Day Two of NAB 2018 was my first full day on the floor. I put in just under 17,000 steps according to my exercise app, so I don’t feel too bad about the six mini candy bars and bag of chips I consumed while going from booth to booth. Going through the show guide, I found out that GoPro, who just a couple years ago had a huge booth with massive, loud giveaways (and last year had a much smaller, sedate booth), was not at the show at all this year. On the elevator in my hotel after the show, two young women saw my badge, said they were at the show also. I thought they looked kind of young, so I asked them who they were with. They were on a field trip from a high school in Winnipeg, Canada. Yes, the industry continues to evolve. Lets look at my finds for Tuesday.
JVC GY-HC900 Camcorder. For the first time in at least a decade, JVC released an actual 3x 2/3-inch CMOS HD ENG camcorder that includes a standard B4 lens mount. Complete IP workflow includes streaming performance up to 20 Mbps and built-in Wi-Fi (2.4Ghz/5GHz) with dual external antennas. Equipped with a four-position optical filter, the GY-HC900 delivers excellent sensitivity (F12 at 60Hz, F13 at 50Hz in extended mode) and high 62dB signal-to-noise ratio (in standard mode). The advanced CMOS sensors, each with 1920×1080 pixels, combine with an F1.4 prism to produce full HD images. The camera also offers an HDR mode for creative flexibility, as well as up to 1080p slow-motion recording at up to 120fps.
The GY-HC900 supports native recording of MPEG-2 at up to 35 Mbps, which is widely used by broadcasters, and H.264 (.MOV), which provides production quality 10-bit, 1080 60p 4:2:2 footage to dual memory card slots for SDHC/SDXC media. They can be set for redundant, relay, and backup recording modes. It can also be configured as a studio camera with the optional FS-900 camera module, which attaches seamlessly to the camera via a 68-pin interface and feeds 3G-SDI signals, control, audio, sync, and intercom to a base station via fiber. MSRP with 20x lens $18,500, and without lens $13,950.
AMD Radeon Pro SSG graphics card. This graphics card has 2TB of NVMe (solid state) storage on board that is accessible to the GPU via an optimized path. With this extra storage, data can now reside on the graphics card instead of caching out to local memory or disk. The latest version of Premiere Pro now contains native support for Radeon Pro SSG technology to take advantage of its on-board storage. This optimizes the decoding and caching pipeline so that decoding is done only once, ahead of time, to generate a full-quality uncompressed copy of the source video that can be edited and previewed without the need to tie up the CPU and RAM with decoding. It allows people to work directly with the raw source content straight from the camera with no downsampling or transcoding to lossy proxies, meaning 8K content can be edited and previewed at full frame rate when installed on just about any modern workstation. MSRP $4900.
Blackmagic Design ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K. Blackmagic Design introduced affordable HD switchers with control via laptop computer to the masses about seven years ago with the ATEM TV Studio. At last year’s NAB, a number of affordable switchers from Roland and Lumantek that were self-contained HD switching consoles with actual buttons to press and built-in scalers to convert any incoming video to the desired master output came out in the $950 to $1495 range. The ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K features 8 inputs of 12G-SDI for working with all HD and Ultra HD formats up to 2160p 59.94. All of the inputs feature full re-sync and independent format and frame-rate conversions. Up to eight different sources with various different frame sizes and frame rates can be cleanly switched between. The switcher automatically converts everything to the program’s output format and frame rate. Fairlight audio tools have integrated, and ATEM Television Studio Pro 4K gives customers independent six-band parametric equalizers on every single input. In addition, it also includes expander/gate, compressor and limiter dynamics on each input. MSRP $2995.
Blackmagic Micro Converter BiDirectional SDI/HDMI. This inexpensive converter solves a longstanding problem that AV professionals have. Whenever you need an HDMI to HD-SDI converter, you seem to only have an HD-SDI to HDMI converter, or vice-versa. BMD solves this problem by making a converter that goes both ways up to up to 1080p 60. MSRP is $65.
Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4K. Many people were waiting for a 4K version of the original Pocket Cinema Camera, but this is re-designed from the ground up. It features a carbon fiber polycarbonate composite body which makes it lightweight, portable and durable, 13 stops of dynamic range, compatibility with extremely high quality micro four thirds lenses, built in SD, UHS-II and CFast card recorders, and a USB-C expansion port allows longer-duration recording directly to an external SSD or flash disk, compatible with popular NLE software such as 10-bit ProRes and 12 bit RAW.
A five-inch LCD touchscreen allows accurate focus when shooting 4K, and there’s even a button to take still photos. It also includes a full license for DaVinci Resolve Studio for editing, color, visual effects and audio post production. MSRP $1295.
Orca OR-17 Magnetic Boompole Holder. This is a simple two-piece magnetice device where one piece wraps around the boom pole and the other around the strap of an audio mixer harness. The strong magnets allow you to stick the boom pole to you so you don’t need to hold it during breaks between scenes, allowing for a less fatigued audio boom op. Street price $62
LaCie Co-Pilot. This is a standalone 2TB hard drive that features a built-in battery and SD card reader that can ingest data without the need for a computer by putting an SD card in the slot and pushing a button. It can do the same with any USB card reader or camera that can be plugged directly into its USB 3 port.
You can check the progress of transfers with an integrated status display on the top of the drive, and you can verify and watch the footage by plugging the unit into any Android or iOS device with the (supplied) Lightning cable for iOS devices and with the Micro USB cable or USB-C cable for Android. MSRP $349
Roland V-60HD switcher. Designed for live event production, broadcast, recording and streaming. It supports six video channels from a variety of inputs, including 3G-SDI, HDMI and RGB sources with scaling on HDMI and RGB inputs to support both video and VESA resolutions from 480i up to WUXGA. A built-in de-interlacer enables 1080i and 1080p SDI video sources to be used simultaneously without external signal conversion. It also has a program and independent AUX bus for confidence/presenter note monitoring, downstage monitoring or side screens. The V-60HD also features a 18-channel audio mixer with four TRS/XLR combo jacks with 48V phantom power, an RCA stereo pair, plus audio de-embed from the six video inputs. Audio processing capabilities include powerful dynamics and effects, such as a high-pass filter, gate, compressor/limiter, three-band EQ, delay and the ability to select audio-follows-video channels. The audio features also include an innovative discreet multi-channel audio embedding function and auto-mixing capability. It also features a “Smart Tally” system to turn on a camera’s tally lights if desired. MSRP $2995.
Backblaze B2. This may be the most inexpensive cloud-based back up system available. Start with 10GB of cloud free storage, and you only pay $0.01 per GB to download what you stored. If you go over the initial free 10 GB, it is $0.05 for every GB over. (For more sophisticated solutions, they have plans for monetized playout.) If you have a slower web connection, they will send you a “B2 Fireball” external hard drive array for you to put all your data on, then they will connect it to their servers after you send it back, and transfer the data directly.