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What are we missing without NAB?

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Oliver Peters
What are we missing without NAB?
on May 2, 2020 at 2:40:13 pm

I realize the NAB hasn't done its online road show yet, but I haven't seen or heard of any big announcements from manufacturers.

We've all talked about the "community" aspect of NAB, but we are ignoring the fact that it's a venue for manufacturers to generate excitement about "the next big thing." Want to get the industry jazzed about HDR, 8K, 18K, stereo 3D (well, not that) or something like that? You are going to do that with a big splash on the show floor, not through a bunch on online "influencers" trying to show you that through your internet browser. That's a leveling factor.

Maybe this year would have been a down year anyway. Or maybe manufacturers are holding off in hopes that IBC will still happen and they can make a somewhat smaller yet meaningful splash there.

In a way I'm glad, because it gives us a year to breath without being pressured to buy or upgrade things we don't need. Our clients follow the trade press, too, so when NAB pushes 8K (or insert anything here), clients start to ask, why aren't you shooting 8K? Even though they are lucky to even deliver in 1080. Given the economy, sales will certainly be down for most manufacturers (except those with remote production products and services).

In terms of what I've seen so far, Sony and Canon have made a few new camera and update announcements. But no one has adopted ProRes RAW for onboard camera recording, which I presume means that RED's patents are pretty solid. A few odds and ends and little boxes for streaming, output to 8K displays, etc. Not a lot else that affects post.

One thing I miss about not walking the aisles at NAB would have been an assessment of how many manufacturers would have been using new Mac Pros in their booths. That's often a good gauge of potential success of hardware products. And a way to judge MP performance outside of an Apple-controlled venue.

Of course, Apple stopped doing NAB years ago, however, FCPX releases have often been timed close to NAB, which has allowed for some off-site previews. Not going to happen this year, which may mean the ProApps team has a little less pressure on them. Unless of course, the FCPX on iPadOS speculation turns out to be true ☺

BMD has done a good job of new Resolve releases close to NAB and that front has been silent, as well.

So I do feel like a world without trade shows is actually a net negative when it comes to advancing cutting edge technology. And maybe for us - like it or not - that's a good thing.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Bill Davis
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 2, 2020 at 9:20:16 pm

I suspect that in "some" cases, manufacturers are holding onto at least some of the news they would have published at NAB — if it had taken place.

I've talked to industry sources who's told me that not only a TON of money goes into NAB demos, but part of what makes that a decent business decision is the fact that the global production industry will be specifically watching for news during NAB week.

Since there WAS no NAB week, rather than releasing product info into a "24/7 Covid News" environment, some are likely just sitting on stuff and continuing to refine it.

Maybe if we ever get back to some sort of normal, vis-a-vis large physical gathering type events, we'll see a giant spate of beautifully rev'd stuff.

That would be nice, huh?

Creator of XinTwo - http://www.xintwo.com
The shortest path to FCP X mastery.


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Oliver Peters
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 2, 2020 at 9:42:55 pm

[Bill Davis] "Maybe if we ever get back to some sort of normal, vis-a-vis large physical gathering type events, we'll see a giant spate of beautifully rev'd stuff."

A lot of the development teams are also on lockdown internationally. We can all talk about the pros of WFH in some cases, but for hardware/software developers that's not necessarily the case. So some of these product developments are simply on pause until people get back to their facilities/labs/design studios. Not to mention, when we come out of this, no one on the production side will have any great interest in spending money on new gear. So I really feel that it's simply a lost year for this industry.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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David Mathis
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 2, 2020 at 11:23:11 pm

I was looking forward to a Resolve update by respect the decision by Blackmagic Design to hold off on that for now. One thing I have noticed are some deep discounts or extended try out periods during this time of uncertainty. I do miss seeing the rants, the reviews and the occasional food fight though civil conversations are refreshing. Ready to go back to normal, whatever that is.

I am an Avid fan of making the Final Cut on Resolve so the video will not be boring.


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Michael Gissing
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 3, 2020 at 3:39:06 am

I'm hovering about my camera upgrade. My UrsaMini 4.6 has given stalwart service and was damaged on a job with another cameraman so insurance has paid out the camera and I am poised to jump. So I was hoping this time would bring out cameras new or software enhanced so I can be sure I'm getting the right one. After using BRAW on my BMP4K I'm am more or less sold on the UMProG2 but I did want to see if there were any more BM cameras about to pop up.

I don't mind if Resolve 17B1 is postponed so the beta process is less chaotic. But yes, software and hardware choices I need to make are in limbo. I've got till the end of financial year (30th June is Aus) to make the decision and pay for the camera & perhaps Fairlight panels.

Meanwhile it's time to rebuild my computer for the next 4 years.


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Mark Smith
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 3, 2020 at 10:58:54 am

We are in the after- time now vis a vis Covid which is having huge impact on the industry. I am in the NYC area and production is basically zero. While editors may be chopping up zoom and face time sessions for corporate clients or broadcasters, the location, studio end of originating content is over for the time being. Maybe Apple need to put out a laptop with a S35 size sensor and swappable lens mount and 16 stops of DR to make those zoom sessions look better? So while NAB is fundamentally a huge marketing event , right now the market that NAB sells into is stalled. Rental houses in NYC are closed for the duration. Some of the smaller or mid sized rental house have had fire sales and closed.
In the end the economics of our current situation will drive what NAB does., We might be in for a long haul here.


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Tom Sefton
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 3, 2020 at 11:11:03 am

I think the next red release will be a big one, and something that goes after blackmagic’s price point in the market with the Komodo. They don’t go to NAB but I’d imagine they have it stored up for release to piggyback on another cameras release later this year

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Bob Zelin
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 3, 2020 at 3:14:54 pm

to simply answer the question "what are we missing without NAB" -
many feel "I do not need NAB - I can just look up what Adobe, Apple, Blackmagic, etc. is doing on their website, and see and learn the same thing".

Aside from the NETWORKING side of NAB (meeting people, talking to manufacturers in person, and clients in person) - the other thing that you do at these trade shows is discover new products, or get more info on products that you NEVER thought about. How many of you are using HP RGS ? I bet lots of you would be going over to the HP booth to find out more about remote workflow.

As all of this insanity goes on, and I monitor as many forums as possible in our industry - there are products that I have NEVER EVER paid attention to - not even for 2 seconds - and now these companies are starting to become important. Companies like vMix, LiveU, Unity Intercom are all becoming important companies. I never really paid attention to NDI - well, now I better start paying attention to it.
It's like when you take a new training course - you don't even know what questions to ask. But then you find out what these products do, and you say "gee - I don't get it - how does that work exactly" - and all of a sudden, you want to visit these companies to get an overview, and look at how their product works, and how it relates to you making a living.

So that's what we are missing without NAB. The new products, that do things that you are not even thinking about - but now all of a sudden, you say to yourself "boy, I wish I knew more about HP RGS or Teradici". If NAB 2021 happens, I feel that the #1 focus of that show will be all the products we work with, but how they work with REMOTE ACCESS (and not so much 8K, HDR, etc.).

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Oliver Peters
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 3, 2020 at 3:36:33 pm

It seems to me, when it comes to NLEs, we have largely tapped out on the new "whizz bang" features. After all, add 16K capabilities? Meh, you can do that now if the hardware you have supports it. Only Adobe seems to be trying to do something useful with its AI features. But none of these things are marquee items. Collaboration? Sure Avid's been doing that for decades and everyone is still playing catch-up.

So going forward, maybe the new focus will be on workflow solutions and less on the glitz. And does the big wild card of Covid mean cameras will go smaller? Is remote-directed, remote recording the new production mode? If so, does the Apple iPhone or the Sony Xperia phone become more important than your Canon, Arri, RED, or BMD camera?

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Mark Raudonis
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 4, 2020 at 2:24:51 pm

Totally agree with you, Bob!

Moving forward, it's all about "REMOTE".

Mark



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Michael Gissing
Re: What are we missing without NAB?
on May 4, 2020 at 10:27:47 pm

I work remote mostly anyway so a few observations. Yes it's nice to be able to live in a rural town which fortunately has OK internet. Yes it's nice to be able to just get up and do work without commuting or renting office space. Also nice to be able to dress daggy. However since the lockdown and travel restrictions, I miss the moment at the end of the job when clients arrive, we go through grade & mix efficiently tweaking with them in the room seeing and hearing everything properly and then go out for lunch and have a beer or wine.

Getting the final tweaks done remotely sucks. It takes much longer doing those tweaks and sending that off as a render to be checked on someone else's uncalibrated home system or worse still a laptop screen and speakers. Takes much longer and that time is without the fun of being with clients who are also good friends. We do still need to spend time with other creatives face to face, whether it is at trade shows, group demos of software & hardware and in the edit room.


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