Thursday, 16 September 2010

IBC 2010 - Other Stuff that Caught My Eye

Trying to do the IBC exhibition justice in 2 days is a challenge. 13 halls of broadcast technology, content distribution and everything in-between. I had planned on doing a wide sweep of the whole place aiming to pick out highlights and then return for more in depth investigation. Due to the sheer amount of exhibitors though, I know i was only able to scrape the surface, so what did you see "i hear you ask" well….

Some people (you know who you are) complain that HD isn't all that, well maybe they should take a look at NHK's Super Hi-Vision. Just a meagre 16x normal HD, with a total of 33 million pixels, the 7680x4320 system, produces pictures of clarity that i have never seen before. When i sat in front of the screen, and watched the short film, i was utterly convinced i was there, the 100 degree view was amazing and the 22.2 channels of 3D audio was the icing on the cake.

Apparently 3D is going to be quite big, so watch out for this one…. I think that nearly every 3rd stand at IBC had some sort of 3D technology, wether it be, 2D/3D conversion, 3D software and plugins, new types of TV's and broadcast workflows, some of which were better than others. Nvidia were demoing glasses that are lenticular but the lenses receive a signal via infra-red or RF and then flicker in time with the image to give a smoother 3D picture. It does not work, but 10 out of 10 for effort. Panasonic were showing off the AG-3DA1 3D Camera, which films with dual lenses and saves left/right footage to individual SD Cards at 24mbps in AVCHD codec. It also has a live 2 channel output allowing for direct to monitor 3D display. Makes for a very simple and effective 3D workflow.

Panasonic also had they're new AG-AF100 Camera on show. The worlds first Micro 4/3's digital single lens camera. Much like a DLSR body, but configured to record without a mirror and onto a sensor not much smaller than the equivalent 35mm. The AF100 will also take the majority of 4/3's lenses and with an adapter, many Prime lenses too. It will also cover off all HD formats and frame rates, but wont go above 1080. Recording at the same bitrate as the 3D camera (25mbps), it wont be replacing 5D, but it will make for a tempting alternative.

And lets not forget Blackmagic, who have managed to work their magic again by buying the DaVinci grading suite which previously retailed for £500K and have released the DaVinci Resolve which can be installed on a Mac Laptop as software only for $995! with an optional $500 upgrade to allow for DNxHD compatibility. And if you want the full control hardware, capture card and a linux box, that will only set you back apron £40K. Amazing, MPC will have to watch out….

And so there it is, just a few highlights, something for everyone i hope, suffice to say technology seems to continue its upwards ride while companies fight to bring the best tech to the consumer/client at reasonable costs.

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