The below article is reproduced in this blog for my readers. I don’t have any copyright for this post and for wider reach reproduced this article. Thanks & Bob Zelin for this wonderful article. Original article link

Orlando Florida USA©2015 All rights reserved.

Now that videotape and audio tape are going away, the media storage system being used by most audio and video professional is disk drives. Unfortunately, as most of us know, spinning disk drives are not very stable, and ultimately fail after a certain period of time. Once a disk drive no longer is willing to mount on our desktops, we can no longer get back the critical audio or video media that we need, usually sending us into a panic.

So most people’s concern today is, “How do I safely back up my media?”

The cheapest solution is to purchase a cheap drive dock, where you can slide in inexpensive single disk drives, and back up your critical media. Move your media from one set of drives to the other every few years for maximum safety.

Another more expensive solution is to buy a redundant drive array. If you have an 8 bay or 16 bay RAID array, you buy another one, and use a cloning program (Carbon Copy Cloner, Super Duper, Chrono Sync, Shot Put Pro, etc.) to back up your media.

An even MORE expensive solution is to build what is called “near line storage,” which is another entire server/disk drive system that backs up everything from your system, and can be called back to your main system. It’s a little slower, which is why it’s called “near” line instead of o line, but everything is available across your network when you need to recall it.

No matter what solution you choose, these choices are all based on DRIVES, and drives ultimately fail. It’s not a matter of “if” – it’s a matter of when. Sometimes drives can last for 5 – 6 years, other times, they will fail within the year. That does not give you a lot of confidence in the long term.

When they were first being introduced, Blu-ray disks sounded promising. With the huge amount of data storage that video professionals use, this proven to not be practical – and those too will fail eventually.

And of course, there is always “The Cloud” (Dropbox, Google Drive, Apple iCloud, etc.). But for those of us dealing with terabytes of storage, this is not very practical, due to the very limited speed of the internet today.


So, we are stuck, once again, with tape. Not video tape, or audio tape, but LTO tape (Linear Tape-Open) which is used for backing up – or more accurately stated – archiving your critical media. You simply copy your disk drive media onto the LTO tape, and now you no longer have to worry if someone drops your disk drive on the floor, because tapes won’t break when they are dropped or mishandled. Typical LTO tapes are expected to last 15 years.

The big question is, how much space are we talking about on a single tape?

LTO 4 holds 800 GB of data.

LTO 5 holds 1.5 TB of data.

LTO 6 holds 2.5 TB of data.

LTO 7 will be released in 2016, and will hold 6.4 TB of data.

Of course, the “good for 30 years” is overstated. The tapes themselves will last that long, but most modern drives will only read LTO 5 and LTO 6 tapes. You’re still going to need to pay attention to migrating your data, or plan on keeping old drives around to read your older tapes.


LTO is true archiving. It’s safe. Many people have experienced the nightmare of losing the data that is on their disk drives at some point, and the safety that LTO offers is very appealing.

But the emphasis is on safety, not speed – and working with LTO slow. It’s too slow of a process to say “Quick! Grab that LTO tape, and pop it into the LTO reader! We have a client coming in 10 minutes!” LTO is an archive medium. It is not fast like a drive, and it’s not readily accessible like near line storage, or a redundant RAID array.

Once people started using more and more media with fewer safe places to keep it, everyone started to ask, “What LTO solution should I buy?” And there were lots of choices. But most were expensive, and many were complicated to use.

To compound this, many solutions were proprietary, which means that it would work wonderfully on that manufacturer’s system, but if you had to send your LTO tape to a client, or a TV station that wanted the LTO tape, they couldn’t read it, because it was in a format that was not compatible with their LTO system.

And so the demand for a standard for LTO tapes was created, and this is called LTFS, or Linear Tape File System.


LTFS is a standard developed by IBM, HP, and Quantum, and is an open source standard that has some workflow advantages over previous solutions. Rather than having to copy archived data back on to your computer, LTFS archives can be mounted as disk drives like any others.  AND you can simply click on the folder structure, to see your files with an LTFS formatted LTO tape, just like a hard drive.

But it is CRAZY SLOW. If you actually double click on one of the files to play it, well – it will try to play it, and you get a spinning beach ball, and 5 minutes later you see a head shot of the file because you just can’t “play” video off an LTO tape.

So it gives the impression of a drive, and you can “drag and drop” files, just like a drive, but of course, it’s all in SLOW MOTION, because when you copy a file from your desktop to a USB flash drive, it takes 10 seconds. With LTFS LTO, the same process takes 10 minutes or longer.

But imagine being able to say “I have this videotape, and I want it to mount in a 3/4″ deck, Beta VTR, DVCPro VTR, DVCam VTR, HDCam VTR, Digi Beta VTR – I don’t care, I just want it to mount no matter what” – that is LTFS.

(For more information about the Ultrium consortium of LTDA developers and partners, go to


To keep this straight: LTO is a tape. Just like SATA is a drive or SCSI is a drive. You can format a drive for HTFS+ or NTFS. So you can say “lets take this SATA drive and format it for Mac as HTFS+”.

Same with tape. You have an LTO tape. How do you want to format it? The only universal format that lets you pop in an LTO tape into anyone’s system (that supports the universal format) is LTFS.


TOLIS Group has been around for 30 years, and their BRU Backup & Restore Technology was among the first widely available archiving software. Tolis also sells integrated hardware-software solutions that have millions of clients. TOLIS Group products are rock solid, and very well supported – including here at Creative COW, where Tolis is very active.

TOLIS Group’s ArGest Studio Rack and ArGest Mobile Cube

Because TOLIS Group was in business 24 years before LTFS technology was first demonstrated at NAB 2009, the solution they developed is proprietary. BRU archives can only be written and read by Tolis products.

Note that TOLIS Group BRU provides some basic LTFS functions for customers who rely on it, but it is by no means the core of what Tolis has been doing for 30 years. By starting as open source and trying to work with as many systems as possible, LTFS has some disadvantages, including slow speeds relative to Tolis solutions, and the inability to span volumes, among others. Tolis outlines those here.

That’s the thing. “Proprietary” gets treated as a bad word sometimes, but probably everything that matters most to you is proprietary. Apple Pro Res, Avid DNxHR, .r3d, Panasonic AVC-Intra, Adobe After Effects project files, your favorite iOS and Android apps – all of these and many more: proprietary.

And they all work great. That is because those proprietary pieces are specifically designed to work together. Tolis has simply developed effective LTO solutions that predate LTFS.


To say it one more time: you are not choosing between LTO and LTFS. All of the companies in this article write data onto LTO tapes. Tolis writes to its own format, and the others write to LTFS.

So which would I choose? The answer: I would not choose either. I don’t care. My clients do the choosing.

It’s the same way that I don’t care about RED, ARRI Alexa, or Sony F55. I don’t care about Apple Pro Res or Avid DNxHR. They all do the job. It only matters what the client wants.

If you are looking for a rock-solid, long-proven technology for yourself and do not need to share archives with clients, Tolis BRU is fantastic. If you work with multiple clients, and they are all using Tolis products, you are all set.

But if you work with multiple clients who have chosen a variety of systems from a variety of manufacturers, and they ASK you to look at LTFS solutions, then you should be looking at LTFS solutions. It’s all up to the client.

My clients asked me to look into the cheapest-possible LTFS options from other companies, so I that is what I have done.


Don’t get sucked into the “LTFS is cheap because the software is free and open source” hype. The fact is that no LTFS software that works, and is well-supported, is cheap. The software that works starts at around $499.

The only one that is free is Hewlett Packard StoreOpen, and that package is a nightmare. It is ridiculously slow, even by LTO standards. It is painful to use, and has no support. Don’t use it. You will try to make it work, and you will fail, and you will come to Creative COW for advice, and the advice will be, stop trying to use unsupported software for mission-critical work.

HP StoreOpen and Linear Tape File System (LTFS) Software

However, my clients were very clear to me. They did not want a rundown of everything out there. They asked me to find the CHEAPEST systems that actually work, that writes LTO tapes in the LTFS format, that have capable hardware and fully-supported software.

Here is what I found.


With the release of Apple’s new Thunderbolt computers, everyone wanted Thunderbolt everything. Of course that meant Thunderbolt disk drives, but it also meant Thunderbolt LTO tape drives. And this demand led to the release of themLogic mTape, which became the first commercially available LTO drive that had a Thunderbolt interface.

mLogic mTape Desktop Thunderbolt LTO6

There were lots of software programs that worked with the mLogic mTape, but “everyone” wanted the LTFS standard.

Then along came Imagine Products “PreRollPost”, which was an easy to use LTO program that ran on Apple computers, and that used the LTFS standard to create the LTO tapes. So it became the perfect combination of Apple, LTO, and LTFS.

Preview of the upcoming Windows release of Imagine Products PreRollPost

(Note that Thunderbolt is not exclusive to LTFS. Don’t forget: LTO is the kind of tape. While I have been talking about manufacturers who format LTO tapes as LTFS, TOLIS Group does in fact have the TOLIS ArGest Thunderbolt product line that writes LTO tapes to their own format.)


Most people don’t want to spend the money for a tape library, so they will make single tapes – no different than you would have Sony Beta tapes in the past. Many clients have one LTO tape per show, or one tape per project. This is what I have dealt with mostly in the past, particularly with Imagine Products PreRoll Post, and the mLogic mTape.

And before this, the same single tape process with Cache-A (bought by ProMAX and renamed Pro-Cache) or Tolis BRU and a single LTO tape from from Hewlett Packard. No different than you would have Sony Beta tapes in the past. One LTO tape per show, or one tape per project. This is what I have dealt with mostly in the past, particularly with Imagine Products PreRoll Post, and the mLogic mTape.

As storage grows, and drives continue to fail as time goes on, more and more people are getting nervous, and are asking about larger LTO tape solutions.

In the past, these solutions have been very expensive. But as the entire video industry changed, and low cost video products came out, the exact same thing is happening to “enterprise level computer solutions.” LTO tape libraries are one such solution.

LTO Tape Libraries are large enclosures that hold multiple LTO tapes at one time, just like large RAID arrays hold multiple disk drives at one time. Hewlett Packard, and Quantum, and Tanberg made these large LTO Tape Drive Libraries, and most of the established LTO software companies had solutions that incorporated these products, but they were expensive.

Even if somebody was had the budget to go the LTO tape library route, they were complicated to use, and required a lot of training.

Wasn’t there an easy solution?


At NAB 2015, Highpoint Technology continued to release their ever expanding line of Thunderbolt to anything that you can think of adaptors. One of their little products was a new box called the RocketStor 6328, which was an adaptor that converted Thunderbolt to MiniSAS. Highpoint had been aggressively working on getting their product to be compatible with LTO tape drive products.

Highpoint Technology RocketStor 6328

But I was already happy with the mLogic mTape, which was an LTO drive that already had a built-in Thunderbolt port, so no need for any adaptor boxes. But of course, there was no LTO Tape Library product like this.

Highpoint suggested that I try their product with an LTO tape library. The problem was that most LTO libraries were expensive, and that most “solutions” that existed for LTO libraries were expensive. But thanks to wonderful trade shows like the NAB show, you can wander around and find companies that you may have never heard of, that have these amazing products that do exactly what you want.


I found two such companies. The first was Qualstar. They made LTO libraries, for a fraction of the price of other options. Qualstar was actually a very large established company, that had the “big expensive stuff, but the Q24 was an “entry level” product that looked like it would suit my requirements.

Qualstar Q24

So the Highpoint 6328 would plug into a Mac or Windows computer, and the other side of the Highpoint would plug into the miniSAS connector on the Qualstar Q24.  Now, I needed software to get all this to work.

I contacted Imagine Products again, but their wonderful PreRoll Post software would not support an LTO tape library.


As I walked through the aisles of NAB, I remember seeing a little company called YoYotta, who made LTO software that supported LTFS. They informed me about their YoYotta ID Automation software, which not only supported LTFS, but was designed to operate with an LTO Tape Library. And they offered a free trial download and training videos on their website, to see how to use their product.

I had my combination of products. My little Thunderbolt Mac Mini, my Highpoint 6328 Thunderbolt to miniSAS adaptor, my Qualstar Q24 LTO tape library, and the YoYotta ID Automation software.

YoYotta software ID Automation

There was not much to the installation. Load the drivers for the Highpoint on your Mac, load the YoYotta ID software, and jump in.

I was pleasantly surprised that the Qualstar Q24 offered a simple web GUI interface, which was accessed simply by typing in an IP address in your browser to see everything about the product, including how many drives were loaded into the tape libraries, and the ability to eject the LTO tape magazines right from the web GUI interface. No need to learn the buttons on the front panel of the Qualstar – everything was right there on the web interface.

I am always intimidated by learning new complex software, but the YoYotta software was not only easy to use, they had step by step training videos on their website, on how to use their software. I literally ran these videos while I had their software up on my computer, and followed step by step on the process of formatting a tape to the LTFS format, dragging media from my disk drives into the LTO software menu, mounting the LTO tape (any one you want, simply by clicking on it), and hitting the big green PLAY button to get the LTO tape archive process started.

It was really easy, and it showed a progress bar of how long the archive would take. When it was done, it showed little green checkmarks to indicate that everything was finished, and a little chime went off indicating that everything was done.

The YoYotta software also offered the ability to email me when the archive was written, in case I wanted to walk away from the archive process, to let me know that everything was done. This software, like most of the professional LTO software products, also offers the MD5 checksum option, to insure that every drop of data that has been archived to tape is absolutely accurate.

The process could not have been simpler.


All of my clients are using Macs, so I did not try to be as thorough researching products that would work for other platforms.

There are of course wonderful Windows LTO products. I have already mentioned Qualstar, mLogic, and Highpoint, and Tolis Group. Others include StorageDNA, XenData, Archiware, Crossroads, and Pro-Cache. Many of these also support Linux.

Some of these are not necessarily as simple as the Mac solutions I found. For example, some of these are combined hardware-software solutions, and can be expensive. Tolis Group BRU Server supports only a subset of their Mac features on Windows. Imagine Group says only that their Windows solutions are coming soon.

However, it is simple enough for a facility that is otherwise primarily, or entirely, based on Windows, to simply add a Mac Mini and inexpensive, well-supported software applications like the ones I have mentioned.

Even with the expense of adding a Mac Mini (which most Mac shops will not need to do of course), these make for a very inexpensive solution to a complex problem, that in the past has been wildly cost prohibitive.

The realization that a complex task like this was now, not only easy to do, but cost effective, shows that everything about the audio and video industry is going out to the masses, and there are no longer boundaries as to what anyone can, and cannot do, no matter how complex a task it may appear to be.

Subtitles from Editorial to Digital Prints, TV & Mobile/Online platforms

I worked on many indian projects for converting subtitles (many think they can do it themselves without any professional help) to Digital Prints (ASC file format) & SRT (TV) & Online / Mobile (SBV and many more) using combination of many subtitle Conversion softwares & Editing Systems.

I ask editors/subtitle creator to do the spotting of subtitles in their beloved NLE (Non-Linear Editing Softwares namely AVID or FCP, Now Premiere is choice of many for their robust many file formats ingesting and playback capabilities without generating offline files) and deliver me the files as Avid BIN / FCP Project or XML file and then I use Annotation Edit or Title Exchange software to generate ASC / SRT / YOUTUBE SBV Subtitle file formats. You can do many file format convertions. Given below in how many formats you convert from & to…




The above screenshots are taken from Title Exchange Software which can be purchased for a donation from here…

Note: I am no way paid from TitleExchange and I purchased this software by paying it.

How to get files for Title Exchange is based on what software you are using.

If you use FinalCutpro Place Text layer in appropriate timings in Timeline and export FCP XML to bring it to Title Exchange software.


If you use Avid use Avid SubCap Effect and time it based on your subtitle and export as an Avid DS Caption.


If you use Adobe Premiere Pro, You can use their closed captioning feature to spot subtitles and export to suitable format which can be imported to Annotation Edit or Title Exchange.

Once you done your prepartion of spotting your subtitles, you can now bring to either Title Exchange or Annotation Edit to export to your desired output formats from Digital Cinema Print Subtitles to SRT for TV to Blu-ray to DVD to Youtube or anyother Online / Mobile Platforms.

Happy Subtitling.

You can purchase the following software from below links,

Title Exchange:

Annotation Edit:

Note: Since Adobe Premiere Pro doesn’t allow to use their text formats to translate to other formats, its not possible to use Adobe Premiere Pro except you use their Closed Caption.

Stayzilla | Commercial | Colorist

Recently worked as colorist for  APP commercial titled “Make Room For Something New | Open Up With Styazilla” for a home stay brand  STAYZILLA which is making rage in Youtube crossing 2.15 Million views in 3 weeks of its launch.

First time used DNG Still Frames in Davinci Resolve 12 to grade this project and its a great experience in working with renowned director of this project who is the diretctor of tamil cult film “ARANYA KANDAM”. Thanks Kumararja Thiagaraja & DOP Jeeva Sankar for this great opportunity.

Here is commercial for your viewing..

More information about the technicians as follows:
Written and Directed by: Thiagarajan Kumararaja
Voice: Gautam Vasudev Menon
Cinematography: Jeeva Sankar
Production Designer: Gopi Prasannaa
Art Director: Nindan
Animator: Udaya
Art Assistants: Adheesh, Parthiban Shankar V Kumar
Editing: Satyaraj Natarajan
Executive Producer: Swathi Raghuraaman
VFX Supervisor: Aravind
Music Director: Ghibran
Assistant Camera: Saravanan
Production House: Tyler Durden and Kinofist
Colorist: Balaji Gopal
Sound FX: Koothan, Suren
Sound Engineer : Tapas Nayak
Costumes: Manju Bhargavi


Via (

Some words have a variety of meanings, and we can sometimes get confused with their purpose and usage. For instance, what is the difference between continually and continuously? They are often used interchangeably but there are key variances. According to continually means “very often; at regular or frequent intervals,” and continuously means “unceasingly; constantly; without interruption.” For example: the executive continually reads the stock reports at noon each day versus the executive reads the stock reports continuously, all day long without stopping. The latter would be quite tiresome and nonproductive. Similarly, backup and archive are sometimes used interchangeably but important distinctions exist, especially in practice. Let’s take a closer look.

It Makes A Difference

Backup and Archive – It Makes a Difference

Backup (often called Backup and Restore) is making a copy of current data so that it can be utilized to restore the data in the unforeseen circumstance that the original data was corrupted, deleted or destroyed by unintentional or intentional means. We discussed these data destroyers in a previous BlogBytes called the “Backup Blacklist.” The backup is often done incrementally and kept for certain lengths of time (seven days, two weeks, etc.) based on user set policies that consider the data value, as well as internal and external requirements.

Archive stores a single instance of the data or data sets, a historical collection, explicitly chosen for potential long term future usage. A key distinction here is that archived data is the original or single copy and is typically no longer in current usage.

Some treat multiple backups as their data archive and are unnecessarily creating a mountain of information that can consume space and costs. Once data is no longer in the ‘active’ category but a single copy is still needed in the chance that it may be recalled, it should be moved to the archive for long term retention. This practice can free up primary storage and backup space, lessen backup management overhead, and provide easier classification and retrieval of the information from the archive, rather than trying to sift through multiple copies of backed up information.

Mine that Data

Can You Mine the Data


Most archive management software provides capabilities not typically found in backup processes such as cataloging and metadata search. Information Lifecycle Governance (ILG) enables that cataloging, eDiscovery, defensible deletion and data retention on lowest cost data storage infrastructures. The metadata could include names, labels, data types, owners, dates and more. This can provide the means to mine the archive to address a variety of important requests such as an internal audit, customer inquiry or regulatory requirement. Tape storage data can be mined and with use of the Linear Tape File System the mining of metadata on LTO tape becomes even easier. Especially when used with archive management software offered by a variety of LTFS supporting providers.



Where Do Tape and Disk Fit?

Enterprise disk and flash are used for primary data storage and can be backed up to other storage devices

Feed Me Backup Dollars

including deduplicated disk and tape. Deduplication has provided the means to reduce the amount of space typically needed to store data thereby stretching the storage investment dollar. Bear in mind though, deduplication needs to see multiple copies of the same data set to do its dedupe magic. When the original file is put in the archive for long term storage, it is the only copy. Therefore, deduplication will have little effect on this single version of the original data that is now in the archive. That and other benefits make tape the prime choice for archive storage to contain costs while providing protection for original content. This can put money back in to the enterprise piggy bank.

One last note: since the archive contains original and single copy data, make a second copy on tape and move it offsite for the ultimate protection. Essentially, it is a backup of the archive. LTO Tape is low cost…do it now.

To sum up, with carefully chosen descriptors, backup and archive processes need to occur continually to help protect data, contain costs, and provide management information to keep the enterprise running continuously.

Why we need Invisible Watermarking in Post Production

Via Kodak Website,

Illicit copying of movies has long been a concern of the motion picture industry, and technology developments over the last few decades are making piracy an even bigger threat. According to the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), movie piracy costs the studios over $3 billion dollars in lost revenue each year. Fortunately, Kodak researchers have been working on a way to help combat piracy through the use of invisible watermarking.

Although there are many ways for pirates to acquire illegal copies of movies, the simplest and one of the most common is to use a camcorder to record the movie as it is projected in a theater. As the digital distribution and projection of movies (aka ‘digital cinema’) becomes more common, strong encryption technology promises to make it harder to steal a movie before it’s projected. But as it’s projected, the possibility of ‘pirates’ making an ‘untraceable’ camcorder copy will be much more difficult because of Kodak’s invisible watermarking technology.

With this technology, every screening of every digitally projected movie could have its own unique code. This code, which is buried in the pixels, is invisible to the audience but is copied into the pirated version. These ‘watermarks’ provide the ‘fingerprints’ for tracing where and when the movie was stolen. While watermarking doesn’t directly prevent theft, it can

  • identify the scene of the crime and repeat offenders
  • identify breaks in the chain of trust during the distribution process
  • improve the conviction rate and reduce the time and expense of litigation
  • act as a deterrent to future piracy
exhibition fingerprinting

exhibition fingerprinting


The information contained in a watermark can be just about anything, but at a minimum, it should include a unique ID code that identifies the theater (and the specific screen) and the date and time of the movie showing. The invisible watermark is carried along with the movie content as it is pirated onto a camcorder and subsequently distributed. If an illegal copy is recovered, the watermark information can be extracted from the copy, and the time and place of the original theft is known.

While there are several watermarking solutions available on the general market, the Digital Cinema applications pose some particularly difficult problems. The issue is whether the watermark can survive the numerous degradations that occur when a movie is copied from the screen using a camcorder. These degradations include magnification changes, the warping of perspective, loss of sharpness, effects of interlacing, changes in contrast and color, temporal sampling rate changes, and more. Many watermarking techniques cannot survive even simple alterations to the watermarked data, but Kodak’s technology for robust, invisible watermarking can be applied to Digital Cinema with exceptional results. Besides its performance, Kodak’s watermarking process includes secure keys for embedding and extracting the watermarks, which prevents unauthorized tampering and extraction of the watermark.

While piracy can never be stopped, legal enforcement of copyright laws is critical to minimizing it. That legal enforcement depends on good evidence. And one way to provide that evidence is Kodak’s invisible watermarking technology. Invisible watermarks provide the “fingerprints” for tracing where and when a movie was stolen. While watermarking doesn’t directly prevent theft, it can provide key evidence of when and where the copy was made.


Note: The above was demonstrated by Kodak in Showest in March 2001 (Link:

Currently  high quality copies can be easily captured via HD consumer camcorders  or even SmartPhones like iPhone & Samsung which records upto 1080p can be used for making illegal movie copies, which can be distributed shortly after the movie release.

Currently in India Qube Digital Cinema provides secured forensic watermarking via Civolution NexGuard.

NexGuard – Digital Cinema:


NexGuard – Digital Cinema offers unique image and audio forensic marking, enabling illegal copies found, to be traced back to the theatre where the camcording occurred. NexGuard – Digital Cinema is fully compliant with the specifications from the Digital Cinema Initiatives (DCI), a joint venture of the major film studios, which made forensic marking of digital movies – including both image and sound – a mandatory requirement. Provided as an integral component of the Digital Cinema server system, NexGuard – Digital Cinema offers great advantages. The forensic mark is added to the content upon projection and includes a location identifier and a time stamp.


  • Illegal copies of film are traceable to a specific cinema, screen and date/time  of projection
  • The watermark is imperceptible to the human eye and ear
  • Approved by the major Hollywood studios, the NexGuard – Digital Cinema watermark is very robust and can survive to in-theatre camcording and subsequent compression to low bitrates
  • Integrated into many leading 2K, 4K and 3D cinema server and projector brands
  • Fully DCI compliant D-cinema version
  • Video watermarking technology also available for E-cinema servers

The above technology has been implemented in both D-Cinema & E-Cinema Servers by only one company in India, Qube.

Licensed Cinema Servers by NexGuard Invisible Watermarking Technology worldwide are as follow,

Licensed cinema servers:

  1. Christie Digital Systems
  2. Dolby Digital Cinema (Dolby Laboratories)
  3. Doremi Cinema (Doremi Labs)
  4. GDC Technology (Global Digital Creations)
  5. MikroM GmbH
  6. Qube Cinema (Real Image)
  7. NEC
  8. Digicine ORISTAR Technology Development (Beijing) Co., Ltd.
  9. Sony’s Digital Cinema Solutions (Sony Electronics)
  10. Ultra Stereo Labs, Inc (USL)


The above invisible watermarking technology are only used in Digital Cinema Exhibition worldwide, Whats worrying now in filmmaking stages are movies being pirated in Post Production Stage itself.Two example being a full film of Jaggubhai starring Sarathkumar available on net before the release of film which was pirated at post production stage and yesterday Ajith staring Arrambam, a 50sec footage captured via phone from a TV in post production stage leaked in Facebook & Youtube.

What currently needed at Post Production stages are after shooting in digital, files need to be back-up multiple mediums including Hard Disks, RAIDs & LTO Tape Archive. Once done and when footage are send for Editorial needs to be encrypted  and encrypted contents can only open content by running decrypted software in Editorial and same needs to continue to every post production stage including Dubbing, Sound FX, Re Recording, Sound Mixing and copies for Producers, Directors, DOP & Actors. In every stage there needs to be decrypting software running in all these place which will have invisible watermarking and when there is a duplicated copy taken from any of these places via capturing and copying can be easily deductible and easy to question people. For this to happen Producers & Crew needs to be educated on advantages of this and software implementation for which there will be cost.

Hope industry agree to this and start working towards this.

Why Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will replace GoPro in Feature Films

Advantages of GoPro cameras are its size and image reproduction at that price which made film makers across the world to use it in framing shots in feature films which is not possible with any other camera. Still DOPs across the world in-spite of GoPro Hero3 4K image reproduction with better imaging & low light performance are not happy till date, but use it modestly for shots which are impossible with current cameras including Film Cameras and Digital Cinema Cameras like Arri Alexa, Red Epic / Scarlet, Sony F65 / F55 / F5, Phantom Flex / HD, SI2K and so on. Above all GoPro Hero3 produces brilliant image but not ready for big screen projection is my point of view.

BMC Pocket Cinema Camera Wide Dynamic Range

BMC Pocket Cinema Camera Wide Dynamic Range

GoPro Hero3:

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition

GoPro Hero3 Black Edition




GoPro Hero3 Specs:


  • Ultra sharp ƒ/2.8 6-element aspherical glass lens
  • Ultra wide angle / reduced distortion
  • 2X Better low-light performance

Video (NTSC/PAL)

Video Resolution NTSC fps PAL fps STD Mode Protune Mode Field of View (FOV) Screen Resolution/ Aspect Ratio
1080p 60, 48, 30, 24 fps 50, 48, 25, 24 fps YES YES Ultra Wide, Medium, Narrow 1920×1080 16:9
720p 120, 60 fps 100, 50 fps YES YES Ultra Wide, Narrow* 1280×720 16:9
1440p 48, 30, 24 fps 48, 25, 24 fps YES YES Ultra Wide 1920×1440 4:3
4K 15 fps 12.5 fps NO ONLY in Protune Ultra Wide 3840×2160 16:9
4K Cin 12 fps 12 fps NO ONLY in Protune Ultra Wide 4096×2160 17:9
2.7K 30 fps 25 fps YES* YES Ultra Wide 2704×1524 16:9
2.7K Cin 24 fps 24 fps YES* YES Ultra Wide 2704×1440 17:9
960p 100, 48 fps 100, 48 fps YES YES Ultra Wide 1280×960 4:3
WVGA 240 fps 240 fps YES NO Ultra Wide 848×480 16:9

Note *May require a software update on camera

  • Video format: H.264 codec, .mp4 file format
  • White Balance: auto and manual

Photo Modes

  • 12, 7, 5MP resolutions
  • Burst: 30 photos per second
  • Continuous Photo: 3 photos per second, 5 photos per second, 10 photos per second
  • Time-lapse: 0.5, 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, 60 second intervals
  • Simultaneous Photo + Video:
    • 12MP + 1440p24 fps
    • 8MP + 1080p30 fps 8
    • 8MP + 720p60 fps


Battery & Charging

  • 1050mAh rechargeable lithium-ion
  • Charge via USB
Black Edition
Black Edition with LCD Touch BacPac™
Black Edition using with Wi-Fi Remote
Black Edition using GoPro App
RES/FPS Estimated Time Estimated Time Estimated Time Estimated Time
720/60 1:25 1:10 1:20 1:10
1080/30 1:30 1:15 1:25 1:15
1080/60 1:15 1:00 1:05 1:00
1440/48 1:25 1:05 1:15 n/a
4k/15 1:30 1:10 1:20 n/a
2.7k/30 1:20 1:05 1:10 n/a
  1. Extreme cold temperatures may decrease battery life. For use in these conditions it is suggested to keep camera in a warm place prior to use.
  2. To maximize HERO3 battery life when shooting longer duration activities, it’s is best to use camera with LCD Touch BacPac turned off or unattached altogether. Turning off Wi-Fi will also help conserve power.
  3. Using protune mode will increase power consumption. May vary per mode and camera edition.



  • Mono, 48kHz, AAC compression w/ AGC
  • Supports optional 3.5mm stereo mic adapter **



  • Memory:
    • MicroSD class 10 or higher required
    • Up to 64GB capacity supported
  • Record times will vary with resolutions and frame rates

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera:

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

A true Super 16 digital film camera that’s small enough to take anywhere!

  1. 13 Stops of Dynamic Range in true digital film like images
  2. Super 16 Sensor Size
  3. Lossless CinemaDNG RAW & Apple ProRes
  4. Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount
  5. 1080p HD Resolution to SD Cards
  6. 3.5″ LCD at Back
  7. Professional Connections include micro HDMI out, mini jack microphone input like AV Style microphones, mini jack headphone for audio monitoring, LANC control input for remote operation and removable rechargeable battery with 12V DC input.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Accessories are already ready for shipping from Wooden Camera –

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera













Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera - MFT Lens Mount

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera – MFT Lens Mount




Hence with size and affordability, Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera will replace GoPro in feature film production in near future. Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera is expected to ship in couple of days for a price of $995.

Last week Arri announced for their Pre-Nab 2013, product line which replaces their existing Alexa SxS Card slot with Arri XT Module which will capture ARRIRAW in 512GB XR Capture drive which is an SSD technology storage drives. Here are the official announcement and details about the new Camera Technology implementation with an easy upgrade path to his current Alexa Camera models.


With the ALEXA XT cameras (Xtended Technology) ARRI is refreshing the ALEXA product line, incorporating new features inspired by feedback from professional users. These features will expand on the benefits that have already made ALEXA such an extraordinary success – highest overall image quality and lowest overall production cost through reliability, ergonomics and efficient workflows.

The ALEXA XT, ALEXA XT M, ALEXA XT Plus and ALEXA XT Studio cameras will replace all previous models except for the original ALEXA. Owners of existing ALEXA cameras will be able to purchase individual upgrades that deliver most of the features of the XT configuration.


Main Features

  • Refresh of ALEXA camera family
  • XR Module for faster, more affordable ARRIRAW
    • In-camera ARRIRAW up to 120 fps
    • In-camera ProRes or DNxHD up to 120 fps*
    • Fast 512 GB XR Capture Drives
    • Proven, efficient Codex on-set or near-set workflows
  • Less weight and easier working with internal NDs
    • In-camera Filter Module IFM-1
    • Internal filtration reduces reflections, weight and hassle
    • New high-tech filters based on white-water optical glass
    • Neutral color balance at all densities through absorptive IRND coating
    • Accurate infrared cut off
    • High image sharpness through precision polishing
    • High contrast through anti-reflective multi-coating
    • Available in 8 densities from ND 0.3 to ND 2.4
  • True anamorphic with a 4:3 sensor
    • 4:3 sensor on all XT models
    • Anamorphic de-squeeze license included
  • High speed license included
  • Lens metadata for efficient VFX
    • LDS PL Mount on all XT models
  • Comfortable, flexible new viewfinder mounting
    • Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3
    • Strong and rigid construction
    • 15 mm lightweight rods hold viewfinder mount
    • Rods can take lens motors, matte boxes, follow focus etc.
    • Special hard, low friction anodizing on all moving parts
    • Built-in bubble level
    • New Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3 (separate accessory)
    • New, sturdy VEB-3 design
    • Viewfinder rests on camera through VEB-3 fold out arm
  • Super silent XT Fan
  • XT-spec upgrades for existing ALEXAs
    • Separately available upgrades include: the XR Module, In-camera Filter Module IFM-1, Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3, Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3, XT Fan and the anamorphic de-squeeze and high speed licenses.


ALEXA XT New Features

XR Module for faster, more affordable ARRIRAW
All ALEXA XT models come with the new XR Module, a side panel that was co-developed with Codex and that replaces the previous SxS Module, allowing in-camera ARRIRAW recording up to 120 fps onto exceptionally fast and rugged 512 GB XR Capture Drives. This not only makes for a smaller, lighter and more affordable camera package, it also simplifies setup and operation while avoiding unnecessary cabling. The result is an even faster and more reliable workflow on set.

In addition to ARRIRAW, ProRes or DNxHD can also be captured to the XR Capture Drive for significantly longer recording times as well as ProRes 4444 recording at 120 fps. With an SxS Adapter it is possible to record ProRes or DNxHD to a single SxS PRO card.

Once removed from the camera, the XR Capture Drive offers a number of different paths into post, using the proven Codex workflow. First, a small and affordable USB3 Single Dock allows quick and safe copying of data onto a laptop. Second, the Dual Dock can make clones of XR Capture Drives and connect to a Mac Pro via a high speed SAS interface for speedy copying, archiving or dailies creation. And third, the Codex Vault is a modular and rugged all-in-one solution for fast and easy copying, archiving, reporting or dailies creation on or near-set.

Less weight and easier working with internal NDs
The In-camera Filter Module IFM-1 allows ALEXA XT models to be rated at the base sensitivity of EI 800 without the need for external Neutral Density (ND) filters, even in bright sunlight. Filtering behind the lens rather than in front saves time and reduces weight, reflections and operational complexity.

The Precision IRND filters used with the IFM-1 are based on new technologies that assure highest image quality. An absorptive IRND coating attenuates the light while maintaining a perfectly neutral color balance at all densities and providing an accurate infrared cut off. A base of water-white optical glass, precision polished to create perfectly parallel surfaces, guarantees a clear and sharp image. And last but not least, a high image contrast is ensured by an additional broadband anti-reflective multi-coating that reduces internal reflections. Precision IRND filters are available in eight densities from ND 0.3 to ND 2.4.

True anamorphic with a 4:3 sensor
Each of the ALEXA XT models is equipped with a 4:3 image sensor, the same size and shape as a 35 mm film frame. This is crucial for the effective use of anamorphic lenses, which deliver a unique and cinematic widescreen look that can trace its origins back to the CinemaScope films of the 1950s. It is a look that has long been appreciated by cinematographers, directors and the viewing public alike. An anamorphic de-squeeze license is included with all XT cameras, as is a high speed license for filming at up to 120 fps. The 4:3 sensor will also be useful on non-anamorphic productions as it permits significant reframing of the image in post, similar to shooting 4-perforation 35 mm.

Lens metadata for efficient VFX
Lens metadata is invaluable for a speedy VFX post workflow, which is why all ALEXA XT models are equipped with an LDS lens mount. The ARRI Lens Data System (LDS) reads the position of all lens rings and writes them into metadata in every format ALEXA can record. Over 41 lens models have LDS built-in, including the ARR/Zeiss Master Anamorphics, ARRI/Zeiss Master Primes, ARRI/Zeiss Master Macro 100, ARRI/Zeiss LDS Ultra Primes, ARRI/Zeiss Master Zoom 16.5-110, ARRI/Fujinon Alura Lightweight Zoom 15.5-45 and ARRI/Fujinon Alura Lightweight Zoom 30-80. For all other lenses it is possible to store the lens table inside the ALEXA by using the Lens Data Archive feature.

Comfortable, flexible new viewfinder mounting
Never satisfied with good-enough, ARRI engineers have scrutinized the ALEXA viewfinder bracket and come up with a stronger, more rigid design. Two 15 mm lightweight rods are used by the new Viewfinder Mounting Bracket VMB-3, creating extra sturdiness and allowing the use of accessories such as lens motors, follow focus units or matte boxes. Attaching such accessories to the viewfinder bracket removes clutter from the camera’s base plate, facilitating rapid changes in camera support, i.e. from a tripod to a crane or Steadicam. A special anodizing process is used on all moving parts for a very hard yet low-friction surface.

Also available as a separate accessory is the new Viewfinder Extension Bracket VEB-3, with a new and sturdy design and a fold-out arm that holds the viewfinder securely in place when moving the camera.
Note: All technical data based on Software Update Packet (SUP) 8.0, except: * DNxHD recording in general and ProRes 4444 at 120 fps will be available in a later SUP. All data subject to change without notice.


22 Feb 2013 ALEXA XT Preliminary – Data Sheet
Download (pdf, 2.97 MB)

For more information, please visit Arri Digital website

Canon develops 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for video capture

Canon Official Press Release dated March 4,2013:

Canon develops 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for video capture

  • The newly developed 35 mm full-frame
    CMOS sensor for video use
  • Prototype camera incorporating the newly
    developed 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor

TOKYO, March 4, 2013—Canon Inc. announced today that the company has successfully developed a high-sensitivity 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor exclusively for video recording. Delivering high-sensitivity, low-noise imaging performance, the new Canon 35 mm CMOS sensor*1 enables the capture of Full HD video even in exceptionally low-light environments.

The newly developed CMOS sensor features pixels measuring 19 microns square in size, which is more than 7.5-times the surface area of the pixels on the CMOS sensor incorporated in Canon’s top-of-the-line EOS-1D X and other digital SLR cameras. In addition, the sensor’s pixels and readout circuitry employ new technologies that reduce noise, which tends to increase as pixel size increases. Thanks to these technologies, the sensor facilitates the shooting of clearly visible video images even in dimly lit environments with as little as 0.03 lux of illumination, or approximately the brightness of a crescent moon—a level of brightness in which it is difficult for the naked eye to perceive objects. When recording video of astral bodies, while an electron-multiplying CCD,*2 which realizes approximately the same level of perception as the naked eye, can capture magnitude-6 stars, Canon’s newly developed CMOS sensor is capable of recording faint stars with a magnitude of 8.5 and above.*3

Using a prototype camera employing the newly developed sensor, Canon successfully captured a wide range of test video,*4 such as footage recorded in a room illuminated only by the light from burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video of the Geminid meteor shower. The company is looking to such future applications for the new sensor as astronomical and natural observation, support for medical research, and use in surveillance and security equipment. Through the further development of innovative CMOS sensors, Canon aims to expand the world of new imaging expression.

Canon Marketing Japan Inc. will be exhibiting a prototype camera that incorporates the newly developed 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor and sample footage captured with the camera at SECURITY SHOW 2013 (, which will be held from Tuesday, March 5, to Friday, March 8, at the Tokyo International Exhibition Center in Tokyo, Japan.

*1An imaging element (aspect ratio: 16:9) that supports the largest image circle size possible when shooting with a Canon EF lens.
*2A CCD sensor with a readout mechanism that multiplies electrons after being converted from light. Applications include nighttime surveillance and the capture of astral bodies and nighttime nature scenes.
*3The brightness of a star decreases 2.5-times with each 1 magnitude increase.
*4Recording of test video footage was made possible through cooperation from ZERO Corporation.

Footage using the 35 mm full-frame CMOS sensor for Full HD video capture


Dragon Sensor – 6K @ 80fps with 21stops of Dynamic Range

EPIC Dragon Sensor

Epic Dragon Sensor Dynamic Range Chart

Yesterday midnight at the stroke of new year in forum, Jim Jannard announced first image of Red new Dragon Sensor which is capable of 21stops of Dynamic Range in 6K @ 80fps.

Jim Jannard message in reduser forum,

“Happy New Year everyone… just a bit of an update on Dragon. 
There are some people that think RED has been standing still.. Quite the contrary. We just have been a bit quiet with our hands full harnessing the fire-breathing power of the Dragon.

Dragon was born from a brand new pixel design, with a new fab process and a new read out architecture that has resulted in a sensor that is cleaner and that has more dynamic range than anyone expected. 

One of our most reserved sensor engineers wrote Jim and I this morning after shooting a test and these were his words:

” First time in ten years that I’m speechless ” 

Getting Dragon done was one of the most difficult things we have ever done… but it has turned out to be much more than we could of ever imagined. 

This much range coming off of a sensor has never been done before.. let alone at over 6k at 80 frames a second.. so we had to beef up the entire infrastructure of EPIC. 

This is likely to affect the price of the upgrade a bit.. and its going to close the door on any chance of a Scarlet to be able to upgrade to Dragon. 

We are however.. going to be offering a trade-in program much like we did with the R1 for Scarlet customers to get into an Epic Dragon. 

So on the last day of the year of the Dragon, I am going to share with you a frame that was taken this morning. 

Don’t look at image quality here… this is a dirty debayer with no black calibration, no offset correction and no processing on a special 21 stop DR Chart from DSC. 

This is from a prototype ” Frankie ” Epic camera with a really, really expensive engineering lens that really, really sucks at taking pretty pictures, on a non-sealed lens mount ( hence the light bloom ) but it gives you a bit of an idea on just how powerful all your cameras are about to become. 
“Real” Images coming soon… ( but not tonight )”

Hope to see more images soon and this post also hints at change in pricing for Epic Dragon Sensor upgrade program and hopefully end of Scarlet which leads to special pricing upgrade package for Epic Dragon from Scralet like the one which they previously announced for RedOne MX to Epic.