Hard drive recorder question

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by HC, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. HC

    HC Guest

    I'm looking for a hard drive (or preferably an enclosure that I can
    install a drive in) that I can connect via FireWire to a MiniDV camera
    to record video instead of using tapes. I've seen them around, but now
    that I want one, can't find any.

    Thanks :)
    HC, Apr 30, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  2. HC

    Mike Kujbida Guest

    http://www.digitalproducer.com/articles/viewarticle.jsp?id=40232 is a link
    to an article on 3 different models of these. Shining Technology & Focus
    Enhancements are shipping their products. Bella Corporation promises to be
    shipping theirs soon.
    Safe Harbor at http://www.sharbor.com/ carries the first two product lines.
    They're not cheap though. Starting price is $725.00.
    The Bella, at a suggested list of only $300.00, has gathered a lot of
    I plan to wait and see if it lives up to its promise.

    Mike Kujbida, Apr 30, 2006
    1. Advertisements

  3. HC

    Frank Guest

    HC: There are lots of companies offering hard disk drive (HDD)
    enclosures, and with a variety of interfaces including FireWire 400,
    FireWire 800, USB 2.0, and even eSATA, but you *cannot* connect such a
    drive/enclosure combination to a FireWire-equipped DV or HDV camcorder
    and record directly to the HDD because the protocols involved are
    vastly different.

    DV over FireWire 400, for example, is IEC 61883-2 while a HDD over
    FireWire is SBP-2.

    The reason why your idea won't work is because the camcorder has no
    way of controlling the HDD, let along formatting the data properly
    into an .avi or .mov file, for example, let along an understanding of
    the file system (FAT32, NTFS, etc.) into which the HDD's partition has
    been formatted.

    HDDs in external enclosures only work because of the presence of a
    "bridge chip" mounted on a small PCB (printed circuit board) within
    the enclosure that performs the required protocol conversion. The
    reliability of any given enclosure tends to be dependent upon not only
    the ability of the enclosure to keep the drive cool temperature-wise,
    but also the quality of the particular bridge chip used. A bridge chip
    with buggy code is not a pretty sight. (I've been there and done that,
    but am so far very pleased with a 400 GB Glyph Technologies GT 050Q
    external drive that I acquired a few weeks ago.)

    The closest thing that I can think of that meets the requirement that
    you've outlined would be a not-yet-available product called the
    Catapult from Bella Corporation. The Catapult is a small box which
    sits between your FireWire-enabled camcorder and a HDD with a USB 2.0
    port. The Catapult will contain firmware to receive over FireWire the
    DV datastream from the camcorder and control the USB-attached HDD,
    which is user-supplied and could even be an Apple iPod. In effect, the
    Catapult will almost look like a host computer to the HDD.

    As an alternative to the above, you could do one of two things: a) use
    a computer -- notebook, desktop, or workstation depending upon the
    circumstances of the shoot -- and "capture" (transfer, actually) in
    realtime over FireWire to the computer's HDD using any number of
    programs and in the file format (wrapper) of your choice or b)
    purchase a dedicated HDD designed especially for this purpose from
    companies such as Focus Enhancements (FireStore DTE), MCE Technologies
    (QuickStream), ProCon Technology (nNovia QuickCapture), Shining
    Technology (CitiDISK), etc.

    Great, Mike, another link to add to my HDV Web page! :)

    (P.S. It's been done.)
    Let's hope that it's not a vaporware product.
    The interest is quite understandable given that it's a lower cost
    solution than even the Shining Technology product, and you have your
    choice of drive.
    Frank, May 1, 2006
  4. HC

    Rick Merrill Guest

    Get an FS-4 (FireStore 4) - it works as a DV drive from the camera
    then you can plug it into a computer and it works as a DD (hard drive).
    (AS another poster pointed out DV and DD use different protocols.)
    Rick Merrill, May 1, 2006
  5. HC

    Pat Horridge Guest

    The main issue with them seems to be battery life. 90 mins or so per battery
    (when new) as they don't power down in pause there's a real risk of the HDD
    dropping dead mid shot.
    So spare batteries and chargers needed. All adds to the cost.
    Also firewire cables aren't the most robust connections so I'd always run to
    tape in parallel to be safe.
    Pat Horridge, May 2, 2006
  6. Next step in the development of these drives would be a model which has a
    10 second buffer, so the drive can spin down to save power, and when you
    forget to switch it on, it simply records to memory, boots up the drive,
    and then starts dumping.


    Never be afraid to try something new.
    Remember that a lone amateur built the Ark.
    A large group of professionals built the Titanic.

    Inviato da X-Privat.Org - Registrazione gratuita http://www.x-privat.org/join.php
    Martin Heffels, May 2, 2006
  7. HC

    Rick Merrill Guest

    They DO come with TWO batteries, FWIW. And you have to USE the STOP
    button to power down, Therefore it always does Pause before Power Off.

    Personally, I use the wall wart as the main power with the battery for
    backup in case I have to move!
    Rick Merrill, May 2, 2006
  8. HC

    Rick Merrill Guest

    FS-4 Does have Retro Record of 6 seconds, using the disk itself, which
    is perfect for recording things like sports.
    Rick Merrill, May 2, 2006
  9. "Martin Heffels" wrote ...
    That is the scheme used by Apple's iPod when playing music,
    except that the buffer is several minutes. Since it takes more
    power to spin up the disk from rest than it takes to keep it
    spinning, there is a tradeoff between how often you must spin
    it up. I suspect that it is significantly longer than 10 seconds
    for either audio or video. Note that the video iPod disc runs
    continuously when playing video (thus the significantly shorter
    battery run-time).
    Richard Crowley, May 2, 2006
  10. HC

    HC Guest

    Thanks for all your suggestions, everyone!

    HC, May 5, 2006
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.