Category Archives: Storage

100GB Blu-ray discs!

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Sharp (yes Sharp, I was surprised too) has developed an improved version of the current technology used to read and write Blu-ray discs. By changing the way the discs are made and improving the laser, Sharp has been able to increase the maximum capacity of the Blu-ray disc to 75GB and 100GB, from the current standard of 50GB.

What they’re doing is actually really complicated, but the gist of it is that they are changing the laser used to read the disc, and replacing the coating with a new aluminum oxynitride one instead of the old dielectric film. This will allow for the use of discs with three and four layers, as opposed to the standard two.

When will we see this new tech? It’s still unclear at this time. Sharp is currently working to get their upgrades approved by the Blu-ray Disc Association. We’ll let you know when we know more, but at this point there’s no ETA.

[via Blu-ray.com and Engadget]

Lexar announces new 600x Compact Flash cards

by Dave Freeman

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Lexar announced their new 600x compact flash cards today. It’s not unexpected that the faster speed memory cards are coming out, given the UDMA requirements of cameras like the Canon 7D.

The new Lexar cards have a amazing 90MB/s transfer rate when used in a device that supports the new UDMA 6 protocol. This is particularly important for the generation of cameras that shoot video, since the write speed is critical when you are shooting in HD.

The new cards are available in 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB sizes. The 8GB and 16GB cards are available now, the 32GB should be available in November. The 8GB version sells for $149, the 16GB version sells for $249. There isn’t any pricing available for 32GB version, but you can safely assume it will not be cheap.

Source: Crunch Gear

AJA Ki Pro

By: Videoguys.com

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Ki Pro Bridges Gap Between Camera Acquisition and Post, Recording Directly to Apple ProRes 422 Codec

Grass Valley, CA (September 3, 2009)—AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, today released Ki Pro, a portable tapeless video device that records files to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera. AJA will be demonstrating Ki Pro at IBC 2009 from Sept. 11-15, 2009 at the RAI Convention Center in Amsterdam in Hall 7, Stand F-11.

Ki Pro provides a new way of connecting production and post with its extensive analog and digital connectivity; virtually any video and audio source can be fed into Ki Pro to record pristine 10-bit ProRes 422 media that is then immediately available to edit within Apple’s Final Cut Studio.

“We have had unprecedented interest in this product, and remarkable pre-release sales coming off of our recent 24-city Ki Pro global road show,” said Nick Rashby, president, AJA Video Systems. “We’re pleased to be shipping a very robust 1.0 version, and will be supporting our customers with frequent software updates and additions. Ki Pro provides significant workflow efficiencies for everyone from cinematographers and filmmakers to editors and post professionals.”

Ki Pro allows filmmakers, broadcasters, video professionals and prosumers to skip the process of re-rendering to an editing codec by giving immediate access to full raster edit-ready Apple ProRes 422 files directly from camera. Ki Pro records hours of media to a removable storage module. The device is a small, portable unit that can sit on a table, in a bay or mounted between a camera and tripod. Ki Pro is also ideal for on-set monitoring, providing instant access to multiple display devices simultaneously.

Core Ki Pro Features:

* Record hours of pristine Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime media to a removable storage module that offers built-in FireWire 800 for immediate editing and file access on OSX.
* Record natively to Apple ProRes 422 and ProRes 422 HQ for full raster 10-bit 4:2:2 HD and SD.
* Bridge proprietary compression schemes by recording to the edit-friendly Apple ProRes 422 codec.
* Connect any digital camera via SDI or HDMI, or any analog camera with multiple input options.
* Convert in real time from SD to HD, or 720 to/from 1080, in full 10-bit quality.
* Extend client review capabilities with simultaneous recording to camera and to Ki Pro.
* Extend productive life of existing cameras and embrace future workflows with powerful conversion capabilities.
* Built-in WiFi and Ethernet for complete control via a web-browser, or iPhone.

As you would expect, we’ve put together bundles with KiPro and the new FCS3 to get things launched.

Source: Videoguys.com

NanoFlash from Convergent Design

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“The nanoFlash was created to provide the capabilities of the Flash XDR in a more compact form,” explains Mike Schell, president of Convergent Design. “In designing the product, we were determined to give ENG and EFP (electronic film production) the ability to record 4:2:2 video, audio and time-code from a variety of cameras through a small, low-power, high-quality recorder.”

Schell says the nanoFlash eliminates the need for costly tape decks. By connecting to the HD/SD-SDI or HDMI camera output (in live mode), the user is able to send “never-compressed” video directly from the CCD/CMOS sensor to nanoFlash’s high-quality CODEC and then to high-speed digital storage (CompactFlash cards).

At 4.2 -by-3.7 -by-1.4 inches, the nanoFlash weighs in at approximately one pound and is compatible with a wide range of cameras, from the prosumer Canon HV30 to the Thomson/Grass Valley Viper. The nanoFlash records to two, low-cost CompactFlash cards giving users up to two hours and 22 minutes of recording time without changing cards.

“With the HDMI output, filmmakers can view their clips on any available HD monitor, on set or off, allowing for immediate viewing of recorded images. And the nanoFlash was designed to be rugged and withstand extreme weather conditions.”

The new nanoFlash is priced at $3,999. Initial deliveries are expected in late May from Convergent Design.

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Toshiba unleashes 640GB 2.5-inch HDD

By: Serkan Toto

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Toshiba Japan today announced a new 2.5-inch HDD whose 640GB capacity is the highest in its class. The MK6465GSX [JP] is just 9.5mm thick and weighs 102g. It’s the high-end product of Toshiba’s new MK series of HDDs, which also includes models with 160/250/320 and 500GB capacity.

The 640GB model features an 8MB buffer, rotates at 5,400rpm, has 12msec seek time and a buffer-to-computer interface with a speed of 3.0 Gbit/s.

Toshiba plans to ship the first samples of their new HDD starting in about two weeks. The company hopes to sell the HDD to makers of high-end computers and TVs with built-in HD video recording functionality.

Source: Crunchgear

Western Digital shipping high-speed 2TB hard drive

By: Dong Ngo

After releasing relatively low-performance 2TB hard drives a few months ago, Western Digital announced Tuesday that it’s now shipping high-performance versions of these top-capacity drives.

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The new drives are the WD Caviar Black and the WD RE4. According to the company, the former is designed for desktops while the latter is suited for servers and network storage devices.

These two new hard drives are based on WD’s 500GB-per-platter technology. They both combine 7200rpm spin speed, 64MB cache, dual-stage actuator technology, SATA 2 (3Gb/s) interface, and an integrated dual processor.

(Dual actuator technology is a head-positioning system with two actuators that improves positional accuracy over the data track. The primary actuator provides coarse displacement using conventional electromagnetic actuator principles. The secondary actuator uses piezoelectric motion to fine tune the head positioning to a higher degree of accuracy.)

Other features of the two drives include:

  • IntelliSeek, a technology that calculates optimum seek speeds to lower power consumption, noise, and vibration.
  • StableTrac, a mechanism that makes sure the motor shaft is secured at both ends to reduce system-induced vibration and stabilize platters for accurate tracking during read and write operations.
  • NoTouch, a ramp-load technology that keeps the recording head from ever touching the disk media to significantly reduce the wear and tear of the recording head and media as well as provide better drive protection in transit.

In addition, the WD RE4 2TB enterprise drive features 1.2 million hours mean time between failures (MTBF) and other power-saving, speed-enhancing, and fail-proofing technologies.

The WD Caviar Black 2TB (model WD2001FASS) drive is available now for $299. The WD RE4 2TB (model WD2003FYYS) drive is currently being qualified by OEMs. Both drives are covered by a five-year, limited warranty.

Source: Cnet

Toshiba 64GB SDXC Card Is. Will Be the World’s Largest, Fastest

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On one hand, it’s great to see the SDXCstandard—which theoretically tops out at 2TB—flexing its muscles a little bit. On the other, I kinda wish Toshiba wouldn’t announce a record-breaking SD cardsix months before release.

Toshiba’s upcoming line update stretches from 16GB to 64GB, with read speeds of 60MB/s (that’s megabytes, folks) and write speeds of 35MB/s. The one we’re really interested in is obviously the 64GB SDXC unit, since prior SDXC cards, while fast, haven’t hit capacities beyond the highest end of the SDHC spec. And look! Sample shipments for the largest card start arriving in November! That’s great, if you’re an OEM manufacturer. Regular folks will have to wait for “Spring, 2010″ to splurge on one of these, however much it’ll cost; these SD cards, which are literally from the future, haven’t been priced yet. [Toshiba]

LaCie’s LaCinema Rugged HD Enclosure Outputs 1080p Video, Ruggedly

By: Dan Nosowitz

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LaCie’s new LaCinema Rugged HD is a 250/320/500GB, USB-powered external hard drive marketed as a multimedia player: It’ll output 1080p video to a TV over HDMI, and has a rugged enclosure in case you keep your HDTV in the woods.

The LaCinema Rugged HD packs pretty much everything you’d want in a mutlimedia enclosure, with a plethora of output jacks (HDMI, composite, optical A/V) and a fat list of supported codecs. It’ll both upconvert standard-def video and output true HD in formats like H.264 and MKV, along with support for major audio and photo formats.

It comes in 250GB, 320GB, and 500GB capacities (2.5-inch drives, presumably), priced at $170, $200, and $230, respectively, which is pricey for a hard drive but pretty fair for a media center. All models come in that goofy rugged casing; we’re not sure why electronics makers keep trying to tell us to go outside, but they’re clearly going to keep ruggedizing everything in sight. I can tell you that my external hard drive has seen sunlight maybe twice in its lifetime. Accidentally, of course. The LaCinema Rugged HD line is available now.

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Source: Gizmodo