Cisco Advanced Video Technologies

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Cisco announced the next generation Videoscape AnyRes multi-function software-based encoder and transcoder solution which now support  4K video and the new HEVC compression standard for both VOD and live broadcast. The enhancement also improves  current compression standards such as MPEG2 and AVC.

They were also demonstrating a technology that could query a datastore – either online or internal – to complete metadata schema for media assets that match certain criteria. For example, if Duke Library already had a good deal of biographical information on a researcher, if additional media assets were uploaded, it could query that database and bring over that metadata rather than requiring it be re-entered. Only unique metadata for that asset would need to be entered.

8k Is Here And On The Air!

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If you remember the first 8k camera I reported on a few years ago, looking at the newest version below is quite astonishing.

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NHK has had it’s first successful terrestrial broadcast of 8k video and are getting ready for broadcast of the 2020 Olympics from Tokyo in 8k.  Although overall it seems that the industry wants to sell a bunch of 4k gear before going to 8k, there were signs that people might be skipping over 4k and going directly to 8k.

Beyond industry giant Neutrik producing their fiber connector OpticalCON, the commercial partner with NHK, Astrodesign was showing several production ready for commercial release to support an 8k workflow.

What I thought was really interesting was their 4k extractor. I’ve been talking a lot about using 4k in an HD workflow using the same type of an idea. It was cool to see that even future generations will be using the same approach until broadcast can more easily support the higher resolutions.

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SONY 4k Camera – Under $2000

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The new SONY FDR-AX100/B breaks the $2000 price barrier with an amazing camera with a Zeiss lens, 12x optical zoom and an incredible 1″ image sensor. The camera can record in XAVC-S, AVCHD and MP4 with speeds up to 120 fps recording. It will also connect to your smartphone via Wi-Fi®/NFC. We’re very much looking forward to bringing this camera in house.

SONY 4k Ultra HD Media Player

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Although it may look like a large LP record, the SONY FMP-X1 Media Player stores up to 2TB of 4k playback tied into Sony’s library and iTunes like consumer portable. The device will be supplied for free with the larger SONY monitors and will also be available for purchase.  It is ONLY compatible with Sony 4k TV’s which seems like a mistake but content drives hardware purchase so we will see how this fares.

Sony 4k DSLR with incredible low light capability

Sony just announced the SONY Alpha 7s digital SLR. Since it’s acquisition of Konica/Minolta, SONY’s DSLRs have been getting better and better industry recognition. They called this one a game changer and if it performs as spec’d, I have to agree. The imager is rated for video from ISO 100 to ISO 409,600. I thought they were joking. This thing will be able to focus in near darkness – at full 4k resolution. I’m’ thinking this should be useful for research photography.

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It has a full frame 35mm sensor and will shoot to XAVC S format. It uses the standard 3 mount lenses. Availability and pricing has not been set but it may very well be soon and more affordable than you think.

New Drives & Data Sharing From LaCie

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The newly announced 2big Thunderbolt™ 2 desk RAID offers speeds up to 420MB/s with dual Thunderbolt™ 2 ports and is ready for 4k workflows. No date for release has been announced.

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At $1300, the super small and super fast Little Big Disk Thunderbolt™ 2 drive from LaCie packs amazing SSD performance in a size made for field production.  The drive should be available in mid-June.

 

 

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What got LaCie on my best in show list was the new LaCie Fuel. This “wireless NAS” comes in 1 or 2TB versions and allows mobile devices such as the iPad to access network storage without connecting to the Internet or the local network. It can share files with up to 5 devices at once and can stream directly to an Apple TV or other AirPlay devices. Oh, and the 1TB model is only $199!

Zaxel Superscaler

The Zaxel Systems SuperScaler server supports 4k, 6k, 8k and 12k up to 240P at 12bit color depth. We were viewing the output on a 4k monitor but it was showing 2k upres’d to 12k with the center cut out, similar to how we’ve been talking about using 4k in an HD workflow. The fidelity was amazing – not well suited by the video below, but some serious math is going on with this product – all running out of a single computer.

The television in this display was seen all around the floor and the consensus was from many vendors that this is a current leader in 4k displays. The Panasonic TC-L65Wt600 which sells for around $5500 on Amazon at the time of this writing.

AJA Enters The Camera Market

There was plenty of excitement at the AJA booth this NAB. While the announcement of the $2000 I-O 4k Thunderbolt interface with support of both SDI and HDMI and 4k frame rates up to 60p was big news, the announcement of the Cion camera – AJA’s first entry into the camera market captured the headlines. . The camera is designed more like a news gathering camera and weighs only 6 pounds. It has a true 4K CMOS sensor, a PL mount for standard lenses, and most importantly the video looks great. The camera is based on a ProRes workflow, and can handle resolutions up to 60p and 120fps using four 3G-SDI outputs. While more expensive than several cameras from BlackMagic, it has many features as more expensive cameras such as the Alexa or SONY F55 at a fraction of the cost – just under $9000. The camera will be released this summer.

 

 

Blackmagic Continues To Amaze

Blackmagic held the prize for the show stunner. I’ve been going to NAB for close to 15 years now and I have never been more wowed than I was by the new Ursa camera. Blown away really by the quality of the live image i was seeing. It was truly digital film. This is a camera designed for use in the studio and has an incredibly large 10” viewfinder. It’s 4k image sensor is as large as Blackmagic’s film scanner, and can out put via 12G-SDI or record via internal dual RAW AND ProRes recorders. It supports many different lens types with a user upgradeable sensor – which preserves the major hardware investment for the future. Although it is hardly an investment coming in at under $6000. I’m still shaking my head at in disbelief at the price.

If the Ursa camera wasn’t enough, there’s also a new 4k camera designed for broadcast using the same 10” screen at a cost of under $2000.

I was also able to get a tour of the just announced new version of DaVinci Resolve Edit from the new Senior Director of Marketing at Blackmagic Design, Paul Saconne. But Paul, I said, Resolve is not a editing tool… After seeing this demo, i can confirm it will be when this new version is released. One of the folks in our demo commented that it looked like they took the best of Final Cut 7 and Premiere Pro and combined them. Oh, and the price for all of the tools except for a few very high end features?… free.