NAB2000 is the world's leading conference and exhibition for the converging electronic media communications industries. Produced annually in April by the National Association of Broadcasters, The NAB Show delivers the most comprehensive showcase of digital communications technologies including every element of television and radio broadcasting, film/video production and post production, audio production, multimedia, the Internet, satellite and telecommunications.
Prior to the show I wrote:
NAB2000 is where all the latest and greatest technologies will be featured and demonstrated. While most of the show is aimed at the broadcast television marketplace, we have found NAB to be the place where we get a peak into the future. Many of our vendors use NAB to launch new products and new versions / features / upgrades. And of course, everybody is looking at today's $10,000 boards and seeing if they can build on the technology and make it more affordable, into next years smash hit $1,000 capture card!! And this year the hot technologies to watch are:
1. FireWire / DV
2. MPEG2 / DVD
3. Real-Time / Accelerated Rendering
Well, I was 75% correct, but I missed the technology that was featured in almost every booth at this years show: STREAMING VIDEO. Now the videoguys feel very strongly that the time is right for streaming video to explode. Just in time for NAB, we launched our all-new sister website WEBvideoguys.com. This website will be dedicated to explaining and demonstrating all the latest video streaming technologies. The official launch date is May 1st, but you can catch a sneak peak today!!!
How big was video streaming at NAB?
Well in addition to our launch of WEBvideoguys.com, another very cool web streaming site was announced. Media100, Digital Origin, Terran, Wired, Canon and several other companies announced the creation of IcanStream.com. This website shows you, with streaming video of course, how easy it is to make web video. Pinnacle Systems theme for NAB was i-create, i-store, and i-stream. DPS, Canopus, Newtek were all streaming their product demonstrations live over the web using there own hardware and software.
The other big news at NAB was the success of Apple and Final Cut Pro (FCP). Just a year ago many of the Mac based video vendors had jumped to Windows platform. This year saw major FCP announcements by Pinnacle, Matrox, ICE and many others. We are looking forward to offering a full line of products for G3 & G4 owners with FCP later this year!!
Now it's time for my company-by-company recap. I've combined information from what I saw at each booth with the vendors NAB press releases and information we learned in our private meetings with our vendors on and off the show floor. There is additional information that I can't yet disclose to you at this time, but I will update this page in the future. As always, the recap is in alphabetical order. But just to be fair, I'll go from Z to A this time.
Before the show we were excited about their new Profiler card. This amazing MPEG2 encoder card supports component video for under $3000! But when we got to their booth, they had an even more exciting product. The DVD Cut Machine lets you capture composite or S-Video to MPEG1 or 2 video in real-time. It includes their video-clip MPEG editing software and DVD Toolbox for authoring to DVD, MiniDVD or VCD!! All this for only $799.95! Best of all, we'll have units in stock this May! Oh yeah, one other thing. The next software driver will give you video output!
Videonics was showing a very cool NLE gadget called the command post. This USB device adds jog-shuttle control to your NLE system. It also gives you 15 customizable buttons and a T-bar and joystick control. If you ask my, the Jog shuttle alone is worth the $199.95 retail price. The unit is Mac & PC and comes with templates for Premiere, FCP, MS Pro and many others. We will be carrying Command Post and offering some very cool bundles with our video capture cards!
We are beginning to see the beginning of the integration of Terran, Digital Origin and Wired into the Media100 family. The first product born from the marriage of these companies is the Edit DV 2.0 Web bundle. It combines the power and performance of Edit DV, QuickTime and Terran Media Cleaner Pro 4 to provide the first under $1000 high-resolution web streaming video editing solution. Now you can go from your original DV footage to the web in your choice of streaming formats including Real Video, Netshow, QuickTime and others. Terran was also showing the Media Cleaner PowerSuite. This combines the ICE UltraBlue hardware with Medai Cleaner. The result is that you can compress streaming video 4-7 times as fast! If you are planning on building a website that features new web streaming content on a daily or weekly basis, this product will pay for itself in less then a month!! Currently it is Mac only, but an NT version is in development and will be released soon. We are proud to announce that we now offer the PowerSuite and the full range of ICE products. So you can leverage your ICE hardware for multiple applications!!
We knew that MPEG2 and DVD authoring were going to be big at NAB. After the Sonic DVDit! Dealer meeting, we know DVDit! is going to be one of the leading software tools. DVDit Se is going to get a lot better this summer. You are going to see QuickTime and MPEG1 video support added. In addition Sonic introduced new features for CD-ROMs and DVDs made with DVDit!. Among the new features we'll be seeing later this year are Menu buttons that would link directly to web based content, the ability to stream your DVD over the web, and a partnership with ICE that will massively accelerate transcoding of AVI or QuickTime files to MPEG2. Want even more cool news? How about DVDit for Mac and the new DVDit! PE (professional Edition) that adds multiple audio streams, a basic video timeline editor for last minute content changes, chapter point editor, subtitle generator and a bunch of other cool features for only $500 more then SE!!
The guys who brought you Sound Forge and Acid Loops now have a Non Linear Editing app called Vegas Video. This looks very cool. It lets you mix multiple video formats on the same timeline with out conversion or rendering. It also gives you very impressive audio editing tools. This software looked amazing, but looks can be deceiving. At NAB they were only using low data rate, software compressed clips. Sure everything looked real-time and fantastic. But until I see it handle Native DV footage and output back out to FireWire, I won't call it a real product for non-linear editing.
While the guys at SmartSound don't have a new version to announce, they do have some very cool new stuff. One of the features that gets overlooked with SmartSound is the ability to add additional sound palettes. These palettes are organized by theme, not by instruments or type of music. We got together with SmartSound and created our Audio Pallette 3-Paks. These offer you three additional palettes at a tremendous savings ($299.95 for each 3-pak) and they are grouped according to the type of video you produce. So far we offer 4 different 3-Paks. Corporate, Home/Family & Wedding/Event.
Pixelan was demonstrating their excellent new interface for their Spices, called appropriately enough SpiceMaster. What SpiceMaster gives videographers is two things. First, you get an excellent interface that lets you select and customize your Spices. When choosing a Spice from the rack, you now can see an animated thumbnail of the transition. In addition the preview window lets you see just how the effects will look, using your actual video. Secondly, you can now fully customize your spices (or any 2D transition) with keyframe control. I always liked the Spice transitions because they render fast (real-time with our real-time cards) and they don't distract from your video content. The SpiceMaster is the tool that finally allows anyone, from beginner to expert, to fully utilize, and customize these great transitions. As an NAB intro Special we are offering the SpiceMaster, with over 50 spices, for $199.95
The Pinnacle booth was one of the most crowded at the show. They were showing video products for home enthusiasts up to broadcast. Their two broadcast streaming products, StreamGenie and StreamFactory offer a complete web streaming solution for the broadcast industry. Pinnacler also hasd some very BIG announcements about its TARGA line of products, aimed at the professional video production segment. Together with Apple they announced the new TARGA Ciné. This is an uncompressed standard-definition (SD) and uncompressed high-definition (HD) video solution available only for the Macintosh & FCP. Pinnacle was also showing of the new Targa3000, which supports DV, MPEG-2 or uncompressed video. The system delivers 3 real-time uncompressed video streams, plus five real-time graphics streams simultaneously. I had a chance to see both these new products in action, and I was blown away. Do you want to know what I like best about them? The fact that we'll be offering the same technology and performance to our customers in a year or two!!
Pinnacle also had some exciting news for us and our segment of the market. The DC1000 will now be upgradeable to component video!! When you add the component video, it gets called the DC2000, but it's still the same basic card and features. (Those wanting to upgrade their DC1000 to DC2000 will have to have their boards replaced by Pinnacle). With the introduction of the DC2000 comes a new feature that all DC1000 users will also get (for FREE!!). It's called Direct high-quality IBP encoding and editing and it is VERY COOL! This lets you capture fully DVD compliant MPEG-2 streams for instant use in DVD authoring. You don't have to edit with one type of file then recompress it for authoring. One pass capturing delivers high quality IBP video that you can edit with Premiere.
At the show we put together a very special 3D promotion for the DV500. If you order the DV500 and any Medea VideoRAID, we'll give you our Premiere Tutorial CD and an upgrade from HollywoodFX Copper to Bronze for FREE (a $249.95 value)!!! If you don't need the VideoRAID, you can get the DV500, Bronze upgrade and the Tutorial for just $999.95 ! That's a $150 savings! Why do you want to upgrade to Hollywood FX Bronze? Because Hollywood FX Bronze gives you over 100 true 3D transitions and multiwindow effects that you can easily customize. Simple control over flight path, lighting, shadows, shine, motion blur, trails and antialiasing. Customize your effects completely by keyframing new flight paths for any object in an effect.
Pinnacle was also showing the world's first HDTV PC card that lets you watch HDTV video on your computer screen. While the image looked great, I just can't see two many folks climbing up on their rooftops to install a TV antenna, just to watch HDTV on their computer screen.
By far and away the best demonstration at NAB was the new ToasterNT 2.0. The Ralph and Don show was not only entertaining, but also clearly demonstrated the amazing amount of power the new Toaster packs. It turns your NT workstation into a complete non-linear editing system, 3D animation solution and multi-camera production suite. Since the Toaster uses uncompressed video, there is no rendering required for transitions or keying. Newtek also added live video streaming to the Toaster's toolbox. Some of you may have been lucky enough to catch their fantastic show live on the web from NAB. Hopefully they will make all or part of this great demo available as a streaming download in the near future.
Besides the fantastic show, the new Toaster 2.0 is simply amazing. With the addition of digital video switching, the Toaster has regained all of its glory and then some. For $4995 you'll be able to get the Toaster, with a 24 input switcher and some simply amazing new software including Aura 2.0 for compositing, a new Toaster storyboard NLE editing app, and ton's of new 3D transitions and effects. Want even cooler news? If you buy the Toaster today, you get a FREE upgrade to the 2.0 software bundle and you can add the 24 input switcher for $1995. So there is absolutely no penalty for jumping on the Toaster bandwagon ASAP!!
Webstreaming was BIG at NAB and no company understands this more then Media100. They were highly focused on webstreaming content creation. As mentioned earlier they are the key partner in the new IcanStream.com website. The entire iFinish product line is now targeted at multi-format content creation. Want to go out to S-Video, DV and/or component? There is an iFinish system for you. Want to create DVDs? You can get a real-time MPEG2 encoder option (with DVDit! SE authoring software) for your iFinish. Want to make streaming video clips everyday? Then the new Media Cleaner Power Suite with ICE hardware is a must have. If you intend to create multi-format video professionally for tape (Composite, S-Video, Component & DV), DVD, and the web, iFinish is a great investment. You can upgrade it over time, and Media100 keeps adding new features and capabilities to it. The iFinish system offers you a complete workflow solution that will pay for itself quickly, by saving you time while editing and giving you the tools you need to manage your media and projects.
Media100 is just starting to mold the acquisitions of Terran, Wired and Digital Origin into a single, focused group. I'm not talking about the corporate structure, but rather the product development and marketing focus. We expect to be offering more exciting bundles, like the EditDV Web bundle this summer. Wired has a really cool converter box that lets you add analog video into a DV capture card or computer. They also have an inexpensive real-time DV to MPEG2 PCI card. Both these products are currently Mac only, with Windows version coming soon.
How highly accepted are Medea VideoRAIDs by the industry? How about 12 Terabytes (12,000 GB) worth of VideoRAID storage utilized by hardware and software vendors at NAB. VideoRAIDs were everywhere powering 3D animation and visual effects, DVD authoring, real-time nonlinear editing, and uncompressed standard- and high-definition (HDTV) production solutions. When the leaders in the industry trust Medea VideoRAIDs enough to use it to show off their latest technology, you know you can as well. VideoRAIDs are simply the best value for video storage in the world!
Medea was showing off their new VideoRAID fc fibre channel disk arrays with 4 VideoRAID fc disk arrays in a storage area network (SAN) consisting of a Matrox DigiSuite NLE (Windows NT) and an Accom AFFINITY NLE (Mac OS) in the Medea booth connected (via a fibre optic link) to an additional AFFINITY NLE system located in the Accom booth, 100 feet away!!!
Just in time for NAB MEDEA ran a FREE Boris FX program with the purchase of a VideoRAID 2/50GB, 4/100GB or 6/150GB drives. This promo ended April 16th, but we have extended it through April 30th.
The big news out of Matrox was the growth of their 3D flex technology. DigiSuite owners would now get to have the same amazing real-time 3D transitions as RT2000 owners. The DigiSuite MAX upgrade will include 3D Flex, real-time MPEG2 encoding and improved DV hardware.
WOW!!! 3D Flex is getting even better! The next version coming this fall (and available as a FREE upgrade for all RT2000 owners) will include keyframing, particle effects and tile effects. Even more are planned for year-end. When you get an RT2000, you not only get a state-of-the-art non-linear editing solution, you get a system that will grow and evolve over time. As computer get faster and more powerful, you'll get new and exciting features!! Matrox also announced that the brand new Inscriber TitleExpress plug-in for Adobe Premiere would be added to the RT2000 software bundle. RT2000 users will be able to quickly and easily create dazzling video titles. Editors can choose from over 170 pre-designed titling templates, then simply type in their text. In addition to templates, users have the freedom to generate their own title pages. Expect more RT2000 plug-ins from Inscriber in the future.
Matrox and Apple® announced the first PCI video card for real-time digital video (DV) editing on the Macintosh®.The RTMac™, architected by Matrox and Apple engineers, is tightly integrated with Apple's award-winning Final Cut Pro™ video creation software to provide real-time editing, effects and compositing. We don't yet have specific pricing, but fully configured G4s, with FCP and RTMac have a target price of under $5000. So I figure the RTMac board alone will be around $1500.
We've just started carrying the ICE products and we could not have picked a better time. At the show ICE announced that Final Cut Pro and Sonic DVDit! Would now be ICEd. As we learned at the show, real-time effects are very cool, but real life producers often require complex, multi-layered video. What these producers need is the ability to unleash their full creativity, without getting bogged down rendering. That is what makes the ICE hardware so incredible. They go straight to the core engines that power the software they ICE. This means the entire process gets accelerated, not just ICEd effects. When you add this core acceleration together with their incredible effects, things really start flying.
The best part about the ICE solution is that you can leverage your hardware. The same ICE accelerator board can be used with your After Effects, Final Cut Pro, and other ICEd solutions. We hope to be getting more exciting ICE news later this year!
The biggest news out of Digital Origin was actually very small. In fact, it's FREE!! It's called FreeDV and it lets you use any of Digital origins NLE apps (Intro or Edit) with any OHCI compliant hardware. This includes low cost PCI cards, PCMCIA cards and Laptops and PCs with built in FireWire. FreeDV is actually a lite version of their popular IntroDV software. It can be downloaded from the IcanStream.com website and you can upgrade to either IntroDV or EditDV.
I was able to get my hands on the FreeDV software prior to NAB. What I did with it was really very cool. I put it into a Laptop I got from our good friends at DVLaptop.com. We loaded it up with Intro and EditDV. I captured some footage at home before I left for NAB. I spent my time in the air on the way back and forth from Las Vega editing on my DVLaptop!!!
Just prior to NAB Digital Origin announced the availability of Edit DV for the Canopus DV Raptor card, at a very special $199.95 intro price! The Edit DV Web Bundle w/ Media Cleaner Pro now has an instant $100 rebate, bringing the price down to $879.95. Effective March 1st until June 30th, purchasers of EditDV get a $200 mail-in. This brings the cost of the Windows version to $499.95 (including hardware) and $399.95 for the Mac (software only).
Speaking of Edit DV for Mac, version 2.0 is now shipping. This new version gives Mac owners lots of new features including: 3rd Party Plug-in support; Export to web streaming formats; Slip, slide and ripple editing from the Timeline; New track keyer for improved luma keying Plus G4 and iMac DV compatibility. That's right, for $399.95 you can add a full-featured NLE app to your G4, iMac or Powerbook!
The big news out of DPS was its eBroadcast initiative. This new focus will include full support for video streaming and MPEG2 encoding within both the Reality card and the Velocity software. These products will now include real-time output to popular web-based streaming media formats and real-time output to multicast web servers as well as hardware accelerated encoding to MPEG2. One of the coolest demos at the NAB show was the Velocity 7.5 software using LIVE video feeds in the NLE timeline. This timeline can be output back to tape, saved as an MPEG2, saved as a streaming format or streamed live out on the web. I got the demo straight from Sam Lee, the DPS Director of Software Development and it was amazing. Sam told me (and anyone else who caught this amazing demo) “Competing NLE systems require additional third party software and multiple time-consuming steps to accomplish what dpsVelocity can do in real time. Our new eBroadcast streaming video features will revolutionize internet video creation”. I could not agree more!
DPS also had some very exciting news for Adobe Premiere users. Now you can use the Reality hardware with Premiere RT!! The new DPS Premiere plug-ins provides a very high level of integration between the dpsReality hardware and the Adobe Premiere 5.1c editing environment. The plug-ins enable real-time 2D operation with the basic dpsReality and real-time 3D operation when the dpsReality card is also equipped with a DPS V3DX™ real-time 3D effects (DVE) module. Current Adobe Premiere 5.1c users will be permitted to download the plug-ins from the DPS web site at no charge. Some of the real-time effects include: cross fade, 200+ customizable wipes, keyframeable proc amp controls, speed change and frame hold, keyframeable alpha and luma keying, roll and crawl titling (with optional CG software). With the 3D module you get an additional 80+ customizable 3D transitions, Real-time keyframeable chroma keying, and Keyframeable 3D filter effects such as: DPS borders filter, DPS crop filter, DPS perspective filter, DPS trail shadows filter, DPS pixel effect filter and DPS warp filter. We'll have the Reality w/ Premiere RT bundle in stock in May, at a very cool intro special price of $2695 ($4495 w/ 3D module).
Canopus had several very cool announcements at NAB. On the webstreaming front they are adding complete video streaming support for both the DV Raptor & DV rex cards. They were streaming live demos over the web during NAB using the analog video inputs of the DV Raptor card! All Rex & Raptor owners will be able to download this new web streaming module FREE when it is released this summer!
Speaking of the DV Raptor card, it now supports Premiere 5.1, Media Studio Pro 6.0, Edit DV 2.0 and their own Raptor Edit NLE app. This makes Raptor the only DV card in the world that supports all the leading NLE apps. What this tells me is that the entire industry now recognizes how remarkable and stable the DV Raptor is. And with new pricing of $499.95 for the Raptor w/ Premiere, Raptor Edit and SoftXplode it is now more affordable then ever. SoftXplode is Canopus' new software based 3D transition and effects plug-in. It utilizes the power and performance of your 3D graphics card for very fast rendering.
DV Rex owners got some very good news as well. For under $1000 you can now upgrade your DV Rex to the full MegaRex bundle (Rex RT PCI card & Xplode AGP card $969.95). Even cooler, they were showing the Rex RT running on a single AMD 1GHz CPU!! Rex owners have even more to be excited about: an Amber real-time MPEG-2 encoding module for the RexRT. With a target price of under $1000 and a planned August release, this snap on module will give RexRT owners the ability to export directly from the timeline to MPEG2 in real-time!!!
The gang at Boris had 3 major new products to introduce at NAB. The first is the 5.0 upgrade of Boris FX. Now available in two flavors: Boris FX Standard for Premiere, MS Pro, Rex Edit, Speed Razor, After Effects, Final Cut Pro and several others; and Boris FX Professional for more professional apps like Media 100, iFinish, Avid, 601, edit* etc. New features in 5.0 Standard include 3D extruded text and the Effects Library Browser, a very easy to use tool for quickly adding pre-set and saved effects. 5.0 Pro adds: Realistic Camera shutter motion; 3D Image shattering Particles using customizable shapes; Light sources with independent Gel images; Advanced Composting apply modes; Displacement Mapping to create water and heat effects; Noise Maps for creating natural cloud formations; Advanced Keying controls with Matte Choker and Alpha Processing.
The second new product is Graffiti, a 3D titling program that gives you all the power and performance of Boris FX for creating and animating 3D text. Based on the powerful text and animation engine found in Boris RED™, Boris Graffiti provides true creative freedom for editors by allowing complex titling effects and animation to be created easily within a non-linear editing system. The features that I like best are the WYSIWYG working environment and the ability to preview to RAM.
The third new product was Red, a professional 3D titling, FX and compositing tool. Basically, if you've got the talent to create complex 3D video FX, RED gives you a complete suite of tools to get the job done right!
The big news at Applied Magic was the incredible NAB promotion we have running. For $3995 you can get the Screenplay equipped with DV option and 18GB of storage!! Unfortunately this promotion will end on April 30th, so you better hurry up if you want to take advantage of it. May 1st the price goes up to $4295, still a very good deal, but why miss out on the $300 savings? At the booth we were able to confirm third party plug-in support being added for Screenplay by: Pixelan SpiceRack, Digital Juice and several other software vendors.