Tag Archives: Video Compression

Convergent Design sweeps NAB 2011, Receives Three Awards for Gemini 4:4:4 Recorder

via Convergent Design

(May 2, 2011, Colorado Springs, CO) NAB 2011 was a banner show for Convergent Design with a 400% increase in booth traffic and the reception of three prestigious “Best of Show” awards for their new Gemini 4:4:4 video recorder.

The revolutionary Gemini 4:4:4 records uncompressed HD video onto affordable 1.8” SSD media from Dual/Single link HD-SDI 4:4:4/4:2:2 sources, with full S-Log support and user-programmable LUTs. Easily mistaken for simply an LCD monitor, the all-in-one camera-mountable Gemini includes a high-bright 5.0” LCD and recording / playback capability with industry-leading size, weight (1 lb), and power (8-15 Watts), in a milled aluminum case. Gemini can further be enhanced with optional 3D firmware which includes independent left/right channel recording with multiple output formats, including anaglyph, side-by-sides and luma differencing.

During the NAB 2011 show, Convergent Design’s Gemini recorder received the Vidy award from Videography magazine, the Mario Award from TV Technology magazine and the Pick Hit award from Broadcast Engineering magazine.

The Best of Show Vidy Awards recognize achievement in the advancement of arts and science of video technology. A select panel of engineers, editors, and production and post professionals joined the magazine staff to judge the Best of Show Vidy Awards for Videography. “Our teams searched the NAB show floor for products that were truly deserving of recognition,” says NewBay Media Broadcast & Video Group Vice President & Group Publisher Eric Trabb. “Recognition with an award at NAB from the Broadcast & Video Group is a strong vote of confidence and admiration from this leading publication.”

Organized in 1993, the Mario Awards were established to recognize manufacturers whose products represent significant technical breakthroughs¾many of these products have gone on to significantly impact the future of video technology. The awards are named after Mario Orazio, a pseudonym for a nameless engineer and a renowned technology columnist for TV Technology who pens the industry’s most widely read column “The Masked Engineer.” The awards are given out annually at the NAB convention to companies that demonstrate forward thinking and technical excellence in their products.

“Mario scours the NAB show floor for the 10 most innovative products that represent the pinnacle of technical achievement. We are proud to present these awards on behalf of the ‘Masked Engineer,’” said TV Technology Editor Tom Butts.

With a long history, Broadcast Engineering Pick Hits are the most prestigious technical awards given at the NAB Show. A panel of independent judges toured the show floor for three days, looking for innovative products and technology. The judges then met to make their selections based on several criteria, including the technical and financial improvements the products can bring to a facility’s operation. Broadcast Engineering editors and publishers have no vote in the selection process.

“Convergent Design is honored to receive these three prestigious awards. These awards represent a strong vote of confidence in our company and the overall direction of our product and market development”, noted Mike Schell, President of Convergent Design.

Buy Convergent Design Gemini

Atomos Unveils the Samurai

from Safe Harbor

Atomos is excited to announce the second of its industry-transforming external Apple ProRes video recorders, the HD-SDI-equipped Samurai. Samurai packs masses of power into a rugged, portable device that records, monitors, and instantly plays back ready-to-edit, visually-lossless Apple Pro Res files: all for only $1,500 USD. Samurai, as well as Atomos’ original Ninja, will be demonstrated at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Convention from April 11-14, 2011, at the Atomos Booth (SL9105).

Samurai builds on all the strengths of Atomos’ groundbreaking HDMI Ninja, namely:

  • Records, monitors and has instant on-board playback of ready-to-edit, visually-lossless Apple ProRes files – all in one portable, self-contained unit
  • Bypasses the image-degrading compression needed to squeeze HD onto in-camera flash storage
  • Eliminates capture cards and the time-wasting capture process by recording to a highquality editing codec direct from the camera
  • Uses limitless and cheap removable 2 ½ inch hard disks for the lowest cost storage in an external recorder
  • Records to SSDs (Solid State Drives)
  • Very low power consumption
  • Banishes worries about battery life with “Dual Looping”, hot-swappable battery operation
  • Recycles older cameras with obsolete tape and compression technology, and updates them with a modern, high-quality file-based workflow



Samurai adds:

  • HD/SD SDI inputs and pass-through
  • A bigger, 5″ touchscreen/monitor with double the Ninja’s linear resolution (800×480)
  • Real-time hardware-based 3:2 pulldown for extracting 24p from 60i PsF recordings
  • Timecode and Genlock
  • Screen Flipping
  • Multi-camera support (with multiple Samurais)
  • 3D support (with 2 genlocked Samurais)
  • 14.4 V compatibility



Hidden inside Samurai’s compact design is a hardware implementation of the Apples ProRes codec; a bit-perfect rendition of Apple’s professional compression system that’s designed to leave your final images looking as good as when they first hit your camera’s sensor.

Atomos’ unique battery-looping technology means that you never have to interrupt a Samurai recording to swap power cells. Just unplug the old battery and replace it with a fully charged one.

Samurai makes it easy to get video off your camera and onto your computer, with FireWire 800, USB 2 and 3 interfaces built in. Apple ProRes works natively with Final Cut Pro and on any computer with the Apple ProRes codec installed (including suitably configured PCs).

Samurai is simple to use as well, with a no-nonsense, intuitive, high-resolution touchscreen that doubles as a viewfinder and playback monitor.

“Samurai is a truly revolutionary new weapon for the video production professional. With visually-lossless recording to inexpensive removable media at the camera and a long battery life, you can think of it as a new “back end” to every SDI and HD-SDI camera, new and old,” said Jeromy Young, Atomos CEO. “We’re starting to see video cameras that compete with 35mm film technology at affordable prices, and yet they’re crippled by the harsh compression necessary to squeeze HD video onto miniaturised on-camera storage. Samurai releases the potential of these incredible new cameras as well as older obsolete cameras, and bringscinema-quality video production to everyone at amazing prices.”

Better quality from your camcorder. Infinite cheap storage. No worries about battery life. Ideal for everything from older HD-SDI camcorders to large-sensor digital cinematography cameras, Samurai transforms the way you work with video.

Find out more about the Atomos Samurai

Matrox Announces Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer 5.5

Matrox® Video Products Group today announced support for the newly released Avid® Media Composer® V5.5 editing system. Matrox MXO2 Mini turns a user’s HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools. The small, lightweight, external box is ideal for file-based workflows in studio, on set, in the field and in OB vans. It provides HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output and cross-platform support for Macs and PCs, laptops and workstations. Users can also take advantage of the Matrox Vetura Capture application for quick and easy capture to Avid DNxHD or other popular Avid-supported codecs. Media Composer V5.5 adds support for new 720p and 1080p workflows with Matrox MXO2 Mini including the ability to select PsF or true P output in 1080p modes.

“We spearheaded our openness initiative with the Matrox MXO2 Mini and this decision has proved very fruitful. This platform has given Avid Media Composer release 5.0 an excellent HDMI monitoring tool for digital workflows,” said David Colantuoni, Director, Product Management, Avid Technology. “In addition, our new release of Avid Media Composer 5.5 brings new format and frame rate support and unique H.264 delivery options with Matrox MAX technology. Our continuing relationship with Matrox is a benefit to our mutual customers.”

“Avid’s support of Matrox MXO2 Mini was the talk of NAB and IBC 2010, giving Media Composer users a very cost-effective HD monitoring solution at just $449,” said Wayne Andrews, product manager at Matrox. “But that’s not the only benefit of Matrox products for Avid users. The version of Matrox MXO2 Mini with the built-in MAX H.264 encoding accelerator option at just $849 lets Mac users deliver H.264 files for the web, iPad, iPhone, and other mobile devices, directly from Media Composer at speeds up to five times faster than software alone, without sacrificing quality. Matrox MAX even lets them deliver directly from Media Composer up to three times faster than other popular encoders.”

Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer V5.5 will be demonstrated at NAB 2011 in the Matrox booth SL2515.

Key features of Matrox MXO2 Mini for Avid Media Composer

  • Turns an HDMI screen into a professional-grade video monitor with unique color calibration tools
  • Small, lightweight, external box for use in studio, on set, in the field, and in OB vans
  • Cross-platform support – Mac and PC; laptops, desktops, and workstations
  • HDMI, analog component, S-Video, and composite output
  • Stereo RCA and up to 8 channels of HDMI audio output
  • Three-year hardware warranty and complimentary telephone support
  • Matrox MAX option for lightning fast H.264 encoding directly from Media Composer on the Mac

Buy the Matrox MX02 Mini for desktops or the Matrox MX02 Mini for laptops
View all our Matrox products

Using the Matrox CompressHD to Compress Video Footage

We were recently asked a fantastic question by a visitor to our Facebook page.

What’s a faster way of compressing footage in Final Cut Pro than just using the computer?

If It’s H.264 compression then any of the Matrox products with the Max chip will do this, including the CompressHD. The workflow of the compression is that the h.264 encoding is performed primarily by the Max chip on the hardware. This frees up the CPU for other tasks.

The h.264 rendering is also accelerated considerably by the Max chip, which is its primary purpose.

The following video explains in more detail how to install the Matrox CompressHD, install the software and use it as part of a Final Cut Pro workflow.


Find out more about the Matrox Compress HD
Buy the Matrox CompressHD