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

Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design announce DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update

Blackmagic Design today announced the immediate availability of DaVinci Resolve 12.1, which adds dozens of new features such as remote rendering, 10-bit viewers, new editing and colour correction tools, and more. The DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update is available now for both DaVinci Resolve 12 and DaVinci Resolve 12 Studio customers, and can be downloaded from the Blackmagic Design website.

DaVinci Resolve 12 is the most successful update in the history of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor. The feedback from the DaVinci Resolve community has been overwhelmingly positive and Blackmagic Design engineers have been hard at work to add even more of the features that professional editors and colourists have asked for.

DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update gives editors the ability to select clips when using the blade tool, extend freeze frames, use faders on generators and titles, perform negative timecode offsets, filter clips more efficiently, media manage groups of selected timeline clips, sort bins and footage more easily, create better filters for smart bins, and much more. Customers also get improved subclip support with Final Cut Pro 7 XMLs and improved audio rendering of audio transitions.

For colourists, DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds the ability to colour correct nested timelines and to decompose compound nodes along with new manual keyframe options for Power Windows, support for 3D stereo decision lists version 0.25, filtering of keyframed clips, the option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace and more.

In addition, the free DaVinci Resolve 12.1 update adds support for native display profiles on Mac OS X El Capitan, along with the option to enable 10-bit precision in the on screen viewers. That means customers using the new iMac with Retina P3 display will be able to see more colour, detail and dynamic range than ever before.

Since its release in September, the rapidly growing community of DaVinci Resolve 12 editors has meant that developers are now bringing their best and most exciting OpenFX plugins to DaVinci Resolve. For example, GenArts has been working with Blackmagic Design to bring new Sapphire Builder support to DaVinci Resolve 12.

Expected in an upcoming Sapphire 9.0.1 release, Builder will let DaVinci Resolve users combine Sapphire plug-ins together in any order to create a virtually unlimited number of unique effects and transitions. “DaVinci Resolve is the first OFX host to support Sapphire Builder!” said Sapphire product manager Brian Fox, “We’re very excited that DaVinci Resolve 12.1 users can benefit from all the new capabilities of Sapphire Builder.”

To support the growing momentum of DaVinci Resolve 12, Blackmagic Design has conducted multiple hands-on training sessions with the Motion Pictures Editor’s Guild in Hollywood. “I feel like DaVinci Resolve 12 is the NLE users have been waiting for all of these years,” said Noam Kroll, Los Angeles based filmmaker and editor whose feature film credits include The Grace Of Jake (2015), Shake The Dust (2014) and Footsteps (2012). “DaVinci Resolve 12 offers the same track based system that many editors are most comfortable with, but also provides truly innovative tools that feel very forward thinking.”

“Since it was released in September, DaVinci Resolve 12 has been downloaded by more customers than any other version of the software and has become the industry’s fastest growing video editor,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “DaVinci Resolve is now used on virtually all major films, television shows and commercials! We’ve listened to feedback from professional editors and colourists and are excited to give them this free update which includes even more of the features they’ve been asking for!”

What’s new in DaVinci Resolve 12.1?

– Remote rendering on DaVinci Resolve Studio.
– Support for native display colour profiles on OS X.
– Preferences option to enable 10-bit precision on viewers on OS X 10.11 El Capitan.
– Ability to select clips when in blade mode.
– Support for faders on generators and titles.
– Ability to extend freeze frames from the start of the edit.
– Ability to media manage selected clips on a timeline.
– Ability to perform negative timecode offset in clip attributes.
– Improved support for sub-clips from FCP7 XML.
– Improved rendering of audio transitions (cross-fades) and audio faders.
– Auto scroll during timeline item resize.
– Improved sorting in media storage and media pool.
– Support for smart bin filtering based on clip type.
– Ability to move clips and timelines from a smart bin view.
– Support for moving files to the trash instead of deleting them permanently when using the media manager on both Mac and Windows systems.
– Ability to delete multiple projects and folders in project manager.
– Ability to decompose a compound node.
– Ability to grade nested timelines.
– Ability to filter clips based on whether they have keyframes.
– Ability to manually keyframe power windows in frame mode even without tracking.
– Ability to freeze the current frame on an external matte.
– User option to copy flags and markers when performing ColorTrace.
– Improved ACEScc support.
– Support for stereo decision list (SDL) v0.25.
– Support for RED SDK v6.0.4.
– Support for embedding timecode in audio output.

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.

Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

Buyers’ Guide: iPad for business

With nearly half of all iPad now being sold to corporations rather than consumers, the odds that you’re going to end up working with an iPad at one time or another are pretty steep. 

Luckily, they’re user-friendly, great for increasing mobile productivity and, increasingly, are capable of running the vast majority of apps you already use on your desktop or notebook. With that in mind, it’s time to arm yourself with some key specs that’ll help you work out which iPad is right for your line of work.

While the basics of iPad remain the same – Retina display, iSight camera for photo and video on one side, FaceTime HD camera for video calls (and conferences) on the other, industry-leading platform, device and app-level security – there are subtle differences between models, such as screen size, storage capacity and whether they are available in gold, that can make all the difference.

iPad Pro

ipad_pro

iPad Pro is the creative user’s tablet of choice thanks to its leading graphics performance, but with analysts predicting that large format tablets will be ruling the workplace by 2019, it’s well worth getting to grips with iPad Pro in enterprise environments too.

But whether to opt for the larger 12.9″ model, or the more recent 9.7″ one? Well, if you regularly have to use your iPad as a presentation device, the three inches of extra screen space can provide some much-needed breathing room for your pitch content, especially if you deal with incredibly detailed models or documents. And while that faster A9X processor is designed to give more power to your creative apps, it’ll work equally well as a way to speed up data-driven work, so if you want to fly through analytics analysis (and then have plenty of space to show off your results) iPad Pro is the way to go.

That larger screen also means you get a bigger keyboard, should typing on your regular screen leave you drowning in a sea of typos and humiliating autocorrect errors, or you can add a Smart Keyboard, a lightweight, full-size keyboard that is built into an iPad Pro cover, meaning it’s there whenever you need it. Just fold back the cover, lean back your iPad (the non-keyboard portion of the cover folds into a stand) and you can set your iPad Pro up like a desktop or notebook for easier multitasking.

You can also add an Apple Pencil if you want to do slightly more detailed drawing than your finger can manage, or take notes. The iPad Pro scans for Pencil activity 240 times a second, meaning there’s no lag between your hand moving and your drawing appearing on the screen, and we’ve yet to hear of any reviewer managing to defeat the palm rejection technology. It’s also pretty quick to charge – 15 seconds of charge via your iPad Pro’s Lightning port gives you enough power for 30 minutes of use.

Best for: Architects, designers, onsite contractors – anything where you need to deal with high-res, detail-heavy imagery.

iPad Pro 12.9″

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only), 128GB (WiFi and cellular).

– 12.9″ 2732×2048 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture (2.5x faster than A7 chip with 5x faster graphics).

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £585 ex VAT.

iPad Pro 9.7″

– 32GB,  128GB and 256GB capacity.

– 9.7″2048×1536 resolution display.

– A9X chip with 64-bit architecture and M9 motion co-processor.

– 12MP iSight camera with 4K video recording and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Apple Pay.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey from November.

Prices start from £441 ex VAT

iPad Air 2

ipad_air_2

Keeping the screen size of the original iPad but squeezing the internals into a tiny 444 gram machined aluminium body, iPad Air 2 is an excellent compromise between screen size and portability. (We particularly like it for any roles where you need to combine typing and form-filling admin work with visual documentation, because it’s easier to handle than the Pro, but still retains the same pair of high quality cameras.)

While workers in some sectors are reporting that iPad is taking over from their desktop and notebook computers, there are plenty of tools available to help you use it as a second screen or presentation device – we highly recommend pairing it with Apple TV in your boardroom as a replacement for ageing projector setups.

iPad Air 2 has a greater internal memory than the original iPad Air, which tapped out at 32GB, which makes this form factor viable even if you’re toting larger apps or bigger files. This also allows you to work in Split Screen mode, which means you can use more than one app at once side-by-side – watch a video while reading something in Safari or dig information out of your email while typing into a document, for example.

iPad Air 2 also comes with Touch ID, Apple’s biometric security measure, to ensure no one can sneak onto your iPad without your index fingerprint. So if you’re saving ultra-important files locally or have business secrets in your email inbox, opt for the newer model.

Best for: Retail – a flexible solution for POS displays, kiosks, ePOS and face to face sales.

iPad Air 2

– 32GB and 128GB capacities (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 9.7″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8X chip with 64-bit architecture (1.4x faster than A7 chip with 2.5x faster graphics).

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £304 ex VAT.

 

iPad mini

ipad_mini_4

If you need something even more portable, go for the ultra-light 7.9″ iPad mini. Despite not being much bigger than your phone, it still manages to be higher resolution than an HD TV, and iPad mini 4 even manages to fit in Touch ID for biometric security authentication and supports Split Screen view for working in multiple apps side-by-side.

We like iPad mini for fieldwork such as repairs or surveying, as it has all the document and data management capabilities of its larger counterparts, but is slim enough to hold in one hand, making collecting video and photographic evidence that much easier.

The slightly lower price tag also makes it a popular choice for workplace schemes, as it shaves a little off the upfront cost of investing in iPad without you losing any of the core benefits.

Best for: Field sales, on-site reporting.

iPad mini 4

– 32GB or 128GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A8 chip.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Apple Pay.

– Touch ID.

– Available in silver, gold and space grey.

Prices start from £311 ex VAT.

iPad mini 2

– 32GB capacity (WiFi only or WiFi and cellular).

– 7.9″ 2048×1536 resolution display.

– A7 processor.

– 8MP iSight camera and 1.2MP FaceTime camera with 720p HD video.

– Available in silver and space grey.

Prices start from £196 ex VAT.

Want to know more about iPad? See the full range here or get in touch with our team by popping your details in the form below. Alternatively, you can call them on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Workstations for content creation

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Workstations for content creation

When you’re working in-house, it can be difficult to gauge what kind of workstation you really need. Do you need three screens, or do you need something you can take to shoots and client meetings? Your job title says graphic design, but your boss says you need to populate a YouTube channel. However, there are a few tried and tested setups that we’d recommend to anyone with even the slightest clue of how much heavy lifting their GPU will be asked to do…

The road warrior

Our pick for web design and development, working on the go and keeping up on-set.

roadwarrior

We recommend this 15” MacBook Pro with Retina display, paired with a colour accurate screen, such as Eizo’s ColorEdge CS230 self-correcting IPS display and maybe a Wacom Intuos Pro (our designers swear by these). Alternatively, if you’re more of a shutterbug, the Panasonic GH4  manages to straddle the still and video worlds, so you’re equipped for any type of project.

The contender

Our pick for graphic designers, Photoshop addicts and budding videographers.

lastimac

If you’re being asked to do a bit of everything, a top spec iMac is always a safe bet. This 27” iMac with 5K Retina display leads the pack, and pairs well with the 24” ColorEdge CX241 self-correcting IPS display. If that seems too unwieldy, you could try a Wacom Cintiq 13HD, and we like the Canon XC-10 for corporate and events videography.

The behemoth

Our pick for anyone whose day is full of 4K and RAW files.

behemoth

Sometimes you just need a computer that puts the fear of God in the heart of any large, complicated file or program that enters it, and in those moments of need we recommend you turn to this 8 Core Mac Pro and the 27” ColorEdge CG277.

To step up your camcorder, try the JVC GY-LS300 (a versatile beast that combines ease of use with the ability to get a proper ‘cinematic’ feel), or if you’re into 3D modelling a Cintiq 27QHD Touch tablet will get you almost uncomfortably close to your image.

And finally, put your workstation to work with MatrixCMS…

Not to state the obvious, but once you’ve got your hardware sorted, you need to get your content prepped and published, be it in print or online. MatrixCMS supports the creation and optimisation for both of these, and integrates with your company’s PIM and CMS systems to make collaboration between creatives and product managers easier. They can flag SKUs and imagery within Matrix, and you can open up their notes and revisions directly in InDesign so that you can start creating as soon as the product list comes in, rather than having to dig out resources lost in decentralised systems. You can learn more (and sign up for an online demo) over at the Matrix site. 

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

NewTek shave £600 off the cost of a TalkShow

NewTek shave £600 off the cost of a TalkShow

For a limited time, NewTek are offering their TalkShow Skype management tool for a cool £2199 as opposed to the usual £2795 ex VAT, saving you a smidge under £600.

 

newtek_talkshow

 

Already beloved of pro broadcasters on several continents, TalkShow allows video producers to initiate or receive Skype calls from remote guests using desktops, laptops, mobile devices, conference room systems, internet TV or game consoles running Skype software.

It contains everything you need to manage a Skype call as if it were simply another in-studio source, drastically reducing the risk of conversion loss, aspect ratio squashing and video artefacts and giving you more professional-looking video calls with a richer, enhanced picture. And if you’re worried about space, rest assured it packs up in a convenient (and robust) 1U rackmount unit.

You can pick up your discounted TalkShow here.

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.

Adobe launch new updates at MAX 2015

Adobe launch new updates at MAX 2015

Not content with trotting out a plethora of celebrity superusers and running a ridiculous number of workshops, Adobe have announced a raft of new updates at their Adobe MAX creativity conference in LA. The new updates affect both mobile apps (which should be updatable now) and desktop ones (which will receive the update soon). 

Adding Touch workspaces to desktop apps

Not content with bringing new apps to your phone, Adobe are adding Touch workspaces to their most popular desktop apps, so that you can work using gesture controls on devices such as Windows touch surfaces.

Adobe promise that InDesign users will be able to create layouts, while video editors will be able to scrub clips, drag and drop items on their timelines, and navigate through panels in a group, all without the need for anything as vulgar as a mouse.

Graphic designers’ holy trinity picks up updates (including a new app)

If you tend to stick with Photoshop, InDesign and Illustrator, you’ll be pleased to know they’ve not been neglected, either:

– The next update to Photoshop CC will be tightly integrated with the brand new Adobe Fuse CC (Preview). Fuse lets you create realistic 3D models, easily insert the 3D model into a scene in Photoshop CC with the power of CreativeSync, apply poses and animations, and adjust camera angles and lighting. Fuse is also a fast and flexible new way to create stunning 2D image compositions with 3D-like depth.

– The new Shaper tool in Illustrator CC gives you the functionality of 12 different tools and panels in a single tool. Draw basic shapes like circles, squares, and polygons, and the Shaper tool quickly and intuitive creates perfect geometric shapes for you. Plus, these will be Live Shapes so they are nondestructive and easily editable.

– InDesign CC will update Publish Online, allowing you to embed a document directly in a website.

There’s also been a particular focus on photo editing, with Adobe adding the ability to apply Dehaze more precisely to Lightroom CC, so you can control in the image exactly where you want to decrease or increase atmospheric haze.

The new Import tool automatically identifies photos from your camera card, hard drive, Photoshop Elements, Aperture and other sources, and easily imports them into Lightroom. Plus with this release of Lightroom Mobile you can take photos and apply Dehaze and other Photoshop magic as you capture the moment. These are just a few of the new features – read all about them on the Lightroom blog.

Photoshop CC has several Adobe Camera Raw updates, including the addition of Dehaze as a local adjustment. They’ve also updated the way Zoom works so it is now easier and more intuitive to move around your image when zoomed in.

Updates for UX and web designers

More flexibility in Muse, 64-bit architecture in Dreamweaver and the vaguely defined but excitingly-named Project Comet lead the updates to Adobe’s web-focused apps…

– Artboards improvements in Photoshop CC include guides for precise placement of elements, easier visualization of layers and the ability to customise the look and feel of your documents. The Photoshop CC release will also deliver the first version of Design Space, a modern design experience, inside Photoshop CC, streamlined for the requirements of web, UX and mobile app designers.

– Project Comet is a brand new Creative Cloud app currently under development, aimed at designing and prototyping web and mobile user experiences. We welcome you to be a part of the development process – sign up for the technology preview now.

– Web designers will love the new 64-bit version of Dreamweaver CC. We’ve added responsive design capabilities using new visual aids and the latest Bootstrap framework.

– Muse CC adds free-form responsive design to easily create custom websites that dynamically scale to any size screen, browser or device, without having to code or use restrictive templates.

– Flash Pro CC has been adding support for HTML5 and today we announced the ability to publish animations to multiple platforms including HTML5 Canvas, WebGL or even custom platforms – and with this release we are adding support for 4K video formats.

New video features fly in from IBC

After a successful launch at IBC 2015 in Amsterdam, Adobe brought out their latest video tools for their first American airing. Updates include…

– Premiere Pro CC ushers in the new era of UltraHD via comprehensive native format support for editing beautiful 4K-to-8k footage, and advances colour, with support for High Dynamic Range (HDR) workflows in Premiere Pro CC.

– After Effects CC now has the powerful and accessible colour tools and colour workspace that Premiere Pro has.

– Audition CC introduces Remix, a new audio feature that automatically rearranges music to any duration while maintaining the aural integrity and structure of the piece.

Pooling in Adobe Stock and the introduction of Adobe Portfolio

Adobe are also deepening Adobe Stock integration with CC desktop apps so you can easily search for and browse assets directly from Creative Cloud Libraries. For customers who have an Adobe Stock subscription, stock content can also be directly licensed from within the CC apps for use in projects, saving time and effort. They also plan to add video to Adobe Stock, which can be used for corporate videos or commercial use in advertising, television shows, websites, and more. Additionally, Adobe Stock has new features just for businesses, offering pooled licences at no extra cost to Creative Cloud for teams customers, as well as Extended Licences for usage of stock content in large print runs.

Finally, the team introduced Adobe Portfolio, a new service that lets you create a fully customised, responsive portfolio of work on your own domain – without having to write a line of code. Available soon, Portfolio will be included as part of all Adobe Creative Cloud plans. Portfolio is built on Behance, which means you can sync your Adobe Portfolio to your Behance Projects pages with a click, giving you even more opportunities to get your work discovered in the world’s largest creative social network.

Introducing new mobile apps: Photoshop Fix and Adobe Capture CC

Photoshop Fix lets you retouch and restore images right on your phone or tablet. Popular Photoshop desktop app features, like the Healing Brush and Liquify, are easy to use with the touch interface, so you can now do real retouching work right on your iPad and iPhone.

Adobe Capture CC makes it even easier for you to use your mobile devices to capture what inspires you and quickly create a brush, shape, or colour theme for professional work. The new Adobe Capture CC brings Adobe Brush, Adobe Shape, Adobe Color and Adobe Hue into a single, powerful, simple-to-use app.

There have also been tweaks to a number of existing apps, including Mix, Stretch, Draw, Comp and Clip, so there should be something useful for you whatever discipline you’re working in.

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 251 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

What’s new in iOS 9?

What’s new in iOS 9?

iOS 9, one of the highlights of Apple’s ‘Hey Siri’ event, will be available as a free download as of 16th  September, and aims to “make iOS devices more intelligent and proactive with powerful search and improved Siri features, all while protecting users’ privacy.”

Multitasking

One of the most exciting things from our workaholic/game addicted point of view is the new string of multitasking modes, including Picture-in-Picture, which lets you play video or conduct FaceTime calls while browsing the web, composing email etc in the background. iPad users will also get to experience Slide Over, which lets you simultaneously work in a second app without leaving the one you’re in (it appears in a sidebar that takes up about a third of your screen) and Split View, which allows you to view and interact with two apps at the same time, side by side, and resize your view to prioritise one or another of the apps.

The core apps get an update

Updates to iOS’s built-in apps include a redesigned Notes app that adds the ability to sketch designs, add photos, sync with iCloud and create wunderlist-style checklists; a Flipboard-style News app that presents you with a clean interface for reading Siri-curated content (it’s based on your interests and browsing, but you can always edit what you’re shown) and the addition of public transport routes to key cities in Maps, should you be about to head to IBC and unfamiliar with Dutch transit.

“iOS 9 is packed with intelligence that makes every experience with iPhone and iPad even more powerful — Siri can do more than ever and new proactive assistance helps you get more done before you ask, all while protecting users’ privacy,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of Software Engineering. “With iOS 9 we focused on strengthening the foundation of iOS with a deep focus on quality, and with the help of more than one million users who participated in our first ever public beta program, we’re excited to release the best version of iOS yet.”

Proactive assistance

The addition you’re most likely to notice day to day is proactive assistance, which helps Siri present the most relevant information at a given time of day and suggests actions at that particular moment based on the apps you use frequently and the time of day you use them. So for example, if you always stream music during your morning run, Siri will open Apple Music at the right time each morning, without you having to set a reminder. You can also add more context-reliant reminders, such as “remind me to call Dave when I get home”, and your phone will use location data to identify when you’ve arrived home and pull up the appropriate contact.

Apple Pay

Although we tend to get Apple Pay features slightly behind the US, we see no reason not to be excited about the fact that Apple Pay has added support for Discover, store loyalty programmes and “participating store-issued credit and debit cards”, which doesn’t sound like something that happens this side of the pond, but still. Shoppers will be able to manage their cards in the new Wallet app, which replaces Passbook.

Longer battery life, more storage and better graphics

Glory be and hallelujah. This latest release gives you an additional hour of battery life, and a power saver mode that sources say should give you an extra three hours per charge. In iOS 9, software updates will require less space to install and the Install Later feature can perform updates to your device when it’s not in use. Enhanced security features in iOS 9 keep your devices and Apple ID secure by strengthening the passcode that protects your devices and improving two-factor authentication by building it directly into iOS, making it harder for others to gain unauthorized access to your Apple ID. iOS 9 apps and the user interface now take advantage of Metal to deliver faster scrolling, smoother animation and better overall performance.

iOS 9 will be available beginning Wednesday, September 16 as a free software update for iPhone 4s and later, iPod touch 5th generation and later, iPad 2 and later and iPad mini and later. Some features may not be available in all regions or all languages. For more information visit the Apple site.

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