Changing production landscapes


Award winning products like the nanoFlash from Convergent Design, the Gemini 4:4:4 recorder / monitor, Decimator converters and Nexto mobile storage devices are now available from Johannesburg-based supplier Puma Video.

“The landscape of acquiring material for film and television has changed considerably in the past two to three years,’ says Puma Video’s Henk Germishuysen. “A few years ago it was either film or betacam that filled the lexicon of origination. Now we have not only HD, but 1080 or 720, bit rates, compression, solid state, not to mention the various sensor formats that have become popular. Now 3D is challenging the landscape of production.

“Most HD channel requirements are no less than 50 mbits/s 4:2:2. That disqualifies almost all the equipment out there except really expensive kit. Even HDCam delivered on tape is only 3:1:1; 1440 x 1080.’

Covergent Designs’ nanoFlash is one of the most successful products, providing many solutions to the above. This unit can be used on anything from the Canon 5D to the Alexa. Combining the nano with any camera with an HDMI or HD-SDI out for SD/HD 720/1080, I-frame / long-gop and from 25 – 220 mb/s recordings. The CF cards at full 1920×1080 4:2:2.

Germishuysen continues: “Combining various technologies on location or at an event today creates its own challenges. Getting HD to work with SD and different aspect ratios adds to the mix. Decimator’s range of mini converters take care of these problems: down converting an HD signal to analogue and to DHMI, video DAss, signal generators and multi view splitters all make life a lot easier when combining different formats on one location.’

He notes that some of the more popular products are: MQ-Quad (3G/HD/SD-SDI Quad Split, 3G/HD/SD-SDI + HDMI output); Decimator Quad (3G/HD/SD-SDI Quad Split, SD-SDI and composite outputs); 3G2SD (3G/HD to SD down-converter with ARC and SD pass-through); 3G12DAC (broadcast quality 3G/HD/SD-SDI digital to analog converter); Decimator 2 (3G/HD/SD-SDI to HDMI with de-embedded analogue audio); and MD-RDA (miniature 3G/HD/SD-SDI 1 to 6 relocking distribution amplifier).

Nexto is a small but highly practical piece of equipment that allows the user to download P2 SxS, CF or SD cards on location for safe-keeping until you return to the production office.

“This is very handy when you don’t have a MacBook or laptop on location. A 500gig drive takes care of all your material. Once you have filled a card, simply plug it into the Nexto, transfer the material onto the Nexto and the card is ready to format and to be recorded on again. This is hugely beneficial when in the bush, mountains or filming in town with no place to put a computer,’ comments Germishuysen.
Puma Video also sells the SanDisk range of solid state media.


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