This past year will go down as the year that HDV emerged. Back in April, at NAB, attendees got their first glance at the future - Sony's HDV camcorder. It was on display in a glass case and it wasn't actually working, but it generated a ton of excitement. Almost all of the leading NLE companies began talking about planned support for this exciting *new* format – which technically wasn't even new. JVC had been selling an HDV cam for almost a year, but most everyone in the industry viewed it as more of a novelty rather than an emerging technology. When Sony entered the game, the stakes changed for everyone.
Just as we did in the early pioneering days of DV, the Videoguys will be there every step of the way, advising you on the latest HDV technology, news and products. Even more important, we will be testing and evaluating these new HD editing solutions on a wide range of computers. These tests will give us the knowledge and expertise to help you find the right computer system and equipment to run these editors properly. We understand that when the time comes for you to invest in HD, you are going to demand that everything works properly. The Videoguys, as always, are up to this challenge. Our 30-day satisfaction guarantee and FREE tech support are the best in the industry. We will be there for you when you migrate to HDV. You can count on it.
Videoguys 2005 product of the year – Sony HDR-FX1!
September 6th, 2004 – the day that changed the industry! Sony officially launched the HDR-FX1 HDV camcorder at IBC show in Amsterdam. Pinnacle, Adobe, Canopus, Matrox, Ulead and CineForm immediately announced support for the new camcorder and format. The HDR-FX1 was the hit of IBC but the most exciting news was that it would be shipping in November at a $3,699 street price! Now, the HDR-FX1 is shipping and the early reviews are fantastic. The picture quality is superb in all lighting conditions, and the optics, controls and advanced features have put it at the top of every prosumer digital videographer's wish list. The HDR-FX1 shoots in the 1080i (interlaced) HDV format, making it the first HDV camcorder to support this level of resolution. Note: It does support 720p (Progressive) playback.
If you want to be on the cutting edge, and your customers/clients are asking for HD video, then the time may be right for you to invest in the SONY HDR-FX1! In November, Sony also announced a professional HDV camcorder, the HVR-Z1U, and the HVR-M10U HDV VRT (Video Tape Recorder). Both of these professional HDV products are slated for first shipments in February. JVC also announced a new professional HDV cam expected in early 2005. We also expect to see new HDV camcorders from Sharp, Canon, and other major manufacturers in the coming year. Click here for the Videoguys' HDV Handbook On Line
1. G-Tech G-Raid
2. Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6
3. Canopus Edius NX for HDV
4. Serious Magic DV Rack
5. Avid Xpress Studio Complete
6. Sonic DVDit! 5
7. Sony Vegas 5 + DVD Production Suite
8. CineForm AspectHD
9. Sima GoDVD
10. Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Deluxe
ADS AV Link w/ Premiere Elements
1. G-Tech G-Raid
The coolest thing to hit video storage since the Medea VideoRaid! The new G-Tech G-Raid's (G-Tech is actually a spin-off of Medea Corp) unique design, performance and price make this a must have with every editing system. The streamlined case with smooth rounded edges is clearly inspired by Apple, but both PC and Mac lovers will agree… it looks great. But, don't let that cool exterior fool you. G-Raids are packed with enough performance to please most video editors. Each unit includes two 7200 RPM drives, pre-configured as a RAID-0 stripe for maximum throughput. Attach them to a FireWire800 port and you'll be able to run multiple streams of DV or even HDV footage. We even have folks running a couple of streams of uncompressed video off a single G-Raid!
One of the most important factors to consider when purchasing external storage is reliability and sustained performance. When you are editing for hours at a time, your drives are constantly pushing through huge chunks of data. The result of all this activity is heat - the enemy of any hard drive. As the drive heats up, performance drops and if left unchecked, the drive will eventually fail. Each G-Raid has a built-in cooling system that includes a fan and a cooling channel that keeps your G-Raid from heating up – no matter how hard you push it. This is a key factor in maintaining the performance and stability needed for digital content creation.
Click here for more information on G-Tech G-Raids
2. Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6
One of the most overlooked 'features' of Liquid Edition 6 is just how many tools are packed into this application. You don't have to buy any special plug-ins or utilities or hardware to get the job done since Pinnacle has already included all this, and more:
* Multicam - the most time saving tool of all. It makes editing multiple sources of video dramatically easier.
* DVD authoring - integrated on the timeline w/ motion menus, AC3 surround sound and excellent MPEG2 encoding
* 3D FX - Galore! Tons to choose from, all with excellent keyframing tools for complete control of your transitions and effects. Sure some of the HFX get cheesy, but many of them also emulate DVEs being used by the network broadcasters.
* Color Correction - Superb. You can use a little or go crazy. Did you know there are books available that teach you how to become a professional colorist? I'm not suggesting you go that far, but if you did, LE6 would be up to the task.
* MPEG2 & HDV editing - sure other applications will have these features or plan to add them with a plug-in. With LE6 you get both. You can capture directly into MPEG2, edit and then go to DVD. You can capture native HDV, and edit it without any additional encoding. This saves time and maintains the original quality of the video.
* Analog In/Out - The LE6 Pro breakout Box- "Robert" as it's known around here - delivers this and much more. I can't edit without having an NTSC monitor to watch my work on. All too often what looks great on the VGA preview window just doesn't cut it on the NTSC output. I find this especially important for color correction, title sequences and compositing with 3 or more layers.
* Background rendering - I'm still amazed that other NLEs don't have this features yet. I hate waiting for renders. It's not the time it takes, but the way it interrupts my editing. When I'm in the "Editing Zone" I lose track of time and everything around me. I'm incredibly productive at this point. Waiting for a render knocks me out of the 'zone'. With LE6, the only time I have to stop editing is to go to the bathroom ;-)
* Multiple Sequences - I often find myself coming to a split in the road when editing. Do I do it this way, or try out this other idea? With LE6 you can do both! You save what you have as two different sequences, then edit away on them both. When I do this, I rarely end up going with A or B. Most times I find a way to create sequence C, which pulls in the best of both! I've also done this with my DVD authoring - creating two versions. One with limited navigation to just play the movie, the other with more menus and options.
* Storyboard editing - this is something Dennis Radeke, Pinnacle's Edition Guru, brought to my attention with LE5, and I must say I use it often. I'll make a rough-cut of the video by dragging thumbnails into the workspace and trimming them. When my rough-cut is complete, I'll send it over to the timeline for finishing.
* Variable Speed Control - In Edition it's called Dynamic Time Warps (Sony Vegas calls them velocity envelopes). I use them all the time in my sports videos of the kids. It's a fun and powerful tool. You can change the speed of the clip over its duration. As an example I like to slow the speed down gradually as the pitch comes in and the batter swings - then I speed it up to full speed as the ball hits the bat. It makes for a great effect and adds drama to the sequence.
There's even more! I'm sure everyone has a couple of favorites. For the money, no other application comes close to the feature set of Pinnacle's Liquid Edition 6!
Click here for more information on Pinnacle Liquid Edition 6
3. Canopus Edius NX for HDV
For the past 8 years, Canopus has been one of the more innovative and cutting edge NLE vendors in the industry. At a time when most of the industry has moved away from hardware, Canopus has once again shown how superior engineering can combine both hardware and software to deliver an unprecedented level of real-time features. Now, with Edius NX, you can use this real-time power to handle multiple resolutions from DV up to HD.
Edius NX for HDV consists of 3 key parts.
1. The base Edius NX board is the replacement for the top performing DV Storm hardware. Just like the old, reliable DVStorms, you'll get real-time analog & DV output directly from the timeline. The Edius NX hardware delivers even more layers of real-time performance! You can buy the Edius NX base card now, and upgrade to HDV later on, when you purchase a new HDV camcorder.
2. Edius Pro 3.0. With each new version, Edius gets more robust and feature rich. EDIUS Pro 3 can seamlessly edit, in real-time, any mix of HD, HDV, DV, uncompressed, MPEG-2 and MPEG-1 video, maintaining the full native format, resolution and color space quality of all video clips. The EDIUS engine is resolution and frame-rate independent to ensure support of future video CODECs and formats. This software makes the most of the Edius NX hardware and both combine for a truly powerful and professional experience!
3. Edius NX for HDV Expansion Kit The EDIUS NX for HDV Expansion Kit unleashes the full HD editing power of the EDIUS NX for HDV solution, providing editors with real-time, full-resolution HD component video output. With this additional board, editors can enjoy constant, high-quality 1080i output to any HD component monitor. The kit includes an OHCI-compliant IEEE 1394 FireWire controller, which enables users to connect HDV cameras and decks for video capture and tape export. The kit also provides SD component video output, additional unbalanced stereo RCA audio output, and includes the EDIUS NX for HDV Bay.
Put this all together and you have a killer solution for HDV. I was blown away by how smooth the editing was. Edius is growing up into a much more robust NLE, and the folks at Canopus seem to be paying close attention to what features you want. It's just going to keep getting better. I know that most of you have become pretty spoiled by the productivity you achieve with the DV Storm, RTX100 or software-only NLE (Vegas, Xpress Pro, Premiere Pro) running on a screaming fast workstation. With Edius NX for HDV you will not have to compromise, yet you'll be taking full advantage of the increased resolution and color quality of the new HDV cams - with real-time HD output!!
Click here for more information on Canopus Edius NX for HDV
4. Serious Magic DV Rack
What can I say? The gang at Serious Magic has done it again. DV Rack is one of the most clever and functional video production tools I've ever seen. What is DV Rack? It's a powerful software program that turns your PC or laptop into a video production suite, complete with the ability to digitize your footage directly to your laptop so you don't have to lose time capturing it later. You just connect your DV camera with a standard FireWire cable (up to 50 meters) and DV Rack puts all the tools you need to get the best possible video and audio quality out of your shoot. You get an impressive array of professional video monitoring, production and evaluation tools at your fingertips. In fact, nearly an entire production truck full of gear. (Except these tools are easy to use, native DV, and don't cost thousands of dollars)!
DV Rack's DVR-1000 module lets you capture your footage directly to your laptop's hard drive and instantly review what you've shot to make sure every take was perfect. The DVR-1000 works seamlessly, recording and stopping when your camera does. Using the automatic pre-buffer, it even starts recording before you do! Best of all, you can pre-select a native DV format to perfectly match your NLE. That means all you have to do is drag & drop your files into your NLE software and start editing – no need for time consuming and potentially image degrading transcoding!
Click here for more information on Serious Magic DV Rack
5. Avid Xpress Studio Complete
When I first got the chance to see a complete demo and actually play around with this amazing, integrated, post-production solution, I was blown away! The first and most important thing that stands out about this new offering from Avid is the integration. This isn't a collection of software and hardware just thrown together and sold as a bundle, it is a wonderfully integrated package that provides you with EVERYTHING you need to create professional video, audio, and DVDs.
* Avid Xpress Pro is the core foundation of the Studio Complete package, which includes a suite of Avid's best-of-breed software and hardware. In addition to this industry-standard editing non-linear editing software you'll get:
* Avid Protools LE with Digi Translator & DV Toolkit plug-ins for professional audio production and complete integration with Xpress Pro.
* Avid FX – a 3D compositing & effects plug-in based on Boris RED
* Avid DVD – a special version of Sonic DVD Producer designed to offer professional DVD authoring solutions within the Avid Studio package
* Avid 3D – a template based 3D animation tool from SoftImage.
You'll be able to send audio and video back and forth to Digidesign Protools to create, edit, sweeten and manipulate your soundtrack. You can export your project directly into Avid DVD for your authoring. Not only will the files be automatically converted into MPEG2, your chapter points and thumbnails are sent to Avid DVD as well. This speeds up the DVD authoring process and allows you more creative control. Add complex 3D transitions, compositing and particle effects with Avid FX. Create your own 3D animated logos and images for your videos and DVDs. It's all here and it all works together.
This powerful suite of video production tools is TURBOCHARGED by adding Avid's state of the art hardware – the Avid Mojo Digital NLE Accelerator and the DigiDesign digi002 control surface.Avid Mojo adds real-time analog & DV output from the Xpress Pro timeline. It also allows you to import and edit uncompressed video. Mojo delivers real-time TV output for previewing your work in Avid 3D and Avid FX. Digi 002 Professional Audio mixing board with flying faders for Pro Tools is the dream control surface for audio editors. Now you'll be able to mix up to 8 channels of audio at the same time from within Avid Xpress Pro. When combined with Mojo you get perfectly synched TV output from within ProTools LE.
If you're a musician and an editor, or just looking to jump to the next level of audio and video post production, Avid Xpress STUDIO Complete is a fantastic investment and worth every penny. Not only will you save thousands of dollars vs. buying the software and hardware separately, the integration and workflow will save you time and money on every production!
Click here for more information on Avid Xpress Studio Complete
6. Sonic DVDit! 5
I get asked all the time by customers "what can I do to make better DVDs?" While just about every DVD burner and NLE product comes bundled with some kind of DVD authoring software, it's usually stripped down or has limited features. That said, they are also pretty easy to use. In the past you had to make a choice between these limited, but easy to use tools or more professional DVD authoring software that is much more expensive and complicated. With the introduction of Sonic DVDit! 5 this is no longer the case. DVDit! 5 is an affordable (under $300), simple and easy to use solution and, best of all, it's loaded with all the advanced features and navigation you'll want.
Now you can add cool navigation to your DVDs like First Play, End Action controls, Button routing and even add your own hidden Easter Egg extras! The new chapter editing timeline lets you easily scrub through your video clips and trim the in and/or out point. You also get professional strength, but easy to use layout tools to align your buttons, create text and create customized button highlights.
If you're also in the market for a new DVD burner, we offer an amazing bundle deal! Get both the Sonic DVDit! 5 software and a new Pioneer DVR-A08 16x16 Dual Layer DVD burner for under $300 after mail in rebate!
Click here for more information on Sonic DVDit! 5
7. SONY Vegas 5 + DVD Production Suite
For the second straight year SONY's Vegas gets a Videoguys' Top 10 award, and it's still the best-kept secret in the industry. Vegas 5 is one powerful video editing and DVD authoring solution. It supports multiple file formats and frame-rates in the same project or on the same track. For independent film producers you get both 24p and HD support. The audio tools available in Vegas go way beyond those found in any other NLE. It's also a great compositing tool. Adding multiple layers of video to your productions is a breeze, and the keyframing tools are excellent. Velocity envelopes allow you to vary the speed of a clip over its duration, and the new transition envelopes allow you to create customized, fully keyframable transitions. If photomontages are an important part of your productions, nothing comes close to Vegas. You can have your images fly on and off the screen, apply pans & zooms, and add all kinds of transitions from basic dissolves to complex 3D peels. Another area where Vegas shines is its color correction tools, which range from basic to extremely sophisticated filters and a full suite of scopes for analyzing each clip.
When you edit with Vegas, your previews are in real-time on the VGA screen and via FireWire output. This is pretty amazing and it makes the editing very productive. I use a FireWire media converter to get real-time output to my television monitor while I edit. (i.e. Canopus ADVC-110 or ADVC-300). This is very important when doing color correction, complex multi-layered sequences and the above-mentioned photomontages.
Vegas will have to render your project for final output to tape – but who actually goes out to tape anymore? The Vegas +DVD Production Suite lets you encode your projects to MPEG2 and then send them to DVD Architect. You can insert markers in the timeline that will become your chapter points in DVD Architect. You can create & encode 5.1-channel surround sound audio in Vegas for professional sounding DVDs. DVD Architect gives you real-time preview of your DVD via FireWire. Use a converter or your DV cam to watch it on a TV monitor. You'll also like the "Fit to Disc" compression tool that automatically adjusts the bit rate to make sure everything fits on a single DVD.
The coolest feature of all in Vegas is the scripting. This allows users of Vegas to share shortcuts, plug-ins and customized filters and effects with each other. These scripts are called VEG files and you can find tons of them for free download from several Vegas user communities. You can also purchase libraries of these scripts from power users - Excalibur, Tsunami and Ultimate S are inexpensive plug-in suites loaded with great tools for all levels of Vegas users.
Click here for more information on SONY Vegas 5 + DVD Production Suite
8. CineForm AspectHD & ConnectHD
By now you've realized that we believe HDV is going to be huge. One of the companies pioneering the way for HDV editing is CineForm. Their products enable other applications (Adobe Premiere Pro & SONY Vegas 5) to capture and edit HDV footage. Actually there is much more to this... CineForm Intermediate™ technologies allow substantially accelerated editing performance on multiple HD video streams. CineForm captures the HDV footage into a wavelet CODEC that allows for very efficient HDV editing, while maintaining the pristine HDV video quality. This wavelet compression is virtually lossless, yet it enables the NLE to handle the footage with much lower computer hardware requirements.
ConnectHD is the most basic tool from CineForm. It is a plug-in that enables Premiere Pro or Vegas 5 to capture the HDV footage via FireWire and then convert it to their CODEC for accelerated HDV editing. The files created are about 3 times the size of a native HDV file, but still small enough for a single SATA drive to handle. As always, if you produce longer format and/or very complex projects you should use a RAID or SCSI.
AspectHD is currently only available for Adobe Premiere Pro. It gives you all the features of ConnectHD - plus real-time editing! Aspect HD incorporates CineForm Intermediate™ technologies to allow you to edit multiple HDV streams, add motion titles, color adjustments, dissolves, wipes, page peels, picture-in-picture and much more – all in real time, without rendering. Think of AspectHD as a software accelerator for Premiere Pro. It works just like a real-time hardware accelerator but with this new technology - it's software only!
I've been working with the folks over at CineForm for a couple of years now, and I'm happy to announce that we will be carrying their products beginning in 2005. If you already own Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 you can add AspectHD for only $499.95 and turn your system into a real-time HDV solution. We will also be offering AspectHD bundled with the Adobe Suite (Premiere Pro1.5, Audition 1.5 and Encore DVD 1.5) for only $799.95!
Click here for more information on CineForm AspectHD & ConnectHD
9. Sima GoDVD!
Sima GoDVD! is a little “black box” (actually it's silver) that hooks up between a DVD player or VCR and a DVD recorder. It allows you to duplicate your video for your own personal use. I've got kids, and they love watching videos – often the same video over and over, and over again. Unfortunately kids beat the heck out of the videotapes and even the DVDs. Yeah, I know that DVDs (and CDs) are durable and last forever – until your 2 year old decides to draw on them with a ballpoint pen, or your 7-year-old daughter uses them as plates for a tea party, or your 8-year-old son realizes they fly like Frisbees. Want to really mess up your DVDs? Put a DVD player in your car, or take a portable DVD player with you on vacation! DVDs are durable, but they are no match for kids!
The solution to the short life expectancy of your DVD collection is to pick up a DVD recorder and start making back-up copies of your video library using Sima's GoDVD. Let the kids watch the copied discs while you keep the originals away in a safe place. If they ruin the DVD copy you made, just make them a new one. Now you won't care what your kids do to the DVDs. An added advantage is that you can skip the endless previews, promotions and menus at the beginning of the DVD and just copy the feature. That way your 2 year old won't yell at you while she waits to watch her favorite video – for the 3rd time today!
Legal disclaimer: GoDVD! is manufactured, sold and intended for use in video editing and duplicating. Sales and proper use of the GoDVD! product line does not violate the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act or the copyrights of third parties. Any use that violates the copyright laws is prohibited.
Click here for more information on Sima GoDVD!
10. Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Deluxe & ADS AV Link with Adobe Premiere Elements
While many of the new products featured in this years Top 10 are high-end, these two great items are great choices for those looking to get started in digital videography. Both are easy to learn and master, yet allow you to create very professional looking videos and DVDs. Both include external hardware to allow you to capture and edit old analog footage (VHS, S-Video, 8mm, Hi8) and new DV footage. Best of all are the low prices of each - you would have had to spend well over a thousand dollars for the same level of video editing performance just a few short years ago!
* Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Deluxe
This is a complete solution that includes the Moviebox Deluxe hardware and Pinnacle Studio 9 Plus editing software. The Moviebox Deluxe hardware is an external USB2 capture device that allows you to capture video from both analog & DV sources (it also outputs to both). As long as you have a pretty good computer (P4 2.2 or faster) you are going to get excellent quality video footage. (With slower machines you may experience some audio drift or dropped frames on long captures). The new Studio Plus software is very easy to use and loaded with features. It has everything you need to edit your videos, add special effects, filters, transitions and titles, then burn it to DVD or record it out to tape. The Plus version of Studio adds a few really cool features that home videographers will love:
o Chromakey: This is the weatherman effect where you shoot your subject in front of a green screen, then superimpose them onto another track of video
o PIP: Picture in picture effects allow you to have one video image superimposed in a box over a second layer of video.
o Animated Slideshow: Turn still images into animated slideshows. Zoom in and out of pictures and move the camera across them: it's a unique way to add animation to photo slideshows. You can even rotate your photos and remove red eyes!
Click here for more information on Pinnacle Studio Moviebox Deluxe
* ADS AV Link API-555 Now with Adobe Premiere Elements
This new bundle includes the ADS AV Link AV/DV media converter and Adobe's new Premiere Elements video editing software. The AV Link attaches to your FireWire port and allows you to capture and export footage from any VHS, S-VHS, 8mm of Hi8 camcorder or deck. In addition to basic composite (RCA) and S-Video jacks, it also includes Component video input & output. Premiere Elements is Adobe's re-entry into the consumer video editing market. Elements has a more advanced toolset than any other consumer NLE and it is pretty easy to use - thanks to the Context-sensitive How-Tos that help guide you through every step of the editing process, from transferring footage to burning DVDs.
Premiere Elements taps into much of the real-time performance of its big brother - Adobe Premiere Pro. You'll be able to preview your edits and effects in real-time on your computer monitor and with a TV hooked up to the analog output of the AV link.
You get a ton of professional looking filters and effects, and you can mix multiple layers of video and graphics together. Best of all they are keyframable, which means you can change and control them over time to get the customized look you envisioned. This allows you to make videos that look like they were made using much more expensive and complicated software. The custom effects you create with all your keyframing can be saved as presets for future use. The titling in Adobe Premiere Elements is also very nice. You get over 100 professionally designed templates for new baby announcements, weddings, sporting events, and more.
Click here for more information on ADS AV Link API-555 Now with Adobe Premiere Elements
There you have it, Videoguys' Top 10 products of 2004.
Just like I did last year, I'm going to end this article with a look forward at some of the up and coming technologies that may just emerge in 2005.
1. Blu-Ray DVD
Blu-Ray DVDs will use blue-violet colored laser beams that are much narrower than the red lasers used for reading & writing DVDs today. As a result, they are able to store 27GB of data on a single sided disk. That's almost 5 times the current 4.7GB DVD capacity. That's the good news. The bad news is that these Blu-Ray recorders are going to cost several thousand dollars and the disks they produce may not be compatible with existing DVD players. So we'll have to buy new Blu-Ray DVD players to benefit from this technology. I think that Blu-Ray will initially be used by the broadcast/ commercial television industry for storing HDTV content and programming. Once again, like everything else with DVD, we've got competing formats involved. Sony, Pioneer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Matsushita Electric Industrial, Royal Philips Electronics and Samsung Electronics are all backing BluRay. We expect to see Blu-Ray compatible DVD players and Blu-Ray DVD burners in the second half of 2005.
The other high definition DVD standard that also uses Blue lasers. HD-DVDs can hold 20GB on a single sided disk. One of the advantages of HD-DVD is that current DVD pressing plants can be re-tooled to produce HD-DVD disks, rather than having to be replaced to produce Blu-Ray disks. Warner, Paramount, Universal and New Line Cinema have all agreed to issue movies in the upcoming HD DVD format. NEC and Toshiba are main advocates for the HD DVD standard.
3. OLED displays
Originally developed by Kodak, Organic light emitting diode (OLED) technology uses substances that emit red, green, blue or white light. Without any other source of illumination, OLED materials present bright, clear video and images that are easy to see at almost any angle. The first commercial production of organic light emitting diode displays (OLEDs) began in 2003. They deliver a brighter picture and richer colors than today's liquid crystal displays, while consuming less power. Today OLED Displays are found in cellular phones and other small handheld devices. OLED diplays are very thin, flexible and can even be designed to roll-up or fold-up. We expect ot see OLED screens in laptop computers and super-flat panel computer monitors by the end of this year. Eventually, OLED screens will become much larger and hang on the walls of our home theaters like picture frames, displaying brilliant High Definition television at a fraction of the cost and weight of today's plasma, LCD or projection displays.
4. Focus FS-4
We've had DV disk recording devices on the market for a couple of years now. These allow you to capture directly to disk while you are shooting. Some say they will replace video tape. We've been waiting and hoping that someone would introduce a product that actually delivers on the full promise of this technology. It looks like the Focus FS-4 is that elusive device. The FS-4 is compact and portable - you can mount it on your miniDV cam or wear it on your belt. Like the original FireStore products, it features DTE Technology which is the only DV disk recording solution that records video directly to hard disk in NLE native file formats. Recording NLE native file formats completely eliminates the need to capture, transfer clips or convert clips in order to begin editing. Unfortunately, the FS-4 did not ship in time to make our 2004 Top 10 list. We hope to get our first shipments in January.