We’re Apple Premium Service Providers for 2016!

We’re Apple Premium Service Providers for 2016!

Big congratulations and a crisp high five to our Nottingham team, who’ve only gone and got themselves Apple Premium Service Provider status for another year!

As well as having an encyclopaedic knowledge of things that could go wrong with a MacBook, “Premium Service Providers consistently deliver exceptional repair support and customer experience that meet Apple’s exacting standard for high-quality repair and prompt service”, according to the official blurb.

Apple Premium Service Provider: Jigsaw24

Which basically boils down to our support team being really nice, incredibly fast and almost always right. We’ve known that for years, but it’s good to know that it’s now a matter of official record.

The team currently offer an in and out of warranty service for Apple devices, and provide phone, email and remote support for everyone who buys from us. They also offer more complex support contracts, in which the standard excellent service is supplemented with a dedicated point of contact, guaranteed break-fix and response times, emergency hardware loans and more. You can find out more about those here.

If you’re currently in the market for a Mac and would like to know you have the backing of our Apple Premium Service Providing team, take a look at the warranties we offer.

Our Nottingham team currently offer in and out of warranty repairs for all your Apple kit. You can book yourself in for a repair here, or get in touch with the team at Apple.Repairs@Jigsaw24.com or call us on 03332 409 227. 

Apple add 4K export and XF-AVC support to Final Cut Pro

Apple add 4K export and XF-AVC support to Final Cut Pro

Apple have announced an update to Final Cut Pro that finally gives users the option to export 4K footage to compatible Apple devices.

The update also introduces sharing options for editors whose clients or collaborators are using iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPad Pro or a 4th-gen Apple TV. The sharing window has also been updated to support multiple YouTube accounts.

Motion 5 and Compressor 4 have both landed, too, offering compatibility with the same updated range of devices alongside bug fixes.

Aside from that sought after 4K export feature, the headline of this Final Cut Pro update (version 10.2, if you’re still counting) is that it adds support for Canon’s XF-AVC format, making it a viable editing choice for any videographers working with the ever-popular Canon C300.

Final Cut Pro is available from the Mac App Store now for £229.99.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Media Composer 8.5 is available for download now!

Media Composer 8.5 is available for download now!

Avid have just announced that Media Composer 8.5 is now available via the Avid Download Centre for users with a valid Upgrade & Support plan (look for a notification in your copy’s Application Manager) or via your Master Avid Account if you’re a new customer. 

The update promises a range of exciting new features designed to speed up your editing workflow but, as ever, we beg you to back up your work before hitting download. Do it now, in fact. We’ll wait.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be happy to hear that new features include:

Simpler menus The menus have been reorganised to remove legacy items and simplify your user experience.

An updated Timeline UI A number of updates have been made to the timeline, including enabling Sync Rollers for Sync Locked Tracks, the ability to see full segments as you drag them within the timeline, as well as the effect their repositioning will have on the rest of the timeline before you commit the change, and creating a new track by dragging a segment above or below the timeline.

Support for 64 tracks of audio Fairly self explanatory, this one.

Group by audio waveforms Group clips can be made based on audio waveform analysis.

HDR support Media Composer now includes colour spaces for High Dynamic Range (HDR). This provides support for a higher range of video signal, and enables automatic colour transformations for source files based on the HDR colour space set in the project.

Audio mixer updates You can now resize the audio mixer and create custom track groupings.

FrameFlex rotation Users can rotate the framing box in the FrameFlex source settings using the Z rotation slides, enabling the straightening or reframing of an image at the source level rather than in the timeline.

Interactive video frame cache A new Video Memory tab has been added to the Media Cache settings to allow users to save generated frames of the current playing sequence into a memory storage cache, resulting in faster response times while editing and playing back media.

UI personalisation tools Additional UI settings have been added to allow users to change the background colour of the Project Window and Timeline, and override Bin and Project fonts and font sizes.

Bin Columns updates The process for adding Custom Columns as well as Multiple Columns in bins has been simplified, and you can now copy and paste the same text to multiple fields within a column.

Identifying rendered effects Users can now choose to differentiate between rendered effect media and Title and Matte key effect media in the Media Tool. This is helpful when identifying media to delete.

SCC import Media Composer now supports importing of Scenarist Closed Caption (.scc) files.

For a complete list of fixed bugs and new features, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the Media Composer 8.5 ReadMe, which can be found here. You’ll also want to check your Interplay documentation – this version of Media Composer is supported with Interplay 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5, so check your release notes for any known limitations on feature functionality.

Want to know more about Media Composer 8.5? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Sony announce details of upcoming FS7, F5 & F55 firmware

Sony announce details of upcoming FS7, F5 & F55 firmware

Sony have announced that the FS7, F5 and F55 will all be getting firmware updates in January 2016. Although the updates were originally promised slightly sooner, Sony say they’ve been holding them back in order to improve S&Q RAW recording with an external RAW recorder.

The updates – officially titled PXW-FS7 Version 3.0 and PMW-F5/55 Version 7.0 – will be available free of charge “within January 2016″.

Key features of PXW-FS7 Version 3.0 include:

– Support for adjusting the Focus Magnification area position.

– Support for “2K Full”, “2K Center” setting in Image Scan Mode.

– Support for Interval Recording function.

– Support for Noise Suppression setting in Cine EI mode.

– Expand lowest value of Zebra level to 0%.

– RAW image quality improvement at 240/200fps HFR shooting.

Key features of the PMW-F5/55 Version 7.0 include:

– Quick Menu for fast access via Subdisplay (Option Button).

– ITU-R BT.2020 Support in Custom Mode (F55 only).

– MPEG2 50Mbps (50i/ 59.94i) Proxy recording while XAVC 4K/QFHD (50p/59.94p) recording (F5 needs to have the CBKZ-55FX licence installed).

– Simultaneous recording to the same SxS Pro+ card of MPEG2 50Mbps 4:2:2 and 10 bit 4:2:2 4K XAVC in either 3840 x 2160 or 4096 x 2160. The files will have matching Timecode and file naming.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Canon announce XA30 and XA35

Canon announce XA30 and XA35

Canon have announced replacements for their XA20 and 25 camcorders, the aptly named XA30 and XA35. Designed to be functional enough for pro users but lightweight and simple enough for hobbyists to handle, these new additions to the X range (so named for its X-over appeal, maybe?) boast new wide dynamic range and highlight priority shooting modes, “making them suitable for shooting everything from news and documentaries to weddings and corporate films.”

XA35-FSL

The typically ebullient press release tells us that “in Wide DR mode, the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range, resulting in bright images with high contrast that retain detail in both highlight and shadow areas, without the need for post-production. When using the Highlight Priority setting, users are able to produce footage with more natural tones and richer colours, particularly in areas of high brightness, perfect for scenes with bright skies and reflective surfaces.

“Both models also feature slow and fast recording modes, supporting a range of shooting scenarios with interval recording options up to a maximum of 1200x normal speed.”

Connectivity and media

The XA30 and XA35 retain the popular form factor of the XA20 and XA25, including their removable handle featuring XLR inputs, so professional quality audio is still within your grasp. The XA35 has HD/SD-SDI connectivity so that you can record hi res video with embedded audio and timecode, and both cameras support dual SD cards for relay recording at events or simultaneous recording in case you need instant backup.

Like a growing number of cameras aimed at ENG shooters, the XA35 and XA30 have dual-band WiFi, enabling remote control of camera functions, web browser previews of your clips, and wireless file transfer/upload. All of this can be done via your smartphone, tablet or computer. The particularly gadget-hungry/location-dependent among you may want to invest in Canon’s GP-E2 GPS receiver, which will let you embed GPS data in your footage’s metadata.

The specs

You can take a look at the full AX30 spec sheet here and the AX35 spec sheet here, but we’ve got some of the key specs here:

– Both cameras include a newly designed 1/2.84-type 2.91 Megapixel HD CMOS Pro sensor and have enhanced sensitivity with improved signal to noise ratio.
– Low light shooting opportunities are further boosted by improved infrared performance.
– The 20x wide angle lens offers a 26.8-576 focal range and employs the intelligent five axis optical image stabilisation.
– Includes two new feature settings: Wide DR and Highlight Priority.
– In Wide DR model the cameras are able to achieve 600% dynamic range.
– When using Highlight Priority settings, users are able to produce footage with more natural tones and richer colours, especially in areas of brightness.
– Both support high quality AVCHD (up to 28Mbps) and MP4 (up to 35Mbps) file formats.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Get 0% finance on a NewTek TriCaster 460

Get 0% finance on a NewTek TriCaster 460

It’s the time of year when vendors and distributors, having made it through Black Friday intact, are overcome with the kind of relief and seasonal fellow-feeling that leads to limited time Christmas offers. Case in point: Digibox’s 0% finance offer on NewTek’s TriCaster 460.

Until December 30th, you can buy a TriCaster 460 from any NewTek Elite Partner (hi, that’s us) and get 0% finance on your purchase – as long as it’s a 460, and you’re not buying the specially-priced ‘education’ models – these are discounted enough already, apparently.

If you’re not sure whether TriCaster 460 is the right model for you, you can download a helpful guide from NewTek here, although with support for HD, SD, SDI, analogue inputs and pan-tilt-zoom cameras, it’s hard to think of a scenario where it’d struggle. You also get 16 switcher channels, support for four cameras, six external and five internal video switcher sources and a hard drive with the capacity to record up to 70 hours of footage.

And you’ll get it all without having to pay interest, as long as you’re quick.

Buy now

 

Want to know more about the NewTek TriCaster? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email tricaster@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Buyers’ guide 2015: Content delivery

Buyers’ guide 2015: Content delivery

If you’ve seen our earlier articles telling you that your workstation could be better and that your office is disorganised, you might have formed the impression that we’re a mean-spirited bunch. Not so! We’re only cruel to be kind and, now that you’re incredibly organised and powering through projects, it’s time to think about how you want to show your work off.

Option 1: The Oversharer

Apple TV is a great alternative to an old school projector/monitor setup, or manually linking your laptop to a display. You can use it to mirror the screen of any Apple device to a larger display, and when the presentation’s over you can go back to using the screen for other things. (It also means you can play iTunes content on a giant screen in your boardroom, if that’s the sort of small rebellion you enjoy.)

Option 2: The Multitasker

If you want to take things a bit further, you can set up multiple, linked NEC screens and schedule content to play on throughout the day. We recommend using a nifty bit of software called sedna Presenter. This scheduling application is designed to specifically deal with Apple kit and the content produced on it. If you value what our AV consultant calls “the Apple look” – ie very clean, chirp graphics – send Presenter will help you ensure your content retains this on any display.

You’ll need to hook Presenter up to a Mac mini or two in order to manage your screens (don’t worry – we’ll set you up and supply training), but then you’ll be able to schedule content to play across your site from a single, central unit.

Option 3: The Show Off

If you want to add more screens across more sites, or show more than a slideshow of video and images, you’ll need to step things up slightly. Get in touch with our AV team for advice on custom setups including: video walls, interactive signage, using Apple devices as kiosk displays along with custom apps and interfaces (we love a good iPad kiosk), and, most importantly, tech support should anything go wrong.

Alternative delivery methods include…

Livestreaming content to the web or signage

NewTek’s TriCaster range gives you all the tools you need to start livestreaming, with larger models supporting up to eight cameras, VTR feeds, chromakey and on the fly graphics editing. If you’re just getting started, pair the simpler TriCaster Mini with encoding software from Matrox and Telestream Episode Engine to create a universally supported streaming service.

Delivering direct to apps

If you’re looking for something you can do straight from your iMac, we have good news. Adobe DPS is an extension of your Adobe apps that allows you to transform InDesign documents into interactive digital publications and distribute them through the App Store, Amazon Marketplace and Google Play. No muss, no fuss, just interactive content built in nice, familiar InDesign. Easy win.

Printing your project out (in 3D!)

We stock a full range of professional and large format printers, we offer loads of different colour charts and have our very own ink and toner configurator, but what we really want to talk about are 3D printers. We’re not saying you should find an excuse to start 3D printing in-house, but the godlike feeling that comes from watching your creation appear before your very eyes is pretty satisfying. They’re also good for rapid modelling and low cost prototyping.

…and you can speed all this up with MatrixCMS

MatrixCMS is a multi-channel, multi-platform eCommerce solution that supports multiple SKUs, images, pricing and descriptions for different markets and territories. As well as dovetailing neatly with your PIM solution, MatrixCMS is integrated with InDesign, meaning your designers can create and distribute content without having to learn a new programme from the ground up. To find out more, register for a free online demo at their site (you need to scroll down a fair bit).

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

What’s the verdict on iPad Pro?

iPad Pro has finally hit our shores (and in stock at our warehouse) so we’ve ventured into the dark heart of the internet – well, our favourite tech sites – to take the temperature and see how people are reacting to their new über-tablet.

ipad_proWhat’s with all the accessories?

Let’s start with a look at some standout features. Mashable are particularly ebullient about the Apple Pencil, the magically weighted stylus that you can purchase as an add-on for your iPad Pro. The iPad Pro scans for the tip of the pencil 240 times a second, meaning that it has an incredibly fast response time.

“My minor misgivings about losing it [aside], the Pencil is a marvel of engineering and once again highlights the iPad Pro’s excellent screen resolution and design,” gushes Lance Ulanoff.

“The responsiveness is exquisite and the Pencil tip material offers just the right balance between friction and smoothness on the iPad Pro’s touch screen. Pressure sensitivity is about as close as you’re going to get to actually drawing on real paper. It even supports shading, letting me hold the Pencil at an extreme angle to access a the virtual long-edge of a graphite pencil or wide magic marker. What’s more, there is almost no perceptible visual space between the Pencil tip and the digital line that appears on screen. All that combined with the iPad Pro’s impressively large canvas (I have room for a full drawing and reference material) make this a fantastic drawing experience.”

Ulanoff even filmed himself drawing on the iPad Pro versus the Surface Pro 4 – you can see the results here but as a spoiler, it’s game, set and match to iPad Pro.

While there has been some griping about the lack of a top row on the Apple Smart Keyboard, robbing you of the volume, brightness and function keys, but ARS Technica’s Andrew Cunningham notes that: “The keyboard and folded stand sections combine to form one continuous, flat surface that’s surprisingly stable on your lap, a complaint we still have about the Surface tablets despite improvements in recent generations”, and that missing top row is compensated for by “the best software keyboard ever” according to Macworld’s Susie Ochs:

“Like a good digital citizen, I use complex passwords full of letters, numbers, and symbols, even though that kind of password is harder to enter on my iPhone, requiring me to jump between the keyboards for letters, numbers, and symbols in a way I just don’t have to on my Mac. The iPad Pro’s software keyboard has a row of numbers and common symbols along the top of the letter layout, just like the Mac. Shortcuts even pop up per application—in Mail, the options to insert a photo or attach a file are handy to have right onscreen without any tap-and-hold tricks required to find them.”

The on-screen experience

Wired enthusiastically claim that iPad Pro is “the best tablet, and the best case for tablets, anyone’s ever made,” and are keen to emphasise the desktop-like experience you’ll be able to enjoy when using your apps on iOS 9:

“The extra space shows up in subtle but important ways. In iMovie, you can see your library, timeline, and a full-res 1080p view of your final product, all on a single screen. When you play FIFA, you can use the on-screen controls without obscuring any of the actual gameplay. You can comfortably see the entire week in the calendar, from 8am to 9pm. Slack has a new Jumbo Mode that shows you your messages, menus, and files all at once. Many of the first apps to be optimized are analytics tools—you can see so much stuff now! On the iPad Pro you spend less time moving—scrolling lists and thumbing through menus—and more time doing whatever you’re doing. Apps aren’t forced to feel like dumbed-down tablet versions.”

The iPad Pro is the size of two iPad Air 2 side by side, and it’s this that reviewers are finding makes sense of iOS 9’s multitasking mode, with picture-in-picture and side-by-side both making more sense once you have enough space to slide someone’s face into the corner of your Mail window, and now that Slide Over’s third-of-a-screen view is of a usable size. Mashable explain:

“Changing which app is running in the right-hand pane is easy; you just swipe down from the top edge of the screen (over the right-hand pane) and it converts it back into the list of available apps. To change which app is running on the left side, you can use a four-finger gesture which reveals the traditional app tab interface. Select one and it fills the left side of the screen, while maintaining the app running on the right.

“I did have to get used to the two different ways the two panes could interact. If I just dragged over my task pane and selected an app, the left pane would remain in what’s known as “slideover mode,” which means the left app will take over again if I tap to use it. To put the apps in multi-task mode, I have to grab the pane adjustment bar and drag it a bit left and then right to have both panes snap to multi-tasking attention. Apple explained that this is by design, since sometimes you just want to peek at some other bit of content or app information and then return to your main task.”

Power and speed

This is the first time we’ve ever known exactly how much RAM an iPad has had (4GB), and coupled with this A9X chip that is getting iPad Pro rave reviews for its dexterity, graphics performance and gaming and creative potential. Macworld note that:

“Gaming devs love to push the fastest available processors to the edge, and games that harness the Pro’s graphical power should be along before long. And creative users historically tend to favour more powerful machines – the Mac Pro’s main audience is among video editors and other creative-industry workers. But we can’t help feel that business users, who in other parts of the launch presentation appeared to be one of the main target markets, may feel that the Pro is overqualified – and consequently overpriced – for the primarily simple tasks they need it for.”

However, we’re yet to find a creative test that taxes the iPad Pro, so if you’re like our design team and want something that will help you stay genuinely productive away from your desk, it’s a safe bet. The Verge also want you to know that “the Pro’s build quality justifies the price” and that “The tablet’s processing power is even more notable than the display. Apple has rigged the iPad Pro with its latest chip, the A9X, which it claims has twice the CPU and twice the graphics performance of the previous processor. And it has four strategically placed, self-adjusting speakers that wowed me with their sound when I watched videos on it.”

If you want to check a few key benchmarks, ARS Technica have a helpful list here.

The verdict

While the general consensus seems to be that there’s room for refinement when it comes to multitasking and that the Smart Keyboard is likely to be threatened by third party rivals with function keys, general awe for the sound and picture quality, responsiveness and Apple Pencil are all making the iPad Pro a worthy investment, scoring eights and nines across the board.

We’re going to give the final word to the ever-delightful Macalope, though, who points out:

“No one, even Tim Cook, is saying an iPad can do everything a laptop or desktop can do right now. What people are saying is that, depending on your needs, the iPad might be able to do everything you need to do and, when you can pay less for it than a Mac or PC, why not ask yourself if it can?”

If you’re tempted, you can check out the full range here.

iPad Pro is in stock now. Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook. To find out more, head to our iPad Pro event in Soho on 10th February. You can see the agenda and get your name on the list here.

Buyers’ Guide: Content management and storage

Buyers’ Guide: Content management and storage

The say cleanliness is next to godliness, but we’d make a strong case for organisation being slightly closer. If you don’t have your fonts managed and your assets organised and backed up, you’re not going to be able to work efficiently, repurpose content and – most importantly – leave on time. Yes, we know it’s not the most exciting thing to read about, but getting your content management workflow together now will save you time for years to come.

The quick fix (for when there’s only a couple of you, and you don’t produce that much)

Okay, so let’s say you have a pretty speedy MacBook Pro. Get yourself a nice dependable desktop drive like a G-Technology G-DRIVE, then set up Time Machine for backup locally. To avoid any unwelcome data loss, we’d recommend getting some RAID storage – if your MacBook Pro has Thunderbolt 2, try making the most of it with a high-speed PROMISE Pegasus R4 array.

If you need to work together, the Synology Diskstation DS414 is a feature-rich 4-bay NAS specifically designed for growing businesses to effectively manage, protect, and share data. You can even add Extensis Portfolio Studio for better asset management and Suitcase Fusion to keep your fonts in order.

The neat freak (for when you’ve got a team to support)

If you’re working in a range of media we always recommend a capable iMac with Universal Type Server and Portfolio Studio to keep your files in check and easy for the team to access.

If you need extra local storage or want to run backups to a local drive, try something spacious like this 8TB G-RAID, while euroNAS’s 16TB, 16-bay 3U network server storage solution is a sterling contribution to your server room, and you can manage your backups with Archiware’s P5 software which can support two servers or a tape library. (Here’s the tape library we’d recommend, as it’s cheaper than high speed online or nearline storage for the long run.)

The archivist (for when you need big storage for big files and bigger archives)

If you’re churning out high volumes of multimedia files on something like this and a high speed Thunderbolt 2 RAID array, then you’ll need to beef up. Maximise your font management capabilities by upgrading to the Enterprise versions of your Universal Type Server and Portfolio asset management solutions. If you’re after something more video-specific, it’s well worth taking a look at axle Video’s solutions.

If you want to be sure all your data is backed up, opt for our manual backup service, Backup24, in which our team ensure your data is backed up to our Tier 2+ data centre. And to handle your NAS needs, the GB Labs Space range offer extremely fast large capacity shared storage for digital content creation.

Take control of content with MatrixCMS

By connecting up your PIM and CMS systems to create a single version of the truth for all work and enabling seamless cloud-based sharing of drafts and revisions, MatrixCMS makes it easier to stay on top of your assets. MatrixCMS provides a centralised store for all digital media, enabling an organisation to collate, manage and distribute their investment across the entire company. Arrange an online demo here (you have to scroll down to the bottom).

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email business@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

New firmware ends Canon C300 Mark II’s slow mo issues

New firmware ends Canon C300 Mark II’s slow mo issues

We’re huge fans of the C300 Mark II, so when it turned out to have a nasty glitch that made it skip frames when you shot in slow motion, we were a sorry lot. However, Canon have now worked their way back into our good books with some bug-fixing firmware. 

Canon-EOS-C300-Mark-II

The new firmware, available from the Canon site here, addresses an issue that resulted in frames being skipped or dropped when recording 4K at 24.00P and 23.98P, or 2K/HD at 29.97P, 25.00P, 24.00P, and 23.98P.

Canon’s official release notes warn us that we cannot perform this firmware update using CFast 2.0 cards, and will instead need to avail ourselves of a commercially available SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card that is 64MB or more for the firmware update. You’ll also want to back up your custom menu and features settings to a separate card before beginning, as these will be reset during the upgrade.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.