By Randi Altman
Issue: May 1, 2004


 might have missed NAB for the first time in my long tenure with Post, but thanks to our great staff and some willing-to-share readers, I feel as though I was actually there. You will too…

Tammy Kimbler Weber, managing producer at Hi-Wire in Minneapolis, felt NAB '04 had great energy. "Everyone has used the time since 9/11 to improve their products, and they came out swinging," she says. "In fact, I was waiting for punches to be thrown in the mosh pit between Apple and Avid."

At Hi-Wire, they work extensively in HD, but never really considered FCP for HD finishing. "Now [with FCP HD] we are. I'm not saying we'll buy it today, but it's definitely impressed me. Their whole system seems solid, dependable and innovative. And the bridge between Discreet and FCP for XML sharing is huge. I also just loved the Xsan solution. I've been wishing for a stable SAN solution for a long time - let's hope this works as well as they claim.

"Everyone has talked about [DI], but this year you can maybe even afford it! I was particularly impressed with Discreet in this area," says Kimbler Weber. "They have embraced multi-platform solutions with Linux, as well as PC and SGI, plus that nifty FCP thing. Their partner Maximum Throughput has an awesome product in Sledgehammer - what a great bridge between multi-platform systems! And SGI has offered a great shared/collaborative SAN solution for DI, which will make everyone's job easier."

Fred Ruckel of NYC's Stitch reports there was a lot of NAS and SAN solutions being offered as well as some new HD formats. "HDCAM SR looks like a great format and it uses similar compression as Digital Beta. And Panasonic and Apple put their new HD out to everyone." Ruckel, who isn't one to hold back on his opinions, calls DVCPRO HD a nice format, but he adds, "it's practically useless in the world of high-end compositing due to its low data rate and high compression."

Ruckel was impressed with Apple's Motion, but he says, "Apple wasn't very open about the fact that it requires a computer that is a powerhouse with a lot of RAM, 2gigs, basically meaning you need a new computer to make it really work properly."

Discreet showed Flint on Linux. "It was great and worked very fast," he reports. "While it is great to see Discreet open up to platforms, the danger of crack software proliferating the high-end market is very high. This could be very damaging to companies that have invested in buying a Flame. There was a lot of talk of people migrating to 2K also as a universal format."