NewTek expand lineup with new TriCaster Mini HD-SDI

NewTek expand lineup with new TriCaster Mini HD-SDI

A little over a year after releasing the original TriCaster Mini, NewTek are at it again with a brand new HD-SDI model. TriCaster Mini HD-4 SDI gives users a choice between professional SDI I/O and the HDMI version of TriCaster Mini, meaning professionals have even more scope to transform presentations into engaging multimedia content that looks like network-style TV. 

“The SDI version of TriCaster Mini is a direct response to feedback we’ve received from SDI camera owners who like the form factor and small size coupled with its comprehensive capabilities,” said Dr Andrew Cross, president and CTO of NewTek.

“We’re pleased to offer customers a choice of models to support either their SDI or HDMI equipment depending on preference. Not only professionals, people in every industry are seeking to deliver their messages like seasoned television professionals in order to engage their audiences. No other system in the world makes it as easy for them to create sophisticated broadcast content, webcasts, and presentations and stream them live, publish to social media or upload to a website from the office, an event, or any location with an internet connection.”

Why TriCaster Mini HD-4 SDI?

Just as with the original TriCaster Mini, the new SDI version features a whole host of features and creative tools for producing multi-camera content from anywhere. It lets you:

– Mix different visual sources.

– Overlay logos, presentations, charts, titles, media files and animations.

– Import your own branding elements and have them appear in transitions and animations.

– Incorporate a slideshow and web pages from another computer.

– Replace solid backgrounds with a simulated environment.

– Webcast programmes on a live video stream.

– Post clips to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, and your own website.

– Have guest speakers call in from their webcams.

– Record the programme so people can watch it on demand.

– Record all camera footage simultaneously so you can edit the programme.

– Make keyboard shortcuts for sophisticated sequences with one touch.

Where can I get it?

NewTek’s TriCaster Mini HD-4 SDI is available to pre-order now from Jigsaw24, with stock arriving soon. Just click on the banner to scope out specs and put an order in.

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Want to know more about NewTek TriCaster Mini HD-4 SDI? 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.


IBC 2015: Excitement in Amsterdam as Sony unveil the PXW-FS5!

IBC 2015: Excitement in Amsterdam as Sony unveil the PXW-FS5!

Amsterdam, September 11th 2015: Sony has today announced the PXW-FS5, the latest addition to its rugged range of professional camcorders with superior creative features and flexible shooting. The versatile “grab and shoot” style PXW-FS5 provides unsurpassed on-the-go shooting in the most demanding of conditions, with stunning image choices and creative features. Complementing the successful PXW-FS7, this compact camcorder delivers high quality imagery suitable for a range of professional applications from event videography to corporate and online video production.

The PXW-FS5 is ergonomically designed with the user in mind; the 0.8kg lightweight body has excellent weight balance ensuring reliability and all-day comfortable handheld shooting, for almost any location, even airborne mounted on a drone. Ease of use for a variety of shooting applications is possible with the one-touch rotatable grip; all of the key controls are at the user’s fingertips allowing for ultimate shooting flexibility and instant switch between low or high angle shooting. In response to users demand for more ergonomic flexibility, the 3.5-inch type LCD panel can be attached to different positions on the handle or the compact camera body, further supporting easy handheld operation and offering customisable shooting.

Superb creative expression is visible through the inclusion of 4K XAVC high-definition shooting, with the Super35 ExmorTM CMOS sensor incorporating 11.6 million pixels and 8.3 million effective pixels, capturing detail and image texture that even HD sensors cannot see. The high sensitivity and large size of the sensor delivers background defocus, increased low-light sensitivity and lower image noise coupled with stunning picture quality. High quality imagery is further ensured by High Frame Rate cache recording at 10bit 4:2:2 Full HD and an incredibly high frame rate of up to 240fps, in 8 second bursts, which makes 1/10 times Super Slow Motion possible without sacrificing bit depth or loss of image quality.

The PXW-FS5 is the world’s first* Super35mm camcorder to feature built-in electronic variable ND filters, further expanding the depth of field representation by the large-format sensor and enabling flexible exposure control, encouraging the user to reach their full creative potential. Professionals can push their work to the next level with a high-end cinematography feel to footage, coupled with the mobile feel of the camcorder. Get the exact shot needed for a project, even in difficult shooting locations; as the compact power zoom E lens PZ 18-105mm F4 G OSS( SELP18105G), provided in the PXW-FS5K kit model, enables zoom operation with one hand.

Integrating easily with other camera lenses, α Mount System offers unsurpassed compatibility with both Sony and third-party lenses. The PXW-FS5’s E-mount can take virtually any lenses, such as SLR lenses via an adaptor, as well as Sony’s E-mount and A-mount lenses; ensuring the camcorder adapts to multiple environments. Sony’s α Mount System and its enhanced interfaces include 3G-SDI, HDMI output and SD dual card slots. Also equipped with Wi-Fi and a Wired LAN terminal, the PXW-FS5 features enhanced network functions such as file transfer and streaming transmission.

Furthermore, the future firmware update will provide RAW output.

“Last year we launched the PXW-FS7 at IBC, which changed the way broadcast programmes and documentaries were made. With that in mind and building on the success of the PXW-FS7, we’re introducing a lighter more compact camcorder, the PXW-FS5,” said Claus Pfeifer, Strategic Marketing Manager at Sony Professional Solutions Europe.

“The PXW-FS5 presents unrivalled flexibility coupled with complete creative control, equipping professionals with all the tools needed to exceed any brief. It stands apart in the current market as a comfortable handheld, lightweight camera, which at the same time delivers high quality imagery for content creation spanning; cinematic wedding videography, corporate footage, online and event videography. Professionals have all the practical and creative functionality at their disposal, leaving them without any limits to realise their full potential.”

Want to find out more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2015: Blackmagic Design announce DeckLink Quad 2

IBC 2015: Blackmagic Design announce DeckLink Quad 2

IBC 2015, Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 11, 2015 – Blackmagic Design today announced DeckLink Quad 2, a new high performance capture and playback solution that puts the power of 8 DeckLink cards onto a single circuit board that plugs into a single PCI Express slot. Designed for developers and OEMs, DeckLink Quad 2 is the ideal solution for media play-out servers, multi screen digital signage servers, real time processors and more. DeckLink Quad 2 will retail for $995.

DeckLink Quad 2 will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design IBC 2015 booth in Hall 7, Stand H20.

This new model of DeckLink Quad 2 features 8 independent 3G-SDI connections so it can now work in high HD frame rates and it supports SDI formats in SD and HD up to 1080p60. Each SDI connection is completely independent, meaning that each of the 8 connections can input or output entirely different video standards and content streams, all at the same time. DeckLink Quad 2 can also capture and playback at the same time, and also includes a reference connection for black burst/tri-sync. Developers can use the SDK to configure the eight SDI connections to be any combination of inputs and outputs.

Featuring the latest, high performance 8 lane generation 2 PCI Express, DeckLink Quad 2 takes up only one single PCI slot in the computer, which makes it the perfect solution for system integrators and developers that need completely customizable, flexible I/O configurations on a single card. DeckLink Quad 2 appears as 8 independent SDI cards to the host computer, even though it only uses a single PCI Express slot and is ideal for use in servers that need to handle multiple video streams for both simultaneous capture and playback.

“Developers building playback servers have been asking us for ways to reduce equipment size,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “The new DeckLink Quad 2 is exciting because it’s like getting 8 independent SDI capture and playback cards in one! Best of all, the new SDK lets OEMs and developers control each SDI connection independently for incredible flexibility. This means customers can have any combination of inputs or outputs and for example they could have 8 inputs or 8 outputs or 1 input with 7 outputs or simply 4 inputs and 4 outputs. It’s really their choice and they can use the one card even when the systems they are building could vary from customer to customer.”

Availability and Price

The new DeckLink Quad 2 will be available in Q4 from US$995 from all Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

Want to find out more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2015: G-Technology add brand new products to their Evolution Series

IBC 2015: G-Technology add brand new products to their Evolution Series

2015 IBC, Amsterdam (Hall 7, Stand 7.J31), September 9, 2015 – G-Technology, a leader in delivering premium storage solutions, today announced four new products in its Evolution Series, a flexible ecosystem of docking stations and interchangeable and expandable external hard drives and accessories that makes transferring, editing and distributing content more efficient, scalable and reliable.

The new products include the G-SPEED Studio XL with two ev Series Bay Adapters, ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition, G-DOCK ev Solo and the ev Series FireWire™ Adapter. Designed with creative professionals in mind, the new Evolution Series products provide the ultimate flexibility and customization for all workflows.

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G-SPEED STUDIO XL with two ev Series Bay Adapters

The G-SPEED Studio XL with two ev Series Bay Adapters is a flexible, eight-bay Thunderbolt 2 storage solution, which comes with six enterprise-class hard drives and two integrated ev Series Bay Adapters. It offers professional content creators colossal capacity and huge performance. The integrated ev Series Bay Adapters accommodate all ev Series drive modules, enabling cross-functionality with the Evolution Series for enhanced workflow and productivity.

Configurable in RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, & 10, it supports multi-stream compressed 4K workflows with extremely large volumes of data at transfer rates of up to 1,200MB/sec and has the ability to daisy-chain via dual Thunderbolt 2 ports. Complete with a three-year limited warranty and sleek black enclosure, this modular, enterprise-class solution provides optimal storage for demanding workflows. The G-SPEED STUDIO XL with two ev Series Bay Adapters will be available in October. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing for 18TB is $2,799.95, 24TB is $2,999.95, 36TB is $3,999.95 and 48TB is $4,999.95.

ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition

Designed to optimize and simplify a RED camera workflow, the ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition leverages high-performance connectivity for fast RED footage transfers and backup. Users can transfer content quickly from a RED MINI-MAG media1 card onto any G-DOCK ev docking station or G-SPEED Studio XL with ev Series Bay Adapters. When shooting on-the-go, simply slip it into the watertight protective ev Series All-Terrain Case3 for added protection. The ev Series Reader RED MINI-MAG Edition will be available in October. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing is $199.95.

G-DOCK ev Solo

For those who already have several G-DRIVE ev modules, the G-DOCK ev Solo is a convenient and flexible USB 3.0 docking solution for shared environments, including studios, labs and classrooms. Simply insert an existing Evolution Series hard drive module into the G-DOCK ev Solo to transfer, edit and backup with ease. When paired with the G-DRIVE ev, G-DRIVE ev RaW, G-DRIVE ev 220 or the G-DRIVE ev SSD, the G-DOCK ev Solo can easily store up to 2TBs of data and transfer content at rates up to 400MB/s, making it is ideal for a variety of workflows. The G-DOCK ev Solo will be available in October. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing is $99.95 with ev Drive modules sold separately.

ev Series FireWire Adapter

The ev Series FireWire Adapter easily attaches to your ev Series drive, enabling you to connect to an existing FireWire 800 port on your computer. Connect your G-DRIVE ev RaW, G-DRIVE ev, G-DRIVE ev 220 or G-DRIVE ev SSD to your computer via one of two FireWire 800 ports or daisy-chain them with ease so you can access personal and/or professional files, photos, videos, music and more. The ev Series FireWire Adapter is available today. Manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing is $49.95.

“Our goal at G-Technology is to create reliable and cross-functional products that meet the needs of all creatives, and we’ve done just that with our Evolution Series,” said Mike Williams, vice president and general manager, G-Technology. “Whether on set or in the field, as capacity or performance needs grow, our customers can simply expand and scale by using more external hard drive modules with G-DOCK ev docking station solutions or the G-SPEED Studio XL to easily separate and organize projects, shuttle dailies or proxies, or deliver final work to clients.”

“I’m constantly working in different environments around the world, and I need products that will adapt to my dynamic workflow,” said Aaron Lieber, surf cinematographer and filmmaker. “The Evolution and Studio Series were crucial in helping me win the 2015 REDirect Surf competition and these new additions will make my workflow even easier, allowing me to focus on making more great films.”

Want to find out more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

IBC 2015: Sony get all sensitive on us with the new α7S II

IBC 2015: Sony get all sensitive on us with the new α7S II

Sony today at IBC 2015 in Amsterdam announced the latest addition to its award winning series of compact, full-frame α7 cameras with the introduction of the α7S II. Offering ultra-high sensitivity and wide dynamic range across the entire ISO range and 5-axis image stabilisation for greater shooting control, the α7S II delivers stunning image quality for photographers who shoot in the most challenging light conditions.

Be it the brightest of mornings or darkest of nights, the α7S II enables new levels of photographic expression at whatever shutter speed you wish to deploy. The α7S II also incorporates a host of pro-style movie functions including the ability to shoot 4K video with full pixel readout and no pixel binning in full-frame format, making it an extremely appealing proposition for photographers and videographers alike.

The α7S II delivers an awe-inspiring sensitivity range of ISO 50-409600, thanks to the combination of its 35mm full-frame 12.2 megapixel image sensor and BIONZ X image processing engine. The sensor optimises the dynamic range across the entire ISO range and broadens the range of tonal gradation in bright environments and minimises noise in dark scenes meaning that it delivers impressive results even in the most extreme conditions. The upgraded image processing algorithm of BIONZ X maximises the sensor’s capabilities and improves depiction throughout the full sensitivity range with particular emphasis on the mid-to-high range. This means that the resulting stills and movies demonstrate extra-fine detail with minimal noise.

Video Master

The α7S II can record 4K movies internally in the XAVC S format meaning that content is wonderfully detailed. Because information from all pixels is utilised without line skipping or pixel binning, the camera can maximise the expanded power of the full-frame image sensor and produce 4K movies with higher image clarity and negligible moiré. Full pixel readout without pixel binning is also employed when shooting Full HD movies which means that it collects information from approximately five times as many pixels that are required to generate Full HD and condenses the information to produce extremely high quality movies.

In a first for the α7 series, the α7S II can record 120fps at 100Mbps with full pixel readout without pixel binning in full frame format which can be edited into wonderful 4x/5x slow motion footage in Full HD. The α7S II also has the ability to shoot 4x/5 slow motion footage internally which can be immediately reviewed on the camera screen.

Video functionality has been further enhanced with new profiles; S-Gamut3.Cine/S-Log3 and S-Gamut3/S-Log3. These new profiles deliver wide dynamic range and colour correction is easier to perform. The α7S ll even offers impressive 14-stop latitude in the S-Log3 gamma setting. The camera also supports S-Gamut/S-Log2 which is very popular among cinematographers and videographers. Gamma Display Assist is a new function that allows users to monitor images or check focus when recording S-Log movies and the Zebra function has been improved for even greater control.

5-Axis Image Stabilisation

The new α7S II is equipped with the innovative 5-axis image stabilisation system that is proving extremely popular in the α7 II and α7R II cameras. The system corrects camera shake along five axes during shooting, including angular shake (pitch and yaw) which has the greatest impact on image quality and tends to occur with a telephoto lens, shift shake (X and Y axes) which becomes noticeable as magnification increases, and rotational shake (roll) that often affects night shooting or video recording.

Autofocus accuracy

The autofocus system on the α7S II has been upgraded and now offers 169 AF points for fast, precise focusing with greater accuracy. The power of the image sensor means that the absence of noise in images generated, enables the Fast Intelligent AF to detect contrast more easily and react speedily even in low-light situations (as low as EV-4), when it’s even tough to check with the naked eye. When shooting video, the AF performance is twice as fast as the predecessor model.

Electronic Viewfinder

The XGA OLED Tru-Finder in the α7S II has been upgraded and offers the world’s highest viewfinder magnificationxi of 0.78x (roughly 38.5 degrees in diagonal field of view) and shows clear images across the entire display area. The use of ZEISS T* Coating ensures sharp reduction of reflections on the viewfinder and unlike an optical viewfinder, the OLED Tru-Finder can be used to instantly show how exposure compensation, white balance and other selected settings are affecting the displayed image.

User upgrades

A number of enhancements have been made to the look and feel of the α7S II to make it more user friendly, reliable and intuitive. Its magnesium-alloy body is both light and highly robust and the grip and shutter buttons have been re-designed so that the camera feels more natural in the hand. For situations when you just want to blend into the background, silent shooting mode can be activated for 5fps continuous shooting and reliability has been enhanced with reduced-vibration shutter movement.

The lens mount has been further reinforced to ensure greater resilience, particularly when attaching third party lenses and users can now charge the camera via a USB power supply whilst the camera is in operation, thus extending battery life. For greater comfort and safety, Sony is also launching the LCS-EBF; a new premium leather body case for the α7S II which is also compatible with the α7R II and α7 II.

The α7S II is also Wi-Fi and NFC compatible and fully functional with Sony’s PlayMemories Mobile application available for Android and iOS platforms, as well as Sony’s growing range of PlayMemories Camera Apps, which add a range of fun creative capabilities to the camera.

Want to find out more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest IBC news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Our ultimate guide to networking, WiFi and servers

Our ultimate guide to networking, WiFi and servers

Are you an IT manager whose network regularly leaves you wanting to bang your head against your server rack? We know how important it is to make sure your network gives you the speed you need for users to work effectively – especially designers and anyone working with and transferring large files over the server.

So this article is for you, as we get down to the nitty gritty of scalable networking, how our solutions can see you right, and look at how we helped Space Digital future-proof their infrastructure…

Networking

First things first, if your network doesn’t have built-in resiliency or sufficient bandwidth, you’re never going to get the maximum ROI – or the best work out of your employees. We offer the full range of networking solutions, from the design and installation of complex multisite networks to tailor-made WiFi setup. Put simply, our engineers will make sure your network is fast, continuous and secure, and with our range of support options, our engineers are just a phone call away if you need help. It all means you get faster, more reliable network and device access across platforms, improved end user security, and the peace of mind that you have technical support in case of any network issues.

WiFi

Giving employees access to mobile devices is great for productivity (with everyone able to access business resources anywhere onsite), but it’s also going to have a knock-on effect on your network. We can help you deal with the challenges of connecting iPad, iPhone and more to your WiFi. We’ll do a WiFi survey and provide advice on hardware that’ll meet your needs, then install everything and perform ongoing network health checks, so you can ensure you have the bandwidth you need, without any loss of connection or disruption to your WiFi.

Servers

Whether you’re looking at a server upgrade, want to consolidate or virtualise your servers to host your legacy systems and web development, or give your business the agility and flexibility that comes with server virtualisation and consolidation, our solutions ensure you get the best fit for your business, and your investment is future-proof.

Some of the things we can do include workload optimisation, server room design, hardware provision, consolidation, virtualisation and migration pilots, and leasing, rental and finance options, all designed to give you faster delivery of core services, and a reduced energy and space footprint.

 

Customer story: Future-proof infrastructure at Space Digital

Over the years, we’ve helped many creative agencies and businesses get their network and infrastructure up to speed. For example, when post-production supremos Space Digital moved to new premises in MediaCityUK, they decided to build their own internal server room and recable their entire facility to enable their artists to work over 10GbE. As well as helping them design and install the facility, we’ve continuously advised Space Digital’s team on the latest hardware, including their new Thunderbolt-based workflow.

Simon Blackledge, Head of Post-Production at Space Digital, said: “Then we ran through where all the network points were going to be in the different offices, and the layout of the different edit suites. Jigsaw24 got back to me with the options for the cabling […] Jigsaw24 came up once all the floor had been laid and put down all the cabling for the network and the SDI leads and extenders. I moved my machines in a couple of days later and they had us all up and running – everything was fine.”

Free Server and Deliver event

If you want to learn more about infrastructure, particularly making your Apple estate work in perfect harmony with your IT environment, join us on Thursday 3rd September for our Server and Deliver event! Stop by from 5pm for a drinks reception before diving into keynote presentations with Dell, Quantum (Dothill) and Brocade on a whole host of key challenges creatives are facing today. We’ll be talking servers, storage and networking, Mac integration, device management, network migration, business continuity and much more. So if that sounds like your bag, RSVP your place by filling in the form below.

 

Want to know more about networking, WiFi and servers, and our insanely great infrastructure solutions? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email solutions@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Mac for business

Buyers’ Guide 2015: Mac for business

Looking to refresh your business’s computer deployment? These days, looking to Apple is probably your best option. As well as their power, flexibility and ease of use, they’re also incredibly durable and reliable, so you can count on a better TCO and ROI than with PC counterparts.

Your options are much simpler too – you have a choice of MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and, now, the new 12″ MacBook, as well as desktop computers in the form of Mac Pro, iMac and Mac mini, which can come with differing internal features depending on your needs. When shopping for PC ‘ultrabooks’ and desktops, on the other hand, there simply isn’t one single contender to match Mac, but a whole universe of laptops and desktops sporting differing processors and screen sizes (not to mention vastly varying build quality), which can get rather confusing.

To make things even easier, we’ve broken down the range below, giving recommendations based on the team’s actual experience using Mac within the business, as well as links to buy. If you are wanting to deploy a raft of new notebooks and desktops, you’ll probably want to talk to us first, as experts in all things Apple, including integration, rollout, management and post-sales support. But let’s take a look at the actual products available first…

MacBook Air

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need long battery life

MacBook Air on Jigsaw24

MacBook Air has been around since 2008, and in that time, Apple have really worked on making its internals match its external form factor. One of the thinnest (just 1.7cm at its thickest point) and lightest (as little as 1.08kg) notebooks around, it is undoubtably good looking, but that stunning design also means it’s incredibly portable. That makes it a great choice for anyone who needs to run applications on the move when a tablet just won’t cut it – so salespeople, client-facing consultants and other staff in the field, for example.

Equally, if we are called in to a meeting, we can just pick up our MacBook Air and head down, hooking up to the room’s display (either wirelessly over AirPlay and Apple TV, or through a wired Mini DisplayPort connection) to share with the group. The 11″ model in particular, can easily be stowed away in your bag and carried around all day without putting your shoulder out.

Another feature that’s bound to be a boon for business is the battery life. Apple say the 11″ model will go nine hours without a recharge, while the 13″ model, which includes larger batteries, tops out at 12 hours. Of course, your mileage may vary depending on what apps you’re running, display settings and other factors, but that’s more than enough to get you through a full business day before you have to plug in again. The fact that they rely solely on solid state flash storage also means MacBook Air is speedy too – 17x faster than a traditional 5400-rpm notebook hard drive, in fact.

The latest versions feature:

11″ MacBook Air

– 11.6″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £549 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Air

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 6000 processor.

– From £702 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook Pro

Ideal for: Those needing more power from a portable computer

MacBook Pro on Jigsaw24

Now we move on to Apple’s performance notebook, MacBook Pro. With the fastest components and plenty of CPU, RAM, and storage, not to mention a wide range of ports including Thunderbolt 2, MacBook Pro is a solid choice for creatives. So if you have an internal marketing team who need to create, edit and deliver video, design layouts and high-res imagery, while still remaining portable, you should be looking at going for the Pro.

Indeed, as well as our design team’s desktop Mac Pro and iMac workstations, they use MacBook Pro when out on shoots and case studies. It will happily handle rendering and exporting compositions in processor-intensive apps like Adobe Creative Cloud’s Photoshop and InDesign, while you get on with the rest of your workload. And that also means it’s comfortable handling multiple, massive Excel spreadsheets at the same time too!

While MacBook Pro still is technically very portable, it isn’t quite as easy to carry around as MacBook Air, weighing in at 1.58kg for the 13″ model, and quite a hefty 2.02kg for the 15″ version. But that is the price to pay for the higher-end spec and increased connectivity. Apple have now actually done away with the behemoth that was the 17″ MacBook Pro, but anyone who does need to see their work in finer detail than on the Retina display can still hook up to a second screen for more clarity.

13″ MacBook Pro

– 13.3″ high-res glossy display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage or 1TB hard drive.

– Up to 8GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel HD Graphics 4000 processor.

– From £742 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display

– 13.3″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel Iris Graphics 6100 processor.

– From £827 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

15″ MacBook Pro with Retina display

– 15.4″ ultra-thin Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB RAM.

– Fifth-generation Intel Core i5 and i7 processors.

– Intel Iris Graphics 6100 processor.

– From £1299 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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MacBook

Ideal for: Mobile workers who need a Retina display

MacBook on Jigsaw24

New to the Mac notebook lineup for 2015 is the overhauled MacBook (you may recall this was the name given to Apple’s previous plastic unibody notebooks). It’s the thinnest and lightest of all the MacBook computers available – even more so than MacBook Air. It’s the first non-pro Mac notebook to feature a Retina display and also the first to come in a range of colours. While it’s not as powerful as the MacBook Pro and Air, it’s still speedy, complete with the new Intel Core M processor, up to 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of flash storage.

Apple say it’s also their most energy efficient computer, using just five watts of power, and doing away with the fan for silent running. Most revolutionary though, is Apple’s inclusion of a new single, reversible, backwards-compatible USB-C port. This allows for super fast (5 Gbps) transfer while also carrying video streams and electrical charging over the same wiring as data. So essentially you have one connector for charging, transferring data to external devices, and carrying signal to external monitors, meaning you will need to employ adaptors if you want to hook up devices and connect to storage while you’re charging.

12″ MacBook

– 12″ Retina display.

– Up to 512GB flash storage.

– 8GB RAM.

– Core m processor.

– Intel HD Graphics 5300.

– Gold, silver or space grey colour schemes.

– From £866 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac Pro

Ideal for: Video and heavy creative work

Mac Pro on Jigsaw24

Moving on to desktop workstations, we have the Mac Pro – Apple’s workhorse. While you may not need 64GB RAM or 12 cores of processing power for everyday business tasks and systems, if you have an in-house creative team, they’ll thank you for investing in Mac Pro, the industry standard for design work, and video and audio editing.

This latest generation of Mac Pro, released in 2013, introduced a radical new design. Ditching the classic tower form factor in favour of a sleek cylindrical casing, Mac Pro manages to pack all its internals into a 25cm high, 5kg casing that will happily sit on a desk, and it comes with enough ports that you’re able to connect all the displays, storage and peripherals you require. And, if there’s a specific configuration you need, you can add your own RAM, processors and storage with our online Mac Pro Configurator.

Mac Pro

– Up to 2.7GHz 12-core processor.

– Up to 1TB PCIe-based flash storage.

– Up to 64GB (4x16GB) memory.

– Up to Dual AMD FirePro D700 with 6GB GDDR5 VRAM.

– Support for three 4K displays,

– Six Thunderbolt ports.

– From £1999 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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iMac

Ideal for: Creative teams or those needing an all-in-one workstation

iMac on Jigsaw24

iMac has long been the choice of graphic designers and imaging specialists for its power and large display, but it’s perfect for the office too. An all-in-one workstation, all the internals and connectivity are neatly contained within its incredibly slim form factor, so there’s no desk clutter, and it comes with an Apple keyboard and Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad too. In 2014, Apple also launched a 27″ iMac with Retina 5K display, which is great for seeing content with an increased level of colour and detail, as well as being ideal if you want more screen real estate so you have a larger workspace to fit your toolbars, and work on the content itself.

21″ iMac

– 21″ widescreen display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i7 3.1GHz processor.

– From £690 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

27″ iMac

– 27″ widescreen display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Core i5 3.4GHz processor.

– From £1195 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

27″ 5K iMac with Retina display

– 27″ 5K Retina display.

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Quad Core i7 4.0GHz processor.

– From £1317 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Mac mini

Ideal for: General office work

Mac mini on Jigsaw24

The smallest of Apple’s desktop options, Mac mini is ideal for the desk, but that doesn’t mean it’s lightweight. With up to 16GB RAM and 3GHz processing power, it’ll breeze through spreadsheets, as well as more processor-intesive tasks, while using up a tiny amount of power. All you need is to hook it up to a display, and add a keyboard and mouse.

Mac mini

– Up to 1TB flash storage.

– Up to 16GB (2x8GB) RAM.

– Up to Dual Core i7 3GHz processor.

– From £329 ex VAT on Jigsaw24.

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Want to know more about MacBook, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro? Give us a call on 03332 409 306, email sales@Jigsaw24.com or just pop your details in the form below and we’ll be in touch. For all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

 

Or fill in the form below to find out about our b7 proof of concept trial for executives that lets you see the benefits of Mac – such as improved productivity and lower total cost of ownership – before you invest.

Sony offering super savings on cameras for classrooms!

Sony offering super savings on cameras for classrooms!

Want to teach students the professional production skills they’ll need in their future careers (and attract prospective students)? Now’s the time to update your camera kit, as Sony are currently offering education institutions up to £1079* off cameras, including the PXW-X70 and FS7. It’s only on until 30th September though, so it’s a great excuse to dig into that budget!

The promotion covers a wide range of Sony’s professional cameras, from pro handheld up to film cameras. We’ve picked out our top cameras for education below, but if there are any other models that have caught your eye, or you need advice on what camera to plump for for a particular course or scenario, do get in touch with the team – as Sony Professional Solution Specialists, we’re here to help!

What’s on offer?

PXW-X70 – Great for all creative courses

Sony PXW-X70 on Jigsaw24

This 4K-ready camera was the first on the market to combine the dual benefits of a large sensor with a fixed lens, enabling incredibly shallow depth of field, with a real broadcast-quality workflow. A price tag of around £1500 means this camcorder is a professional and practical choice which isn’t going to break the bank. £1475 ex VAT (Save £216* with the Sony promo!)

PXW-X200 – Great for journalism courses

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A bit of a step up, the X200 features three 1/2-inch type Full-HD ExmorT CMOS sensors to achieve high resolution, high sensitivity, low noise, and wide dynamic range, 17x Fujinon professional HD zoom, and support for the most popular video formats, shooting to SxX cards or even inexpensive XQD, SDXC and SDHC cards via an adaptor. £3915 ex VAT (Save £432* with the Sony promo!)

PXW-FS7 and PMW-FS7K – Great for film courses

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Sony’s FS7 is a complete large sensor camera system that delivers long-form recording capabilities with 4K resolution in a compact, hand-held (and robust) design that makes it great for giving a cinematic sheen to students’ production. £4830 ex VAT (Save £288* with the Sony promo!)

PMW-F55 – Great for high-end production courses

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The F55 has a Super 35 4K CMOS sensor, global shutter technology that means far fewer artefacts, a wide colour gamut, and internal 4K recording to SxS Pro + cards at up to 60fps and 2K/HD at up 180fps. You can also simultaneously record XAVC 4K files and HD MPEG files to the same SxS Pro + card, for both backup and getting ready for grading.

We recently kitted out Staffordshire University with an F55, and Richard Mortimer, Media Centre Technical Team Leader, has been very impressed: “Now we’ve got mind-blowing technology we can put in front of students, things that they’re not going to see until they’ve been in industry a while and gotten their feet under the table.”

£17,500 ex VAT (Save £1079* with the Sony promo!)

– You can see the full range of Sony cameras here.

How does it work?

The promotion is only available to recognised public or private schools, colleges and universities providing full-time study. For that reason, we don’t apply the savings to the products on the website – you’ll need to get in touch with the team to put an order in, then we can apply your discount. Just remember, you only have until the 30th September 2015!

Want to know more about Sony cameras? Get in touch with us on 03332 409 306 or education@Jigsaw24.com to find out more. For all the latest news and updates follow  @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ our Jigsaw24 Education Facebook page.

*Savings are adjusted for exchange rates at time of publishing, and so are subject to change.

 

Implementing live video streaming with TriCaster at IGN

Implementing live video streaming with TriCaster at IGN

IGN are the world’s largest video games website, and the destination for anyone looking for the latest gaming news (as well as film, TV and comics coverage). Realising the massive impact video was having on the industry, and how their audience consume content, IGN thought it was time they got on board with video at their UK office, installing a new studio based on NewTek TriCaster that would help them deliver professional-quality live video streaming in limited space.

Watch the video below to see the IGN guys and their new NewTek TriCaster video studio in action (including a TriCaster 460 with control surface, separate Yamaha MG166-c audio mixer, Canon XF300 and Canon XF305 cameras, and an Ianiro Florescent lighting rig). For the full case study write-up from NewTek, click here.

NewTek TriCaster on Jigsaw24

Want to know more about NewTek TriCaster? 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.

Education app of the week: Tickle for iPad

Education app of the week: Tickle for iPad

The robots have taken over! Well, they’ve heavily influenced this week’s education app review, in any case, as we take a look at Tickle, the simple robot programming app for iPad… 

What is Tickle for iPad?

Tickle (Tickle Labs, Inc, free) is a free app that lets you program a wide variety of robots through a simple programming language and drag and drop visual interface, then control them from an iPad. Just some of the ‘bots and systems controllable by Tickle include the Sphero robotic ball, a wide variety of flyable drones, the Arduino open-source electronic prototyping platform and Philips Hue smart home lighting. You can also program interactive stories and simple games using a library of animated characters and sounds.

Tickle for iPad, and Sphero

How can it benefit the classroom?

What we’ve been really interested in is using Tickle with the Sphero robotic ball (if you’re new to Sphero, have a recap on why we love it here). It provides a simple way to cover off some of the key aspects laid out in the computing curriculum, including: understanding what algorithms are, how they are implemented as programs on digital devices; that programs execute by following precise and unambiguous instructions; creating and debugging simple programs, and using logical reasoning to predict the behaviour of simple programs.

A good lesson plan, for example, is navigating a simple maze using both Sphero and Tickle. Mark out lines on the floor using tape, then get pupils to move the Sphero ball across the maze, while describing the movement and location by coding the sequence (there may be a bit of trial and error involved in the programming). It’s a really fun, creative and collaborative way to solve mathematical problems.

What’s the best feature?

What we probably like most about Tickle is just how easy it is for pupils to pick up, get programming, then start controlling robots in just a few minutes. It’s all done through a colourful visual programming language, whereby pupils can simply drag and drop blocks of commands to string sequences together (if you’ve ever used Sphero MacroLab or the Scratch language before, you’ll be right at home with this).

Where can I get it?

Tickle (Tickle Labs, Inc, free) is completely free, and you can download it from the App Store on your iPad, or by heading to iTunes. If you’d like to know more about Sphero, get in touch with the team on the details below.

– Missed last week’s app review? Catch up with our thoughts on BandLab for iPad here!

Want to know more about our favourite apps and Apple iPad for the classroom? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306, email education@Jigsaw24.com, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter for all the latest technology in education news, reviews and articles.