We’ve previously made the attempt to highlight the top updates and announcements from NAB, but the task is just as impossible in 2017 as it was in the past and will be in the future. Nonetheless, even the attempt to do so is worthwhile as it can allow everyone to get a better sense of how things are changing for production professionals across the entire industry.
This year, PVC writers were covering the event from near and afar which allowed us to detail more of the event than ever before. Check out all of our NAB 2017 coverage right here to learn more about the tools, technologies and companies that made headlines this year.
Just like every NAB, there were a handful of important themes and topics that emerged from the event, and we’ve detailed a few of them below. Let us know what you think about this years’ event via the comment section below or via Twitter.
The concept of an “end-to-end” workflow, along with the desire to help professionals simplify their process and projects was a concept that came up over and over this year. Whether it was hardware or software, production or post, storage or archive, it’s clear that vendors have heard about the logistical challenges their customers are dealing with. At NAB 2017, many different organizations took the time and effort to highlight their dedication to solving those challenges.
We’ve already covered in detail what Sony had to announce at NAB 2017, but the newly installed President of Sony Professional Solutions Americas, Katsunori Yamanouchi, mentioned that their two keys areas of focus are around Content Value and Workflow Efficiency. Many people still think of cameras when they hear the word “Sony”, but this new focus is proof of their commitment to transitioning into a solution and business provider.
While Avid announced Media Composer | First at NAB this year, that announcement ties into what they’ve done with Avid Everywhere and their efforts to transform it into a platform that would create efficiencies and make workflows easier. Their push to allow for collaboration and accessibility in the cloud has in many ways been complete, and this new initiative is designed to enable emerging creative and media talent to more easily connect in order to foster creative and professional growth and opportunities.
Vimeo is a name and platform that every professional is familiar with, and their presence at NAB this year highlights their dedication to this industry. New review and approval options and new abilities to be able to work directly in tools like Premiere are an illustration of how they’re looking to create these end-to-end workflows for this audience. Additionally, the platform they’ve set up for 360 video is unique and empowering in a whole different way. Stay tuned for more around how creators are monetizing their 360 video efforts.
In early April, Newtek announced the TC1, which is the most powerful Tricaster the company has ever released. Features like 16 inputs that can handle 4K are among the many new features of the product, and that update ties into what the company was focused on at NAB. During the show, they announced the release of the NVG1, which combines the NewTek 1RU server platform and NDI™ IP video connectivity with Viz Trio/Viz Engine software. They also highlighted the interoperability they created on the show floor itself. Both announcements center on the availability and simplicity their products are designed to create, as the concept of a turnkey workflow is one they’ve identified as a priority.
At the Dell booth, the concepts of “Create”, “Manage” and “Deliver” were broken out with various products showcased in each phase. How they’re able to simplify the process for creators is an active consideration for the company, and products like their all-in-one PCs allow users to define how they want to utilize their machine rather than having that defined for them. Additionally, the announcement of the new HDR10 monitor is a great example of a key element of tools that will form a major part of these end-to-end workflows.
Announced at NAB 2017, the SymplyULTRA has been positioned as an ideal solution for broadcast, studio, post and other professional media workflows. Designed to deliver on the concept of the ‘complete collaborative workspace’, it’s another illustration of what kind of tools are being specifically designed to meet workflow challenges.
It wouldn’t be NAB without cameras, and NAB 2017 didn’t disappoint on this front. Several companies have set themselves up for big reveals later this year, but there was still plenty to highlight.
Canon’s presence on the show floor seems to expand every year, and the company had enough people and products to show why that’s the case. At NAB 2017, Canon showed off their new EOS Flagship camera, the C700, which is designed to be a flexible “A” camera for various types of shooting scenarios. They also announced the Compact-Servo 70-200mm T4.4 lens, designed to hit a sweet spot for lens size. Additionally, Canon added C-log for their 5D Mark IV DSLR, which is set to give 5D MkIV shooters something they’ve had their eyes on for a long while. ENG, documentary and budding filmmakers are already excited about the newly announced compact and lightweight 4K lens which should open up opportunities across the industry.
Sony’s focus on becoming a solution and business provider doesn’t mean they have any plans to transition away from the products they’ve become known for, and the capture phase of the “lens to living room” ecosystem is an obvious focus for them. To that end, announcements around their cameras include the firmware upgrade to Version 9 for the F5/F55, while Sony added a new XAVC recording mode to optimize encoding for HDR into its 4K/HD live server and PWS-4500 through an upcoming software upgrade.
RED didn’t have a major presence on the show floor of NAB this year, but they still made news at the event with the first-ever live 4K video stream from space. Additionally, RED was represented at the show in a very real way with their cameras in numerous partner booths. Their focus on the image and efforts to streamline the workflow for users will be a big topic for the company at Cine Gear, so stay tuned for what they have in store.
Panasonic continues to update and add features to the VariCam LT, and at NAB they highlighted the firmware updates for the camera that include 240fps at 2K Raw with a Convergent Design recorder. Additionally, the company has a mystery camera that they’ll undoubtedly be announcing at some point this year. Find out plenty more from Panasonic by taking a look at all of their NAB 2017 press announcements.
Days before NAB 2017, ARRI announced an upgrade to the ALEXA SXT platform, making ALEXA SXT an entirely wireless professional motion picture camera system. The ALEXA SXT is one of the highlights of ARRI’s presence at NAB 2017, but the company also introduced a number of important technical advances for its customers and partners.
Probably the single biggest announcement to come out of NAB centered on the improvements to DaVinci Resolve 14 which has numerous, much-requested and needed features. As Brian Hallett said, “The new DaVinci Resolve 14 is like 3 applications in one. Users get professional editing, color correction, and the new Fairlight audio toolset all within an easy to use software. All it takes is a single mouse click to switch between editing, color, and audio.” As usual, Blackmagic had plenty to announce at NAB, and between the updates to Resolve, two new switchers and an incredibly easy way to get your show on the web, the company once again made a push to steal the show.
We covered in detail the updates to After Effects as well as Premiere Pro that Adobe rolled out for NAB 2017. Adobe also had plenty to say and showcase at the event itself. Numerous presenters took to the stage throughout the show, and the latest release of Creative Cloud features new capabilities in AI, VR, motion graphics, live animation and audio. The new Essential Graphics panel in After Effects and the updates to the tools and toolbar in Premiere are just a couple of the features PVC authors found most notable, but there’s plenty for users to explore in the entire suite.
In addition to their cameras, Canon announced new firmware for its three 4K professional display models, the DP-V1710, DP-V2410 and DP-V2420. The new features include enhanced connectivity with Canon digital cinema cameras.
With two big announcements at NAB, HP has improved both their top-end and junior DreamColor displays. The new DreamColor Z31x with native 4K cinema resolution has some very needed features while the Z24x G2 (second generation) has improvements over the first generation Z24x. Allan Tépper was able to provide incredible detail about both products.
In addition to the live programming at the event, Teradek announced major upgrades to its Core and Sharelink cloud platforms. The new features greatly expand the capabilities of their H.264 and H.265 codecs by introducing multi-platform delivery, transcoding, 3rd party encoder support, and remote management of VidiU encoders.
There were a number of updates focused on drone technology from DJI, as they introduced a new Ronin 2, customizable remote, high-gain antenna, monitors and a premium service plan. Meanwhile, the introduction of the first 100-megapixel integrated drone imaging platform marks the start of the next era of aerial photography. The company also announced DJI Goggles, which will provide drone pilots with a first-person view system in full HD.
We touched on what Avid is looking to do in terms of increases to collaboration and efficiency, but that commitment is being reflected on a product level as well. The announcement of the DNxIQ is a great illustration around how they’re looking to meet today’s varied content demands and wide-ranging delivery requirements.
The data storage needs of professionals are growing and growing, and that piece represents one of the more important aspects of these more efficient workflows. At NAB, G-Tech showed off a few of their new storage solutions that are designed to ease the challenges currently associated with storage and archive.
VR has had a major presence at NAB for many years now, but the logistics of actually creating this kind of content have been elusive. Innovations like the recently announced Radeon Pro Duo have been created to ease these logistics, as the product harnesses a total of 72 compute units (4608 stream processors) for a combined performance of up to 11.45 TFLOPS of single-precision compute performance on one board.
HDR is another topic that has had a presence at NAB for a long while now, but really came into focus this year. Part of what was undoubtedly because of products like the FS-HDR from AJA. The new product is a universal converter/frame synchronizer designed specifically to meet the HDR and WCG (Wide Color Gamut) needs of broadcast, OTT, post and live event AV environments. FS-HDR’s HDR/WCG capabilities leverage video and color space processing algorithms within Colorfront Engine™, while the product can take incoming imagery from some of the most popular professional cameras in the world today and convert their LOG output in realtime to 4K/UltraHD or 2K/HD and output as either HDR or SDR. Simply put, this is a product that’s going to solve a lot of problems.
Learn more about the FS-HDR right here.
A few different industry sources identified that lenses were going to be a big topic this year, and the news and updates coming out of NAB surrounding this technology certainly seems to back that up. In addition to the announcements from Canon, Fujinon showed off their Cine style zoom lens. Sigma announced new lenses and prices for their brand new Cine Lenses line-up of cinema style lenses. Panasonic continues to expand the family of lenses for its G system cameras while Zeiss has rolled out 10 new Cine lenses for low-budget productions. While these lenses aren’t cheap, they do represent a new level in terms of the Zeiss catalog, which is indicative of a bigger story that we’ll see continue to play out in 2017.
Atomos announced their biggest product yet with the Atomos Sumo. The Sumo is a larger 19″ Monitor-Recorder delivering 4K HDR in 12bit raw or 10bit ProRes/DNxHR codecs. The Atomos Sumo may have the ability to redefine how production monitors will be used on set and in the studio. It gives clients and crew on set instant access to review recorded content in HDR quality and doubles as a grading and editing monitor for laptops in the field.
Apple Boxes have been a mainstay in production environments for what seems like forever, which is part of the reason an effort to make them even more functional is especially notable. The Boom Box from K-Tek is a strong and versatile Microphone Boom Stand, which doubles as an Apple Box.
We’ve already taken an in-depth look at MotoCrane, which is a device that is designed to turn any car into a camera car. At NAB 2017, Bruce Johnson stopped by the MotoCrane booth to get a better idea around how that will actually work.
We already talked about how Dell is looking to help their customers simplify their workflow, but with their 8K monitor, the UP3218K, that simplification is being addressed in a completely different manner. The product was sold out after a single day, which highlights just how anxious professionals are to view their content in full resolution.
SmallHD showed off their new Ultra Bright 703 and 503 on-camera monitors at NAB 2017. These monitors have metal houses, dual SDI inputs, and are designed for the harsh conditions often found on a production. They also announced a new price for their 17-inch production monitor and discussed their new 24-inch production monitor.
For many years now, Teradek has featured live presentations throughout the event, and this year was no exception. Various experts discussed the tools and technologies that were on display at NAB, and a collection of PVC authors took to the stage to share their perspective around these topics and plenty more.
The first session featured Adam Wilt, Bruce Johnson, Jeff Foster and David Leitner. The group masterfully detailed what kind of problems and issues professionals are dealing with in 2017, and talked through some of the innovations that have and will impact the way they approach a project.
During the second session, Scott Simmons, Michael Kammes, Woody Woodhall and Graham Sheldon were more focused on post production topics, but the lines between such phases of a project are getting less and less pronounced, which was evident in their discussion. The group talked through some potential high-level ramifications for the industry as a whole while also providing their perspective around how specific tools are set to change things in the short-term and long-term.
PVC writers were all over the event in other ways as well. Bruce Johnson found the time to participate in the session above in-between shooting and publishing various videos from the show floor. Brian Hallett was working with his video team to rollout numerous exclusive videos and updates. Additionally, Jose Antunes and Allan Tépper worked their way through countless press updates and news briefs to post the most relevant items to the site, while Scott Simmons found the time to post a couple items about Media Composer | First, a transcription panel that is set to come to Premiere Pro as well as a couple upcoming products from CoreMelt.
You can check out all of our coverage of NAB 2017 right here, and updates from the event continue to be published. There are also a few pictures below that should give you an even better idea of the people, products and technology that made NAB 2017 such a special event.
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