Today was a day of gimmicks at NAB. We saw a bunch of things that had great cool factor, and a couple more that will be really practical.File this one under “super cool but currently irrelevant for the web”: Ultra High-Definition (UHD). If you didn’t wander all the way to the back of the central hall, then you missed this incredible display. Japan’sNHK Enterprises (NAB booth C12105) was showing off its UHD system. The new camera is almost the size of a Smart Car, draws 900W of AC power and looks like an old studio camera from the 1950’s, but it doesn’t shoot like one – not by a long shot. UHD-format video has a native resolution of 7680×4320 – sixteen times the size of a standard HD image! The system also boasts 22 channels of audio; 10 speakers surround the viewer at ear level, 9 more are placed above the viewer and there are 3 channels at floor level.We watched a brief demo that was displayed on four 4K monitors. The experience was similar to that of watching an IMAX movie. The sound was totally immersive and even the smallest details were incredibly crisp; in an extreme wide shot of a football stadium we could read the writing on a sign that someone was holding up. According to the NHK rep, their target is to have the UHD format be accepted as the broadcast standard in Japan by 2025 and to bring that same integration to the States by 2040.
For something a bit more practical to the DotLot way of life, we visited Panasonic (NAB booth C3512) to check out the AG-HPX170. This P2 camera is cousin to the wildly successful AG-HVX200. It retains all of the shooting mode features of the HVX200, but eliminates the tape drive in exchange for an HD-SDI 4:2:2 output. Look for the HPX170 to hit shelves this fall at a price point similar to the HVX200.
3D has long been romanticized in the world of cinema as the next great thing. Since the 1950’s, it has been used to “resurrect” movies whenever box office receipts start falling. With the recent acceleration in installations of digital projectors at movie theaters nationwide, we are currently watching yet another 3D explosion with films such as the U2 and Hanna Montana 3D concert films. Could web be the next domain of 3D content? It’s hard to say for sure, but if any company can make that concept a reality, it’s American Paper Optics (NAB booth C11225).
No, they don’t shoot 3D video – that’s DotLot’s job. What they do is produce the cardboard glasses that get sent to consumers via direct mail, magazines and in-store handouts. Anaglyph, Color Depth, Polarized… we counted at least 6 different types of 3D glasses. Which one would be best for web? Is 3D even a viable format for the internet? We’re not sure, but we are definitely insipred and over the next few months DotLot is going to start conducting some tests to find out.
For tomorrow’s Day 3 update, we’ll be looking at a lot of post-production solutions including plugins and accelerators for Premiere and After Effects.