ASG Blog

HDR in High Gear at NAB 2016


High dynamic range (HDR) is a hot topic in professional video circles. Content creators want to produce images that look like what the human eye sees in the natural world by expanding the latitude between the lightest light and darkest dark of an image. If you missed our annual workshop last December, which focused on HDR and virtual reality technologies, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn about and experience HDR at the 2016 NAB Show next month in Las Vegas.

While standards are yet to be finalized, HDR products are already out there. If you’re roaming the halls, stop by NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) in Booth SU16202 to see its 8K Super Hi-Vision technologies, including an HDR 8K LCD display. (Yes, they’re pushing for 8K broadcasting in Japan as early as 2018, so it is in widespread use when Tokyo hosts the Olympics in 2020.) Sony (Booth C11001) already offers the F65 and F55, which are digital motion picture cameras that support HDR, while Boland (Booth SL4905) will show its new BVB55OLED 55-inch monitor with 200,000:1 contrast ratios and HDR.

Other companies may not have products ready to order, but HDR is certainly shaping their R&D efforts. Earlier this year, for example, Technicolor announced several initiatives and partnerships supporting HDR. The company is working with LG Electronics on premium TVs to display HDR content in the home, as well as Royal Philips to improve and simplify HDR delivery for distributors. No doubt the company will offer a progress report at NAB.

HDR will be a part of numerous conversations during the show’s various conference programs. In particular, check out “4K, UHD, HDR and More – The Future of Video,” a Super Session on Tuesday, April 19. A panel of industry experts will discuss these technologies and how they are impacting consumers and your clients. There’s also a “HDR Television Workflows” session on Wednesday, April 20. Part of the Post|Production World conference, it will provide an overview on HDR display technology and distribution options.

Whether or not you attend NAB, ASG is here to answer your questions about HDR or other emerging technologies for your next project. Have a great show!

Post production tax exemption to decrease January 2016.


Partial exemptions in California to decrease January 2016.

Bonds associated with Proposition 57 have now been paid in full. Therefore, beginning January 1, 2016, most partial tax exemptions will decrease by 0.25 percent, from 5.5 percent to 5.25 percent. This change includes exemptions under Regulation 1532, Teleproduction or Other Postproduction Service Equipment

Text of the proposed changes 

Additional information is available in California State Board of Equalization Information Bulletin 388.


State Rev & Tax Code Section 6378 allows a partial sales tax exemption for the purchase of teleproduction and post production equipment to businesses primarily engaged in teleproduction and post production activities when that property is used 50 percent or more in those activities (as described in Code 512191 of the North American Industry Classification System Manual.) This exemption is taken by the seller and passed on to the buyer of the equipment at the point of purchase.

If you think you may qualify, see these resources.

Regulation 1532

Section 6378 Blanket Exemption Certificate 

Quantum Partner Stories: Swordfish Studio, Advanced Systems Group and StorNext


I love working with customers that we’ve watched grow and evolve. One of my favorite success stories is Matt Silverman, who founded motion design studio Swordfish in San Francisco with one Mac Mini and some direct attached storage. These days, Swordfish has an impressive client list that includes Sony, Microsoft, and Apple, and their growing team works on projects where 4K footage and large 3D renders are commonplace.

It didn’t take long for Swordfish to outgrow its storage solution, and Matt, who also serves as executive creative director, needed to take Swordfish’s storage to the next level. That’s why he called ASG. Swordfish is a great example of the kind of creative shop ASG excels at supporting, because we design and build systems that support data-intensive workflows and avoid compatibility issues.

Data is the core of Swordfish – like so many other companies, lost data means lost business. As a motion design studio, however, Swordfish has different storage needs than your traditional post house. They needed a robust, redundant network backbone that was compatible with many professional graphics and video software applications.

“We’re a little shop trying to do things large shops do,” Silverman told me. “I talked to all the system integrators. They all tried to tell me what I wanted. ASG came in and showed me a system doing what I wanted.”

When we looked into Swordfish’s day-to-day business needs, we knew a high-performance shared storage solution was still the best bet for Matt and his team. Our team helped him see that a SAN presented the most high-performance and future-proofed solution for motion design.

We like what Quantum has done with their ready-made StorNext Pro Foundation. It’s a pre-configured solution, which features StorNext 5 software, redundant metadata controllers, and 96TB of high-performance SAN storage (expandable up to 360TB). The result is an integrated solution that delivers real-time playback of large files, supports all the software that Swordfish uses for its projects, and can be scaled to meet future storage needs. The Quantum solution is tailor-made for these types of shops, and StorNext continues to be a workhorse for Swordfish.

“ASG came in and handled the full install. StorNext just works, that’s the beauty of it,” Silverman explained. “You just let the thing run in the background. You never have to turn it on. You never have to turn it off. It just goes, and it creates this amazing network. And I can’t speak highly enough of ASG and their ability to solve problems.”

Read the whole story here.

— by Dave Van Hoy, ASG President

Six Ways to Rock NAB 2015


The 2015 NAB Show is almost here. The annual event just keeps getting bigger and helps set the tone for the professional video industry. With so much to see in such a relatively short time, we at ASG have come up with a short checklist to help maximize your NAB experience.

 

  • Have a plan.

We all get distracted on the NAB show floor, stopping to see why a crowd is gathered to check out everything from new editing software to new cameras. But chances are you won’t accomplish much of anything if you just plan to wander. Why are you going to the show? What do you NEED to see? Figure out your priorities in each hall, use booth numbers to help map your travels, and decide when it’s better for your team to cover ground separately or together. You might even want to try the myNAB Show Planner, which can help you stay organized.

 

  • Make appointments.

NAB is a whirlwind of activity, with tens of thousands of people interested in a lot of the same stuff you are. If you have specific items of interest – perhaps you heard about a great new storage solution – see if you can get the exhibitor to schedule an appointment for you. It sure beats circling back around to a booth three or four times, only to find your representative is talking to yet another customer (read: competitor). Also, try to coordinate appointment times within the same hall, so you can save yourself unnecessary trips between buildings. Thursday tends to be the least busy day of the show, but the show also closes at 2 p.m.

 

  • Consider some sessions.

NAB has an extensive conference program, including specific programs for broadcast engineering, broadcast management, and media management in the cloud. There is also a mix of luncheons, general sessions, and super sessions covering a variety of topics. This year’s guest speakers include FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, podcaster Adam Carolla (NMX co-located with NAB this year) and a “Walking Dead” general session.

 

  • Schedule time to explore.

Yes, you need to make sure you hit the important points of interest, but part of the appeal of the NAB show floor is the opportunity to uncover new products and technologies. When was the last time you window shopped for lighting or camera support equipment? You might find an asset management system out there that is a better fit for your organization’s new business strategy. Maybe you just want to check out Futures Park presented by NAB Labs or the new Aerial Robotics and Drone Pavilion.

 

  • Be prepared for a long walk.

You’d think this goes without saying, but plenty of folks have made the mistake of hitting the exhibit hall in shoes that were never designed for the merciless floor of a convention center. There is nothing worse than walking through the North, Central, and both floors of the South Hall in shoes that are simply not designed for distance. Wearing sneakers with a suit might be a bit of a stretch, but there is plenty of footwear available built for business and comfort. And remember, it’s a desert, so stay hydrated.

 

  • Let ASG help you.

Advanced Systems Group will be out in full force at the NAB Show meeting with manufacturers and exploring new technologies for upcoming projects. If you’re planning to upgrade your digital infrastructure, build a new facility from the ground up, or anything in between, let our team of experts track down the best solutions for you. Call us at 510-654-8300 – let us know what you need, and we can meet with you during or after the show. We can even make vendor booth appointments and create a technology tour for you at NAB to address specific project needs.

Our Motivation for Education


Our industry’s technology is in a constant state of change. What was once considered cutting edge can quickly become the norm (HD, we’re looking in your direction) or even obsolete (HDV, we hardly knew you). Is it important to be an early adopter, or is better to wait and see?

Your answer is always impacted by a number of factors. After all, the latest and greatest isn’t necessarily a good fit for your workflow, while some software updates and new production gear can improve your production efficiencies and deliverables overnight. Initial and ongoing costs, as well as ROI, are certainly important considerations as well.

With the support of vendor and manufacturer partners, we create educational events to detail the latest products and software (and sometimes offer a look into the pipeline of developing technologies). In 2014, we’ve already produced programs with Adobe, Apple, Autodesk, NetApp, Quantum, and Telestream, and we’re already working to develop more.

Our hope is that you can take away some information that will help your business. Plus, our events provide a great excuse for you to get out of the office and network with fellow industry professionals. If there’s a topic you’d like us to cover, please let us know. Suggestions are always welcome.

What’s our motivation for education? From our annual workshop – details for our 2014 event are coming soon, by the way – to webinars, happy hours, and “Lunch & Learn” programs, ASG is committed to giving back to our industry. Knowledge is key for any tech purchase, and sharing knowledge helps our customers make more informed choices. Hope to see you at the next one.

Need some knowledge? Join us for our next event. Get details at www.asgllc.com/category/events.

Mark Haynes 1947 – 2014


One of Mark’s favorite sayings, “Before you make a sound, listen to us.”

One of Mark’s favorite sayings, “Before you make a sound, listen to us.”

— 
We mourn the loss of our friend and colleague, Mark Haynes.

 

Mark had a long and close relationship with our staff, the company, and the industry.

 

 

We will miss his warm heart, cheerfulness, and humor. With Mark around, there was always music.

 

See more about Mark here.

 

 

**

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, September 20, 1 pm  –  4 pm.

_

Leo’s Music Club, the former Leo’s Pro Audio building

5447 Telegraph Avenue

Oakland, California

**

 

———-—————–——————-

Case Study: BADA/San Lorenzo Unified School District


The new $6 million BADA Digital Arts Facility at San Lorenzo High School was designed for professional productions, complete with studio, control room, production offices, and more.

The new $6 million BADA Digital Arts Facility at San Lorenzo High School was designed for professional productions, complete with studio, control room, production offices, and more.

We’ve posted a new Case Study. Designed by Advanced Systems Group, the new $6 million 11,000-square-foot production and post-production space at the Bay Area Digital Arts (BADA) Academy for California’s San Lorenzo Unified School District includes a 3,000-square-foot NC25 sound stage, production control room, audio control room, voiceover/ADR recording studio, editing classroom, private edit suites, production offices and shared storage on a high speed network.

Read and download the Case Study here.

NAB 2014: Firmware Upgrades . . . for a Fresnel? with Joe Maidenberg


 

fresnel

When Was The Last Time You Upgraded The Firmware On A Fresnel?

Once upon a time, lights were lights.  Even as sweeping changes came to the video world, where analog gave way to digital, and commodity IT competed with purpose-built components, lighting packages were still measured by the ton and required amperages that would make Dr. Frankenstein proud. 

In the last decade of the 20th century, fluorescent instruments carved out a certain niche for themselves, and in the first decade of this century, boxy and futuristic LED panels of varying sizes started sprouting down from grids and up from cameras.  Still, tungsten seemed inevitable — LED just couldn’t match it for single-point intensity, and the all-cool-light future seemed distant.

We’re into the second decade of the 21st century, and that cool future is much closer.  At the 2014 NAB Show, several vendors were demonstrating a 21st century twist on that most 19th century light, the Fresnel.  Some of these new instruments include ports for firmware upgrades, plus the entire chip and lamp assembly can be swapped. That means, as LED technology improves, you could upgrade your light in a few years for improved brightness or color characteristics. And that is very cool.

NAB 2014: Live 4K Streaming by Chris Sullivan


There was plenty to see at the 2014 NAB Show, and ASG’s Chris Sullivan was impressed by several new tools for video professionals. The new RED 4K Broadcast Module, for example, allows live 4K streaming for its EPIC DRAGON and SCARLET DRAGON cameras. “As with all of RED’s products,” he added, “the module is block machined out of aluminum and offered in any color … as long as it’s black.”

Sullivan also enjoyed Ross Video’s demonstration of Furio, a robotic camera system designed for broadcast newsrooms. (Ross has offered robotic camera systems since late 2011, when it acquired FX-Motion.) The Ross Furio Robo system allows a single operator to control multiple cameras with preset shots and motion path recalls. “The robotic movements are unbelievably quiet and smooth, a really great demonstration to see in person,” he said.

Are you considering robotic cameras or a 4K workflow? Contact us at 510-654-8300.

 

 

NAB 2014: Digital Cinema Invasion with Joe Maidenberg


Time_for_4K

I read that show floor space was up seven percent at the 2014 NAB Show, and I think I know why:  to make room for the gathering armies of the Digital Cinema Invaders.  You could find their cameras to support equipment across the show floor, from Canon’s massive multi-level shooting castle to encampments from Shape, Tilta, Wooden Camera, Codex Digital, Edelkrone, Movcam, Ikan, Atomos, Convergent Design, and Bebob.  Even AJA had to devote a little extra space next to all its boxes to show off its new Cion 4K/UHD/2K/HD professional camera. 

These are exciting and disruptive times for independents and larger organizations alike, as worlds that were once wholly separate are now on a collision course. There is now competition at every level for 4K camera equipment, from large sensor DSLR-style bodies to handheld camcorders, from shoulder-mounted EFP-style form factors to traditionally shaped bodies that look positively naked without their rails and a matte box.

Let’s get our follow-focus wrists limbered up!

–Joe Maidenberg

NAB 2014: Redefining 4K with Bill Thompson


As 4K use continues to expand for more videographers and workflows, there are plenty of questions to be answered on the path to redefining the medium:  

  • What will the mezzanine format be?  

  • How will proxies evolve in a Web-based asset management ecosystem?

  • Will capture be performed primarily outside of the camera (to preserve chroma subsampling options)?

Those are just a few of my concerns; I’m sure you have questions, too. Please share them, and I’ll seek out answers at the show – or at least get the conversation started with vendors.

Another 4K area of interest is streaming. Many streaming applications have only recently embraced 720p or 1080i, so it’s unclear when anyone will attempt to stream 4K video. Is that level of resolution important to your streaming goals?  Please let us know, so we can feed those perspectives back to the sources for such solutions and allow them to respond with better-tuned offerings.

Send your 4K questions to Bill Thompson at bt@asgllc.com.

NAB 2014: 4K and Beyond with Garrick Huey


4K will continue to be the hot topic at the 2014 NAB Show. Like HD before it, the 4K market continues to grow, and we’ll see more camera choices (and hopefully fewer proprietary systems) on the show floor. For example, Sony and Panasonic have shown some 4K camcorders that are very cost effective. Also, look for new monitor offerings from all the major manufacturers, as they race to meet the need to display higher quality images. There are only a few 4K production switchers available – including solutions from Snell and FOR-A – but again, that could change this year.

4K may not be a viable option for broadcast news yet, but the market is certainly moving toward that direction. Both size and speed of data storage will be important for 4K workflows, as the files literally quadruple in size from HD. There are plenty of media asset management systems available, but make sure you work with a systems integrator to identify the optimal system for your workflow needs.

I’m also curious to see the latest crop of virtual sets. More and more vendors have entered the market, and the finished products look better than ever. They are a much more affordable alternative to spending $50K or more on a hard set – and can be relatively easy to customize for holiday and seasonal themes. Audiences have become more accepting of virtual sets in recent years, with more of them in use for sports and financial segments, entertainment news and more.

Got a question for Garrick Huey? Contact him at garrick@asgllc.com.

On determining the best video storage for your operation


ASG’s Boyd Baumgartner on determining the best video storage for your operation during the ABS MTE 2013 show.

 

 

4K Workflows


HD is so 2012.4k_image

At every level of the production process, video professionals are embracing the benefits of 4K and large raster video acquisition. Of course, they are also facing the challenges of more data-intense workflows.

While 1080i and 720p production are not going away tomorrow, they are quickly being replaced with a new standard for commercial production.

Read the rest and find resources here.

Storage Solutions for Broadcasters


 

“What are some of the best storage solutions available today for broadcasters?”  Our own Garrick Huey discusses this topic.

 

What are some of the technological challenges and trends facing broadcasters in 2013?


 

Advanced Systems Group’s Garrick Huey on “what are some of the technological challenges and trends facing broadcasters in 2013?”

 

Why is the NAB Show so important for ASG?


 

ASG takes a multi-faceted approach to NAB, because we are looking for solutions for our customers’ needs for today and tomorrow. We also use the show to reinforce our industry relationships and build new ones. Garrick Huey explains more about NAB and why we think it is such an important show.

 

Video Professionals Make the Case for 4K


For many video professionals, 4K is the new HD. Despite the challenges of data-intense workflows, large raster production continues to gain popularity at every level of the production process. On the set, 4K resolution rivals 35mm film and provides the “film look” that lower-resolution video formats simply can’t emulate. Post-production professionals, always hungry for more resolution and color information to improve visual effects, are some of the biggest advocates for 4K production. And broadcasters have begun to produce primetime programming in large raster formats to future-proof series for 4K distribution to the home, which some experts predict will be a reality before the end of the decade.
 
Find out more about 4K from experts who spoke at our annual workshop in December: http://broadcastengineering.com/hdtv/4k-picture-becomes-clearer-broadcasters

Autodesk Smoke 2013 Now Shipping


Autodesk’s press release:

Professional Video Editing Just Got Better – Autodesk Smoke 2013 Now Shipping

Smoke Software Development Process Shaped by Extended Free Trial and Extensive User Feedback

(San Francisco, California–December 17, 2012) Endorsed by twenty five thousand Facebook fans, six industry awards and thousands of new users through the trial download and active forum communities, Autodesk, Inc., (NADSAQ: ADSK) announced that the new Autodesk Smoke 2013, professional video editing software is now shipping.

“The anticipation for Smoke, since its thrilling announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Vegas in April, has continued to build throughout the community of creative professionals. As a leader in high-end effects and 3D, Autodesk is committed to making that technology increasingly available to a new generation, and the new Smoke is case in point. The Smoke team has fielded thousands of inquiries and product recommendations in the process of developing Smoke 2013. I’m so excited to announce it’s here,” said Mark Strassman, Autodesk Media & Entertainment vice president strategy and marketing.

Smoke 2013 is designed to meet the needs of professional editors working in video production, corporate video, online video and other competitive creative environments where productions require editing and effects. The new Smoke offers editing and effects within a single, efficient timeline-based workflow, a sleek user interface and runs on a wide variety of Apple MacBook Pro and Apple iMac computers. Extensive customer research and feedback received during the pre-release trial actively helped drive the product development. New features which grew directly out of user recommendations include: ability to drag and drop a clip from the source player into the timeline; ability to expand/collapse the timeline FX pipeline area; and redesign and streamlining of the UI and interface elements to speed up workflows.

Key Features

  • New Smoke User Interface (UI) — An intuitive all-in-one creative workflow that combines track-based editorial, industry-standard editing conventions and proven Autodesk creative tools
  • ConnectFX — Powerful node-based compositing inside the timeline allows high-end effects and advanced compositing without leaving the editorial environment
  • Creative Tools — A robust toolset with proven high-end finishing tools, Action for true 3D compositing, the Colour Warper for professional grading and color matching, the Master Keyer for one-click chroma keying and stereoscopic 3D editing and effects
  • Flexible System Requirements — Runs on most Apple iMac and MacBook Pro systems using high-bandwidth Thunderbolt storage and IO bringing true high-end editing and effects to flexible desktop and mobile workflows

Autodesk revamped Smoke to address a growing niche for editors who need to do more than just edit. In a recent survey of over 300 active users of the trial download, over half of which were new to Smoke, many respondents called out the benefits of having an all-in-one package that integrates editing and effects. 51% called out ConnectFX as the top feature and one remarked, “My favorite thing about the new Smoke is the entire package as a whole. I think it’s amazing that I can finally afford such an awesome suite of tools.” The Twittersphere has been equally enthusiastic about connecting editing and effects: “Smoke 2013 is a phenomenal game changer. Loving the open sandbox creativity one can explore with. #AutodeskSmoke,” tweeted Deelan Sital of The PPC in the UK.

Pricing and Availability
Autodesk Smoke 2013 is now shipping at a price of $3,495* SRP per license. For more detail, visit http://www.autodesk.com/smoke .

Join the Smoke Community
For in-depth features, benefits and video tutorials, see the Smoke product center, join the Smoke community, visit the Smoke Learning Channel, join the #AutodeskSmoke conversation on Twitter or friend us on Facebook.

About Autodesk
Autodesk, Inc. is a leader in 3D design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and entertainment industries — including the last 17 Academy Award winners for Best Visual Effects — use Autodesk software to design, visualize and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in 1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information about Autodesk, visit http://www.autodesk.com.

* U.S. pricing only. International pricing may vary.

Autodesk, AutoCAD and Smoke are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and service offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.

© 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

###

 

Final Cut Pro X Update Supports RED Camera, Native MXF Files


Apple made lots of noise last month with the introduction of the iPad mini, as well as new iMac and MacBook Pro models. But the company also quietly released Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.6. The update includes a handful of fixes and performance improvements, plus a number of new features, including:

• RED camera support with native REDCODE RAW editing (up to 5K) and optional transcode to Apple ProRes 4444 or ProRes Proxy.

• MXF plug-in support so editors can work natively with MXF file, which is particularly important when working with media with metadata and an asset management system.

• Freeze frame creation with a single keystroke.

• Intuitive, on-screen drop shadow controls.

• Dual viewers equipped with video scope displays for action and color comparisons.

• Timeline chapter markers that can be exported to video files, DVD, and Blu-ray (with optional custom poster frames).

• Multichannel audio files that can be expanded directly in the timeline so individual audio channels can be edited.

 

For a complete list of additions and improvements, visit http://support.apple.com/kb/HT4589.

Our annual event! Join us!


It’s that time of year again. Join us for our annual day-long event!  It will be Tuesday, December 4 from 10 to 4 at the New People Cinema in San Francisco.

Our topic of discussion this year is Large Raster Workflow Challenges. We’re calling it 4K Workflow 2012.

4K is already being called ‘the new HD’ in some circles. It is certainly becoming a viable acquisition and distribution format, but there are still a number of challenges associated with adopting this technology. Our event will explore options at every point in the production process, including how to manage 4K file-based workflows. We are lucky enough to have scheduled a day full of presentations by the best and the brightest in our community.

We will also offer lunch and refreshments thanks to our sponsor QLogic. We will also be giving away an iPad!

By the way, it is our 15 year anniversary as a company. We may have some other treats and surprises in store!

Get more information and register here.

 

Why Use Diffusion Panels for Listening Environments?


While 2D diffusor panels strategically placed on the back and side walls of an edit suite or other listening environment will probably improve sound, diffusion panels should not be considered a quick-fix. These room treatments are dependent on actual room factors, such as dimensions, cubic volume, layout, and surface materials.

It sometimes helps to think of sound sort of like billiards – acoustic reflections move around a room much like balls move around a pool table. Some reflections will cause comb filtering and phase cancellations, and flutter (those little fast echoes you hear in the decay of a sound). Diffusion panels are just one way to minimize flutter problems. Broadband frequencies can also introduce variants and standing waves that require a combination of diffusion and absorption.

“With diffusion, what you’re really trying to do is randomize reflection patterns of audio waves from the side and rear walls of a mix studio,” explained Mark Haynes, who leads ASG’s audio team. “A correctly and mathematically accurate diffusor created for the frequencies you want to effect can randomize these reflections enough to render them fairly non-intrusive in the listening environment.”

Diffusion Minimizes Room Effects During Recording


There have been a number of small, portable filters designed to reduce ambient reflections back into a microphone from a room. The concept behind these products is not to treat the room for audio capture, but create a mic position that minimizes the effect of the room for recording, a far less costly investment that a total room design.

Mark Haynes, who leads ASG’s audio team, prefers a multi-material design, rather than the plastic and foam units that are available. sE Electronics, for example, offers the Reflexion Filter Pro. It features six layers of materials, including aluminum, wool, and acoustic fibre-board, to absorb and diffuse sound waves, so less of the original source reflects back from untreated surfaces in the room.

“The basic idea is to take the room out of the equation,” Haynes said. “Some work better than others – without proper construction and materials, these devices can actually contribute unwanted colorations with bass build-up and other anomalies.”

Of course, these filters are just minor remedial aids in dealing with some of today’s smaller rooms and recording environments on a budget. For any serious recording or mixing environment, nothing replaces a proper professional design from a reputable acoustician/room designer. 

The Scruffy Smoke Challenge


Are you ready for the Scruffy Smoke challenge?

Scruffy.TV and Autodesk have put together this contest using the Smoke 2013 pre-release trial.

You have until September 29, 2012 to submit your green screen keying. Check out the great prizes!

Get all the info here!

Autodesk Smoke 2013 pre-release trial version 3 is available now!


Download the Smoke 2013 Pre-Release Trial 3 now! Check out the conform workflow in Smoke.

The all new Autodesk Smoke. Editing and effects connected like never before.

Can USB Mics Deliver Quality Audio?


There are plenty of USB microphones on the market these days, but can they deliver the audio quality you need for your project? Well, maybe – it really depends on your project. Mark Haynes, who leads ASG’s audio team, said that USB mics can be effective for some applications, such as podcasts and other Web-based content, but keep your expectations in check.

“A really good mic-pre is hard to engineer into a small $200 mic,” Haynes said, “and the cost of producing the mic diaphragms and materials used in them is also somewhat suspect in a mic in this price range. The resolution of the A-to-D converters is another area to pay attention to. Go for a 24-bit converter when you can, but don’t forget to optimize the output gain from the mic or you’ll be throwing those extra bits away!”

One USB mic that Haynes said is a step above the norm is MiC from Apogee Digital. Introduced in 2011 for iPad, iPhone, and Mac users, MiC is designed to record voiceovers, vocals, and acoustic music instruments. The cardioid condenser mic offers 44.1/48 kHz, 24-bit analog-to-digital conversion and plug-and-play operation. MiC also features all metal construction, multi-color LED for status and level indication, and an input gain control knob to easy level adjustment without looking at software.

“Noise floor, well-behaved linearity across the frequency spectrum, and headroom are all areas that more expensive mics offer,” Haynes added. “That said, there are applications for USB mics that are well-served by their performance levels and affordability. In the end, the only barometer of importance is if it serves your purpose and sounds good to your ears.”

 

 

 

Join us at That Smoke Demo!


There’s still time. Register now!

We’ll be there. Join us.

  Autodesk.
Masthead
 
That Smoke Demo

Join Autodesk and Kanen Flowers for an in-depth look at Autodesk® Smoke® 2013.

Smoke evangelist Marc-André Ferguson will show off the latest version of the all-in-one editing and visual effects tool.

Kanen Flowers, Creative Director at Scruffy.TV, will walk through his workflow for That Media Show using Smoke.

Come by for a demo, a drink and some general video editing and effects geekery.

When: Tuesday August 21, 2012
Doors open: 5:30 pm
Presentations: 6:30 pm

Where:
Autodesk Gallery at One Market
One Market, Floor 2
San Francisco, CA 94105

Register now
Download the Autodesk Smoke pre-release trial
 
Like Smoke!
Join the conversation #AutodeskSmoke

 
 
Autodesk and Smoke are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names, or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. © 2012 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
* Pre-release trial products are subject to the terms and conditions of the Autodesk Pre-Release Products Testing Agreement that accompanies the pre-release trial products.

When can we expect broadcasters to embrace the cloud?


When can we expect broadcasters to embrace the cloud?

 

Autodesk Smoke 2013: Download the Latest Pre-Release Trial to Unlock New Features


Have You Downloaded the Latest Smoke Pre-Release Trial?

The latest pre-release trial* of Autodesk® Smoke® 2013 software is ready to download.

Download the pre-release trial to see how the all new Smoke connects editing and visual effects like never before.

Download the Trial now!

 

Learn More:
Autodesk Smoke
Smoke Learning Channel
Autodesk Smoke Forum

Blogs:
The Smoke Learning Blog
Smoke & Dagger

Smoke Classroom Training
 
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    Join the conversation on Twitter #AutodeskSmoke

 

 

* Pre-release trial products are subject to the terms and conditions of the Autodesk Pre-Release Products Testing Agreement that accompanies the pre-release trial products.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Change to Smoke 2013 release date


News from Autodesk:

Autodesk will no longer ship Smoke 2013 on September 7th as originally planned. The ship date is now scheduled for FY13 Q4 in order for the development team to incorporate some of the feedback obtained from the pre-release trial program. http://usa.autodesk.com/smoke-for-mac/trial/

Based on extensive user feedback, Autodesk has decided to extend the release of Smoke 2013 through December. With additional development time, Autodesk can better ensure that Smoke is the next generation solution for editing and effects promised at NAB 2012.  Autodesk will continue the pre-release trial program and subsequent versions of the Smoke 2013 pre-release trial software will remain active until early December.  This is great news for professional editors interested in Smoke, as they will now have three more months of free access to the amazing new Smoke.

In the interim we encourage everyone to keep up efforts to build awareness of the new Smoke in order to continue the great momentum we have already gained.


  Autodesk.
Masthead
 

That Smoke Demo

Join Autodesk and Kanen Flowers for an in-depth look at Autodesk® Smoke® 2013.

Smoke evangelist Marc-André Ferguson will show off the latest version of the all-in-one editing and visual effects tool.

Kanen Flowers, Creative Director at Scruffy.TV, will walk through his workflow for That Media Show using Smoke.

Come by for a demo, a drink and some general video editing and effects geekery.

When: Tuesday August 21, 2012
Doors open: 5:30 pm
Presentations: 6:30 pm

Where: Autodesk Gallery at One Market
One Market, Floor 2
San Francisco, CA 94105

Register now
Download the Autodesk Smoke pre-release trial

 
Like Smoke!
Join the conversation #AutodeskSmoke
 
 

The cloud? Expensive?


Broadcasters, Dave Van Hoy, president of Advanced Systems Group LLC, answers the question “How expensive is the cloud for broadcasters?”

 

Are broadcasters utilizing the cloud?


Is the cloud being utilized by broadcasters? Thoughts by Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG.

 

What does the cloud enable broadcasters to do that they can’t do without it?


Dave Van Hoy, president of ASG, speaks on: What does the cloud enable broadcasters to do that they can’t do without it?

Attend the Autodesk Digital Entertainment Conference


See how Autodesk® Digital Entertainment Creation solutions can help you create and deliver your most innovative work.

Event Date: June 27, 2012

Event Time: 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. PT

You’re invited to join the Autodesk Digital Entertainment Conference showcasing the latest Digital Entertainment Creation (DEC) solutions. This free online event includes an in-depth look at Autodesk® Entertainment Creation Suite Ultimate and Autodesk® Smoke®, plus special presentations by leading Autodesk customers such as Sony Pictures Imageworks and Blitz Games Studio.

Join Autodesk online and see for yourself how DEC solutions can help you take your work to the next level.

Register Now

Adobe Road Show San Francisco


Advanced Systems Group will be your host at the San Francisco event. Come join us!

Join Creative Suite video experts for a free, in-depth seminar featuring the new Creative Suite 6 Production Premium. Discover the killer new features, and meet partners with complementary offerings that — when combined with CS6 Production Premium — deliver new workflows that work and flow. Space is limited; reserve your seat today!

Here’s what you’ll see:

  • How Adobe Creative Cloud helps you break down creative barriers and revolutionizes the art of video production
  • The redesigned Adobe Premiere Pro CS6–the hub of your post-production workflow. With a streamlined user interface, powerful new trimming tools, and other creative advancements, you’ll see why more and more professional editors are turning to Adobe Premiere Pro.
  • A faster, more productive After Effects CS6 featuring new features such as Global Performance Cache and the 3D Camera Tracker that add up to what is rumored to be the biggest After Effects release in a decade.
  • Creative magic in imaging with new Content Aware tools and the fastest performance ever in Photoshop CS6.
  • New features in Adobe Story and Adobe Audition, as well as brand new tools into the video lineup: Adobe Prelude, a tool created specifically for logging and ingest, and Adobe SpeedGrade, a forward-looking approach to color grading and finishing.

Lead the Way with ASG!


Check out the newest Autodesk media and entertainment products at this webinar June 20!

Leverage production-proven creative tools, open data workflows, and industry standards to realize your creative vision faster and more efficiently.

Get more information and register here!

Agenda:

10:00 am – 10:45 am: Digital Entertainment Creation for Post-Production
                               
10:45 am – 11:15 am: Advantages of Autodesk Cloud and Advanced Support
                           
11:15 am – 12:00 pm: Digital Entertainment Creation for Games

Attend 1, 2 or all 3 sessions!

 

Explore Autodesk’s latest solutions and discover how you can lead the way in creating and delivering compelling entertainment content.

 

Experience the latest Digital Entertainment Creation solutions from Autodesk. At this special event, you’ll see what’s new in Autodesk® software for television, film, and game development. And you’ll learn more about a range of other solutions, including Autodesk® Cloud.

What is the Cloud and how can it help broadcasters?


Dave Van Hoy sat down during NAB 2012 to discuss the cloud — what is it and how can it help broadcasters.

Review of NAB


Ross Video Simplifies Social Media at NAB


Ross Video has developed a new system so broadcasters can get social media under control. The suite of tools is called Inception, and it will be demonstrated at the 2012 NAB Show.

Basically, Inception uses a Web-based GUI to create an editorial workflow to create content and publish it to various social networking sites. Editorial, promotions, and production can work together to transform broadcast content into Web content and manage online messaging.

Best of all, it’s a complete end-to-end solution. After you create a story, you edit the piece in a format-specific editor for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, etc. The piece can then be submitted for approval, reviewed and approved, and then published immediately or at a scheduled time to correspond with your live newscast.

A lot of broadcasters are going to “like” this.

Ross Video is in Booth N3807 at the show, which runs April 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Blackmagic Design News


Blackmagic Design news from NAB:

 

DaVinci Resolve 9

The new DaVinci Resolve 9 features a completely redesigned user interface. The new user interface has been designed to be extremely fast to use and to eliminate any unnecessary clicks and settings to get working fast. You can now get a job running in three clicks, one to log in, one to drop media into the project, and the next to grade! It’s really amazing and it’s hard to describe so you really need to see it! It is now a true, modern, multi-platform tool. It’s just as powerful, but also nicer to use.
 
DaVinci Resolve 9 will ship in July as a free update for all users on Mac, Windows and Linux, and will also be available as the free Resolve Lite model.

Get more info here.

 

Blackmagic Cinema Camera

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera includes a super wide 13 stops of dynamic range, large 2.5K sensor, integrated SSD recorder that has the bandwidth to capture CinemaDNG RAW, ProRes and DNxHD files, integrated capacitive touchscreen LCD for direct metadata entry, standard jack audio connectors, refrigerated sensor and it’s fully compatible with EF and ZF mount lenses.

The Blackmagic Cinema Camera also includes SDI and Thunderbolt connectors and it comes with a full copy of DaVinci Resolve and UltraScope software. Imagine plugging in your laptop for on set grading and scopes!

The 13 stops of dynamic range is one of the most important reasons why this camera looks like film. Often people focus on more pixels, but that is just a larger video image. The real way to get film quality is to capture a wide contrast range to retain more detail in the black and white levels of the image. Then once you color grade the images, it looks amazing! Combined with amazing EF and ZF lenses, the result is a true film look!

Of course the quality is killed if you compress the images when recording them, so there is a built-in SSD recorder. That means you get the recording speed you need to record the full 2.5K RAW sensor data into completely uncompressed CinemaDNG files. This means you get all the detail and quality of the sensor.

No files on this camera are custom in any way and this is the first camera that’s designed to make the whole post production process simple. It records into CinemaDNG format for RAW files, and DNxHD or ProRes for HD resolution files compatible with Avid Media Composer and Apple Final Cut Pro.

You can play back all recorded files on the LCD, and there is a built-in microphone and speaker for reviewing audio. Of course you will want to plug in high quality audio into the standard jack connectors and the audio is always recorded uncompressed for highest quality.

The integrated LCD has a touchscreen and when tapped, a window called the “slate” appears where you can type in shot information just like typing on a smartphone. This is then recorded into the file as metadata in the Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve format. Common data like shot number can auto increment to save time.

You can also change camera settings on this touch LCD, such as frame rate, shutter angle, color temperature, dynamic range, focus assist settings and more. The SDI output also has overlays showing you all the camera data when monitoring on set, and even the same data when playing back recorded files!

The design is machined from a solid block of aluminum and looks amazing. It’s strong, very compact and designed to be easily hand held. I

Here are some test clips form John Brawley. Remember to select HD when viewing them!

The camera will sell for $2,995. Shipping is expected in July.

Get more info here.

Wow. AJA’s new products.


Coming Soon. Very Soon:

 

KiPro Quad

4K Workflow Hub

Compact and powerful 4K recording and monitoring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ki Pro Quad, is a special “NAB Sneak Peak”, is a solid state video recorder that, when paired with new high-resolution cameras, becomes the hub of breakthrough new 4K workflows. Ki Pro Quad brings AJA’s lens-to-post workflows to HD 4:4:4, 2K, and 4K resolutions! Learn more about Ki Pro Quad. Watch the video.

 

 

KiPro Rack

The deck for new File-based workflows

1RU 10-bit 4:2:2 Disk Recorder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Ki Pro Rack is a space-saving 1RU form factor with the familiar Ki Pro user interface. It is designed for file-based workflows, supporting both Apple ProRes 422 and Avid DNxHD codecs. The Ki Pro Rack is available now for US MSRP $3995. Read more about the Ki Pro Rack.

 

 

T-Tap

Tap the power of Thunderbolt.

10-bit HDMI and SDI Video Output and Monitoring

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AJA is also introducing the T-TAP, a device designed for laptop editors that need external monitoring. The T-TAP provides high-quality HD/SD-SDI and HDMI output from any Thunderbolt™-enabled computer. The T-TAP will be available soon for US MSRP $249. Read more about T-TAP.

NAB: Smoke is Changing. Everything.


Yes, it is.

 

  • Easier to use.
  • Mac-inspired user interface.
  • Connected editing and effects.
  • Lower system requireents.
  • Price: $3495 USD

 

Coming this fall.

Amazing.

See Smoke online at NAB 2012.

See Walter Biscardi’s review.

Get more info and sign up for a pre-release trial here.

New AJA Firmware Adds Features for Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini


Back in February, AJA Video Systems released v3.0 firmware for its Ki Pro and Ki Pro Mini 10-bit 4:2:2 flash disc recorders. You should be able to explore all the improvements at the 2012 NAB Show.

Among the new features, both units can now burn time code and transport state into the video signal, and there’s even a window burn option for SDI. If there is video input loss, a new continuous recording option will generate a status change video frame, then automatically begin recording again when a valid video signal returns. And the Ki Pro has added LANC support, so camera operators can control recording via LANC-based controllers and LANC-enabled cameras.

The v3.0 firmware also adds some data transfer options, additional RS-422 functionality in post, and device setting presets for easier setup for both models. Lots of nice upgrades – and they are free for current customers.

AJA Video Systems is in Booth SL3305 at the show, which runs April 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

FOR-A Expands Compact Switcher Line


A few years ago, FOR-A introduced the compact, cost-effective 1 M/E HVS-300HS video mixer. Then came a 1.5 M/E version, the HVS-350HS. At the 2012 NAB Show, the company will debut the HVS-390HS, which is available in 1 M/E and 2 M/E versions.

Larger than the previous models, the HVS-390HS comes standard with 16 HD/SD-SDI inputs and nine outputs (including an HDMI output), and it can be expanded to 24 inputs and 13 outputs. The switcher has built-in resizing engines on four inputs, so HD, SD, and PC sources can be mixed within the same production. Plus, it’s loaded with event and sequence memories, dual output multi-view, four still stores, two chroma keyers, four keyers per M/E, two 3D DVEs per M/E, and more 2D and 3D wipe patterns than you’ll ever use.

FOR-A is in Booth C5219 at the show, which runs April 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Primestream Debuts Cloud-Based FORK Xchange Suite at NAB


The forecast calls for cloud coverage with a very strong chance for collaboration for broadcasters.

OK, that was terrible play on words, but there is no denying that cloud-based services are continuing to grow for the broadcast market. In fact, Primestream has joined the move to the cloud, expanding its B4M FORK modular software suite a new client/server, cloud-based application, FORK Xchange Suite, which will be unveiled next month at NAB.

FORK Xchange Suite provides broadcasters with a faster, easier way to work together in a collaborative environment. It integrates with FORK Production Server and provides instant access to media on any PC, Mac, or iOS device. You can browse, add metadata and markers, transfer media to and from multiple remote servers, even trigger FORK action scripts.

Many of you are familiar with FORK from last month’s “Leap Into Your Asset Management” webinar, when we worked with B4M to discuss workflows for media asset management, editing, social media publishing, archiving, and cloud production. FORK is already deployed in more than 300 broadcast operations across 40 countries. By integrating the cloud into its services, FORK Xchange Suite promises to open new possibilities for sharing content and expanding FORK’s workflow automation and MAM capabilities.

B4M/Primestream is in Booth SL6605 at the 2012 NAB Show, which runs April 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Free ProPresenter Graphics with Panasonic Switchers


Looks like the NAB deals have already started. Through June 30, 2012, Panasonic is offering ProPresenter 5.0 graphics and titling software free to customers who purchase one of its production switchers.

Five models are eligible: the new AV-HS410 nine-input “smart” switcher with built-in high resolution LCD screen; AV-HS400A multi-format HD/SD all-in-one switcher that supports up to eight inputs; AW-HS50 sub-compact, five-input unit for mobile productions and smaller AV setups; AV-HS450 16-input switcher with upconversion on four inputs and dual picture-in-picture display; and the AG-HMX100 digital AV mixer, which features a built-in multi-viewer display and 3D support.

ProPresenter, generally known as the de facto standard for video graphics and lyric presentation in the worship market, has been gaining ground in corporate, educational, and staging applications. Version 5.0 for Mac was released last month, and the PC version is expected this spring.

Panasonic is in Booth C3607 at the 2012 NAB Show, which runs April 16-20 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Register for the Accelerate File-Based Media Workflows Webinar!


When: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 at 10 AM Pacific

Register now, free!

 
 
Join ASG and Harmonic for an interactive webinar where we’ll discuss:
 
–          How high-performance shared storage needs to be at the heart of file-based workflows.
–          How Omneon MediaGrid provides the best performance, at a price that’s surprisingly easy on your budget.
–          How you can get the performance of SAN – over 1GB/s to a single client – with the simplicity of NAS.
–          How some of the world’s leading, most innovative media companies gain competitive advantage with Omneon MediaGrid.
–          Why it’s important that your storage system is optimized for the unique requirements of media workflows.
 

Register here!

Don’t Miss the First Autodesk Virtual Event of the Year on March 29, 2012!


Register now for the Autodesk Virtual Event to learn about the newest Autodesk software, Autodesk Suites and more. Special guests include Autodesk executives and Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen.  View special presentations for industry experts on known industry challenges and how Autodesk solutions can help solve them.

Reserve your space today for this FREE online event — you won’t want to miss it.

 

 

Education at 2012 NAB Show


Ann Marie Cumming, NAB Vice President of Communications, discusses the educational opportunities at the 2012 NAB Show.