JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650 get EBU seal of approval

JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650 get EBU seal of approval

The EBU have awarded douze points to the JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650, with both cameras being approved for broadcast journalism use within the European Broadcasting Union, a network of 75 national broadcasters from Europe and affiliated states (think of the Eurovision lineup and you’re just about there).

Canon GY-HM600

The cameras are approved for journalistic work (Tier 2J) as is, and can be used for general HD long form work (Tier 2L) if you use an external recorder to get up to the 50MBps mark.

Gustav Emrich, European Product Manager for JVC Professional said:  “We are delighted that the GY-HM600 series has easily met the EBU standard requirements for broadcast use. We are pleased with the reports for these cameras, which were designed to be innovative new tools for mobile news gathering in challenging situations. JVC believe that the 600 series cameras are a big step forward for both us and our customers in terms of ease of use and versatility, as well as features and functions, and EBU approval is a validation of this.”

For once, we’re with the press release on this. The 600 series and bloomin’ amazing, and we reckon that if you whack an Atomos Ninja on the back they’d get you through pretty much any shoot. If you’re after a bit of light reading, you can read the report for the JVC GY-HM600 here or read the report for the GY-HM650 here, but the bottom line is that the EBU shares our excellent taste.

Want to know more about the JVC GY-HM600 and GY-HM650? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. To keep up with all the latest news, reviews and more, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Apple release 128GB iPad Retina

Apple release 128GB iPad Retina

Hoarders, creatives and non-streamers rejoice – Apple’s just doubled your maximum iPad storage. A 128GB version of the fourth generation iPad – that of the Lightning connector and Retina display – is available to pre-order in black or white, WiFi or WiFi + Cellular versions from Jigsaw24 now!

Aimed at iPad users who want to cart around more documents, video and audio files, pictures, books and demanding apps without sacrificing the portable form factor of a tablet, the new 128GB iPad offers twice the storage capacity of the previous highest capacity model, 64GB. “With more than 120 million iPads sold, it’s clear that customers around the world love their iPads, and everyday they are finding more great reasons to work, learn and play on their iPads rather than their old PCs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With twice the storage capacity and an unparalleled selection of over 300,000 native iPad apps, enterprises, educators and artists have even more reasons to use iPad for all their business and personal needs.”

Makers of demanding apps have applauded the move. Amy Bunszel, Autodesk’s vice president of AutoCAD products (a range which includes the AutoCAD WS app for reviewing project documentation on the go), says: “Our AutoCAD WS app for iOS was designed to give customers seamless access to their designs anywhere, anytime. These files are often large and highly detailed so having the thin and light iPad with its multitouch display, integrated camera and all-day battery life, is a real advantage for iPad users to view, edit and share their AutoCAD data.”

“The features and capabilities of iPad give us the ability to set a new standard for multitrack recording and editing on a mobile device,” said Rim Buntinas, WaveMachine Labs’ CEO. “Users of the Auria app can play 48 mono or stereo 24bit/96 kHz tracks simultaneously, record up to 24 of those tracks simultaneously, and also edit and mix with familiar tools. With its portability and all-day battery life, iPad has revolutionised recording for audio professionals allowing artists to record anywhere.”

“The bottom line for our customers is winning football games, and iPad running our GamePlan solution unquestionably helps players be as prepared as possible,” said Randall Fusee, Global Apptitude Co-Founder. “The iPad’s unbeatable combination of security, being thin and light, having an incredible Retina display and also being powerful enough to handle large amounts of data enables us to deliver a product that takes film study to a new level and ultimately gives our users the best opportunity to prepare, execute and win.” (We assume this means something to followers of American Football, and isn’t just scary.)

Apple’s official press release also notes a few interesting iPad facts: nearly all the Fortune 500 are now iPad-eqipped, as are 85% of the Global 500., and over 10 million of us are typing away in iWork. Blimey.

 

The 128GB Apple iPad Retina with WiFi or WiFi + Cellular costs between £529 and £615 ex VAT and both versions are available to pre-order from Jigsaw24 now!

 

Want to know more about the 128GB iPad with Retina display? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email sales@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with the latest news by following @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ing our Facebook page.

 

Mac-based Pro Tools HDX users can finally hook up to ExpressBox 3T and ExpressBox 7

Mac-based Pro Tools HDX users can finally hook up to ExpressBox 3T and ExpressBox 7

Magma ExpressBox 3T and ExpressBox 7 expansion chassis have been officially qualified for use with Avid’s Pro Tools HDX on Mac systems. If you’re using Pro Tools HD v10.3.3 or higher, you’re free to plug in and set about adding extra PCIe cards to your Thunderbolt-equipped computer.

How cool is your Magma ExpressBox 3T?

The Magma ExpressBox 3T has been qualified with up to three HDX cards with various Thunderbolt-equipped MacBook Pros, though some ExpressBox 3T models may need a fan upgrade to meet Avid and Apple’s won’t-melt-your-HDX-card specifications. Avid have instructions on how to check whether your ExpressBox 3T needs the upgrade on their site, and Magma have confirmed that any models shipping after January 21st will have the correct fan.

If you’re not Thunderbolt-equipped…

…the ExpressBox 7 chassis can accommodate up to three HDX cards, and is supported by several Mac Pro models. The complete list of supported CPUs and recommended system requirements can be found in the Avid Pro Tools HDX Knowledge Base – our audio team are also pretty handy with questions of this kind if you fancy giving them a call.

Want to know more about Pro Tools HDX? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email audio@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, reviews and updates, follow @Jigsaw24Audio on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

 

DaVinci Resolve 9.1 adds XAVC and F5/55 RAW support

DaVinci Resolve 9.1 adds XAVC and F5/55 RAW support

When Blackmagic Design announced DaVinci Resolve v9.1 on Friday, the banner feature was support for Apple’s Retina displays, which means that anyone running Resolve Lite on their MacBook Pro can now experience pristine image quality. However, there are a few other features we think are worthy of note, not least support for Sony’s XAVC and F5/55 RAW formats. 

With the F5 and F55 due out early this year, we’ve been keeping an eye out for any related developments, and we’re taking the fact that key post systems are choosing to support the format as a big plus.

“Resolve support before shipping is important for many reasons, chief among them being that Sony’s new F range is all about drama and cinematic production,” says Jigsaw24’s James Graham. “Whether the destination is cinema, TV or anywhere else, these cameras are designed to give the colourist as much usable information as possible when it comes to the grade. Full Resolve support means cinematographers and DPs can hit the ground running as soon as the F5 and F55 ship, safe in the knowledge that their current workflow and post setup is ready for their new camera and everything slots together neatly. Without support from programs like DaVinci Resolve you end up capping the performance of the camera while trying to find a workaround, and these days, if you can, its almost always best to work native.” Support for these file formats also means that Resolve can be used to create dailies for offline work, either on set or at a post facility (you can speed this workflow up even further with help from smart storage like the iOFX).

Sony PMW-F5

Pre-order Sony’s F5 or F55 from Jigsaw24.com or find out more

Keeping it in the Blackmagic family with CinemaDNG and DeckLink support

Another major change is the addition of a CinemaDNG Input Device Transform (IDT) for grading RAW images in full ACES workflows, such as that associated with Blackmagic Design’s own Cinema Camera, and support for their DeckLink 4K Extreme PCIe capture card, which boasts all the features of the DeckLink HD Extreme 3D but with the addition of ‘UltraHD’ 4K playback.

The best of the rest

Other features to keep an eye out for include:

– Support in XML for FCP X Audition

– Improved XML integration for better workflows between Resolve, FCP X and Final Cut Pro 7

– Ability to generate new AAF for MXF audio renders.

– Improved chase audio feature allowing specification in either frames or seconds

– Support for timeline audio when PowerMastering

– Improved rendering times for Sony CineAlta SStP files

– Playback support for the Red Mysterium-X Monochrome sensor (software decode only)

– Playback and render support for DNxHD 100

– New ASC CDL metadata extraction from ARRIRAW headers

– Matte clips can now be assigned to multiple clips in the Media Pool

– Red Rocket can now be disabled from Preferences

– NTSC DV playback supports both 4X3 and 16×9 aspect ratios.

Want to know more about Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email DaVinci@Jigsaw24.com or visit our DaVinci Resolve page. You can also pre-order the Sony F5 and F55 now. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

NewTek’s iVGA PRO brings audio over iVGA to TriCaster

NewTek’s iVGA PRO brings audio over iVGA to TriCaster

NewTek’s hotly anticipated iVGA PRO app is here! Debuting on the PC platform this week, the new app allows you to stream audio and video from your PC to a TriCaster, rather than just video.

TriCaster 8000 workflow map

Find out more about TriCaster on Jigsaw24.com

This means that you can now add rich media like YouTube clips, Skype calls or speakers in video conferences to your TriCaster inputs and stream them as part of your final presentation, in realtime, with full audio, all over iVGA. You can also record the audio and video as a QuickTime, MPEG-2 or AVI file to play back later.

Another key feature is the ability to choose exactly what it is you’re sharing over iVGA. You can now isolate a region of the screen, a specific application, a webcam feed or a child window as the area that you need to send, and then share that with TriCaster without anyone else seeing the rest of your screen.

iVGA PRO is currently Windows only (we’d recommend giving AirPlay a go if you’re using a Mac), and NewTek recommend you only use it on 64-bit systems, reverting to original recipe iVGA if you’re using older systems.

Want to know more about NewTek TriCaster and iVGA PRO? 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.

Avid extend ISIS trade-in and add new Final Cut seat swap scheme

Avid extend ISIS trade-in and add new Final Cut seat swap scheme

Anyone who thought they’d missed the deadline to take advantage of Avid’s ISIS shared storage trade-in offer, which lets your trade in your existing Unity or LANshare seats for discounts on ISIS units, will be pleased to hear that the deadline has been extended.

Avid ISIS 5000

You now have until March 15th 2013 to hand over your old shared storage and receive a shiny new Avid ISIS 5000 in return, complete with FlexDrive resource management, support for simultaneous access to shared files and compatibility with Adobe’s Premiere Pro and Apple’s Final Cut Pro in case any of your artists need to retain their non-Avid workstations.

However, if you’ve decided to leave FCP for Media Composer, you’ll be pleased to hear that anyone who’s crossgraded ten or more seats can now get themselves an ISIS 5000-32TB Primary engine with a year of ExpertPlus support and hardware support from Avid for just £35,900 ex VAT. Alternatively you can get an ISIS 5000-32TB Primary Engine with a year of Elite support for £36,900 ex VAT if you’re prone to breaking things and would prefer to have more comprehensive cover.

Not ready for shared storage? 

Get Avid Symphony and Mojo DX for £3999 ex VAT

Get Avid Symphony and Nitris DX for £5799 ex VAT

You can also pick up a great deal on individual seats of Symphony. Pick up Symphony 6.5 with a Mojo DX for just £3999 ex VAT (that’s 40% off!) or with a Nitris DX for just £5799 ex VAT (also 40% less than usual). That means you get all the functionality of Media Composer, plus secondary colour correction tools, the Boris Continuum Complete plug-in collection, universal mastering tools and your choice of reliable I/O device, all without making your accountant weep. Who says no to that?

Want to know more about Avid Symphony or the ISIS 5000? 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

 

Video: How the new Apple iMac really measures up

Video: How the new Apple iMac really measures up

When Apple’s super-thin, super-fast 8th generation iMac showed up in our warehouse, flaunting its Fusion drive and 5mm thick screen, we did what any red-blooded Apple geek would do: compared it to models from 2009 and 2008 to see how it measured up. And then hugged it.

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

 

A multicam sports monitoring system at Babington College

A multicam sports monitoring system at Babington College

While transitioning specialities from technology to sport, Babington Community College were looking for ways to embed ICT in all subjects and help students with English as an Additional Language [EAL] access the curriculum while their spoken and written English was still developing. Their PE faculty found the answer to both in a multicam sports monitoring system. Installed in the college’s badminton hall, it allowed pupils and members of local teams to review their badminton technique from multiple angles, and use that visual feedback to improve.

As an inner city school with a high percentage of SEN, Free School Meals and EAL students, Babington Community College faces several challenges when it comes to helping students with a limited understanding of spoken and written instructions access the curriculum.

“As a progressive school, we are always looking for new ways to develop the curriculum, but more important is the range of methods we use to enable students to access the curriculum and self-learn,” explained business manager Ray Allsop. “Having recently changed from a technology to a sports college, we wanted to introduce lessons learned from our technology days to develop our sports facilities and break down some of the perceived barriers.”

Designing and building the system

Babington’s PE team had one camcorder that they were using to record students practising, but were becoming frustrated with its lack of flexibility. “With a single camcorder system, you have to stop recording and play the tape back, and while you’re doing that you’re missing other things that are going on in the lesson,” explained Ray. When they partnered with the Leicestershire Badminton Association to refurbish their badminton hall, the faculty were determined to find a better feedback system. “We were very clear from the start that [in the new system] we wanted a recording tool that was easy to use, and had the means to show students multiple angles of the same position.”

Working with Sony specialists ProActive and solutions architects from Jigsaw24’s Media & Entertainment team, Babington was able to develop a four-camera setup that allowed them to record students from multiple angles and capture all the footage so that it could be used in later assessments, and simultaneously use NewTek’s 3Play system to play back clips in slow motion in realtime.

“Babington College and Sport England, who were helping fund the build, had a very progressive vision,” explained Jigsaw24 consultant Anthony Corcoran. “It wasn’t just a question of choosing the correct piece of kit – it was building a system that would fulfil their idea. On the one hand, the system was directly used to encourage and inspire students, but it also had to be sophisticated enough for coaching professional badminton players who needed to analyse and hone their technique. Then, it had to be robust enough to be placed in a sports hall, where it would be used all day by pupils, and then at evenings and weekends by pro players.”

Ultimately, what we built with them was a realtime, slow motion replay and capture system, with remote control high definition cameras. For Babington, the real key feature was the ability
to pause or play back a stream of footage while still recording, so PE staff wouldn’t have to miss filming chunks of any given lesson. “The 3Play system was chosen for its ability to continuously record sports in HD quality, and allow us to review performance and show clean movements from various angles, enabling students to learn from their own play, and see how theirs differs from that of peers and professionals,” said Ray.

To make it easier for teachers to share techniques with the whole class, Babington also installed two large screens in the badminton hall. This means that whole classes can watch a single clip together in order to learn or critique a specific move, and that groups of students can watch footage back together and peer review one another, or check the progress of students they are coaching as part of their GCSE course.

Bringing staff up to speed

Jigsaw24 ran a training session with staff from Babington and one of their partner organisations, the Leicestershire Badminton Association, with whom they share their badminton facilities. “You can master the system easily,” said Ray. “I’m far from an IT whiz, but we had a short session where we were shown how to use it, and I picked it up straight away and felt very comfortable with it.”

The PE faculty have been equally enthusiastic. “They’re extremely excited about developing their skill sets,” said Ray, “but it’s also about the finished product that they can offer to students now, and opening up access to sport at a whole new level. If students don’t understand the verbal or written instructions, we can still make an impact and move them on using the equipment we have here.”

Increasing the college’s potential

Once staff are used to the system, Babington’s team plan to allow students to use the system to review their own work or as a review tool for the coaching and refereeing elements of their PE GCSEs. “A lot of the students are very IT literate, so a piece of kit like this is actually second nature to them,”said Ray.“The system offers them a new style of sophisticated learning tool that allows them to access sport in a quicker timeframe, and also increases engagement.”

Since the refurbishment of the badminton hall, the college has seen interest in the sport skyrocket, especially as an extracurricular option. Ray is also optimistic about the multicam system’s impact on the college’s relationship with the wider community. “There is every possibility that it could increase our lettings profile, because what we’re offering is a more bespoke package for those who want to come and train. A lot of people use school sports halls as a social venue, not because they want to train, but I see this as one part of the market where we have the opportunity to change the context of the users.”

The college is even considering using part of its BSF funding to install a second system in its multi-purpose sports hall. “It’s still early days for us,” Ray told us, “but there is every indication that the system may surpass our expectations in terms of what we can achieve.”

“To our knowledge, there aren’t any other colleges with this kind of technology,” said Anthony. “It took investment and commitment on behalf of both Sport England and Babington Community College. It was a brave move – and it’s one that’s paid off. Both parties had the foresight to insist that the system was future proofed and easily adjustable, so they can expand the system if they ever need to.”

The system is opening up access to sport at a whole new level… If students don’t understand the verbal or written instructions, we can still ” make an impact and move them on using the equipment we have here.” – Ray Allsop, Business Manager, Babington Community College.

Staff have found the system innovative and ideal for assessment at a variety of levels. It also works as a fun way to motivate students with the instant feedback they receive and as a result, it has allowed us to extend leadership opportunities within lessons.” – Matt Byrne, Faculty Leader PE, Babington Community College. 

For more information about multicam and NewTek’s 3Play system, call 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. You can also keep up with our education team by following @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’-ing our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.


 

Sony showcase mysterious consumer 4K prototype at CES 2013

Sony showcase mysterious consumer 4K prototype at CES 2013

Sony continue to mercilessly tease us with products we can’t have, showcasing a prototype for a 4K Handycam at CES 2013. The camera, which our team have variously described as “a 4K Z1″ and “a PMW-100 with a 4K sticker on it”, certainly looks like something that would slot into Sony’s prosumer range, but details on the internals are sketchy at best. 

NoFilmSchool speculate that the 4K handycam will use the Sony IMX144CQJ Exmor R sensor and, while we know that the 4K Handycam will make use of the MPEG-4 XAVC codec, there’s been no official word on what it’ll record onto. With Tech-On saying that Sony have not committed to traditional consumer memory cards, we reckon the most likely alternative will be XQD or memory stick.

The camera comes with a 400mm integrated lens and, from the back, it looks like it uses a four-card system similar to JVC’s (we’re quietly hoping this gets streamlined before the commercial release, though given that Sony are aiming it at event videographers they’re going to have to find some way to record vast amounts of 4K at a go).

You can see it for yourself in Sony’s (equally specless) Sgnl coverage, and while we’re at it we should probably admit that we swiped these images from The Verge, and Engadget’s Eyes-On is also pretty ace.

Want to know more about Sony’s 4K lineup? 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.

 

GenArts slash Sapphire for Smoke prices

GenArts slash Sapphire for Smoke prices

The massive price drop Autodesk introduced on Smoke for Mac 2013 seems to have sparked a trend: GenArts have reduced the price of Sapphire for Smoke, bringing it more in line with Sapphire for Final Cut, After Effects and Nuke. 

You can now upgrade from Sapphire for Smoke v5 to v6 for £539 ex VAT, pick up a new Sapphire for Smoke v6 floating licence for £2669 or pick up a new, node-locked licence for £1779.

What does Sapphire for Smoke give you? 

Sapphire for Smoke lets you supplement Autodesk Smoke for Mac’s own effects library with over 200 additional, highly customisable effects.  The latest additions include redesigned versions of Lens Flare and Flare Designer, so you can take full control of the size, spacing, thickness, intensity and colour of each flare element. There’s also a new 3D lens flare that can manipulate flares within your 3D compositing environment for added realism.

Fittingly, Sapphire for Smoke v6 has added six new effects, including Flashbulbs, Caustics, LaserBeam, and MuzzleFlash, along with nine transitions and access to the GenArts FXCentral portal, so you always have access to the latest looks, and can download them without leaving the application.

Floating or locked licence? 

It depends how many artists you think you’ll have working simultaneously. A floating licence can be transferred between Autodesk Smoke for Mac seats, so multiple artists can share a single copy of Sapphire for Smoke, provided they don’t have to use it at the same time. A locked licence, like the name suggests, is installed on a single machine, has its serial number registered with GenArts as being on that machine, and won’t work on any other. If you’ve got multiple effects artists who’ll all require access to the Sapphire plug-ins simultaneously, we’d recommend getting them their own locked licences, rather than hoping you can get away with a floating one.

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