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Recent Blog Posts in April 2009

April 28, 2009
  NAB 2009
Posted By Jeremy Tchaban
This was my first time attending NAB and I was very excited. Over the past few years I've become a "pseudo-tech head" and I was looking forward to seeing all the gear which could potentially improve our work flow. We were only able to attend the exhibits for 1 day since we had to get back to NY for Tuesday's episode. We had to move quickly. I later found out that we only covered about 1/3rd of the conference.

The WOW factor this year is Sony's 3D TV- it really feels like you are in the scene. It surpasses any previous 3d technology by making 3D feel natural. We jokingly questioned why we are bothering going to HD when we should skip the step and go directly to 3D. The reality is that camera men need to master this camera and focusing in 3D is quite a challenge due to the depth of field. I can't wait to have one of these in my living room!

There were a lot of great products that we could use in the field to replicate our studio set-up.

Our first stop was AVID where we were excited to find out that we can edit our field pieces on a laptop on location. All we need is a laptop, PC or MAC, Media Composer Software and a MOJO DX box. Loading footage from a digital camera (like the HVX200) which records on p2cards directly into the laptop eliminates lengthy digitizing time.

We started to look for an easy to use, portable broadcast transmission device. We found one company called Bitcentral that advertises a product called Live Truck In A Case. All you have to do is connect a video source (camera, deck, or editing output) to the RCA inputs on the side of the briefcase. The device compresses the footage to a H264 quicktime creating OK picture quality with a frame rate of 15 fps. Apparently, depending on bandwidth, the frame rate can be increased to 30 fps. If you are in an area with little or no cellular service you might want to look into satellite phones or internet from a BGAN device but this could be pricey. This gear is especially useful for news reporting because it eliminates the need for a satellite truck. Not sure if this application is necessary for our needs though it's fantastic to know that it may be an option and solution on a future location shoot.

When we walked by the ProPrompter booth we were attracted to the "teleprompter for Iphone". This application allows you to upload scripts to the teleprompter website and then download them directly to the iphone. The Iphone is able to attach to any camera lens via the proprompter wing. This seems like a great alternative to lugging around bulky teleprompter equipment in the field or creating cue cards.

All Mobile Video was showcasing their multi-cam tapeless carry pack, which was set up in front of their huge high def control room truck which was used on the Miss-America pageant the night before. The tapeless camerapack is shipped using 5 roadcases which include Cameras, tape decks, camera shading, audio, graphics and any other equipment included on a real broadcasting truck. The only thing missing was the transmission equipment. I was told it was unavailable this year but may be part of next year's conference. In the meantime, if picture quality isn't too important try using the "Studio in a case" product described above. Our other favorite fun toy was the mini helicopter camera controlled with a remote control. We have seen and worked with the mini blimp cameras that used lipstick cams but the chopper carries a more powerful camera.

We then hit sensory overload. We also learned that water, chapstick and and throat lozenges as well as super comfortable shoes are survival essentials at NAB!
Continue reading "NAB 2009" »

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April 23, 2009
  What Caught Your Attention at NAB 2009?
Posted By Mark R. Smith
Now it's over already. While I would rather have stayed to hear the annual Bronx Cheer at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon, I had to fly home early this year for work reasons. Damn.
Sooooooooo ... you've read about a couple of things that caught my eye herein, but what I wanna know is ... what you saw this year that you think may make your job a little easier before we do it all again at NAB 2010?
Continue reading "What Caught Your Attention at NAB 2009?" »

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April 23, 2009
  3D Editors, Check This Out
Posted By Mark R. Smith
I was walking by Post's booth at the show on Monday afternoon when our own Marc Loftus pointed out a company in an adjoining space and noted its interesting new products.
That company, Solana Beach, Calif.-based CineForm, creates high-fidelity compression-based workflow solutions and its staff came to NAB 2009 more than ready: it unveiled two technology enhancements this year.
Had a great chat with the company's PR dude, Kevin Bourke of Bourke PR in Boston (I wonder why there aren't more post houses there?), who told me about the industry’s first 3D editorial workflow solution for Apple Final Cut Pro (FCP), Neo3D. It improves 3D post production workflows by enabling FCP users to edit 3D projects in real time, with full frame rate playback, to an external 3D monitor.
That's key because, traditionally, 3D projects are edited in 2D as independent left and right eyes, with a final 3D conform after the entire editorial process is complete; Neo3D simplifies the process by enabling editors to experience the 3D story-telling process by viewing in full 3D while editing.
The company also announced a new real-time, renderless color correction tool, CineForm First Light. First Light uses the company's Active Metadata architecture to add or adjust color information, such as white balance, saturation controls and 3D LUTs (look-up tables), as metadata “layers” on top of the base image without flattening or rendering the file.
I'm glad to send this info along, not just to edify our readership, but because Kevin also stressed the importance of PR folks promoting interesting news for our audience (as opposed to not-very-interesting information no one learns anything from that only serves the PR person). It's all about credibility.
As an editor myself (for a business newspaper in Maryland), I appreciate that. And for that, as you can see, he just got a good blogging. Good on him. 
Continue reading "3D Editors, Check This Out" »

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April 22, 2009
  RED launches a ROCKET
Posted By Mark L. Pederson
It didn't happen on the show floor. It happened on the world wide web. Last night at midnight Jim Jannard, the owner of Red Digital Cinema announced RED ROCKET on the But it was well timed - being the night before the REDUSER NAB EVENT happening at the RIO hotel today.

R3D Decode, debayer and playback high quality REALTIME 4k at 30fps (or 5K at 25fps).

Will accelerate FCP, Premiere, After Effects, RED Alert!, REDCINE, REDrushes or any application using the REDCODE SDK.

PCI-Express, Output interfaces will include Quad-DVI and Quad-HD-SDI. Works with Mac, PC and Linux.

Under $5k.

This is the same technology that DVS is showing at the show on their Clipster system. What this means is that 4K realtime from small files is an affordable reality. This also means that almost any third-party post tool can become 4K enabled.

Exciting, game-changing stuff from the company that annouced a product that did not exist at NAB 2006.

I'll post some video tomorrow AM from the event here.
Continue reading "RED launches a ROCKET" »

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April 21, 2009
  NAB 2009: Official Announced Attendance
Posted By Mark R. Smith
Just got the number's from NAB's PR office ... the attendance this year is 83,842. That figure includes 23,232 international attendees -- many of whom were mega jet-lagged.
That reminds me of a funny story ... the first year I came to the how, 1992, I ended up in a small press conference at the Las Vegas Hilton. I guess there were about 25 of us in the room ... about 15 minutes into it, we all suddenly heard some pretty loud snoring emanating from the back of the room. It was an international attendee, who was either really tired ... or maybe he just took it upon himself to speak for the rest of us. Just kidding!
Continue reading "NAB 2009: Official Announced Attendance" »

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April 21, 2009
  One More Thing
Posted By Mark R. Smith
I met a guy in the lunch line in the press room today and he was talking about this year's attendance, too. He said, nevermind the nation's current economic issues, NAB needs to go back after the folks that used to attend NATPE and reintegrate them into the NAB show.
His observation was that the audience at NATPE had evolved somewhat and that many of the content folks there had scattered about, and that it would be a win-win for them to return to Vegas every April for the show.  
Continue reading "One More Thing" »

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April 21, 2009
  3D without Glasses???
Posted By John J. Budion
It seems like Sony is trying to take Digital Cinema to the next level. They are trying to bring the third dimension to home televisions. 3D movies without the glasses in the comfort of your own home.  Sounds pretty cool.

Apparently, they are still testing this concept as the prototypes are not yet sharp enough for the consumer home theater. It's possible there could be a huge market for this in the future. Imagine a third dimension of the Z-axis coming at you while watching a flick??? It would bring a whole new experience to the viewer.

Wonder if this concept could find it's way to portable devices like the iPhone?

Anyways......seems pretty cool to me.......
Continue reading "3D without Glasses???" »

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April 21, 2009
  Add Some (Production) Music to Your Day
Posted By Mark R. Smith
Had a few good words with David Gurule and Dennis Dunn from Killer Tracks in L.A. today about trends they've noticed of late.
David talked about the move toward the digital distribution of music. He said the house has continued to press CDs and prepare hard drives, but it looks like more of the clientele must be getting iPods and MP3 players; they want their music and they want it now.
It's all about saving time. Another way clients are doing that, he and Dennis Dunn, also of Killer Tracks, said, is to obtain a variety of types of tunes from a single company. On that note, David pointed to Killer's recent CD, "Reality." The Christopher Franke collection of 18 CDs is based on that popular TV show genre and can be used for many different types of those oh-so-inexpensive-to-produce reality shows.
David feels its all about production music's increasing acceptance. "Ten years ago, production music might have been considered "less than," he said. "But now, some of the best music in the world comes from libraries. Look at all of the Hollywood movies and major ad campaigns that use it." 
Continue reading "Add Some (Production) Music to Your Day" »

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April 20, 2009
  DVS steals my RED heart
Posted By Mark L. Pederson

Okay - NAB 2009 has begun. I started by going to DVS to see CLIPSTER's new RED support - and get a full tour of the features.

It's hard to find words to express how excited I am about this system. They are debayering RED's R3D files with HARDWARE in REALTIME. FULL 4K debayer. In fact, the system ONLY does full 4K debayer. Instant conform, including reframing from Final Cut Pro XMLs. I grabbed R3D files and created MFX for Avid in 1920x1080 DNxHD with a 4K debyaer at 24fps. Realtime, one step Avid edit media in full quality.

DCP mastering on this product is amazing. Making a 3D DCP was drag and drop, click a few settings and go.

This is a MUST SEE system for folks on the front lines of RED post production. DVS sells only direct.

In other news ...

NVIDIA Quadro FX 4800 GPU for Mac has a MSRP of $1,799 USD.

FINALLY a cuda-enabled, high-end Nvidia card for the MAC ... with one BIG snag ... they put TWO 8-BIT DVI connections as opposed to 10-bit DISPLAY PORTS which is what they have on the CX cards for the PC. When I asked the Nvidia folks at the booth WHY?? They said ... because APPLE directed us to DVI. Hmmmmm ... Apple is making display port monitors. Seems fishy. I am very disappointed they don't have 10-bit off of the card on the MAC.

They did show me a CAPTURE CARD - which is PC only - but will allow developers to ingest HD and 2K directly to the GPU memory - this is pretty huge for sports broadcasting.

I haven't had a chance to look more closely at the NVIDIA® QUADRO® PLEX D SERIES yet - but I'll get to that soon.

Back to the show floor ... more to come.

Continue reading "DVS steals my RED heart" »

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April 20, 2009
  Autodesk announces FLARE!
Posted By John J. Budion
Autodesk finally released their new product FLARE at NAB today.  I have to say it's pretty interesting.  The program is designed to be a separate workstation primarily for junior artist's to facilitate senior artist's who are running the full version of Flame/Inferno.  However, this does not mean it will only be restricted to junior artist tasks.

What you get in FLARE is basically all of batch, minus any editing/IO/or desktop functions.  So that means, action, mod keyer, and even third party plug-ins, and unlike Combustion, the UI is exactly the same as on a Flame!  You can use FLARE to cut mattes or you can start an entirely new composition if you wanted to.  You can load setups that have been saved out by a Flame, and load them directly into Flare.  Do your work and re-save the setup back over.  You don't even have to render!  And the best part is, Autodesk was demoing Flare today on a laptop!  A full batch schematic with all of the nodes accessible, running on a laptop.

The price tag I've been hearing around is that Flare will cost roughly $40K.  However, there is a caveat to all of this.  The program will only be purchasable to those who already are running one of the big guns, meaning, Flame or Inferno.

Overall, I think this is a great move by Autodesk.  Being a Flame/Inferno user for over ten years now, I must say that I am yet to find a program that can trulely compete with its power.  If you have ever been in the trenches at zero hour with a client behind your back, making changes on the fly, on a flame, you know what I am talking about.  Putting the best structured pipeline and features of Flame onto a laptop and making it more accessible, instead of unattainable, will hastily grow the community of users, while also facilitating senior artists.  It's a win-win for all.  (Additionally, if the pricetag is $40K, my gut feeling is this number will come down over a little time.)
Continue reading "Autodesk announces FLARE!" »

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April 20, 2009
  NAB 09 Cineform takes on realtime color correction with First Light
Posted By David Basulto
David Taylor of Cineform unveiled a wonderful new tool I must have called First Light. At first glance it resembled Adobe Lightroom. That is until I saw it work with a 4k image color correcting it in realtime. I was blown away by the tools amazing ease of use. I look forward to doing an in-depth review very soon!
Continue reading "NAB 09 Cineform takes on realtime color correction with First Light" »

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April 20, 2009
  NAB09 Sony unveils Vegas 09
Posted By David Basulto
Sony Creative unveiled Vegas 9 at NAB and the software looks as robust as ever. There are several new features, transitions, effects and more. Having used Vegas on a film in the past, I really wanted to see if it had been updated to keep up with the likes of Final Cut Pro, Premiere Pro and Avid. At first glance I will give it a big thumbs up. If you are on the PC platform this should be one to consider adding to your toolbox. Download a demo and try it out yourself.
Continue reading "NAB09 Sony unveils Vegas 09" »

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April 20, 2009
  NAB 2009
Posted By Mark R. Smith
There has been a considerable amount of talk amongst us broadcast tech denizens about what the final announced attendance number will be this year. Last year that figure reached 104,000; the record is 115,000 in 2000.
After cruising around on the floor on the show's first day, I'm going to venture a guess that the announced number will be about 75,000 for this year's show. I was hanging out around the music libraries much of the afternoon and, while some people noted the lack of the typical Monday morning "rush," others offered that the people who did make it to the LVCC this year are doing more than kicking tires.
Marisa Pellicane of Omnimusic, for example, said that she'd already swiped about 50 ExpoCards by about 1pm ... and now she's gotten some "ink" in Post Mag's blog, too. Wow!
So, the point is ... if the attendance is off about 30 percent from last year, that's still plenty of people to have a productive show.
Continue reading "NAB 2009" »

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April 20, 2009
  Cache-A LTO4-A and SyncSy
Posted By Mark L. Pederson
CACHE-A is showing their LTO4-A series data tape decks. Offhollywood uses LTO3A for archive and we've been inter-acting with the team at Cache-A on feature requests and we are super excited about this product. Key highlights are: span archives across multiple cartridges, standard LTO-4 tape TAR compatibility, back-read Quantum LTO-3 A cartridges, simultaneous multi-user access, Windows, OSX, Unix, Samba, NFS, afp, Bonjour, FTP and CONTENT AWARE - meaning it stores a media meta-data in a directory. MXF, .mov and R3D file types to be supported. There is a 1T drive inside the unit that stores the directory of every tape that the machine ever sees, creating a fully-searchable database which can be exported as an XML.

One thing I enjoy about these trade shows is finding a small company you never even heard of that has an interesting product. Today I found is a file transfer services for "businesses needing a higher degree of security, speed and manageability. allows you to fully automate the process of sending large files and folders. It is a perfect replacement for FTP and Web Uploads/Downloads for situations that demand a higher degree of automation."

So, it's a SaaS (software as a service) for $49.99 a month. It's true P2P - no servers. So, unlike solutions like and FTP - you never send your media to the cloud. You create PORTALS on Mac, Windows, Linux and you send users an email with a LINK that they click on - it asks them where they want to have the sync folder - and it writes the folder. You get charged $9.99 per USER per month. Now, you can just drag and drop files and they will be sent WITH WAN ACCELERATION - SSL ENCRYPTED.

So, this is a very cool tool for distributing QuickTime dailies - and the media never lives on a third-party server. You can manage the users - add and delete them, etc. Dreamworks is using this to sync AVID UNITY systems. I was very impressed with the demo - there is also a product called DNASync-ISAN for high-speed nearline sync, etc. 

Other things that caught my eye:

EIZO is showing their new ColorEdge CG232W monitor. 10-bit, HD-SDI input, 3D LUT - approx $12K - and BARCO is showing their RHDM-2301 Grade-1 LCD display - a "P" model for Professional at approx. $24K and "B" model for broadcast - price TBD.

BLACKMAGIC has a few new things - most interesting to me is the 3 Gb/s converters for HD-SDI to Optical Fiber and Optical Fiber to HD-SDI - $495.

SONY has a 3.8K display, shipping in October - price TBD.
Continue reading "Cache-A LTO4-A and SyncSy" »

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April 19, 2009
  AJA Jump Starts NAB
Posted By Mark L. Pederson
AJA kicked NAB off today with new product announcements which include io Express - Io Express - works on a Mac and ... on a PC!

Hi5-3G - 1080p50/60p over Dual-link 1.5G SDI or over 3G SDI, HDMI v1.3a capability at 30 bits per pixel allows full support of the latest 10 bit monitors. USB connectivity allows for PC/MAC setup in the feild, and ...Psf frame rate is supported.

HDP2 - The HDP2 is a miniature HD-SDI/SDI to DVI-D converter for digital display devices, such as LCD, DLP, and Plasma monitors or projectors. Using a very high quality scaling engine and de-interlacer, the HDP2 will automatically size 4:3 or 16:9 inputs to many DVI-D monitors.

Kona LHi -new PCIe Kona card -3G SDI I/O, HDMI 1.3a I/O, 1080p50/60 over 3G SDI, LTC timecode support, Hardware based Up and Cross-conversion, in addition to the LHe's down-conversion. Better overall bandwidth for improved RAM Preview in Graphics/Compositing Apps.

What does this mean for the pricing of the current KONA LHe? The MSRP on the LHe drops almost $500 to $1,295 effective at NAB, while supplies last.

But the REALLY BIG NEWS is the Ki PRO.

At just under $4,000 this is a tapeless video recording device that records high quality Apple ProRes 422 Quicktime files direct to disc. SD/HD-SDI, HDMI, and analog inputs. An optional "exo-skeleton" puts the unit in a chassis that can both on a tripod with the camera.

Many cameras have outputs that bypass on-camera compression - so, for example - if you take the 10-bit HD-SDI feed from a Varicam into the device - you would record higher quality files that the actual camera is capable of.

Another obvious benefit is that some shows use a variety of different cameras and recording formats. Using Ki Pro's would allow all media shot to be in 1920x1080 Prores - ready to edit.

I'm most excited about using this as a dailies solution, and an an on-set playback system.

AJA's new website goes live tomorrow.
Continue reading "AJA Jump Starts NAB" »

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April 17, 2009
  NAB 2009
Posted By John J. Budion
Hey everyone! I was invited to talk about NAB 2009 on the POST blog! My name is John Budion and I am a Director and Flame Artist at Click3x NYC.

I'm excited to be heading out West to Las Vegas for the conference. If anyone is going to be out there be sure to check out my demo at the Autodesk booth on Monday and Tuesday at 2pm. I'll be showcasing a piece I directed and did the FX on for Motorola. You can check it out on my website:

I'll also be blogging about some cool stuff I see out there!
Continue reading "NAB 2009" »

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April 16, 2009
  NAB 09 Here I come!
Posted By David Basulto
Greetings everyone! I am excited to be blogging away for Post at this year's NAB Show! Please check back here for all the exciting news, hot products and more!
You can also follow me on twitter @themediamogul

See you in Vegas!
Continue reading "NAB 09 Here I come!" »

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