Free firmware upgrade for JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650

Free firmware upgrade for JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650

JVC have announced version 3.0 of the firmware for their popular GY-HM600 and GY-HM650, and they’ve even had the good grace to make it free. 

The firmware, which is available to download from JVC’s support site, is said to significantly improve the performance of the GY-HM600 and GY-HM650. Headline features include:

1080p 50Mbps recording in XHQ (extreme high quality) mode, which gives you “virtually lossless H.264 recordings with high bit rates of 50Mbps.”

An enhanced autofocus system, which includes selection of the focus area.

Advanced streaming functions for the GY-HM650, including ZIXI data transfer technology and support for new bit rates and resolutions.

JVC GY-HM650 on Jigsaw24

1080p 50Mbps recording in XHQ

Why the addition? Well, as JVC explain, “highly efficient H.264 video encoding provides consistently better recording results compared with MPEG formats, and you can continue to use your SDHC/SDXC cards rather than more expensive media,” which is pretty hard to argue with. Those cards will need to be class 6 or 10, by the way.

Enhanced autofocus

Designed to improve usability, the new autofocus system allows you to choose from three focus response time settings in order to get the best speed for whatever type of project you’re working on. JVC have also added an ‘area’ option to their Focus Assist function – something that was previously only available in manual focus mode. All you have to do is turn the focus ring slightly to the right or left to access this mode, then decide whether you want focusing to be centred on the middle of your image, or to the left or right based on the ‘golden ratio’.

Streaming enhancements for the GY-HM650

The GY-HM650 has been the recipient of IP-based updates, expanding the range of supported bit rates to 200kbps – 8Mbps and adding new resolutions. You can also transfer data streams using a satellite phone, and RTSP and ZIXI streaming portals are now supported.

ZIXI fans will be pleased to hear that its new Advanced Streaming Technology is included in the JVC update, providing you with a content aware error correction tool that’ll handle up to 30% packet loss, as well as efficient bandwidth shaping. JVC’s own contributions include a ‘Stream Confidence’ feature that gives you realtime feedback on your signal quality and streaming status.

Download the update at JVC’s support page.

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

Introducing Apple curriculum training (and our 5 top courses)

Introducing Apple curriculum training (and our 5 top courses)

Bringing new technology into the classroom is great, but how do you make sure your staff are ready for it? We recommend Apple curriculum training courses delivered by our own Apple accredited trainers (who are ex-teachers themselves).

Courses can be tailored to your school’s specific requirements, and range from iOS and Mac basics to subject-specific training, preparing for rollout and even device management. They’re all designed to give your staff a solid grounding on how to use iPad, iOS and Mac generally, and then within each subject area, so they have the competency and confidence needed to lead a lesson.

Sidney Stringer Apple Training 3

What do we offer?

We offer a huge range of courses from foundation iOS and OS X training to curriculum-based sessions and even vision and planning for your Apple deployment. We also offer Apple’s Professional Development (APD) courses, as well as our own. We’ve picked out our top five below, but get in touch to find out about the full range available.

Introduction to iOS

This hands-on course helps staff get to grips with the core apps for the iPad and how they can introduce the technology effectively into their learning environment. We look at gestures and personalisation of the devices, along with use of the Camera, Notes, Safari, iTunes U and iBooks apps, as well as accessibility tools like text-to-speech and guided access.

iPad built-in apps can be utilised to support students and teachers in the classroom, and it’s important that staff realise the potential of these before moving onto third party applications.

Vision and planning for iPad

Within this session, we’ll discuss current plans and pedagogies and examine how we can use the iPad to support staff, students and parents within the school and beyond. It’s also important to think about the impact that this will have on existing plans.

Finally, we ensure that at the end of the session a clear plan is formed. This includes how we can communicate all of our ideas, strategies and implementations to staff, pupils and parents clearly as the institution moves forward.

iOS and productivity

This course is the ultimate boot camp for teachers who want to squeeze the most out of the incredible functionality that comes with each iWork app – Pages, Keynote and Numbers. Throughout the workshop, you’ll be getting hands-on with these apps to create documents, presentations and spreadsheets so that you can develop an in-depth understanding of what each app can do.

iTunes U Course Manager

In this session, you’ll use the iTunes Course Manager and your existing teaching resources to create an iTunes U course based around your curriculum area. We will explore best practices and view existing courses to gain ideas on implementation of courses within our own classrooms.

We will look for other resources that already exist within iTunes U, a huge catalogue of educational content that is constantly being updated by educators around the globe.

iBooks Author

This in-depth course looks at how to easily create your own digital textbooks for free using iBooks Author (a cinch if you’ve ever created a Word document or produced a presentation), exploring everything from accessibility features in iBooks to multimedia copyright issues so that you can be sure that you’re accessing the right resources and have the legal right to distribute (and even edit) them within your iBook.

At the end of the session, you will create an iBook that supports your own curriculum to ensure you have the skills to continue producing materials for your own cohort of students.

Sidney Stringer Apple Training 1

Who’s delivering this training?

Our fully-accredited Apple Distinguished Educators (ADEs) are former teachers who can come and deliver APD training onsite at your school at a time that best suits you. There’s no need to go anywhere or call anyone else in – just get in touch with the team!

Paul Ford 

Paul’s got eight years’ experience teaching students, teachers and local authority staff of all technical abilities. His roles have included Lead professional in Music Technology at The East Manchester Academy and Multimedia/Network Manager at South Manchester City Learning Centre.

Mike Watkinson

Mike’s been working with Apple technology in the classroom since the mid-90s, in a variety of subjects and across different age groups. He’s an Apple Distinguished Educator, Apple Certified Trainer and Avid Certified Trainer, supporting schools and colleges for the last ten years.

What are other schools saying?

“Fantastic and engaging speaker… everything was explained in a way where even the most inexperienced user could understand.” West Grove Primary School.

“Paul was brilliant! He is knowledgeable, completely understanding teaching and learning issues. He always passes on any new information he comes across, which has really helped in the past, he is always willing to provide really helpful advice and follows up any promises of finding out about something – this is why we intend to ask Paul in for further training in the future.” Levenshulme High School, Manchester.

Budget check

Full day sessions cost £650, half days are £325, and we also offer twilight sessions, with discounts available for shorter sessions and bulk bookings. Get in touch and we can probably accommodate you!

Download our Apple curriculum training catalogue

Want to know more? View the full training catalogue here, or get in touch with the team on 03332 409 333 or email For all the latest news and FAQs, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Interactivity in your class’s hands: Why touchscreens are the next big thing

Interactivity in your class’s hands: Why touchscreens are the next big thing

If there’s one thing that I’m convinced of, it’s that multitouch technology is far easier to pick up for children than it is for adults. 

We’re already seeing it in the classroom (research has shown that 47% of schools are now trialling or using iPad) and more than ever we are seeing it in daily life; I recently found myself at an exhibition about space in a room full of six and seven year-olds who all expected to be able to move the stars around on screen with their fingers – much to their disappointment, they couldn’t.

It’s not surprising then that, at this year’s BETT show, giant interactive touchscreen displays were one of the hottest topics. Best thought of as giant tablets or TVs with multitouch technology, they proved a hit with teachers because they open up interactivity and collaboration in a way that’s not previously been available. On a basic level, they improve engagement letting pupils physically interact with a subject, but the learning benefits go far beyond that…

What exactly is an interactive touchscreen?

The best way to describe an interactive touchscreen is a giant iPad that can be either wall-mounted or used flat on the desk. You get all the same visual functionality as you do on an iPad – an HD screen for streaming video and images and built-in speakers make them ideal for presenting to the class.

And the multitouch aspect also means they’re ideal for letting pupils get hands on with activities too – using simple finger touch, they can intuitively interact with programs onscreen. As well as encouraging pupil interaction and group activities, teachers can also lead the class from the front, or even get pupils to connect wirelessly with their mobile devices to get involved with activities.

What are the learning benefits of interactive touchscreens?

Touchscreens are perfect for making sure you’re targeting 21st century learning skills. They’ll improve collaboration, boost critical thinking and problem solving, and can be used with all the great content that teachers and pupils have already prepared. The main benefits include:

Greater increase in pupils’ attention

Pupils are naturally drawn to touchscreens, and the interactivity really helps them engage with subjects. If you have pupils with a short attention span who struggle to engage with topics, touchscreen displays can help. Up to four students can use them at one time, so there’s less chance to switch off as they’re engaged in learning full time.

Better collaboration between pupils and with the teacher

Set pupils a group challenge and they can use the display to complete it – for example, a simple jigsaw puzzle that they would normally complete themselves can be turned into a group activity. Another option is for pupils to use iPhone or iPad to connect the display for mirroring (displaying their iPad screen on the touchscreen) and annotation.

Reduced replacement costs and better visibility

Unlike a data projector, a touchscreen uses an LED screen rather than a lamp. That means you won’t find yourself having to replace costly projector bulbs when they come to the end of their life (to put it in perspective, the approximate life of a touchscreen like the CTOUCH before any element needs replacing is put at 15 years, or 45000 hours!). It also means there are no shadows obscuring your work as you walk in front of the screen!

Increased class attendance

We’ve had great feedback from our schools who say they have integrated innovative technologies like touchscreens with a 1:1 iPad scheme, and it has actually increased attendance levels because the pupils have been so engaged with the technology.

How could we use touchscreen?

One use we really like for interactive touchscreens is collaborative storytelling. For example, you could get a small group of pupils to work together to plan a story and write it by dragging and dropping images, video and other elements into the plan. Because up to four pupils can be working on a touchscreen at once, it means everyone gets to join in and interact with the process, and annotate sections with thoughts and ideas.

Jigsaw24’s top pick: the CTOUCH!

HD display. From 47” right up to a whopping 84”, the CTOUCH’s antiglare screen gives a great picture, even in the brightest classrooms.

Multitouch functionality. There’s no need to hold a stylus – the CTOUCH’s screen works with the touch of a finger, and supports up to four pupils.

Built-in speakers. With 20W speakers included, you get great sound quality, or the additional Sound Bar gives enhanced surround sound.

Mobile device connectivity. Connect iPad and iPod with included Smoothboard Air software for displaying iPad screens and annotation.

Adjustable trolley. Fully height-adjustable for all students, including those in wheelchairs. This means smaller screens are just as usable, and can be wheeled to wherever they’re needed.

Budget check: CTOUCH interactive touch screens range from £2730 for the smallest 47” model up to £13,194 for the 84” option. See the full range of CTOUCH options here.

Want to know more about how touch screens could help in your classroom? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email For all the latest news and recommendations, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Mac tip of the month: Viewing previous versions

Mac tip of the month: Viewing previous versions

Saved over a draft you wanted to keep? Need to check amends have been made correctly? With Pages’ Versions feature, it’s easy to see the previous incarnation of any of your documents. Here’s how to do it.

1. Open your document and make your changes.

2. Hit save.

3. Close the doc.

4. Reopen you Pages document and click on the filename at the top of the window.

5. From the drop down menu that appears, select ‘browse all versions.’

6. Scroll through all your previous versions until you find what you’re looking for.

7. Rejoice.

Need to know more about Mac? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Is it time for your boardbooks to go digital?

Is it time for your boardbooks to go digital?

A while back, when we offered you our six best app ideas to boost your business, we stayed out of the boardroom. However, with mobile devices becoming more pervasive, board members becoming more distributed and the security concerns mounting, we think the time is right to talk about board meeting apps. 

What is a board meeting app?

Board meeting apps essentially replace your paper boardbook – bulky, difficult to update, expensive to print – with an interactive electronic version that you can tote round on your iPad. They usually include functionality that will help secretarial staff collate and distribute documents electronically and securely to board members, including late papers and updates.

Many also include meeting planning functionality to help with scheduling the meeting itself and – perhaps most importantly – functionality to make sure that all attendees can view, present and annotate different documents in concert. Typically, the app itself is free to download, but you’ll need to pay an annual for the back end of the solution – the bit that makes it all work and keeps your information secure. Some will break this down on their iTunes page, but many companies will provide you with pricing on a case-by-case basis.

What’s the advantage of dedicated apps over free ones like GoodReader?

While some companies do arrange meetings using free apps like GoodReader, we advise against it for all but the most basic meetings. GoodReader is, as Mashable says, “a Swiss army knife of awesome” (and a former Jigsaw24 app of the week), but it doesn’t have calendaring functionality and isn’t designed for collaborative working. Yes, you’ll have an electronic version of your boardbook, but you won’t be able to share your annotations in realtime, or edit documents while presenting.

The advantage of a dedicated app is that it combines the capabilities of document readers, calendars, content sharing sites like Dropbox and presentation tools into a single system, then adds useful touches like the ability to lock users to specific pages or documents while you’re presenting on them.

What are the business benefits of a board meeting app?

Let’s start with the obvious: you save a lot of money on printing and delivery/couriering for your books. One of our customers, investment company NorthEdge, are on track to save £300 a week on printing after switching their staff to iPad – that means an iPad pays for itself every week.

At the same time, the fact that you’re dealing with electronic documents that are being shared over a secure connection should improve your data security. Granted, there are people out there with the skills to hack into your VPN, but there are far more who are capable of intercepting a physical document, and the collate-print-bind process offers plenty of opportunity for your data to fall into the hands of third parties. Plus, once the information is on your iPad, it’s protected by industry-leading device security, and can be remotely wiped should anything go wrong.

Dedicated board meeting apps also facilitate clearer, easier communication. Your secretarial staff can edit, upload and distribute boardbooks with a swipe, sending them out along with key meeting info and, in some cases, using the same interface to send follow-up information and minutes post-meeting.

We’re so impressed by the amount of time having all these processes integrated saves that we’re integrating similar functionality into our free b7 app, which allows directors to pre-define goals and talking points for each meeting they take. Sales staff can then log notes against each one and then share automatically generated minutes with the customer and head office.

And it’s not just before and after the meeting that these apps are useful. The ability to lock screens means you can keep everyone on the right page, even if key stakeholders are attending remotely, so it’s easier to keep everyone on track. Collaborative tools and shared annotations are going to make it easier for you to work together within the meeting, so you can achieve more in the time you have.

What are your options?

There are plenty out there, and we definitely recommend scoping out a few before making your final decision. Here are a few to get you started…

BoardPad (ICSA Software, free but requires a subscription)

Possibly the best known solution in the UK at this point, BoardPad supports iOS and Windows 8 devices, and combines in-meeting annotation and presentation functions with its own Connect platform for organising meetings (this is fairly impressive in its own right). We particularly like the fact that you can create ‘secure reading rooms’ for different groups of users and give different users different permissions when it comes to opening, printing and emailing the documents within them. Its proven track record with the FTSE100 set doesn’t hurt, either.

Anywhere Pad (Azeus Systems Holdings, free but requires a subscription)

This promising app has only just reached the UK but has been enjoying success in its native South East Asia for a while now. It supports an impressive array of devices and platforms (though users on some devices can only attend meetings, not present in them), and we particularly like the simple drag-and-drop interface secretarial staff can use to build meeting packs. It integrates with SharePoint, Box and Dropbox too, so you can submit documents using your usual process.

iqBoard (IQ Group, pricing variable)

For those of you who want something a little less off the shelf, iqBoard is a SharePoint add-on developed by Australian financial experts IQ Group. They’ll tweak the functionality and appearance of the app to suit your meeting style, and as it’s SharePoint-based it shouldn’t struggle to integrate with your existing systems. However, your data is hosted in iqCloud, a cloud storage service based in Australia – a real stumbling block if you have restrictions on where your data can be held.

Ready to arm yourself with iPad? See our full range of special offers here.

Want to know more about how iPad could help your business? Give our team a call on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

NAB 2014: Atomos launch Ninja Star ProRes recorder

Melbourne, Australia – April 7th, 2014: Atomos, the creator of the award-winning Ninja and Samurai camera-mounted recorders, and the Connect converters, will launch the Ninja Star at NAB 2014. The Ninja Star is a must have for people who need to “Record Apple ProRes on Board” camera rigs, such as Drones, RC Helicopters, extreme sports and Reality TV.

“Our customers screamed for a tiny flash based ProRes recorder and player for extreme applications, their second location cameras or simply when they already had a monitor,” said Jeromy Young, CEO and Founder of Atomos. “At $295 with low cost Gen 1 CFast, weighing a mere 100gms (3.5oz), it’s price, durability and portability is unmatched – this is one of our best creations yet!”

The Ninja Star is the next break through in external HDMI recorders based on core technologies that have made Atomos the leader in camera mounted solutions. Its small, self contained size and flexible mounting options allow DP’s and cameramen to mount it to just about any POV set-up and offer edit ready format recording with ProRes.

Since the company was founded in 2010 Atomos has broken new ground in the design and functionality of recording, monitoring and playback devices. By listening closely to their customers Atomos recognised a common need for a light and portable ProRes recorder which has greater flexibility with mounting options. The dimensions of the Ninja Star are a slender 3.5″ wide, 2.3″ tall and 0.8″ deep and it weighs a fraction of a normal recorder at just 100grams (3.5 oz). The Ninja Star is perfect for creative or extreme camera work or in situations where a large monitor is prohibitive or stealth is required.

Taking advantage of low-cost, modern technology by utilising HDMI-capable pro-video and consumer camcorders, as well as DSLRs and mirrorless breeds. The Ninja Star can record in both HD and ProRes to capture pristine, 422 10-bit images straight from any camera sensor directly to inexpensive first generation CFast media with up to 3hrs ProRes for $250. It also features Timecode and Start/Stop Trigger along with Audio Line-in.

You can see the Ninja Star and the full range of Atomos products at NAB 2014, (7-10 April, Las Vegas Convention Center, booth number C9532).

Pricing and Availability

The Atomos Ninja Star will ship late May 2014 for $295, €219 and £179 (excluding tax and delivery), and will be available through the Atomos Worldwide reseller network (Jigsaw24 included).

Want to know more about the latest from NAB? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest NAB 2014 news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

NAB 2014: AJA release Cion camera, FS1-X and more

AJA have taken a page from the Blackmagic playbook and rolled out their own camera at NAB 2014. Here’s what we know about the Cion, and the rest of their releases. 

The AJA Cion

AJA’s first camera shoots DCI 4K and HFR 60p 4K, has a Thunderbolt out and is probably going to be the product that breaks the internet at this year’s show. Weighing in at a retrained 6lb, AJA’s PL-mount offering boasts a  it boasts a APSC sensor with 12 stops of exposure and global shutter, and a combined optical low pass and IR cut filter. It records all flavours of ProRes to Ki Pak media, and can deliver AJA RAW footage over Thunderbolt or 4K over 3G-SDI.

While obviously aimed at those working with 4K, the Cion does allow you to over sample and scale images down to 2K and HD while maintaining focal length to give frankly amazing HD footage. (Lewis, pictured above wielding the Cion with his own two hands, describes this as “frankly an amazing camera that we love and will be ordering straight away.”)

Connectivity-wise, you get two LANC connections (start-stp over LANC is confirmed) and can watch realtime previews via Ethernet, as well as four 3G-SDI ports, HDMI 2.0b, two channels of XLR audio, and support for an SDI monitor. You can output straight to a HD HDMI monitor if you so wish, but there’s also a built-in confidence monitor.

LAN control comes from an embedded web server that mirrors the UI of the camera, and video is streamed to the web browser for review. As with the Ki Pro, this interface can control multiple cameras.

The Cion has an aluminium body with magnesium sides, an aluminium and wood handle (optional but supplied with the camera) and a contoured suede shoulder pad, which all sounds very nice, plus the top and bottom cheese plates are removable and there’s a two pin base for your choice of plate. Most importantly, all of this is covered by an out of the box two year warranty.

This universal frame sync and convertor is tuned for motion, and will connect to MADI devices via Fibre or coaxial. It has an internal 224×224 audio matrix (which we’re sure will be a massive selling point for many users), LAN control, SNMP integration and support for up, down and cross-coversion of frame rates as an optional – but not field upgradable – feature. The convertor model will ship with an asking price of $5995, while the non-convertor model will set you back $3995. Both some with a five year warranty.

12-bit LUT box supports 3D colour correction for accurate video monitoring
Users can load 17x17x17 3D LUTs via USB using the free MiniConfig software on either Mac or Windows. Simultaneous outputs allow you to utilise both HDMI and SDI monitors from a single LUT-box. Embedded audio is passed through to the outputs and a two channel RCA analog output allows easy audio monitoring of embedded audio. You can run dual link or 3G in and HDMI or 3G out simultaneously. Due to ship next month, it’s got a US price of $695.
Kona 4
The fourth generation of Kona cards offers 10-bit up, down and cross-coversion, although it will currently only work with Windows and Linux machines. It’ll handle high frame rate and ultra high def footage and will support realtime h265 UHD streaming thanks to some canny Cisco integration. The unit, which is equipped with 2.0b HDMI, will sell at $1995.

Corvid 88
The new Corvid 88 is an eight channel PCIe 2 card that will be available at full or half height, and supports simultaneous 8 in or 8 out for dealing with UHD footage. The configuration can be 8 in or 8 out or 4 in / 4 out and so on, and each channel is rastered independently.

Hi5 Plus arrives and brings a free 4K upgrade with it
If you’ve already got a Hi5, AJA have announced that they’ll be making a free 4K upgrade available to you. If, however, you want something shiny and new, try the Hi5 Plus. This 3G-SDI to HDMI box allows for SPF to p conversion with under seven frames of audio delay, and is shipping as of now at the extremely reasonable price of $395. The Ha5, which is the same price, will convert everything back the other way for you. Download the official AJA Hi5 Plus fact sheet.

Want to know more about the latest from NAB? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest NAB 2014 news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

NAB 2014: 4K Killer combination from Atomos and Sony

Atomos 7” Shogun and Sony A7S Camera 4K Recording Solution Shown for the First Time at NAB 2014.

Atomos, the creator of the award-winning Apple ProRes Ninja and Samurai camera-mounted recorders, and the pocket-sized Connect converters, will show the brand new 4K Shogun 7” IPS monitor/recorder alongside the new Sony A7S at NAB 2014. The Shogun is currently the only 4K HDMI recording solution that can take full advantage of the new A7S’s full 35mm ultra-sensitive 12 mega pixel video sensor, clean HDMI out, 120 fps HD and custom HDMI timecode and start/stop trigger.

“Finally the camera the world has been waiting for, Sony has pulled out all the stops to deliver the world’s first Full Frame Video sensor in a camera for the masses,” said Jeromy Young, CEO and Founder of Atomos. “We are very proud to give 4K recording capability to the Sony A7S with our brand new 4K ProRes Shogun which sports a 1920×1200 7” killer monitor and unparalleled affordable 4K recording.” The Atomos Shogun is the world’s first 4K HDMI and 12G SDI monitor recorder and deck. With clean HDMI out direct to 4K ProRes onto single SSDs or RAIDed HDDs – 4K is now a mainstream reality at the equivalent of $40 per hour for storage media. With Sony’s pedigree and reliability coupled with Atomos’ revolutionary feature set and price points, this combination at under $5K is the most compelling video solution on the market today.”

Like the Samurai and Ninja Blade, Shogun allows the recording of pristine, 422 10-bit images straight from the camera sensor captured using 4K/HD ProRes, Uncompressed RAW Cinema DNG or Avid DNxHD codecs.Waveform and monitor assist tools such as luma parade, vectorscope and tri-level focus peaking offer a very comprehensive test and shot setup tool kit. launch presentation and Q&A on day one of the show to be held at 12.30pm on the Atomos booth C9532.

Pricing and Availability

The Atomos Shogun is slated for shipping end of Q3 beginning Q4 2014 for under $2000 USD and will be available through the Atomos Worldwide reseller network.

Want to know more about the latest from NAB? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest NAB 2014 news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

NAB 2014: Grant Petty on the new Blackmagic Design camera and more

Blackmagic Design have managed to be the talk of recent NAB events, and with the launch of their URSA camera, this year looks to be no exception. Here’s Grant Petty’s official rundown of the all the company’s new releases.  

We have some new cameras this year, and we are rolling out a whole new range of Ultra HD products such as converters, routers, DeckLink cards and more. We are introducing the first 12G-SDI Teranex Express and 12G-SDI is also in our new cameras. We even have a new Cintel film scanner!

Blackmagic URSA Camera

Over the last few years it’s been really amazing to watch some of the work being done on our cinema camera and some of the rigs that have been built around it. But when we designed it we never really thought it would be used on such large jobs. It was really designed to be a small intimate camera used for creative work where you need to get in close and personal.

So we have been watching these larger rigs and thinking about how people are working when they do large shoots. Our thinking is that we needed to design a professional full sized camera that had all the extra on set equipment built into it, so there was no need to rig it up as much. We also wanted a camera with enough size to fit a very powerful cooling system so we could run high frame rates without fan noise.

The result is URSA, our new camera for professional shoots. It features a stealthy machined aluminum design that’s incredibly strong and has been designed for large film crews. We designed the camera to be divided into separate DOP, camera assistant and audio engineer workstation areas so multiple crew can work around it at the same time.

The DOP station features a massive 10 inch fold out on set monitor and separate 5 inch screen for settings, camera status and scopes. The camera assist station features a separate LCD screen for camera settings, status and scopes and the audio station features audio meters, controls and audio connections.

URSA also includes an upgradable Super 35 4K image sensor with global shutter, 12G-SDI connections, XLR audio inputs with phantom power and dual CFast based RAW and ProRes recorders. There is a total of 3 LCD’s built into this camera!

One of the reasons we have been able to put in such high quality displays and features is because the camera is user upgradable.

What this means is the whole sensor and lens mount simply unbolts from the front using 4 bolts and then it can be removed and replaced. So in the future when new sensors are available you can upgrade simply by swapping the sensor and lens mount assembly. This makes the camera virtually future proof!

URSA is available initially in 3 models. One includes EF lens mount and one has a PL lens mount. An example of how you can upgrade the camera would be if you ordered the EF one, you could later purchase the PL lens mount and install it yourself.

One of the weirdest ideas we had was to make URSA available without a lens and sensor and the URSA HDMI features a ‘cheese plate” with threaded holes and a HDMI input where the sensor and lens mount would normally be. This means you can use any camera on the URSA body and get all the benefits of big screen, scopes, professional audio inputs, CFast recorders and more!

The camera runs at 60 fps, however the body has the high speed processing and high capacity cooling to run beyond 100 fps, so when faster sensors are available you could upgrade and then get higher frame rates.

There are a lot more features in the camera than I have space to describe here. The Blackmagic URSA EF will be available in July for $5,995 and the Blackmagic URSA PL will be available for $6,495 from July.

DaVinci Resolve 11

DaVinci Resolve 11 is a major upgrade and we have added over 70 new editing features including dual monitor support and familiar professional tools like dynamic JKL trimming, audio crossfades and fully customizable keyboard shortcuts for faster editing.

DaVinci Resolve 11 now has a new spline curve keyframe editor integrated into the edit timeline that positions keyframes directly under each clip and in context with the clip. You can also add and animate open FX plug-ins directly in the timeline as well as use plug-ins for transitions.

There are new collaborative workflow tools in DaVinci Resolve 11 which allows an editor and multiple colorists to work on different workstations, sharing the same timeline and working in tandem as they complete shots. Another advantage of the enhanced editing features is the better round trip collaboration with Apple Final Cut Pro X™.

Color correction features have been upgraded in DaVinci Resolve 11, including new color grading controls that are designed for photographers who are moving into cinematography. There is also a new camera RAW palette featuring highlight and shadow recovery, mid tone detail, color boost, saturation, lift, gain and contrast.

For on set work, DaVinci Resolve 11 can now securely back up and save digital camera files. The new DaVinci Resolve clone tool copies media drives, memory cards and camera packs to multiple destinations simultaneously. All copies are checksum verified, so you get exact bit for bit digital copies of the source media.

DaVinci Resolve 11 also features an automatic color chart color balancing tool that automatically gives a primary base grade by analyzing shots containing standard color chip charts even if they were shot in different lighting conditions with different exposure and color temperatures. It’s really easy to use and you just lay an onscreen grid over the color chart and then auto grade!

This is an exciting update and it will be available June free of charge to all DaVinci Resolve users! Most of these new features will also be available in DaVinci Resolve Lite.

Blackmagic Studio Camera

One of the problems with live production is that most cameras have not really been designed for live production, so they don’t have the features that we need such as a large bright viewfinder, talkback, tally, optical fiber plus almost all cameras are made from plastic.

We have been thinking deeply about what features a camera designed specifically for live production should have and we think we have solved these problems with the new Blackmagic Studio Camera!

This new camera features a very large and bright 10” viewfinder, built in 4 hour battery, talkback, tally indicators, balanced XLR phantom powered microphone connections and built in optical fiber and SDI connections that let you connect to a live production switcher with a single cable! The viewfinder’s LCD is extremely bright and has a very wide viewing angle so it is perfect for use even in direct sunlight.

The Blackmagic Studio Camera features an active Micro Four Thirds lens mount that is compatible with an incredibly wide range of lenses and adapters. This means you can use high quality photo lenses for smaller setups or high end broadcast ENG lenses for large live broadcasts using an MFT to B4 lens mount adapter.

The built in fiber optic connection is bi-directional and depending on the model carries HD or Ultra HD video with embedded audio, talkback, tally and even camera remote control all down the single cable. Talkback uses general aviation headsets so they are really tough and low cost.

The design is cast from magnesium that’s super tough and include a nice large sun shield for use outdoors. It’s an amazing design and having such a large viewfinder makes it amazing to use. It’s so different to any other camera I have used before. It’s so nice doing live production with full talkback to the director and knowing when you’re on air with the tally light.

There are two models of this camera and the Blackmagic Studio Camera is a HD model that operates up to 1080p60 and is available now for $1,995 while the Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K updates up to Ultra HD 2160p60 with 12G-SDI and will be available in July for $2,995.

There is more to the new Blackmagic Studio Camera than it just being a camera and it also has a full color corrector built in. I will explain this below!

ATEM Camera Control Update

This new ATEM update will allow full control of the new Blackmagic Studio Camera from any ATEM production switcher. This works by sending the camera control commands down the SDI program feed to the camera and lets you adjust focus, iris, gain, and much more. Almost every feature in the camera can be controlled from the switcher!

However we have also taken the primary color corrector from DaVinci Resolve and built it into the camera itself and you can control that color corrector remotely from the ATEM switcher. What this means is you don’t just get a simple CCU type of camera adjustment, but you can actually control a full DaVinci Resolve primary color corrector that’s built right into the camera. This lets you do more creative corrections than simple color balancing.

Normally having live studio cameras plugged into a production switcher with this level of control would cost millions, but we are going to offer this update free of charge for both the ATEM switcher range as well as the new Blackmagic Studio Camera.

It’s also fast and easy to use this new software as the ATEM Software Control now has a new Camera page with multiple CCU software panels to control each of the connected cameras. You can even use an ATEM Aux output for monitoring which will switch automatically to the camera you are adjusting. When you want to do more creative control the CCU interface can then expand to a full color wheel color correction interface so you can perform corrections using the same familiar user interface as DaVinci Resolve.

That’s great if you have experience using DaVinci Resolve as it’s the same color corrector. It’s YRGB based and so it works creatively the same way. If you are doing music videos or other really creative live shoots then the built in color corrector will allow new creative styles than were available in live production previously.

We will be showing this at NAB and it’s going to be available in June as a download for both the ATEM switchers and the Blackmagic Studio Camera.

ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K

Over the last year we have been introducing new models of ATEM switchers that feature a more refined design and attractive front panels. These models also have more inputs, more audio connections, full control of aux outputs from the front panel and of course the latest 6G-SDI connections for operating in SD, HD and Ultra HD.

However for large jobs we needed a very big switcher that has lots of inputs and more processing features. The result is the new ATEM 2 M/E Production Studio 4K.

It includes so many features it’s hard to describe them here, however some of the most exciting new features unique to this model are a massive 20 inputs with each input featuring a frame re-synchronizer, 6 aux outputs, 2 independent mix effects rows and the SuperSource multi layering engine with its 4 independent DVE’s and keyers.

This switcher will replace our older ATEM 2 M/E Production Switcher and at only 2 rack units, it takes up less space in an equipment rack than the older model. This new model includes other exciting new features such as independent program and monitoring audio outputs, dual redundant built in power supplies, HiFi and balanced audio inputs, a large 5 inch LCD monitoring screen in the front panel and an elegant machined metal design. It’s really amazing!

The best news is this new model is $1,000 lower in price than the previous model it replaces and is available now for $3,995. This means you can get an incredibly powerful 20 input 2 M/E switcher for only $1,500 more than the 10 input 1 M/E model. It’s very exciting!

Smart Videohub 12 x 12 and Smart Videohub 20 x 20

We have some exciting new routers based on 6G-SDI technology this year, and not only does this mean we can now handle SD, HD and Ultra HD SDI connections simultaneously on the one router at the same time, but these new models have some other exciting new features too.

These new models replace our older Micro Videohub and Smart Videohub models but include better technology, better design and are much nicer to use! These new models feature a machined metal front panel so they look really nice, but they also include a full control panel with small LCD screen so you can see what you are routing.

The control panel includes buttons to direct select a crosspoint, a spin knob for scrolling router cross points as well as a “take” button. The LCD screen can display nice large labels and the new routers include over 10,000 separate unicode characters so we can handle non roman labels such as Japanese, Chinese and more.

The LCD screen can also display video from the video inputs or even outputs. We call this new feature “visual routing” and it allows you to scroll through the router destinations or sources and see the connections as video on the LCD screen as the labels updates. It’s really fun to use!

There are two models of Smart Videohub. The Smart Video 12 x 12 features 12 inputs and 12 outputs and retails for $1,395, while the larger Smart Videohub 20 x 20 features 20 inputs and 20 outputs for $1,995. They are available now.

New Mini Converters with 6G-SDI and Ultra HD

We have been upgrading our Mini Converter range over the past year and we are now introducing even more models of Mini Converter with 6G-SDI for use in SD, HD and Ultra HD video systems.

The new models are Mini Converter SDI to HDMI 4K, Mini Converter HDMI to SDI 4K, Mini Converter SDI to Analog 4K and Mini Converter SDI Distribution 4K. This means almost all our Mini Converters now support Ultra HD.

What’s exciting about these new converters is they include down converters. So if you’re using the SDI to Analog model and connect an Ultra HD source via 6G-SDI, then it will automatically down convert to 1080 HD, because there is no analog for Ultra HD.

You could even be connecting to old composite CRT televisions in a location you are working at and the new converters would down convert an Ultra HD source down to composite so you would still get a picture. We really wanted these converters to just take care of situations like this and keep working to provide an image out

These new models replace the old models and are all available now for $295.

Teranex Express with 12G-SDI

We have an exciting new model of Teranex converter and this new Teranex Express is an up and down converter that includes the first 12G-SDI connections so you can up and down convert between SD, HD and Ultra HD video standards.

With most of our product lines now supporting Ultra HD, we needed a way to convert to and from the Ultra HD world. We think this new Teranex Express is the perfect solution. It features the same amazing Teranex de-interlacer, but it also includes a whole new scaling engine so the up and down conversions are even better than before. Good quality image scaling is important when scaling to Ultra HD frame sizes.

The front panel looks identical to other Teranex models so it’s easy to use. It includes dual link 6G-SDI in and out, but channel A is 12G-SDI. This means it can also convert between dual link 6G-SDI connections and single link 12G-SDI connections. It also has an optical fiber socket so you can add optical fiber SDI connections by adding an optical module if required.

The new Teranex Express will be shown on the NAB booth and will be available in June for $1,395.

DeckLink SDI 4K and DeckLink Studio 4K

With our roll out of Ultra HD products and the new DaVinci Resolve 11 we wanted to upgrade our DeckLink family of capture cards. These are perfect for older MacPro systems as well as Windows and Linux machines.

These new models add 6G-SDI connections for SD, HD and Ultra HD work. These new models are also based on our new Desktop Video 10 design so they include RGB frame buffers, low latency and of course can capture and playback at the same time with software that supports this feature. They are fantastic OEM cards as they include a full SDK as well but developers can even write pixels directly into the frame buffers.

These new models replace the older DeckLink SDI and DeckLink Studio models. DeckLink SDI 4K features 6G-SDI in and out, reference input and RS-422 deck control and is available now for $295.

The more powerful DeckLink Studio 4K features 6G-SDI and HDMI 4K in and out for SD, HD and Ultra HD support, as well as analog component, composite, s-video and 4 channels of balanced analog audio in and out, and 2 channels of AES/EBU audio in and out, plus RS422 serial control and reference input. This new model is $100 lower in price than the previous model and is available now for $595.

Cintel Film Scanner

Over a year ago we acquired the legendary film scanning company Cintel. Of course at the time people wondered why we would purchase a film scanner company if film was a dying technology. There was a reason for buying this company and at the time we were hard at work on Ultra HD products and focused on an Ultra HD future.

When you look at Ultra HD, there are 3 ways to generate content. First there is shooting and editing content to create new Ultra HD programming. The second way to generate Ultra HD content is live production and that’s perfect for sports, concerts etc. We have developed whole workflow solutions for these two methods.

However there are already millions of hours of Ultra HD content sitting in vaults on 35mm film. For decades the film and television industry has been generating Ultra HD content without even thinking about it. That’s because everything shot on film is essentially 4K so it’s Ultra HD now. It’s just sitting there ready to be re-scanned as amazing new Ultra HD programming!

However traditionally film has been a more mechanical technology and the electronics were crappy. Even Cintel had very average quality electronics when I used to work on Cintel telecine’s is post production back in the 1990’s.

So we have been hard at work developing a whole new type of film scanner that supports real time scanning of both 35mm and 16mm negative and positive film and it includes the patented Cintel diffuse light source to reduce dust pickup.

But the most exciting feature of this new Cintel film scanner is it’s so super thin it can be wall mounted! It also features a wonderfully gentle fully digital servo system that detects when you are lacing the film and then gently tensions the film slowly. It detects when the film is about to run out and slows down.

The whole design is designed to be zero maintenance so you don’t need engineers to install it and make it run. It features Thunderbolt 2 so all you need to do is plug it in and run the control software on a Mac. If it’s wall mounted you can use those new long 30 meter Thunderbolt cables and connect it direct to your DaVinci grading system!

The new Cintel film scanner will be on show at NAB and we don’t have a firm ship date, as we want to really show it off and get some good feedback on what people think. It’s a radical redesign so I think its best for us to get your advice on anything else it needs before we start shipping it.

We plan to retail the new Cintel film scanner for $29,995 and that includes film spools, 35mm film gate, cleaning rollers, scanning software and a copy of DaVinci Resolve software. We will have one scanner on the booth desktop mounted and another wall mounted so you can see what a dramatic design the scanner is.

That’s about it for this NAB and I hope this update has been useful! I apologize for its length, however each new product we are launching this NAB is quite feature rich and different to other products we have done in the past, so there is a lot to talk about!

If you’re heading to the NAB show this year, I hope you get the chance to see these new products in action and to have a chat with us!

Want to know more about the latest from NAB? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest NAB 2014 news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

NAB 2014: Seagate, Hitatchi, GTech and GB Labs back 6TB drives

Hitachi’s helium-filled He6 6TB drive has new competition, as Seagate release their first 6TB drives at NAB. According to the official data sheet, the Enterprise Capacity 3.5″ HDD has “both 12Gb/s SAS and SATA 6Gb/s interfaces for easy integration into replicated and RAID storage systems,” and can hit 7200 RPM. 

 As well as that top speed, key features include a 128MB cache, Secure Instant Erase and SED FIPS 140-2 encryption options, and 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6TB capacity points. Seagate’s official highlight list includes:
– Highest-capacity large form factor enterprise drive—50% more capacity over last generation with up to 6TB—for demanding data growth.
– Fastest high-capacity HDD with best-in-class random and sequential read/write performance.
– Eighth-generation drive technology for reliable access to bulk storage of unstructured data.
– Both 12Gb/s SAS and SATA 6Gb/s interfaces for easy integration into replicated and RAID storage systems.
– Enhanced error correction, super parity and end-to-end SAS-based data integrity for accurate data storage.
– Industry-leading rotational vibration tolerance ensures consistent performance.
– Improved power and cooling efficiencies with low power consumption and on-demand PowerChoice™ technology based on T10/T13 power management standards.
– Engineered for 24×7 workloads of 550TB/yr—10× that of desktop drives.
– Robust performance with dual processors, ramp load technology, top-cover-attached motor and humidity sensor for optimum performance in all chassis.
– Self-Encrypting Drive (AES-256) with FIPS 140-2 validation and Seagate Instant Secure Erase cuts.
We’re taking this as confirmation that 6TB drives have finally arrived, what with GB Labs officially moving to them in order to increase the capacity of their larger scale solutions, LaCie promising us a two drive, 12TB 2big later this quarter, and GTechnology showing this helium 6TB-fuelled desktop storage on their stand:
Want to know more about the latest from NAB? Get in touch with our team on 03332 409 306 or email For all the latest NAB 2014 news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook