Media Prices, Jan 2010

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Media Prices for 2010
Media ¢/GB /DVD
DVD-R 3.4¢ 1.0 x
DVD+R DL 6.9¢ 2.0 x
1.5 TB HD 7.5¢ 2.2 x
BD-R 8.0¢ 2.4 x
CD 19¢ 5.6 x
BD-R DL 22¢ 6.4 x
BD-RE DL 40¢ 12.0 x

It’s plain to see that HD and Blu-ray are neck-and-neck, with Blu-ray changing price the most dramatically.
It may be that Blu-ray will take the price/GB lead from hard drives by summer.

Building a new PC

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

So I spec’ed out a new PC to fit into the case+power supply I bought from Iain:

CPU: Intel Core i7 920
    $310 (NewEgg.ca)/ $310 (CanadaComputers.com)
Motherboard: ASUS P6TD Deluxe
    $320 / $315
Memory: OCZ Platinum 12GB (6 x 2GB) DDR3 1333 MHz OCZ3P1333LV12GS
    $264.50 / $320
Disk: 1.5TB Western Digital Caviar Green WD15EADS
    $115 / $115
Optical drive: Pioneer BDR-205BKS 12x Blu-Ray Burner
    $233.50 / $240 (203BKS)
OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit – OEM
    $155 / $160

Total cost, before taxes etc

NewEgg.ca: $1,398
Canada Computers: $1,460

Iain points out I haven’t looked at a video card yet.
I replied that with the speed at which prices of video cards change, I will wait until the last minute and get two mid-level cards to run in SLI, preferably DirectX 11 cards.
If I had to get them now, they might be MSI GeForce GTX 260s.
Iain prefers the much higher-end Radeon HD 5870 1GB, of which there aren’t any right now it seems. :-)

Finally, a good-enough HD camcorder: Canon iVis HG11/HG21

Thursday, August 7th, 2008



click for larger image

Canon is releasing two new camcorders that record in AVCHD at 24 Mbps, the maximum bitrate for AVCHD.
The main difference between them is that one uses 32 GB of flash storage, while the other uses 120 GB of hard drive storage.
Both support an external SDHC slot (and you *can* shoot video to SDHC using the hard-drive model) for both video and still pics, which are 1920×1440.

I’ve been waiting a long time for an affordable, decent-quality HD camera.
The old, tape-based (HDV) camcorders had excellent quality, but only 1440 horizontal resolution (1920 compressed to 1440 and then expanded back to 1920 for playback).
Tape is also very slow.
The more recent AVCHD cameras have lots of good features, but the basic video quality has always been lower than that of HDV.

This increase to the maximum bitrate allowed for in the AVCHD spec should finally allow it to apprach and maybe surpass HDV in terms of quality.
Note also that AVCHD can play directly in most Blu-ray players.

See also: Engadget Jul 22 2008
HDCamcordersBlog Jul 25 2008
Digital Cameras (pics) Jul 27 2008
gizmodo.com Aug 7 2008
CamcorderInfo Aug 7 2008
Electronista Aug 7 2008
blog.reodica.org Aug 8 2008
gadgetell.com Aug 8 2008
gayakuman.com Aug 9 2008
crave.cnet.co.uk Aug 12 2008

Update 1: Added more sites to the list of links above the specs.

Update 2: There is now an official Canon USA page
for the camera.

Update Fri Sep 5 2008:
grabbed the following specs table from the Canon USA site.
I’ll leave the Japanese one below it for comparison. :-)


Power Consumption 3.8 W (SP Mode)
Image Sensor 1/3.2″ CMOS Sensor, RGB Primary Color Filter
Total Pixels Approx. 3.3 Megapixels
Effective Pixels Video: Approx. 2.07 Megapixels (1920 x 1080)
Still Image: Approx. 2.76 Megapixels (1920 x 1440)
Maximum recording time 120GB Internal Hard Disk Drive
LP (5 Mbps) 45 hours 55 minutes
SP (7 Mbps) 36 hours
XP+ (12 Mbps) 21 hours 40 minutes
FXP (17 Mbps) 15 hours 45 minutes
MXP (24 Mbps) 11 hours 05 minutes
Greater recording time is possible by adding an SDHC Memory Card
Lens Zoom Ratio 12x Optical/200x Digital
Focal Length f=4.8 – 57mm
Zoom Speed Variable/3 Fixed Zoom Speeds
Max. F/Stop f/1.8-3.0mm
Filter Size 37mm
Focusing System Instant AF, Through the Lens/Manual Focusing Possible
Manual Exposure Yes
Programmed AE Auto, Program, Av, Tv, CINEMA, Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight, Fireworks
Max Shutter Speed 1/2000, 1/500 (card)
Auto Date/Time Yes
Record Search/Review Yes
Minimum Focusing Distance 10mm (wide) / 1m (tele)
White Balance Daylight, Shade, Cloudy, Tungsten, Flourescent, Flourescent H, Auto, Manual
Minimum Illumination Night Mode .2 lx (shutter 1/2 sec.)
Image Stabilization SuperRange Optical (lens shift)
Viewfinder .27″ (approx. 123,000 pixels)
LCD Screen 2.7″ Multi-Angle Vivid Widescreen LCD (approx. 211,000 pixels)
Microphone Built-In, 3.5mm stereo mini jack, Mini Advanced Accessory Shoe
Flash Built-In
Recording Media Internal Hard Disk Drive (120GB) or SD/SDHC Memory Card
USB Terminal mini B, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed supported
Video Terminal component (output), composite (output)
Audio Dolby Digital 2ch (AC-3 2ch)
HDMI Terminal Type C 480i / 480p / 1080i Format Supported
Microphone Terminal 3.5 mm Stereo mini-jack
AV Mini Terminal
/Headphone Terminal
3.5 mm 4 pole mini-jack
Operating Temperature range 32° – 104° F (0° – 40° C) relative humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD) 3.1 x 3.0 x 5.5 in. (80 x 77 x 139 mm)
Weight (not including
lens and battery pack)
1.1 lbs. (490g)
Weight (fully loaded) 1.2 lbs. (540g) (BP-807, including memory card)

Note: 1920 x 1080 movie recording requires a Class 4 or higher memory card. For other recording formats, a Class 2 or higher card is recommended. Also, movie recording requires cards with 128 MB of memory or more. Cards made by Toshiba, SanDisk or Matsushita are recommended. No particular restrictions apply for still images.


Below is a massaged version of the Google translated version of
the Japanese specs.
Apologies for weird ALL-CAPS terms that seem to make no sense. :-)

Model name iVIS HG21
Applied media Hard drive (1.8-inch, 120 GB), SD Memory Card ※ / SDHC Memory Card ※

  • * Video and still images can be recorded
  • SD card is kind of operation following the Video Recording rough time please.
Video Recording Mode Standard Record: AVCHD standard (high profile)
How Video Compression: MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 standard audio compression method: Dolby Digital 2ch / sampling frequency 48kHz
Video Recording Time MXP (high-definition + +) mode: about 5 hours 11 minutes (about 24 Mbps ※)
FXP (+ high quality) mode: about 15 hours and 45 minutes (about 17 Mbps ※)
XP + (high quality) mode: about 21 hours and 40 minutes (about 12 Mbps ※)
SP (standard) mode: about 36 hours (about 7 Mbps ※)
LP (long) mode: 45 hours 55 minutes (about 5 Mbps ※)

  • ※ average bitrate. “IVIS HG21” built-in hard drive (120 GB) recorded cases
  • * MXP mode is more than nine hours, or other mode is more than 13 hours of continuous recording. When you hit the prescribed time automatically stops recording.
  • * MXP / FXP Video Recording mode is 1920×1080 pixel resolution. In other modes of 1440×1080 pixels
Imaging device CMOS sensor 1/3.2 type (read lesser)
Total pixels: about 3.31 million pixels effective pixels
Video Recording: Approximately 2.07 million effective pixels resolution still picture / record: Approximately 2.76 million pixels (4:3 mode)
Effective pixels / record still images: Approximately 2.07 million pixels (16:9 mode)
Filter RGB primary color filter
Configuration signal NTSC-compliant system, 1080/60 i system
Scanning system Progressive
Images Recorded
  • Recording media

    • Built-in hard drive, SD Memory Card/SDHC Memory Card
  • Recording system

    • PUROGURESSHIBUFOTO
  • The total number of recorded images

    • L (2048×1536 pixels)
    • LW (1920×1080 pixels)
    • M (1440×1080 pixels)
    • SW (848×480 pixels)
    • * Movie mode (simultaneous record) only when
    • S (640×480 pixels)
  • Compression

    • JPEG format (compression rate: SuperFine/fine/normal)
Minimum illumination Approximately ⅕ lux (night-time mode, shutter speed 1/2½ seconds)
About 3 lux (Easy/P mode: When OTOSUROSHATTAON Tv mode: the shutter speed of ⅟₃₀ seconds when selected)
Illumination range Approximately â…• lux to about 100,000 lux
Lens
  • Lens Construction

    • 9 group of 11 pieces (two aspheric lens use, adopt a gradient ND)
  • Focal length

    • 4.8 – 57.6mm F1.8 – 3.0 (See time/hours and still images)
  • 35mm equivalent

    • Video: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm
    • Still pictures: Approximately 39.3 from 471.6 mm (4:3 mode)
    • Still pictures: Approximately 42.9 from 514.8 mm (16:9 mode)
  • The shortest distance shooting

    • 10mm (AF-linked, wide end)
  • Zooming

    • Variable-speed (15 stages) compatible power zoom and slide lever system
    • Video: optical 12x, 40x in conjunction with digital/200x
    • Still pictures: optical 12x
Electronic shutter
  • Video hours

    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON) ※
    • ⅟₆₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU) ※
    • â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀, ⅟₁₀₀₀, ⅟₂₀₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • PF24設定時は除く Except when setting ※ PF24
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
  • When still images

    • ⅟₁₅ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAON)
    • ⅟₃₀ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Easy/P mode, OTOSUROSHATTAOFU)
    • ½, ¼, â…›, ⅟₁₅, ⅟₃₀, ⅟₆₀, ⅟₁₀₀, â…Ÿâ‚‚â‚…â‚€, ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Tv mode)
    • ½ to ⅟₅₀₀ seconds (Night mode)
Vibration reduction Optical (lens shift system)
LCD monitor 2.7 inch wide color LCD (approximately 211,000 dots)

  • * Wide viewing angle/gamut support, hard court surface treatment AR
Finder 0.27-wide color LCD (approximately 123,000 dots), adjustable diopter
AF mechanism High-speed AF (TTL-detection system and external video signal measuring the phase difference距方expression) and normal AF (TTL-video signal detection method) are available
Exposure control
  • Auto iris control
  • AE mode

    • Easy, P, Av, Tv, cinema ※, SCN (Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, beach, sunset, spotlights,打上げ花火)
    • シネマモードは、動画時のみ ※ cinema mode is only when the video
  • Metering system

    1. Evaluative metering
    2. Center-weighted average metering
    3. Spot (still images recorded only)
    4. Metering None (打上げ花火)
    • The record still images * P, Av, Tv when only 1. Three. Selectable
  • Exposure Compensation

    • +11 From -11 to 23-step exposure compensation is possible
    • * Easy, except mode打上げ花火
White Balance FURUOTOOTO / set / preset functions
Built-in microphone Stereo microphone (EREKUTORETTOKONDENSAMAIKU)

  • * Wind cut feature (Auto/Off), Mike ATT, and MAIKUREBERUMETA
Auxiliary light source Built-in flash
Inputs and outputs MINIKONEKUTA HDMI (type C 19-pin: output only), AV mini-pin (φ3.5 mm 4 pole minijack: output only), external microphone input jack (φ3.5 mm MINISUTEREOJAKKU), headphone terminals (φ3.5 mm mini stereo Jack, AV mini-port terminal), a component terminal (Terminal D special: output only), USB terminal (mini-B, Hi-Speed USB), memory card connectors (special multi-pin), the battery terminals (special 4-pin) , DC input jack (φ3.4 mm jack)
Power DC7.4V (battery pack), DC8.4V (DC IN)
Power consumption BYUFAINDA used: about 3.7W (quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Using the LCD monitor: about 3.8W (brightness: normal and quality: SP, use the built-in HDD, recording, AF Focus)
Size Approximately 80 (W) × 77 (H) × about 139 (D) mm (excluding GURIPPUBERUTO)
Mass Body only: approximately 490 g
The total mass shooting: approximately 540 g (battery pack BP-807, Memory Card)

Cost of storage vs DVD: BD=16x, CD=6½x, HD & DVD-DL=5x

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Just a quick followup note from a thread I did on Twitter yesterday on the prices of a Gigabyte of storage on various media.

DVD’s are still the king at just over 3¢ per gig:

Kind ¢/Gig xDVD
Blu-ray DL 25.0¢ 7.8x
CD 20.5¢ 6½x
DVD DL 11.0¢ 3½x
Blu-ray 10.4¢ 3¼x
Hard disk 8.9¢ 2.8x
DVD±R 3.2¢ 1x

I find the dual-layer DVD vs hard drive equivalence fascinating, especially after talking with Iain yesterday about
the eSATA ports on my Mac Pro’s motherboard.


Sources for prices are Canada Computers
and Fortune Computers.

Update: per my comment below, DVD-DL updated from 17¢/GB (5x) to 11¢/GB (3½x).

Update: per another comment, Blu-ray updated from 51¢/GB (16x) to 20¢/GB (6½x).

Update: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 20¢/GB (16x) to 12¢/GB (3¾x).

Update 2009-09-09: another comment: Blu-ray updated from 12¢/GB (16x) to 10.¢/GB (3¼x), added Blu-ray DL. Also updated hard disk from 17¢/GB to 8.9¢/GB as per current prices of 1.5 TB drives.

HBO Goes Blu-Ray

Wednesday, January 9th, 2008

High-Def Digest
reports that HBO
publishers of fine series like The Sopranos and The Wire
is dropping HD-DVD.

The dominos look to be falling, spelling the end of HD-DVD..

Slightly higher bit-rate AVCHD

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Sony HDD 16Mbps AVCHD Camcorder
The Sony HDR-SR12 16Mbps AVCHD camcorder

AVCHD is another name for H.264, a very popular video codec that is also used in Apple’s iPod.
One handy feature of AVCHD is that you can burn it directly to Blu-ray discs and Blu-ray players
will play them as-is.

via camcorderinfo.com,
an excellent camcorder news site

CES 2008 is in full swing, and
Sony has announced
3 new hard-drive-based AVCHD camcorders, one feature of which was “The maximum bit rate has been incrementally increased from 15Mbps to 16Mbps. This is true only for the HDD AVCHD camcorders, not the DVD models.”

The AVCHD codec—which is becoming the de-facto standard for HD video cameras—is unfortunately hobbled by its picture quality level, which is below that of its tape-based predecessor, HDV.
The low quality is likely due to the CPU power required to do good H.264 encoding.

Media Costs

Friday, May 4th, 2007

Just touching base with how much various blank media cost, in $/GB.
This is from a April 26, 2007 flyer from
Canada Computers.

Media Cost in $$/GB
GB cost $$/GB count
CD-R 0.7 $23.51 $0.69 50
DVD±R 4.4 $14.70 $0.07 50
DVD+R DL 8 $6.90 $0.43 2
DVD-R DL 8 $16.65 $0.69 3
HD DVD-R 15 $13.00 $0.87 1
BD-R 25 $14.50 $0.58 1

Harald contributed the prices below

Hard Drives (NCIX):
hard drive GB cost $$/GB
80 $66.98 $0.84
160 $79.44 $0.50
250 $100.93 $0.40
320 $109.25 $0.34
400 $165.21 $0.41
500 $183.12 $0.37
750 $381.43 $0.51

Harald says:The sweet spot seems to be 320Gb, and I notice
that all of the higher density medias are more expensive…

However, Iain pointed out that there are cheaper hard drives
online, so I skagged* the prices below from
Canada
Computers

today (Mon May 7 2007) and sorted them in order of drive capacity.

* is too a word

manufacturer GB cost $$/GB
Western Digital 36 ** $133.00 $3.69
Western Digital 74 ** $180.00 $2.43
Hitachi 80 $54.00 $0.68
Seagate 80 $53.00 $0.66
Western Digital 80 $51.00 $0.64
Western Digital 150 ** $270.00 $1.80
Hitachi 160 $69.00 $0.43
Seagate 160 $66.00 $0.41
Western Digital 160 $66.00 $0.41
Hitachi 250 $88.00 $0.35
Seagate 250 $85.00 $0.34
Western Digital 250 $78.00 $0.31
Hitachi 320 $110.00 $0.34
Seagate 320 $98.00 $0.31
Western Digital 320 $102.00 $0.32
Western Digital 400 $138.00 $0.35
Western Digital 400 $146.00 $0.37
Hitachi 500 $186.00 $0.37
Maxtor 500 $140.00 $0.28
Seagate 500 $162.00 $0.32
Western Digital 500 $143.00 $0.29
Western Digital 500 $200.00 $0.40
Seagate 750 $306.00 $0.41


** – obviously, some of these higher-priced models have other features like speed.

But wait, I hear you say, what about Flash drives?

brand GB cost $$/GB read (MB/s) write (MB/s)
Kingston 0.5 $10 $20.00
Kingston 0.5 $11 $22.00
Kingston 0.5 $14 $28.90
Kingston 1 $14 $14.00
Kingston 1 $17 $17.00
Kingston 1 $18 $18.00
Corsair 1 $20 $20.00 19 13
Kingston 1 $21 $21.00
Kingston 1 $21 $21.00
OCZ 1 $23 $23.00
Transcend 1 $25 $25.00
Kingston 1 $28 $28.00
Kingston 2 $24 $12.00
Kingston 2 $26 $13.13
OCZ 2 $27 $13.50
Transcend 2 $29 $14.50
Corsair 2 $30 $15.00 19 13
Kingston 2 $33 $16.50
Kingston 2 $34 $17.00
OCZ 2 $35 $17.50 25 17
Transcend 2 $37 $18.50
Transcend 2 $37 $18.50
Corsair 2 $38 $19.00 34 28
Kingston 2 $59 $29.50
Kingston 4 $49 $12.25
Corsair 4 $50 $12.50 19 13
Transcend 4 $54 $13.50
OCZ 4 $58 $14.50 25 17
Transcend 4 $59 $14.75
Corsair 4 $60 $15.00 34 28
Transcend 4 $65 $16.25
Corsair 4 $70 $17.50 19 13
OCZ 8 $95 $11.88
OCZ 8 $104 $13.00
Transcend 8 $110 $13.75
Corsair 8 $111 $13.88 31 12
Corsair 8 $120 $15.00 34 28
Transcend 8 $125 $15.63
Corsair 8 $148 $18.50 34 28
Corsair 16 $175 $10.94 22 5.5

So we see costs per gig of 7¢ for DVD’s, 28¢ for hard drives, and a whopping $11 for flash drives!

US $300 Blu-Ray Drive

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

Well,
it’s only in China
for now, but still: US $300 for a Blu-Ray drive is pretty good.

Combine this with people figuring out how to install drivers allowing the $300 Xbox HD-DVD player to work on their Windows machines, and it gets even more interesting..

I’m thinking that by the holiday shopping season at the end of 2007, we’ll be seeing a lot more players (and consequently movies) being bought.
I suspect my prediction about rental movies switching to HD will be abeout a year later than I thought. Oh well.

LG Combo HD-DVD/Blue-Ray Player @ FutureShop

Friday, March 2nd, 2007
LG HD-DVD/Blu-Ray
FutureShop is selling it now

It’s here!
And all for the low, low price of … $1,500!!!

Okay, you can put your wallet back now. :-)

Blu-Ray passes HD-DVD in number of movies available

Friday, February 9th, 2007

According to
enGadget HD,
the count now stands at HD DVD 158 vs Blu-ray 159.

To add insult to injury,
another enGadgetHD article says:

High-Def Digest has already updated their release page which is shows that Blu-ray has more titles with dates for February than HD DVD has for all of 2007.

HD-DVD still has the lower price though.


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