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When All Else Fails, Apollo Doesn't

ThingsGoWrongSometimes things go wrong.  
Most don’t like to talk about it, but smart design means planning for failures.  
Even someone else’s.

Apollo can record up to four HD video inputs simultaneously, as well as a fifth channel of a Live-Switch between the four inputs or a Quad-Split view showing them all together.  Placing all five recordings in one device is a great convenience, but it also means that Convergent Design had to design Apollo’s recording to be bulletproof.  Failure could be catastrophic and was not an option.

Once recording starts, any of the four HD inputs can be lost without the rest being affected.  A camera battery might die or someone trip over a cable.  Even if three out of the four inputs go dark, Apollo will continue to record the signals that remain.  When that battery is replaced or the cable plugged back in, Apollo will reacquire lost signals within two frames and continue recording.  In fact it fills in placeholder frames for the time any signal was missing, so all of the cameras stay in sync, the timecode matches and there are no new clips started that need to be synced in post.  Everything just works.

Apollo catches mistakes before they can bite you.  In the rush to setup a multicamera interview, someone might set a camera to the wrong frame rate or resolution.  That would be very unfortunate to discover when it came time to edit.  Apollo recognizes mismatched incoming signals and prevents recording until they are set properly.  A “mismatch” warning appears in the Upper Toolbar, and tapping it reveals a list of exactly what signals are coming into each input so that the issue can immediately be traced.  One mismatch that Apollo will allow is 24p delivered as both 1080p24 and 24 embedded with a 3:2 Pulldown inside 1080i60.  Select 3:2 Pulldown Removal and these two signal types can be mixed, with everything recorded as 1080p24.

Ever misplace a memory card?  Mistakenly reformatted one before offloading the files?  We’ve all been there.  Apollo offers Double Master Recording, capturing identical files to two SSDs at the same time.  Now when the Producer’s nephew walks off with the footage you have a backup.

Every physical aspect of Apollo is designed to protect from failure.  We add handles with locking tabs to the SSDs so that they won’t come loose even when vibrating in a helicopter.  The input voltage ranges from 6.5-34v and the socket is polarity protected, so connecting to dodgy power won’t fry Apollo. The casing itself is a light but sturdy cast magnesium alloy, and features four small protruding tabs on the front so the screen won’t get scratched if someone places Apollo face down. Even if they do Apollo comes with a replaceable screen protector and the OLED is bonded to Gorilla Glass.

When you’re shooting, failure is not an option.  At Convergent Design we spend a lot of time thinking about where breakdowns can occur so that you don’t have to.

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