Dan May, President, Blackmagic Design, Inc.
Alan Hoff, VP Product Management, Avid Technologies
David Walton, Assistant VP, Marketing Communications, JVC Kenwood USA Corporation
Jeromy Young, Co-Founder and CEO, Atomos
Andy Liebman, Founder and CEO, EditShare
James DeRuvo, Film and Technology Reporter, DoddleNEWS
Announcer: The Digital Production Buzz at NAB is sponsored by Maxon and Thalo Arts.
Larry Jordan: Tonight on the Digital Production Buzz we have highlights from our 2017 NAB show coverage, featuring James DeRuvo of DoddleNEWS, Dan May of Blackmagic Design, Dave Walton, JVC Kenwood, Jeromy Young, Atomos, and Andy Liebman, EditShare, and Alan Hoff from Avid. The Buzz starts now.
Announcer: Live from the 2017 NAB show in Las Vegas. Media, technology, products, news, connecting media professionals around the globe with the latest in technology. The NAB Show Buzz starts now.
Larry Jordan: Welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast for the creative content industry, covering media production, post production and marketing around the world.
Larry Jordan: Hi, my name is Larry Jordan. We have a different Digital Production Buzz for you tonight because we’ve spent the entire week covering the 2017 NAB Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, so we thought it would be appropriate to present our best interviews from that event. But before we start the interviews, we start, as always, with our weekly DoddleNEWS update with James DeRuvo. Hello James.
James DeRuvo: Hello Larry, once more unto the breach.
Larry Jordan: Yes indeed, well it’s the last day of NAB, and I think it’s appropriate to sort of get your reactions on what you’ve seen for trends, and what’s hot and what you see coming. So what’s caught your attention?
James DeRuvo: It seems that the big trend this year is streaming. It’s streaming for everybody, so whether you’re a church or a YouTube channel or somebody who wants to rant and rave, you can actually grab a piece of streaming technology for under $1,000 or grab your mobile device and start streaming dirt cheap. That’s a big take-away from this NAB this year.
Larry Jordan: Well I’ve seen streaming is not only now implemented in terms of streaming on your own, but as it goes into Periscope, and Facebook Live, and YouTube. We’ve now got multiple streaming channels so people are providing streaming origination software, and distribution software, so there’s now a whole streaming ecosystem of companies, did you notice that?
James DeRuvo: Yes. Democratized is probably the best word to say it, and one of the really great applications for this is if you have a band, and you’re starting to build your audience, you could do a live streaming of a concert, or a live streaming of your recording sessions and fan service and giving them experiences live that you wouldn’t normally give. You could even expand it into the 360 realm if you want, Insta360 has an attachment for your iPhone that turns your phone into a live streaming 360 device. We talked about BoxCast earlier in the week which for me is probably going to be my best in show. It was a really great device, and the company is smart, they know what they’re doing, they got a great vision. Live streaming is just really it, I think that’s the thing. People think it’s going to be virtual reality. I don’t think virtual reality is really going anywhere except for teaching and training. But augmented reality and live streaming, that type of thing, that’s the big take-away.
Larry Jordan: OK, so we’ve got streaming is take-away number one. What’s another thought?
James DeRuvo: There’s a lot of really great devices for filmmakers out there that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. We talked about the Sigma cinema lenses yesterday with prices starting at $4,000. But SLR Magic’s Anamorphot 1.33X-40, anamorphic adaptor, under $500, can turn any lens into an anamorphic, so you can get that 2.35 to one aspect ratio. Boy, I’m excited about that one. SmallHD has that ultra bright monitor that’s just flat out beautiful and you don’t need a hood. Those are the hot things for me.
Larry Jordan: Their booth was out in the sunshine yesterday and that takes a level of courage to say “This is a monitor you can use outside, and here we are showing it outside in Las Vegas where the sun’s about as bright as it’s going to get.”
James DeRuvo: I took a picture and we posted it on Twitter, and the sun is shining right on that monitor and those colors are bold and beautiful. Wow. It was like I was looking at it under a hood without the hood.
Larry Jordan: I’m also impressed with how HDR is continuing its march forward and we’re seeing it in monitors, software support, in being able to convert from SDR to HDR and HDR to SDR. The conversion process is moving forward and I think personally HDR is going to be as big as HD is over the long term, it’s just going to take us a while to make that transition, the same way it took us a while to transition from standard def to high def.
James DeRuvo: I totally agree. I think that HDR is more important than squeezing out even more resolution. I think 4K is probably really going to be good enough for most people, unless you’re shooting on red. But having that HDR benefit to it, that really makes your colors pop and that makes the image look sharper and brighter and more vibrant than it actually is, thanks to the wide dynamic range of HDR.
Larry Jordan: Have you seen any drones you like?
James DeRuvo: Probably my favorite drone is the little tiny Dobby that can fly in formation and literally fits in your pocket. It shoots in 4K and collapses. It was a really cute little drone at under $400. It was really a fun little drone.
Larry Jordan: You mentioned one that looked like an egg. Do you remember that one?
James DeRuvo: Yes, the Power Egg. It looked like it came from outer space. The rotors collapse and the landing gear collapse into the Egg. The camera collapses into the Egg. It looks like an egg from alien, and then you pop it open and you fly it with a joystick. It’s like Nintendo and it’s strange looking but kind of cool. I really liked it.
Larry Jordan: If we move away from drones, what else caught your eye?
James DeRuvo: I’m still focused on that streaming stuff. There’s a new company called Freecast, that is building up a wireless solution for not only GoPro but any HDMI enabled camera, so you could have DSLR’s, camcorders, GoPro’s, anything that has an HDR signal. You can route it through your mobile device and stream up to four of them to the cloud and switch it with your mobile device. Does anybody use their phone for telephone calls anymore? I can’t stop talking about live streaming, it’s the thing.
Larry Jordan: Another thought that comes to mind that I’ve heard a lot about, we’ve had a lot on color and color integration, not just in terms of DaVinci Resolve 14, but color integration throughout the entire process and more products are moving on set. So we’re starting to see better color on set which gives us opportunities for more monitoring. A stronger color workflow from on set all through post and distribution.
James DeRuvo: That brings up a point. I was at the PolarPro booth yesterday and I told you about the Mavic Pro Katana controller, but they’re also putting out their own LUT color package so that you can color correct anything that’s shot with a camera that’s using PolarPro filters. So not only are companies starting to put together filters and accessories for your cameras, but they’re also coming out with their own LUT packages to really dial in and squeeze out every bit of performance from the filters, and I think that’s interesting.
Larry Jordan: Thinking of filters, we saw some new filters from Tiffen and from Schneider this year, so there are never ending new toys to play with at NAB.
James DeRuvo: Never ending. Filters amaze me because we’re in year 25 of using computers to cut and edit, I haven’t used a filter in 20 years, and I’m thinking maybe I should start using filters again.
Larry Jordan: You know, it all depends upon whether you want to capture it in a camera and save yourself render time later, or add it later. But effects captures to camera are always a little bit better than effects that are done later in post I think.
James DeRuvo: But you can’t use an undo button with those.
Larry Jordan: That’s very true. You got to have the courage of your convictions when you decide to put a filter in front of a camera. James, for people that want more information, where can they go on the web to keep track of the latest in our industry?
James DeRuvo: Doddlenews.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s all one word, doddlenews.com and James DeRuvo is the senior writer covering film and technology for DoddleNEWS. James, it’s been a great show. Thank you for all your help, and your reports.
James DeRuvo: Thanks for having me Larry.
Larry Jordan: We’ll chat again next week on the weekly Digital Production Buzz.
James DeRuvo: See you then.
Larry Jordan: Take care.
Larry Jordan: We start our highlights from NAB with an interview with Dan May, the President of Blackmagic Design. Hello Dan.
Dan May: Always good to be with you Larry.
Larry Jordan: So what’s the latest?
Dan May: We’ve been busy, as we tend to be around this time of the year. We’ve actually launched a number of products already in this quarter. We’ve had several successful launches, new ATEMs, new camera we put out, so we really wanted to clear the deck for NAB, so while we do have our normal plethora of press releases that can be read about, we really wanted to focus on DaVinci Resolve 14. It’s a significant release that we wanted to dedicate enough time and attention to for people to take in what we’ve now done with this application.
Larry Jordan: This is DaVinci Resolve 14 did you say?
Dan May: It is 14, and we’ve put so much into it. We’ve skipped a whole 13 and gone from 12 to 14.
Larry Jordan: You superstitious lot you.
Dan May: A little bit. With a name like Blackmagic, you’ve got to take some chances, but 14’s a big deal for us. We made the acquisition of Fairlight last year which was a tremendous acquisition for us to bring that technology into our portfolio and what we wanted to do and have done is we’ve put all of Fairlight directly into DaVinci Resolve. So before when you would see an edit page and a color page and an audio page, that audio page is now Fairlight, so we now have a world class film and broadcast audio editing software directly in DaVinci Resolve, so not a second application, not something we have to round trip to. It is that application, directly in DaVinci Resolve.
Dan May: Resolve is what runs those big beautiful Fairlight panels, and when you think about what this can actually do, we’ve talked about wanting to empower an individual. I’ve bought a Blackmagic camera, I want to learn how to edit and color grade. I want to do it all myself. So now to have a tool that has this world class ability directly in the application, that’s fantastic. How many post houses have we gone to that have said, “I do all my editing and color grading, now I need to do audio. Send it out.” It has to be sent to some other place to do all that. Now is the opportunity for them to be able to say, “I have all of this within one application.” We’ve talked about the cloud way of approaching things. Our approach is that, I want to have multiple people working in the same timeline, on the same project, at the same time, and to be able to say, I have unlimited editors, color graders, and audio people with assistants and however I want, all being able to work on one project, in one application, across multiple machines all at the same time. So the amount of power that we’ve put into Resolve 14 is much different than what you see out there today.
Dan May: We talk about obviously the cloud’s a big deal, we talk about being able to round trip and how these workflows work, but imagine a world with none of that, where you can just say, “I’ve got 20 different artists in my facility all working on one multiple projects at the same time, all in the same applications.” So it’s a giant leap for us. We’ve done a ton under the hood that we’re excited about and the beta 14 is going up today.
Larry Jordan: I’m confused. Are you saying that you can have multiple editors in DaVinci Resolve 14, all running in the same project at the same time?
Dan May: Correct.
Larry Jordan: So that means that the audio person will be in DaVinci Resolve, the colorist is in DaVinci Resolve, the story telling editor’s in DaVinci Resolve.
Dan May: Correct.
Larry Jordan: How are you handling that?
Dan May: All the assistants, if you’re getting to that kind of a stage, can be in there. They’re all assigned a user preference. You can have a project manager, that’s managing that project, and as people are making changes, obviously a bin would get locked if somebody’s working in that bin, but when that bin is finished being worked on, it now updates into everybody else’s interface, and says “Hey, there’s been changes here. Do you want to accept them or deny them?” If I have an assistant editor that’s loading up clips to the back end of the project I’m working on, they’ll show up as, “Do you want to accept these changes or not?” and who’s made those changes. We’ve gone so far as to put our own chat feature within DaVinci Resolve so that I have multiple users saying, “Hey, can you update those color grades that we worked on last night?” Because what if we don’t want these machines to be on the network? What if we don’t want to be hooked up to the internet. We want to make something that can be completely self sufficient.
Dan May: Of course we do all of that being able to network and being able to tie people into a NAS or have shared storage. But it’s about the options. We want to give someone options, something that I’ve empowered one individual to have all the tools in one house, or one application, or am I going into a facility that says, “I have 30 different artists, I can do everything I want with this one application. I can have multiple people working in these projects.”
Dan May: Of course it wouldn’t be Blackmagic if we didn’t lower the price to 299 for DaVinci Resolve Studio as well. So, there’s many announcements we have, you know, new Bluetooth and the URSA mini.
Larry Jordan: You got time, what other announcements do you have?
Dan May: Resolve 14 is the crown jewel, so we want to make sure that people do understand just how important we think this is for us, but obviously we announced URSA mini pro a few weeks ago. That’s been out in the market. We shipped it out and people are excited about that product. We had a stealth update where we actually did include Bluetooth in the URSA mini pro, and we weren’t quite happy with where we were with it, when we launched the product, but now we’re showing it here, so everyone that has that camera has a free update.
Dan May: We’ve got an app that’s out so I can adjust all my ISO settings, all of my white balance and all the typical camera controls you’d see via Bluetooth, and that’s a big deal when you start talking about people who are on set that want to load metadata. I’m the DP, I’m not trying to load metadata on the camera as I’m pulling focus. But to be able to have an assistant be able to add metadata or track all of this stuff, via this Bluetooth capability.
Dan May: So nice free upgrade, that’s going to get a lot of news from people out there. We’ve updated one of our video assist products, more languages that are in there which is great for overseas where people want to see things in Japanese, but on the Video Assist 4K we’ve added full on scopes in there. We’ve always had Histagram, but now we’re adding Vectorscope and audio and all the scopes that we’re traditionally used to seeing in the Video Assist 4K.
Dan May: New Ultra Studio mini HD box. We’ve got a new ATEM Television Studio Pro. We’ve done lots of these switchers, you’ve worked with them as well. We’ve done it where you buy the switcher and you buy the panel. This is the first time we’ve built the switcher panel combination so being able to have that eight channel HD switcher that you can buy, bolt down, have students use, have a house of worship use, and have that panel with all the CCU control built right into the panel, for 2295.
Dan May: So again, you know, we’ve got a lot out there for people to take a look at, more updates to our Duplicator 4K. We have another couple of other software updates for a few products, but we cannot encourage people to download that DaVinci Resolve 14 beta enough, because we really think that people are going to be blown away. In addition to all the under the hood performance that we’ve put under there, we’ve talked about how computers are getting faster, bigger and better, but what we’ve seen these last couple of years is, people are more concerned about battery life of my laptop. So we haven’t seen ten gig and 20 gig processing powers in these computers. So we’ve put so much into the work of under the hood for DaVinci Resolve to be able to run better and more efficiently across all these computers.
Dan May: The challenge with Blackmagic is, we’ve got this giant portfolio we’ve put together over the last five or six years, it’s been a great ride that we’ve been on. People know us as a camera company, an editing company, a convertor company, a switcher company. What we found at NAB is we come with 30 products and you don’t announce a camera, all the air’s sucked out of the room. So, while we do have a lot of great other little announcements, DaVinci Resolve 14 is where it’s at this year.
Larry Jordan: A quick summary, what’s your thought on HDR? How are we heading with that?
Dan May: HDR is one of those things where I think people are interested in what’s going on with it. They know that it’s something that’s important to the workflows you’re doing. But from our perspective, it’s not any more challenging than most other formats. The challenge is that people tend to make a big deal of a lot of these things, HDR, VR, stereoscopic. They’re all important because there are going to be market segments that are interested in them. We have those tools with DaVinci to be able to work with those and make them important, but we go with these NAB shows where they’re a big buzz word, but it’s not necessarily going to be important to everybody, so we have those tools, we’re excited about them, but that’s not going to be the bread and butter for 90 percent of the users using our products.
Larry Jordan: Very cool. Dan, for people that want more information, where can they go on the web?
Dan May: They should always come to HYPERLINK “http://www.blackmagicdesign.com” www.blackmagicdesign.com.
Larry Jordan: All one word, blackmagicdesign.com. Dan May is the President of Blackmagic Design and Dan, thanks for joining us today.
Dan May: Thanks so much Larry.
Larry Jordan: It’s been fun.
Larry Jordan: Once again, at NAB, Maxon Cinema 4D is hosting presentations by the most respected 3D artists in visual effects, motion graphics and design. This year there will be 28 unique presentations from 20 different artists. You can see them all at Maxon’s booth at NAB, in the South Lower Hall, booth 6324, or if you’re not attending NAB, you can watch them on C4Dlive.com. Even better, when you register on C4Dlive.com, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win from over $24,000 in prizes. Maxon Cinema 4D. Stop by Maxon’s booth at NAB in the South Lower Hall, booth 6324, or tune in to the live stream on C4Dlive.com. That’s C4Dlive.com.
Larry Jordan: Welcome back, this is Larry Jordan with The Digital Production Buzz at NAB and I’m talking with David Bolton who’s the assistant vice president of marketing communications for JVC Kenwood USA. Your title has gotten longer it seems. Anyway, David, good to have you back.
David Bolton: And so has my email address.
Larry Jordan: I do believe that too. Oh look at that, it’s not JVC any more, it’s JVCkenwoodincus, something. Amazing. Are you now just doing cameras or are you doing all the entire product line? What is your new august role?
David Bolton: Well, we’re involved in all of the JVC products in the United States.
Larry Jordan: That’s very cool. Which JVC products are new at the show?
David Bolton: We have quite a few announcements here at the show. This is the 90th year JVC has been in existence.
Larry Jordan: 90th year?
David Bolton: Nine zero. We started out in 1927 making phonograph records for the Japanese market, and here we are now at NAB and we’re not making phonograph records any more.
Larry Jordan: No, but there’s a threat they’re coming back.
David Bolton: Well that could be, but right now, we are building cameras, monitors, communications equipment, a lot of things that are very important to the people who come to the NAB show. One of the threads that balls through all of our professional cameras, is that we have IP communications capabilities in nine of our 11 professional models. So we’re building this communication capability into the camera so that we can do really cool things for broadcasters, wedding videographers, schools, churches, you name it. The cameras are able to communicate with computers, communicate with ipads, communicate with iPhones, and stream live video. We’ve done a couple of things that are somewhat unique in the market. We have two vertically oriented products. One is called the GY-HM200SP, standing for sports production. The other one is JVC HM200HW, standing for house of worship. Let’s take the sports production camera, it does score over lens, so you can go to a game, a high school football game, basketball game, we actually have overlay templates for all of the major sports, and you can shoot the game, and you can add a professional looking score overlay onto the video as you’re screening it out, so you don’t have to go to a control system.
Larry Jordan: Typing on a keyboard on the camera?
David Bolton: You don’t need to use a camera. You can use an ipad or a computer to do the input to keep the scores up to date, or what we’re announcing here at NAB is we have a partnership with a company called Sportscast, and the product is called Scorebot, and Scorebot is the interface that goes between the scoreboard controller that all the stadiums use, and they have about 20 different models, and our camera. That can be a wireless interface to the camera. So once you have one of those Scorebots in your auditorium or arena, you simply turn the JVC camera on, it makes a wireless connection with your network, hit the go live stream button, and turn the score overlays on, and now you’re getting current scores overlaid on the game as you’re shooting.
Larry Jordan: Are you serious?
David Bolton: So one person can do the entire game with professional looking scores at the bottom, and then one of the things we’re adding which comes in July and is one of our new introductions here, is the ability to do full screen overlays so you can now have graphics to fill the screen, have nice open and close graphics. But better yet, for the small school and cable producers, you can sell ads to run during half time or up in the upper quarter of the screen, to have a slide show of ads running to help pay for the production. So you can do all that in the camera.
Larry Jordan: And this camera is announced or released?
David Bolton: The camera is released, we’re shipping it. It’s GYHM200SP. In a similar vein, we have a house of worship camera.
Larry Jordan: That is really cool. That’s impressive.
David Bolton: Yeah, and in the house of worship camera, we don’t keep score obviously, but we a lower third overlay with religious icons, allows you to do similar updates of that. Also we’re announcing the full screen overlays as well. But one of the things we’re showing here at the show, which is really cool, obviously a camera with these capabilities and all of our cameras do, including the PTZ models, you have the ability to send audio and video up to the cloud. So we’re sending audio up to the IBM Watson in the cloud.
Larry Jordan: Speech transcription.
David Bolton: And we’re doing speech to text, in multiple languages and it comes back to the camera as a very low payload text which then gets captioned over the video.
Larry Jordan: Real time caption?
David Bolton: Real time caption. You can pick up a microphone in our booth, you can talk as we are talking now, and you can see the English captions over the video in real time, but not just English. We’re showing English, Japanese, French, Chinese and Arabic, all at the same time, simultaneously, in real time. You can dial in whatever languages you want to show. So, an independent producer with a camera in the field, whether a worship service or a live production somewhere, you can actually now do the captioning real time in whatever languages you want. A minister can say “I want my languages to be in Korean and Spanish,” and it comes out that way. Now it’s a technology demo so we’re still getting ready for all the different ways to implement this, but we could also store the sermon as a text file, so there needs to be no transcription done. It just all happens because of the magic of JVC being able to send that data to the cloud right in the camera, receive it back from the cloud as a text, and we have the technology to overlay it on the video, and then store it in the camera as a metadata file.
Larry Jordan: How much latency in the translation, do you have any idea?
David Bolton: I’m doing a little comparison with my phone with Google Translate, just to see how quickly it could come back, and I would say less than a second. So, you’re able to get that data back and overlay it and there is going to be some latency in any video screening as you know. You’ve probably had experience with that, so we can generate captions I believe, in what you would call real time, I think it’s fair to call it real time captioning.
Larry Jordan: Those are two stunning announcements. Get you.
David Bolton: The thing is, what this IV technology allows us to do is allows us to move people around as well. You put PTC camera in an arena, or in a church. Normally, especially with high school level and churches, they have trouble getting volunteers, but you don’t have to be there. You can actually run the show, run the camera, from a remote location. So you can literally put that in, and the camera’s in Cincinnati but you’re vacationing in South Padre Island. In the hotel you can pull it up on your screen and you can handle the broadcast from there. Nobody watching TV knows any different, but you get the job done wherever you are because we’re in a virtual world.
Larry Jordan: That is amazing. Where can people go on the web to learn about these and all the other products that JVC has available?
David Bolton: We have an overview of the booth. If you go to JVC.com/nab, you’ll go right to our newsroom where you can click and see the press kit which has all of that in it, but our regular Pro JVC website is pro.jvc.com.
Larry Jordan: That’s a bunch of words all strung together. That’s pro.jvc.com and David Walton is the assistant vice president of marketing communications at JVC Kenwood US. David, this has been fascinating. Thank you. Have a great show.
David Bolton: Thank you.
Larry Jordan: Bye bye.
Larry Jordan: Normally, on a radio show like The Digital Production Buzz, we don’t care about pictures, but our next guest has brought his own portable television set with him. Jeromy Young is the co-founder and CEO of Atomos. Jeromy, good to have you with us today.
Jeromy Young: Good to see you.
Larry Jordan: What is this thing?
Jeromy Young: This is the Sumo 19. We’ve been making monitor recorders for the last six years, it’s our sixth NAB.
Larry Jordan: It’s like dog years isn’t it?
Jeromy Young: It is. It’s my 18th NAB actually. Long time. So what you’re seeing here is the evolution of monitor recorders that we record, edit, play back.
Larry Jordan: You’ve got the Ninja series, the Samurai series, so smaller and medium size recorders. Is this the big brother to those?
Jeromy Young: This is the big brother, the Sumo. It does all the same things, but goes more into middle to high end.
Larry Jordan: Let’s describe this. It’s about a 24 inch monitor, looks like it’s about two inches thick. Stands on the table. It’s got a black bezel around it, about an inch and a half, and a monitor like any other Atomos monitor, where you’ve got the control panel menus directly on the screen. This is way bigger than I want to put on a DSLR camera.
Jeromy Young: Yes, or you could put the DSLR on top of it. What it’s for, it follows the same family. As you know, last year we announced a line of HDR monitors and because we design everything ourselves from back lights through to driving the operating system, everything’s written by us, so we don’t use any Lego blocks from third parties. That allows us to bring technology faster and not wait for someone else to bring it and then we put it together. So HDR’s been a major endeavor for us. We love it, we think it’s the future. Even more than resolution, because it’s high dynamic range is how the eye sees.
Jeromy Young: So, what’s been happening, our seven inch monitor’s on top of cheaper LOG cameras like A7S, GH5, FS7 going up a little bit. It’s been super popular in the last year. We’ve grown dramatically in that space. They then take the pro res footage, or the raw footage that they’re recording from these cameras, LOG footage, and they plug it into their Final Cut or Adobe etcetera, and they monitor on the seven inch because it’s the only HDR monitor so they can finish. You produce better SDR. The listeners are probably thinking, “I don’t need HDR,” but you get a better SDR finish. So your current productions look about 20 percent better if you do it properly from an HDR production. They’re plugging it in for grading, our seven inch monitors, and we said, “Actually, you know what? There’s a market, cinema and higher end production, that have all these about 20 inch monitor size, 50 or 60 of them on set on the bigger productions. That looks like pretty good business.” So I spoke to a few DOPs and directors in Hollywood who are friends, and I asked them, and they said “If you can make this touch screen, and you could have all the controls on the HDR.” So we made this 1200 nits. It’s a DIT directors monitor on set, they can record, they can review, they can edit. And it’s probably not your final, but it might become your final master on the lower end productions. But in the higher end, it’s your proxy, moving it around.
Larry Jordan: So what we’re looking at here, with the Sumo, is not just a monitor, but we’re looking at a monitor, touch screen interface, and digital recorder?
Jeromy Young: Correct. And you can scan the footage, and for example with the HDR, this line I’m moving, gives you the range in this scene, so that’s the full range of the sensor when it’s captured. But if I go full range, everything gets pretty dark. So when you’re exposing, you want to expose on the monitor for, just at the top of the wave form there, and it’s got all the wave form tools which becomes really important in HDR production, and it’s kind of just a different way of thinking. It’s like when the Histagram first came on digital cameras, you could really see what you were doing, and that’s what this is. We’ve got a patent on this slider that helps SLOG become what it will on TVs in the final HDR.
Larry Jordan: So what Jeromy is doing, is he’s got a wave form monitor tucked in one corner of this screen with a menu controller on the other side, and he’s sliding a slider back and forth to adjust exactly where the white point is on the monitor, where it’s set in terms of what’s been exposed. So he is able to properly display the video exposure level.
Jeromy Young: Also what you want is maximum exposure on the sensor because that gives you the best light into the pixel, because when you turn your aperture down to get it into range and not blow out anything in 709, SDR production, what you’re doing is you’re throttling the light coming in, obviously by closing the door on the way in. That causes noise in the sensor. So there’s this game of standard dynamic range production where you’ve got to turn it down enough to be able to get everything in the scene, and it doesn’t blow out because it’s a limited range, but you don’t want to go too far, because it gets all noisy, especially in the black areas. So now with HDR, what it really is, the sensors become very good at capturing more brightness range. HDR’s all about more brightness range, and when you turn the brightness, when you want to display it, you were traditionally displaying it on SDR monitors so it was all squashed in there and looked really milky. That’s what LOG looks like. What we’re doing is, we’re resolving that LOG with bigger black back lights, mapping it across with more gradations in the LEDs in the back, and because we can control it really well we can do 1200 nits, with a one nit black point, so 12 nit white point, one nit black point, and that gives us 10.5 stops. How you get that equation is LOG base two of 1200, 1200:1 contrast ratio, LOG base two of 1200 is 10.5. Now everyone’s saying, 13, 14 stops at the start. Some people say more, but that’s actually not accurate. Stops is light. Then you’ve got to go digital to process it, and you lose about two stops, or two bits so you end up at about 11 bits of data coming after the sensor conversion into digital. That gives you about 11 stops, so we’re resolving around 95 percent of the image. It’s perfect for what the eye can see, and actually, how to think about this slider is, this is all mathematical, but you just move the slider till it looks like what you’re looking at. That’s all. It’s really simple. And you can sit here and explain all the technical…
Larry Jordan: Adjust the monitor till it looks like real life.
Jeromy Young: That’s right. Isn’t that kind of easy to understand?
Larry Jordan: That is easy.
Jeromy Young: That’s what we’re about. We’re the tech guys that love video. I’m not a very good shooter, I’m not the creative guy, so our job is to make that workflow really simple, give you the best quality at the end so that the creative person can think about their bit of the equation, which is making great productions for their customer.
Larry Jordan: Is the Sumo 19 shipping?
Jeromy Young: No. It’s still in development, so we’ve got ten here at the show. It’ll take us another couple of months to finish. We’re saying Q3. It’s a bigger version of our current product so there’s not a lot of firmware work, so it’s more the mechanical and the design of it coming together, and the tooling to get it finished. So we’ll be shipping in volume, we’re saying Q3, but it’s going to be the beginning of July.
Larry Jordan: And have you announced the price?
Jeromy Young: Yes, 2495. I think the best monitors in production today are about $5,000. They don’t do HDR, they don’t record, they can’t take a disc. We’ve got Anton/Bauer battery plates on the back, we’ve got Quad SDIN, we’ve got 12 GSDI for the top 4K p60. It does 240HD, it does cinema D&G raw recording to Adobe and those editing packages, it does Apple Pro Res, it does Avid DNX. It’s got Direct Phantom mikes in so it truly is a higher end production at a fraction of the cost of other products. So this will really make some waves in the monitor space. It makes a beautiful addition for client and director monitoring, no matter what level of production you’re in. You can see that we could be sitting here reviewing and making it very easy.
Larry Jordan: That’s amazing. Jeromy, for people that want to take a look at this, and get more specs, where can they go on the web?
Jeromy Young: Atomos.com/sumo if they want to go direct, or just come to the website and we’ve got a lot of videos and stuff on the front.
Larry Jordan: That website is atomos.com. Jeromy Young is the co-founder and CEO. Jeromy, thanks for joining us today.
Jeromy Young: Thank you very much.
Larry Jordan: Take care. Have a good show.
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Larry Jordan: Well we’re all taking a deep breath and catching our breath as we look at the show floor, because the announcements are just coming from all over, and I can’t think of a greater collection of people to talk to than the folks we have at this show. If you haven’t been paying attention, what EditShare has been doing over the recent past has been just phenomenal, and I’m delighted to welcome the founder and CEO of EditShare, Andy Liebman, to tell us about all the latest news. Andy, good to have you with us.
Andy Liebman: There’s nothing I enjoy more than telling people what we do.
Larry Jordan: Well first tell us what EditShare is, and then we’ll get to the new stuff in a few minutes.
Andy Liebman: Well, in a nutshell, EditShare is a company that makes collaborative storage solutions and media asset management for workflow. We specialize in very high performance scalable storage as well as media asset management that allows you to log, tag, search your material, organize it, access it remotely, from anywhere in the world, and restore it from your archives. Just really take total control over your media.
Larry Jordan: Would you consider yourself a hardware company, software company, workflow company? How would you put it in like a word or two?
Andy Liebman: We’re definitely a software company. Our storage software can run on other platforms, our secret sauce is our software right? We use off the shelf hardware for our storage products, carefully chosen. We’ve worked very hard to find the right vendors, the right hard drives, but we spend our time working on the software. The same thing goes for media asset management. It’s not a lot of proprietary hardware.
Larry Jordan: Cool. Let’s get into the exciting stuff which is what’s new?
Andy Liebman: Well, a couple of years ago we introduced EditShare Extreme EFS. That was our scale out, distributed, clustered, file system. Basically a way to organize storage such that you could grow a very high performance storage system, to scale it up to many petabytes.
Larry Jordan: So I could start small and it would grow without me having to redo everything?
Andy Liebman: Yes. Two years ago, starting small meant starting with a minimum of three. Three notes, and a metadata controller. EFS has been extremely successful in the media and entertainment industry and we decided we wanted to make it possible to use our file system in much smaller facilities. So we basically revamped our storage products such that even the smallest product we make uses our distributed file system and you can scale it up as your needs grow.
Larry Jordan: What’s a distributed file system mean?
Andy Liebman: To make it simple, and I want to make sure we leave time for the other products too, you take a file and when you write it to the storage, if you have multiple storage nodes, you break it up into multiple pieces and write the different pieces on different storage nodes.
Larry Jordan: Which is like a RAID?
Andy Liebman: It’s kind of like a RAID and in fact when we have more than two nodes, when we have three or more nodes, we are able to include parity in that, such that if you lose one of those storage nodes, it could be a whole box, all of your data is still there, and you would never notice.
Larry Jordan: So it’s like the next level up from a RAID. With a RAID I lose a drive, I don’t lose anything here. If I lost the entire stack of storage, it’s on other systems so I haven’t lost my media?
Andy Liebman: Yes, and we’re not duplicating it. We are writing it in such a way that you can afford to lose a whole box, a whole storage node.
Larry Jordan: So we’ve taken that distributed file system, we’ve got it running on even your smallest box. Continue the story.
Andy Liebman: Right. When it’s on a very small box, you don’t get the resiliency you get when you have three or more, but you get the advantage that when you scale it, if you want to grow it, well you add another storage node, another box, and then half of what’s already written on the first one, gets migrated to the second one, and it means that when you’re reading a file, well every other piece is probably going to be on a different storage node. It’s called a single name space. You don’t get a hot spot on your storage. You don’t have to think about, “I’m putting this media on one box, versus another box.” It’s on the whole system.
Larry Jordan: OK. The fact that you’ve migrated your smaller system is a good deal. Second, the fact that it scales is a good deal, but there’s got to be more news than just that?
Andy Liebman: Oh yes. Since last NAB, we introduced our remote editor called FlowStory. One of the things that we do with our media asset management Flow, is we create an on premise, private cloud that allows you to access your media, upload and download from anywhere in the world. People use it for remote organizing, logging, review and approval. Well, we took the same proxy files that we exposed to the outside world with your user name and password, and we made it possible to do full timeline editing from anywhere in the world with those streaming proxy files. I think we’ve perfected what remote editing is all about and it’s all based on your on premise private cloud. You don’t have to move all your media files to someplace else in order to take advantage of that.
Larry Jordan: Because you’re wrapping it around proxies?
Andy Liebman: Yes. So as part of the Flow environment, we create a proxy of every high resolution media file in your environment, but because we’re exposing that, outside of your facility, so you can be in New York, and have a ton of media and say, “Well, the best editor for this project is in San Francisco.” They just connect in FlowStory to your Flow system in New York, remotely. They see all the media. They drag and drop stuff to the timeline, they can do complicated L cuts and J cuts, and add local content as well, and then when you’re all finished, you just publish it back to home base. And if you’ve added anything on your end, it’ll get pushed back to New York.
Larry Jordan: Wow. Before we run out of time, any other news?
Andy Liebman: Yes, we announced that we’re acquiring Qualys, which is a quality control, QC company. We all produce files as our deliverable project. You work hard for six months, eight months on a documentary or on a movie, and at the end of the day, it’s a file. What Qualys is all about is making it incredibly easy to do the quality control on that file, to make sure that you don’t have any black frames or like flash frames or you don’t have something that’s too bright, too dark, the audio’s distorted. Whatever the requirements are for your deliverables, it can ensure that you meet those. And it’s a great product and it’s going to become part of our Flow portfolio and we’re just in the process of integrating it into Flow.
Larry Jordan: That’s very exciting stuff. What are you looking at for the future? In other words, what trends are you following?
Andy Liebman: Oh, good question. Everybody is interested in remote workflows and we’re really happy to be on the cutting edge of that. I think the future is all about making production more efficient, so we have a lot of secret ideas up our sleeve for how to make what we have to do to produce a program more efficiently. That’s what it’s all about. We’re all under pressure to do more for less, got to do it faster, cheaper, has to look better. Now we have to do deliverables that are 4K HDR, so people need to put their money into that kind of stuff, and we want to make it easier to do the rest.
Larry Jordan: Very cool. For people that want more information, where can they go on the web?
Andy Liebman: It’s HYPERLINK “http://www.editshare.com” www.editshare.com.
Larry Jordan: Andy Liebman is the founder and CEO of EditShare. The website is editshare.com. Andy, it is always a pleasure visiting, have yourself a great show.
Andy Liebman: Thank you very much, always a pleasure.
Larry Jordan: Take care.
Larry Jordan: Welcome back to the first day of NAB 2017 in Las Vegas, this is Larry Jordan. Joining me is Alan Hoff, he’s the vice president for marketing solutions for Avid, and Avid has been making a lot more noise in the market recently. Alan, I am really curious to hear what the news is. What are the highlights?
Alan Hoff: Thanks Larry, I appreciate you inviting me to be here. We’ve got a lot of stories at the show this year, so as you know, we have the Avid Connect Conference that immediately precedes NAB and we had over 1300 people attend there. That’s where we announce all of our new stories, especially around our media central platform, which is the industry’s most open and tightly integrated platform to serve all types of users. Individual artists, creative teams and the largest media enterprises. So, as part of that roll out, we had news for all of them. So starting with individual artists, we brought out a brand new Media Composer First which is designed for aspiring artists, to learn the tools of the trade. These are the future farmers of America and around the world to learn the best tools that the pros are using. What we’ve done with that is, we’ve made it easier to use, source browser, pre-templated content, etcetera, but left all of the power of Media Composer in there. And that’s available for free and available in June.
Larry Jordan: It’s available for…
Alan Hoff: Free.
Larry Jordan: Wait. Free, and Avid in the same sentence?
Alan Hoff: Yes. Well we’ve been doing it for a while with our Pro Tools First product which is also free, and it takes the same idea for folks who are interested in music creation or audio post career, they can get access to Pro Tools, and the news at the show here is we’re now bundling a half gig’s worth of content with that, sound based content, so folks can get started doing their own mixing and music creation. We’ve also added what was announced a year ago, the cloud collaboration for Pro Tools so that folks can use the cloud to collaborate on sessions, remotely. So that’s some of the new stuff for individual artists.
Alan Hoff: We also brought out a new DNxIQ in cooperation with Blackmagic Design. This is a Herobox IO that does SD, HD, 2K, 4K. It has real time universal mastering, up convert, down convert capabilities.
Larry Jordan: In a word, what is it doing? Is it like the Teranex where it’s converting formats?
Alan Hoff: It’s an IO box that has up convert, down convert capabilities.
Larry Jordan: IO box. OK. So this would allow you to have gear to plug into?
Alan Hoff: Yes. It’s the successor to our DNX IO product that’s been on the market and this is brand new and available immediately here at the show. We also announced a new version of our industry leading software defined storage for media, called Nexus and for Nexis Pro, for creative teams, this is now providing up to three petabytes of storage and incredible bandwidth. You can get 28 gigabytes of bandwidth across a Nexis system which is equivalent of 1400 streams of DNXHR video. That works not just with Media Composer, but with DaVinci Resolve and Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X. So we cover all the bases there with that.
Alan Hoff: For the larger creative teams, one of the things we’re promoting is our recent return of ScriptSync and PhraseFind which is just phenomenal tech that’s now available for Media Composer. We also have announced support for EVS, with a connector to integrate AVID and EVS type workflows, seamlessly working with EVS media as if it was Avid media. We have a new version of Pro Tools that supports with S6 the industry’s most integrated Dolby Atmos integration and why that’s so important, if anybody at the show here goes down and sees the demo in the main stage, we’re actually using Bluewater Horizon to demonstrate the incredible power of the immersive world of Dolby Atmos mixing.
Larry Jordan: Atmos is where you’re able to not only be around, but above and below, is that correct?
Alan Hoff: Exactly. It truly is surround sound. It’s a life changing experience. I’m a jaded production guy and I sat through that demo yesterday and it was life changing, not to overstate it, it was that powerful. Then, we have a few other interesting things. End to end 4K workflow stories, video over IP workflow stories for the media enterprises. But the big news at the show, which is what I’ve been working towards, which is going to benefit all of them, individual artists, creative teams, and media enterprises, is we’ve moved the media central platform to the cloud. As dramatic as that sounds, it’s actually not a forced march for folks. The way that Avid is taking our approach, especially with our partnership that we announced Saturday with Microsoft, as our preferred cloud provider partner, is everybody knows they need to get more efficient in the way they do the work that they’re doing here. But they can’t afford to just throw away the way they’ve always done things. They need to have the ability to migrate to the cloud at their own pace, look at the areas of their workflows that make sense to move faster, to take advantage of the scale of the cloud, the global reach of the cloud. They need to be able to tap into the cloud for OTT type content distribution and that sort of thing. All players in the Avid media central platform ecosystem now benefit from the ability to move to the cloud at their own pace.
Larry Jordan: But what does move to the cloud mean? Are we storing media to the cloud, are we storing databases to the cloud? Because we’re always gated by the last mile.
Alan Hoff: That’s an excellent question. So I’ll use an example. Media Composer because that’s typically what people want to hear. “Give me the Media Composer scenario.” Media Composer now can have a heavy thick client locally loaded on a workstation or a laptop, but have all of the media out in the cloud. So none of the media has to be local if you don’t need it to be. That gives you the ability of spinning up a freelance guy, sitting in Nantucket or something to do some cutting for me at the last minute by access to my material that’s in the cloud. That’s one scenario, and that’s being facilitated by a product that we announced on Saturday called Media Composer Cloud Remote.
Alan Hoff: There’s also a new VM option, this virtual machine option, which allows me to have a thin client, on a device, an ipad for example, that allows me to reach to either on premises in a private data center, or in the public cloud, access to an actual Media Composer, fully fledged with reduced latency for real time editing. So that’s an example, just using the Media Composer example, but the same could be said for many of the Avid posted apps that are now all available.
Larry Jordan: I am still skeptical of the cloud because of the security issue if for no other reason. Every day we turn round, there’s a new hacking. How are we keeping our media which in many cases we really need to keep secure, how is Avid guaranteeing that that media’s not going to get borrowed?
Alan Hoff: So that’s precisely why we selected Microsoft as our preferred cloud provider. These guys have been doing it longer than anybody else, and they have more certifications in terms of security including MPAA, than any other cloud provider out there. You may not be aware of this, Microsoft Azure has 38 regions around the globe, which means it’s getting content much closer to where you are, more than twice Google and AWS combined. So their reach, their security, their control over this is trusted by the biggest studios in the world, and it’s certainly worthy of being trusted by you for your content.
Larry Jordan: Tell me about the Avid customer outreach that you’ve done. There’s an organization that Avid has got, tell me more about that.
Alan Hoff: Yes, you’re referring to the Avid Customer Association. This is its fourth year that we had the big convention with them, that lasts for three days, just before NAB. This year was the culmination of what was Lewis’ original vision for this, which was we wanted to have these guys through the various executive committees and boards focused on this and especially have a voice in Avid’s road map prioritization. So at the ending session yesterday we revealed across all the various disciplines that Avid serves, what the prioritized feedback from the 7000 people who voted, here’s how you’re affecting the road map, look for it, and we can be held accountable for it, which is great.
Larry Jordan: For people that want more information about Avid, where can they go on the web?
Alan Hoff: Avid.com. There’s all sorts of good stuff there.
Larry Jordan: That’s all one very long word. Avid.com, and Alan Hoff is the vice president for marketing solutions for Avid. Alan, thanks for joining us today, this has been fun.
Alan Hoff: Larry, again, I really appreciate it. Thanks. Have a good show.
Larry Jordan: You too.
Alan Hoff: Thanks.
Larry Jordan: Our coverage of the NAB Show has been a labor of love for a lot of people. But first I want to thank our guests, James DeRuvo, Dan May of Blackmagic Design, David Walton of JVC Kenwood, Jeromy Young from Atomos, Andy Liebman from EditShare, and Alan Hoff from Avid.
Larry Jordan: There’s a lot of history in our industry and it’s all posted to our website at digitalproductionbuzz.com. Here you’ll find thousands of interviews all online, and all available to you today. Remember to sign up for our free weekly show newsletter that comes out every Friday. Talk with us on Twitter @DPBuZZ and Facebook at digitalproductionbuzz.com.
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