Eight Technology Trends from NAB 2013

StudioDaily by Bryant Frazer

The buzzword at this year's NAB was "4K," and technology is pointing the way to our 4K future by increasing the speed, the capability, and the efficiency of the tools relied on by filmmakers and other content creators. Here are some significant trends I noted at the show that may indicate how the industry will evolve over the next year. (Obviously, I'm not listing all of the important trends. Check in at the comments section, below, to tell me what I left out.)
Adobe Gains Ground in the NLE Wars
Adobe showed strength on the show floor as attendees packed the theater where upcoming Creative Suite features were being showcased. The continued appeal of the full CS package is one of the biggest selling points for Adobe Premiere, and neither Apple nor Avid has the same momentum. Avid did move in the right direction for its large and loyal user base, reducing the price of Media Composer to $995, making the former Symphony an optional feature upgrade, and simplifying media management in the new Media Composer 7. And Apple continued to tweak Final Cut Pro X, adding support for Sony's new camera formats and addressing a color-space issue for ProRes Log C Alexa workflows. Still, Adobe scored the most points simply by making Creative Suite an even more attractive proposition.
Storage Gets Bigger and Faster
SSDs have been the speed freaks of the storage world, but new technologies are challenging them. Fusion-io threw down the gauntlet with the 1.6 TB NAND flash-based ioFX card, which bypasses traditional storage architecture for maximum speed. It's designed for demanding real-time 4K, 5K, and stereo-3D workflows with bandwidth of 1.4 GB/sec out of a single device — which scales linearly as you add more cards. (Four cards would give you 5.6 GB/sec of read bandwidth.) And the company says the ioFX's 0.06 ms latency trumps SSDs. Putting an ioFX in a portable chassis connected to a MacBook Pro via Thunderbolt will give you 860 MB/sec of throughput, which is nothing to sneeze at when you're on the road. Meanwhile, G-Technology announced its Evolution Series of drives, which reach up to 500 MB/sec when two drives are configured for RAID 0 in the Thunderbolt-connected G-Dock ev. And the new G-Drive Pro hits up to 480 MB/sec over Thunderbolt, allowing 15 minutes of uncompressed 4K footage to be transferred in 36 minutes versus 109 minutes using the previous generation of G-Drives. read more...

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