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Apple Predictions for NAB 2011

We all give Apple credit for keeping the lid on information regarding new products or even new announcements. So since I don’t have any direct knowledge to NOT pass along I thought I would do what everyone likes to do – guess! I suspect that Apple may offer a new paradigm for media collection, assembly, and dispersion. I don’t know if all of us will like it but I suspect that Apple is about to make media social. I also wonder if Thunderbolt will electrocute the need for larger workhorse desktop computers or if Apple does still enjoy being in the traditional “heavy iron” computer business.  My hope is that a Mac Pro ergonomic redesign is in the works that will become the next must have Media Manipulator. Native camera formats will trivially exist outside the sphere of QuickTime and I suspect that H.264, AVCHD and many others will just play and edit with the right computer and graphics cards. We will continue to discuss the emotion and feel of anything new that Apple brings us.  Bits and bytes are part of the equation but if Apple continues to value and respect the creation community (which I suspect they do) I hope to see some real tactile interfaces that leverage the other consumer technologies such as the iPad and iPhone. Finally, I  predict that many of these predictions will be predictably preposterous unless they are perfectly punctilious. Tom Talbot

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Anticipating another big year at NAB 2011

It is always nice to have an annual event that allows manufacturers to step up and focus their energy on bringing new and innovative products to light.  It is also great that so many of us – the users and evangelists of these products – get to participate in this process.  NAB is an opportunity for all of us to offer opinions and insights relative to our own spheres of expertise and influence.  I have seen over the years that we do impact in a positive way how this collective system adapts and changes. The devastation in Japan has such sad human consequences that I hope that we don’t get too selfish and just talk about how hard tape is to get or how to capitalize on “market fluctuations”. At the same time I must be on the lookout for ways to overcome the impending media drought which we have not yet seen truly strike us. I am enthused about new releases from Adobe and Avid and I expect Apple rumors and facts to preoccupy much of our time. Storage continues to be an important part of what we do and I hope to meet up with many innovators that have figured out how to make the digital asset laundrymat a cool place to hang out. It is becoming more important for all of us to not put off safekeeping of our growing file-based camera originals along with all of the iterations for the edit process and for delivery.  I sometimes feel like Chicken Little warning of impending doom if you don’t invest in smart and safe storage.  If we undervalue how to access and restore valuable content along with intelligent searching and tagging we will someday learn the hard way that the current way was often too risky and shortsighted. I would like to say that I am interested in seeing the latest in 3D (including recent announcements by GoPro 3D and Cineform) but I can’t say that I will be preoccupied with it. Not all production markets are demanding 3D and I think New England has been hesitant to jump in – although we at Rule are well prepared to assist and deliver 3D solutions for anyone interested! As always, much of NAB is meeting with people and I hope to meet many new faces along with good friends that reemerge year after year. By the way, here’s a hint – Be on the lookout for some exciting new announcements from Rule that may take some by surprise! Hope to see you on the show floor! Tom Talbot

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Come see the ONLY Sony PMW-500 in the country on Wednesday Sept. 15th here in our Learning Lab!

This Wednesday September 15th we are excited to showcase (and to experiment with) a newly announced 2/3″ SxS camcorder called the PMW-500 which combines XDCAM Optical Disc performance with solid-state memory workflow.

pmw500
Sony's new PMW-500 full shoulder camcorder.
You could say that it blends many of the best features of the XDCAM HD Professional Disc cameras such as the PDW-700 or PDW-F800 with the SxS solid state recording technology of the XDCAM-EX lineup.   This camera was just announced the other day at IBC 2010 and we are happy to have Sony’s Kaori Uno and local DP Doug Jensen with us for a hands-on, practical and informative introduction to the latest in the XDCAM line-up. Please join us at 10:00 am.  We look forward to seeing you!

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Hot off the presses from IBC 2010

AJA Announces Ki Pro Mini, Portable File-Based Recorder at IBC 2010

kipromini

Miniature 10-bit 4:2:2 flash disk recorder mounts easily on digital cameras and accessories

Amsterdam, Netherlands, IBC Conference Stand 7.F11 (September 10, 2010)–AJA Video Systems brought production and post one step closer together today with the introduction of Ki Pro Mini, a smaller, lighter version of its breakthrough portable tapeless recorder that captures to the Apple ProRes 422 codec directly from camera. The highly portable Ki Pro Mini flash disk recorder mounts easily to digital cameras and accessories, enabling it to fit unobtrusively in small spaces for on-set capture of 10-bit 4:2:2 files that are immediately ready for editing. Ki Pro Mini offers a small form factor, support for SDI & HDMI cameras and key features including:

  • 10-bit full-raster recording to Apple ProRes 422 SD and HD formats (including HQ, LT and Proxy)
  • Recording of SD/HD files from digital video cameras to Compact Flash (CF) cards
  • Mac OS X friendly media and native QuickTime files–no log-and-capture required
  • Professional video connectivity through SD/HD SDI and HDMI I/O
  • 2 channels of balanced XLR audio with switch selectable line/mic levels
  • 8 channels of embedded digital audio over SDI and HDMI
  • Flexible control options including familiar front panel and web browser interfaces
  • Optional Ki Pro Mini Mounting Plates that attach to hot shoes, battery plates and virtually any other accessory bracket
  • Aircraft-grade aluminum construction that delivers light weight and maximum ruggedness

Ki Pro Mini supports a streamlined Apple file-based production-to-post workflow, recording native Apple ProRes 422 QuickTime files onto CF cards, which are formatted as HFS+ volumes that are instantly connected to a Mac computer via off-the-shelf CF card readers. “Anywhere a camera can go, Ki Pro Mini can follow,” said AJA President Nick Rashby. “It’s smaller than some battery packs and mounts to virtually everything. We designed Ki Pro Mini for any sized production that needs seamless 10-bit file-based acquisition– it’s about extreme portability and going from lens to post in a flash.” Ki Pro Mini is planned for availability in October and US MSRP is $1995. For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit www.aja.com. About AJA Video Systems, Inc. Since 1993, AJA Video has been a leading manufacturer of high-quality and cost-effective digital video interface, conversion and Desktop solutions supporting the professional broadcast and post- production markets. With headquarters in Grass Valley, California, AJA maintains an extensive sales channel of dealers and systems integrators around the world. For further information, please see our website www.aja.com.

Sony Professional strengthens XDCAM line-up

with PMW-500
 and XDCAM Station

Sep 10, 2010 pmw500 New 2/3-inch XDCAM HD422 memory shoulder camcorder and XDCAM Professional Media Station reinforces commitment to choice and innovation

IBC, Amsterdam, 10th September 2010 – Sony Professional today announced the latest additions to its hugely popular XDCAM HD422 line-up. The new products, which re-emphasise Sony’s continued commitment to the thousands of XDCAM users around the world, include a new XDCAM HD422 memory camcorder – the 
PMW-500.

The PMW-500 combines the exceptional picture quality of the PDW-700 with the operational flexibility of recording onto solid state SxS memory card. The PMW-500 is equipped with three 2/3” Power HAD FX CCD image sensors and can record both 1080 and 720 HD pictures at 50 Mb/s. It is ideal for broadcasters, rental companies and freelancers looking for a versatile memory based camcorder. Major broadcasters, including RTL TVI in Belgium and WDR in Germany are amongst the first to already have placed large orders ahead of product 
ex-factory.

“The PMW-500 represents the next step in the evolution of the XDCAM product range,” said Richard Brooking, of Sony Professional. “Since 2003, XDCAM has become an industry standard with over 150,000 units sold worldwide. Customers have been requesting an XDCAM HD422 memory camcorder for some time to sit alongside the phenomenally popular PDW-700 Professional Disc camcorder. So we are very happy to be launching the PMW-500 at IBC.” The PMW-500 has two slots for recording onto SxS Memory Card*. First introduced to the XDCAM EX range in 2007, SxS memory card provides an extremely high level of reliability and fast access to recorded data, both critical in demanding professional operations. At IBC, Sony is also adding a new higher capacity 64GB (SBS-64G1A) card which can record 2 hours of material at HD422 50Mbps MXF mode, or more than 4 hours of material and has an increased transfer speed of 1.2Gbps (SBS-32G1A & SBS-64G1A). The PMW-500 ex-factory will be within October 2010.

Other key features of the PMW-500 camcorder include:

  • XDCAM HD422 codec for exceptional picture quality at low data rate.
  • Switchable between MXF and MP4 for recording in XDCAM HD422, XDCAM HD and XDCAM EX modes.
  • Option to record MPEG IMX and DVCAM material allowing users to migrate to HD at their own pace.
  • Interoperability with major NLE systems enabling smooth workflow migration.
  • Lower power consumption for extended record time during shooting.
  • Four channels of uncompressed 48 kHz digital audio.

Another major introduction at IBC is XDCAM Station, a family of professional media recorders that bridge the worlds of SxS Memory card and Professional Disc. There will be three models in the line-up:

  • XDS-1000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot and internal HDD storage
  • XDS-PD1000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot, a Professional Disc drive and internal HDD storage
  • XDS-PD2000 – featuring an SxS Memory card slot, a Professional Disc drive and internal SSD storage

Depending upon the model chosen, customers can copy material from SxS memory card or Professional Disc onto the Hard Disc or Solid State storage within the XDCAM Station. The material can then be accessed for non linear editing or can be replayed under slow motion control. SDI input and output and network capability allows the device to function as an MXF gateway linking XDCAM media, baseband video and networked operation. The Professional Disc based models will also be able to record and read Sony’s new higher capacity 128GB Quad Layer Professional Discs, PFD128QLW. “These are extremely flexible devices offering yet more creative options for XDCAM users,” explained Richard Brooking. “We see applications within broadcast centres where customers can use XDCAM Station as an ingest gateway for their SxS memory card and Professional Disc media, and also on location for live applications and material sharing between camera operators and production staff.” The XDS-1000 will be available from March 2011, with the XDS-PD1000 and PD2000 available in summer 2011 along with PFD128QLW. *Recommended media for PMW-500 and XDCAM Station series are: SxS PRO: SBP-32, SBP-16, SBP-8 SxS-1: SBS-64G1A, SBS-32G1A, SBS-32G1 (**only SBS-32G1 needs firmware upgrade in the memory media itself.)

AJA Introduces Hi5-3D Mini-Converter For Stereo 3D Monitoring

September 10, 2010

3G/HD-SDI to HDMI 1.4a and SDI converter enables simple 3D playback on monitors and projectors

Amsterdam, Netherlands, IBC Conference Stand 7.F11 (September 10, 2010)–AJA Video Systems, a leading manufacturer of professional video interface and conversion solutions, announced the availability of Hi5-3D, a new mini-converter that combines dual 3G SDI inputs into various multiplexed 3D formats for output on true 3D HDMI 1.4a and SDI to enable simple, flexible stereoscopic viewing on 3D monitors and projection systems. The Hi5-3D’s true HDMI 1.4a output supports EDID transactions that automatically configure 2D/3D functions according to the HDMI monitor’s capabilities. Input SDI 2 is frame-synchronized to input SDI 1 in 3D modes and SDI input audio is embedded in both the HDMI and SDI outputs. Hi5-3D also supports 2-channel RCA audio output with user control of channel selection, along with AJA’s Mini-Config application for user configuration and firmware download. Other key features include:

  • Side-by-side, top-bottom and frame-packing modes
  • Complete H and V image flip control in any combination
  • Easy user control via dipswitch or USB
  • Support for both 2D and 3D inputs

“3D has brought a new level of complexity to post-production workflows, and our goal is to help simplify that,” said AJA President Nick Rashby. “The Hi5-3D converter automatically combines SDI input into stereo output and enables video pros to quickly and easily view 3D on a monitor or projector without making major changes to the workflows they already have in place.” Hi5-3D is available In October, and US MSRP is $495. For a complete set of features and technical specifications, please visit www.aja.com.

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Rule Tech Expo is just around the corner

I am really looking forward to next week’s Rule Tech Expo.  To see a formal description go to http://www.rule.com/TechExpo For those of you that are not aware, Rule is hosting its first annual mini tradeshow along with several 1 hour presentations in our Learning Lab. Our entire office will be filled with several dozen “booths” featuring many of the manufacturers that we work with every day.  You will be able to see their latest offerings and ask lots of questions.  Additionally Rule’s sales and rental teams will be out in force with equipment set up for you to poke and prod as well. Many of the items that you may be interested in purchasing will be in stock for purchase at the show – just visit our Showroom or Production Outfitters areas during your visit if you are interested in carrying home a goody or two. This year presentations in the Learning Lab will include: Panasonic’s Michael Bergeron will be in to show and talk about their upcoming 3D camera along with professional 3d monitoring, switching and more! AJA and Gary Adcock will be in to discuss how the Kona3 can work in 3D and show some examples of 3D with Cineform. Cinematographer Brian Heller and and our own Tim Coughlan will be showing off our BRAND NEW Phantom HD Gold high speed camera. If you are worried that you didn’t RSVP in time, there is still time and we are happy to have you! We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday June 22nd from 5:00pm to 9:00pm at our facility in Brighton or on Thursday June 24th from 10:00am to 3:00pm in Manchester, NH. Tom Talbot Director of Technology