There was a lot of flying around in the North hall . With the miniaturization of high quality cameras such as the GoPro, several ingenious companies have released small remote control helicopters, planes and yes, even a blimp to hold these small cameras and allow you to record video from above in areas that may have been previously inaccessible. While they do cost several thousand dollars, it is a breakthrough in videography that used to be only available to cameras on full size helicopters. Depending on the size camera, these can cost from just a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
Vaddio provided a high point of the show with their introduction of a whole host of AV equipment that supports direct USB interface. These products will revolutionize classroom integration.
Their ClearVIEW HD USB camera is a pan/tilt.zoom camera that has a 19x optical zoom lens. Because this is a USB camera, it can be used for all applications such as Skype, Movi (this is showing it being used with Cisco Jabber), web conferencing and even lecture capture tools. Because it also has standard video outputs, it can also be plugged into standard hardware video conferencing codecs. At around $4,000 this is truly one camera to rule them all.
If this was the only announcement, it would be enough, but they also came out with new USB microphones both table top and even a USB hanging mic with three elements. For around a grand, you get your choice of one microphone and the amplifier that can support an additional mic (you can mix and match) for another $400. But wait, that’s not all. For around $1900 list, the new AV bridge allows you to take your existing camera and audio equipment and convert it to a compatible USB format for use with all the applications mentioned earlier. This will extend the value of already existing equipment. A huge win for Vaddio.
Even though Vidyo is generally thought of for their proprietary video conferencing technologies, I’m glad I checked out their booth and their VidyoCast software. This software has the potential of making the incorporation of remote guests into programs such as Office Hours much more effective as it seems like it will eliminate the need for the remote user to install any software as the remote user’s software is completely web based).
It also allows you to see the remote user’s audio and video settings to make troubleshooting easier. It provides a mix minus (audio and/or video) to the guest to eliminate confusion and feedback and can even provide compositing of multiple remote participants into a graphically rich scene. This is all at a fairly substantial cost, but it looks impressive.
For more information, you can contact:
Creative Media Products
Chapel Hill, NC
Google Voice: 919 766-0154
The Roland V-800HD is a multi-format video switcher that features 3G, HD and SDI SDI input as well as many different types of standard definition video inputs at a cost of around $13,000. It also features a built in multi viewer, MIDI control and built in scalers and keyers and a USB port for bringing in still graphics.
What could GoPro do that was cooler than the camera itself? Beyond the TimeSlice technology their announcement of live wifi monitoring and remote control of one or multiple cameras was pretty astounding. For $99 you get a new back to the camera, and wider back door to accommodate and the remote control. It will then stream live what ever it is seeing over wifi to your smartphone or tablet through an app. This will be released in the next few weeks.
TimeSlice Films was showing its HD Hero rig it uses to create multidimensional time paused videos – think “The Matrix”. Quite impressive rig and output and fun with the Hero HD. Thinking there could be some research applications for this type of photography. Right now it appears they offer this as a service.
Here’s a making of video – although it’s not the Hero, it’s still really interesting.
Roland always has interesting stuff at the show. This year they were showing their new $2000 portable production station the VR-3 that functioned as a video and audio mixer with cool touch screen interface that converted the output to standard USB so it can feed any USB compatible app such a Ustream.tv, Adobe Media Encoder, or other live stream or recording tools. Granted this is standard definition but for streaming, it provides some great remote production capabilities in a small and inexpensive package.
Last year’s NAB, Thunderbolt was just announced so there were hardly any real products. This year, every major disk manufacturer released Thunderbolt drives.
LaCie has several different disk offerings with Thunderbolt connectivity. The Little Big Disk comes in sizes from 240GB to 2TB and features dual Thunderbolt ports for easy connectivity. The 2Big model provides RAID flexibity with sizes from 4TB to 8TB and can hot swap drives. They also showed a eSATA hub to allow you to connect eSATA drives at full speed via the Thunderbolt interface.
Western Digital was showing their Thunderbolt Duo dual drive storage system. The system allows you to configure the the disk in RAID format to mirror the drives for data protection or use them as two individual drives for more storage. The case allows you to swap out and replace drives.
Hitachi (which is a Western Digital Company) was showing off their G-RAID G-Technology drives with Thunderbolt. These drives feature RAID 0 with up to 8TB of storage and a 3 year warranty.
Three major Thunderbolt video interfaces made some big impact at the show.
Mark of the Unicorn’s HDX-SDI will be out this summer and retail for around $1000. It’s rack mountable and features discrete audio interface for 8 channels.
Blackmagic also released a the Ultrastudio 3D for for around the same price in a much smaller package.
To me, AJA is the winner with their IO XT at just under $1500, theirs is basically a Kona card in a box that features meters on the front, 12v power supply so it can run off battery and most importantly (2) Thunderbolt plugs (the only one with this) to allow you to daisy chain storage and/or a monitor.
K-tek’s Tadpole’s unique design allow you to stick your small camera such as the GoPro or iPhone into hard to reach areas or help steady them for tracking or moving shots. They sell for around $100, more or less depending on the length
Perceptive Pixel was showing their 82″ multi-touch display which offers 1920 x 1080 resolution, 2000:1 contrast ratio and sub-pixel touch precision with fingers, a stylus or even gloved hand. The monitor also comes in 27″ and 55″ resolution. They provide a development platform as well to create interactive applications.