to begin with, I'm not a pro but need to support a major change of technology decision. I work on a shipwreck research vessel and we use dive robots equipped with multiple cameras, including a HD main camera. So far, we record our main camera on standard DVD recorders (no HD needed), important sequences on dedicated HD recorders in HD quality. Since DVD handling causes a lot of overhead, we want to move on to record our SD footage directly to hard disks in MPEG-2 format. Our device of choice for now is the Grass Valley Turbo-R iDDR. Does anyone have experience with it? Here my questions:
1) Our dives can be 50 hours or longer. Instead of having one gigantic 50-hr-file, we would prefer that the device would automatically portion recordings in 1-hr clips (as seemless as possible, auto naming etc) on the fly, while recording (not in post processing). Is that possible with this device? Or any (3rd party?) software that can arrange that? Can't find the feature documented.
2) For storage, there are 3 options: a) internal disk, b) built in REV drive cartridge or c) attached RAID or other mass storage solution.
--> a) For internal capacity they give 40 hrs on 4Mbps. Since we would record on 8Mbps, 20 hrs is not enough
--> b) The documentation mentions only 35 and 70 GB REV drives. Does anyone know whether the 120 GB drives, which seem to exist, can be used as well?
--> c) Does anyone have a recommendation for an external mass storage solution (type, brand, config)? To give you an idea about capacity requirements: We produce appr. 200 hrs (= 700 GB at 8Mbps) of recordings a month, equals 2000 hrs (= 7 TB) a year (usually we have 10 busy month). The solution should allow medium rotation (we need to send new footage by mail to headquarters once or twice a month, means up to 0.7 TB)
Thanks big time, looking forward to your answers,
I don't think the GV TURBO is the best device for dedicated recording purposes - I use the unit for playback of SD and HD video, which it does well, but in terms of recording, it is limited to MPEG2 format, which it can then export to another format fairly primitively afterwards...
The TURBO also won't support splitting the files up during recording, and it's a relatively expensive device with a lot of neat features centred around playback which you probably wouldn't use.
I've found the nNovia QuickCapture to be my preferred device for recording, as it will natively record to AVI, QuickTime, and other formats, and can also split up the clips every 20 mins or so in FAT32 mode.
The QuickCapture A2D model has analog ins and outs, as well as FireWire, which you can connect to your workstation and copy across the recorded files as though it was an external HDD.
Another option might be the FireStore range from Focus Enhancements, which are designed to directly record from cameras, but these are a little more expensive, and not having used them, I can't really comment much more on them...