Video post-production has long been one of the fastest developing subsets of the broadcast business. It was among the first to lead the shift from hardware into software, bringing huge advantages in terms of affordability and ease of use. I can still remember the high cost, heavy weight and low quality of the early analogue tape to tape video editing systems. The expression 'colour comes later' returns to mind. IBC will see the introduction of quite a lot of new video-post kit including a respectable amount designed to handle 3D content which I will start off with.
Well it happened. 2011 was the year high-definition became the new standard-definition thanks to the push effect of competitive HD production equipment pricing and the pull effect of bigger, better and more affordable display screens.
The test and measurement product category continues to expand as the broadcast business itself diversifies. Notable recent developments include higher resolution displays and a gradually increasing number of analysers which, having detected a fault, endeavour to fix it. No sign at NAB 2011 of any tablet-based test and measurement equipment but perhaps that is only a matter of time.....
My first direct experience of video post-production involved hauling a heavy Sony U-Matic tape machine up a flight of stairs before going back for an equally heavy playback deck, a bulky CRT monitor and a large box of interface giblets. That was in 1978. 33 years on, an Apple Mac does the whole editing job a great deal better, faster and more economically.
Founded in 1982, the Wildscreen International Film Festival is claimed to be the world's largest event of its kind. It attracts several hundred delegates from more than 30 countries, all of whom (if they register early enough) get their contact details listed in the festival directory........
This is a glass-to-glass report with a difference, starting at front-end of the video production chain and staying there. Given the speed of development in almost every other branch of television, it is easy to overlook the advances taking place in optics. Until, that is, you need a wider capture angle than your existing kit can deliver or you want to post-repair a barrel-distorted Nelson's Column to remove the hint of banana.
Given a decent stereo audio source and a pair of headphones, it is quite easy to imagine that you are actually attending a live performance. Not so with video; human eyes are much more demanding. Fortunately picture display technology is developing very quickly and along many different routes.
I was somewhat crestfallen to receive the advice 'Lay off 3D' when I rang TV Bay for guidance on the theme for this month's Eye to Eye. For better or worse, 3D looks set to be a major part of sports television in the coming years. But I picked up my crest, closed one eye and carried on running.
A year is a long time in broadcast test & measurement, which is just as well because that is when this column previously focused on it. Given the current push to establish 3D as a permanent feature of the broadcast landscape, one might reasonably expect T&M kit designers to be heading along the same road.
The rapidly divergent pattern of broadcast market development resembles the branches of a fast-growing tree. But there is one crucial aspect in which the industry is quite obviously converging: the transition from video and audio to file-based content distribution and delivery.
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