Your guide to AirWatch mobile device management

Your guide to AirWatch mobile device management

We’ve got plenty of amazing partners here at Jigsaw24 – Adobe, Apple, HP and Cisco to name just a few (you can see a more comprehensive list here). But a few months ago we added a new accreditation to our IT belt and became an official AirWatch partner. Never heard of it? Here’s what you need to know…

What is AirWatch?

AirWatch is a mobile device management solution that can handle iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices – one of the few solutions that can cater to all three platforms, plus Symbian and several other smaller players. It’s a suite of solutions that allows your users to connect to your network and systems, edit documents and share files all with complete confidence that their work is secure.

While they’ve been in the news recently thanks to a buyout by VMware, the AirWatch team have been  successfully securing devices since 2003, and are still very much in charge of their own ship.

What are the key benefits of AirWatch?

Secure access to email, WiFi and VPN networks User authentication using AD/LDAP is backed up by certificate based access to all your other services and networks, plus secure distribution of documents and apps. It even meets FIPS Publication 140-2 compliance standards for data protection.

Improved visibility AirWatch constantly monitors which devices are connected to your network and makes sure no unauthorised devices or blacklisted apps have found their way on. This is all reported back to your AirWatch admins, who can then block access to services, lock and wipe any lost or stolen devices and more.

Simple, secure document sharing AirWatch Secure Content Locker lets employees distribute sensitive documents using a 256-bit SSL connection. Your admin team can block certain types of user or device from viewing these documents, turn off functions like copying and pasting, and even automatically wipe documents from devices.

VPN on demand With AirWatch VPN On Demand, your team can specify that users must use a VPN to access certain networks or file systems. Every time a user tries to log in, AirWatch will generate a secure VPN tunnel in the background so that they can access the system seamlessly and securely.

Best of all, AirWatch does all this on a single, scalable platform that supports all kinds of devices running different operating systems. No matter how many mobile devices you have or how disparate they are, you’ll only ever have to manage one AirWatch system. This scalable, centralised management has made it popular with organisations like multi-site businesses and NHS Trusts.

Who’s using AirWatch?

Prominent UK names include Pentland Brands, Ted Baker, Roland, Fastjet, Colliers International and several NHS Trusts and emergency services groups, while in America their clients include Best Buy, Goodwill and the Bank of Canada. Many of them offer glowing testimonials here on the AirWatch site. CIO magazine have also given it their seal of approval.

How do I get started with AirWatch?

If you think you’re ready to go, you can download a 30 day free trial here.

For more information, get in touch with our team 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.

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Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

Casper Suite version 9.4 adds BYOD tools and Android support

JAMF Software have just launched version 9.4 of their Casper Suite device management tools. The major addition is Casper BYOD, which brings iOS and Android management tools to the Suite in order to better support – you guessed it – bring your own device programmes.

JAMF’s goal for this round of updates is to help end users become more productive and self sufficient, and to that end they’ve added self-service and BYOD tools that are designed to be simple, lightweight and easy for users to access without help from technical staff. Here’s the key info…

Casper Self Service for Mac, iPad and iPhone

JAMF have added new features to their self service toolkit, allowing users without admin access to download software and App Store apps, install eBooks, receive notifications from central IT and auto-configure their own email, contacts, calendars and WiFi/VPN profiles – all without having to raise a helpdesk ticket.

Users on iOS devices can now use the native Casper app to access self service functions, allowing them to download apps, files, eBooks, web clips and more, as well as configuring their email, calendars, contacts and WiFi and VPN settings, so they get a more seamless experience when moving between their desktop computer and any mobile devices.

Big benefits for IT here include the ability to send out push notifications and, hopefully, a massive reduction in the number of helpdesk tickets you have to handle. JAMF have made sure that configuration information still stays central, though, so you can have visibility over who is using which WiFi or VPN profile (and who’s tried to jailbreak their device) even if you’re not configuring it directly.

Casper BYOD

The biggest change in Casper Suite v9.4 is the appearance of Casper BYOD, a lightweight management interface that will let IT teams manage iOS and Android BYOD deployments unobtrusively. It includes tools that allow you to remotely wipe corporate data and settings, remotely lock devices, enforce encryption settings and passwords, and inventory devices and their data from a single, central console.

The key thing here is that wipes and inventories only cover corporate data, so ends users can rest assured that their private data is their own, and they’ll receive notifications whenever the IT team takes action that may affect them. They also get to keep all their personal preferences and settings (as long as they meet the company’s security requirements, such as mandatory passwords).

Casper Simplified Enrolment

Finally, Casper Suite v9.4 includes a vastly simplified process for enrolling users. It requires far fewer steps than before to set up, and users can be enrolled automatically as soon as their device is detected on the corporate network.

If you’re free later, JAMF Software are running through all the changes in a webinar at 2:00pm Central time (8:00pm UK time.) Sign up for the Casper Suite v9.4 launch webinar here.

Want to know more about managing your Macs and mobile devices? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at sales@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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Qube! Designer to launch at SIGGRAPH 2014

Qube! Designer to launch at SIGGRAPH 2014

PipelineFX have chosen SIGGRAPH 2014 to launch new, more affordable Qube! licensing for the design community (we assume – only the US pricing has been confirmed so far). 

As PipelineFX’s press team explain, “the ‘Qube! Designer’ package will drop Qube! Worker licence prices for design firms running one render job per host” – including licences that are part of a one year subscription (as long as you have a minimum of 5 seats). This makes Qube! Designer “nearly half the price of competitive solutions”.

The version of Qube! included is fully featured and intended for designers who mostly use 3ds Max and After Effects.

“This seems great for any companies who have older equipment they might want to use for rendering, but who find the price of licensing a farm too high,” said our 3D specialist, Josh Mace. “It also means companies who only use 3ds Max or After Effects won’t be paying the full price for features they will most likely never use.”

To find out more about Qube! Designer (and are lucky enough to be going to SIGGRAPH), PipelineFX are holding a render management social at the Tap & Barrel next door to the convention centre from 5-7pm on 13th August.

For more advice on Qube! or your rendering workflow, get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or email 3D@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook
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Adobe tools for the computing curriculum

Adobe tools for the computing curriculum
Michael Gove may be gone, but the 2014 computing curriculum lives on, replacing traditional ICT lessons with a more practical (and, let’s face it, more useful) focus on problem solving, computational thinking, and coding.

We’re big fans of this development, but a lot of the schools we deal with have mixed feelings. Staff like the computing curriculum in theory, but don’t think they have the skills or equipment to teach it effectively, especially when it comes to integrating coding into the rest of the curriculum.

Luckily, there’s no need for you to start crowbarring turtle graphics into GCSE art lessons. There are tools out there that can help you give your students a more technical understanding of creative technology, without taking the focus entirely from art, design or whatever else you’re trying to teach – and if you’re using Adobe software, you may well have most of them already.

Dreamweaver, Fireworks, Edge and Muse
Of Adobe’s current crop, the programs you want to focus on for teaching creative coding are: Dreamweaver, which allows students to design and publish web pages; Fireworks, for prototyping and optimising web and app designs for different devices; Edge Animate, a tool for animating Photoshop and Illustrator-created graphics using HTML5; and Muse, a simple, mostly drag and drop interface for creating simple websites.

All of these programs are intended to help non-technical designers, which actually comes in really handy when you move them to the classroom. The focus of the lesson stays on your subject, rather than it becoming a fully-fledged IT lesson, students who are less technically able can use the shortcuts in the software to ensure they can still participate fully, while those who are more confident can use CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript and PHP to push their designs further, or use this as an opportunity to focus on user experience design and usability and how this should inform their IT work. Here are a few of the goals we reckon Adobe can help you hit…

Working with a range of applications and devices
The holy trinity of InDesign, Fireworks and Dreamweaver all contain tools that’ll let you remodel work for different screens, browsers, tablets and phones. This is a great starting point for conversations about responsive design and the changing IT landscape – how are people accessing content? What new things do students need to consider, as developers, as a result of that? How do they make sure they have a design that is simple enough to translate, but still engaging and interesting? Do they know how to build swipe functionality into mobile versions of their content?

It also means that when you send them out into the working world, they’ll be used to taking these (very important) factors into consideration, and have experience with a wealth of devices to draw on – both great pluses for any job-seeking student!

Creating, re-using, revising and repurposing digital artefacts
The interoperability of all your Adobe software makes this one a breeze. Images you’ve created in Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign can all be added to web pages using Dreamweaver or Fireworks, and you can encourage students to repurpose their content for different devices. For example, they can create a web page for desktops, a mobile version that anyone on a smartphone can see, and an app version (complete with touch controls) for anyone who’s looking at the content on a tablet.  You can make this even easier by using Edge Animate to create a series of templates that students can work with or modify, or encourage them to create and share their own.

Self-expression and developing ideas through ICT
“Design and build a web site” pretty much hits this on the head, and that’s what Dreamweaver, Fireworks and Muse allow students to do. They can combine creative work they put together in Photoshop, InDesign, Flash or Edge Animate with functionality they’ve developed using CSS3, HTML5 and jQuery tags in Fireworks and Dreamweaver to create a fully featured, multi-platform project with as much functionality as they can pack in, with tools like W3C validation on hand to make sure they stay focused on creating user-friendly, accessible pages that meet professional standards.

Practically applying IT skills to a range of creative projects and media
CSS3, HTML5, JavaScript/jQuery and PHP are all used throughout Adobe Dreamweaver, Edge and Fireworks, so students can practise working with a range of languages and optimising that content for different devices, browsers and screen sizes. Adobe’s preference for very visual interfaces that offer a code-free way to edit page elements means that students who are less technical can get a clearer idea of which parameters affect which page elements, then tackle the code itself once they’re more confident.

So how so you plan these lessons?
One of the best things about Adobe’s education offering is that it includes access to the Adobe Education Exchange. This is an online portal packed with training programs, curriculum advice and lesson plans to help you get the most out of your Adobe software.

Both Adobe experts and other teachers can contribute, so it’s a good way of gauging how other schools are embedding technical and creative skills across the curriculum, and the resources are guaranteed teacher-friendly. You can even download sample files showing how to complete different types of project, such as creating your own textbooks or building multi-page apps.

It also includes resources for the 10 week Adobe Train the Trainer course, a series of self-paced lessons that act as continuing professional development for Adobe users.

 

Just want to code? Here are some of our top apps to try…
Cargo-Bot (Two Lives Left, free) – This former Jigsaw24 App of the Week teaches programming by asking students to create simple routines to activate a robotarm. Great for gauging pupils’ coding skills when they enter KS3!

 
Codea  (Two Lives Left, £6.99) – The programming app used to make Cargo-Bot, Codea allows you to create apps, games and simulations directly on to your iPad. It includes visual editors as well, so is perfect for beginners who want to grasp the basic concepts before moving on to more complex coding.
 

Scratch 2 Games (David Phillips, 69p) – If you’re using the web version of Scratch to teach students coding, these video tutorials on game creation are a must for teachers and students. 
 

Codeacademy’s Hour of Code (Codeacademy, free) – This app encourages pupils to work through the vocabulary and grammar of coding as if they’re learning a language. They take on one small step at a time, building on previous knowledge, and are introduced to the concepts and terminology behind their favourite apps and websites.
 

Want to know more about your Adobe options? Get in touch us on 03332 409 333 or email adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest education info, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.  

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Avid’s new upgrade plan: what you need to know

Avid’s new upgrade plan: what you need to know

Attention all Avid users: the software giants are saying goodbye to their current upgrade model, and are giving you until 1st January 2015 to move to the latest version by taking out one of their new annual support plans. Here’s what you need to know.

How the new plan works

First off, this isn’t a subscription model. When you buy a new licence of Media Composer, Symphony or NewsCutter, it’s yours and you own it forever. However, the only way you can get access to updates and new versions is by signing up for Avid Support, which costs £190 ex VAT and needs to be renewed annually. This cost gives you access to any and all updates Avid release for free, plus basic tech support. If you stop paying for Avid Support the licence will still function, but if you want to access any new features you will have to pay for a new licence.

Who needs to buy Avid Support?

If you bought Media Composer 8, Media Composer 7 or NewsCutter 11 between 1st April and 29th April 2014, you’ll have been automatically enrolled in Avid Support, and don’t have to do anything until next April, when you’ll need to pay to renew it for another year. All new licences purchased since then will have been automatically enrolled on Avid Support.

Everyone else will need to buy Avid Support before 1st January 2015, or you’ll have to buy new licences. If you’re using an earlier version of Media Composer, signing up to Avid Support will give you access to the latest version at no extra cost.

If you buy add-ons like the Symphony option for Media Composer, these will be covered by your initial Avid Support contract.

In case our aggressive hyperlinking hasn’t already clued you in, you can purchase Avid Support here on our site.

What if I have an existing support plan?

If you have a current Expert Plus or Elite support contract with Avid, then your Media Composer licences will automatically be enrolled in Avid Support, and you just need to renew then annually from now on.

What if I need to buy new licences?

All licences will include one year’s worth of Avid Support, and you’ll be prompted to renew in a year.

What if I choose not to sign up for Support before 2015?

You’ll still be able to use your existing Media Composer licences, but you won’t be able to update them or add Avid Support to them in future. If you wake up on 2nd January 2015 and realise that sweet merciful Zeus, you did need that licence after all, you’ll have to pay for a full, new licence. This will set you back far more than £190, so we strongly advise you to purchase Avid Support here, now, so you know you’re covered.

Isn’t there also a subscription model?

Yep. For those of you who don’t need to own your software licences outright (maybe the number of licences you need changes from project to project, maybe you only need Media Composer for a specific period), Avid now offer annual and monthly subscription plans from £429 ex VAT a year. You pay a regular fee to rent your software, and lose access to it if you miss a payment.

It’s also worth nothing that a Media Composer subscription comes with a load of extras, including access to Symphony, NewBlue Titler, Sorenson Squeeze Lite, Boris Continuum Complete Lite and a 30 day trial of iZotope Insight.

If you want to move your existing perpetual licences to a subscription model, Avid will let you cross grade for £340 ex VAT, after which you’ll have to pay the usual £429 annual fee.

What are the options too convoluted to discuss here, and who should I contact to find out more about them?

There are two other things we think you should consider. First, Avid are now offering networked and floating licences, designed to help artists in a single facility to collaborate more fluidly. Second, if you’ve been on an elderly version of Media Composer and are about to take out support to get the latest version, it’d be a good idea to check your hardware compatibility. We provide Avid accredited turnkey systems, so it’s a good idea to give us a call and discuss your options before switching versions (our contact details are below).

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.

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MOTU retire 2408 PCIe range after 15 years; announce networkable, Thunderbolt successors

MOTU retire 2408 PCIe range after 15 years; announce networkable, Thunderbolt successors

MOTU have announced a new range of professional interfaces that take over from the now-discontinued 2408/24IO/HD192 range. Offering the same high channel count, the new interfaces offer Thunderbolt connectivity instead of PCIe, with USB 2.0 also present.

The new interfaces also offer a first in this area: AVB Networking, which not only lets you connect multiple interfaces to a single computer, but also allows for the creation of a full audio network of interfaces and computers, where audio can be streamed from any source to any destination. The routing of the entire network can be controlled by a web app running from a computer, tablet or phone.

The MOTU AVB range

There are four products in the AVB range:

MOTU 1248: 32×34 interface with 4 mic preamps, 8 line level, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 8M: 24×24 interface, 8 mic preamps, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU 16A: 32×32 interface, 16 analogue line level inputs and outputs, 16 channels of ADAT, Thunderbolt and USB 2.0.
MOTU AVB Switch: Dedicated 5 port AVB switch.

Any of the interfaces can be connected directly to any other via a single ethernet cable, but for further expandability the AVB switch lets you connect up to five together, or four with an uplink to another switch. Any of the interfaces connected to a switch may also be connected to a host computer of its own, with all attached computers being able to see all the connected interfaces.

What are the advantages of MOTU AVB?

Host access through Thunderbolt or USB. MOTU are the first to combine AVB networking with Thunderbolt and USB 2.o connectivity. MOTU AVB networks do not require PCIe slots. Instead, you can conveniently connect your host computer(s) through USB or Thunderbolt.

Support for multiple computer hosts. A MOTU AVB network can host as many computers as can be physically connected, with complete access by all hosts to all connected devices and audio streams. All computers and all network devices run in sync with each other, resolved to the network’s master clock.

256 channels of host I/O. Over Thunderbolt, MOTU’s AVB interfaces support 256 simultaneous channels of audio I/O (128 in plus 128 out).

Over 512 streams of network audio. MOTU’s AVB network can stream over 500 channels of audio throughout the network. Each MOTU AVB device can broadcast eight 8-channel network streams and simultaneously listen to eight 8-channel network streams.

Exceptionally low network latency. Standard AVB network latency is 2 ms. MOTU AVB network latency is an astonishing 0.6 ms, even over 7 “hops” (switches) and hundreds of metres of cable. By comparison, Cobranet has variable (unpredictable) network latency in the range of 5 ms. (We should point out that these figures came from MOTU, not the Jigsaw24 test lab.)

Star configuration. MOTU AVB employs a star network configuration. This is much more flexible than daisychain scenarios, which require dependency on all devices in the chain.

Web interface. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled from MOTU’s control software, which runs within any web browser running on any networked laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

Wireless control. MOTU’s AVB system can be controlled wirelessly through its web interface from any networked wireless device, such as a laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

One-click synchronisation. Click the “Become Clock Master” button in the MOTU AVB web app for the MOTU device you choose as the clock master, and all other devices on the network immediately resolve to it.

Thunderbolt connection to host computer. MOTU’s core system interfaces (1248, 8M, 16A, etc.) can connect to the host computer with Thunderbolt, which allows full access to the entire MOTU AVB system network, streaming 128 channels of audio in and out simultaneously, even at high sample rates, thanks to Thunderbolt’s extremely high bus bandwidth capacity.

See the full MOTU AVB range here. For more information, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest audio news, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.   

Customer stories: Gifford Hooper and HoverCam

Customer stories: Gifford Hooper and HoverCam

Aged 13, Gifford Hooper built his first model helicopter in order to get aerial shots of his school for a geography project. Fast forward a few years (and models) and he’s an Oscar-winner and one of the world’s leading aerial filming camera operators.

Back in 1979, Gifford Hooper’s school geography department wanted aerial photos of the school, prompting him to build and operate a model plane with a 35mm clockwork camera so that he could get the necessary shots.

35 years and a few generations of technology later, Gifford is now the proud owner of an Academy Award™, having pushed the aerial shooting envelope with Hawkeye and HoverCam. His work can be seen in 24 Hour Party People, Bridget Jones’ Diary, Finding Neverland and 28 Weeks Later.

Hovercam Showreel 2010 from Gifford Hooper on Vimeo.

Can you still remember your first big break?

It was in 1990, when a riot broke out at Strangeways. I got in touch with ITV news and explained I could get them shots they’d never seen before, so they were very excited and ended up commissioning us to film the rooftop protest live – the first time a live  TV broadcast relay had been achieved from a civilian drone. That was also the first time I worked with Philip George, with whom I went on to found HoverCam. I’ve moved on since then am now working with a different set up and crew.

How has your kit changed since then?

When we started working together as HoverCam, we had a 16mm Beaulieu, a S16mm ARRI SR and an ARRI IIC with Cinematography Electronics’ crystal motor base. The first big change was when turbine engines became reliable, because the extra power let us carry bigger payloads and better guidance systems. With the advent of digital cinematography we’ve been able to move to smaller RED cameras, which make life a lot easier.

What drives your changes? Are you always looking to improve, or do you look at the setup on a job-by-job basis?

We’re always trying to improve, although if the client wants something exotic then a flying machine will have to be built for that project. Technology, reliability and safety are the main driving forces behind our changes.

What drives your choice of camera when it’s your choice?

Image quality, size and weight are the biggest issues. When it comes to image quality we have to test different cameras for rolling shutter issues and well we can electronically communicate/integrate with the camera to control its functions remotely. If we have to use a bigger camera, we look at what can be stripped off it without it losing functionality – in some cases we’ve physically cut parts off the camera.

Which camera has generated the most issues when it comes to aerial shooting?

All cameras have different issues to get over, but I guess when we used to shoot full frame 35mm motion film, we had to modify the camera gates, machine different lens adapters and install our own video assist cameras and remote controls. Nowadays all this involves is programming different protocols to talk to the camera’s electronics.

Are you working on the rig at the moment?

The most recent development is a new GPS autopilot system that I’ve implemented, dual autopilot controls for redundancy, new integration of camera controls with the GPS systems. It’ll allow for safer flying and new motion control possibilities.

What’s the most challenging shoot you’ve undertaken?

Well they all have their ups and downs – in aerial filming, all shots are challenging, that’s why they’re the icing on the cake. The hardest things are action sequences in feature films, when you have lots of cast and crew who have to be in the right place at the right time. This isn’t a crane that you can just leave in one place while adjustments are made to the set or actors, so you have to rehearse everything without flying first.

Is there a shot that you’re most proud of?

Working on feature films is the best work to have, but I guess working on commercials with huge budgets means you get to go to some amazing places. We filmed a soft drinks commercial in the Maldives, I think it was for Japanese TV. The shot called for a small beach island with one palm tree and a couple drinking the soft drink, they are on sun loungers and have a kite flying above them giving them shade. Our shot was an aerial view of the complete island surrounded by sea, the couple on the sun loungers with a kite flying close to the aerial camera in the foreground.

To achieve this we had to assume there would be no wind to fly the kite, so that was tethered to the ground and lifted up by a smaller model helicopter. Then we positioned the aerial filming helicopter above the kite. Because the complete island and the sea surrounding it was in view, we couldn’t operate the helicopters from the island and had to build scaffold towers in the sea instead.

Are there any moments where things have gone drastically wrong?

In the early days, mechanical faults where our biggest challenge. The machines had to be completely stripped down and rebuilt overnight while the film crew slept, so we could have a fresh working machine for the morning. We got very little sleep on film shoots! The biggest technical problem we ever had was filming a hotel commercial in Thailand – we lost power and ditched the helicopter in the empty pool. This was back when we were shooting film, so could pull the camera out, strip it, dry it, clean it, grease it, reassemble and test it, then carry on with the shoot with our second machine.

You’ve just won an Academy Award™, which must have felt amazing…

It was awesome, and a complete shock. It’s very nice to have fellow filmmakers acknowledge your many years of hard work.

But looking forward from that, where do you see aerial filming going next?

The market for drones for aerial filming is booming. This is a fantastic time for the market, with lots of computer controlled drones and high quality small cameras. Our systems are all electronic now, so we have fewer mechanical problems to deal with. Usability and reliability are up 100 fold compared to 25 years ago.

Do you see any downsides?

Unfortunately, this leads to some rogue use of technology. A lot of people doing this for the first time are unskilled in aerial filmmaking and flying, and I think a lot more training needs to be done. For example, a lot of people are unaware that it’s illegal to fly without a CAA licence for commercial filming. Even if you’re only doing it as a hobby, you have to abide by the CAA air navigation order.

So your advice to young aerial cameramen is to know the law?

Well your first starting point is to learn how to fly a model RC plane and helicopter to give you a good understanding of flying, start asking for help from people who have being doing it for 30 years. Then obtain the licence for commercial aerial filming work from the CAA.

Looking to get started? We can’t issue pilot’s licences, but if you’re wondering which cameras to invest in, give the team a call.

To find out more call 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera gets a price drop and ProRes support

Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera gets a price drop and ProRes support

You’ve probably already heard that Blackmagic Design have cut the price of their Pocket Cinema Camera until August 31st (we’re offering it at £325 ex VAT with a free battery chucked in) [EDIT, 11/08/14: Due to massive demand, this deal is now sold out. Sorry], but less well publicised is the v1.8.2 firmware upgrade, which adds support for ProRes LT. 

Blackmagic Camera Utility v1.8.2

Blackmagic Camera Utility v1.8.2 adds ProRes 422, ProRes 422 LT and ProRes 422 Proxy recording support to the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K and Blackmagic Cinema Camera as well as the Pocket Cinema Camera. It’ll work on OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion or later, though you’ll need a computer with a USB 2.0 port and a Thunderbolt port if you plan to use UltraScope and MediaExpress with either of the larger cameras.

The addition of ProRes LT support is big news for anyone who wants to lower their storage overheads, as its increased compression more than triples the capacity of your typical 32GB card while significantly increasing how long you can shoot for. In real money, it breaks down something like this:

ProRes 422 HQ (the original)

220MB/s 

1.6GB/Min

20 mins per 32GB card

ProRes 422

145Mb/s

1GB/Min

32 min per 32GB Card

ProRes 422 LT

Roughly around 101Mb/s (70% of 422)

734MB/Min

43 mins per 32GB card

ProRes 422 Proxy

Roughly around 43.5Mb/s (30% of 422)

337.3MB/min

94 mins per 32GB card

Download Blackmagic Camera Utility v1.8.2 here.

Pocket Cinema Camera kits

But today isn’t all about firmware. Today is about is us having 75 cut price Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras in stock, plus all the accessories you need to start shooting [EDIT, 11/08/14: Due to massive demand, the half price deal is now sold out. Sorry]. Here are some of our top recommendations:

The starter kit For the usual RRP of a Pocket Cinema Camera, we can now offer you the camera, a 32GB card and a 14-42mm Lumix power lens. Buy it here.

The battery kit That spare cash you have left over because of the price drop is perfect for our £50 battery kit, which will get you two spare batteries and a Nikon charger, so you’re not caught out by your Pocket Cinema Camera’s new, longer recording time. Buy it here.

The cage Now that you’re taking your Pocket Cinema Camera out on longer shoots, it’s time to invest in a cage. Our recommendation? This excellent offering from SHAPE. Buy it here.

The lens adaptor Want to use your existing lenses with the Pocket Cinema Camera? Grab yourself one of these EF to micro 4/3″ lens adaptors from Canon to increase your shooting options. Buy it 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 Illustrator CC gets GPU-acceleration for the first time

Adobe Illustrator CC gets GPU-acceleration for the first time

For creatives relying on the magic of Illustrator CC’s vector graphics, you’re about to find the creative workflow a far smoother experience. Thanks to graphics processing giants NVIDIA, Illustrator is able to take advantage of GPU-acceleration for the first time. The technology to applaud for getting your GPU out of it’s armchair is NV Path.

NV Path is an extension of OpenGL, and the result of work between NVIDIA and Adobe. NV Path offloads path rendering onto the GPU, leading to increased fluidity when zooming and panning around your resolution-independent creations.

Previously, Illustrator performance was served up entirely by the CPU, often leading to stuttering, spluttering and an interrupted creative process. Unlike their 3D cousins, 2D artists haven’t had access to the GPU until now. When Illustrator CC is able to perform 10 times faster, you’ll wonder how you got by.

While all this sounds like a technical marvel (and it is!), Illustrator CC’s central mission is to get your imagination onto the screen and beyond with the least resistance. News of this stutter-killing advancement will delight 2D artists, whose creative impulses won’t be held back by an overworked CPU.

For users with the winning combination of Creative Cloud and an NVIDIA GPU, NV Path enabled Illustrator CC is available now.

For more information, call 03332 409 306 or email on at adobe@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

PreSonus launch cascading mixers and extend StudioLive trade-in offer!

PreSonus launch cascading mixers and extend StudioLive trade-in offer!

PreSonus are launching a new firmware update that makes it possible to cascade multiple StudioLive AI digital mixers, and to celebrate they’ve extended their recent trade-in offer so that those of you still on analogue mixers can cash in too. 

PreSonus AI-series firmware upgrade

PreSonus are planning a free firmware upgrade for all their StudioLive AI-series mixers, and the headline feature is the addition of cascading. As PreSonus explain, this means you can “start with 16, 24, or 32 channels, then cascade a second mixer of any frame size to create custom-sized mixing consoles with all the hardware and software advantages of StudioLive Active Integration systems.”

“Cascading mixers functionally creates a single large-format console with full recording and remote-control capability by simply connecting a FireWire 800 cable between the two mixers. For example, combine two StudioLive 32.4.2AI to get a 64-channel system with 32 mix buses that can record 80 simultaneous streams and play back 66 on any FireWire 800- or Thunderbolt-equipped computer.

“Cascading mixers of different frame sizes is great for special events that require a few extra recording channels that don’t need to be in every monitor mix. For example, a StudioLive 16.4.2AI can be cascaded to a 32.4.2AI and form a single 48-channel console with 6 global aux buses, as well as 8 local aux sends that are available to the channels on the 32.4.2AI.”

We don’t have a drop date for this update beyond “later this summer”, but if you’ve registered your StudioLive AI mixer  then it’ll show up as a free download in your My PreSonus account. The update does not change the computer system requirements for StudioLive AI mixers or software, and is fully compatible with the current versions of Capture 2.1, SL Remote-AI, QMix-AI, and VSL-AI.

Save up £800 when you trade your existing mixer for the StudioLive AI-series.

PreSonus have been offering you up to £800 off a StudioLive AI-series mixer if you trade in your existing one for some time now, but they’ve just opened up the offer to include analogue mixers. This means you can save yourself a chunk of cash by trading in pretty much any mixer you can get your hands on.

What’s on offer?

You can opt for any of the PreSonus StudioLive AI Series digital mixers, including the 16.4.2AI, 24.4.2AI and 32.4.2A. The mixers are ideal for either live sound or studio recording, being both fully-featured and flexible. They’re really intuitive and easy to use in a live environment too, with fewer menus and more hands-on controls than other digital desks.

– Save £800 on the PreSonus StudioLive 32.4.2AI when you trade in your old mixer.

– Save £600 on the PreSonus StudioLive 24.4.2AI when you trade in your old mixer.

– Save £400 on the PreSonus StudioLive 16.4.2AI when you trade in your old mixer.

How does it work?

You bring your old digital mixer to us to trade in. The traded-in mixer can be either an original PreSonus StudioLive, or any other brand of digital mixer, but should be in good working order and in reasonable cosmetic condition. We then give you the saving off the new PreSonus StudioLive AI digital mixer of your choice.

The offer runs until 31st July.

Want to know more about PreSonus’ StudioLive range? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or at audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest info, follow us on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook