HyperDeck Shuttle 2 Released


HyperDeck Shuttle 2



“Time is our most valuable asset in life and business; the smart money must be on recording to a codec that meets your post requirements right away.”



Well here it is, Black Magic Design seem to have cottoned on to the fact that truly uncompressed footage isn’t really a mainstream requirement these days. I wrote before that when the shuttle first came out that uncompressed was impressive for such a small price but not that practical from a point of view of storage/cost and speed of systems to play it! If you were editing from a mid range laptop you want compressed footage of some sort. I thought it was probably a license issue and after all $335 is really cheap but if it isn’t practical it isn’t a good investment.

Now with the Shuttle 2 you have a choice of uncompressed or Avid DNxHD! I wish they had gone down the route of ProRes because that would have been useful for Avid and Final Cut. Avid must have been more enthusiastic than Apple to help out moving image professionals; what a surprise! I couldn’t see the spec of DNxHD on the Black Magic site but I read elsewhere that it was DNxHD 220x (220Mbit/s, 10-bit). The choice of Avid codec might be a reflection of a general move back towards Avid and Premiere Pro.

One of the issues we all face in Post Production is that although we don’t often digitise tapes anymore we still end up backing up, transcoding and archiving. Although we save time on ingest by the time you have copied it or transcoded it to a more useable format the time is about the same as digitising a tape into what you wanted in the first place! Back in the day your media was your archive and once digitised you had your digital media ready to rock in your chosen format.

Why do we transcode? If you have shot on a really high quality format such as uncompressed, ProRes 4444, Red 5K etc. you need to moderate the size of your edit storage and may not have a fast enough system during the cutting/editorial process. You may be doing the opposite; recording on low quality, low bit rate highly compressed H264 DSLR footage and transcoding to a higher bit rate more responsive codec for higher speed of working and increased resilience through the system.

Time is our most valuable asset in life and business; the smart money must be on recording to a codec that meets your post requirements right away.

hyperdeck shuttle 2

HyperDeck Shuttle 2 mount

For those working on Avid this is a great piece of kit. Imagine recording on the cameras native system and this device too. The rushes can go straight into the edit and with decent docking stations such as e-sata you will have speedy high quality editing straight away. The camera native system XDCAM EX, H264, AVCHD etc. can all be backup. Even though we now are not using tape so much with all the problems of dropout, scratches, edge crinkle, stretch, condensation etc. we have probably all experienced corruption of files or discs. For any production I would advise having dual recording for peace of mind.

If we assume you can afford to have the SSD media sitting around then to use it like tape would be good. The SSD is your archive with the added advantage that you can edit it instantly, no digitising. Your masters and other media could be archived onto LTO. I think it more likely though that unless you have a pressing deadline that a straight copy onto central storage at accelerated rate is a more likely choice, especially if you need multiple workstations to be able to access it. I like to get the rushes onto a RAID system asap, it has been a good safe practice for us for years. Then once a pass of LTO is done you can think about erasing and releasing the media back to the shoot. Using the maxim that “If your data does not exist in three places, it doesn’t exist at all” If you had done a recording on low cost media such as SD card, compact flash etc. then that could be kept as further insurance until production was complete.

During production original media, RAID protected working copies and a backup are a must. When complete you can decide on the value of the material and discard as appropriate.

Every production has it’s own special requirements depending on the need for access to the rushes at a later date. If there is archive/stock footage value in the material then you will treat it differently to disposable material that will only be of value for a short period. It takes time to decide what to junk, organise before archive and when consolidate on the Avid does not quite work, you are not sure what you have! Given the cost of storage these days I am leaning towards “just save everything.”

Below is my approximate league table for cost of storage. There is a handy calculator for codecs here. The calculations are rough as I based them on prices I could find on the internet. Also I apologise for any calculation errors as I have gone bog eyed tapping the calculator… The interesting thing is the cost of storage of the compact flash cards, the Pix and Ki Pro mini need 600x and these don’t come cheap, they appear to be more expensive than the SR Memory but that was only based on the 1.5gbs card the 2.5 and 5.5 cards are more expensive again. SSDs seem to be the future and the Shuttle 2 is simple and inexpensive but only the laptop hard drive option is cheap enough to compare to tape. This means you can afford to leave the recorded media on the shelf.

external video recorders comparison

external video recorders comparison


Sound Devices Pix 240


On balance looking at visual display, flexibility, interfaces, build quality, audio options, use of ProRes and DNxHD codecs, capital price and £/hour with SSD the Pix 240 seems excellent, it is like a Ninja on steroids, I saw it at IBC and thought it was pretty damn good. But for all those Yorkshiremen out there it is 10 times the price of the Shuttle 2.

I am sure someone will correct me on the numbers, exciting init? :-)




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