Productions are constantly looking for the next gadget, software, or hardware solution that can take their project to some next level. Wrapping up 2014, we look back at some of the biggest and most important announcements that happened this past year. While some products are not necessarily shipping, everything on the list will have an impact on production in the near future.
1) JVC launches streaming camera service powered by Zixi
JVC Americas announced the new GY-HM890 and GY-HM850 ProHD shoulder-mount cameras, as well as its new BR-800 ProHD Broadcaster server powered by Zixi, which serves as the central component to JVC's new Professional Streaming Services. ProHD Broadcaster (powered by Zixi) receives live video from a GY-HM850, GY-HM890 or updated GY-HM650 3.0 camcorders, transcodes the signal for a variety of delivery platforms, and provides reliable transmission of the signal. A built-in matrix switcher with unlimited I/O makes it easy to manage signals for distribution, and content can be directed to multiple destinations, including off-the-shelf HD-SDI decoders for live broadcast or almost any Web-based content provider.
This builds the foundation for a complete wireless production. The ability for anyone within the production to login, through a web browser, and receive a live feed of each JVC cameras being used. Pretty cool!
2) Avid releases UHD/4K ready Media Composer; introduces optional SAAS model
Media Composer | Software will allow video professionals to acquire, manage, edit, and deliver native 4K media. With Avid's new resolution independent architecture comes a new high-res codec, Avid DNxHR. This allows editors to work in larger than HD frame sizes to complement newer cameras on the market. It also allows the creative freedom to reframe when releasing in HD, and futureproofing your project’s visual quality into the future.
At NAB 2014, Avid Technologies also announced major changes to how customers can purchase & support future versions of Media Composer®. Previously, a new copy of Media Composer® could be purchased for $999, while customers that had previous versions would be able to upgrade at a discount rate. Customers can now purchase Media Composer® in 4 ways, including monthly/yearly subscriptions, perpetual license or floating license pack.
3) AJA announces CION, its first camera!
The biggest shock this year was the announcement of AJA’s CION professional camera. AJA is known for putting excellent design & engineering towards their products, so an AJA professional camera perked many peoples interest. Priced at only $8,995, the CION in packed with features including in-camera ProRes 12-bit 444 recording, up to 4K raw output, and an uncomplicated user interface. The CION teaser reel left us wanting more; we’re excited to be selling this product in the new year.
While the CION camera ship date has been pushed back a few times, it is expected to be released by year-end; that means you have 13 days left AJA! ;)
4) NewTek releases Talkshow, standardizing how broadcast uses Skype
NewTek™ unveiledTalkShow™ VS-100, a video calling production system designed specifically for television studios and live video producers. With TalkShow, any television or live video producer can easily reach 300 million monthly connected Skype users and incorporate them as guest speakers into live programs with full-frame Skype video calls.
Talkshow has a host of Skype management for broadcast features that have the potential of replacing current method of using mini-converts and laptop for Skype. Each VS-100 handles a single Skype call. This product should be shipping by end of this year.
5) Avid, Adobe, and Forbidden get serious about remote collaborative editing
Avid Media Composer Cloud with Avid Everywhere, Adobe Anywhere, and other newer remote editorial collaboration tools like Forscene, are starting to gain traction. Here’s a breakdown of some announcements:
Adobe Anywhere – Using the centralized storage & asset management based in a facility, users can access & edit media, securely, using Adobe Premiere Pro and Adobe Prelude, from remote locations via VPN. While this product was initially announced in 2013, people are starting to use it, and finding the ease of use to uncomplicate the creative process. One thing that is exciting about Adobe Anywhere is a road map that includes adding Adobe After Effects, and the entire Creative Cloud suite in future implementations. This could be a killer deal for production trying to manage collaboration of creative workwithin one suite.
Avid Media Composer Cloud – Previously named Interplay Sphere, Media Composer Cloud gives professional productions the ability to ingest, edit, and move media from any location. Media Composer Cloud strengths are with its robust production & broadcast features, including asset management and shared projects that most major facilities require.
Forbidden Forscene – Forbidden has made significant improvement to their Forscene Cloud editor. Adding new media management features and improving editorial functionality, and a facelift, Forscene is now a viable alternative to Avid and Adobe’s remote solutions.
6) Wohler automatically cuts or extends timeline up to 10% with Wormhole
TV Technology named Tachyon Wormhole best in show at NAB 2014.The Tachyon Wormhole Appliance is designed to be a turnkey solution for operations desiring to shorten or lengthen video projects by ±10%. Using the latest Cinnafilm algorithms, Tachyon Wormhole does something no other technology can: altering the running time of your project without affecting video, audio, or closed caption integrity, allowing for additional revenue generation. Wormhole is about to make trimming/extending shows and film a whole lot easier.
7) VidiGo aims to automate man-power consuming process with Studio Automation
VidiGo's Studio Automation solution, won the 2014 IABM Design & Innovation award for System Automation & Control. This impressive all-in-one solution for multi-camera live production solution, allows broadcaster to fully automate their live newscast or broadcast. Eight major TV studios have quickly adopted this innovative technology to strengthen their production & cut costs.
Imagine having the ability to seamlessly push social media content to broadcast, automate camera changes based on gestures, all in one professional broadcast switchers. This combination of broadcast functionality, automation, and new media tools creates an extraordinarily unique solution.
8) Quantum gets serious with M&E archive & management. Stornext 5 & Lattus
The StorNext 5 data management software creates a unified common storage environment that all the workstations can use, so instead of working from local copies scattered around different workstations, everyone uses the same resources. What’s particularly interesting is StorNext’s ability to handle large render UHD formats, and is 100% compatible with Xsan.
Quantum’s Lattus Object Storage might become the new standard for large-scale, long-term archive next year. Built on next-gen object storage, Lattus can scale to hundreds of petabytes, all while ensuring data is protected, and eliminating unscheduled maintenance.
Do not dismiss Quantum has being only for high-end broadcaster either. The price of entry for StorNext has lowered significantly in 2014, and is now viable for small & mid-size production companies.
9) Blackmagic Design acquires eyeon Fusion 7, releases for free
The Key Code Media editorial team have been huge fans of eyeon Fusion, enough to do a webinar tutorial on version 6. The Fusion product has gained steam, used heavily in editorial finishing for Gravity, The Amazing Spiderman 2, and more. That’s why we were excited to see Blackmagic purchase the company, and release Eyeon Fusion 7 free to the public.
Blackmagic did something similar in 2009, when it purchased DaVinci and released a powerful version of Resolve for free. This leaves us wondering, what other editorial/finishing company will they acquire next?
Fusion (now Fusion 7), is a node-based advanced composition toolfor high-end motion graphics and visual effects. This powerful tool includes comprehensive paint, rotoscope, keying, layering and titling tools, along with an amazing particle generator system. It can create new original elements (ie. text & particles) from scratch, or import geometry from some of best render based programs.
10) Amazon Web Services brings your machine room into the cloud
Amazon S3 is not a new product, but in 2014 it solidified itself as low cost solution for encoding, streaming, and storage. Tighter partner integrations with Telestream Vantage, Wowza Server (and many others), means production facilities can reduce the need of on-site servers and grow and shrink in scale as production requirements change. As cloud storage continues to grow in popularity, it will be interesting to see Amazon’s next cloud offerings. Could all of production be moved to the cloud within 5 years? Only time will tell.