HD4PC has moved to TechWithMikeFirst.com

Posted by Mike McCarthy on October 1st, 2016 filed in Industry Status
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I am relaunching my technology site with a new brand and domain: techwithmikefirst.com. After nine years of posting my articles on HD4PC.com, it is time for a change. The identity HD4PC was chosen for a number of reasons, being simple and easy to remember, it encapsulated exactly what I wanted to talk about. I dealt with high end video production, and HD was where everything was at back then. And as an engineer at heart, I have always been a fan of PC over Mac, even when that made me a minority in the post production world. Therefore, HD4PC made sense as a brand for my work, but HD is old news these days, with 4K being the new big thing, and my current project is posting in 6K. At the same time, the technology field is broadening, with the advent of VR workflows and such.
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IBC 2016 News

Posted by Mike McCarthy on September 13th, 2016 filed in Hardware News, Software News
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There have been a number of interesting announcements at IBC this last week.  Adobe has announced a slew of improvements to the various apps available on Creative Cloud.  The most significant of which will be Team Projects, when it is released.  Team Projects will be asset groups shared between multiple cloud users, with version control and  conflict resolution for sequences, to keep editors from overwriting each other’s work.  It also creates a project archive, to find and restore previous versions of edited sequences, without manually versioning project files.  It appears it also will break down the bloated project file into individual sequences, coming from a shared asset pool that can maintain unique file paths for each user.  This will greatly improve media management in collaborative environments, which has traditionally been an issue with the existing architecture.  Adobe was also showing off new captioning tools, improved color correction options, and a new visual shortcut editor in Premiere Pro.  They have fleshed out the workflows for HDR and VR content, which were both announced at NAB earlier in the year, but with minimal features.  When editing VR experiences, multiple camera angles can now be stitched into a single file on ingest, instead of that step being done beforehand in a 3rd party application.  After Effects is getting more true 3D capabilities from Cinema 4D technology, and will now be able to playback certain assets in real-time without caching frames.
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Graphics News

Posted by Mike McCarthy on August 28th, 2016 filed in Hardware News
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Since GTC, NVidia has been rolling out a new Pascal based card every month, starting with the GTX1080, followed by the reduced 1070 and 1060, and then topped by the new Titan-X (Pascal). They followed that by releasing mobile versions of the 1080, 1070, & 1060 under the same names, which is only forgivable because they have roughly comparable specs to the desktop versions. (Unlike the Mobile 980, but not to be confused with the weaker 980M, which had no link to the desktop 980.) While NVidia has cleaned up some of the mess they made in mobile GPU naming conventions for the last generation, they turned around and released a new Titan card that is totally different from the Maxwell one, with the exact same name: Titan-X. On the Quadro front, at least the new P6000 makes sense for the Pascal generation.
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NAB 2016 Wrapup

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 22nd, 2016 filed in Hardware News, Industry Status
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We see ourselves in a place where UHD has become pretty ubiquitous, and can be recorded and viewed on a cell phone.  So the natural question is: what next?  One approach is to pursue higher resolution, with 6K and 8K capture options.  Another is to smooth out motion by increasing the frame rates to 60 or 120 frames per second.  Separately we can increase bit depth and color range to allow HDR imaging.  Sony has definitely focused on that last approach, and is showing off all sorts of HDR displays, with some pretty impressive demos.  Digital imaging technology has greatly improved in that regard recently, but I still have not wrapped my head around how all of the new HDR developments relate to one another.  They are also pushing IP based video solutions, in conjunction with Evertz Aspen standards, and their own IP Live branding.
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NAB 2016 Announcements

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 18th, 2016 filed in Hardware News, Software News
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NAB opens this morning, and as usual, there are all sorts of new announcements to sort through. First off, HP announced a significant change to their Z1 All-In-One workstation. The Z1 Gen3 now offers a 24″ 4K screen, much smaller and lighter than the 27″ of previous generations. It has 2 Thunderbolt3 ports, and dual M.2 slots for fast storage. I can definitely envision this being used on-set by media managers and DITs. The biggest limitation that I see is that the GPU is limited to the Quadro M2000M, with only 640 cores. My laptop has twice that many. Why upgrade from a laptop if not for more GPU power? HP also announced that their high performance Remote Graphics Software can now be used to stream your workstation power to OSX users.
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GTC 2016

Posted by Mike McCarthy on April 11th, 2016 filed in Hardware News, Industry Status
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Last week I attended NVidia’s GTC conference in San Jose.  I wrote an article about the event for Post Perspective, which can be found here:


Looking forward to heading to NAB.  Stay tuned for more updates from that event next week.

The Value of Freedom

Posted by Mike McCarthy on February 5th, 2016 filed in Workflow Ideas
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I am planning to direct and produce a documentary on freedom.  It will present freedom as the opportunity to experience the natural results of your own decisions, and make the case that freedom is more important than life itself.  It will examine freedom from political, economic, philosophical, and spiritual perspectives.  The production has a production blog at http://www.sharethevalueoffreedom.com as well as a Facebook page, where you can find more info.  The current focus is our Kickstarter campaign, trying to raise $20,000 for the production by the end of the month.  Be sure to check it out, and share it with anyone you think might be interested.

Storage Info

Posted by Mike McCarthy on January 20th, 2016 filed in Tips & Tricks, Workflow Ideas
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I recently did some consulting work for Hurlbut Visuals, setting them up with a storage solution and a 10Gb network to share it with.  They posted an article about the details of what we did, which might be as useful to my readers as it is to theirs.  https://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/2016/01/direct-network-storage-solution-post-production-editing-color-grading/