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Sunday, April 17, 2016

NAB 2016 - 4K Get Used To It

I'm at NAB 2016. I'm jaded having been here so many times before. So picking the trends that matter for this year and maybe next are what I'm good at. So here they are :

4K Is The New Norm

Ok, for those of you just starting to use HD over the last few years... and you know who you are... its time to go 4K. Done. While 1080 will still be alive for a number of years, its painfully clear 4K is the here and now. It starts when Sony has a 4K ENG shoulder camera for reasonable - read about $20K or so and a S35 sized sensor event production camera that can shoot 480fps 4K and 720fps 1080. Any questions now that there are ENG 4K cameras ? not hacked S35 production cameras with all sorts of add ons, but a real ENG camera just like your current 1080 probably P2 HPX something camera. Sony has been getting their butts kicked in ENG cameras by Panasonic for years. Now they come back with this camera which may well take that position back.

SDI Is Dead, Video Over IP Is In

Yup, SDI is dead for a number of reasons. No it won't die quickly, it will be around for years but it has serious limitations on high frame rate 1080 never mind 4K. The solution is 1g and 10g ethernet. You can route signals to where ever you need, you have longer cable lengths back ( fiber w/o adapter bricks ), and easier handling of signals. This is especially true in larger production facilities. Video over IP is also far more format flexible - you can send what ever will fit down the connection you have rather than having to detect frame rates, color depth, etc as sometimes done with SDI based hardware or not. Also consider that all the major gear vendors are getting on board with this format in various ways, so its just a matter of short time before its the new standard.

There are lots of other new smaller things that will be interesting but these are the 2 trends that matter this year. 

Personally I'm hoping that Sennhieser had their new dual channel wireless gear - not the 2.4ghz stuff, but basically something to compete with lectrosonics. Speaking of which, lectro has introduced a new dual channel wireless reciever with wider tunability than before - 3 bands. However these are the normal small steps forwards not the big trends that make significant changes in how you create and deliver your work. The smaller gear bits just make your job easier or better or faster or all three, for once !