SATIS in a day


Aware that several French distributors had pulled out of this year's SIEL & SATIS, I chunnelled to Paris on day two of the October 20-22 show with minimal expectations. The small size of the Guide de Visite (20 pages A5) added to my misgivings but the event itself proved respectably large, crowded and buzzing. Nearly 280 companies occupied stands in Hall 7.3 of the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre. Instead of a paragraph of address and about-us spiel, each exhibitor was allocated just a one-line entry in the guide: name, stand number, website and business category (audio, broadcast radio, broadcast TV and so on). Which, in this web-oriented age, is arguably quite sufficient.

The show atmosphere was very much that of the London BVE back in February: a healthy mix of small-scale manufacturers and local distributors supported by mainstream suppliers such as Blackmagic, Canon, Digigram, Fujinon, JVC, Miranda, Panasonic, Quantel, Snell, Sony and Tektronix. Also kit from 'represented' companies such as Calrec, NTP and Studer who didn't actually make it into the catalogue. SATIS is well known as a magnet for the French video production community though, as with BVE, broadcast engineering folk still prefer IBC to local shows.

The practise of bestowing awards is becoming increasingly popular and SATIS joins in enthusiastically, four pages of the 2009 show guide listing and illustrating 59 products deemed worthy of a SIEL & SATIS Trophy, bestowed by an 11-strong panel of independent advisors. They made a good selection, including Atempo's Digital Archive, Sound 4's IP-based audio networking system, Sony's BRS-200 vision mixer, Projection Design's F10 AS3D stereoscopic projector, Panasonic's AG-HPG20E solid-state HD video recorder and Visiofly's EVO HD drone camera. These and the rest were paraded in a roped-off section of the exhibit hall alongside descriptive placards.

3D was promoted by various companies including Sony though the latter's prototype single-lens stereoscopic camera (reported on page 56 of last month's TV-Bay and exhibited at CEATEC Japan, October 6-10) was not in evidence. The description of this device in the news section of Sony's corporate website (www.sony.net) includes a very strange claim: 'When polarised glasses are not used, viewers will still be able to see natural 2D images as the disparity of the images for left and right eyes is within the range that human eyes can recognise as a blur.'Does this mean Sony is using closer sensor pairing than the standard human eye distance?

JVC demonstrated the 2D to 3D processor that it first exhibited at NAB. I saw the NAB demo but missed the subsequent IBC showing so was pleased to find the processor on display once again at SATIS beneath a large switch-polarised LCD with some of the best 3D moving video I have ever seen. But that was from a real 3D source. The 2D to 3D processor was actually connected to a much smaller screen and sourcing its 2D signal directly from a camera. A project worth dropping.

An innovative exhibit shown by Christie addresses the issue of bulb lifetime in video projectors. The RPMSP-LED01 uses an RGD triad of LEDs as the light source, modulated by a 1,400 x 1,050 Texas DLP chip as the basis of a rear-screen projection module available in 50 inch (470 cd per square metre brightness) and 67 inch (260 cd per square metre) sizes. The lightsource is rated at 60,000 hours, far beyond traditional filement-based high-power bulbs.
Blackmagic Design showed an inexpensive alternative to rasterising test and measurement displays for post-production applications. The UltraScope is a combination of PCI Express card and software designed to work in a standard PC coupled to a 24 inch monitor for display. It allows simultaneous display of six waveform views chosen from RGB/YUV parade display, composite waveform, vector, histogram, 8-channel audio metering, stereo audio scope or picture view. An of the above can alternatively be selected for full-screen viewing. The UltraScope auto detects between SD, HD and 3 Gb/s HD-SDI video standards and between regular SDI and optical fiber SDI inputs. Price is US$695 or 535 euro.

Given the increasing availability of miniature cameras and solid state recorders, it is becoming easier than ever to obtain broadcastable aerial video without the generous budget and pre-planning needed to hire a full-size helicopter. Visiofly is a France-based company specialising in remote-controllable flying cameras. It offers a selection of lightweight cameras (including 1080p HD) plus miniature airships and propeller-driven monoplanes to get them into the air. Examples of the output can be seen at www.visiofly-store.com.


Summary

Paris is so accessible from London that SATIS could usefully promote itself to the video production community north of The Channel; there is no certainly no significant language barrier either on the SATIS show floor or in the supporting literature. 80 per cent of the books offered for sale on the Acme stand were in English. Okay, American.

Tags: satis | siel | tradeshow | iss035 | show report | france | french | N/A
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