Matrox Bringing Thunderbolt To Their Media Converters

Matrox gave proof of concept demos on their Matrox MXO2 devices featuring Thunderbolt™ connectivity featured on new Macintosh computers. These devices provide broadcast-quality video and audio capture, monitoring, output, and H.264 encoding for use with leading editing and content creation applications. The new Thunderbolt technology enabled Matrox MXO2 devices will be available in July 2011 at prices starting from $649. Matrox Thunderbolt adapters for all MXO2 devices (if you already own them can be purchased as an add-on at $299.

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Aspera Sync – Helps sync media across the globe

Aspera Sync is a new software engine the enables highly scalable, multidirectional file replication and synchronization. Sync is designed to overcome the bottlenecks of conventional synchronization tools like rsync and scale up for maximum speed replication and synchronization over WANs, for large file stores  with large file sizes. Aspera Sync reconciles file system changes with remote peers at extremely high speed (500 files per second+) on commodity hardware and does not degrade in performance with the number of files, or with WAN conditions. Built upon patented fasp transport, Aspera Sync transfers new data between peers at full bandwidth capacity, regardless of distance and network conditions (100X+ rsync over long distance and high bandwdith WANs). This could be useful to help stage large media close to different global learning centers as Duke continues to expand the reach of our campus.

Sonnet Brings New Possibilities To The Mac Thanks To Thunderbolt

Sonnet, a long time Mac vendor, had a bunch of new solutions for the Mac based on the newly released 1.5 TB solid state drive the Fusion F2, uses the new Thunderbolt technology to provide incredible speed and capacity in an incredibly small package. The device is about the size of two CD cases stacked one on top of another. Although I don’t have pricing for the new version, their SATA version is about $500.

The Sonnet Echo Expansion Chassis allows you to connect any high performance PCIe 2.0 adapter into any computer with a thunderbolt port, such as the new Macbook Pro. With 2 Thunderbolt ports you can daisy chain up to 6 devices to a single and its speed would allow you to use cards like video capture cards; 8GB Fibre channel cards, RAID controller cards, 10Gigabit Ethernet cards. The Echo Expansion Chassis comes in 2 sizes standard and XL, both come complete with fans to cool the cards, and come with the relevant integrated power supply. It will be released this summer. Pricing has not yet been announced yet, but it would allow you to make the Macbook Pro the centerpiece of your editing system, connecting this device when digitizing or outputting, but working free when editing.

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Cache-A Prime – Super Smart Archival Deck

The new Prime-Cache5 (MSRP: $7,995) is smart LTO-5 drive and a 2TB hard disc drive that allows you to archive across a network without the need of a server. It lives on the network and you can simply “drop” files onto the tape as if it were a regular network share. You can search for your media u sing its built-in searchable database of all your tapes – remembering every single tape it has ever seen and will even share its catalog database with all other Cache-A appliances on the network. You can schedule automated backups or events on a one-time, daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Of course you can span archives across multiple cartridges as well. This seems like a good solution for a work group sized way to archive media to tape.

Manfrotto’s New Snake Arm

The new Snake Arm from Manfrotto might be a cool alternative for folks that like flexible mounting for their camera such but need a little more reach than something like the Gorilla Pod can offer. The arm is completely bendable then by tightening the knob at the end, will lock into place. You can connect it to a standard tripod or a clamp and you can connect a light and your camera to the same mount. It will be available in May for around $130.

Blackmagic UltraStudio SDI & UltraStudio 3D

At $395, Blackmagic’s UltraStudio SDI is an extremely affordable SDI capture and playback solution for computers that have USB 3.0 support (Mac users see below) The device provides 10 bit SDI capture and playback, plus HDMI monitoring all powered from the USB connection on your computer. HDMI monitoring allows you to use consumer displays for monitoring.  You also get genlock and RS-422 deck control built in.

The good news, newest generation Mac users and Macbook Pro users can now have HDSDI capture. Bad news? It will cost you $995 (as compared to above). The Blackmagic UltraStudio 3D uses Intel’s new Thunderbolt™ technology (10 Gb/s connection that’s up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0) to allow for SD, HD or 2K captureand  even supports two streams of full resolution video up to 1080p HD for new stereoscopic 3D workflows.

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Nvidia’s 3D Vision Pro

I spent a good bit of time at the NVIDIA booth talking about the NVIDIA 3D Vision Pro system. For $150, you get a pair of active shutter glasses (that are timed with the graphics card) as well as the RF receiver hub for the glasses. When combined with a compatible NVIDIA QUadro graphics card and monitor or projector, you get a really cost effective system to play back 3D content without requiring “mastered” content on say a Blu-Ray disk.  We are currently considering this technology as the basis for the DDI 3D project the “3D Exploration Station”.

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Perceptive Pixel Multitouch Screen

Perceptive Pixel demonstrated a multitouch screen that uses a series of cameras to track as many points as is placed on the screen. You can have multiple people interacting with multiple fingers at the same time. It also features gestured based movements like on an iPhone to make items larger or smaller and there is acceleration/deceleration of images being moved around on the screen.

They come in 27″, 55″ and 100″ sizes with the 55″ model costing around $60,000.

It is currently in use by such media companies as CNN. Here’s an example of the technology being used across multiple monitors:

Adobe Creative Suite 5.5

Adobe announced version 5.5 of their Creative Suite which includes Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere among others. These packages are quite deep and feature rich so I have to imagine that it is getting more and more difficult to introduce new versions and compel people to upgrade. The biggest advantage to this new version is 64-bit operating system support to allow more efficient use of memory and thus increase performance as well as an enhanced process across all the tools to deliver your content to multiple platforms – including multiple mobile formats.

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Squeezing In The Clouds With Sorenson’s Managed Encoding Solution

Sorenson Media makes tools to convert video from one format to another.  They sell licensed software solutions that are usually installed on premise. They are now offering this as a managed, cloud based service.  Depending on cost (not released at this time) and minimum subscriptions, quantities, this could be a good solution on a project or as needed basis for some folks around campus.

Costs range from $499/month to $1500/month depending on the version you need – with a 1 year commitment.  Squeeze Server for On-Premise installation pricing is: $5900/license, per server due upfront for the 1st year which includes all on-boarding, upgrades, maintenance and support.  Then is it $900/license, per server from years 2+ that you wish to continue using the on-premise license.