5 Things I Saw At NAB

Peter Savage 2

Author: Peter Savage 2

Published 13th May 2016

by Peter Savage Issue 113 - May 2016

ARRI Trinity stabilisation
It may look like something that was dreamt up for a sci-fi film but the Trinity stabilisation system is a truly remarkable bit of kit that is most certainly real. Available as an upgrade to the Artemis or a third-party camera stabiliser, it consists of a compact and lightweight two-axis gimbal head, a monitor mount and joystick that attach to the gimbal handle, a battery hanger module and a pendulum that allows for perfect \'drop down\' moves. As it works with a vest, it is essentially a cross between a steadicam and a small crane. The shots you can get with this are incredible.
It was first shown as a prototype at IBC last year but at NAB there was an improved, and working, version being displayed by ARRI, its new developers. ARRI bought the Artemis camera stabilisers, including Trinity, from Vitec Videocom-owned Sachtler before the show. As a result, Curt Schaller, who developed Trinity and, together with Dr Roman Foltyn of FoMA Systems, invented the Maxima gimbal that functions as the head of the system, has joined ARRI as product manager for camera stabiliser systems. The Trinity will ship in June for approximately 23k (plus arm and vest).

Sony Media Backbone Hive (& the PVM-X550)
The successor to the Sonaps news production system, the Media Backbone Hive is a camera-to-archive content and workflow management product. I\'m no IT expert so I am going to quote Sony when I say "it utilises internet technologies, like Hyper Convergent Nodes, to deliver efficient operations and the opportunity for a significant reduction in the total cost of ownership."As a money man, that last part is music to my ears. It essentially offers broadcasters the opportunity to reduce their total cost of ownership by providing an "on demand\" investment model so they can cope with additional events (planned or otherwise). It should also maximise the operational benefit of any CAPEX or OPEX investment. Media Backbone Hive will be available in September.
Another noteworthy addition on the Sony stand was the PVM-X550, a quad-view 55-inch OLED monitor for evaluating 4K and High Dynamic Range (HDR) content. Client viewings will go swimmingly when using this beautiful monitor. It will ship this summer.

Leyard & Planar 8K video wall
Size isn\'t everything, so they tell me, but when it comes to video walls, you could not help but be impressed by the scale of the display on the Leyard and Planar booth. It had an enormous TW Series LED video wall measuring more than 31 feet wide by 18 feet tall (9.5 meters by 5.5 meters) that consisted of 64 TWA1.2 LED displays with a 1.2 millimetre pixel pitch. Together it provided a 7680 x 4320 resolution image. Yes, that\'s 8k people. And you thought 4k was the next big thing! Shame on you. If you stand in the correct place - roughly 9 to 12 feet from the video wall - the pixels are undetectable. I can vouch for that.

Atomos Shogun Inferno
Atomos are a cool company that makes cool kit. Their big NAB launch was another all-in-one monitor-recorder: the 10-bit, HDR-capable Shogun Inferno. With 1500nit of brightness in the monitor, and the ability to record 4Kp60 over Quad-SDI, it is an essential tool that allows shooters to see on screen exactly what they are shooting and then record, play back and edit (within reason). It has 10 stops of dynamic range with AtomHDR and records to ProRes and DNxHR from either a video or Raw signal. The Quad SDI connections even allow inputs from cameras with 1.5, 3, 6 or 12G SDI outputs without the need for a converter. If I have done my sums correctly it will be available in the third quarter of 2016 for 1665 (not including VAT).

As you might expect, with the worldwide market for camera drones anticipated to reach
$21.5 billion by 2022, there were some significant UAV debuts at NAB.
DJI launched a six-rotor drone that can carry a Red Epic camera for up to 16 minutes while New Zealand-based Shotover displayed the U1, a device that it describes as the world\'s first professional grade UAV for the broadcast, motion picture, surveillance and industrial survey markets. It has redundant flight control and battery systems, a customised downlink with two HD video feeds and, from the demo I saw, remarkable stability even at full zoom. Uniquely, the boom beneath the drone is S-shaped, not straight. This allows the camera to shoot up as well as down.
The U1 is the brainchild of the late Alan Purwin, a helicopter pilot and aerial filming specialist, who died in a helicopter crash in 2015. Through this invention, his legacy lives on.

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