REDdy freddy?

Here’s what I considered the possibilities for what RED is all about:

1) It’s a total scam, just for fun. (unlikely)

2) They’re serious, but will miss their goal time.

3) They’re serious, but will under-deliver.

4) They’re doing this in the hopes of being bought out dotcom-style.

One need only pause for a second to get a sense of the scale of their problem. At 4k, 12bit, 4:4:4, 60p, your data rate is in excess of 2gigabytes (BYTES!) per second. A duallink, 4gig fiberchannel connection tops out around 1gigabyte/sec. The fastest RAID array I saw at the show, which had 42 drives in it, could sustain 750 megabytes/sec.

So, they’d need an interface that could push that much, and an array that could write that much. Even Infiniband can’t do it in a single link connection (I don’t know if infiniband does dual link).

They also claim that the sensor will be upgradable to higher resolutions in the future. That would imply that the backplane and everything else internally can handle even HIGHER datarates. I’m just not convinced – though I always leave open the possibility that I’ll be proven wrong…

Evertz makes me happy too!

I’ve been hunting for a good sync generator that can give me standard NTSC black, along with Trilevel sync for feeding HD. Videotek doesn’t have anything in that realm, Tektronix can do it for around $10k, but today I found Evertz. They make the 5600MSC, which does everything I need, plus can be synced against GPS and then feed an NTP signal out to the rest of your network. I’m waiting for a quote, but I believe it’s about half the cost of the Tektronix solution.

Yamaha makes me fall in love all over

Made an exciting discovery at Yamaha today. The My8 AES/EBU input/output card for the DM1000/DM2000 line, along with the O2R96, allows you to time your audio console against your house black burst. Even better, it’ll then pipe out properly timed wordclock, so you can actually have synced digital audio.

This makes life about a million times easier for people doing digital audio in video facilities. I could throw out a whole half rack of AES/EBU retiming units!

So, anyone want to get me a couple DM1000s?

More NAB

Actually, it wasn’t a terribly exciting day at NAB – wandered through the central hall to look at all the grip gear, poked around a bit.

The coolest demo I saw today was Silicon Color‘s FinalTouch. Absolutely amazing color correction software to do realtime correction up to 2k with roundtripping to Final Cut Pro.

I’ll post some more thoughts later, right now I need some crazy food.

More thoughts from day one

Got to play with the new Macbook Pro 17″ machines today. They’re absolutely killer. The price is amazing – for only $200 more than the 15″, you get more ram, more disk a bigger screen and firewire 800. Now, just give me a 13.3″!

Haven’t been able to find anyone at Sony who knows anything about their new HDV decks, but I’d like to find out if they support 24f.

Haven’t found Tektronix yet either. Anyone know where they’re at?

Haven’t seen much that has totally blown my mind, but I’m also a very jaded little boy. I’ll journey to the central and north halls tomorrow, so I can drool on dollys and cranes…

NAB Day One Update

Been trying to post all day, but for whatever reason ecto doesn’t want to submit a post over a VPN connections. So, here’s my summary of day one, condensed into one post.

Sometime this week, Apple will ship an update for Final Cut Pro to support Canon 24f and JVC 24p. They’re running it in all the booths right now, calling it a community preview. There is talk of a major Apple announcement at 5pm tomorrow, though it’s not clear whether it’ll be anything more than “5.1.1 is shipping!”

Focus has announced a Firestore FS-C designed to work with the XL-H1. Their explanation of how it differed from the FS4pro was rather… ambiguous. No update on support for Quicktime within the FS4ProHD, aside from “It’s coming soon!”

RED is an absolute joke. As in, I’m pretty sure they’re just toying with the video industry. Their booth, which involved a tent that you had to swipe to enter, contained some milled metal “prototyped” that appeared, as best as I could tell, to be completely random. They had some posters talking about how they’ll be supporting killer formats, but it sure seemed like more smoke and mirrors.

Biggest diss of the day (aside from one I’m not allowed to discuss) is Avid showing a screenshot of the iTunes video store, saying “most of these shows are cut on Avid!”

More later!

Dear On2: Please join us here in 2006

Let me preface this by saying that On2 has been a consistently friendly and helpful company when contacted with questions. That said, their FlixExporter Quicktime plugin, for generating flash videos within Quicktime, is really 1990s. The biggest problem is that it isn’t multiprocessor aware – it’ll only peg one chip at 100%.

Second, the interface has a major heaping of ugly.

Third, and perhaps not On2’s fault, the exporter cannot be used to distribute compression across compressor nodes. This may be a limitation imposed on all export components, so perhaps I should be angry at Apple.

Anyways, seeing as I’ve just been wrapped up in Flash video all day, I figured I’d make a post about it …