Meet the experts: Neal Kemsley

Meet the experts: Neal Kemsley

Before joining Jigsaw24, technical specialist Neal spent six years at Avid, leading a support team for their infrastructure pipeline, and eleven years working for an English audio firm in the US, on projects including the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. He’s also a certified SCP Support Manager, and has the plaque to prove it. 

“I worked for Avid before I came to root6. Initially I was covering support for their customers in Bristol and Cardiff, but eventually I was leading a team of folks providing customer support for their infrastructure products, so things like Interplay, the bigger storage systems and the bigger workgroup-based products. I was also involved in delivering training, and I’m an Avid Certified Instructor for a number of classes on the technical support curriculum that engineers need to take to qualify as an Avid Certified Support Representative.”

Networking, workgroups and workflows

“My main specialities are networking, workgroups and Avid workflows. It’s always interesting to handle complex workflows based on shared storage and involving networks – there are lots of things that can go wrong. We recently had a university that had a really interesting NEXIS problem that we were able to resolve. It was very frustrating for them, because the customer essentially found that the storage had become inaccessible to a large number of clients attached to it, and we had to remote in to the network to diagnose it. It was an intriguing challenge. I’ve also got a lot of experience with various networking technologies from Dell, Cisco and Mellanox.”

Unpacking the stack

“Customers can come to Jigsaw24 confident in the knowledge that there’s someone who can answer questions on each level of the networking stack. It’s a team with a range of expertise. So for example Matt and Phil come in at the media layer, and as you can see from Phil’s tech talks they know a lot about making and connecting the fibre optics. When it comes to connecting from building to building, Dave, Rupert and Graham have done a lot of that, and have experience of hooking up facilities over dark fibre and exploiting those connections. And then when it comes to the actual networking part, getting the sites to communicate, that’s where I come in – putting the actual switches in place,  getting the routers in place and getting it all to talk to the internal equipment.”

Keeping an eye on the giants

“There’s constant interest in where Avid are heading next. We see it at various different product levels and I do think that, because so many of us come from Avid, we have a good understanding of how they work and a gauge on how things are going to develop. We work very hard to make sure we’re on top of the direction that Avid are taking with their technology, and we can also pass that line of questioning back to Avid and say, “This is what we’re hearing from customers – how are you going to make sure this product meets their needs?”

If you want to know more, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter, or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

What are we looking forward to at IBC?

What are we looking forward to at IBC?

Ready for IBC? Our consultants are gearing up for their annual trip to Amsterdam, where they’ll be getting hands-on with the latest releases, meeting our key vendors and finding out what the upcoming year holds for media and entertainment. We asked the team what they’re most looking forward to…

Jamie Allan, Solutions & Business Development for M&E

We’re looking forward to talking to more people about remote connectivity and new methods of collaboration this year. It’s a hugely exciting area of expansion for us and our customers, with many of our preferred vendors bringing updates to enable more advanced connectivity over long distances via public and private networks.

Having worked on some major connectivity projects recently between clients and datacentres, we’re starting to see the huge benefits of colocating or virtualising systems really come into effect on multiple scales. Hopefully at the show we’ll see more vendors embracing this and bringing new solutions to the table.

As usual with a major trade show, we’re expecting our friends at Blackmagic Design to come with some exciting news. Hopefully a full release version of Resolve 14 will be made available, including all the amazing new features we’ve been playing with in beta since NAB.

In conjunction with this, the audio world is anticipating new hardware for Fairlight mixing consoles that will be tightly integrated with Resolve, allowing us to build end to end collaborative workflows for edit, grade and audio mix all in realtime!

Neal Kemsley, Pre-Sales Technical Specialist

I’m looking forward to hearing what Avid have in store for their NEXIS shared storage for media production users. It would be lovely to see more progress on their storage performance capability tiers, as well as built-in tools for migrating data stored in Workspaces among those tiers. Also on my wish-list are some features that have yet to make it to NEXIS, which were lost in the migration from previous Avid products, such as controlled shutdown from an external UPS system and deletion reporting. File access auditing would also be a valuable addition to the product.

I’m also looking forward to hearing about what’s being planned for their Interplay Production Asset Management system, as well as seeing progress on Avid’s Media Central Platform, which I understand has undergone a significant amount of redevelopment work.

David ‘Saxon’ Greenep, Senior Pro Audio Consultant

As the pace of technologies in the audio world continues to grow, I am looking forward to learning about new tech that will further streamline the process of content creation.

I am expecting to see developments in audio over IP as well as DAW and hardware solutions for both Atmos and VR audio. With the new standards available now from Dolby, I will also be interested to see if there have been further developments when it comes to both speaker specifications and speaker calibration systems.

Phil Crawley, Engineer

Although the rush to IP continues apace, some of our higher-end TV and Digital Cinema customers still need the near-zero latency and uncompressed quality that only SDI provides for UHD/4K. I’ll be paying particular attention to Barnfind’s product refresh with their 12G copper/fibre parts. Additionally, Amulet have refreshed their Teradici2 offerings; they uniquely offer external Tera2 parts as well as a soon-to-be-released update for existing customers to monitor their GUI displays at 4K resolution.

Rupert Watson, Sales Director for M&E

As a reseller questing for the latest useful technology on behalf of our customers, we will be out looking for vendors at IBC who are bringing something new to the processes and practice of production and post-production. As technologies advance and merge, we attempt to understand and assimilate new ways of working and to present them to our customers in ways that allow them to make money and prosper from our pathfinding on their behalf.

David Skeggs, Project Specialist

IBC is poised to bring the next round of HDR (high dynamic range) developments and offerings. Ultra HD or 4K coupled with HDR has put a real focus on accurate monitoring within post-production – I’d say now they are more acute than ever before.
Dolby and the BBC have led the development of two very different standards for creating an HDR image, but how has the industry been adopting these? We await to see what updates the monitor manufacturers bring around the wider colour gamut and greater bit depths. Equally, it will be interesting to see how manufacturers have been adopting HDR within products, supply chains and workflows.

Graham McGuinness, Operations Director for M&E
IBC is set to deliver hopefully more complete versions of some of the previews we saw at NAB earlier this year. Of particular interest will be remote editing and cloud-based offerings from manufacturers looking to meaningfully move significant elements of the post-production process online, and drive its potential development as a managed service model. Coupled with the push to high resolution and HDR, it’s going to be an interesting show as always.
Phillip Boettcher, Technical Architect for M&E
At IBC I’ll be most interested in checking out the latest updates to version 14 of Resolve, including any new tools around collaboration and shared projects. There’s a lot of potential in what we have seen so far from shared project databases and networked Resolve suites, but I would like to see more administrative control for this branch of the product now.With the qualification of a new line of servers for Resolve, it is going to be exciting to see the improvements to performance that v14 will bring on the latest hardware. I am also excited to see announcements from storage vendors, such as Ardis for DDP, and look at ways we can utilise their products to enhance our Resolve solution offering.
Want to meet the team?

If you want to meet up with one of the team to discuss your needs, how new releases could fit into your workflow, or what changes you need to make to take advantage of upcoming technologies like those behind remote collaboration, just get in touch on the details below. Who knows, they may even buy you a beer.

If you want to know more on the biggest and best NAB Show releases, give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter‘Like’ us on Facebook or take a look at our roundup post.

Get journalism students ready for the newsroom with Avid’s iNEWS and Interplay

Get journalism students ready for the newsroom with Avid’s iNEWS and Interplay

Looking to take your institution’s journalism courses to the next level? iNEWS and Interplay from Avid will help prepare your students for life in the newsroom, giving them access to the tools used by top broadcasters across the industry.

Created for broadcasters, journalists and news teams, Avid’s iNEWS is a Newsroom Computer System (NRCS) that will bring your students out of the classroom and into the fast-paced world of news. What better way to prepare for a career in the media and entertainment industry than by getting hands on with the same tools being used in newsrooms around the UK?

What is iNEWS? 

Working together with infrastructure such as Avid Interplay, the iNEWS server lets users create and deliver breaking news, unify entire newsroom operations, and engage audiences across a broad spectrum of TV, web, mobile and social media channels. iNEWS supports all standard wire formats such as ANPA, IPTC, and News ML and allows the consolidated ingest of wires and other sources via serial feed, telnet, email, or by monitoring directories. The iNEWS interface provides a multipurpose front end. Here users can preview videos associated with Avid Interplay sequences directly within iNEWS, perform forward searches across multiple iNEWS systems, and communicate with the rest of the news team.

Journalists can create, browse and edit stories while directly connected to the iNEWS system at the station, but can also work remotely, accessing news content and rundowns via a realtime Interplay Central browser-based interface or using the mobile workflow of Interplay Central native iPad and iPhone apps.

Avid NewsCutter, a news-orientated version of Media Composer, provides direct editorial control over media, cutting broadcast quality pictures and audio that are ready for transmission. The system also plays host to an audio, video, and script-editing tool for journalists, iNEWS Instinct. This is a visual storytelling tool that increases speed, control and creativity of the development of voiceovers/VOSOTs and accelerates newscast production using a script-based format. At the end of the chain is the iNEWS Command automation-assist system. This provides experience of playout of video and CG events, triggering their broadcast based on the order and timing of the events in the newscast rundown.

Why use iNEWS for education?

Unlike many other education solutions, Avid iNEWS isn’t a standalone product. The server software provides the heart of an entire collaborative workflow solution for news content creation and distribution in a broadcast environment, where each component further develops student skillsets.

Colleges and universities are typically using Avid iNEWS to anchor end-to-end Avid workflows. We’ve been working with Nottingham Trent University to bring their student newsroom up to scratch, and they found that having an advanced newsroom onsite allows students to interact with and use news feeds from professional news organisations such as the BBC and Reuters, and provide news services for their communities. Such collaboration and real-world experience furthers the skills and employability of students on iNEWS-based courses, putting them in prime of place when it comes to job-seeking in the news industry.

Want to find out more about how iNEWS can get your students industry ready? Give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and reviews, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and ‘like’ us on Facebook.

Avid welcome Adobe Premiere Pro users to MediaCentral

Avid welcome Adobe Premiere Pro users to MediaCentral

Premiere Pro users, your years of warring with your Avid-loving counterparts are over. The two editing giants have joined together to bring harmony to the NLE market and peace to our timelines (and/or do some cynical marketplace positioning, depending on your worldview).

Adobe have previously teamed up with Maxon to give After Effects users dynamic access to richer 3D tools, and now they’re doing their editors a similar favour. The update will allow Premiere Pro editors to connect to Avid’s production environment via Avid MediaCentral | UX.

How does it work?

You will need to head to myavid.com and download the MediaCentral Premiere Pro Connector and install it on each of your Premiere Pro-equipped machines. You’ll then be able to see the Avid MediaCentral | UX HTML5 user interface within the Premiere Pro interface, and use it to access the wonderfully named “Avid asset management realm”, which consists of Interplay | Production, Interplay | MAM and iNEWS.

What can you do? 

Once you enter the realm, you’ll be able to:

– Search for media assets using the central Media | Index.

– Chat with other MediaCentral | UX users.

– Navigate database hierarchies.

– See, add and modify metadata.

Will you be able to register Avid Assets to Premiere Pro projects for editing? 

Hell yes, friend. Not only that, but you’ll be able to check out master clips in Premiere-supported formats, check out simple sequences for in-place editing and send rendered sequences back to Avid.

If your Avid media is not directly supported in Premiere, you’ll still be able to access it via an optional conversion to MXF OP-1a and simple XML shortlists.

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

Media Composer 8.5 is available for download now!

Media Composer 8.5 is available for download now!

Avid have just announced that Media Composer 8.5 is now available via the Avid Download Centre for users with a valid Upgrade & Support plan (look for a notification in your copy’s Application Manager) or via your Master Avid Account if you’re a new customer. 

The update promises a range of exciting new features designed to speed up your editing workflow but, as ever, we beg you to back up your work before hitting download. Do it now, in fact. We’ll wait.

Once you’ve done that, you’ll be happy to hear that new features include:

Simpler menus The menus have been reorganised to remove legacy items and simplify your user experience.

An updated Timeline UI A number of updates have been made to the timeline, including enabling Sync Rollers for Sync Locked Tracks, the ability to see full segments as you drag them within the timeline, as well as the effect their repositioning will have on the rest of the timeline before you commit the change, and creating a new track by dragging a segment above or below the timeline.

Support for 64 tracks of audio Fairly self explanatory, this one.

Group by audio waveforms Group clips can be made based on audio waveform analysis.

HDR support Media Composer now includes colour spaces for High Dynamic Range (HDR). This provides support for a higher range of video signal, and enables automatic colour transformations for source files based on the HDR colour space set in the project.

Audio mixer updates You can now resize the audio mixer and create custom track groupings.

FrameFlex rotation Users can rotate the framing box in the FrameFlex source settings using the Z rotation slides, enabling the straightening or reframing of an image at the source level rather than in the timeline.

Interactive video frame cache A new Video Memory tab has been added to the Media Cache settings to allow users to save generated frames of the current playing sequence into a memory storage cache, resulting in faster response times while editing and playing back media.

UI personalisation tools Additional UI settings have been added to allow users to change the background colour of the Project Window and Timeline, and override Bin and Project fonts and font sizes.

Bin Columns updates The process for adding Custom Columns as well as Multiple Columns in bins has been simplified, and you can now copy and paste the same text to multiple fields within a column.

Identifying rendered effects Users can now choose to differentiate between rendered effect media and Title and Matte key effect media in the Media Tool. This is helpful when identifying media to delete.

SCC import Media Composer now supports importing of Scenarist Closed Caption (.scc) files.

For a complete list of fixed bugs and new features, you’ll need to familiarise yourself with the Media Composer 8.5 ReadMe, which can be found here. You’ll also want to check your Interplay documentation – this version of Media Composer is supported with Interplay 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5, so check your release notes for any known limitations on feature functionality.

Want to know more about Media Composer 8.5? 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.