Convergent Design embarks on Odyssey for 4K

A broadcast-quality 7.7-inch OLED location monitor that can also become a high-quality recorder (for Avid DNxHD, raw and 4K formats) is a key selling point for Convergent Design’s adaptable new Odyssey7 and 7Q products.
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A broadcast-quality 7.7-inch OLED location monitor that can also become a high-quality recorder (for Avid DNxHD, raw and 4K formats) is a key selling point for Convergent Design’s adaptable new Odyssey7 and 7Q products. As a monitor, it costs from $1,295, while its recording capabilities are optional upgrades (with downloadable licenses for the various formats, such as DNxHD). As some users might only need a format like Arrirraw for a few days shooting, the licences will also be available for daily rental. Most of its rivals, if they include a monitor at all, are smaller (such as the Atomos Ninja-2 and Samurai with their 4.3-inch and 5-inch 800x840 pixel screens), whereas the Odyssey units have been designed as high-quality monitors from the outset. The 7.7-inch OLED has a 1280x800 RGB pixel array, promising wide colour gamut and 3400:1 contrast, with “virtually no motion blurring and true blacks”. It also includes an array of professional features: waveform, RGB parade, zebras, 1:1 pixel, focus assist (peaking), vectorscope, histogram, LUT support, false colour and more. There is also simple remote control through iPhone and Android apps using Bluetooth LE. “Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q simplify on-camera setups, eliminating the need for separate products. Simplicity also drove the overall architectural design, gaining greater reliability, lower power, and less weight,” said Convergent Design President Mike Schell (pictured). “The user interface is simple and easy to use, minimizing set-up time and on-set frustration. The Odyssey automatically detects the incoming video format and, when possible, sets up the entire recorder/monitor, based on camera metadata (Arriraw, Canon Raw, 2K Raw, etc.). The 1280x800 OLED allows for an uncluttered video display,” he added. As a recorder, Odyssey7 and 7Q support Avid DNxHD (up to 120 frames per second), uncompressed HD/2K RGB 444 (up to 60fps), 2K/HD Raw, Arriraw (4:3 and 16:9), and Canon 4K Raw. All the recording formats are extra-cost options, and outright purchase or rental is claimed to be “at competitive rates”. Recording options are rentable in 24-hour blocks, with unused blocks available for future use. Server grade Convergent Design is also offering new 2.5-inch highly reliable “Server-Grade” solid state drives that support read/write bandwidths in excess of 500MBps per drive, enabling Canon 4K Raw at 60fps on a single recorder. Each unit can take two SSDs, which can be configured in spanning mode (to double record times), RAID 1, for auto-backup, or RAID 0 for data-rates in excess of 1GBps. “A new nanoFlash or an advanced Gemini [its existing recorders] was due or in development. Gemini RAW was announced at NAB 2012. While in limbo waiting on SSD technology to catch up to our design, it was decided that we could re-engineer the recorder, and simultaneously reinvent the monitor,” explained Amber Cowles, Convergent Design’s Marketing and Communications Director. Odyssey7Q While the Odyssey7 is intended for single stream support (up to 4K Raw), the Odyssey7Q adds additional bi-directional HD-SDI 3G ports. It also has extra processing power to enable certain extra cost options to support: four-stream HD/2K monitoring (quad-split - it also includes a four-channel live switcher) and compressed recording, 4K video and high-speed (120fps) support, and simultaneous recording of proxy (DNxHD-36) and Raw video. The price of the Odyssey7Q hasn’t been set yet, “but will be competitively priced” and use the same 2.5-inch media as Odyssey7. A wide range of battery accessories, mounting options, and sunshade, are planned for both products. The Odyssey7 and Odyssey7Q will be launched at NAB (booth C6713). David Fox www.odyssey7.info

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