Video recorders

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Digideck dual video recorder

The dual Digideck is a very well known and used for VA applications around the world. It is capable of recording two independent sources on two hard drives, with variable compression. On its best settings, the Digideck compiles with the ITU601 standard, recording a 4:2:2 MPEG2 signal, essentially a DigiBeta quality. At the 10:1 setting, close to a DV quality, is ideal for VA jobs. The Digideck can play back at any speed between 1 and 360 fps forward and reverse, jump between recorded takes quickly, and loop playback. Record capacity is around 10 hours per camera. PAL and NTSC compatible.

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Digideck control software

This software, running on a PC laptop, can control up to 8 recorders (4 dual Digidecks). With it, logging gets much easier; the user can name individual recordings, for example take and scene numbers, and the software even increments the slate number at each new take. The recordings can be grouped into folders, like locations, scenes, or episodes.This is essential on scenes shot over multiple days, or very long productions, as looking back a prevoius take can be much faster. With this software the user can do ramp preview, in-out loop for a continuous playback, and even basic on-set editing all in one package. The software is very stable, and the interface is very quick using the hotkeys on the keyboard. Using this will let the user pack the recorders in a closed box for more protection, as no interaction with the front panel is needed.

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Dual Cockpit system

Running on a Macbook Pro with XP or a native PC, this system lets you record two cameras on an external hard drive in popular .avi format. Slo-mo and ramp simulation is included, as well as an extended logging system. This system is more aimed at VFX-heavy shots, with built in VFX tools coming soon. The package is very small and lightweight, and offers great flexibility with the external hard drives. There is no need for operator monitor, as the Mac's screen shows both cameras. PAL and NTSC compatible.

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Clamshell (Watchman) recorder

The Sony clamshell is the most widely used VA recorder. It has DV, DVCAM and D8 versions, DV being the best for this kind of job. It has built-in screen, speaker, can record pictures to memory card, and runs off a battery for about two hours, and has Firewire and USB connectors. It is a feature-packed, small and lightweight unit in a reasonably dustproof case. Its size and weight makes it the idal take-away recorder, be it the inside of a helicopter, a hero car, or a hilltop. A clamshell package contains the recorder, mains supply, batteries, charger, cables in a watertight pelican case. PAL only. currently have 10 complete clamshell units.

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Crashbox recorder package

An extended clamshell package, containing a high capacity 12V battery with DC-DC converter for long runs, and a wired remote which can start the recorder from the outside when the crashbox has to be closed prior to the shot. This saves you the risk of running out of battery or tape before the actual shooting. PAL only.

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DVCAM recorder

Courtesy of our editing department, the Sony DSR-11 DVCAM recorder is small, portable, has optional batteries, can record PAL and NTSC, and accepts the big (184 min) DVCAM tapes aside from the small DVCAM and miniDV tapes. Ideal for connecting VA to Editorial thru Firewire.

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Sony portable DVD recorder

Portable dvd burner creates video dvd disks from live video in, CF/SD/MS memory cards, or even USB 2.0 from a computer. It can come handy when someone needs a take taken home, or needs an universally playable copy.