Issue: May 1, 2007


So, was it everything you hoped? Here’s what a handful of attendees thought. (Do you agree? Write us.)

Jose Royo, CTO at Ascent Media, believes a big theme of the show was workflow automation. “As the industry moves toward file-based workflows it is becoming imperative to introduce some form of automation in order to reap the benefits of efficiency, robustness, reliability and scale that comes with a file-based model. And this year, the term digital asset management was everywhere. There remains a lot of confusion over just how digital asset management will enable automated, end-to-end workflows. You see an evolution in products, but you don’t see a truly integrated, comprehensive solution — a standalone digital asset management product that will solve all the problems of the world.” Royo was also impressed with what Apple had to offer at the show.

Fred Ruckel of NYC’s Stitch calls it the year of integration. “Companies have tried very hard to make sure that the different applications they make work well together and allow for a more creative and smooth workflow. Both Apple and Adobe made great strides in this area, which helps them continue to penetrate a tough, competitive market.

“Sony unveiled yet another version of HDCAM that allows for 60p, bringing the overall variety of HD formats worldwide to over 20. With so many standards, frame rates and frame sizes, it is a daunting task just to know which combo goes with which format, all while trying to help clients understand how bad the low-end high def formats are for greenscreens.”

And since Ruckel is being asked for DVDs these days way more than the all-but-phased-out 3/4-inch, he is interested in a fast way to print on DVDs. “I looked at over a dozen printing/burning combos,” he says.The slowest part of DVD creation is printing on the discs. There was only one system I saw that printed on two discs at once; it was twice as slow as a single one and cost twice as much. I sat at many a stand with a stopwatch to see how the speeds of these $10,000-plus machines held up. The fastest printing took a little over a minute. When you compare an Epson R260, or any in that series, you get the similar results for $100.”

Axel Erickson from NYC’s Digital Arts, like many, made it by the Red Digital Cinema booth. He anted up early on for one of their cameras and now awaits delivery. “It all looks as initially promised with a wavelet compression that is quite stunning. We are planning to use the compression when shooting 2K and 4K. Apple and Adobe made some nice progress and Assimilate Scratch looked great,” he says.