HP’s Thunderbolt Announcement Changes Everything.

Yesterday HP announced Thunderbolt across both their Mobile and Desktop Workstations lines, launching a truly innovative initiative in the PC world. No longer will PC users be relegated to running Windows on a Mac just to be able to use the power and speed of Thunderbolt, nor will they be limited to only a couple of DIY motherboards and the corresponding issues of drivers and compatibility just to be able to have the power that Thunderbolt brings to the table.

HP’s Jim Zafarana shown here with the new Zbook

HP’s Jim Zafarana shown here with the new Zbook

In discussions with HP since NAB about the how and why of Thunderbolt and what it means for the industry,not just about projects working with Onset Data or the high end workflows that are the majority of projects that I work on, but that Thunderbolt also brings a host of other advantages beyond the simplicity of the connector.

Thunderbolt brings an unrivaled level of performance in a single cable, I know of no other protocol currently in use that can allow users the ability to move data in the same manner as Thunderbolt does. It is not just that, Thunderbolt can also extend the PCIe buss outside your laptop to allow users to easily access multiple kinds of media.

HP Technology Panel  (L to R) Ron Rogers, Gary Adcock,  Jeff Wood,. Vincent Brisebois , Ryan Brown

HP Technology Panel
(L to R) Ron Rogers, Gary Adcock, Jeff Wood,. Vincent Brisebois , Ryan Brown

I have Thunderbolt adopters to  eSata, Firewire, Ethernet adaptors already, but I can also access Video I/O devices from Aja, BlackmagicDesign and Matrox with SMPTE calibrated output all the way up to 4K and soon beyond. I can bridge my Thunderbolt connection to Fibre or GigE infrastructures for Enterprise users, even extend my performance with a RED Rocket or Io-Fusion for the ultimate in mobile performance.

I don’t care that it’s Xx times faster than USB, what I does impress me is that I can move data to one of my Promise Pegasus arrays at over 850MBps with the 1st Gen, 10Gbps version using a 6 drive array in Raid 6, it also means that the 2nd Gen, 20Gbps version announced by HP and Apple means that throughput on the next level could reach as fast as 1.6 GBps on a laptop.

1.6 GBps means playback of uncompressed 4K content, but  it also means that we no longer have to suffer the data rates we accepted from Firewire 800 which transfers data at roughly 1 minute of transfer time per gigabyte of data.  Time is money in modern production and post, no longer are data wranglers woefully waiting hours to move the content from a single days shoot.

Onstage with HP talking Thunderbolt.

Onstage with HP talking Thunderbolt.

Thunderbolt has allowed me to be more productive in the ever tightening marketplace. I am consistently moving data at 4 to 5 times faster than my competition. I am currently working in a multi-cam production on a TV series shooting in Chicago, where I am transferring 32 GB Arri Alexa media in an average time of 7 minutes per card to 2 separate volumes in one of G-Technology’s latest offerings the G-Dock EV.  The speed of transfer has totally changed the way I work.

HP’s Thunderbolt announcement will certainly shake up the marketplace. HP brings a level of authority and backs that with a universally recognizable name in the computing world. The fact that their products across the board will offer Thunderbolt connectivity is nothing short of evolutionary, no other manufacture will be shipping Workstation level laptops as well as a fully user customizable, Thunderbolt enabled Desktop Workstation that can move data at these heretofore unheard of rates on the consumer level. With the ability to share Thunderbolt enabled storage in the office or on location.

Whether you shoot larger numbers of photographs or video, work on a DSLR or in 6K on a RED camera, Thunderbolt offers you something you have not had previously, the power and performance only seen on extremely expensive, top of the line Workstations. The only difference now is that that level of performance is now available to professionals and consumers at a price that is nothing less than astonishing when you consider what that same throughput was just 5 years ago.

A New Version of FCPX, Mavericks and the New MacPro

So, I wonder how many of you remembered that FCPX turned 2 years old on June 21st.

Yup, That’s right 2 years with a number of updates and the soon to be arriving “NewMacPro” people are wondering when the updates will happen, even though  Apple has confirmed that there is an official update to FCPX arriving at approximately the same time as the new desktop. Phil said it on stage, Apple focus on it in their PR messaging but now people are taking pictures of MacPro Screens on Apple.com and spreading them across social media.

Even Apple.com is telling us there will be a new version of FCPX this year.

Even Apple.com is telling us there will be a new version of FCPX this year.

Metadata is the new black
I am guessing most of these people did not watch the WWDC Keynote, or more specifically, the part where Craig Federighi showed the same Metadata Tagging like FCPX has had for almost 2 years at the FINDER level of OSX Mavericks. I think it is funny how that same type of info tagging was belittled and berated when FCPX  first came out 2 yrs. ago in June 2011?

Yet Apple’s engineers sought to bring it full bore into the mainstream of OSX directly, wisely so I might add, so that now the power that I referred to in the first releases of FCPX have moved forward to the point that we will be using that power invisibly while you are working. Isn’t this what we all want, instead of blindly looking around the plethora of available drives with failed searches because we have all turned off journaling for external drives.

What does this mean? 

We all watched as Apple took nothing short of a “ass-whoppin” in the media and on the internet about the changes to FCP when FCPX came to market. It took Apple months to add back some really basic functionality like outputting split audio tracks or using professional level monitoring and output for the Pro User. My Macworld.com review of FCPX was one of the more civil diatribes, while my comments on CreativeCow.net were something else altogether.

Move forward 2 years and that same Phil Schiller is talking live onstage talking at WWDC about a new MacPro and in the same breath is talking about FCPX being updated. The Metadata tagging originally featured in FCPX,  is shown in a fully operational manner at the Finder Level in demonstrations of the next generation of the OSX.

I think that this means Apple may have something else in mind, for I see a workstation that functionally remembers where all my content is, keeps track of all of my projects, media and the assorted files that traverse my desk as a working pro. No more lost images or captions, client logo’s stay organized on the server and available instantly, content pre-identified by the associated metadata. { I wonder will Adobe meta-tags from Photoshop and Lightroom might be seen by OSX at some point }

Hmmm.

Free Webinar – Thunderbolt, Changing the future of Production and Post, April 16th at Moviola.com

Tuesday April 16th from 11:30am – 1pm PST http://bit.ly/14tmn4x<a

Please join world renown Data Manager and Workflow Specialist, Gary Adcock, Host Michael Horton, in association with Moviola :

Thunderbolt, Changing the future of Production and Post
A 90 minute discussion on how Intel’s Thunderbolt Technology is changing the future of moving and handling data both onset and in post.

In a medium where moving massive amounts of data is an everyday occurrence, Intel’s Thunderbolt technology stands to change how data is handled. Utilizing Thunderbolt in your workflow means meeting or exceeding data transfer speeds on portable computers that rival the fastest desktop systems.

Gary will be highlighting many of the tools and techniques for proper data handling and how the fast evolving Thunderbolt landscape is smashing most of preconceived ideas people have about this groundbreaking technology and what it means for your current and future usage, whether you are on location or alone in your studio.

Register here for the Free Webinar:
http://moviola.com/webinars/thunderbolt-changing-the-future-of-production-and-post/#.UWrlVb9tAn0

Screen Shot 2013-04-14 at 12.43.56 PM

NAB Monday, PhantomFlex4K, BMCC4k, SonyDLSR4k, RED Element, Avid MC7

I am thinking the Show has not even started yet and I am exhausted from the previews.

AbelCine and Vision Research announce PhantomFlex4K, http://blog.abelcine.com/2013/04/07/nab-2013-first-look-at-the-phantom-flex4k/ but the best part is Vision Research is showing footage here https://vimeo.com/63490371

BlackmagicDesign Announces 4K for $4k version of BMCC camera, 1080 Version for less than $1000, Details to come on their website http://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagiccinemacamera/

Sony snuck a couple of camera updated one a 4K Sensor update to their DSLR Line, and a new lower profile 2K prosumer camera. Details to come.

Element Technica has been acquired by RED Digital Cinema http://elementtechnica.mybigcommerce.com, I am thinking this is one of the best announcements of the NABShow so far.

Lastly Avid announces Media Composer 7, it seems that some native codecs are supported, specifically the just released Sony XVAC codec for the F5 and F55 cameras.

NAB is here, Sony revises XAVC Codec, Monitoring Tech from Fujinon, and glass lots of glass.

So as the big dance gets closer, more info is coming out, more secrets are being held back and the announcements fill my mail box.

Sony announces a change to the XAVC 4K codec  today, adding a both 4:2:0 8bit and HD4:2:2 8bit versions to the existing structure, but then buries the content of the press release on their website you can find most of it under a post by PeterC. http://community.sony.com/#  

It now brings 4K into the100Mbps range for TV workflows

  “4K imaging bandwidth can be reduced to under 100Mbps depending on GOP structure, frame rate, and color sampling.”    I am NOT sure I want to look at 4K running at 100Mbps.

 

Image

FujifilmUSA is going to be showing the first true LUT converter in their booth at NAB, built around Fuji’s  CCBox OnSet color correction tools and around the IS-100, The IS-Mini converter allows for direct inline color correction via 1D viewing LUT’s and full support for post production standard 3D LUT formats.  This is a really big deal for me, as I have been begging for a tool like this in the OnSet world for nearly 7years and have had to rely on BMD’s HDLink converters ever since Cine-tal stopped manufacturing hardware.

CCBox info here http://bit.ly/12cHSm       IS-Mini info here  http://bit.ly/17bdVH7

 

A rumble started this morning online that Angenieux and Cooke are teaming up for a big announcement that is coming next week. 

 

It’s a 4K NABShow, a new blog on Zacuto.com and other things

So buckle up, it’s going to be a 4K ride this NAB, so be prepared for a barrage of 4K every where you go.

The Hollywood Reporter posted yesterday about Barco showing their 4K Projector designed specifically for Post Production use, but a small blurb in that article also noted that Sony has announced that it will shoot and produce some of it’s pilot’s for next season in 4K.
http://bit.ly/YEfklP

An award winning A.S.C. Cinematographer posted that Dobly might be showing a new reference monitor behind closed doors at the show. (no link I am not going to out him)

Convergent Design released info on their new Odyssey Monitor/Recorder. It’s a 1280×800,10bit, OLED panel that doubles as an HD/2k/4K recorder that will be able to do CanonRaw, ARRIRAW and 2K up to 60fps as well as DNX and ProRes. http://bit.ly/ZvZIQJ

Lastly for today, one of my new ventures for 2013 was to spread the tech word farther than I have been and to that I have started a new Tech Blog for my friends at Zacuto.com. I will have posts there every couple of weeks and once it gets going, I am hoping that the questions that come in from readers will allow me to help explain the some of the more popular issues and questions that filmmakers run into. Take a look at the first of will be many posts over the next few months. http://bit.ly/ZpKPvO

Other Show news
Mole Richardson is showing LED Fresnels at the show http://t.co/Jl6JtAllgJ

Be Prepared for the HEVC revolution. http://bit.ly/10PssW5

And FujiFilmUK posted this message after announcing that they were clearing out 2Million feet of stock http://www.filmstockclearance.com

For many years Fujifilm UK has been very proud and privileged to have supported the most talented filmmakers that Britain has produced. From the camera to the screen, from film school shorts to Oscar winning features, it has been an honour working with you all and may we wish you all the very best for the future. Long live film!

Farewell,
Fujifilm Motion Picture

More to come.