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PRODUCTS  •  CONVERGENT DESIGN  •  FLASHXDR
HIGH QUALITY HD/SD-SDI RECORDER/PLAYER
 

High Quality HD/SD-SDI Recorder/Player

•Extremely Low-Noise Images
•Master Quality Modes are Visually Indistinguishable from Uncompresses

Flash XDR is a revolutionary new solid-state HD/SD recorder/player that uniquely utilizes the very high-quality Sony XDCAM 4:2:2 CODEC to write native Quicktime, MXF (video/audio/time-code), or MPG files onto affordable Compact Flash media. Flash XDR breaks new ground in terms of weight, power, size, ruggedness and ease of use. We are confident you will agree that the video quality is indistinguishable from uncompressed (at 100+ Mbps Long-GOP or 180+ Mbps I-Frame modes).

FlashXDR FAQ
Video I/O
Audio Inputs and Outputs
MPEG2 Compression
ASI, Recording and Playback and Compact Flash
HDV Support, Time-Code / Real-Time Clock, File Transfer / NLE Support and User Interface / Updates / Control
Mechanical / Power / Environmental
General Questions

MPEG2 Compression
Why was MPEG2 chosen?
MPEG2 offers very good quality video at relatively low data-rates. It is widely supported by Non-Linear Editors.
At this time, we are only supporting Long-GOP mode.
In a future release we will also support I-Frame Only. Long-GOP gives a better much image for a given bit-rate, but I-Frame Only is better for quick editing.
In the future release, the Flash XDR will other both Long-GOP and I-Frame only recording modes, allowing the user to make trade-offs between recording efficiency and ease of editing.
Compared to JPEG2000, MPEG2 is substantially faster to decode (improved playback performance) and has been widely adopted for broadcast industry (ASI requires MPEG compression).
The MPEG2 hardware CODEC can provide much greater compression efficiency compared to strictly I-Frame based CODECs such as ProRes 422 or DNxHD CODEC. MPEG2 is also supported by a much wider range of NLE programs.
H.264 / AVC CODECS are not widely supported in NLE programs or by hardware manufacturers at this point in time.

Does Flash XDR support DV or DVCProHD?
No, Flash XDR only supports MPEG2 compression.

How is the MPEG2 compression performed?
Flash XDR utilizes a very high quality MPEG2 hardware CODEC module from Sony, which is capable of both 4:2:0 and 4:2:2 sampling, in both Long-GOP and I-Frame Only modes. Long-GOP mode is available for data-rates up to 100 Mbps, while I-Frame Only can support data-rates up to 160Mbps.

Does Flash XDR really record at higher quality levels than HDCAM?

Yes, HDCAM resizes 1080i video from 1920x1080 → 1440x1080 and then applies 3:1:1 sampling.
Flash XDR retains the full 1920x1080 raster and samples in 4:2:2.
Flash XDR also has a slightly higher compressed data-rate. See chart below.
HDCAM SR records at a higher quality level than the Flash XDR.

How does the bit-rate compare with other formats?
The table below summarizes the bit compression formats, sampling, quantization and bitrates of the major formats.

HD Video Format Comparisons (Approximate Increasing Quality)
Manufacturer
Sony, JVC, Canon
Panasonic
Sony
Sony
Convergent Design
Sony
Format
HDV
DvcPro HD
XDCAM HD
HDCAM
Flash XDR
HDCAM SR
Compression
MPEG2-GOP
DV
MPEG2-GOP
MPEG2-I
MPEG2-I
MPEG4-I
Sampling
4:2:0
4:2:2
4:2:0
3:1:1
4:2:2
4:2:2 / 4:4:4
Resolution - 1080
1440 x 1080
1440 x 1080
1440 x 1080
1440 x 1080
1920 x 1080
1920 x 1080
Resolution - 720
1280 x 720
960 x 720
1280 x 720
1280 x 720
1280 x 720
1280 x 720
Quantization
8-Bit
8-Bit
8-Bit
8-Bit
8-Bit
10-Bit
Max Data Rate (Mbps)
19.7-25
100
35
112 - 142
160
440

What are the bit-rate options available on Flash XDR?
Currently only 50 and 100 Mbps, Long-GOP, 4:2:2 sampling are supported.
In a future release, 100 and 160 Mbps, I-Frame, 4:2:2 sampling will be supported.
Also, in a future release, the following will be supported for data streaming only, not for recording to the CompactFlash cards:
18, 19, 19.7, 25 and 35 Mbps in Long-GOP, 4:2:0 sampling

Do the Flash XDR clips work natively in FCP, Avid or Adobe?

The Flash XDR currently supports Apple Quicktime and a Convergent Design’s own format called CDV.
Both the 50 Mbps and 100 Mbps Quicktime formats can be edited in the latest versions of Final Cut Pro, version 6.0.4 or higher. This is seamless; just drop the files onto the timeline and start editing.
The CDV format may be used in the Flash XDR, selectable by a menu option. The CDV format is very handy when the files are to be recorded by the Flash XDR, and then played back, through the HD-SDI, into the HD-SDI input, using proper adapters, into various Non- Linear Editors (NLE’s).
Using the above technique, the Flash XDR can be used with most any editor. For many, this is not an ideal situation, as the resulting uncompressed files are very large.
The preferred options are Quicktime and MXF.
In a future release, MXF will be supported. Convergent Design is currently acquiring a suite of different editing systems so that we can test the various NLE programs.
We currently have Final Cut Pro, Sony Vegas, and Avid. We will have Edius shortly.
Furthermore, some NLE’s either directly or indirectly (through a translator program) support MXF, which will be, in a future release, one of the Compact Flash data-file format used by Flash XDR. Other programs support Quicktime.

Can I transcode to ProRes 422, DNxHD or another CODEC?
Yes, the transcode can either be performed in software or by placing Flash XDR in playback and capturing via an HD-SDI input.

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