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 By: Philip Gleason
Four months is a long time not to post Monday, 22 January 2007 09:58

I have been working video on Film production, this has interested me in developing software to managing video and audio. Tapes and DVDs were used for recording on films, the locations were extreme, for instance, driving down Lexington on a trailer, or in New Jersey working all night in the rain or filming on the A train. This requirs a system which is reliable and portable.

This would not be the first time I worked at developing a system to solve a problem. Many years ago I spent long hours with a HP 9845 computer attempting to do something similar with a computer and film production. But then machines were only fast enough to manage the documentation not the audio and video signals. I never achieved that goal but the skills I learned landed me on Wall Street.

Now there are indications the time is right to invest in a video platform. Intel Core 2 Duo and PCI express are faster then what had proceeded. The Internet seems to be all a buzz with video made possible with high speed connections and sites like YouTube and Google video.

I ordered the small form factor PC, a Shuttle box XPC and a Black Magic Decklink video capture card as a system to achieve a portable video platform. The film industry is dominated by the Apple Macintosh but I chose to develop on the PC platform. A architecture I worked extensively with.

I find projects evolve so it is not wise to lock into a restricted system. Film production and post production is moving towards high definition video. So off I go attempting to unite my film production and software experience.

Because it is a good idea does not mean it will be easy. One item that is complicating the solution is DRM. Having developed many solutions with Microsoft technologies-Office, ASP.net, and Visual Basic I felt the technology would be capable to handle recording of video and audio streams and allow me to customize a front end to handle the job. Fifteen years ago I was able to build office systems that streamed data back and forth from UNIX machines with TCP/IP sockets how much harder could it be?

Not so easy I found out. The ease of scripting and all machines connected to the Internet makes a computer a perfect breeding ground for computer viruses. Microsoft worked to address this weakness, has been focused with security with Vista.. When Vista was finally released its security changes made many windows XP video drivers unusable. In addition to this difficulty, DRM software was added to make it difficult for content protected media to be copied from the computer. With the addition of a “tilt bit” in Vista media delivery any anomalies will destroy the signal. As it turns out what I want to do is very similar to what corporations are trying to control-video recording.

For now I am working on multiple solutions, First Vista with its advanced features and DRM; Or Windows XP with compatible drives and software but not designed for real time video; Or Linux and open soft software with all the capability to do what I want but requiring heavy development to make it work. Or use some combination.
Now you can see why I have not made an entry on this site. But I am glad to start for at least it is helpful to jot down the issues.