on MPEG2 and here is where you and I will just have to agree to disagree. The future is not wrapped around MPEG2, it is moving toward H.264.

I would take that bet actually. And I am not a betting person unless I know the answer. Keep in mind that the efficiency of the codec is not the priority of the Production person that has to get his images through the rest of the production stream. If you have not compared 10 bit AVC-Intra to an 8 bit MPEG2 codec at similar bit rates then you are just making an assumption that is easily proven wrong. The difference between AVC-Intra and any 8 bit codec is frankly night and day when it comes to render tonality, noise and speed of handling each frame on the Desktop.

Please site your source and not that AVC-Intra (as implemented by Panasonic) is specifically optimized for high data rates. Tests done with reference codecs will not give an accurate assessment. Here are a couple of sources that discuss the beaty of the codec, one is the HPA Award for AVC-Intra and the other is on Compression Technologies.
http://broadcastengineering.com/products/panasonic-avc-intra-codec-post-alliance-engineering-award-1116/index.html

http://broadcastengineering.com/infrastructure/compression-technology-0601/index1.html

And my point remains that the CF card does not do what the P2 card does. It does some of it just not all of it. Speed isn’t the only argument here. Our customers are looking for reassurances, reliability, future-based decision-making in product design, and believes in a true file-based workflow. Keeping data on cheap cards sort of feels like a tape based workflow, the data is not as accessible and it means that you have to keep a device that will read those cards in perpetuity. If that is what you are looking for; inexpensive media, long GOP recording, efficient codecs, I suggest you look at AVCHD.

All the best,

Jan

Let's just do some side by side comparisons. We can test AVC-I against our Long-GOP and I-Frame only CODEC and overlay the images in Photoshop. I am very curious to compare 10-bit and 8-bit compressed images, particulaly in shallow gradient scenes. I would like to see the differences in an I-Frame only CODEC and a Long-GOP CODEC running at the same bit-rate.

And we can also compare and contrast the workflows.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design

Jan_Crittenden
11-19-2008, 01:24 PM
Hi Jan-
It's true that CF cards do not have parity checking, but neither does the incoming HD-SDI video,

Hi Mike,

But the HDSDI is not where the parity checking needs to happen it needs to happen on the P2 card.



CF cards now have plenty of read/write performance for professional HD video. You can now readily purchase CF cards with 360Mbps read/write performance. We're no where close to this performance requirement with either of our CODECs.

But we have very large corporations/broadcasters that make decisions based on the product, the product line-up, its future support and reliabilty form factor. It isn't just about the memory writing speed factor, it is virtually everything else. I will say that when we started this back in 2004 we did have to work to get the writing speed to where we needed it, and then added overhead for future based concepts. So we built a system that includes cameras, workflow tools and have worked with a group of companies that have made P2 one of the best supported in the industry.


Also, we implemented the "secret sauce" capabilities inside our box. We have a powerful FPGA to manage the CF media and to keep track of the video, audio, metadata and file structure data. Yes, you do need a hardware based controller to manage these functions, but why not implement these functions (once) in the recorder (or camera) instead of adding cost to the media?

Because the card can do it where it counts. That way no one is sitting there with a card that doesn't work because it is in the card. Sort of like my experience this last weekend with my new D700. Wasn't paying close attention to which Flash Cards worked and which didn't. Used an older one and it didn't work. If it is P2 it works.



Yes we can play/edit directly off the CF media without transcode or re-wrap, using a $60 Firewire-800 CF reader. Last time I checked you could edit AVC-I directly off the P2 card in Edius, but you are forced to trancode to ProRes when using FCP. That's because the processor load for AVC-I decode is substantially greater that MPEG2, which plays back fine on 3-4 year old MACs.

Having something work on 3-4 year old computers should not be the defining line of leading technology and codecs. The AVC-Intra codec and its full implementation is just beginning. An MPEG-2 codec should be easy as that is an older codec. Keep in mind I have watched a good number of codecs implemented and deployed in my years at Panasonic, most of them by the competition, it is a matter of time and popularity to enjoy full support. Frankly I see D5HD quality out of AVC-Intra. I see a 10 bit format and its subtleties, frankly, there is more stuff there than what an 8 bit codec can do.



I know you can play / edit DVCProHD files directly off the P2 card, but this CODEC is not competitive (in quality) to our 100Mbps MPEG2 4:2:2 full-raster CODEC.

And here I would have to look at this, as it is not always about just resolution but many other factors as well.


Let's just do some side by side comparisons. We can test AVC-I against our Long-GOP and I-Frame only CODEC and overlay the images in Photoshop. I am very curious to compare 10-bit and 8-bit compressed images, particulaly in shallow gradient scenes. I would like to see the differences in an I-Frame only CODEC and a Long-GOP CODEC running at the same bit-rate.

Well the way we would need to do this is to feed both devices a signal from the HPX3000, which frankly is the most gorgeous picture I have seen from a camera in years and then butterfly the images, an overlay in photoshop does one frame at a time and frankly we are evaluating video. I can say that when you look at gradients in a singular color, the results are amazing and we should take it multigenerational on the time line working through color correction and some transitions. Then let’s look at the skin tones. And while we are at it we should make sure that we have some water falls and maybe a 10 bit gradient chart for starters.



And we can also compare and contrast the workflows.

And yes the total workflow, on all platforms. The tough thing about platforms is that they change all the time so what is true on that day will be different three weeks later. Since there is only one HPG20 at this point and it is an Engineering sample I don't see that a test is really appropriate at this time but late February, maybe or after NAB for sure. In NJ.

Best regards,

Jan

Mike Schell
11-20-2008, 01:55 PM
Hi Jan-
OK, let's just agree to disagree on the issue of P2 vs CF. Obviously there are some advantages that P2 enjoys over CF, such as parity and a die-cast chassis. Beyond that, I can't identify a clear advantage, especially given our hardware based CF memory manager in our Flash XDR /nanoFlash.

I find any discussion about reliability differences to be very minor. The Panasonic AVCCAM web page touts "Ultra Reliability" for a camera that uses SDHC memory. SDHC and CF are basically the same memory card (they use the same NAND Flash chips, only a different controller and form factor). So, I would have to believe that this "Ultra Reliability" descriptor would also apply to Compact Flash?

So, I would agree that P2 has a slight advantage over CF, but at 20X the price, customers should expect some additional benefits.

I'm ready to test the AVC-I va our MPEG-2 Long-GOP. Could we also test with some moderately priced cameras (like the Sony EX3)? I don't think the majority of people on this forum are using a $48K camera for their work.

Let's compare still images, moving video and of course workflow. To be complete, let's also include equipment costs and ease of use considerations.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design

Jan_Crittenden
11-20-2008, 05:52 PM
Hi Jan-
OK, let's just agree to disagree on the issue of P2 vs CF. Obviously there are some advantages that P2 enjoys over CF, such as parity and a die-cast chassis. Beyond that, I can't identify a clear advantage, especially given our hardware based CF memory manager in our Flash XDR /nanoFlash.

I think that is a safe bet, as we will not agree. As I see it there is a very clear advantage to the P2 card.


I find any discussion about reliability differences to be very minor. The Panasonic AVCCAM web page touts "Ultra Reliability" for a camera that uses SDHC memory. SDHC and CF are basically the same memory card (they use the same NAND Flash chips, only a different controller and form factor). So, I would have to believe that this "Ultra Reliability" descriptor would also apply to Compact Flash?


Actually I don't know about that statement being universally applicable, I have seen the tests that they perform on the Panasonic cards, with twisting and flexing. And I think the statement is about the Panasonic cards. As an example I read a post earlier today here where another brand's card went bad. Card memory is not infallible.



I'm ready to test the AVC-I va our MPEG-2 Long-GOP. Could we also test with some moderately priced cameras (like the Sony EX3)? I don't think the majority of people on this forum are using a $48K camera for their work.

We are going to be testing the codecs. I don't really care about whether Sony's camera works well or not. I do know that the 3000 puts out a picture that will show the differences between the two codecs and the noise, and imperfections of the camera's output won't get in the way of the codecs' performance.


Let's compare still images, moving video and of course workflow. To be complete, let's also include equipment costs and ease of use considerations.

I think the ease of use needs to be a sliding scale as it will all change at NAB as it usually does. So perhaps we should wait until after NAB. Most video is not a still image, there is generally something moving. But I will conceed to a couple of charts including the standard resolution charts and the 10 Bit gradient charts.

As far as costs are concerned, hey I think that seems pretty obvious, your device is cheaper and has CF cards. But it would really be hard to make a final tabulation until we expended the life of the cards, and on the P2 it will take 100,000 rewrites. And since the P2 Portable actually does more than the Convergent design product, like play video to its own monitor, upload metadata, add metadata, allow the user to judge video and audio quality, add markers and host its own transfer with verification to a Host Drive, is this really really possible? I mean really, you want to compare the product pricing on these items with the starting assumption that they are equal in performance and capabilities? Please let's not get silly here.

Best,

Jan

Sumfun
11-24-2008, 11:48 PM
We are going to be testing the codecs. I don't really care about whether Sony's camera works well or not. I do know that the 3000 puts out a picture that will show the differences between the two codecs and the noise, and imperfections of the camera's output won't get in the way of the codecs' performance.



Jan,

I agree that the HPX3000 outputs a great picture, and would be a great subject for testing the codecs. But since the HPX3000 can already record to AVC-I, chances are those owners will not be buying a data recorder. I believe that both the HPG20 and Flash XDR are targeted to smaller cameras costing less than $10,000. So why not test one of these cameras, too?

Out of all the smaller cameras, I believe that Sony's EX1 and EX3 are the only ones that output a true 10-bit HD-SDI signal. Since you want to show that a 10-bit codec (AVC-I) is better than an 8-bit codec (Sony EX), these cameras are really the only logical choices.

Jan_Crittenden
11-25-2008, 04:25 AM
Hi,

The point of the shoot out is to test the codecs. The only camera that I know of that is better than the AVC-Intra Codec is the 3000, as it also has a 4:4:4 output. So by using the 3000 we can see the true nature of the 10 bit codec vs an 8 bit codec and not have a camera to blame. The 3000 is quieter than either of those two cameras you mention, has a 10 bit output and is based on 2 million pixel CCDs not CMOS imagers. So from that you can analyze the codecs and deduce where the strenths are. I happen to know that the AVC-Intra Codec is great codec and 10 bits will get you farther than 8 bits ever will but we will do the test.

Once the AVC-Intra codec shows its true nature vs the competition, I am sure that there will be many dealers that will be happy to run the test with any of the less expensive cameras for you.

Best,

Jan

Mike Schell
12-03-2008, 07:56 PM
Hi Jan-
OK, a post NAB test sounds great! Our Flash XDR and nanoFlash should be more than up to the task.

In the meantime, please don't tell our customers who are currently using the Flash XDR in F16 fighter jets, helicopters, race cars and acrobatic planes that the CF cards are not a reliable choice! Or that the Flash XDR does not produce gorgeous video.

You might have a very difficult time convincing them.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design

Jan_Crittenden
12-04-2008, 03:20 AM
OK, a post NAB test sounds great! Our Flash XDR and nanoFlash should be more than up to the task.
In the meantime, please don't tell our customers who are currently using the Flash XDR in F16 fighter jets, helicopters, race cars and acrobatic planes that the CF cards are not a reliable choice! Or that the Flash XDR does not produce gorgeous video.
You might have a very difficult time convincing them.


Mike,

I don't say that it is not up to your task, I have said it isn't up to the task of what is happening in P2. This I will continue to say. People think that I am saying what you think I said, and perhaps if you take some of my words out of context you might ifer that is what I mean. But just like I told a young man that came into our booth at GV Expo yesterday, I do not want to have Compact Flash in the cameras, I like what P2 does for the reliability of the recording. I don't get the same warm fuzzies on CF.

But this request you ask of me would be similar to my asking of you to please stop implying that your 100mbs 8 bit codec looks as good or is equal to AVC-Intra, it's not and I have a whole bunch of customers that would say its not. Sort of the same kind of thing Mike, you would have a pretty tough time convincing them, because there is no way that an 8 bit codec can come close to a 10 bit codec. Different league entirely.

See you after NAB.

All the best,

Jan

monkeyking
12-04-2008, 07:53 AM
Thanks for the very informative exchange and I look forward to future testing results.
I met Jan yesterday at GV Expo and was very impressed by the new P2 Gear. Curious to see HDX900 & HPX170 hd-sdi out recorded to 10bit AVC Intra on the HPG20.
I wish Mike had a booth there - that would have made my day.
CF card performance/reliability is pretty well entrenched in the stills world, but there must be a reason RED makes their own proprietary CF cards and drives.

Jan, as for the "young man" reference - I only look young in my avatar.


chris

Jan_Crittenden
12-04-2008, 07:02 PM
Jan, as for the "young man" reference - I only look young in my avatar.


Who says it was you? Unless you identify which person you were, I cannot say it was you or someone else. I had more that one, and I referred both of them to the HMC150 camera for inexpensive recording media.

Best,

jan

Lonnie
12-31-2008, 10:30 AM
Hi,

The point of the shoot out is to test the codecs. The only camera that I know of that is better than the AVC-Intra Codec is the 3000, as it also has a 4:4:4 output. So by using the 3000 we can see the true nature of the 10 bit codec vs an 8 bit codec and not have a camera to blame. The 3000 is quieter than either of those two cameras you mention, has a 10 bit output and is based on 2 million pixel CCDs not CMOS imagers. So from that you can analyze the codecs and deduce where the strenths are. I happen to know that the AVC-Intra Codec is great codec and 10 bits will get you farther than 8 bits ever will but we will do the test.

Once the AVC-Intra codec shows its true nature vs the competition, I am sure that there will be many dealers that will be happy to run the test with any of the less expensive cameras for you.

Best,

Jan

Jan,
I, as well as many/most people in these types of forums, can't afford the 3000. But, we come to these forums to discover/find/research affordable ways of achieving 3000 type standards (respectfully keeping the Panny reference, although the Viper, Red, F900, etc. are all on the standards list).

So, a portable recording device that not only records the out spigot from an "affordable" camera via its HD-SDI, but also records it to a codec that trumps the in-camera codec, comes visually close to uncompressed, that is NLE friendly, that is media affordable, is what would appeal to most readers here - I am betting. So, please don't be so dismissive to Mike Schell's request to test the respective recorders with the EX1, or if you can't see past your own product line, the HPX170. We know the electronics on the front end of the 3000 are clean. But we want to see how these recorders improve the image quality from our less expensive camera's front ends via the HD-SDI.

And you mentioned "blame on the camera" - there would be no blame on the camera - you both would be shooting the same scene via the same camera from a split signal. And then we, the consumer, can analyze the footage/stills to see whether the HPG20 or XDR performed a better job at the recreation, and whether one is truly superior in only image quality.

It seems you are forgetting/ignoring your audience base on these forums. We are not broadcast giants with deep pockets. And if you're going to just pan these "affordable" tests off on other dealers and not take us readers seriously - why visit these forums.

Respectfully,
Lonnie

Jan_Crittenden
12-31-2008, 12:39 PM
Hi,

The point of contention is whether the 8 bit MPEG2 codec is a better codec than the 10 bit AVC-Intra. If indeed the AVC-Intra prevails like I believe it will, then one can look at the output of any HD-SDI camera and know that what you see on the monitor will be very close to what you get. It does seem that if you can see the difference between the two recordings with the cleanest signal, then one less pristine will have the same footprint and you should be able to see it, notably in the chroma gradations and overall noise footprint. Keep in mind the purpose of the test. With a lesser camera you may not see these as easily as those cameras do cost less for a reason.

And I am not failing to understand the audience. I want the audience to know that with the highest quality camera out there how the codecs will stand up. I am sure that there will be many that with do this sort of testing with less expensive cameras as it gets released but the purpose of the Codec Battle is the Codec Battle. That is what I am planning on doing as soon as I have a serial numbered unit in my hands.

Best regards,

Jan

Joseph Stunzi
12-31-2008, 12:52 PM
I agree with Jan on this one. It's about the codecs and the best way to test those is with the highest quality optics. An essential concept of science research... limit your variables! If we add in all sorts of other cameras, that complicates the test. So I think settling on a single camera like Jan and Mike agreed to do is the best way to do it.

Perhaps you won't be able to see a huge difference between the two with a camera like the 170 or the EX1. But in the end, people that will buy these... high end professionals and rental houses... want to get the best bang for their buck. That's why the codec test will be exciting and great to see.

Lonnie
12-31-2008, 08:28 PM
Jan,
I understand the methodology - I guess my concern is this... These portable recorders will have a great market sector that will become customers because they can't afford a $40000 camera. This same sector will already own $7000 camera(s) and will be looking to purchase a $5000+ external recording unit that will make their $7000 camera compete with the image quality of a $40000 one.

Now we all know the front end of the HDX3000 with great glass can produce stunning images. And testing from the front end of the HDX3000 will only prove that both yours and Mike's recorders, with their respective great codecs and high Mbps will both be awesome when used with an expensive camera such as the HDX3000. We all know this in advance - nothing learned.

But for the market sector I'm referring to, that are looking to improve upon the limitations of our existing cameras by bypassing the in-camera codecs and recording to a superior codec - our questions will still be unanswered: How much can they improve our less expensive cameras' images? Which recorder does it better? Or are both remarkably clean compressions and now it's more of a price, frills, and branding that matters?

And... I realize I am now beating a dead horse and yes, I too will still want to see the results of this test as well. But my prediction - they both will be gorgeous, thus Mike's less expensive module with less expensive media will most likely win this round.

Regards,
Lonnie

Joseph Stunzi
01-01-2009, 10:44 AM
Jan,
I understand the methodology - I guess my concern is this... These portable recorders will have a great market sector that will become customers because they can't afford a $40000 camera. This same sector will already own $7000 camera(s) and will be looking to purchase a $5000+ external recording unit that will make their $7000 camera compete with the image quality of a $40000 one.

Now we all know the front end of the HDX3000 with great glass can produce stunning images. And testing from the front end of the HDX3000 will only prove that both yours and Mike's recorders, with their respective great codecs and high Mbps will both be awesome when used with an expensive camera such as the HDX3000. We all know this in advance - nothing learned.

But for the market sector I'm referring to, that are looking to improve upon the limitations of our existing cameras by bypassing the in-camera codecs and recording to a superior codec - our questions will still be unanswered: How much can they improve our less expensive cameras' images? Which recorder does it better? Or are both remarkably clean compressions and now it's more of a price, frills, and branding that matters?

And... I realize I am now beating a dead horse and yes, I too will still want to see the results of this test as well. But my prediction - they both will be gorgeous, thus Mike's less expensive module with less expensive media will most likely win this round.

Regards,
Lonnie

How many people with $7000 cameras will buy a $5000 device just to get higher quality images in the field? I see people renting these for their shoot if they need the extra quality for CG or projection or anything like that. I mean for $5000 you can buy a new camera. Or sell your $7000 camera and get a better $12,000 camera. SO... I really think the validity of this test should be aimed at the high end spectrum of cameras. If you want to see what these can do for your lower end camera... look on Convergent Design's website for some demo footage comparisons. I'm sure there's some stuff out there from the version 1 of the P2 Gear as well.

Jan_Crittenden
01-01-2009, 02:25 PM
Jan,
I understand the methodology - I guess my concern is this... These portable recorders will have a great market sector that will become customers because they can't afford a $40000 camera. This same sector will already own $7000 camera(s) and will be looking to purchase a $5000+ external recording unit that will make their $7000 camera compete with the image quality of a $40000 one.


And the point here is to show what the respective codecs can do. If you take a lesser camera, then it becomes more about the camera and not the codec. Trust me, someone will do a follow-up with the less expensive cameras.


Now we all know the front end of the HDX3000 with great glass can produce stunning images.

Actually even with lousy glass it takes great pictures and BTW, that is an HPX3000.


And testing from the front end of the HDX3000 will only prove that both yours and Mike's recorders, with their respective great codecs and high Mbps will both be awesome when used with an expensive camera such as the HDX3000. We all know this in advance - nothing learned.

I would not be so sure about this. I have lived long and hard with 8 bit codecs and nothing is going to make an 8 bit codec act like a 10 bit codec. Keep in mind that DVCPRO HD is an 8 Bit 100mbs codec. Can I make it fail, yeah, a little effort and the right image/colors. If the physics and math get in your way, just look at the difference, 256 vs 1024. Something should guide youto think of a different look and feel, noise, color gradations. There will be a difference.



But for the market sector I'm referring to, that are looking to improve upon the limitations of our existing cameras by bypassing the in-camera codecs and recording to a superior codec - our questions will still be unanswered: How much can they improve our less expensive cameras' images? Which recorder does it better? Or are both remarkably clean compressions and now it's more of a price, frills, and branding that matters?


You cannot tell how remarkably clean they are unless you send it something much cleaner and a know quantity. Branding is not a factor here, performance is. So with the test that we have agreed to, we should be able to tell the difference between the codecs, and from there other tests will be made, I do know what I have seen with the HPX170, and it does look quieter, and a little more pristine, but that was merely a subjective while we were working some tests for frame rate extraction.


And... I realize I am now beating a dead horse and yes, I too will still want to see the results of this test as well. But my prediction - they both will be gorgeous, thus Mike's less expensive module with less expensive media will most likely win this round.

The less expensive media will win this round if the less expensive media is your priority. If picture quality is your thing then I wouldn't be so sure.

Best,

Jan

Lonnie
01-01-2009, 08:05 PM
Jan,
thanks for taking the time - I will wait for the test results. Anything else would just be speculation...

Joseph,
a purchase of a $5000 recorder of this kind - that is camera independent, and just needs HD-SDI to play well with others - this type of toy will be part of your arsenal for a long time. A kind of future proofing... And a $12000 camera doesn't move you into any in-camera recording at 100Mbps to Mpeg2 Long-GOP or AVCIntra that I'm aware of...

Thanks for your time all,
Lonnie

Nik Manning
01-03-2009, 02:46 PM
Ok well how about you do the test on a hpx500? The target audience for that cam would love to get the most out of that cam and would be more willing to pay 5k for a recorder. HPX3000 doesn't seem like the best test unit as the camera would be best tuned to record to avc100.

Jan_Crittenden
01-03-2009, 02:53 PM
Hi,

For all of the reasons I have said before about why we should use the 3000 for this test, we will be using the 3000.

All of the other camera tests will happen but not on this occasion.

Please understand we are looking at 8 bit codecs vs 10 bit codecs in this test. I do not want to be distracted by too many agendas on the plate.

Thanks,

Jan

Mike Schell
01-07-2009, 08:47 PM
Hi Jan-
Let's just proceed with the tests when possible. I know some users who are already planning independent tests using the EX1/EX3 and HPX170 cameras, so I think we get some unbiased results in the coming months.

I studied the AVC-I footage at the InterBee show in Tokyo last November. It does look gorgeous. On the same hand, several of our users, through extensive tests, have concluded that our 100Mbps CODEC is somewhere between HDCAM and HDCAM SR quality. The footage even looks spectacular displayed on a 25' screen, via a high-end Christie projector.

Undoutedly, each of our recorders has strengths and weaknesses depending on the application. So let's do the image comparisons and then customers can evaluate other differences, such as size, weight, media costs, workflow, metadata support, etc.

We know your recorder will outperform the Flash XDR / nanoFlash in certain areas, but we are confident that user will (have) find Flash XDR and nanoFlash to be very compelling solutions.

Mike Schell
Convergent Design

mikeandcamera
01-21-2009, 11:37 AM
Yes the little guys is pretty featgure packed and on top of the HD-SDI input and the AVC-Itra Recording, it also has the ability to plyback in conficence mode from the HDD.

As far as recording to CF card, no way. I wouldn't want to put careers at stake on a $50 card that has not parity checking, no error checking and frankly isn't up to even my demos. ;-) If you have seen the abuse I had out to P2 cards, then no comment is necessary. But I only do what sometimes accidently happens to the cards under normal accidental use. And please this is not the place to have a very worn out discussion about whter CF would handle what we do, because if CF could have, then that is what we would have done 6 years ago, but it doesn't. It certainly would have been easier.

Additionally the Convergent Design is using long GOP from an MPEG2 codec, this is a very old codec that doesn't come close to the quality possilbe in an I-Frame codec like AVC-Intra.

It is identical in size to the HPG10, and save for a couple of markings and a extra BNC it could be mistaken.

Barry, If you would like some pictures I can send them on for hosting if you wish. Just let me know.

All the best,

Jan

Jan,
first, I am fairly new to P2, but have a HVX200 and a 171 and am very happy with both of them. I am planning to get a 500, too. But can I use the AG-HPG20 to convert media shot in DVCProHD on these cameras to directly store them as AVCIntra on a hard drive?
Sorry if this seems to be a stupid question, but I couldn't find any answer to this on the board...

Thanks,

Michael

Terry Nixon
02-03-2009, 12:14 PM
Here's a couple of links that i found for the new Panasonic AG-HPG20, P2 Memory Card Portable Recorder with AVC-Intra (100/50), HD/SD-SDI Input

Retail is $5295

AG-HPG20 Panasonic page (http://catalog2.panasonic.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ModelDetail?displayTab=O&storeId=11201&catalogId=13051&itemId=327735&catGroupId=34402&surfModel=AG-HPG20)

AG-HPG20 Literature (ftp://ftp.panasonic.com/pub/Panasonic/business/provideo/brochures/AG-HPG20_brochure.pdf)

Shipsides
02-06-2009, 10:20 PM
Hey Jan

We already did these tests with a HPX3700 and Canon HJ11x4.7 Lens. We compared the uncompressed footage from the camera to the compressed AVC-Intra 100. We went one step further and recorded the uncompressed footage in various decks and recording devices (including the Flash XDR). Of course we didn't use the HPG20 to record but the AVC-Intra from the camera should be the same.

We then brought the footage into Shake and viewed the difference between the compressed and uncompressed footage. After enhancing the difference the results were pretty interesting. I'd be happy to share them with you or anyone that would like to come in and see them.

The HPG20 is going to be a great product to enhance many tape based ENG cameras - including the F900R.

Andy

Jan_Crittenden
02-07-2009, 02:28 AM
But can I use the AG-HPG20 to convert media shot in DVCProHD on these cameras to directly store them as AVCIntra on a hard drive?



Hi Mike,

You would need to play out from the HPX170 over HD-SDI and go into the HPG20 via HD-SDI and have it set up for AVC-Intra, in the same format, i.e. 720P or 1080i.

Hope that helps,

Jan

Sumfun
04-26-2009, 10:13 PM
Jan and Mike - Now that NAB is over, when do you guys want to compare the HPG20 vs. the Flash XDR.

Or, Andy, if you've already done the testing, can you share the results with us?

michaelgraves
05-06-2009, 02:58 AM
I am looking for a HVX200

Joseph Stunzi
05-06-2009, 10:15 AM
I am looking for a HVX200

Michael,

I'd suggest that you look into the Marketplace forums here. This thread is based on testing two phenomenal recording devices with very high end cameras like the HPX3000. Not exactly the right place to find a 200.

reelrain
01-11-2010, 06:12 AM
I'm also looking for an HVX200

GaryinCalifornia
03-08-2010, 09:12 AM
Might be able to get a sweet heart deal on an older varicam with a ton of goodies...

The deck is the issue... since the older high end camera didn't have firewire...

Looks like it can't record the different frame rates...

how this vs the AJ-HPM110... looking over the pdf... looks like the same thing with the frame rates...

Barry_Green
03-08-2010, 10:36 AM
The HPG20 makes the older Varicam a better camera than it was before. The tape records 8-bit at 960x720, but the HD-SDI output is 10-bit full-raster 1280x720. So you'll record sharper images with deeper color depth and better compression.

It doesn't record "native" but it records the variable frame rates exactly the same way as the original Varicam did.

GaryinCalifornia
03-11-2010, 08:25 PM
Thanks Barry

This is the model number... AJ-HDC27VP PANASONIC HD CAMCORDER

What about the HPG20 vs the KiPro..

Spartacus
03-12-2010, 07:03 AM
Thanks Barry

This is the model number... AJ-HDC27VP PANASONIC HD CAMCORDER

What about the HPG20 vs the KiPro..

Besides the recording options (HPG/KiPro/NanoFlash): how would the image compare to other (more recent) cameras? How dated is the chip and dsp of the older varicam...? Would it be on par with let´s say a 2700? Or only the 500?
Barry you say "makes the older Varicam a better camera than it was before" - how much better are we talking?

Spartacus
03-12-2010, 03:56 PM
Bump! (only because this is an old thread that raised some new questions...)

GaryinCalifornia
03-17-2010, 03:49 PM
Bump! (only because this is an old thread that raised some new questions...)

same here... bump...