By: Andy Stout
Tuesday, April 17, 2012 - 3:18 pm
One of the traditions of NAB is that as the weather gets hotter, so the exhibition opens and the tens of thousands of people attending the show in Vegas get to spend the day increasingly cooped up indoors. Here’s some of the stuff they will be seeing while they’re there…
AS SVG’s Brandon Costa writes, one of the big stories coming out of NAB for the sports market has been NewTek’s introduction of the new TriCaster 8000. The live production system features a bevy of upgrades and was already attracting attention from many major American sports organizations on Monday in the Lower South Hall.
“The TriCaster 8000 is a technological marvel,” says Phillip Nelson, senior vice president, strategic development at NewTek, “but the most important thing that we see is technology that has social media integration into live production.”
Elsewhere, 4k has dominated much, as it tends to at the moment in the US. “What we did for HD with the Ki Pro, we’re doing with 4K,” says Nick Rashby, president of AJA Video Systems. “[Ki Pro Quad] is truly the first real-time lens-to-post 4K workflow.”
Ki Pro Quad allows camera operators to make decisions at the lens, he adds. It helps facilitate a powerful workflow for 4K, accepting RAW camera output via SDI simultaneously outputting that data via AJA’s Thunderbolt. The recorder also performs de-Bayer processing of the RAW data that can be used to produce on-board Apple ProRes recordings to SSD media. HD, 2K, and 4K ProRes files recorded to removable SSD media may easily be used in a variety of popular non-linear editors. The de-Bayered image produced by the Ki Pro Quad can also be used for 4K monitoring in real time. Scaled or cropped output is also simultaneously available for 2K or HD monitoring via dedicated SDI and HDMI connections.
“We have been working very closely with Canon Inc. headquarters in Japan to optimize performance between Canon’s upcoming Cinema EOS C500 digital cinema camera and our Ki Pro Quad,” says Rashby. “Ki Pro Quad offers some amazing new ways of working, by creating post-friendly files to removable SSDs, moving the original camera RAW files to a Mac, and allowing 4K monitoring all at the same time.”
Also banging the 4k drum was Steve Tiffen. “You don’t even have to call the show NAB. It’s the 4K show,” says Tiffen. “[4K has] been coming, and those of us who’ve been ear-to-the-ground in the marketplace have been preparing our businesses to support the 4K technology, so, as an accessories manufacturer, that’s really critical for us. 4K technology is unrelenting, and you absolutely, positively have to have the best quality in the glass.”
Blackmagic Design made a big splash at NAB on Monday with the introduction of a high-octane compact digital cinema camera for just $2,995. But the big news for the broadcast market coming out of the company’s Monday-morning press conference was the revamped Teranex 2D and Teranex 3D processors.
After purchasing Teranex in December, Blackmagic undertook the task of overhauling the Teranex VC100 format/standards converter in time for the NAB Show. The results of these efforts are the Teranex 2D and 3D processers, which have a smaller form-factor than the VC100 and feature Thunderbolt I/O technology capture and playback features. The big news is the new price point: the 2D box goes for $1,995 and the 3D for $3,995, versus the previous $90,000 price tag for the VC100 (Blackmagic cut the price to $20,000 after acquiring Teranex).
“The problem with Teranex when we bought it was that it had been on the market for six years, so the technology was great, but the chips that were built out of it were quite out of date,” Blackmagic Design CEO Grant Petty said. “So by updating the design we’ve been able to really cut down the price without affecting quality.”
Meanwhile, conversations with router manufacturers at the NAB Show this week suggest that the European style of total truck automation might become part of the U.S. truck-management protocol in the near future.
“We’re seeing more interest on the remote-operations side in some of the automation systems that are commonly used in OB-van operations in Europe,” notes Stagetec USA President Rusty Waite. He specifically cites L-S-B Broadcast Technologies’ Virtual Studio Manager software as a system being used to create show-specific “snapshot” recall automation for AV routing aboard trucks.
And lastly, loudness monitoring and measurement might just turn out to be the most fecund digital-audio product category since the microphone. The NAB Show has seen multiple new entries into an already crowded field, and we round things off with a look at some of them.