NAB Thoughts?

So, we’re in to the New Year now. CES is about to start, Macworld San Francisco is next week, and we’re a mere four months away from NAB. This is an exciting time! So, what should we expect?

Macworld San Francisco may end up being the most exciting of the shows in many regards. If we see the first Intel macs next week, it will kick off the transition and make for some exciting times. If there’s no Intel news, it will sure disappoint a lot of folks.

This post is really intended to start some discussion about what we expect at NAB. I think that 4K will be the big deal this year. Last year, it was clear that the transition to HD, from a vendor perspective at least, was basically over. There were already a few people beginning to play with realtime playback of 4K material on lower end gear. I expect that this year we’ll see 4K being out in full force. There’s lots of buzz on the net about the new RED camera. I’m personally unsure whether to believe it or not. The DVInfo Forums have quite a bit of discussion about it, with messages that claim to be from the various folks involved with the project. It sure seems fishy. But if it’s for real, it’d be a pretty big deal.

Similarly, Thinksecret is now reporting that Apple will announce Final Cut Pro 6, as well as a new product called Final Cut Extreme. FCP6 is a pretty safe bet – NAB-announced upgrades have been the trend for a few years now. Final Cut Extreme is a bit less clear. First off, how will we abbreviate it? FCE is already taken. FCEx? Second, one of the powerful things about FCP is that it grows with your needs pretty well at this point – from DV to HD and beyond. Adding a third “high end” product would muddy the waters a bit.

I also really hope that we start seeing second generation HDV equipment. There is a huge need for dedicated HDV decks that are more than just stripped down camera tape transports. Give me something like a DSR-45 that can play back HDV and DV, including 720p24 and 1020f24 and the rest! Even better, give me a DSR-1500-style deck that does all of the above, plus has HD-SDI in/out and AES/EBU. Then I’ll be in heaven.

Please offer your thoughts on what you think will be coming in the first half of this year!

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