Yes, I know. You all are expecting an NAB wrap-up of some sort from me. A “hey, I saw this and this and this and REALLY loved this.” I hope to get that done soon. But, I ain’t the press so this isn’t my full time job. No, my full time job is what I am doing now, on Saturday (and part of Sunday) to make up for the time I spent in Vegas at NAB. And I have a family that wants to hang out with me…darn them. So you will have to settle for this…quick tidbits with links you can check out for yourself.
EditShare – I REALLY like this SAN and project sharing solution for FCP. VERY Avid like and allows you to lock bins and share projects over the SAN. Not inexpensive like other ethernet SANS out there, but they don’t have project sharing abilities…this does. AND…I love this…AND…it connects via Ethernet, so your producer can connect to the SAN without the need of Fibre or SAS. Yeah…I like this.
Flanders Scientific HD LCDs. In the lower end price range these are some great looking monitors. 900:1 contrast ratio in the 17″…1100:1 in the 24″. And I had the 17″ in my bay for two weeks so I know that it looks like under ideal conditions. Forget the Sony (well, not their $10,000 range)…REALLY forget the JVC (ugh)…but also consider the Panasonic 2550.
There were better HD LCDs out there…but they were WAY high priced for my range. BARCO was $12,000 and wasn’t presented in the best lighting conditions. Talking white walls and floors…but it STILL LOOKED GOOD. And eCinema wasn’t even there! And I like them.
AJA – KiPro – Native ProRes recording onto hard drive or Solid State (coming soon). Connects via HD SDI, HDMI…host of others. From BIG camera to HV20. The Kona LHi, which was the card I have been asking AJA to make for a long time. Analog and SDI input/output, and ability to upconvert/crossconvert/downconvert in hardware. Most the stuff usually left to the Kona 3, but I needed analog inputs and didn’t need the 2K stuff. And the IO Express. Great lower end box…read up on it on the link.
MATROX – They are who I turned to for the analog in and upconvert capable box…the MXO2. Now they came out with an MXO2 mini that only costs $449. NO SDI and other high end connections, but plenty of others…laptop and tower. Read up on that too. AND…they have an h.264 hardware encoder called CompressHD that speeds up encoding to H.264 (and for BluRay) to faster than real time. LOADS faster. And cool thing? You can get this for $500…or you can have it as an additional option in the MXO2 and MXO2 mini for only an additional $400. Sweet.
And I saw a demo of MacCaption in conjunction with the MXO2…I mentioned this earlier in a separate blog post. But he showed me how to import a NON-timecoded script and then play the video and just hit IN and OUT to drop the sentence into place. Could caption a 30 min show in an hour. Freaking awesome…and a tad cheaper than before. $3900…but if you are used to captioning shows at $500-$900 a pop…this is a steal.
BlackMagic WOWed me with the ULTRASCOPE. $695 for the software and card (PC only) and you have external HD scopes. HD SDI loop through only. And you can get a PC for $500 (or less), and they require a 24″ monitor, but you can get that for $300 too. So for under $1500…HD scopes. Before that, lowest you could find was $8000. But, this is still being worked on, so hopefully they will come out soon.
AVID wowed me with INTERPLAY…yeah, I know, been around for a while. But they had a project started cut on the Interplay app, then brought into Media Composer for final editing, then send the media composer project…NOT AN OMF…the project…to ProTools for audio editing. Man…slick. There is no way these guys are going anywhere. Still a very powerful and VERY relevant tool. I can’t imagine trying to approach many projects without Avid.
JVC showed off their new XDCAM EX cameras…small (GY-HM100U) and large (GY-HM700U) (I liked the large) that recorded QT movies or in the XDCAM format. VERY nice.
But the biggest thing I saw this year…is that all the new stuff…the new capture cards and cameras and recording devices…they weren’t COMPETING. They were filling in the gaps. There were a few that are in direct competition, but I swear, with the full Kona line and I/O line, and MXO and MXO2 line, and Decklink series…you have options to fill ANY need. From $99 Intensity to the $3500 AJA I/O, you have capture cards and boxes that cover all the bases. So now when someone asks me “hey, what is the best card for me?” I’ll ask them what their needs are, what are they shooting and what are they working on and what do they need to deliver…and I can steer them in the direction of a perfect option for them. I swear, it was like AJA and Matrox and Decklink were all talking to one another…”you do this, we’ll do this and he can do that.”
Cameras too…there are so many options it is mind boggling. Oh, and I forgot to mention the new Panasonic AVCHD camera, the AG-HMC40. 3MOS (3 CMOS censors) and all the recording capability of the HMC-150, only smaller. Not much on the web yet, the only working model was on the floor.
I have pics for all of this stuff, so check back later and I will update with pics. I am just busier than heck now. Because I ALSO have a side project to finish…At least the director was at NAB too, so he understood why I wasn’t working on it this week.
OK…now to render and go hang with the family. Ciao.