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Teradek Cube HD Video Encoder


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#1 Teradek

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Posted 23 August 2010 - 09:13 PM

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in the forum, but I hope to become a regular contributor. My company, Teradek, makes HD video encoders and a product of ours called Cube has been making a ton of noise over on the Red User forum and on Cinema5D. Cube is the world's first camera-top HD video encoder. It's tiny and perfect for Steadicam rigs.

We've been beta testing with a few Steadicam guys and they recommended we post here and say hi.

Here's some of our beta test footage

If you're interested in learning more about Cube you can check here www.teradek.com and here at www.thevideocube.com. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for letting me join the forum.

Best,

Rod Clark
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#2 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 12:52 AM

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in the forum, but I hope to become a regular contributor. My company, Teradek, makes HD video encoders and a product of ours called Cube has been making a ton of noise over on the Red User forum and on Cinema5D. Cube is the world's first camera-top HD video encoder. It's tiny and perfect for Steadicam rigs.

We've been beta testing with a few Steadicam guys and they recommended we post here and say hi.

Here's some of our beta test footage

If you're interested in learning more about Cube you can check here www.teradek.com and here at www.thevideocube.com. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for letting me join the forum.

Best,

Rod Clark



6 frame delay!
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#3 Eric Fletcher S.O.C.

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:09 AM

Hi everyone,

This is my first post in the forum, but I hope to become a regular contributor. My company, Teradek, makes HD video encoders and a product of ours called Cube has been making a ton of noise over on the Red User forum and on Cinema5D. Cube is the world's first camera-top HD video encoder. It's tiny and perfect for Steadicam rigs.

We've been beta testing with a few Steadicam guys and they recommended we post here and say hi.

Here's some of our beta test footage

If you're interested in learning more about Cube you can check here www.teradek.com and here at www.thevideocube.com. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks for letting me join the forum.

Best,

Rod Clark



6 frame delay!


Are you kidding me? 6 frames? .25seconds? that's UNUSABLE
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#4 Charles Papert

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 03:13 AM

Chatted with these folks a month or two ago. Some interesting possibilities but yes, the shortest delay is too long for our kind of requirements. Of course, for non-dialogue situations or the budget-strapped, it's an interesting alternative.

One of the things that sounded intriguing was the cability to transmit the image so that it could be viewed on anyiPhone or iPad--but that would have a latency of 10...SECONDS. Yup.
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#5 Teradek

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 11:56 AM

Guys, thanks for the feedback and expressing concerns.

Latency is an issue anytime you begin compressing video. The minimum theoretical possible latency if you were shooting at 24fps would be 43ms, because the CMOS has to capture the whole frame before it can begin processing. Given the electronic of the camera, the processing time involved, then just transporting the video off of the camera itself would probably equate to two or three frames. After receiving the data, then we process it. That means we have to crunch between 200-350Mbs down to 2Mbs, and move it to the USB bus, and send it over WiFi... etc, etc,. You get the picture. There are challenges.

So, just to manage expectation a little. Cube is not for pulling focus! Cube is not for framing shots or operating. In the context of pulling focus, you're absolutely right, Cube is unusable.

Cube is for wireless monitoring, and for that purpose it works brilliantly. For monitoring, a few frames latency when viewed by a Director or DP isn't going to be a deal breaker.

Cube does have some features that are really Steadicam friendly. Cube only weights 6oz. Cube uses only a tiny amount of power. And Cube transmits full HD video. So, someone mentioned that it's great for low-budget (5D guys) without a VTR guy. Yes it is. But, it's actually better for untethered guys (like you) who have some infrastructure behind them. If you have a camera cart with a WiFi router on it, and a cable running to the VTR guy, you'll be running around the scene streaming live HD video, and even recording it for playback.

Now, regarding the iPad/iPhone issue. I'll give you a little background. Apple uses HTTP Live Streaming at their encapsulation protocol. It's a REALLY stable streaming platform because it buffers the images. But, the 10 second delay is there (which SUCKS!). But, we're developing an app for the iPad/iPhone that circumvents the HTTP Live Streaming buffer and displays images directly with RTP (a different protocol). So, in 6-8 weeks, we'll have solved the iPad latency issue. Once that's solved, Cube to iPad to Director is a slam dunk, and you guys can probably make your purchase price back in kit rental in 10 days of shooting.

Also, I was a AC for about 10 years before leaving the business to pursue other ventures. So I've got onset experience, so I should be able to answer questions relevantly.

And one final thing, we're located in Irvine. So if you're a SoCal guy, please feel free to come visit our offices one day. I'll buy you lunch if you'll run around our parking lot with your rig streaming HD video. my direct email is rod - at - teradek - dotcom

Thanks again for letting me participate in the forum. I hope with your feedback we can deliver a product that'll really suit your needs and make you a few bucks in the process.

rC
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#6 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:25 PM

"Cube is for wireless monitoring, and for that purpose it works brilliantly. For monitoring, a few frames latency when viewed by a Director or DP isn't going to be a deal breaker."

Latency in the image means that the sound is no longer in sync, you can't be on the same set watching the delayed image and listening to the actors in real time, without being annoyed by it, sorry. that's the reason why all other companies (IDX,BOXX,Transvideo) are working with uncompressed (delay-less) signals....
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#7 Teradek

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 06:35 PM

Jens,

Thanks for the feedback. You're right, the live sound and video sound will be out of synch. I guess you'd have to equip the director with headphones (which many wear anyways) and/or use Cube in situations where actors are out of earshot.

Thanks again for the feedback.

rC
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#8 Lawrence Karman

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:32 PM

Rod, thanks for taking time to explain the tech details. Sounds like you have been on set so you get an idea of what goes on there. I just don't think the Cube is practical for the kind of work most of the Steadicam ops on this forum do everyday. I do understand that at the price point you have to accept certain limitations. Just not sure video village would.(and yes I know there are sound delay devices that can be added to the audio headset feed) I did suggest your product to the producer of the show I'm doing now for the writer/producer to watch the HD video feed in his office but they elected to get a more expensive IDX HD high gain receiver instead.
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#9 SergeiFranklin

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 12:38 PM

I am testing the Cube.
It has a short delay, less than half a second. I think many directors and DPs will prefer a short delay in order to watch HD versus the standard def transmitter.
I am going to purchase a audio delay that sound can add to the headphone feed.
I just did a commercial with it and the DP pulled iris of the feed to the laptop, he could judge exposure on the laptop image.
It is the same size as the Modulus 3000.
I have used the IDX and they are too large. With the Cube I can mount it on the side of the camera and not have to re rig it for low mode.
I put a Airport Extreme on a C-stand and anyone with a computer and VLC can watch.
We also used it on a jib and got a clean image with the jib 75 feet away from the Airport.
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 01:19 PM

This is not the first time this scenario has presented itself. The first generation Camwave had a half-second delay; it was mated with an audio delay for the cans. I had heard that it was used on a number of sets and summarily rejected it for video assist purposes because the echo was too confusing. No reason to believe that it will be any more acceptable this time around.

The low budget world is another story. They are willing to put up with many kinds of inconveniences especially when there is a "coolness factor" involved.

As far as the form factor, obviously we prefer smaller to larger, but weight is generally a greater concern than size. Sergei, not sure why you would have to re-rig the Camwave for low mode? Although theoretically it's always better to have the transmitter on the top of the rig. And how on earth was the DP pulling iris with a ten second delay on the image??!! Talk about living in the past!

I think it's safe to say that the higher-end jobs will be fulfilled by the uncompressed transmitters such as Boxx Meridian, Transvideo Titan and IDX Camwave (assuming the next generation is more reliable than the first). The Cube has some interesting possibilities--I love the idea of receiving video on an iPad or iPhone/iPod Touch--but that unavoidable delay will be a limiting factor.
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#11 Teradek

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 06:55 PM

Charles, I think Sergie's DP was pulling iris from a laptop, which is only a 1/2 second delay.

Regarding the audio: If the camera is capturing audio (even as a secondary source to the boom mic), that audio will be transported with the video and arrive concurrently with the images. But... the director probably wants to hear the primary audio to get a true feel for what is being captured.

BTW, we tested Cube on an Alexa this morning. WOW! The monitor out on the Arri is a stunner! The dynamic range is almost too good to be true.
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#12 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 07:38 PM

laptop = .5 second, OK got it.

Rod, would you be so good to list the various receiving options with the exact latency for each? I got all of this information verbally from your associate on the phone a while back but I think all would benefit from it.

Alexa is indeed magnificent. Currently shooting with it and it is a delight.
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#13 Teradek

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 09:37 PM

In a simple network (let's just say excluding the internet for simplicity's sake), really there are two main items that will contribute to Cube's latency. As I mentioned before, it takes about 100 milliseconds just to get the video into the Cube, compressed, moved over to the WiFi, and transmitted. It's on the receiving end where the two major differences occur. Those two differences are:
- RTP to laptop, opened in VLC
- HTTP Live Streaming to iOS (iPad/iPhone)

RTP to laptop, opened in VLC
In the advanced settings for VLC you can adjust the desired latency. There is a continuum. Less latency means a higher probability of dropped frames or frames arriving out of order. The latency can be set as low as 100 milliseconds, which in practice works pretty well. The latency can also be set as high as two seconds, which is crystal clear. In our experience, setting 300 milliseconds in VLC provides EXCELLENT quality video,

HTTP Live Streaming to iOS (iPad/iPhone)
HTTP Live Streaming to the iPad or iPhone is 10 seconds delay. The quality is insanely good, but the tradeoff is an insane delay.

So short answer:
VLC = 1/3 second
iPad = 10 seconds***

***The triple elipses to remind everyone we're developing a RTP app for iPad that will reduce the latency to 1/3 second. Available soon (not RED soon... actually soon! LOL)

Thanks again guys for letting me hang in the forum. If you have any encoding questions beyond Cube, I'm happy to answer them.

rC
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#14 Jens Piotrowski SOC

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 10:51 PM

BTW, we tested Cube on an Alexa this morning. WOW! The monitor out on the Arri is a stunner! The dynamic range is almost too good to be true.


FYI: the MONITOR out on the ALEXA has the same quality as the HD-SDI recording outputs....


"The MON OUT is a single BNC connector capable of carrying a
1920x1080 422 YUV 1.5G HD-SDI signal with frame rates of 23.976, 24,
25, 29.97 or 30 fps according to SMPTE standards 274M and 292M. Its
configuration can be changed with the camera menu."
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#15 SergeiFranklin

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:49 PM

I measured the delay. It's 5 frames. 1/5th of a second.
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