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NAB Day 3

More coolness, techno-bliss at every turn By Charlie White
Another day at NAB proved this to be one of the more interesting gatherings for the digital video world thats taken place in a long time. People were still talking about Panasonics announcement of a solid state camcorder, where files are stored on a tiny PCMCIA card that can be simply inserted into a notebook or workstation and edited with your choice of software. Amid daily talk of revolution in this lively field, finally heres a product thats not just pretending to be a world-changer. I'm thinking we'll see more camcorders like this the next time NAB rolls around.

That said, small miracles seem to be unfolding at every corner. My first stop of the day was at DPS, where VelocityQ was holding court. Introduced at NAB last year and shipped last September, VelocityQ looks like a more mature application at this years NAB, sporting hardware acceleration that helps you edit faster. Able to lay down four layers of DVE with 6 graphics stacked on top, with any layers beyond that rendering recursively a la Media 100s mighty 844/Xi, VelocityQ is certainly no slouch in the hardware department, running on a PCI card plugged inside. Best of all, the boards and software will set you back only $10K. I especially liked the new EyeCons, a new concept that takes icons a step further. Stacked along the right side of the timeline, theres an icon to represent each layer in a multi-layer composition. Its a great way to keep track of lots of layers, a problem on a system with this kind of compositing power. Other notable attributes were DPSvelocityQs faster-than-real-time multicamera feature and real time traveling mattes, all of which are features that youd expect to pay more than that 10K for.

Next I moseyed on over to the Laird area, where I had a chance to hold in my palm the tiny Capdiv hard disk drive for DV production. Its a $1595 hard disk recorder for DV that lets you strap 4.5 hours worth of DV clip storage onto your belt and forget about using tape. Ill be review that puppy in an upcoming issue here on DMN. The newest box from Laird on the show floor is the LTM 6000, a conversion device that can take just about any format in and spit it out in just about any other, even 10-bit SDI. Who knew you could get something like this for $3K? The wonders never cease.

Looking for some gee-whiz excitement, I next stopped by the Hitachi booth, where they were showing a new way to display video that was absolutely eye-catching. AirSho is a transparent film that you stick on to a piece of plexiglass (or any transparent surface, for that matter), and then shine a projector onto it from a 37-degree angle either below or above it and from behind -- for a gorgeous effect. Its not cheap at $5995 for a 60 piece of the stuff, but hey, when did anything that looks this beautiful come at a bargain price? I had a thought that hanging a group of these as a set piece might make for some highly creative and scenic set design for anything from a news broadcast to an awards show.

Next it was a stop by the Pinnacle booth, where it was so packed with people that you could describe the expansive demo area as resembling a giant can of sardines. Amid sweeping announcements describing improvements to Pinnacles nearly infinitely scalable Palladium networking for moving signals into, around and out of TV stations, to boil it all down, the company is showing the world how good it is at four major, very important areas: Content delivery, network editing, automated graphics and the production of news and sports. In a sweeping discussion with Pinnacle founder Ajay Chopra and CTO Al Kovalick, the key word for the day was workflow. Well have those interviews later (when theres more time) right here on DMN. Most notable was the fact that Pinnacle is getting hard-nosed about HD content delivery, offering HD capabilities in their servers, at the same price as standard definition. That ought to make a big difference isnt competition wonderful? For the editors in the crowd, the big news was the announcement of CineWave 4, the OS X-based real time editing accelerator for Apples Final Cut Pro 4. Sporting what the company calls ?deep integration with the already-spectacular new Final Cut Pro 4, CineWave makes a good thing better with 24p support and lots more. I like the new capability of ingesting HD material into CineWave in real time, converting it into DV25 and then you can edit the stuff on a notebook. After a quick (didnt see exactly how ?quick this is, though) trip back to CineWave, you conform the segment back to HD and youre good to go. Its HD editing on a notebook! Whod a thunk it?! Best of all, the price has come down, where the units will be selling in July (predicts Pinnacle) for $3995 with an HD breakout box listing for an additional $10K. Thats a bargain for all that HD power, and bodes well for an continuance of the fact that there are more HD editing seats using CineWave than any other.

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Related Keywords:NAB, Charlie White, interesting gatherings, digital video world, Panasonic, solid state camcorder, .avi files, PCMCIA workstation, edited


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