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Ikegami & Toshiba Unveil Tapeless Acquisition & Production/Editing System

Ikegami Tsushinki Co.

, Ltd and

Toshiba Corporation

unveiled details of their strategic partnership under which the two companies will jointly develop and promote an advanced video production/editing system for broadcasters and video professionals.

The two companies disclosed the key concept and components of the new video production/editing system, including its use of semiconductor Flash memory as the main storage medium.

The collaboration between Ikegami and Toshiba blends each company’s expertise to bring new levels of workflow innovation to all stages of video production.

The total system comprises the “GFCAM”(1) Hybrid Tapeless Camera; “GFSTATION”(2), an entirely new central video management and recording system based on Flash memory; and “GFSTATION PORTABLE,”(3) a portable version of GFSTATION. All image and sound data are recorded to “GFPAK”(4), a removable medium that can be used with all system components. The network connectivity of all system elements creates a highly efficient, highly productive tapeless environment.

(GFSTATION, GFSTATION PORTABLE, and GFPAK are all development code names.)

1. Flash Memory Solution


The new system’s main removable storage medium, GFPAK, used with the GFCAM, GFSTATION and GFSTATION PORTABLE, is based on semiconductor Flash memory. Flash memory offers distinct advantages over optical disc-based and other solutions: with no moving parts, it is rugged, highly impact- and vibration-resistant, and maintenance is easier and much cheaper; it is also a long-life, semi-permanent medium, supporting rewrite cycles in the order of tens of thousands, another significant factor in reducing running costs. GFPAK also integrates proprietary technologies and enhanced error protection that protect data integrity, and supports high-speed random access that boosts working efficiency.

A single GFPAK can store up to 128 minutes of HD images, affording ample recording time when used in the field.

Depending on the application, an alternative hard disc drive based memory pack is also available. Both the Flash-based and HDD packs have the same profile and interface and are completely interchangeable in system components.

2. Workflow Innovation

(1) Multitasking with GFSTATION

The GFSTATION is a multi-task platform built around high capacity internal Flash memory. It is the home for video sources transferred via a network to a nonlinear editor, an import terminal for uploads from external sources, and an IN/OUT editor supporting instant direct editing during file transfer from a GFPAK. IN/OUT editing is also possible during recording, via the GFSTATION’s front panel or its universal controller.

(2) Meta Data and Proxy Data Solutions

As the GFCAM records high resolution image data, it also simultaneously records proxy video and other meta data. Proxy video, a low resolution MPEG 4 mirror of the high resolution image and sound, has the same timecode as the original, and can be quickly delivered over a network, or accessed on location, for initial viewing and to support scripting and editing. By recording INPUT/OUTPUT points set by a PC, replay of materials according to these points is easily done either on GFSTATION or GF STATION PORTABLE. Other meta data recorded during acquisition supports workflow efficiency by logging all key facts on the shoot — the date, location, program name and equipment used.

3. Open Solutions

Every component of the system is built around open standards, including such codecs and formats as MPEG-2 Long GOP/I-Frame and MXF. This approach supports broadcasters and production companies in making a gradual transition from existing systems to a new tapeless environment, and also facilitates interoperability with diverse third-party equipment and systems. Ikegami and Toshiba will draw on this open standard approach in forging partnerships with developers of nonlinear editors.

Key Specifications

The main specifications of key component equipment are detailed below. Ikegami and Toshiba are proceeding with their joint development of the system, targeting commercialization in April 2008. In order to fully reflect specific requirements from the broadcasting industry, the companies will now start to propose the system in major markets, starting with the United States and Japan and then other markets.

Hybrid Tapeless Camera GFCAM (Suggested List Price: $25,000)

— 2/3 inch, 3 image sensors

— HD 1080i/720p format support

— MPEG-2 LONG/I Frame Multi-codec

— 4:2:2 digital component recording

— MXF file recording

— NTSC or PAL MPEG-2 recording

— Retro Loop function, time-lapse function, Intelligent Recording

— Freeze Mix function

— Thumbnail display

Flash memory-based recorder GFSTATION (Suggested List Price: $45,000)

— 128GB(4 hour/HD 50Mb/s) internal memory

— HD 1080i/720p format support

— MPEG-2 Long/I-Frame Multi-codec

— Up-converter/down-converter for playback

— Color LCD monitor installed

— Thumbnail display

— JOG & SHUTTLE dial provided

— MXF file transfer

— IN/OUT editing

— Playlist delivery

Portable Recorder, GFSTATION PORTABLE (Suggested List Price: $18,000)

— Compact half-rack size

— HD 1080i/720p format support

— MPEG-2 Long/I-Frame Multi-codec

— Up-converter/down-converter for playback

— Color LCD monitor installed

— Thumbnail display

— JOG & SHUTTLE dial provided

— IN/OUT editing

Removable Media GFPAK (Suggested List Price: $950 for 32GB version; $350 for 120GB HDD version)

— 16GB/32GB/64GB NAND Flash Memory Pack

— 120GB Hard Disk Pack

— High-speed transfer based on the S-ATA standard