Day three of NAB 2019 was long. I was in at least one meeting every 30 minutes in Central (and one in North Hall), from 10:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The majority of products I saw were from the areas of production, sound and live production/streaming. The most humorous thing that happened was in one of the larger booths. A woman was showing me what I was told was a “prototype of a new switcher.” She gave me a few specs on it, but after I asked a few tougher questions, she needed to bring over one of the product engineers. When I asked about its release date, he looked puzzled and looked at his co-worker and said, “This switcher has been out for nearly two years!” Ooops!
North Hall is generally full of booths related to radio transmission and station management. This year, NAB introduced the first dedicated Esports pavilion. In case you are over the age of 35 (or living under a rock), Esports has taken video games that used to be played in living rooms and dens to new specialty Esports arenas and online tournaments where people pay to watch professional Esports gamers play their favorite games. As video professionals, we should keep this industry in mind — it is on track to bring in a billion dollars in business next year. There are several companies catering to this industry, and if you can provide production services to this rising industry, you may ride the wave also.
The Esports Experience was sponsored by a company called The Switch, which provides managed private cloud services to enhance live video production. They introduced The Switch eSports at NAB 2019, integrating Esports production, transmission and distribution.
On the show floor in Central Hall there was a lot to see:
Wisycom Microphone Transmitters and Receivers. This Italian company, well regarded in Europe for some time, is new to the Americas. They only make transmitters and receivers, so you will need to bring in a third-party microphone to plug into their lavalier body pack or XLR plug-on transmitter for handheld mics. The transmitters and receivers are made out of metal and feel like they can take a beating. Systems start at $3500.
DPA d:screet CORE 6060 Microphone. The new 6060 lavalier has a tiny mic head (only 3mm) with big sound. If you need to hide a lav behind a shirt button, or in a bikini (yes, I had to do that once) using this microphone will make it easier and deliver high quality sound. MSRP $550
Marshall CV420-CS 4K 60p Compact Camera. This compact box camera puts out 4K 60p for live events, cinema, pro AV and other 4K video workflow. This camera outputs 12G, 6G, and 3G HD-SDI and HDMI 2.0 for broadcast or external recording. It has a varifocal or fixed CS/C lens mount with DC Auto-Iris plug-in for custom lens adaptions. MSRP $2400.
JVC GY-HC500, GY-HC500SPC, GY-HC550 Camcorders. The new 500 Series JVC cameras can record to SSD media in 10-bit ProRes 422 at 4K resolution and 50/60p frame rates, and are all capable of streaming. All 500 Series cameras feature a 1-inch 4K CMOS imager and integrated 20x zoom lens with built-in ND filters and manual zoom, focus, and iris control rings. The cameras record HDR footage in the HLG (hybrid log gamma) mode or 10-bit J-Log mode and support 120 fps slow-motion HD recording. The cameras also record several other native 4K UHD and HD file formats; the GY-HC550 adds MPEG-2 and MXF recording as well. The GY-HC550 and GY-HM500SPC include integrated lower-third and full-screen titling options for recorded or streamed video output without an external CG. MSRP for GY-HC500: $3900; GY-HC500SPC: $4500; GY-HC550: $5500.
JVC Connected Cam Studio 6000S. Designed for sports and other live events, this self-contained control room features a production switcher with six IP inputs that support NDI as well as SRT streaming protocols. The Studio 6000S also supports HD-SDI and HDMI sources, an audio mixer, internal CG with templates, four layers of DSK, and clip store with playback. Features specific for live sports production include automated multi-channel instant replay and slo-mo, as well as an integrated sports CG for scores and timers. This system can also control a show remotely, if the cameras and related IT infrastructure at the venue are set up properly. MSRP $8000
Roland V-02HD Switcher. This is a small, two-input HDMI switcher meant for easy use by someone tasked with doing camera and switching a live show at once. You can use two cameras or switch between a camera and PowerPoint, for example. This comes in a package with a foot switch that allows you to switch sources with your foot so you don’t have to take your hands off the camera controls. MSRP $830 (one pedal) $865 (dual pedal).
Roland VR-1HD AV Streaming Mixer. This three-input switcher is specifically designed for the person on camera to be running the show if need be. Equipped with dual XLR mic inputs, one each for host and guest, the system can automatically cut or transition between cameras by detecting who is talking over the mic and switching to the corresponding camera source. If you are on Twitch, streaming yourself playing a game, and can’t take your hands off the controller to cut from the game to the camera, this may be the system for you. It connects to a computer via USB and is detected as a standard webcam, so no difficult set up.
Nikon Z6 Filmmaker Kit. The kit includes a Nikon Z 6 camera, Nikkor Z 24–70mm f/4 S lens, Mount Adapter FTZ, Atomos Ninja V 4K HDR 5-inch monitor-recorder, Rode VideoMic Pro+, MOZA Air 2 3-Axis handheld gimbal stabilizer, an additional EN-EL15b battery, 12-month Vimeo Pro membership, and The Art of Making Music Videos Nikon School online course featuring Nikon Ambassador Chris Hershman. MSRP $3999.95
Nikon 58mm f.95 Lens. I tried this lens prototype at the Nikon booth. Its low light performance is amazing, and I have never seen a lens with such a narrow depth of field. It has an incredible look to it. MSRP TBA.
Canon XA55 and XA50 Camcorders. They both have a 1.0-inch sensor, nine-bladed circular aperture and Dual-Pixel CMOS AF with a 15x (25.5-382.5mm) genuine wide-angle Canon optical zoom lens. The camera’s Dual-Pixel Focus Guide displays focus-assist information on screen. The camcorders also record 4K UHD/30p (4:2:0 8-bit) and 1080p Full HD (4:2:2 10-bit) via SDI/HDMI output in XF-AVC and MP4 format to dual-card SD card slots with dual and relay recording. They are very similar to the XF405/XF400 without the 4k 60p recording speed. Street price: XA55 $2699, XA50 $2199
FXhome HitFilm Express 12 / HitFilm Pro 12. In case you haven’t heard of FXhome or their HitFilm NLE, the company started 18 years ago when the owner decided he needed an easier way to do “lightsaber” effects than keyframing them in After Effects. He wrote a program to automate the process. When people offered to buy it, he started developing other plug-ins and programs. Seven years ago, FXhome released HitFilm in a limited free Express version. If you need pro features, you can actually add them piece by piece. The Pro version has many special effects, not just from FXhome, but also from Boris FX, Mocha and others. The price for the pro version includes activation on three computers at once and a year of free upgrades and tech support. Playing around with it , you will find editing with it fairly intuitive. HitFilm Express 12: Free / HitFilm Pro 12: $299
Puget Systems. This is a small company that only makes video editing workstations. If you know how to edit but know nothing about what goes into an editing computer and find ordering from HP’s or Dell’s websites intimidating, this company may be for you. They have support staff who will basically hold your hand while spec’ing out the PC, then help you with support after. They are partnered with Adobe and Intel to ensure their systems work efficiently with their client’s desired editing software. All computers are custom built and prices vary.
Thursday I will be back in the South Hall, in the convention’s post-production area.
Current swag count:
T-shirt – 4
Hat – 2
Cloth lens wipes – 3
Carabiner – 1
Car USB charger – 1
Hand sanitizer – 1
Mini Bluetooth Speaker – 1
Magnetic cell phone car mount – 1