Sprinting from booth to booth and hall to hall during NAB does have its rewards. Fast and nimble feet mean more booths covered and potentially more new products seen, or, if you’re into interval training, more time at each booth in between laps.
One product introduction gave me reason to pause. Sony showed an LCD version of its venerable BVM line of mastering and reference monitors that, for the first time, rivaled the specs in the original. During the show, visitors to Sony’s booth were asked if they could tell the difference between two BVM CRTs and the new LCD model. Did you see the demo and guess which was which?
The point of the comparison was to show how closely the colors on the screen of the streamlined BVM-L230 matched the range of colors displayed by the older BVMs, which many still trust above any other reference monitor on the market. It worked: Nine out of 10 couldn’t tell. Those of us who did single out the new model in the line-up simply got the satisfaction of guessing correctly. But Sony has cause to celebrate, and so do you: The company says it dedicated some 50 engineers to pushing BVM technology into an LCD form factor. After several years incubating in the lab, the 10-bit driver-based "trimaster" technology is now ready. The preview model I saw had the telltale LCD brightness and clarity, but also an impressive color gamut and grayscale.
Even if you don’t need or want to replace your reference monitors, there are many other new flat screens available for other projects and tasks, space-savers all. David English tells you what you can expect at every price point (page 23).
CS3 Up Close
Adobe’s been working hard behind the scenes, too. Some 80 million lines of code went into the creation of CS3, the company’s latest suite of software releases, which was announced in March and demoed at NAB. We’ve got first-look reviews in this issue of the apps you probably care most about: Premiere Pro CS3 and After Effects CS3 Professional. The reviews were written by two of the latest contributors to join the Studio Group family. Charlie White, the former Digital Media Net columnist and now a regular product reviewer and associate editor at Gizmodo, has been called everything from King Geek to a regular blogebrity. In his long career as a technology writer, cameraman, director and executive producer, he has won a regional Emmy, "been damned to hell by Apple CEO Steve Jobs," and had his "column read regularly by Bill Gates." Charlie takes a look at Premiere’s new Mac and PC versions and maps out how many easy detours you can now take into other Adobe apps (i.e., Photoshop, AE and Soundbooth). Charlie and his pal Stephen Schleicher, who reviewed After Effects CS3 Pro for us (and clocked how fast it performed), are the creators of a weekly podcast on Sirius Satellite Radio, called "Coolness Roundup," where they critique the latest consumer gadgets and free-associate on related subjects. Stephen, another DMN alum, is an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, producer and university instructor in media and Web development. He also contributed a chapter to Adobe After Effects 7.0 Classroom in a Book by Adobe Press. Welcome!
– Beth Marchant, Editor -in-Chief