New HP Workstations Released

Posted by Mike McCarthy on September 8th, 2014 filed in Workflow Ideas
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I recently had the privilege to attend HP’s press event for the release of their new product lineup, in Ft. Collins CO. I got to see all of their new products in action, and tour the labs where they develop and test those products. I was quite impressed by the amount of engineering that goes into their box, which is what really sets them apart from the competition. I built many systems from scratch before buying my first professional workstation. I still have an XW8600 under my desk at home, and I have no intention of buying any tower in the future that doesn’t come from that Ft. Collins facility.  Laptops are a different story though, since there are more factors to “weigh.”

Most of my insights on the products HP released are summed up in an article I wrote for, so you can find those details here. I will be digging deeper into high-end laptop options soon, since I am in the market for a new one myself in the very near future.  So stay tuned for more info on that front shortly.

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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