Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tape Backup Speed Reference Chart

Tim Jones from TOLIS Group recently sent this chart our way. Tape backup speeds for your system will swing depending on the speed of your source drive as well as the connection (USB, FC, or SAS) of your tape drive system.

For more information on LTO-5 systems, check out the Silverado FieldSAFE which is a great all-around general purpose backup system for production and post.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dead RED Rocket card? Not so fast...try this first.

Every now and then we get PCI cards that go dead. Blackmagic, AJA, Sonnet--none of them are immune to things like broken capacitors from heavy handed freight companies or electrostatic shock.

So, if your RED Rocket card suddenly doesn't work--try this first:

1. Remove the RED Rocket and flip the #8 DIP switch on. (See picture)

2. Once the #8 DIP switch has been flipped on, put the card back into your machine then run the Driver then Firmware upgrades.

3. After they are installed, remove the RED Rocket and flip the #8 Dip switch back to off and put the RED Rocket back into the system.

This is a good first step before RMA'ing the card back for replacement.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New PDF: Archiving for Indies

We just published a new PDF on archiving data:

"Archiving for Indies: Creating Long-Term Archives for Independent Digital Cinema"

Learn about the latest solutions in digital archiving using LTO-5 tape. Also--learn what NOT to use for your permanent data storage needs.

Document published June 2010 by Silverado.

Click to access PDF

Monday, April 26, 2010

Contest: If you were an intern, how would you destroy data?

Here is the premise of the question: how many ways can you think an intern could destroy a hard drive or LTO tape?

Okay, okay...I am picking on interns here. In reality, we've all mindlessly destroyed data by being careless or reckless. I know I've dropped my share of drives, disconnected spinning Firewire disks, and even caused a DV tape to unspool itself inside a Sony VTR.

Some other methods here for destroying data:

1. Falling off bookshelves
2. Tumbling down staircases
3. Knocked off a 2nd story railing
4. Getting run over by a car
5. Being thrown by a little kid

What do you say? What is the strangest, oddest, or most bizarre way your data was destroyed (either by you or someone else) and did you have a backup? Put your best story down in the comments below.

The best entry will get a free RED 101 special 2-Disc DVD collection by DreamWelder Productions.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Thoughts on SCRATCH, Nuke and Smoke...

I saw an interested discussion on Twitter between Shawn Nelson and Emery Wells. It goes like this:

Shawn: "what's a good way to understand Nuke vs Flame vs Inferno vs Smoke vs Fusion and how they fit together or dont?"

Emery: "Think Nuke for one shot a time. Smoke for bringing it all together. Flame is like Nuke and Smoke combined. Fusion me no likey."

Shawn: "Thanks man! Which ones do you use in your pipeline? Or do you not handle that side of post?"

Emery: "Scratch for grading, Nuke for compositing, and getting Smoke for finishing."

Shawn: "Scratch for grading? I loved the results of the Quantel Pablo! I'm also interested to see Lustre in action. Why go Scratch?"

Then, Yohance Brown jumps in with this:

Yohance: "...price. Scratch $70K, Lustre $150K, Pablo $400K"

Emery adds: "Scratch still has the strongest red support in my opinion. Pablo is great but 6 times the cost. Bout 400k..."

These are all GREAT people you should be following:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Question: Is a $2000 industrial plasma good enough for critical monitoring?

Adam Wilt reports on a science experiment conducted by Pete Putman via HPA:

"Question: is a $2000 industrial plasma good enough for critical monitoring? (LCD problems: costly, high black levels, off-axis color/tone shifts, bad color gamut on CCFL backlights). Took stock Panasonic TH-42PF11UK and tweaked with calibration tools. Got stable gamma with a couple of “speed bumps”, consistent if not perfect RGB tracking, great blacks."

"Color gamut exceeded 709, even large portion of P3. Green was a bit shifted towards cyan (for brightness). Gamma at 120 nits was 2.5; looked very smooth (movie mode), a bit of a bump in 2.2 gamma. Max gray drift was 145K in the shadows; bit of a blue bump around 70%. Brightness 100-120 nits (29-35 ft-Lamberts), contrast 1189:1 (checkerboard), 11370:1 sequential (gamma 2.2), black level 0.124 nits."

"Wanted better; got a Cine-tal Davio using a 3D LUT to correct residual color and gamma errors (as seen in the demo room). After calibration, color accuracy was comparable to reference-grade CRT. Best of all: a very cost-effective solution."

You can read more on this--plus other fantastic reports over at Adam Wilt's excellent HPA 2010 coverage on Pro Video Coalition.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Stunning RAID results with SOHOTANK and ATTO R380 card...+820 MB/s

We did some testing in the shop today with new firmware on the ATTO R380 SAS card and the Stardom SOHOTANK ST8-U5 running Hitachi 2.0 TB drives. The results were some of the best I've ever seen in an 8-drive RAID 5.

Using a 16.0 GB sized file in 2048x1556 10-bit RGB format, the drive pushed 705 MB/s writes and 775 MB/s reads.

Further, using a 16.0 GB sized file in DVCProHD 1080i60 format, the drive pushed over 822 MB/s read speeds.

Results are nothing short of awesome for this price point. You can't get a faster RAID 5 for under $5000.

You can get your own Stardom SOHOTANK ST8-U5 with a free Apple iPad through the end of February.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Free Apple iPad with new 16TB RAID's

From now until end of February, all Stardom RAID units configured as 16.0 TB will receive a free Apple iPad when they start shipping in late March (16GB model Wi-Fi model. You can opt to pay the difference and receive a higher end model, too). More info:

Stardom SOHOTANK ST5-U8 Mini-SAS RAID with free Apple iPad

Monday, January 25, 2010

Can you get an external 16.0 TB PCIe RAID 5 unit for under $5000?

Question: Can you get an external 16.0 TB PCIe RAID 5 unit for under $5000?

Yep--we just introduced the Stardom SOHOTANK ST5-U8 Mini-SAS RAID - powered by ATTO R380 SAS card with DriveAssure™ technology. Available in 8.0TB or 16.0 TB for under $5000.

Check it out here:


A lesson for identity thieves and crooks...

Please, I am getting SO tired of getting these messages. I just got a message from who urgently needs a bunch of cartridges via next day air:


C1823D ..... 50QTYS
C6578DN ..... 50QTYS

Sony PDV 184N DV tape - 1 x 184min ........ 100 Qty


Richard Peterson

If you REALLY wanted to get me to look closer at this request, you need to change up your approach big time.

First, my name is on the Silverado website. Everything else aside, could you take the time to find my name and say "Hey Torrey!" or "Dear Mr. Loomis," or something like that?


Third, no one believes you are with "Wesley Store" when your email comes from Yahoo or AOL or Gmail. Please--get a regular domain name that goes back to a legitimate site. I run domains all the time to see where they are setup and when the site was opened.

Fourth, do you even know what business we are in? Silverado sells HD editing systems, not inkjet supplies. Sure, every now and then we order printers for someone as part of a bigger sale, but its not our bread-and-butter. So--when you write asking for dozens of products we don't typically sell--I am sending your email to the trash.

Fifth--learn English and use spell check. Its that simple...

Sixth--you say you are in Atlanta, but want the items freighted to Gardena? Another red flag...

Seventh--going back to your English lessons: you need to structure your sentences better. The way you write is a dead giveaway you are writing these with a group of other idiots who can't write either. Find one of you who can write and spell correctly, and then COPY their fraudulent messages. At least I'll respect you more when I delete you.


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Now on demo at Silverado: Ostendo CRVD™ Curved Display

We are receiving a brand new Ostendo CRVD™ Curved Display today. We'll have this on display in one of our edit suites for the next two weeks, then we're scheduled to show it at the San Francisco FCPUG SuperMeet.

Come by and check it out!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The best CG/VFX I have ever seen...

Alex Roman is one extremely talented individual. I've yet to see anything better than this...

The Third & The Seventh from Alex Roman on Vimeo.

If he hadn't stated that it was CG, I still would have been very impressed at his skills and his eye. That this is 99% CG with a little green screen mixed in is unbelievable.

BREAKING...Ted from RED unveils Scarlet proto and some tidbits on release dates

Ted Schilowitz from RED Digital Cinema showed the latest version of Scarlet for the Gizmodo crew

RED Scarlet and Bomb EVF surprise hands-on!

Check out the section of the video where he mentions "Scarlet is 4-6 months out and EPIC is one month or so away..."

Saturday, January 9, 2010

One of the most exciting products I've seen in a long time...Christie Microtiles

Check this out:

Christie Microtiles

This product is awesome. The possibilities are endless with something like this.

Fixing Final Cut Pro...the Bob Zelin Way

I saw a particularly good post from Bob Zelin on FCP-L about trashing preferences and resetting FCP, especially if you are having difficulty with an AJA card:

Trash your preferences. You must do this "all the way".

This is how to delete the Final Cut Pro preferences:

Quit Final Cut Pro.

on your MAC internal hard drive, navigate to /users/yourloginname/library/preferences, and delete this file -

navigate to
and delete these three files -
Final Cut Pro 6.0 Preferences
Final Cut Pro Obj Cache
Final Cut Pro Prof Cache

thats is ! Relaunch Final Cut Pro, and you will be "starting from scratch".

Now, launch FCP. Right away, to to EASY SETUPS. Choose an EASY SETUP that relates to the AJA Kona LHi drivers, not 8 bit uncompressed or DV/NTSC, or something like that. Choose something like AJA Kona NTSC 8 bit uncompressed, etc. OK, now CREATE A NEW SEQUENCE (file>new sequence), and click on this new sequence. Try to open up color bars on your timeline from the film strip. Do you see color bars ? Is it on your TV ? Go to VIEW>EXTERNAL VIDEO>ALL FRAMES. Is it on your TV ?

If the answer is still NO, then your FCP install is corrupt and you must reinstall FCP.

Of course--you follow this at your own risk and if you toss the wrong file its your responsibility. However, I've done this before with positive results.