Wednesday, 16 April, 2008

NAB 2008 - Day 1

NAB opened at Las Vegas today with some nice new touches. There are benches along the walkways. Which means you see far less people squatting by the wall along the sides of the halls. Benches in the middle of the walkway also means you better watch where you're going.

The first day usually begins with meeting people and the - 'long time' hellos, hugging, back-slapping stuff. And studying maps and directories making a plan.

As usual I started with the South Hall and the biggest difference is apparent as soon as you enter. There's no Apple stall. And further down you realize there's no Avid stall either. For years these have been how you began NAB South Hall.

But Autodesk, Quantel, DaVinci, Digital Vision, DVS - are all there and getting bigger and better. Eyeon Digital Fusion too has a big stall nestled between these 'big boys'. DaVinci and Quantel have new colourist panels looking very impressive. Lustre and Nucoda have the same panels still looking impressive. But colourist panels are looking pretty similar to each other - evolutionary not revolutionary.

Blackmagic Design is down the hall with the same large diagonal open stall that's been their design for years now. Blackmagic announced a new large router, a new HD Extreme, and many small and nifty converters — and a small 'video recorder'. Check them out here.

AJA doesn't have any new capture card, but announced new mini converters with economical pricing.

I saw a detailed description of the new BlueArc Titan 3000 storage and why it's the better option for graphics facilities that deal with file sequences. And a good — and honest — comparison with XSan to show how it can actually co-exist with BlueArc.

For the rest of the day I took in many bits and pieces of new stuff which hopefully I'll get to play later in the year.

In the evening Avid showed up in style. At 'The Joint' in the Hard Rock Hotel. At a crowded user meet, Avid made some 'New Thinking' announcements. New Media Composer hardware, new Mojo, new Nitris system and some others.

For people who bought Symphonies and Nitris sometime last year this might be disappointing, But for new followers into the fold, this might be the tipping point to 'go back to Avid'. On their web site they call it Avid Delivers Ultimate HD Editing Experience.

Will this turn things around for Avid? Has Avid gotten to that point yet? And will it matter? Are questions that 2008 will undoubtedly answer.