Day 1 of NAB is in the books.
2 articles, 12 videos, 10 miles of walking, 1 hot dog, and an italian feast went into making this a great day. Also there were some big announcements today that I believe could make a big impact on your classroom.
I have teased this announcement several times over the last couple of months because I am so excited about this product. Henry Engineering announced their newest product, The Sports Caster, yesterday. The Sports Caster is what I would describe as an all in one audio tool. Communication is often the hardest part of live production and the Sports Caster helps take care of that as well as allows you to mix your program feed at the same time. The Sports Caster is the perfect tool for “Semi Pro” broadcasters who need to mix several audio inputs as well as create the back channel communication. A producer will be able to talk to the air talent as a group or individually or if they need, they could talk to a camera operator. The biggest thing about this is that it is all in one 1RU unit and it pairs with the Sports Pod so you have the same fully controls for your talent. Visit Henry Engineering’s website for more details on the Sports Caster as well as their many other products.
Yesterday, Teradek announced another venture into the bonded cellular game that will certainly be of interest to most educator - The Vidiu Go. Bonded cellular is not new to Teradek but this is the most cost effective solution for educators. The difference between Teradek and some of the competitors is that the Vidiu Go can stream to multiple sources simultaneously. In addition to the cellular connectivity, you can also use the two band wifi or the gigabit ethernet port to connect to the web. At $1490, the VidiuGo is a leader in price point.
BlackMagic Design never fails to announce big things at NAB. This year was no different … new price points, new switchers, and a reboot of a BMD classic all made headlines this weekend.
BMD is known for high quality converters and the price points for these converters continues to fall. BMD CEO Grant Petty announced the new Up/Down/Cross converter and the smaller, bi-directional fiber converter at lower price points. The U/D/C converts video signals to whatever you need so you can match your cameras and is available now for $155. The new fiber converter is also $155 but you will have to buy the SMTP module (which is a good thing so you have what you need and don’t have to retrofit your cables). Converting SDI to fiber means you can have a lot longer runs (up to 10 miles) but remember that if you converter to fiber on one end, you will have to convert back to SDI on the other - so buy two converters.
The two announcements that shook the video world yesterday were the new ATEM Television Studio Pro 4k and the reboot of the Pocket Cinema Camera. These announcements addressed several of the things that people didn’t like about BlackMagic products.
The ATEM TV Studio Pro 4k addresses one of the biggest issues for a lot of teachers - matching camera settings to the switcher. Previously, BMD switchers needed to have all inputs and outputs match. The TV Studio Pro 4k is as close to plug and play as possible. This is a huge deal because I know a lot of teachers that stayed away from BMD because of the intimidation of having to know and match the different camera settings. The switcher has 4k Multiview and 8 SDI inputs and outputs. BMD also updated the audio controls within the user interface. Now you can mimic stereo sound for mono inputs. At less than $3,000, the ATEM TV Studio Pro 4k is a great option for a switcher that will allow you to not only work easily and quickly but your students will have the opportunity to work with a real tactile switcher.
The other big announcement from BMD is the “soon to be released” Pocket Cinema Camera (PCC) 4k. Let’s start with the price: $1295. Now let’s get into the details. The first thing I noticed was that this version of the PCC looks like a “traditional” small camera. The camera uses a micro 4/3s lens mount and can shoot up to 120 fps at 1080 and 60 at 4k. Why is that important? I don’t think we realize how often we need to change speed in order to get that “professional” look. Petty said the PCC is “basically and URSA mini pro, shrunk down” in order to be more user friendly because as he stated “if URSA is used to shoot other people, this camera is used to shoot yourself.” The PCC uses a micro 4/3 lens mount. With all of these things in mind, I have to say I am most intrigued and excited about how you record your footage. Of course, you can record to an SD card and or Cfast card but you can also record straight to a flash drive or external hard drive via the USB C output. This is mind blowing. No longer will you have to do the SD Card shuffle. You can now record straight to a hard drive. Remove that hard drive from the camera. Plug it into the computer and start editing! Did I mention this camera is $1295? Did I mention that is comes with Davinci Resolve as well? Take your time and save your money because the camera isn’t available until the fall.
During our time here, we have used the URSA Broadcast to record our interviews. I have to say the more I use the camera the more I am in love with it. Yesterday, we did interviews inside the convention hall but for one we needed to go outside. I immediately started to panic a little on the inside. The convention hall was lit ok but I knew that going into the Las Vegas sun at 11am was going to cause havoc for the camera. That was not the case. I simply scrolled down the iris, which was easy to do because the control is on the outside of the camera, and added 3 stops of ND, which again was simple because it’s right there on the outside of the camera. The only thing that I struggled with during the location change was color temp and we can chalk that up to user error. I was under the internally clock of “when the talent is ready, you should be too” so I didn’t do a good job getting that set up but because of the amount of detail in the footage, I was able to fix it in post. BMD has done some great things with this camera. I love that all of the controls are on the outside of the camera but also the placement of the mic inputs. They are at the rear of the camera on the top. Why is this important? Too often I find myself wrestling with the XLR plug coming out of the camera. With the inputs on the top and to the back, they are out of my way. I also like where the headphone jack is. It’s on the rear of the camera toward the bottom which doesn’t seem like a big deal but once again it’s out of the way. The plug is actually blocked by the battery!
Today we have some big interviews lined up: BlackMagic Design, Newtek, Roland, Sling Studio, and more. Check back with us throughout the day for photos and updates.