Other NAB 2023 Highlights

For the first time in many years, I did not physically attend the NAB 2023 show. As a result, I don’t have in-depth reporting or news videos to share. In addition to some separate NAB articles, here I summarize other interesting tidbits that I think are relevant to share. Hope you agree.

Adobe Premier Text Editing is a new way of editing that is a great innovation for novice and expert video editors. The idea is to edit video like you would edit a text-based document using search, highlight, cut and paste commands. The process starts with the importing of the raw video clips into Premier which then creates a transcript of each clip. The transcript can then be searched for key words or phrases to reveal the desired video sequences. Users can then highlight just the text they want and drop it into the timeline. Likewise, the timeline clips can be edited in the same way to cut more footage, rearrange sequences and clean up pauses in the dialog.

The Teradek Prism module supports camera-to-cloud workflows by uploading 4K resolution HEVC-encoded files directly to a Frame.io account. This device has a built-in modem allowing the user to seamlessly access cellular networks, including the ability to bond channels for extra bandwidth.

Fujifilm announced the integration of the Frame.io camera-2-cloud app directly into it XH2 (26 Mpixel) and the XH2S (40 Mpixel and 8K capable) cameras. These cameras support capture of 10-bit ProRes with a HEVC proxy file or the ProRes file uploaded to Frame.io using your phone as a local hot spot, depending on available bandwidth. This illustrates the progression of how media files have been stored: from tape to hard drives to media cards and now directly to the cloud.

Sony has introduced a new variable neutral density filter for some of its cameras. In live sports, the various lighting conditions in a venue makes it difficult to maintain the dynamic range of the image in sunlight and shadows. A neural density filter can block various amounts of light to try to maintain the image exposure. There are physical filters that must be moved into the optical path. That is acceptable for non-live productions, but for live, you don’t want to see a filter change on-air. The new variable ND filter from Sony is continuously variable allowing a more consistent image capture over wider ranges of lighting conditions. How they do this was not revealed.

Blackmagic Design has announced a new optical low pass filter for their Ursa 12K camera. Such filters are useful for eliminating moire that can occur with fine pitch patterns.

Cinnefilm offers a suite of cutting-edge tools that are web-based and very cost effective. According to the company, they can upconvert 1-hour SDR FHD legacy content to HDR 4K in about an hour for $100 to $150. And the audio can be up-mixed from stereo to 5.1 at the same time. This is amazingly inexpensive. Their suite of PixelStrings tools include Tachion (standards and frame rate converter and upscaling), DarkEnergy (noise, grain and texture management), Xenon (SDR-to-HDR or HDR-to-SDR converter in partnership with Advanced HDR by Technicolor), WormHole (content re-timer), and Skywalker Sound tools (channel remapping, loudness control, stereo-to-surround sound up mix and pitch correction).

The NDI (Network Device Interface) IP protocol is gaining more acceptance in the broadcast space and even starting to expand its activities in related video-centric markets. It is a royalty-free protocol that enables video, audio and metadata to be transported in a frame-accurate manner over IP networks for live applications and remote control. It is differentiated from IP video standards like SMPTE 2022-6 or 2110 in its ability to support two-way messaging for bi-directional control and tally. There is also support for the NDI, NDI/HX, H.264 and H.265 codecs. At NAB 2023, JVC and Marshall Electronics both announced their first NDI-compatible broadcast cameras.

Also moving into the IP-based video transport market is Dante. Dante has a huge base of audio networking products and recently announced a move to expand into video transport as well. It started in the ProAV market but got a boost at NAB with AJA’s introduction of Dante-based transmit and receive modules to enable a complete camera to display video and audio IP-based workflow. Their new modules support video up to 4K/60p and includes a RJ-45 port to connect to the Dante network including power SDI (in or out) and HDMI (in or out). It can also function as a KVM device and control a PZT camera so a very functional transceiver.

Advanced HDR by Technicolor technology had several important announcements and demonstrations at NAB 2023. This technology is used in the broadcast space to enable the capture of content from both HDR and SDR cameras to create an SDR master along with metadata that can be transmitted to create the HDR version in a playback device. The technology is well established in the Next Generation TV ATSC 3.0 ecosystem with Sinclair broadcasting currently using Advanced HDR by Technicolor on 30 channels 24/7 channels using a single stream that can support SDR or HDR playback. Hisense TVs now have the embedded capability to receive the SDR ATSC 3.0 signal with the Advanced HDR by Technicolor metadata allowing up-conversion to HDR (see separate article for more on this).

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