Fast Forward Video has announced the launch of the Elite HD, claimed to be the first camera-mounted digital video recorder and player to harness the JPEG 2000 compression codec for recording HD-SDI video signals. The Elite HD gives broadcasters a new option for recording high-quality video from HD-SDI cameras while reducing the costs of storage media, writes Fergal Ringrose.
Until now, broadcasters had to rely on the internal recording capabilities of their camcorders to record and playback HD-SDI video; however, in nearly every case, these recorders cannot match the video quality of the camera signal itself. In addition, onboard camera recorders require proprietary and expensive storage media, which can cost upwards of $500 for only 32 GB. In a typical workflow, these cards require another device to read the video and transfer it for editing.
Designed to mount on the back or base of a camcorder, the Elite HD accepts an incoming HD-SDI video signal with up to eight channels of embedded audio and uses J2K to record at data rates up to 100 Mbs with virtually no loss in signal quality. Video is stored to an off-the-shelf, hot-swappable 2.5-inch SATA drive, which provides up to 10 times more storage at a greatly reduced cost. In addition, the Elite HD enables streamlined, file-based workflows with its modular design, which can be easily detached from the camcorder and connected directly to a nonlinear editing system via USB cable.
"Once again, FFV has shown its industry leadership by delivering a camera-mounted HD-SDI recording and playback system that solves the dual problems of quality and high storage media costs," said Mark Playdon, sales director of Fast Forward Video. "Unlike any other available solution, the Elite HD harnesses the power of J2K, which provides compression within each frame of recorded output, for the high-quality video that HD broadcasters and their viewers have come to expect."
The Elite HD supports all HD-SDI camcorders and other video sources with compatible rates, including the Iconix HR-1; Canon XL H1 and G1; Sony F900, XDCAM HD, and XDCAM EX; JVC GY-HD250; Panasonic GP-US932; and Toshiba IK-HD1. The Elite HD also works with any HD-SDI switcher with a compatible output format, making it ideal for recording live events.