View Full Version : Idea / suggesiton / question...

05-21-2006, 04:34 PM

Having just learned about the upcoming Silicon Imaging camera, I must say that it is VERY impressive, especially the removable head. I have an idea/suggestion/question about it…

I understand that the camera comprises of a small, removable head and basically a full PC. It would be very nice if one could connect the head to any PC that matches the given requirements (like the hard drive speed, Gigabit Ethernet, and such). Announcing those requirements public, would allow computer manufacturers to provide SI-ready systems including notebooks.

What would be the advantages of such a setup? Well, I see many. Assuming you already have a suitable notebook or a workstation, you could have the option to purchase only the head, which should be much cheaper then the full version. Then, if you wanted, you could upgrade your head with the SI PC part. Imagine visiting a production studio with a notebook (maybe like the DELL XPS Mobile Entertainment Center Concept :) ) and a SI head with lens. You could shoot the footage directly to your notebook (using the built in hi-def screen for preview), then use your NLE software and finally burn it to a DVD, HD-DVD, Blue-Ray or whatever… A complete, production and postproduction system in the form of a head/lens attachable to a notebook!

The only trouble I see with implementing this idea, is porting of the capture-encoding software that currently runs on the SI PC to Windows, but I guess it should be possible. SI could even provide an SDK, so people and other companies could program other capture utilities that used other codec’s or even resources of the PC (for example compositing the image in real-time with a generated 3d scenes using the latest nvidia/ati cards).

So, what do you think? :)

Ari Presler
05-21-2006, 08:12 PM
That is exactly our offering! For $12.5K you get the camera head with PC capture, processing, encoding, communication and editing software! The requirements havnt all been nailed down, but the basic requirements will be Intel Core Duo 2.1GHz or higher, Dual Channel DDR2 2GB RAM, Intel GigE NIC.

Here is the head on wire configuration that our first feature "Spoon" is using. They happen to be using their Wafian box as the recorder for this head.


You can keep track of their project on their blog site:


We will likely have a simple real-time compositing mode (not first release unless demand becomes really high).

We have already started work with a company which is developing an HD Virtual Set using our camera :-) !

05-22-2006, 02:24 AM
This is awesome!

Does the price include a lens or just the head and PC software? I guess not, but it's always better to ask ;)

Another thing: Did I notice correct that in the prototype the head had two inputs/outputs - the Ethernet and power?
- Will it be possible to connect using a single cable like Firewire or USB2?
- How far can you move the head away from the capture PC?

Thanks for the answer and good luck on finishing the camera!

Ari Presler
05-22-2006, 07:25 AM

There are 2 connections RJ-45 (GigE) and Hirosi 12-pin (Power & 3D-genlock). USb and Firewire are not options and will never be. The RJ-45/gigE has unlimited distances with Fiber!

There are some good video clips of the camera head here:


There was some talk about including c-mount lens(s), but we are rethinking what should be included with the camera head. Everyone has a different set of needs/requests for optics, lens mounts and software tools (Premier vs FCP

What lenses do we need to offer mounting options (B4, PL, F)?

Maybe we offer a choice of one of these mounts instead of a lens that may never be used?

which lens will you be using?

Should we offer a Cinema quality HD Zoom Lens (it would be a B4 Mount)?

05-22-2006, 02:14 PM

Thanks for your answers. As to the product options I think that the best way to satisfy everyone would be to provide four basic packages:

- head
- head + lens
- head + PC unit
- head + PC unit + lens

I'm not sure about the mount, becuase so far I've been working with fixed lens camcorders. As to the packages with lens, I believe that the lens should be something that matches the potential of the sensor and is multipurpose. I know there are many people who will appreciate having a full functionality out of the box.