It is time for Z Systems to make our annual pilgrimage to the pro video mecca of NAB Show. Every year, the worlds biggest brands showcase their latest products and technology. Here is a rundown of a few of the items the Z Systems team will be keeping a close eye on for 2017.
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Jeremy Hauer, Technician and SAN Specialist
Ross – Ross is an anchor exhibitor at NAB, with a 9100 square foot booth in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center. They are known for their production switchers and routers, and I am particularly interested in their newly renamed Lightning Control System (LCS) for legislatures, education, corporate meetings and houses of worship. I’m also interested in the new Ross PIVOTCam compact PTZ camera – designed for small studios, legislatures and meeting rooms. The Lightning Control System version 5 adds support for the PIVOTCam.
Tiger Technology – Tiger is one our favorite shared storage providers – in fact, our Z-Share SAN system is powered by their software. Word on the street is that they have some big announcements this year.
Archiware – The manufacturer of one of our recommended backup and archive products, Archiware P5, will be showing off P5’s extended cloud backup and archive capabilities as well as VMware backup.
Square Box Systems – Square Box, manufacturer of media asset management system CatDV, has a lot of exciting announcements coming up. I am interested to learn more about their latest iteration, CatDV 12.
Ardis DDP – They are presenting a new functionality, which they are calling “Scale Out Heterogeneous DDP Cluster with One Name Space.” Basically, you will be able to have multiple DDP arrays on the same network and they will appear as one volume to the clients. You can then scale your storage infinitely without changing anything on the client end.
AJA and Blackmagic Design – AJA and Blackmagic have massive product profiles and a large presence at NAB each year. I am going to make sure to drop by their exhibits to find out what is new for 2017.
Steve “Wolfie” Browender – Account Manager
There are dozens of streaming devices available for getting your productions onto the Internet. Prices vary from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands. I’m going to evaluate, see what you get for the cost, and recommend some of the best.
Several customers are asking about 360 degree and virtual reality cameras. There are some low-cost consumer models available but I will see what’s out or coming soon for our customers. Then there is the issue of editing…
Switchers for live productions keep improving. I’ll be looking at the Ross Carbonite series, and new offerings from Convergent Design, Blackmagic Design, and Roland.
I’m intrigued by Ross’s foray into PTZ cameras, so I’ll be driving their just-released PivotCam.
Of course, the AJA booth will be a must-see as well.
Keith Mullin – Rental Manager
There are four main things that I am interested in seeing out at NAB.
First up is High Dynamic Range (HDR) production. This actually falls into a couple of areas of interest for me. We are well aware at this point that most cameras today can capture many more stops of dynamic range than our screens can display, but that is rapidly changing. LG, Sony, Samsung all have HDR consumer screens already on the market for reasonable prices, and more are coming. You can stream HDR content from YouTube, Netflix and Amazon, and the BBC has been experimenting with broadcast HDR recently. In fact that is one of Sony’s big pushes this NAB is their Hybrid Log Gamma (HGL) integration. Which brings us to the first bit about HDR I am interested in, workflow for HDR delivery. The second bit I am interested in is HDR monitoring during production. It does no good to have HDR panels in your grading suite or at home if you have no idea what you’re capturing on set. Lastly I want to see the HDR displays for home and cinema, Samsung has an amazing 30 foot LED wall that is capable of HDR which I am hoping is out at NAB.
The second big category I am looking at out in Vegas is streaming technology. Streaming is quickly becoming one of our number one asks from customers, and there are a wide variety of appliances available. I want to see them all and figure out which ones make the most sense in a variety of situations, from bolting directly to the camera for an in the field stream, to streaming a conference or presentation, to streaming a high school sporting event.
Thirdly I want to see lenses. Over the last year we have been swamped by one lens announcement after another with little opportunity to evaluate them. I want to change that. I will definitely be stopping by Fujinon to check out the 50-135mm E-mount lens coming out this summer, and at Zeiss to see the 20-120 Light Weight Zoom, and by Canon to see the just announced 70-200 CN-E zoom, and Angenieux EZ zooms, and so on.
Lastly I’ll be checking out camera rigging and support gear to help round out our rental offerings.