Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Toolbox

  • Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018
Telestream Vantage enables workflow at Argentina's Artear
Artear's Content Production Center
NEVADA CITY, Calif. -- 

Telestream, a provider of digital media tools and workflow solutions, has announced that Arte Radiotelevisivo Argentina SA (Artear) is using Telestream Vantage Transcode Pro to automate the transcoding and processing of media moving into and out of its Avid editing, storage and asset management systems.

Owned by Argentine media conglomerate Grupo Clarín, Artear produces and distributes Spanish-language content, such as episodic dramas, game shows, news, and dance competitions. To compete effectively in the digital era, Artear manages and distributes close to a dozen media brands across a multi-platform universe spanning broadcast, cable, and digital sites.

To better manage its multi-faceted operations, Artear recently opened a new, 28,000 square foot Content Production Center—the largest in Latin America—complete with four studios featuring an Avid MediaCentral post production workflow. A key component to the MediaCentral workflow is a Telestream Vantage Transcode Pro system that automates the transcoding and processing of media moving into and out of the Avid editing, storage and asset management systems. 

Artear’s Vantage Transcode Pro workflow is accelerated through the use of four Telestream Lightspeed K80 servers, plus 10 Dell CPU nodes running Vantage. “As our operation grows, I can’t imagine how we would handle our current media processing workload without Vantage,” said José Gabriel Ciccarelli, Avid ASCR, for Artear. “Vantage ensures that all video—regardless of codec, format, bitrate, or quality—can be ingested into our MediaCentral ecosystem. It also ensures that the material exported from our Avids is in the right format for distribution to all of our websites and social networks as quickly as possible.” 

To meet all of its distribution requirements—including viewing on a variety of home and mobile devices—Artear needs to repurpose each instance of video that it produces into a variety of formats and adaptive bit rate (ABR) variants. Artear has also configured its Vantage system with Vantage Transcode Multiscreen, a GPU-accelerated solution for creating high-quality ABR packages—a process that optimizes the video content for proper display on all the different connected devices today’s viewers like to use.

Some of Artear’s most challenging workflows are related to transcoding the voluminous content seen on its TN cable news network into the right formats for use on the TN.com.ar website and international distribution channels. “By automating these tasks, we’ve eliminated human error, which is common with repetitive tasks. And with accelerated processing, we’re able to ensure that media files are ready in time for postproduction. With Vantage, we’ve gained valuable time—that’s for sure,” added Ciccarelli.

Today, Vantage automates a wide range of media processes for Artear including:

  • Ingesting media from a watch folder directly into Interplay and/or ISIS
  • Converting between formats, codecs, and frame rates
  • Creating adaptive bitrate packages for multi-platform distribution
  • Handling broadcast codecs, such as XDCAM HD 50/35Mbps/ProRes 422 and DNxHD-120/185/220Mbps, as well as H.264/x264/H.265 and GoPro Cineform
  • Mixing audio channels and performing normalization tasks, such as loudness correction
  • Enabling media expansion, and adding fades in/out and movie and image overlays
  • Generating proxies for archive

 
“Before Vantage, we only needed to ingest about 150 Sony camera files per day into our Avid workflow. But, as the need for digital versions increases, we now rely on Vantage to solve our biggest challenge—getting content to our viewers in the formats they need to watch wherever and whenever they choose,” concluded Ciccarelli.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018
JVC delivers ProHD zRAMP to NAB Show NY attendees
JVC's ProHD zRAMP
WAYNE, NJ -- 

JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, announced the ProHD zRAMP, an appliance that provides Zixi’s robust, content aware error correction for simultaneous live video streaming to multiple CDNs like Facebook Live and YouTube, as well as decoders for distribution to a local cable headend. Designed for live sports, events, houses of worship, schools, and local governments, the ProHD zRAMP delivers reliable QoS video streaming from Zixi-enabled JVC streaming camcorders. The ProHD zRAMP will be demonstrated at the 2018 NAB Show New York (Booth N333), which runs Oct. 17-18 at the Jacob K. Javits Center in New York City.

“Now, the ProHD zRAMP allows all JVC camera users to take advantage of Zixi protocol, the most resilient video-over-IP transport utilized by many of the world’s biggest broadcasters,” explained Edgar Shane, general manager of engineering, JVC Professional Video. “It’s an affordable solution that helps sports teams, schools, churches, and government agencies deliver their streaming content to multiple platforms simultaneously. Zixi’s advanced QoS compensates for occasional data loss when streaming over LTE and Wi-Fi networks, delivering a broadcast quality stream in any conditions.”

Available in two models, the ProHD zRAMP supports two and four inputs/outputs. Its matrix routing allows one-to-one, one-to-many, or many-to-many distribution options, with support for multiple stream outputs from the single source. With a small footprint and low power requirements, the industrial grade ProHD zRAMP is designed for 24/7 operation and offers unlimited streaming with no subscription fees.

The ProHD zRAMP is compatible with JVC’s Zixi-enabled streaming cameras, including the CONNECTED CAM GY-HC900 and GY-HC550, as well as the GY-HM250 and GY‑HM250SP, select 600 and 800 Series models, and the KY-PZ100 PTZ production camera. The system also accepts streaming video from iOS and Android smart devices.

The ProHD zRAMP-2 with two I/O has a list price of $3,500, while the ProHD zRAMP-4 with four I/O has a list price of $4,500. Both models will be available in October.

  • Monday, Oct. 15, 2018
Filmotechnic lands cinecAward for telescoping camera arm
Filmotechnic's telescoping camera arm
LOS ANGELES -- 

Camera car company Filmotechnic has won a 2018 cinecAward for its telescoping Russian arm. The cinecAwards are presented by the Society for CineTechnik Bayern (CTB), with honors going to innovative products and developments in motion picture technology. The cinecAwards are part of Cinec’s annual international trade fair for people engaged in the film, TV and video industries. The award-winning arm is available in the U.S. through Filmotechnic facilities in Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Detroit and Orlando.

“This year’s cinecAward is a great prize for our collective hard work and is a strong motivation,” said Denis Kokush, general manager at Filmotechnic Europe. “We thank all jury members for this recognition. Our innovative robotic camera arm, widely known as the Russian arm or U-CRANE, is state of the art, a high performance telescopic camera crane system that represents a big step forward in camera arm technology. The arm offers filmmakers new creative opportunities for camera movements once thought impossible.”

Kokush was referring to the telescopic arm’s impressive specs. The boom length adjusts from 4.5’ to 20.5’ while the arm is remotely (robotically) operated. The crane can pan a complete 360 degrees in eight seconds. The arm can be mounted on many different camera cars/shooting platforms, has numerous options for movement and can be used in studios, paired with Filmotechnic’s new electric EVU.  In the U.S., director Tim Damon applied the arm for a just-wrapped shoot for automaker Nissan and agency The Designory.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018
Google brings camera twists, bigger screens to Pixel phones
Rick Osterloh, Google's SVP of hardware, talks about new Google products during a presentation in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018. Google introduced two new smartphones in its relentless push to increase the usage of its digital services and promote its Android software that already powers most of the mobile devices in the world. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Google's new Pixel phones mirror an industry trend toward lusher, bigger screens and add twists on the camera for better pictures.

The third generation of Pixel phones unveiled Tuesday at an event in New York features screens that span from one edge to another. It's the first time Google has embraced the format, which Samsung has had for a few years and Apple adopted last year.

But Google is undercutting Apple on price. The Pixel 3 will be available Oct. 18 starting at $799 — $200 below the least expensive iPhone XS. A larger version, the Pixel 3 XL, costs $100 more.

Google is also hiring photographer Annie Leibovitz to take pictures with the new Pixel in an effort to persuade consumers that its camera is superior.

The camera, for instance, promises better low-light and close-up shots by using artificial-intelligence software to combine multiple shots taken in succession. It will also warn you if someone blinked or if the shot is otherwise poor. The camera automatically takes about three seconds of shots, at lower resolution, and will recommend an alternative.

The Pixel joins LG's V40 in sporting a second front lens to fit more people into selfies. But it lacks a zoom lens on either side, something available on some iPhones and Samsung phones. Instead, Google uses software to mimic that effect.

Beyond the camera, Google is using artificial intelligence to help screen calls. Just tap on a button for Google's voice assistant to ask the caller about the purpose of the call. You see a transcript of the response on the screen. You can choose to pick up or ignore the call. Callers are warned that they are talking to a robot and that a transcript would be made.

Although the Pixels have barely made a dent in the market since their debut two years ago, Google uses them to highlight what it considers to be the best features of its Android operating system. A previously announced feature in which software will call businesses to make appointments and restaurant reservations for you will debut on the Pixel first, for instance — initially in New York, Atlanta, Phoenix, Arizona, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

IDC analyst Ramon Llamas said the Pixel 3 doesn't break new ground on hardware, but "software is a different story. It's mostly about convenience here."

As usual, the Pixel phones focus heavily on Google's search engine, maps, digital assistant and YouTube video service.

Google has sold an estimated 7 million Pixels over the past two years, almost imperceptible next to the 3.6 billion phones shipped during that time, according to IDC. Apple alone sold 388 million iPhones during the same period.

Tuesday's announcements come a day after Google disclosed a flaw that could have exposed personal information of up to 500,000 users of its Plus social network. Google declined to address that further Tuesday, though executives emphasized privacy and security throughout the event in New York.

For instance, the camera's features for better shots will take advantage of software on the device itself, so that nothing gets sent to Google's servers — unless you enable a backup feature with Google Photos. The Pixel 3 will have a new chip, called Titan, to store keys to the most sensitive information, including those needed to unlock the phone and descramble stored data. Many other phones already have similar hardware for security.

Google also rolled out Home Hub, which couples a small display screen with an internet-connected speaker. That's similar to Amazon's Echo Show and a new Facebook device called Portal. In another apparent nod to privacy concerns, Google didn't put a camera on its Home Hub like Amazon and Facebook did with their respective devices to enable video calls.

Again, Google is attacking its rivals on price. The Home Hub will sell for $149 when it comes to stores Oct. 22. The new version Echo Show starts at $229, while the least expensive Facebook Portal sells for $199.

There's also an upcoming tablet featuring Google's home-grown Chrome OS system. It will run Android apps, but offer functionality that's closer to a desktop. The Pixel Slate starts at $599; a keyboard costs $199 more and a stylus another $99.

Liedtke reported from San Francisco.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018
Facebook wants people to invite its cameras into their homes
In this March 29, 2018, file photo, the logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York's Times Square. Facebook is spending heavily to avoid a repeat of the Russian interference that played out on its service in 2016. Its adversaries are wily, more adept at camouflaging themselves and apparently aren’t always detectable by Facebook’s much-vaunted artificial intelligence systems. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- 

Facebook is launching the first electronic device to bear its brand, a screen and camera-equipped gadget intended to make video calls easier and more intuitive.

But it's unclear if people will open their homes to an internet-connected camera sold by a company with a questionable track record on protecting user privacy.

Facebook is marketing the device, called Portal, as a way for its more than 2 billion users to chat with one another without having to fuss with positioning and other controls. The device features a camera that uses artificial intelligence to automatically zoom as people move around during calls.

Since Echo's release nearly four years ago, both Google and Apple have followed Amazon in releasing smart speakers designed for use with their other digital services — some of them, at least. These speakers can serve as hub-like controllers for "smart" homes as people install appliances, lighting and security systems that can be controlled over the internet.

Portal represents Facebook's entry into that fray. But pointing an artificially intelligent camera into peoples' homes could well raise other privacy questions.

"The first thing consumers are going to wonder is 'how much sensitive data is this collecting about me?'" said John Breyault, vice president of public policy of telecommunications and fraud at the National Consumers League, a Washington-based consumer advocacy group that has received donations from Facebook and other tech companies.

On Monday, Twitter users were quick to point to Facebook's privacy fallacies and what they saw as the company's impudence in asking people to trust it with a camera called Portal inside their homes. Some compared it to the always-on, always-watching telescreens in George Orwell's dystopian novel "1984." Others saw the gadget's appeal — but not if it comes from Facebook.

It's a particularly trying time for Facebook to release a home camera. Earlier this year, the company had to acknowledge that as many as 87 million people may have had their data accessed by Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm that worked for the Trump campaign and aimed to use the data to influence elections. More recently, Facebook revealed that hackers managed to pierce its security to break into 50 million accounts .

Facebook says it won't "listen to, view or keep the contents " of video calls, adding that the Portal camera won't use facial recognition or identify people in the video calls. The device will allow users to disable the camera and microphone with a single tap and to lock it with a numerical passcode. There's also a physical camera cover to prevent recording.

Portal will not display Facebook ads "at this time," the company said, although it noted that third-party services such as music streaming might embed their own ads the same way they do on other devices.

The company says Facebook's privacy policy applies to Portal, since it uses Messenger for voice and video calls. Facebook executives have repeatedly said that the company does not use the contents of messages or calls for advertising purposes and will not do so in the future. Still, there are other, less direct possibilities for the future.

"This is going to gain (Facebook) not only a place in the smart home, but also data they may not have been able to collect before or understand before," said ABI Research analyst Jonathan Collins. This includes people's location, activities and interests — "all the reasons companies want to get into the home."

That said, Facebook says Portal does not collect any information about people's home, listening only for voice commands. The camera, when enabled, detects people as they walk into the room but does not identify specific people or record anything about people's homes, according to Facebook.

Facebook will offer Portal in two sizes — a $199 model with a 10-inch horizontal screen and a $349 "Plus" version with a 15.6-inch screen that can switch between vertical or horizontal orientations.

Both models also include an internet-connected speaker that features Amazon's voice-activated digital assistant, Alexa. Portal connects calls through Messenger, meaning that it can reach people who don't have a Portal themselves. And since Messenger can be used without a Facebook account, Portal users won't need a Facebook account to use it — only Messenger.

Ortutay reported from New York.

  • Monday, Oct. 8, 2018
Ikegami sees growing interest in HDR TV production
Ikegami's HDK-73 camera
NEUSS, Germany -- 

Ikegami, a provider of advanced cameras and production equipment for television content producers and broadcasters, reports rapidly growing interest in high dynamic range production (HDR) equipment among delegates attending the recently wrapped 2018 International Broadcasting Convention. Held in Amsterdam every September, IBC is Europe’s largest annual broadcast trade show. The event this year attracted 1,700 exhibiting companies and 55,884 registered attendees.

“Broadcast technology is advancing on several fronts, not least in Japan where the world’s first 8K Hi-Vision television channel is scheduled to commence in December,” commented Michael Lätzsch, broadcast and professional video division manager at Ikegami Electronics (Europe) GmbH.

“Of more immediate interest to content producers and television network owners at IBC was the increasing number of HDR-compatible domestic television receivers now available to consumers. HDR offers a very impressive improvement in picture quality compared with traditional TV displays, capturing much higher contrast images while at the same time retaining picture detail at every level from dark shade through to bright highlights. These improvements are particularly impressive during outside-broadcast coverage of real-world events such as open-air sports or indoor stage productions.”

Lätzsch added, “The transition from standard dynamic range (SDR) to HDR broadcasting will take several years but it was evident that many broadcasters are keen to adopt an HDR standard that will at the same time retain compatibility with the large existing population of SDR television displays. Two of the world’s largest broadcasters, the BBC in Britain and NHK in Japan, have cooperated on the development of the HLG (hybrid log gamma) standard which offers exactly that compatibility and at the same time improves the pictures delivered to SDR sets. HLG is being adopted by a growing number of major manufacturers and is fully supported by Ikegami.”

Ikegami demonstrated two HDR-compatible dockable cameras at IBC 2018: the 1080p HDK-99 and the HDK-73. Both are full high definition 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution models with three CMOS imagers and full digital processing. Each model allows the full dynamic range to be captured within a single exposure setting, eliminating the need to adjust the optical aperture or imaging sensitivity in mid shot. The difference in picture quality is breathtaking when seen on HDR-compatible displays such as the new HQLM-3125X broadcast production monitor.

Ikegami also showcased the new HQLM-3125X HDR broadcast master monitor. This incorporates a 4,096×2,160 pixel 10-bit resolution LED-backlit double-LCD panel with a 1,000,000:1 contrast ratio and a panel brightness of 1,000 candela per square meter. Fully compliant with BT.2020 wide color gamut, the HQLM-3125X incorporates single-channel 12G-SDI x 2, 3G-SDI × 5, 3G/HD-SDI and HDMI inputs as standard features. Square-division and two-sample interleave sources can be connected to the monitor via 3G-SDI × 4.  Viewing angle for critical image evaluation is a wide 178 degrees (horizontal/vertical). In addition to its picture monitoring role, the HQLM-3125X can operate as a waveform monitor and vectorscope. It can also display vertical-interval timecode, eight channel SDI-embedded audio level and closed-caption subtitles.

In the same series, the new Ikegami HQLM-1720WR is a compact UHD HDR monitor equipped with two 12G-SDI input channels as standard for efficient configuration with 4K equipment such as cameras and switchers. 3G-SDI, HD-SDI and HDMI inputs are also provided as standard. The HQLM-1720WR employs a 16.5 inch 3840×2160 pixel UHD LCD panel using LED backlight and can reproduce high resolution 4K and 2K images. Weight is just 9.5 kg.

Supplementing Ikegami’s HDR demonstrations at IBC2018 was a display by Hochschule RheinMain (University of Applied Sciences, Wiesbaden Rüsselsheim) promoting HDR to SDR downconversion. The Enhanced Video Imaging project centers on an automatic process which detects and brights dark sections of video while at the same time retrieving the detail in over-exposed sections. EVI is designed to produce better images easily and economically but optimizing lighting balance and exposure as well as correcting hue and saturation.

  • Thursday, Oct. 4, 2018
Shotoku USA to showcase robotic solutions at NAB Show NY
Shotoku's TG27 small lightweight head
WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ -- 

Shotoku USA, the North American operation of Shotoku Broadcast Systems--an international manufacturer of advanced camera support products--is returning to the NAB Show NY. The manufacturer will showcase its range of robotic pan/tilt heads and height drives at the show in Booth N743.

Shotoku USA’s robotic support specialist Matt Servis will be on hand to demonstrate some of the most popular pan and tilt heads from the company’s full range of robotically controlled configurations, as well as discuss any aspect of the system, from initial design and specification through installation, commissioning and U.S.-based after sales service.

Shotoku’s robotic pan/tilt head series will be represented by the TG-18 that combines high-accuracy, smooth movement, silent operation and high payload with a full manual override capability. The TG-18 will be joined by the small, lightweight TG-27 head, ideal for parliaments, legislatures and small TV studios.

The company will also show its height drive capabilities via the cost-effective Ti-11 fully integrated elevating column for robotic applications such as weather studios, news-desks and other open-area camera positions where manual operation is not a primary requirement.

  • Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2018
TV Academy unveils winners of 70th Engineering Emmy Awards
Wendy Aylsworth speaks at last year's Engineering Emmy Awards ceremony. This year she is the recipient of the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award.
NOHO ARTS DISTRICT, Calif. -- 

The Television Academy has announced the recipients of the 70th Engineering Emmy® Awards honoring an individual, company or organization for developments in broadcast technology. Kirsten Vangsness, star of the CBS drama Criminal Minds, returns to host the awards for the third consecutive year on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the JW Marriott Hotel, Los Angeles, at L.A. LIVE. 

The following is a list of awards to be presented:

The Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award
Honors a living individual whose ongoing contributions have significantly affected the state of television technology and engineering.
Recipient: Wendy Aylsworth
Wendy Aylsworth’s contributions to content engineering are countless. She is an innovative and award-winning entertainment technology executive with a respected career in emerging technologies, strategic planning, entertainment ecosystems, joint ventures, global facilities management, digital-content production and distribution, and R&D design implementation. A renowned speaker, team leader and board member of many industry consortia, technical advisory groups and standards bodies, Aylsworth spent more than two decades with Warner Bros. Studios, ultimately as their senior vice president, technology, corporate technical operations. Earlier in her career, at The Walt Disney Company she directed technology support for the feature animation division as well as software development for theme park attractions worldwide. Aylsworth is a past president of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers and is a past chair of the Television Academy’s Engineering Emmy Awards committee. She currently serves as the CEO of Walden Pond and president of UltraViolet.
 
The Philo T. Farnsworth Corporate Achievement Award
Honors an agency, company or institution whose contributions over time have substantially impacted television technology and engineering.
Recipient: Avid
Avid is a leading technology provider, empowering aspiring artists, creative professionals, production teams and media enterprises to create, manage and monetize television programs, films and other media. Upon its founding 30 years ago, Avid broke new ground by reimagining and restructuring how television and film content was created with its revolutionary non-linear editor, which was the first to digitize video. Since then, Avid has grown its commitment to innovation by delivering products that accelerate the entire content ecosystem and connect people everywhere through media. With millions of users and thousands of media companies worldwide relying on the company’s innovative technology and collaborative tools, Avid makes it possible for participants across media to tell stories and report news that entertains, informs and enlightens the world.
 
Engineering Emmys
Presented to an individual, company or organization for engineering developments that considerably improve existing methods or innovations that materially affect the transmission, recording or reception of television.

This year’s five Engineering Emmy recipients are:

Recipient: Artemis Digital Director’s Viewfinder
Artemis Director’s Viewfinder is software for mobile devices that enables filmmakers to accurately pre-visualize shots with specific cameras and lenses before they are physically available. Replacing the traditional optical director’s viewfinder with intuitive digital tools, Artemis assists the user in creating storyboard images or videos, adding frame-lines, using virtual stand-ins, and experiment with color grading and so on. The sharing of images, notes and metadata gathered using Artemis enhances the communication between the different filmmaking disciplines, leading to increased creative control and production efficiency. Consequently, Artemis Director’s Viewfinder has become an industry standard tool.

Recipient: cineSync Review and Approval
cineSync has revolutionized the way in which television shows can be pitched, produced and delivered by opening the doors to seamless international collaboration. cineSync users can remotely review and annotate on high-resolution, high-frame-rate video with other participants in any location. Collaborators view the exact same frame at the same time on a platform that delivers the high-level security features of watermarking, guest authentication and encryption that production studios today demand.

Recipient: Codex Recording Platform and Capture Media
As television standards have evolved from standard definition recording to high definition, and now to high-dynamic range at 4K resolution and high frame rates, Codex’s technology for recording uncompressed RAW digital negatives allows digital storytellers to capture all the detail required for the highest quality final product. Codex has proven itself an essential industry game-changer. 

Recipient: Blue Mix-Fi Headphones
Blue Mix-Fi headphones enable users to produce mixes that translate accurately from headphone to near field monitors to the wall and beyond. The Mix-Fi design allows for independent pre-mixing on loud-mix stages and prevents ear fatigue by exposing details without the need to boost volume levels. Thanks to its unique performance and accuracy, Mix-Fi has been widely adopted by re-recording and production mixers, supervising sound editors, sound designers and music editors.

Recipient: PRG GroundControl™ Followspot
PRG’s introduction of the PRG GroundControl™ Followspot System has made a major impact on safe working conditions. Working from the stage floor and via fiber optic cable, operators direct a high-output, automated luminaire. The followspot’s onboard HD camera, outfitted with optical zoom and night vision capacity, provides set designers and lighting directors efficiencies in overall rig weight, reduction in space usage (including “seat kills”) and increased flexibility for camera placements. Designers now have total creative freedom to put followspots in previously impractical places, avoid complex rigging and place operators on the floor. The PRG GroundControl Followspot System has become an essential lighting asset for the wide variety of studio and remote locations used by awards, reality and concert programs.

Engineering Plaque
The Engineering Plaque honors achievements that exhibit a high level of engineering and are important to the progress of the industry. The Engineering Plaque is a positive recognition of engineering achievements on a different level of technology and overall industry importance than the Engineering Emmy.

Recipient: CATS Cam
CATS Cam is a unique application of video technology that gives wildlife filmmakers an unparalleled ability to obtain footage from an animal’s point of view without disturbing its natural behavior. Capable of recording up to 36 hours of image and sound on a multisensory-controlled video camera with maximum 4K resolution, CATS Cam can be programmed to record in different lighting situations, including infrared for nocturnal shoots. CATS Cam has resulted in an extraordinary level of access and understanding of the natural world for scientists and viewing audiences alike.

  • Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018
Blackmagic Design joins Netflix Post Technology Alliance
URSA Mini
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has joined the new Netflix Post Technology Alliance. Additionally, Blackmagic’s professional editing, visual effects, motion graphics, color correction and audio post production DaVinci Resolve software was chosen for three of the alliance’s four technology categories: “Color Grading,” “Editorial” and “IMF & Media Encoding.” Furthermore Blackmagic Design’s URSA Mini 4.6K and URSA Mini Pro were also chosen in the alliance’s “Camera” category.

The Post Technology Alliance is a program for manufacturers of products that generate or manage any kind of sound data, image data, or metadata from production through post. The alliance is aimed at bringing together industry leaders committed to work closely with Netflix to innovate production workflows and support creatives globally.

To earn the ability to use the Post Technology Alliance certified logo, products must comply with current Netflix delivery specifications, and commit to future technical innovation and timely problem resolution. By being chosen by Netflix for alliance categories, filmmakers are assured the products meet a very high mark of quality, service and support.

DaVinci Resolve is used by post professionals all over the world, and has already been used for a huge number of films and TV programs shown on Netflix, including a number of hit Netflix originals such as “Daredevil,” “She’s Gotta Have It” and ”The Ranch.”

“Professionals creating films and episodic shows for Netflix have to focus on creativity, quality and being able to launch globally in multiple formats. So having a post process that is efficient, easy to use and always improving is essential. We are honored Netflix sees that DaVinci Resolve brings that in each of the software categories of the Post Technology Alliance,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design.

“At Netflix, empowering our creative partners is incredibly important, and the Post Technology Alliance will build a more seamless experience from production through post-production,” said Chris Fetner, director of post partnerships & integrations at Netflix. “Products that bear the logo are committed to better interoperability and faster innovation cycles, which will allow artists to focus their energy on what matters most—the storytelling.”

  • Monday, Oct. 1, 2018
Fujinon Cabrio 20-120mm zoom now available sans servo
A camera outfitted with the Fujinon XK6x20 zoom
VALHALLA, NY -- 

The Optical Devices Division of FUJIFILM will introduce a new version of its popular FUJINON XK6x20 zoom (better known as the Cabrio 20-120mm) without the servo drive motor. The Cabrio 20-120mm without drive can be operated as a fully manual, parfocal, cinema zoom lens.

The Cabrio 20-120mm is available with or without an attached servo unit. The servo drive on other Cabrio Series lenses is interchangeable on the 20-120mm, if the 20-120 is purchased without a drive unit.

“Based on the success of our Cabrio series, many of our customers already have Cabrio drive units on other lenses,” said Thomas Fletcher, director of marketing, FUJIFILM Optical Devices Division. “The 20-120mm Cabrio has an optimal focal range for a variety of shooting styles and is the entry point lens in the series. If purchased without the drive unit, customers still get the incredible optical and mechanical quality of a Cabrio - at an exceptional price.”

Designed to be convertible between the video production and cinema markets, the Cabrio 20-120 features a flat T3.5 from end-to-end, with no ramping. It covers a S35-sized sensor (Super 35 format). Without the servo drive, it can easily accept industry-standard cine motors and matte boxes.

Just as third party manufacturers developed accessories for the FUJINON MK lenses, camera and lens support providers are offering solutions to benefit users of the Cabrio 20-120mm without a servo. Among them, Chrosziel and Heden have designed lighter weight servo zoom motor solutions for the 20-120mm. “In reality TV, camera operators often need to hold the camera for 8-10 hours a day. Saving a 20% of the weight of the lens is a big deal to an operator,” explained Fletcher. “These lightweight third-party drives integrate seamlessly with Sony’s FS series zoom controllable hand grip.”

On the mount side, Duclos Lenses and IBE (Germany) offer EF mount and multi-mount kits for the 20-120mm.

The Cabrio 20-120mm is fit with a nine-blade iris to capture the most natural looking imagery and most beautiful bokeh possible. The zoom’s barrel markings are luminous for visibility in dark shooting situations, and distances are listed in feet or meters.

The 20-120mm zoom without an attached servo unit is available for a suggested list price of $12,000.

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