NAB 2014 Wrap Up

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 10th, 2014 filed in Hardware News, Industry Status
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Blackmagic Design had a variety of new products on display at NAB.  The single most interesting one from my perspective is their new film scanner from recently acquired Cintel.  Everything I hear is always “film is dead.”  If that is true, why would anyone be interested in buying a film scanner?  And while we can now scan our own film for $30K, how are we going to get it developed.  The previous process that I am accustomed to, is to send your exposed negative to the lab, and they send you back an HDCam-SR tape, or a stack of DPX files.  Instead, getting the negative back to scan on your own doesn’t seem very appealing.  I imagine that it is aimed at customers who have a lot of existing film on hand, which was processed in the past, that they now want to digitize.  But is there really that big of a market for that?  It will be interesting to see.
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NAB 2014 First Look

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 7th, 2014 filed in Hardware News
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I find myself in Las Vegas once again, attending my tenth NAB convention.  There is no doubt that 4K and UltraHD will be the primary themes this year, with many new products updated to operate at those higher resolutions.  Cameras have actually been available in that range for many years now, as have the software solutions.  The missing pieces have been on the display and delivery side, so that is where I expect to see the most significant advances.
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Need For Speed

Posted by Mike McCarthy on March 12th, 2014 filed in Workflow Ideas
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In my role at Bandito Brothers, I have been working for the last year on the film Need for Speed, which releases in theaters this Friday.  This has been a very different project from our last one, Act of Valor.  Having the backing of a major studio like DreamWorks makes for a totally different production process.  After bootstrapping nearly ever aspect of Act of Valor for four years, Need for Speed has been a much shorter project start to finish.
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Adobe Creative Cloud

Posted by Mike McCarthy on June 20th, 2013 filed in Software News
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Adobe finally released the much advertized “Creative Cloud” version of their applications this week.  The most significant aspect of that change is that significant software updates can be released on a much faster cycle.  The other big change is that instead of buying a permanent license for a specific application, users buy a monthly subscription to access all of Adobe’s software, to be downloaded and installed whenever they need it.  Contrary to what the name implies, the software doesn’t actually get hosted from the cloud, only the installers do.  Similar to previous versions of Creative Suite, owning a single license allows software to be installed on two systems, and anything beyond that will require juggling activations.
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4K Video Over 6G-SDI Connections

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 21st, 2013 filed in Hardware News, Industry Status
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We began seeing the first products supporting 6G SDI announced at NAB this year.  I heard this was coming, but didn’t fully grasp the significance of it until looking around the show floor.  Hardly anyone is using dual-link 3G connections, presumably for 1080p60 in full RGB, and basically all 4K work is done in RGB, so going from four cables to two isn’t that helpful.  But broadcast applications with QuadHD frame-sizes is where this new technology is going to be key.
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NAB 2013

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 14th, 2013 filed in Hardware News, Software News
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I just returned from yet another week in Las Vegas for NAB 2013.  I was in the AJA booth again, showing off 4K editing in Premiere Pro, output to a 4K display through the Kona 3G.  Compared to last year, which was basically cuts only, the newer systems are fast enough for full effects to be rendered on the fly.  So I am looking forward to putting that capability to good use in the near future.  AJA also had the KiPro Quad on hand and shipping after last year’s announcement, and few other new products.  I can respect their new policy of not announcing products that are not ready to ship, to combat the trend thoughout the industry for vaporware.  It is nice to know what is coming when planning future projects, but frustrating when it doesn’t arrive when expected.
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New Products from NVidia and Canon

Posted by Mike McCarthy on March 30th, 2013 filed in Hardware News
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It has been a while since I have posted on here, but that is because there haven’t really been any significant developments worth noting.  But there are now a few to summarize before the deluge of NAB announcements.

NVidia has a few new products available.  The Quadro K5000 is now joined by the K4000, K2000, and K600.  Each step down reduces the number of cores by 50%, so the performance should really scale up throughout the lineup now.  In prior generations, the 3800/4000 has been nearly indistinguishable from the the larger 4800/5000 in terms of real world performance.
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New Sony 4K Products

Posted by Mike McCarthy on November 20th, 2012 filed in Hardware News
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It would seem that I missed a few important new hardware announcements while I was traveling in Europe.  As to be expected, most of them revolve around 4K production.

Sony announced two new 4K cameras, both of which have a very modular design.  The PMW-F55 will fit near the top of their lineup, just below the “8K” F65.  It will capture and output up to uncompressed 16bit 4K RAW to an outboard recorders, and record 300Mb XAVC compressed 4K to SxS cards internally.  It can also capture up to 240fps at 2K, or 180fps internally.  The biggest feature that will differentiate it from other 4K cameras is it “global shutter” which should eliminate all potential rolling shutter artifacts that can plague other large single sensor CMOS cameras.  Price estimates vary, but if this camera becomes available at the expected $25-35K price point, it will really shake up the market.
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