IBC 2018

Mike McCarthy   September 17, 2018   No Comments on IBC 2018

The International Broadcast Convention is taking place this week in Amsterdam, and there are a variety of new products and announcements at the show.  AJA released the Kona5 with 12G SDI,  among smaller products.  Canon released the XF705 camcorder shooting 4K in HDR and is showing their new full frame mirrorless DSLR camera, in the form of the EOS R.  Sony announced the Trimaster HX as their top end HDR Mastering Monitor, and a new optional accessory to remote the sensor on their full frame Venice camera.  Blackmagic-Design released their own RAW codec, for their cameras and software.  While I was somewhat supportive of  the idea of ProRes RAW when it was announced earlier this year, I am less enthusiastic about yet another RAW format entering the market, especially one that is clearly so proprietary.  We need to consolidate the RAW options, not add new ones.
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NVidia’s New “Turing” Architecture Announced

Over the last week or so, NVidia has announced a number of new graphics cards, all based on their new 8th generation “Turing” GPU architecture.  This replaces the previous generation of “Pascal” based products that were first introduced over two years ago.  “Turing” products bring a number of new features to the table, including Tensor cores, RT cores, and VirtualLink.  Tensor cores were first introduced in the Volta series of server chips, for low precision matrix calculations, utilized for pattern recognition and AI processing.  RT Cores are a brand new processing pathway optimized for tracing light rays, and VirtualLink is a USB-C based single cable connection for VR headsets, integrated as an out on the qraphics cards.
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Large Format Camera Workflows

In the last few months, we have seen the release of the Red Monstro, Sony Venice, Arri Alexa LF, and Canon C700 FF, all of which have larger, or full frame sensors.  Full Frame refers to the DSLR terminology, with full frame being equivalent to the entire 35mm film area, the way that it was used horizontally in still cameras, and full frame was as opposed to smaller crop sensors in the cheaper DSLRs.  All SLRs used to be full frame with 35mm film, so there was no need for the term until manufacturers started saving money on digital image sensors by making them smaller than 35mm film exposures.  Super35mm motion picture cameras on the other hand ran the film vertically, resulting in a smaller exposure area per frame.  But this was still much larger than most video imagers until the last decade, with 2/3rd inch chips being considered premium imagers.  The options have grown a lot since then.
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PNY PrevailPro Mobile Workstation

I have been given the opportunity to test out the new PNY PrevailPro Mobile Workstation.  PNY is a company most recognized in the business workspace as the manufacturer of NVidia’s Quadro line of professional graphics cards.  They make a variety of other products, mostly centered around memory and graphics cards, but the PrevailPro is their first move into offering complete systems.
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HP Dreamcolor Z31x Studio Display Review

HP sent me their newest high-end monitor to review.  The Dreamcolor Z31x Studio Display is a 31″ true 4K color critical reference monitor.  It has many new features that set it apart from it’s predecessors, which I have examined and will present here in as much depth as I can.  It is challenging to communicate the nuances of color quality through writing or any other form on the internet, as some things can only be truly appreciated by seeing them in person.  But I will attempt to communicate the experience of using the new Dreamcolor as well as I can.  First we will start with a little context:
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NAB 2018 Conclusions

My second day on the show floor allowed me to follow up a bit more on a few technologies that I found intriguing the day before.  The move to IP video and higher resolutions in post production leads to increasing needs for higher speed networking, which is more complicated than the old 10/100/1000BaseT connections.  HDR involves a number of challenges, and a better understanding of color science and dynamic range, and as always, there are tons of new products in every category to try to familiarize myself with, so I can continue to be knowledgeable on the options that are out there for different scale workflows and use cases.
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NAB 2018 Exhibits

These are my notes from the first day I spent browsing the NAB Show floor this year in Las Vegas.  Further information from the Exhibition will be posted once my trip is complete, but this should provide an overview of the important things that stood out to me the most, in time for people attending to still have a chance to go check them out, if they had escaped their notice to this point.
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Pre-NAB Releases From Intel & Adobe

There have been a number of significant new product releases the week before NAB.  On the software front, Adobe has new updates for the video apps on Creative Cloud.   Intel had a big announcement on the hardware front, with the release of their newest generation of “Coffee Lake” mobile CPUs.  They now offer six-core chips for use in laptops, and upped the performance and efficiency yet again, within their existing 14nm architecture. Continue reading

GTC 2018

Mike McCarthy   March 28, 2018   No Comments on GTC 2018

I had the opportunity to attend GTC 2018, NVidia’s 9th annual technology conference in San Jose this week. GTC stands for GPU Technology Conference, and GPU stands for Graphics Processing Unit, but graphics makes up a relatively small portion of the show at this point. The majority of the sessions and exhibitors are focused on machine learning and artificial intelligence. And the majority of the graphics developments are centered around analyzing imagery, not generating it. Whether that is classifying photos on Pintrest, or giving autonomous vehicles machine vision, it is based on the capability of computers to understand the content of an image. Continue reading

8K Video in 2018

As we enter 2018, we find a variety of products arriving to market that support 8K imagery.  The 2020 Olympics are slated to be broadcast in 8K, and clearly we have a way to go, but innovations are constantly being released that get us closer to making that a reality.  The first question that comes up when examining 8K video equipment is: why 8K? Obviously it is more resolution, but that is more of an answer to the how question than the why question. Continue reading