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Baytech Announces CineRAM 422 For Single-Link HD-SDI Digital Cinematography (20/8/2004)

Created for Panasonic Varicam and other single-link 4:2:2 HD-SDI digital cinematography cameras, CineRAM 422 is a unique portable, solid state, uncompressed HD-SDI recording solution with instant shot review and frame rate conversion capabilities.

At the SIGGRAPH 2004 conference, Baytech Cinema announced the availability of the CineRAM 422 recorder. CineRAM 422 allows Varicam and other single-link HD-SDI camera users to easily and cost effectively capture uncompressed image data to computer-based storage bypassing the need for expensive custom real-time disk recorders. In addition, CineRAM 422 provides a host of functions including immediate shot review, frame rate conversion, and test pattern signal generation. This unique feature set makes CineRAM 422 the most cost-effective and flexible uncompressed HD digital cinematography recording solution on the market. Demonstrations of CineRAM 422 will be offered at Baytech Cinema's booth (#2159) during this week's conference.

CineRAM is a groundbreaking solution for uncompressed digital cinematography and advanced HD production. Until now CineRAM was only available with the dual-link 4:4:4 interface used by ultra-high-end Thomson Viper and Sony F-950 cameras. "The success of the Panasonic Varicam single link HD camera made it clear to us that there is a need for singlelink CineRAM at a lower price point." Said Jack Krooss, Baytech's president. "Varicam users need a robust, lightweight, cost-effective way to capture uncompressed HD, but have no need for dual-link performance. In addition, the CineRAM 422 is a perfect match for the Varicam's off-speed capabilities, with the ability to instantly review and output shots with or without frame rate conversion."

The CineRAM 422 makes it possible to create a high-quality uncompressed digital feature film with no more than the CineRAM, a camera and a computer. Users simply record shots into the CineRAM 422 device. As it records, CineRAM 422 converts HD-SDI video to standard image files. Automatically, frame files are uploaded from CineRAM to computer disk storage over a gigabit Ethernet connection. From start to finish, CineRAM 422 eliminates the need for expensive recording devices and simplifies the entire production workflow.

"There are some critical applications like effects, composites, green screen and production for large format projection where uncompressed acquisition is a huge advantage. The cleaner the image is to start out with, the better picture you can make, and there is obviously nothing better than uncompressed," said Steve Mahrer, director of engineering, Panasonic Broadcast & TV Systems Co. "We are very pleased that Baytech decided to bring out a single-link version of their revolutionary CineRAM recorder. CineRAM 422 gives professionals a very cost effective way to enhance the remarkable quality of the VariCam by utilizing fully uncompressed recordings. CineRAM was cleverly designed with the inherent ability to recognize the VariCam's flagged camera frames. In addition to being able to provide instant reviews of the last shot, the flagged frame extraction capability means CineRAM can also provide invaluable field previews of time lapse sequences and 'off-speed' effects shots."

At about five pounds, CineRAM 422 is small enough to be mounted to the camera, carried in a camera bag or attached to a Steadycam, boom or dolly. Incredibly rugged, CineRAM is entirely solid state making it well suited for the harshest environments. On the set, multiple CineRAMs can be networked with image archive servers. In the field, CineRAM can be connected directly to a laptop and images can be uploaded onto portable Firewire drives.

In addition to capturing uncompressed image data to the computer, the CineRAM 422 provides a unique set of camera assist capabilities. "DP's have told us that they do not like to rewind the camcorder tape to review a shot once it is taken," said Krooss. "They get nervous about anything that involves their first generation master. With the CineRAM 422, the shot is held in a RAM buffer and can be instantly reviewed without rewinding." The CineRAM 422 also can function as an on-location frame rate converter. In Varicam mode, the CineRAM 422 captures only the unique frames and can play them out at standard rates, so it is possible to instantly rehearse off-speed takes, as well as save them out to standard decks or uncompressed DDRs.

CineRAM 422 is available now from Baytech Cinema and its authorized dealers and rental houses. CineRAM 422 is available at prices starting at $18,950 for an eight-gigabyte unit. Baytech Cinema is pleased to announce it has recently signed agreements with leading film and video dealers and rental houses throughout the U.S. including, Plus 8 Digital and Band Pro Film/Video, Inc. in Burbank, Fletcher Chicago in Chicago and Abel Cine Tech in Staten Island, New York.

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