Back in the day


Larry Jordan# TV-Bay Magazine
Read ezine online
by Larry Jordan
Issue 100 - April 2015

Congratulations, TV-Bay, on your tenth anniversary; as well as the 100th issue of TV-Bay/KitPlus magazine. Very cool!

Ten years ago seems like forever. Some of us were editing with Final Cut Pro 5. LiveType was still with us. Others were using Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 (CS3 was still two years in the future). Still others were editing on Avid Media Composer 1.5 on the Mac, while their Windows colleagues were up to version 2.1.

Today, we look back at that primitive software and wonder how any professional work got done.
Time passes and technology doesn't stand still.

Twenty years ago we were slamming 3/4" Sony U-Matic cassettes into 40-pound "portable" cameras and considering ourselves darn lucky that production tools were so small. We used portable video recorders - which weighed more than could be checked as luggage on today's airlines - which revolutionized news gathering. If you had shown us the camera on an iPhone, we would have laughed in your face.

Thirty years ago, we were threading one-inch video tape through Ampex tape machines the size of a kitchen table. But the pictures - oh, my! They were just to die for. 720 x 486 pixel images that showed every possible detail you could ever want. Well, I mean, it wasn't film, but you could record live and play it back as fast as you could rewind the tape.

Forty years ago, we were wrestling 20-pound 2" inch quad video tape on to Ampex and RCA tape decks that weighed hundreds of pounds, required their own air conditioning and took eight seconds from the time you pressed play to get that mass of iron rolling at full speed. A one-hour reel of tape could cost a couple hundred dollars. And don't even talk about lifting a 90-minute reel of tape. That required a small derrick and a truss.

I still clearly remember taking one camera live on location for a local news show. It required an 18-foot bread truck crammed with gear, a three-man technical crew, a 1"-thick cable connecting the camera to the truck (there was no wireless then), and a microwave dish to beam the picture back to the station. Compared to shooting in the studio, we thought we were in heaven.
Ah, yes. The "Good Old Days." Time passes and technology doesn't stand still.

Today, video clips weigh nothing, distribution is free on YouTube and HD-quality cameras fit in your mobile phone. And there doesn't seem to be any wires anywhere.

Ten years ago, HD was still a hoped-for dream for most of us. Mobile phones were the size of shoes. And editing? Well, a cut is a cut. But most of us were editing on G5 systems and rendering was something that would allow you to read an early issue on tv-bay from cover to cover while waiting to complete a Gaussian Blur for a 30-second commercial.

Color grading was for the rich; and supervised by editors with absolutely nothing to do except watch render bars for days at at time. Though, happily, the days where it took 30 seconds to render a Gaussian Blur to a single frame of video using a G4 computer were, fortunately, three years in the past.

During the last ten years, SD was replaced by HD, which was overshadowed, but not yet replaced, by 2K,4K and beyond.

Ten years ago, the Mac Mini was introduced along with the iPod Shuffle. (The iPod itself celebrated its fourth birthday that year.)

Ten years. Time passes and technology doesn't stand still.

While Cinema Displays first shipped the year before, dual-core computers were still a year in the future. Over the last decade,CPUs exploded from single processor to multi-core, multi-processor calculation behemoths. The Motorola chip in the original Mac had about 200,000 transistors. The Core 2 Duo in 2006 had about 291 million. The 12-core CPUs in the new Mac Pro have about 4.2 billion.

(It is worth noting that the Guidance Computer for the Apollo moon missions in 1966 held a whopping 12,300 transistors contained on 4,100 cards!)

A cut is still a cut, but today we expect all our effects in real-time. CPUs are now supplemented with GPUs containing close to ten billion transistors. Not just simple Gaussian Blurs, but full-3D all-singing-and-all-dancing effects. Real-time - full-color - 4K. Right. now!

Sheesh. Impatient much?

Media devours storage. Ten years ago, the first 500 GB hard disk was introduced by Hitachi. The first terabyte drive was still two years into the future. The first practical SSD drive was years in the future. Most drives were connected via FireWire, which limited speeds to about 80 MB/second. Today, affordable RAIDs are approaching speeds of 2 GB/second.

And we still complain that our storage is too small, too slow and too expensive.

Ten years ago, an hour of SD DV video required 13 GB to store while uncompressed 10-bit SD DigiBeta soaked up 96 GB. Today, AVCHD requires about 10 GB to store an hour of HD media, while a variety of RAW 4K formats are clocking in around a terabyte per hour to store.

There is no such thing as "too much storage." A hard disk today is either empty or full.

Ten years. Time passes and technology doesn't stand still.

What can we expect in the next ten years? I haven't a clue. Image resolution will continue to increase, but will our eyes be able to perceive it. Storage speed and capacity will continue to grow, but we will still never have enough. Computers will get faster, screens larger, software more capable - and complex. But the basics of storytelling won't change.

The tools we use to tell stories with pictures will alter so dramatically that ten years from now, on the 20th anniversary of TV-Bay, we'll look back on these times and wonder how we were able to get any work done at all.

Time passes and technology doesn't stand still.

Tags: iss100 | editing | final cut pro | mac | technology | 2005 | Larry Jordan#
Contributing Author Larry Jordan#

Read this article in the tv-bay digital magazine
Article Copyright tv-bay limited. All trademarks recognised.
Reproduction of the content strictly prohibited without written consent.

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  • SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak and LoStow at IBC 2014

  • Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

    Cobham satellite EXPLORER products at IBC 2014

  • Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

    Cobham new receiver at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with StorageDNA at IBC 2014

  • Cinegy at IBC 2014

    Cinegy at IBC 2014

  • Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

    Front Porch Digital at IBC 2014

  • TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

    TMD Mediaflex at IBC 2014

  • TMD at IBC 2014

    TMD at IBC 2014

  • Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

    Pixel Power Buzz at IBC 2014

  • Matrox at IBC 2014

    Matrox at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic MultiView at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

    Telestream Wirecast and Switch at IBC 2014

  • Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

    Telestream Vantage support for DPP at IBC 2014

  • Facilis at IBC 2014

    Facilis at IBC 2014

  • Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

    Fibrenetix with Quadrus at IBC 2014

  • Volicon Products at IBC 2014

    Volicon Products at IBC 2014

  • Volicon at IBC 2014

    Volicon at IBC 2014

  • NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

    NewTek TalkShow at IBC 2014

  • Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

    Blackmagic and Fusion at IBC 2014

  • Metus at IBC 2014

    Metus at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Metacast at IBC 2014

  • ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

    ChyronHego Lyric PRO at IBC 2014

  • Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

    Sonys new cameras at IBC 2014 - including the FS7

  • Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

    Broadstream Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

    Matrox Monarch HD at NAB 2014

  • Metus at NAB 2014

    Metus at NAB 2014

  • Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

    Cineline Fluid Head from Miller Camera Support at NAB 2014

  • MultiDyne Products at NAB 2014

    MultiDyne Products at NAB 2014

  • Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

    Nugen Audio at NAB 2014

  • PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

    PacTV Truck at NAB 2014

  • PAG Batteries at NAB 2014

    PAG Batteries at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix RX rack mount range at NAB 2014

    Phabrix RX rack mount range at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix at NAB 2014

    Phabrix at NAB 2014

  • Phabrix TAG at NAB 2014

    Phabrix TAG at NAB 2014

  • Pixel Power at NAB 2014

    Pixel Power at NAB 2014

  • Polecam presents award to AMS Pictures at NAB 2014

    Polecam presents award to AMS Pictures at NAB 2014

  • Pronology at NAB 2014

    Pronology at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

    Quantel Pablo Rio at NAB 2014

  • Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

    Quantel Enterprise sQ at NAB 2014

  • Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

    Quantel QTube at NAB 2014

  • RTW at NAB 2014

    RTW at NAB 2014

  • SGL at NAB 2014

    SGL at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVE product range at NAB 2014

    SIS LIVE product range at NAB 2014

  • SIS LIVE ManPak at NAB 2014

    SIS LIVE ManPak at NAB 2014

  • Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

    Sony Alpha7S at NAB 2014

  • Sound Devices at NAB 2014

    Sound Devices at NAB 2014

  • Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

    Studio Technologies at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

    Telestream Enterprise at NAB 2014

  • Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

    Telestream Switch at NAB 2014

  • Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

    Thomson Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • Perception at NAB 2014

    Perception at NAB 2014

  • Visual Unity at NAB 2014

    Visual Unity at NAB 2014

  • Volicon at NAB 2014

    Volicon at NAB 2014

  • Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

    Calrec Summa at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego PowerClips at NAB 2014

  • ChyronHego at NAB 2014

    ChyronHego at NAB 2014

  • Cinegy at NAB 2014

    Cinegy at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com ProGrid at NAB 2014

  • Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

    Clear-Com HelixNet Partyline at NAB 2014

  • Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

    Cobalt Digital at NAB 2014

  • CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

    CueScript Prompters at NAB 2014

  • Dalet at NAB 2014

    Dalet at NAB 2014

  • Dejero at NAB 2014

    Dejero at NAB 2014

  • DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

    DPA Microphones at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Software-Defined Video at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies HEVC solutions at NAB 2014

  • Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

    Elemental Technologies Multiscreen Solutions at NAB 2014

  • Ericsson at NAB 2014

    Ericsson at NAB 2014

  • Facilis at NAB 2014

    Facilis at NAB 2014

  • GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

    GB Labs Space at NAB 2014

  • Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

    Glensound Atomic Copper at NAB 2014

  • Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

    Guntermann and Drunck at NAB 2014

  • Haivision at NAB 2014

    Haivision at NAB 2014

  • IMT at NAB 2014

    IMT at NAB 2014

  • Inmarsat at NAB 2014

    Inmarsat at NAB 2014

  • JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

    JVC GY-HM850 and GY-HM650 at NAB 2014

  • JVC concept products at NAB 2014

    JVC concept products at NAB 2014

  • Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

    Libec ALLEX slider system at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

    Matrox Mojito at NAB 2014

  • Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

    Matrox Capture Card at NAB 2014

  • AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

    AQ Broadcast at NAB 2014

  • ATEME at NAB 2014

    ATEME at NAB 2014

  • Atomos Shogun and Ninja Star at NAB 2014

    Atomos Shogun and Ninja Star at NAB 2014

  • Atomos Operating System at NAB 2014

    Atomos Operating System at NAB 2014

  • Atomos at NAB 2014

    Atomos at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic URSA at NAB 2014

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

    Blackmagic Studio Camera at NAB 2014

  • Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

    Cintel Film Scanner: Blackmagic Design at NAB 2014

  • Brainstorm Multimedia at NAB 2014

    Brainstorm Multimedia at NAB 2014

  • Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Haivision on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

    Wowza Media Systems on BroadcastShow LIVE at IBC 2013

  • Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Broadstream Solutions on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

    Oasys Chameleon at IBC 2013

  • Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

    Loft London Solutions with Cubix on the Oasys stand at IBC 2013

  • Official TOUR Video 2013

    Official TOUR Video 2013

  • AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

    AC Entertainment Technologies at BVE 2013

  • Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

    Jonathan Harrison at BVE North 2011

  • Gekko at IBC2011

    Gekko at IBC2011


Related Shows
  • ADDER Technology LIVE at BVE 2016

    ADDER Technology LIVE at BVE 2016


Articles
NEP Student Day
KitPlus The world of broadcasting is in constant flux, with undefined boundaries between broadcast, TV, film and interactive media. With a changing consumer demographic now a key influence on the industry, many companies no longer specialise in a single medium, but have had to become adaptable to deliver multiple services through a combination of media.
Tags: iss134 | students | tvfutures | NEP | KitPlus
Contributing Author KitPlus Click to read or download PDF
GoPro HERO 7 Review
Tim Bearder When I heard I was filming a nature restoration project in the pouring rain this week I was excited. WHY? No Cameraman enjoys the rain, surely but this time I was enthusiastic because I knew this would be the perfect opportunity to try out the brand new GoPro Hero 7 Black Edition.
Tags: iss134 | gopro | hero 7 | review | liberal media | Tim Bearder
Contributing Author Tim Bearder Click to read or download PDF
Shedding Light on the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera 4k BMCPP4K
Garth de Bruno Austin “What is it about light that has us craving it?” Is the question asked in the opening seconds of Garth de Bruno Austin’s latest short, The Colour of Light. Exploring this natural, human need as well as our innate desire to control it, Garth’s film showcases everyday people going about their lives in differing degrees of luminance, whether that be an artificial streetlight or a natural morning sunrise.
Tags: iss134 | blackmagic | cinema camera | 4k | cpp4k | Garth de Bruno Austin
Contributing Author Garth de Bruno Austin Click to read or download PDF
State of the Nation - November 2018
Dick Hobbs - new There is an interesting seminar called Size Matters at the KitPlus Show – organised by the publishers of this fine magazine – at MediaCityUK in Salford on 6 November. It’s a talk by cinematographer Alistair Chapman on the way that camera technology is changing, and in particular the size of the electronic device which creates the image is growing.
Tags: iss134 | cmos | 35mm | AJA | Arri | Blackmagic | Canon | Datavideo | GoPro | Grass Valley | Hitachi | Ikegami | JVC | Kinefinity | Nikon | Panasonic | Red | Sony | jpeg2000 | Dick Hobbs - new
Contributing Author Dick Hobbs - new Click to read or download PDF
University and Mental Health
Rhiannon Jenkins University study and mental health has been in the media quite a bit over the last year, and I’m sure there are many people wondering what is going on? The issues are complex, and I suppose the focus of employability off the back of a degree course has raised the stress stakes for a lot of young people. I’m only qualified to talk about this from my perspective, and my story began when I joined a course not knowing I had a mental health condition.
Tags: iss134 | portsmouth uni | mental health | student | tvfutures | Rhiannon Jenkins
Contributing Author Rhiannon Jenkins Click to read or download PDF