I always have a difficult time selecting the Videoguys Top 10 Products of the year but creating the list from 2019 was even more challenging than usual. It was easy to come up with at least 10 products deserving of the honor… the problem was determining which products qualified! There have been a lot of advancements in our industry and with that a lot of products have gotten better. Do you consider product upgrades and improvements new? Would you include them on a 2019 list? We decided we would be selective in that process but that some were deserving of the attention.
Storage drives have gotten faster thanks to Thunderbolt 3, USBc and SSD. That trend started with our top products awarded last year to G-Technology and continue with some new products from LaCie on this year’s list. Live Production systems have become more flexible and capable with support for HDMI, SDI and NDI workflows and integrations with CMS systems, software and CDNs. And film production tools are now easier and more powerful than ever.
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LaCie Rugged SSD and Rugged SSD Pro Storage Solutions
What’s better than a blazing fast hard drive that fits in your pocket? How about a blazing fast hard drive that can withstand a fall from that pocket?! Even if that fall is into a bucket of water! That’s right the LaCie Rugged SSD takes the signature Orange rugged drive and packs it with a fast Seagate nVme drive to create a solution that is more rugged than ever. The LaCie Rugged SSD will adeptly handle 4K video with transfer rates up to 950MB/s over USBc and if that’s not fast enough you can harness 6K video and beyond with the LaCie Rugged SSD Pro capable of up to 2800MB/s over Thunderbolt 3!
Avid Media Composer 2019 Editing Software
If you’re an editor and read the intro to this article you’ll understand exactly what I mean about this year’s list. Avid Media Composer is certainly not “new”. In fact, Media Composer has been used to edit more award-winning films for the past decade than everything else in the industry combined. This year though Avid introduced an all new Media Composer completely redesigned with a new user experience, next generation Avid Media Engine, new finishing and delivery workflows and a customizable toolset perfect for large production teams. The new Media Composer 2019 allows professionals to go from first cut to delivery without ever leaving the application!
Atomos Shogun 7 HDR Monitor, Reorder and Switcher
The Atomos Shogun 7 is a 7” HDR monitor & recorder that was announced at NAB 2019 but really made this list with moments to spare when Atomos released the firmware that unlocks the exciting new switching feature. Simply touch the Shogun 7 screen to switch between 4 live HD SDI video streams up to 1080p60. Send the resulting switched program output to SDI to HDMI for live streaming or transmission. Record all four inputs as separate ISOs, plus the program output as a fifth stream. This is all done asynchronous, without the need for genlocked sources. This capability in a 7” monitor that can be used anywhere is a game changer and worthy of every award!
BirdDog Eyes P200 PTZ Camera
BirdDog products are unique in that they are the first company to put NDI on a dedicated silicon chip similar to the way that AJA, Atomos and others put ProRes on a chip for improved hardware performance. Well, this year, they took that chip and expanded their product catalog with a full line of PTZ Cameras and even a PTZ controller with NDI that just started shipping a couple of weeks ago. Since we have to pick one we have selected the first of their cameras to ship – the Eyes P200 – as this year’s award winner. The P200 features a SONY CMOS backlit sensor and image module with full NDI for an amazing image at an affordable price.
LiveU Solo Connect
The LiveU Solo is not new this year but the LiveU Solo Connect Starter Kits have been introduced and make setting up and using the LiveU Solo quicker and easier than ever. If you need to make sure your live production can be reliably streamed from anywhere but have been confused by the cellular bonding technology and related costs than this is the perfect solution for you! Now you can get started with everything you need from a single source – LIVEU! And, it’s as easy as 1,2,3. Start with the LiveU Solo HDMI or LiveU Solo SDI encoder. Add a LiveU Solo 2-modem starter kit for just $450. Each modem comes preinstalled with the SIM cards so you can just log onto your Solo Portal and connect to unlimited data for just $295/month with Solo Connect services. That service INCLUDES the LiveU LRT cloud server and everything you need to stream to your favorite CDNs. I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that you can also save 5% off for life of your Solo Connect services unlimited data plan with coupon code “solo-videoguys”.
NewTek TriCaster Mini 4K|NDI
The NewTek TriCaster Mini was actually previously selected as Videoguys Top Product of 2017 and one of the features that we pointed to in making that decision was the support for NewTek’s NDI technology. NewTek has introduced a brand new model of the TriCaster Mini with faster hardware, support for 4K UHD video and integrated NDI network connections with POE to make video, audio, taly, power and control as easy as plugging in an ethernet cable. You can even use your iPhone as an NDI camera sourse to the TriCaster Mini 4K|NDI.
PTZOptics Wireless Cable
One of the challenges that video producers always face is the ability to get the cameras in the right place to capture the action without limitations. The new PTZOptics wireless cable utilizes NewTek’s NDI technology to do just that. Now you can use the powerful WAPS to extend your camera for up to 1,300 feet away from your production system. You can even daisy chain multiple wireless cables to extend that reach up to a mile! Setup is quick and easy and the Wireless Cable is an affordable solution for your next production.
Wirecast Gear 420
Telestream released the next generation Wirecast Gear live production systems – a full-configured and optimized turnkey system with Wirecast Pro software. Available in 3 models (the 310, 320 and 420) the star of the product family and our award-winning selection is the Wirecast Gear 420. With 5 HD-SDI inputs and 1 program output and an integrated NVIDIA Quadro GPU the Wirecast Gear 420 is the ultimate in turnkey broadcasting solutions. The hardware power will allow 4 simultaneous NVENC x264 encodes without affecting CPU usage! The software bundled is equally impressive with Wirecast Pro, the Stock Media Library with Wirecast support subscription, NewBlue Titler Live Complete, and Switch Player, all in a compact, powerful hardware system.
Epiphan Pearl Mini with Kaltura & Panopto Integration
We know the Epiphan Pearl Mini was on the list last year and we originally disqualified it from being named again but we simply could not ignore the fact that Epiphan opened this product up to an even larger audience with support for Kaltura and Panopto Video Asset Management Systems for Education. If you’re looking for a live video production system that integrates with these popular content management systems than the Epiphan Pearl Mini is the perfect choice. Full API integrations provide an effortless lecture capture and enterprise communication setup experience. Simply register Pearl Mini with your CMS to start using it as a video encoder, video streaming, video recorder and video playback device. All can be scheduled, multi-camera VOD events, ad hoc events, and webcasting without complicated programming.
Panasonic AG-CX350 Camcorder
In March 2019 Panasonic announced the first professional, handheld camcorder with NDI! The Panasonic AG-CX350 is a new UHD/HD camera with support for encoding 1080p to NewTek’s NDI® bidirectional IP technology for transport of video, audio and data over standard networks. The new camcorder specifically uses the NDI/HX option, which engages additional compression to stay within bandwidth limitations on busier networks or over wireless connections and supports long-distance transmission. Previously, support for NDI/HX has only been offered in PTZ cameras and in converters. The AG-CX350 can shoot and record video resolutions from SD to 4K and output up to 4K via HDMI.
That concludes this year's Videoguys Top 10 Products of 2019 list. I hope you like the list and have found something here that will make your workflow faster and easier. If you have any questions about them or the workflows that utilize them please give us a call at 800-323-2325 and speak to one of our live sales people. We know this equipment because we use it to produce our weekly video programs, product spotlight videos, and more. Don't forget to like us on Facebook, follow us on twitter and subscribe to the Videoguys YouTube channel to make sure you are getting the very latest product information, news and promotions from Videoguys.com.