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JULY 2011

Vol 171

The PAG Battery Factory In my quest to find out more about what goes into the manufacture of the products we all use, I visited the PAG battery factory just south of Wimbledon in London. Along with Nigel Gardiner, the “show face” of PAG, I spoke with Alan Lavender, CEO, owner and cocreator of PAG. Ed: Alan, you started all this didn’t you? Alan: I did yes, along with two partners who have since moved on and changed their careers. Ed: But like many of us, you’ve had a career change too. Before you started making batteries, I believe you were in a business that actually needed good batteries? Alan: Well I worked in a film studio – I worked for Hammer Horror and I could see what was needed in the industry. Before that, camera batteries were very new, and recharging batteries was a big thing. We pioneered fast charging for the film and power tool industries. We invented the “coffee break charger.” We’ve been in it for a long time and we’ve always computer charged our batteries with a system that prolongs their life.

David,

Alan

and

Nigel.

Ed: Having that background in the industry, you know what the industry needs, and you’ve kept pace with that obviously, to be able to produce new batteries, new chargers, new equipment that really services the now television industry?

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Alan: Yes we have. As a design engineer, you become frustrated when you go into a business you’ve always loved and you see all around you things that you want to make improvements on. That got me interested in this area of technology. I met two partners – one was in the television industry making TV commercials ( as I did at that time ); the other one was a scientist. Ed: They’re handy to have in this sort of industry I guess? Alan: Yes, Ken was really a chemist and a physicist. Ed: You’ve continued that tradition with your own family I understand – your son and daughter are …? Alan: Yes, my daughter Sarah is in the sales office, Paul’s in the development side of things and of course, my very good friends who have been in the business with me all along, like Dave Hardy and Nigel Gardiner – they’re in it for the long term. For life! Ed: That’s it, and you’ve established a name in the industry and it’s through the people who you’ve got working with you, that you’ve been able to provide that level of trust in your product and service? Alan: Well yes, you do – the ones that are close to you. Of course people leave and try and do their own thing, but if you’re careful and you produce a good product, you will always come through. One person can’t do everything. It’s beyond any one person to run a multi-million pound business. Ed: Just having a little look around the factory and seeing the processes that take place here, I think back to when I was planning this visit. Certain people said

“oh, are you going to visit a battery factory – that can’t be very exciting.” But once you’re here and you see what actually goes into the battery and the charger, it’s not just a simple connection of batteries in a box, there’s a lot more to it? Alan: There is – they only see the end result – a battery is a battery is a battery. I’ve heard that too! But when it comes down to it, there really are “horses for courses” – you wouldn’t run a dray horse on a racecourse would you, and it’s the same with batteries. You can now have enormous current capability from a very tiny battery that, over a period of time, will supply that current. On the other hand, you also need a battery which will deliver an enormous current right away. Car batteries do that, when you crank your car, it’s virtually like a dead short across that thing. Try that on a television battery or a mobile phone battery, and of course you’ll turn it off straight away. So for every application there’s the correct type of technology, primary or secondary. Ed: What’s the secondary cells?

difference

between

primary

and

Alan: A primary cell is a cell that you can only use once and then it’s discarded, and we’ve looked at those – primary lithiums – and we can tell its charge level. That’s something that I don’t think anyone else can do. Our military had a request for that, because they go out with a piece of gear and they want to know that the battery is going to continue to work. That was very interesting, but I’ve also always been interested in the science side of it. Your background is science, so you

Page 2


can appreciate that … and so we’ve always had a Research & Development team. In fact, it’s very expensive to have – we’ve got 5 or 6 people in there, and we’ve got model making and a complete drafting system; and then we do our own prototype mouldings straight from the computer. Ed: But generally, customers don’t really appreciate that, because what they’re after is a product that works for a long time. Having your own Research & Development is obviously good for the development of your product, but it has to be seen by the customer to have an impact in that product development? Alan: Well you just said that the average customer is interested in the product working for a long time; he’s not – he’s often blind to that. He’s interested in a cheap product and it doesn’t necessarily work for a long time. When he’s got it first of all, he’s very happy. Well it works alright, but whether it catches fire later on or fails is another matter. Then he says “well I didn’t pay much for it anyway” but when you actually put the whole thing down on paper, you’ll find that it wasn’t such a cheap deal after all, because when he’s got his third one, he would still be on our first one! So, yes, we’ve done that – making people appreciate the true value of our product is one of the most difficult parts of making a sale. Another of the key personnel at PAG is David Hardy, technical and quality director. Ed: David, I was just saying to Alan that the quality seems to come in two parts – one is the robustness of the product, but also the other one is the quality of the build and the components that you use inside. I see, for example, one that’s particularly taken my fancy, is the tape that you hold the cells together with. It might look like Sellotape on the outside, but in fact it’s not?

Cells combined into batteries.

David: No, we use an engineering kapton tape, which is very strong and helps to isolate the battery against external influences. Ed:

So why is it better than Sellotape?

David: It’s electrically insulated! It’s fireproof, it’s strong, abrasion resistant – you can put it up the front of a propeller on a light aircraft. Ed: And that’s it, it’s something that I understand is specified for the aviation industry? David: It is actually – commercial aircraft use it in the wiring harnesses and looms, kapton coated sheathing and kapton tape; and of course it is a military requirement and we service that field as well, so we only use the best. Ed: So it’s not just for the military batteries, but it’s for all your batteries, you’re using the same high quality? David: All our batteries use that standard of wiring and systems for keeping them together while they’re in the process of being made, even if it’s only for holding things together until they’re assembled into a case. Ed: David, you’re the first point of contact for customers if they have an issue – what are the sorts of issues they have? David: Before they even buy the product they want to know that it will be safe – if the customer’s conducting a risk assessment for instance. Perhaps he’s a major broadcaster who will need to know that, when his operators go out with our batteries, they will be safe to fly; they are covered insurance-wise. They want to know that we’ve taken steps for their safety. Ed:

Is this something that’s an EU regulation?

David: Page 4

There are lots of EU regulations …


Alan: We learn a lot from the service repair side and, of course, for us the service facility is one of the major sales outlets, because very many of our customers will initially send their product in to us for a report first, before then deciding to replace the product. So it’s an important point of customer contact. David: It builds up trust that we’re not just going to say “right that’s no good, you need a new one”. If the battery is 2½ years old, but in pretty good condition, we will say that it should last another six months or another year. Alan: And then there’s beta testing. When we make a product, we test it, we try and smash it, we drop it from heights, we do all that, and we’re quite happy up to that point. Then we put it out into the field with people who really use that product, and we call that the “beta test.” Those people come back with things – they’ve treated it in a way that we’d never dreamed of treating it, or it’s failed because of some aspect, and that’s done before the product is brought to market. That’s very important; one of the recent examples was the dimmer control on the Paglight LED unit. It passed all the tests here, but when it went into the market, people were swiping the control knob off and we had a few breakages. So it went straight back into redesign and it now has a knob that is flush to the case … those are the sorts of things you can only find out in the field. If someone says “I’ve got an idea for a product” or can you do this, can you do that, David will visit the customer and maybe we’ll make a “special” because they want it green instead of black.

It’s a delicate assembly process.

David:

Ed: Yes, one’s heard! I guess some markets that you’re going into do require you to show the certification that that market requires, especially with electrical safety?

A custom product.

Ed: I guess this is again in that area of the military or medicine or some other specialised users?

David: They certainly do, including some overseas importers – for instance, South Africa and Australia, they need to see the actual test reports before they will allow the goods into the country. They have to send those test reports to the national regulators. Alan: Technically, someone will come in and ask us whether a battery will work in -20 or +30 degrees, and have we tested it to that; will it work in the rain – have we tested it, can we supply documents to prove it? Then you get the person who says “my battery is not working” and David has to investigate why it’s not working – is it finger trouble, is it the user, this type of thing, and then he does a full report that goes back to them. So it’s not just “it doesn’t work, you need to change it” there’s an analysis of the situation, because we want to make sure that we’re not just fobbing someone off, we want to make it so that they can go back to their bosses ( locally that’s typically the BBC ) with the facts. We now have their total trust and David sends them a report and they will then say “right we’ll scrap that” or “we’ll buy another one” or whatever it is. David: We get insurance reports as well, where a hire house will have equipment damaged, they send it into us, and they want us to indicate how the problem could have come about and assess the repair cost and so on, so they can pass that on to their insurers. Ed: I’m sure the cheaper option would be just to replace the battery but, in fact, by doing this analysis, it tells you that perhaps there’s some issue with what you’ve made? Page 6


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Alan: Well even major broadcasters will say, “yes, I like that, but can we just have a variant on that”. David: Some special holder for a disc drive perhaps … a FireStore holding device for instance, or a special lamp bracket specific to them, that will put the lamp to a certain height and a certain distance forward. Ed: All of this boils down to what warranty you put on your products, and I believe for some of your products it’s 18 months, some it’s two years? Alan: Yes, some products have a year’s warranty, for instance NP type batteries, that’s one year. Ed:

That’s a very old design of battery though isn’t it?

Alan: The majority of our batteries have an 18 month or a two year warranty. Electronic products, such as chargers, or lights, etc have a two year warranty. Ed: So why would you have variants in warranty on batteries? David: The 18 month warranty is on the L95e battery because that battery can be charged on a whole range of chargers not made by PAG, and it’s not possible for us to warrant all circumstances of use; whereas the more expensive L95 product can only be charged on a PAG charger.

Ed: Now in terms of the quality of manufacture, we’ve mentioned the kapton tape, but another part that I found particularly interesting was the case … how you put the cases together. Once you’ve assembled all the bits and pieces they go into, I guess, a polycarbonate case. How do you put it all together Alan? Alan: Well we use a number of processes – one is ultrasonic welding and the other is a combination of mechanical latches and a solvent. We don’t want people going into these things, because the moment they go in and tinker about inside, it’s no longer one of our products. Once it’s been in someone else’s hands, we can’t then take responsibility for anything that they’ve caused by opening it. So we have mechanical latches and solvent to join it; on another product we have a very light solvent to seal, because some of these things have got to be hermetically sealed, which is very important, and we also screw those together. Now because we don’t want anyone in there – and now everyone’s got access to these special screwdrivers that can do the anti-tamper screws – we put ball bearings

Ed: That’s so you have more control over its lifestyle? David:

More control, yes.

Ed: And two years is pretty well the industry maximum? David: Two years is greater than most I believe – one year for many of our competitors. Alan: If we go back to the L95, originally, we only gave it 18 months. But after a couple of years of service, we found that they were lasting well over two years, maybe getting on for three years, and therefore, as a marketing initiative, we then said “well okay, we’ll give this two years warranty” which was a year more than anybody else. One or two manufacturers are now catching up a little bit, and they’re looking at 18 months to two years, but it was only because we led the market … we weren’t prepared to give bigger warranties until we actually proved that our product could do that. Ed: The cell manufacturer’s warranty, and they obviously supply a certain warranty on their product, but you’re relying on the testing that you do? Alan: Absolutely – we don’t want to offer something that we can’t substantiate. That was exactly the same for the LED light. We had the LED light running for 18 months, 24/7, so we were very confident to give a two year warranty. We believe that scaling up from the 18 months of continuous use, there is a minimum of nine years life for that product. David: It’s a very difficult subject because on many products, the warranty will be entirely on workmanship and materials, but a battery is a consumable product and there’s a very great range of conditions of use, from using them in a very hot country, many cycles a day, to being used in a cold climate, with just perhaps one cycle a week. So the effect on the calendar life of the battery is enormous. But, at the end of the day, it is a consumable product.

The ultrasonic welding machine.

down in the hole and then finally seal the top with a plastic bung. We have to do that … product reliability is a very important thing, and we want to make sure that if anything goes wrong, we don’t take the responsibility for someone else’s stupidity … and in the past people have been stupid enough to go to a back street “abortionist” and have cells changed. These people thought they were very clever in this back street, by putting some used cells together, thinking they were balancing the whole thing up – different makes of cell in what they thought was a similar state of chemistry wear out, and then of course things happen. The thing fails, or worse, it catches fire. David: And they believe that it’s still a PAG battery; they believe they can saw the battery open, take all the insides out, put different internals in there with different workmanship, different construction – and it’s still a PAG battery … and we get criticism from people for the performance of our batteries and when they arrive it’s nothing to do with PAG whatsoever. Alan: Apart from the plastic box.

Page 8


David: But the danger is that we could, under some circumstances, be asked to take on board the liability for the failure. Ed: Not a good thing. So when a device comes back for servicing here for some reason, you have to destroy that case and put a new one on? Alan: We do that if we want to look at the system inside and see, if it’s failed – why it’s failed. That’s if we can’t measure that from the outside, and also if there’s something happened with a cell ( and generally they’re fail-safe ) then we will give the person an equivalent to a warranty with a good discount on the replacement product. It’s a good, healthy trade-in allowance on old product, and that means that if stuff comes back to us, we can see how it’s fared in all ways in the market, right down from the way the case scratches to the way people treat them is very important. So, yes, we do have a system right here actually, which cuts open batteries, and we very carefully cut them open to analyse them and see what happened in them. Then they are correctly and commercially recycled, so the plastic’s stripped off and the chemistry goes for meltdown in a special facility.

together during the ultrasonic process. suit all things.

So it doesn’t

David: Another consideration is that it’s not permissible for lithium ion batteries because the electronics inside the battery have to pass the ultimate fail-safe tests. You can’t then take that carefully tested and sealed circuit and put it under a resonator which will do horrific things to all the components. Ed: Good point. Moving on, at Inwards Goods, I saw racks and racks of circuit boards. Are you buying these circuit boards in from somebody else? Alan: No, we design everything here. Every part has been designed here by our own electronics design team and then the circuit boards go out to manufacture. They go into a high speed “pick and place” machine that puts all the components down, they are flow soldered, then the boards go off for conformal coating with something called Parylene.

Ed: You’ve made a big investment in that ultrasonic sealing machine so why don’t you use that to seal all your cases? Alan: It’s not always appropriate and it does come with its little problems. Because it’s at very high frequency which melts the two parts together under pressure in the machine, and it’s a tune horn, tuned to the frequency that will melt the plastic at that size for that particular product, but also, we worry about it affecting other parts – especially if they’re moving parts within the case that you can’t see. We had a label on one which you move to indicate “charge” or “discharge” and we had quite a few problems with that welding itself

Lots and lots of circuit boards ready for action.

Ed: I understand that’s something that not many battery manufacturers do? Alan: That’s right, they don’t and if you don’t do that, any leakage from a cell has a possibility of going across a part of a board carrying enough current – only a few milliamps of current required – and then it can actually set fire to the electrolyte. It’s a bit like the old nitrate film days – once you’ve set fire to it, you can’t put it out, and I think they’ve discovered this on computers going onto aircraft. The kneejerk reaction was to put in all this legislation about transportation of lithium, which they’ve got slightly wrong I’m afraid. Ed: So in fact the Parylene coating will negate this? David: The Parylene coating is fantastic, because it completely covers the entire circuit board, including underneath the components, and you can in practice, immerse the live circuit

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board in the flammable electrolyte from the cells and there is no problem at all. Ed:

But you don’t recommend it?

David: But we don’t recommend it – don’t do this at home! Ed: I must admit that I was guilty in my early days of opening up an old BP90 and replacing the cells, but in those days, the battery was just made up of cells, wires and one fuse. Nowadays – well your batteries, you’ve got a whole circuit board in there? Alan: The laws have changed as well. We said earlier, you must not undo a product and change the design within – I mean I’ve seen people solder to the bases of batteries and it doesn’t make a proper contact, and yet the battery sits there with the manufacturer’s name on it still. Not fair.

Testing, testing, testing.

David: Fundamentally though, the manufacturers like Sanyo and LG require many more safeguards in the packaging of lithium ion cells and any nicad or nickel metal hydride that they make. If we want to use Sanyo cells, we have to have their approval of our design. If you just went to Mr Sanyo and said look I want 10,000 cells, he won’t sell them to you. If you asked him for one million, he won’t sell them to you. He needs to know the use, what are you packaging them in, the whole design. And you will only get that shipment once they approve the design. They are very, very strict – extremely strict. Alan: And for the test purposes, they want batteries that we have made with their cells. a steel bolt through them, they short them overcharge them, and the battery has got to all that.

circuit. That’s always new. We can use some of the other circuits for repairs, but generally they’re all new NZVN circuits that are used in new product. The PAG factory visit continues in August.

30 of our They fire out, they withstand

David: This of course applies to lithium ion batteries, this is what we’re talking about, and for lithium ion batteries it’s mandatory to have electronic safety control systems inside the battery. Alan: The Sanyo requirement is because it’s their name on the cell, so when a failure happens, that’s their paranoia – that they can’t say “well we sold them the cell; they have to take full responsibility,” and if there’s a serious issue like there was three years ago with laptops, then it’s the cell manufacturers that have to take responsibility. So therefore, they’re saying unless you adhere to our rules, we are not going to sell you the product. Ed: And that’s pretty well what those circuits are for – it’s for safety? David: We have three circuits in the battery, there are three computers inside a battery, so there is the safety backstop protection circuit; there’s the control circuit that looks after charging and discharge limitation and so on; and there’s the display circuit as well – all of which have their own computers. Ed: So in fact, when a battery comes to its end of life, if it’s been heavily used, the circuits will be fine and it is possible to repower that battery? David: The circuits may be fine, but one thing we never do is reuse the protection circuit, because you cannot tell just what kind of a life that circuit has had. It may test okay, but you don’t know what condition it’s been used in, so we never, never reuse the protection Page 12

To find out more about the line-up from PAG, go to their website at www.paguk.com or call Shane at Quinto NZ for a personal demonstration.


rationalisation move, because you’ve been looking after the Kata brand in the photo side for quite a long time? Marc: Yes we have. Kata is certainly one of our strongest brands and we’re very proud to represent it. Kata is under the Vitech Group who have a range of different brands that they manufacture from Manfrotto, Kata, National Geographic … they’ve recently acquired a UK company called Lastolite. Ed: The fact that you now represent Kata is something that you believe is going to benefit New Zealand dealers and their customers? Marc: Yes, I believe so. Kata has certainly been around in the New Zealand video industry for a number of years. The feedback we had was that it could certainly have been available in a wider range of outlets, and I think us coming to the industry has helped that come to fruition. Ed: And I guess also, with the industry lines between photographic and video blurring, especially in the compact camera area, it’s sensible that there’s some crossover? Marc: Yes, there is some crossover. There’s certainly a defined line of video bags and a fine line of photo bags, but there is a range where Kata have crossed over into both video and photo, and they accommodate both well. Ed: We saw a clothing line from Manfrotto at NAB – that’s also in your area? Marc: Yes it is – that’s exciting, that’s sort of a new area for these guys and I’ve just come back from the conference that they held in Italy which gave us a bit more insight into what they’re doing. It’s a range

that’s Italian designed, so it’s a little bit different to what we’ve seen in the past; it’s highly fashionable and we think it’s practical and that it’s going to suit a certain type of customer. Ed: And that’s just part of what Focal Holdings is doing; you’re looking to supply quite a range of accessories to the photo and the video market in New Zealand? Marc: Well we already supply 900 accessories in the photo trade; there’s definitely some crossover that we’ve established in the video market as well – it’s not just in bags. We’re also distributors for the Adata memory, so we’re highly competitive when it comes to memory cards and flash drives. We’re also involved in tripods and heavily involved in battery products as well. Ed:

I understand Bellina had a surprise for you?

Marc: Yes she did. At the recent Kata conference, they had an award ceremony. They had all the distributors worldwide and we were lucky enough to come away with the Best Kata Market Presence and Unexpected Budgeted Growth awards which we were rapt about because, as I said, I’ve personally only been associated with the brand for a couple of years and that was one of only about ten awards that were handed out. So the team at Focal are very proud to have been recognised for the hard work that we’ve put in. Ed: So readers, if you have a favourite supplier out there who doesn’t have the products that Focal is offering, perhaps you should go and talk to them and get them to talk to Marc to broaden their offer to you. What do you think? Marc:

Page 16

I think that’s a great idea – fantastic.

NZVN


Smoke & Mirrors for real We are at the Autodesk show with Stuart Barnaby from DVT and Melanie Langlotz from Images & Sound in Auckland. Ed: Stuart, Autodesk have named this show “Smoke and Mirrors”. That’s a bit of a bold move isn’t it? Stuart: Yes absolutely, I mean that is what this industry is all about. Everyone says “oh, you can’t believe anything you see on TV or in the movies, because it’s all smoke and mirrors”. Today we were showing the integration of Maya and Smoke together, how you can create 3D objects in one product and seamlessly bring them through into a high end compositing platform. We are also showing the new and very advanced lighting effects and a range of other effects that they’ve added into these products as well. Ed: Now obviously Stuart thinks this is the “bees knees” because he’s the rep, but Melanie you’re actually a user, and you have been a user of Autodesk product for a long time I understand? Melanie: Unfortunately I’m not anymore. I stepped away from the box a year ago – a final decision. But when I started, when I saw Flame for the very first time, the Beta version in October 1992, it was an absolute revolution, very much competing with Quantel at the time. Ed: You could probably do those applications on your iPhone now couldn’t you? Melanie: No, not quite, that’s still a long way away – but I do have to say a lot of development has been done since then. There was a time when I thought okay, what’s going to come next, because nothing new seemed to be happening for a while, but now things are really moving forward again. There’s a new progress into three dimensional direction, and I think that is very much pushed by a higher expectation from the audience as to what they want to see – a higher entertainment expectation. We’re moving into a completely new area and the systems now are expected to deliver faster, better quality and with easier tools that are easier to manage. When you actually look at the gaming tools that they have, they are not very interactive, they are still, for me, pretty Stone Age, very backwards. So I think that is the next thing that is going to happen. The gaming tools, which are more 3D Maya, Mudbox and Motion Builder are all eventually, I think, going to flow together with what we’ve been traditionally doing on the 2D area. I don’t think there’s really any way how you can prevent that; it will just flow together and become more and more an interactive package that delivers everything, and caters for everything.

Melanie and Stuart.

But I think the other challenge is that we are now having such a huge range of toys and gadgets that we can play with, from iPhones to iPads to our home television system that is now connected to the internet and in stereo. That all has to be catered for. So I think not only the expectations from the clients to us as a post house, or to our compositors and artists is really growing, but they also expect things with a faster turnaround and a lower budget, so that is another kind of challenge that we’re obviously facing together, the software developer Autodesk as much as every post production house or every creative. We need to be able to produce good content, high value content with the budgets that the industry allows for. Ed: So really you’ve either got to be able to produce what was done before for half the budget, or you’ve got to come up with something new, show a new feature that nobody else has? Melanie: That’s right, and so I think the industry has always been about innovation, there is no doubt about it, and the artists have always been and will always crave for the latest tools and finding things that give them a faster turnaround of their ideas; because there’s no shortage of ideas, it’s just sometimes frustrating to make them happen faster, you know meeting the deadlines and really feeling stopped by what is possible. A lot of the new tools that have now come out with the Autodesk range – a lot of things seem or feel like common sense, like why weren’t they possible a long time ago, but I think a lot has to do with the basic computer components, you know, and speed of the systems, and that has improved. Everything has grown exponentially and I think we’re going to see a much, much bigger growth in the next few years in that area, and it will become easier to create beautiful creative content as we go along, no doubt. Ed: You say you’ve come from using the pen, so you’ve been a graphic artist yourself; you’re now, I guess in management …

Page 18


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Melanie:

I’m the general manager.

Ed: Well, you can’t get much higher than that! New technology becomes a purchasing decision now. You’re not just looking at it from the artist’s point of view, saying “gimme, gimme, gimme”; you’re now looking at it from the “other side” to question “is this going to be a cost-effective purchase?” What’s the answer? Melanie: I think you need to look at it from two angles. A tool can only be as good as the artist. You first need to have a creative artist who is able to turn around great ideas within the deadline and to budget. The tools are the tools you know – they are what they are, but the main thing is that the more a tool causes frustration for the artist to create the work, the less good the outcome is going to be. So we are looking for tool solutions that have a small amount of frustration for the artist. Ed:

Have you found them here tonight?

Melanie: Absolutely. For instance, the pixel spread tool for the keyer is amazing. I mean, how long have we been waiting for that, it’s really great. The lighting

in one specific area, but I think it’s going to come back to that eventually. Ed:

The brain’s got to get full at some point?

Melanie: Yes, that’s right. And there’s a lot of technology and knowledge that people have to have in order to run these machines. You really can’t underestimate the training that these guys need to have in order to create what they’re creating. Stuart: For so long these products been about the technical challenges, about supporting high definition, about doing 2K, about supporting the ARRI, RED and different formats. Now with these new product releases, they’ve moved beyond that. They’ve ticked all the boxes on all the formats that they need to do, and they’re taking advantage of the modern hardware to provide creative features, and as Melanie was saying it’s all about productivity, quality and creativity. The quality thing is now done; we can support 2K and 4K and beyond with these tools now. So that’s not an issue. The issues are really about productivity and creativity. We need to be able to do more in less time. A good example here today is you’ve always been able to fake shadows in Flame and Smoke in the past. Now it just does real shadows – and that’s a huge productivity improvement for the artist, one that allows them to use that extra time to be more creative, to experiment, to try different things. Ultimately that will provide a product that is on time, on budget, and is the quality product that we’re expecting to produce with the creativity that they need. Ed: But the big question comes down to training doesn’t it? Are there the artists out there trained enough in the product?

and shading options are really, really terrific. I mean I’m thinking back to ’91 or something like that, when we first showed the stabiliser in Germany at a demo, and people looked at me and said “what are we going to do with it?” There was just no idea of what to do with that whole concept and that’s all changed. Now we’re looking at 3D tracking within like a 2½D system that is more and more going 3D. I think the two systems will be merging more and more. I kind of like see a platform happening which is a Flame Smoke Lustre Photoshop sort of thing with Maya and everything else built in it. Ed:

On your iPad?

Melanie: That’s right, on my iPad! The challenge still for the artist is the knowledge that these people have to have by now, the technical knowledge as well as the creative knowledge, and I see there will be at some stage a tipping point. At the moment I think it is going towards having an artist who can do everything, and then eventually there will have to be a tipping point where the artist is more appreciated for being an expert

Stuart: Well we can all buy a set of paints, but that doesn’t mean I’m a Picasso does it … but that’s really where the real talent is, and it is about training; it’s also about experience as well, industry knowledge about how these things work. Ed:

So is DVT getting involved in Autodesk training?

Stuart: We’ve got a number of strategies, both from an educational perspective, also from a training perspective. There are many different ways in which that is being handled for these types of products. Ed: So you’re not just buying a disc in a box, you’re actually getting training along with it? Stuart: We have a combination – there’s excellent resources online now, both free and paid, that are available for these products, providing really high value. We also do one-on-one training here in New Zealand for these products as well, with people like Rob who was doing the presentation tonight. He’s providing constant training for our customers every time he comes to New Zealand. So there are plenty of resources there to take advantage of to get into this. Also the number of operators who are around in the New Zealand market is very freelance based, so there’s a wealth of experience NZVN out there that people can use to draw on as well.

Page 20


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Email: sales@dvt.co.nz

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45 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland


Pinnacle and Avid Studio Show At a recent Pinnacle and Avid Studio show, in conjunction with Imaging Technology, I spoke with Peter Dudkowski from Avid. Most of the audience were in the consumer / prosumer area and the majority of those were Pinnacle Studio users. The comments that I had from audience members were that most of the users of other products were there because they were finding that those products were not advancing with the needs that they had for new camera recording codecs and they were looking to Avid for a solution. Certainly, by the range that was shown, Avid is providing that solution from the basic setup under the Pinnacle brand to quite a sophisticated package in Avid Studio. What I did see was that all the products had a very simple user interface, so someone who came off a basic editing package would find it very easy to jump into this – but hidden behind that simple interface were some very sophisticated tools that could be used if one wanted, but were not obligatory. Ed: Peter, is this product range the direction that Avid is taking in the consumer / prosumer area? Peter: One of the things with the consumer / prosumer area is the fact that, in the past, the only consumer offering that we had was based on Pinnacle Studio. Now Pinnacle Studio’s been on the market for almost 9 years and a lot of users have perhaps used the product to its maximum potential. They were ready to move up to a product which offered more features such as unlimited track editing, 64 bit optimisation, plus one of the key things in today’s video and audio editing, asset management. Many prosumer and home users have accumulated a lot of videos and photos and are running attached network storage areas at home. One of the key things with Avid Studio was to allow users to have actual media asset management tools, so we have introduced Media Library which has a very easy to follow interface. Ed: Okay, so that’s the top end, that’s the Avid Studio. At the introduction end, you’ve got ...? Peter: We have the Pinnacle Studio product lineup, because we’re still identifying a number of people who are very new to video editing. They may have just bought a new HD camera, they have a lot of digital stills, so Pinnacle Studio is covering that market for first time users. Traditionally, we’ve been very big on providing online training tutorials and that has been maintained through Pinnacle Studio right to Avid Studio, going from introductory video editing and slide show creation to providing for users who have already used either Pinnacle or comparative consumer video editing products and are ready to take up the next step, but are not quite ready to look at a professional solution.

Peter and Chon.

Ed: In the larger Avid picture, we have Media Composer, but really there is a major distinction and one wouldn’t imagine that you would go from an Avid Studio to a Media Composer, because it really is a totally different ballgame. Avid are deliberately keeping the two quite separate? Peter: Correct, yes. Media Composer, like you rightly said, is actually aimed at a completely different market, so once again, Avid Studio is not replacing Liquid as such; it’s basically addressing a different user group that have been using Pinnacle Studio and other every day editing products while Media Composer, which is a professional level product is looking at students who are doing multimedia courses and who are interested at taking up a career in video editing Ed: Now you mentioned Liquid before I did, and as an ex-Liquid user, I look at the product line-up, Avid Studio, I look at Media Composer, and I see that Liquid doesn’t really fit in either category, but there certainly are many of the features that I remember from Liquid in Avid Studio – especially all the effects and plug-ins if you like, which would make it to me, a very, very useable product. But there is no official replacement for Liquid? Peter: In terms of the upgrade path for Liquid users, Media Composer is the product offered by Avid and in the past we have run a special cross-grade promotion for all registered Liquid users, encouraging them to make the switch. However, it may be that some will be more comfortable with the feature set of Avid Studio. Ed: A key feature I noticed was that tools have a simple version in the Pinnacle and Avid Studio line. For example, key frames. Normally when you mention “key frames” to people who are in the prosumer area, they really don’t know what you’re talking about. What I saw in the Avid Studio demonstration was that there is a simple version of key frames that you can use, but if you want to go a bit further, you can delve a little bit deeper into the software and get the full benefits of key frames. I saw that in a number of areas which really

Page 22


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did impress me that here is a product that you can use very simply and very quickly, or you can go into in a lot more detail and use to do really professional productions? Peter: The Pinnacle and Avid Studio products were designed to be intuitive and easy to use for first timers. We have also invested in substantial video tutorials for both Pinnacle and Avid Studio. Veteran users will be delighted to see the depth they can go into with Avid Studio, to realise their full creative potential at an affordable price-point. There are also many Pinnacle add-ons that weren’t available at the old base price, so if someone wants to explore the full potential of the product, use all the 3D, 2D effects and transitions, they’re all available in the product itself. Ed: And the training is very important. Now in terms of media asset management, you say that you’ve got all the media there and you can easily identify it – is there any way that you can (if at some stage you decided to upgrade to Media Composer) still have access to that same media with the same metadata, or do you have to start from scratch - in terms of the media’s there, but that’s it, there’s no project linking, there’s no way of bringing any information, apart from the raw media, into a new Media Composer project itself? Peter: Okay, the way Media Library in Avid Studio works, is that it creates the link between the native data that sits on your computer in a non-intrusive way. So all it does, is it uses the actual data and the storage

location of the data that is on your hardware; it links the data and locates the data by Media Library, without changing location of content of the data on your hard drive itself, without changing metadata details as well. So it creates a link between the Media Library and the data in the assets that rest on your computer. To answer your question, if you want to access the same data using any third party product, Avid Studio will not change the location of the data, it will not change the format. So the data is available for other programmes to use. The Media Library will simply work within Avid Studio to help you manage the actual data and assets, so you can get them ready for your projects that you create within Avid Studio. Ed: I guess the main difference people would see is in the layout of the timeline – that interface is really quite different, but in terms of the actual media, the media captured, the media can be used in any of those editing programmes because once the media is captured in a particular codec, that’s it, it’s independent? But in terms of if you did upgrade at some stage to Media Composer, the media is there, but the project information is not? Peter: That’s correct. The project file formats and the data file formats between Avid Studio and Media Composer are not compatible. What Avid Studio does is that it works with Pinnacle Studio file format. So we’ve got a Pinnacle Studio user that had their own project in a PSD file format, they can bring Pinnacle Studio projects to Avid Studio, but right now there is no link between Avid Studio and Media Composer. more on page 28

Page 24


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Email: sales@dvt.co.nz

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45 Fairfax Avenue, Penrose, Auckland


Ed: What I did notice is one special feature here which would make this very valuable for people who are doing either home slide shows or slide shows for customers – weddings, funerals, etc – the Smart Slide Show. This appears to be a very quick and a great tool to have, but it’s not something that you would find in Media Composer, so if you were in the professional area and using a professional tool for your programme editing, something like this is such a cheap purchase you could have it on your computer alongside any other editing programme, and just use it for those simple quick presentations? Peter: Actually Media Composer, being a very powerful, professional editing product, provides the user with the capability of creating their own presets to create countless possibilities, including sophisticated slide-show-style effects. There are online tutorials on the Avid Community forum that cover these concepts and capabilities.

made it a lot simpler for customers to use it as well – creating the main menu and sub-menus a lot simpler. A lot of the feedback we had was to make it simple and straightforward to use so it’s pretty much “drag and drop” now. Ed: Another cool feature I noticed was with the transitions. Once you’ve “dragged and dropped” those onto the timeline, they have some very quick adjustments which are actually on the tab edge of the transition. But my final comment is that people who are current Liquid users, who are looking at Studio, the choice is that you can keep using Liquid if you like the interface, but don’t have any need for advancing camera technology, but if you are using anything in the new camera formats such as AVC-HD etc, or you have clients who are bringing you that sort of material, you really do have to change your editing product to Avid Studio or Media Composer or some similar product. So that really is a major decision one has to make – interface versus modern codecs? Peter: The Pinnacle Stu— dio / Avid Studio range of products were designed primarily with the consumer in mind whereas Avid Liquid was for professional users. We need to remember that both sets of products were designed for different purposes. Avid Liquid was designed at the time when HDV was the High Definition standard. Users of Avid Liquid are encouraged to consider Avid Media Composer as a suitable replacement for their professional editing needs.

Ed: A feature I did notice in the Studio product is adjustable windows, and the lack of this was something I found annoying with Liquid. It seems as though the windows are infinitely adjustable and you can spread them across two screens? Peter: Yes they are. You’ve got the option of adjusting and resizing windows depending on the assets that you want to view as well. That will give customers a lot more flexibility in the interface that was traditional in Pinnacle Studio. The only option with Pinnacle Studio was the option of resizing the preview window. We’ve taken that a step further, where we gave customers the option of viewing their actual assets, source window, or the timeline, depending on what the requirements of the projects are. Ed: Okay, another thing which I see that you’ve imported from Liquid, was the easy DVD authoring, and you’ve made it even easier, with the studio product. Peter: One of the things that we’ve found with Pinnacle Studio is that when one wants to do DVD authoring, it was a bit cumbersome and because it was done with the main FG added option, it became really hard to track. By having a separate tab in Avid Studio, we clearly identified the DVD authoring timeline and

Avid Studio was released only recently and we have made every effort to address all possible modern consumer video formats out in the market. When we designed Avid Studio, we looked at it from a consumer mindset. As the Digital Still Cameras start to be capable of shooting High Definition video, we ensured that Avid Studio supported formats such as AVCHD Lite, as well as the other formats Pinnacle Studio supported. Users of professional formats such as P2, are encouraged to use Avid Media Composer instead. So it really boils down to a matter of convenience. Users used to the Avid Liquid interface may choose to continue using Avid Liquid as it is. Those who are looking for an easier interface may want to consider Avid Studio, while those looking for professional features, should take a look at Avid Media Composer. I’ve had a lot of people in the past using Liquid; some of them are using Avid Studio and are quite happy with the interface and the format support as well, because like you said earlier on, feature-wise, in terms of transitions that are available, in terms of actual additional plugins that are available, there’s quite a number which allow you to create a professional looking wedding video or similar, in an easier way. Ed: Now we mustn’t forget another Avid product, the M-Audio product, and you had three on show – one for keyboards, one for … well you tell me?

Page 28


Peter: We’ve got Avid Recording Studio, Avid Key Studio and Avid Vocal Studio. The reason behind bringing these products into the consumer space was to allow customers to have both software and hardware that is compatible with both Windows and Mac, and also software that is simple to use. We’ve built in project tutorials, project guides as well, but at the same time, what we wanted to do was make sure that whoever buys our consumer audio solution buys a complete package. We identified that some people might want to do vocal recording, narration broadcast, so we released Avid Vocal Studio that consists of a condenser USB mic which is a high quality stage mic, with Pro Tools SE. A number of people who are interested in guitarrecording, especially in the younger age groups, say 1725, don’t have a lot of experience with audio technology, and that’s why we released Avid Recording Studio, which includes a multi fast track recorder, as well as Pro Tools SE. And finally, we’ve got the 49 key keyboard, which is part of our Avid Key Studio. Our market segment for that particular product is actually people who are interested in creating music using virtual instruments. So “Key Studio” will allow them to emulate various instruments and the Pro Tools SE comes bundled with 100 virtual instruments emulations. All our hardware works with other software as well. So a lot of times, we’ve got customers who are running third party software; they may run Karach Bantam, they may run Cubase Slide where they are able to use our hardware with their existing software. At the same time, they’ve got the opportunity to get a first-hand Pro Tools experience. Pro Tools SE is based on Pro Tools, but is simplified for the consumer market. The really exciting feature is that the file you create in Pro Tools SE is fully compatible with the professional version of Pro Tools 9. One of the key things for us was to give users a good and pleasant first-hand experience with the Pro Tools product range. So we have redesigned the interface to allow customers the option of using predesigned templates. If they want, for example, to create video tracks or audio tracks for their music videos, we’ve got a template designed for it. They’re able to bring the AVI or QuickTime video files into a product, use predesigned templates and create music voiceover narration for their existing video tracks. Ed: And that’s it, that’s what I saw, is that the products have the look of the Avid M-Audio professional product, but there are lots of little simple tools in there, and the process is such that it takes you through the steps when you’re wanting to do something audio-wise. Also there’s an incredible amount of training material

that’s in there. So I guess to me, it offers a solution to the people who have come into the video industry from the audio side and are looking at adding pictures to their audio, whereas many of us have come from the picture side, and the audio is the secondary part of it. So obviously these products, being in the same Avid grouping, work well with each other and there’s no interoperability problems? Peter: Well one of the things, when it comes to interoperability with Pro Tools, Pro Tools SE is a consumer based product so it takes video files in only AVI or QuickTime. You can import those files and work with the actual audio component. Once you create your new audio tracks for your video, you export these as WAV files and bring them back into your video editing timeline. So unlike the professional products, where there is interoperability between Media Composer and Pro Tools 9, Pro Tools SE was primarily aimed at the young audio consumer market, but will also identify a lot of young aspiring musicians who want to create music videos and want to create actual music for their video clips. There is also the ability to mix songs because we’ve included about 29 demo songs for people that want to use existing songs plus background music. We also included 3GB of loops including drum loops, guitar loops, hip-hop loops and jazz loops. So if you’re not actually musically inclined and don’t play instruments, you can use the 3GB of loops that come with the programme to create your music and create, for example, all your clips for your videos. Another use is for the growing number of young people wanting to try their luck auditioning for shows like X-Factor, Australia’s Got Talent and so forth, where they need accessible, reasonably priced tools to get started to cut their demo CD and that’s where Vocal Studio comes in. Like I said earlier on, the file format’s compatible with Pro Tools 9, so you can cut your demo CD at a fraction of the cost, take it to a professional recording house running Pro Tools and have it up sampled and worked on as well. So not only video users, but also newcomers to audio and audio technology. And that’s it, I guess right across the range, if you look at either the Avid video editing products in the Studio range, or the audio products, you look at it either as an entry level product or as something that you can have in your repertoire for either learning new skills in the audio side, or doing those quick jobs that one gets where you don’t want to tie up your main editing platform. So certainly something well worth looking at, and come and see Chon and the team at Imaging Technology for your own demo. NZVN

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AVerMedia Supports Studio Product Also part of the Avid presentation, Chon Chai from Imaging Technology presented AVerMedia products suitable for capturing both digital and analogue material for editing in Adobe Premiere Pro and popular video post-production programmes.

Ed: That’s pretty cool – is that recording in the same formats that the AVerMedia card is? Chon: No, as it has an H.264 hardware encoder on the board, it can only record HD or SD footage in H.264. Ed:

And these are available now?

Ed: Chon, you’ve got two products that really fit the editing packages from Adobe?

Chon: The capture card is available now and the video capture box will be in August.

Chon: Most certainly. They are the HD capture card and the C281 Video Capture HD Box. The HD capture card is a PCIE card which comes with an HDMI input, plus S-Video, composite and component capture in one card.

Ed: I see that the box is powered by an AC power supply but you could use a 12 Volt battery and get your power that way? Chon: Yes, we will firstly launch the model powered by an AC power supply soon, in Aug – and it’s

Ed: So that’s the thing, editing software can use files once they are created but, if you need to capture off a tape deck or off a camera directly, either analogue or digital through the HDMI, you need capture hardware? Chon: Yes, and the really good feature with the AVerMedia software, that comes with the card, is that it is standalone software, so it is software run by itself. You can continue editing using editing software while you’re capturing the next material you need – all on the same computer. Ed: So in that configuration, you’re not using the capture codecs of the editing software, you’re using the capture codecs of the AVerMedia card, and it captures to specific codecs I understand? Chon: Yes, in standard def it captures normal AVI and MPEG-2 and for high definition in H.264 / MPEG-2 format in your choice of 1080p, 1080i, or 720p and other popular formats. Ed: But if you wanted to utilise the formats available in the editing software, you could still capture normally through the computer’s Firewire port? Chon:

Yes, the card does not stop that ability.

Ed: Okay. And the standalone Video Capture box – this is something you don’t need a computer for?

going to be only about $500 without the drive. We will see the market feedback to decide the timing of a battery-powered model. Which means that this becomes a very handy little box at a very reasonable price that one can use in addition to either the cards in your camera, or tape, basically giving any camera that has an HDMI out a much higher standard of recording in the field and a much longer recording time in the field. Contact Imaging Technology for either of these or other AVerMedia product. NZVN

Chon: This is standalone capture equipment. You plug in your analogue Composite, S-Video, Component or USB external cable into the box and push a button to record. It records directly onto a 2.5 inch laptop sized hard drive or a USB external one. These are up to 2TB now so that’s a lot of recording time. Once it’s finished, you take the hard drive out or directly transfer the files between a USB external hard drive and the internal 2.5 inch HDD. You can even transfer the footage into your computer for editing. There’s also a remote control so you can record or playback the footage from the box directly onto a display monitor. Page 32

“You’ve got to be kidding” I’ve just added Apple’s update to Final Cut Pro (Pro X) to my “You’ve got to be kidding” list joining Vista, RED and the 5D. See for yourself on the Web by searching FCP X and Conan O’Brien - great video editing! Ed. PS Any other products you think I should add?


Datavideo It is a late entry for NAB reporting but interesting, so for Protel, we have Jack Lin the CEO of Datavideo. Jack: Since IBC last year, Datavideo USA has developed a new S3D-1 camera. It’s unique because it’s been designed so that it doesn’t just create a 3D picture. There are many cameras out there today that say “hey we do 3D”. You can put them on rigs, you can do all sorts of things. However, what Datavideo’s done is they’ve created an engineering version where you can really work with the convergence point at a very, very high level. At the same time, it‘s got a new shutter that means that, even if you are moving the camera while you are shooting, you don’t Jack with the SE-3000 switcher. get sick which you can do when viewing other 3D offloads the data from the front end of the shutter, so camera pictures. As you’re panning with the camera, what happens is that your eye starts getting all chippy the media that you’re recording is in one lump of data. and choppy and you don’t feel well. Datavideo’s S3D-1 This means that it’s completely stable, even if you move camera has a unique shutter on it which is called the camera. “Global Shutter”, which makes it a really great product. “The Datavideo LIVE S3D-1 is a purpose built, small, Ed: Oh, come on, you say that it doesn’t do that, but very adjustable S3D camera that accepts two C-Mount how? lenses. Jack: Well the shutter … you can get further It is fast to operate and easy to use, easily mounted information from our website, but basically, a normal and easily controlled by USB or Wi-Fi via iPad app CCD, CMOS sensor offloads the data from the CCD to controller. the recording medium line by line. This means that, The lenses are adjustable for both convergence angle as when you’re seeing a picture with a lot of movement in well as separation. The small diameter lenses can get it, from the first line to the last line there’s been a closer together than human eyes. change. The Datavideo Global Shutter charges a full The camera can be mounted almost anywhere you frame and then offloads it; and that way basically want, advertising and other smallfootprint installations. Shipping details to be announced.” Ed: A great 3D tool. Now, I see you have continued development of your Video switcher range. Jack: Yes, the SE-3000 is a 1ME switcher but the added “Flex source” built in feature is similar to having a second M/E. The SE-3000 comes in either an 8-input (SE-3000-8) model or 16-input (SE-3000) model. The SE-3000 has 16 inputs, but 8 inputs have an upconverter which means you can mix HD and SD sources – up to 8 SD sources – that’s the difference.

The 3D with a “quarter” showing the size. Page 34

Also, it provides quite a few 3D effects. We have provided two downstream chromakeys and up to four outputs. The SE-3000 has dual “picture in picture” where you can make adjustments, even twist the angle. There is also a very good function we call Flex source. Flex


source means you can make a special effect of a source and that can be transitioned with another input source.

Recording format is standard M2T in a single clip giving one big file for easy editing.

Ed:

Ed: And, of course, what every studio needs is a vectorscope waveform monitor from Datavideo?

So that’s like you’ve recorded a macro in there?

Jack: Similar, yes. There is a built-in 7 inch monitor with a touchscreen and you can see how easy it is to operate the mixer. Ed: And the perfect accompaniment, a little recorder to go along with it? Jack: Yes, we are currently shipping the HDR-40 and 50. Both have the same function; 50 is 1U high rackmount and the 40 is a hand carry one. Both have a removable hard drive. They can record up to 80 Megabit 420 or 100 Megabit iframe only 422. Hard drive capacity can be up to 320 Gig at this moment but with a new firmware update, can be up to 500 Gig.

Jack: Yes. Our new VS-100 vectorscope waveform monitor is specially designed for use in the field where you want to make a very quick calibration. You need a small handheld vectorscope and waveform monitor to show the histogram and parade well. Also, you can see all the audio. Ed: So this is the VS-100 and this accompanies a small standard monitor. The monitor doesn’t have to have any special features built-in – this is what this little box does? Jack: Yes, that’s the idea. The price is only US$800 and no PC needed, just this little box. Shipping to be advised. Ed: Datavideo also make a little DN60, a DV/HDV field recorder. Now Jack, there’s a lot of these little recorders out in the show here today, what makes this one special? Jack: This one we designed for the tape recorder. You know, the tape recording section of a camera is very difficult to get maintenance for if yours is broken but the camera itself is still okay. So with this, you can extend the camera life by using the FireWire connection from camcorder to the recorder and record all the footage onto a CF card. This can take DV25, HDV, Panasonic DVCPRO-50 or the recording can record into the AVI or MOV file formats. Another unique feature – in the DV format – you can record single frames in time lapse. Also another unique feature we call prerecording. You can set up the recording function with an 8 second prerecord each time you push the record button. That’s very good for news or sport. Ed: So you’ve always captured what’s happened before you press the button? My goodness, and the power supply is two-way – you can either power it off the camera battery, or it’s got its own little slot for AA batteries. How long should that last with some good AA batteries? Jack: Depending on what kind of material – basically from 3-4 hours up to 6 or 7 hours. Ed: Now, a very simple switcher here by the look of it, the SE-600?

The VS-100 vectorscope.

Jack: The SE600 is a special design for analogue cameras where people want to do live streaming through the internet. We have many customers still Page 36

more on page 39


New SE-3000 HD/SD switcher

New products SE-3000, SE-600, S3D1, VS-100 will be available from October of this year.

Datavideo S3D1 3D Camera

Authorised Specialist Dealer 14680 Specialist Dealer Signage FINAL.indd 1

6/7/09 3:48:34 PM


with superimposed on-screen audio and time code indicator. All four of the SDI inputs include a seamless bypass, ensuring the monitor is an ideal companion for switchers. They are also perfect for integration within system racks, OB vans, studios and many more applications. Ed: And another couple of little racks here that obviously have a place in an OB van, power and an audio option? Jack: Yes, because Datavideo now provide an OB van turnkey solution. We have the vectorscope and waveform monitor and another one that we don’t have here. This is a CCU control for the handheld commercial camera like a Sony EX1 or Canon SS 305.

looking for an analogue switcher, however, the old switchers have no multi viewer, no aux output or other features they may need. So Datavideo decided to use new technology to design an analogue composite video switcher. The SE-600 has six analogue composite video inputs and two computer inputs – one is DVRI including VCA, one DVID for the HDMI source, so a total up to 8; also provided as features area 2 PiP and multi viewer and 2 aux outputs. For the audio, we built in an audio delay function layer, with a level control and also you can select one spare function, we call the audio follow video. The SE-600 is very good for talk shows or interview shows. The SE-600 covers most of the customer’s needs by utilising new technology with a very low cost solution. This product will be shipping shortly and will cost about US$2,000.

Here you can see this 1U high audio mixer with 4 channels. And the other, the power supply, you can see we have 8 outputs. Each power output is selected 12, 14.4, 18 and 25 Volt. And this one is feature designed for our all-in-one cable. It can deliver the power up to 50 metre away. At the end of the cable, we have what we call a DC to DC converter. You can stabilise the video and provide a very stable DC 12 Volt to your camera. Or if you have the handheld camera, it can supply 7.2 Volt as well. This power supply, DC to DC converter and all-in-one cable – that’s the whole turnkey solution for the mobile system.

Ed: This is it – we can see there’s no LCD monitor in here – it’s a basic but reliable switcher? Jack: Yes – and output just through the DVID. You can use the HDMI input monitor to see the multi screen view – very easy to operate. Ed: And if you need monitors with it, you’ve got a nice little rack here with monitors which I guess would clip nicely onto the back?

A very versatile power supply.

Jack: Yes we have a range of monitors; this particular new TLM-434H 4.3 inch monitor, is a 4 in 1 HD/SD so wouldn’t suit an analogue mixer. It’s 2U rack space, built within a robust steel and aluminium 19-inch rack mountable design – this bank of both HD and SD 4.3inch (16:9 and 4:3) high quality TFT LCD monitors are perfect for integration.

Ed: So I’d say that’s a very cool solution. In the old days cameras were all 12 Volt and so you just had to have 12 Volt everyone, but now you could have a mix of cameras with a 12 Volt or a 7.2 Volt, and this Datavideo designed, developed, produced power distribution system would certainly be ideal for an OB NZVN van situation.

Each monitor has individual adjustments for contrast, brightness and colour saturation as well an LED tally light indication.

For your choice of Datavideo product,

Connection includes HD-SDI, SD-SDI and HDMI Inputs. Embedded audio is supported on both SDI and HDMI, Page 39

contact Protel Phone (09) 379 8288 or (04) 801 9494 Web http://www.protel.co.nz


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NZ Video News July 2011