NAB Show Recap In 60 Seconds
Every year it is temping to size up the largest broadcast products show in the world with a catch phrase, “the year of [ add your choice here]“. This year’s National Association of Broadcasters show saw many companies pushing past HD and into 4k Cinema products, establishing new price points for the next generation in broadcast products. At four times the processing and storage requirements, many companies showed cinema quality gear formerly the exclusive realm of larger projects and the technical elite.
Canon, AJA, Panasonic, BlackMagic and may others showed cinema products at SD prices from just a few years ago. Soon the technical limitations of our art will be even less about the products and more than ever about the people. This same process played out a few years ago in the audio world as products leaped from 48k to 192k sample rates. With Cinema, most video professionals will hard pressed to find limitations in their tool set.
AJA Ki Pro Quad 4K Recorder - $3,995 for a portable 4k/HD/SD recorder. The size of a thick paperback book the KiPro Quad greatly simplifies workflow with both HDSI and thunderbolt i/o. < order now or more info >
Blackmagic 2.5k Camcorder with Thunderbolt for $2,999 – Weighing in at (not quite) 4k resolution but raw 2.5k recording, is BlackMagic’s new Cinema camera. This smaller camera body uses a Micro 4/3 sensor with full control of Canon EF lenses. Like many new cost effective larger imager cameras there is a slight cropping factor. Footage is recorded at 2432 x 1366 pixels in 12bit RAW and a dynamic range of 13 stops. A very interesting B camera or starter for students and smaller production facilities. Availability is June/July 2012. < order now or more info >
Dolby Glass-less 3D – You may remember 2010 NAB was the year of “3D”. Unfortunately the lack of content and the glasses thing was a big turn off for most people. Dolby seems to have found a way to take existing 3D consumer TVs and show convincing 3D – without the glasses. Like most 3D, sitting in a comfortable on-center spot is crucial. Off axis looks like regular 2D. Dolby is also reportedly close to releasing a cinema quality prototype known as 4K 3D TV. How did the show demo look? I saw no dramatic “in your face 3D” effects, but very convincing depth with no uneasy sensations. The mild 3D look could be the content or a first generation limitation.
As Dolby becomes less of a hardware company and more about engineering and licensing, I’m guessing this demo was more for Philips, Samsung, Panasonic the other flat panel manufacturers. I remember seeing a glass-less 3D display 2 years ago in the Sanyo booth at Infocomm, my head still hurts… I love these people at Dolby. More details and a video.
Newtek Tricaster TC8000 – While not 4k (yet) this HD video switcher continues with Netweks’s amazing price to performance capabilities. The TC8000 has shot past may people’s expectations with a long list of features including live switcher, multi-channel iso-recording, virtual sets and streaming and (wait for it) EIGHT MOTION EFFECTS CHANNELS. All for less than $40k with broadcast control surface (upgrades available). Definitely an OMG product if you haven’t seen it yet. < order now or more info >
Droid Helicopter – And finally, if you’ve been to a NAB in previous years, it wasn’t uncommon to see helicopter manufactures with working models on the show floor or just outside. This year, Schiebel showed a droid helicopter. Called the CAMCOPTER® S-100 UAS it was equipped with a CINEFLEX® gyro-stabilized rig for aerial cinematography. No pilot but a gumball gimbal control system mounted in the belly of this stealthy looking beast. Firefly Systems also showed some smaller copters starting at under $7k. Affordable? For $17k you can get a kit that can fly a Red Epic for 6 minutes. Replaceable batteries can keep you flying all day.
Checkout the demo reel, even if you don’t like flying or remote controlled toys. This is a very impressive peek into the future of our business as camera and flight technology become small in size and price.
NAB Comes To Phoenix – If you couldn’t make the big show this year, or would like to revisit in person with some of the leading content creation companies, stop by May 9th or May 16th for our Mini-NAB shows at EAR. We’ll have cold drinks and hot products to see first hand. Meet in person with factory specialists from Avid, Panasonic, Newtek & CatDV, Cache-A and more!May 9th 10am-4pm Avid and Panasonic register now
May 16th 10am-4pm Netwek and CatDV register now
Visit our Events page to register or get more details.