As the year comes to a close and we look forward to 2015, we should look back at 2014 and see what we have learned. This month in Tech Edge, we are going to look back at 2014 and touch upon the greatest feats in post-production.
The cloud came as advertised.
The cloud was everywhere in 2014. People are literally off the leash and free now, with the only exception being charging batteries. No longer wired, we live in a newly wireless word where no one is tethered to anything and having things instantly is the new expectation. Via the cloud, we were able to shoot video and push it directly to an editor thousands of miles away. We were able to back up all our files and free of pesky thumb drives. A lot of us broke our cell phones (myself included) and got a replacement and had all of our files on our phones magically replaced without a care in the world. We could do anything anywhere and it was magical. And then we were hacked…
The biggest counter-argument to using the cloud was the potential stealing of information. A lot of information and files were stolen in 2014. We saw that no one was safe. The government, major motion picture companies and actresses were all affected. Your seemingly private moments shared with your cell phone can be shared with the world. Entities that seemed untouchable had all their files stolen.
But the need for people to share information and connect with one another will override the fear. People can now see into each other’s worlds and help each other out. Public funding, petitioning, and sharing videos of your plight are all normal now. It has been easier to gain real-time support for your cause than any other time in history. There has never been a better time for people to be pioneers and do things themselves. Programming and content can now be distributed without a television network backing you.
4K came to the edit bay.
Adobe Premiere Pro and Final Cut Pro X has had a great year of native support for 4K formats. Avid is targeted to get their DNxHR 4K codecs into edit bays before the end of the year. This will offer people to have more leniencies on the storage being used to edit 4K. Adobe’s native support is great and offers no quality of image loss, but with that comes huge file sizes which require high bandwidth storage. Thunderbolt storage made this all pretty easy with plenty of bandwidth. 4K is here and if you aren’t working with it yet, you will soon.
4K cameras and monitors got much more affordable as well. Professional cameras that were 4K capable were costing well under $10,000 for the first time. 4K monitors can be bought for under $1000 now. The price is coming down so low, that it’s going to be impossible not get 4K support if you are investing in post-production technology.
The new Mac Pro dazzled us.
Apple released their new Mac Pro which people have dubbed “The Trash Can Mac” as it looks suspiciously like an office trash can. The new Mac Pro is actually smaller than and as quiet as a trash can. Every customer that I saw receive one were dazzled by the size, small footprint and silence while it’s running. It truly is the quietest computer I have ever seen. The reboot speed is unprecedented, it’s much faster than other Macs and processing files such as renders is more than ten times faster than the last generation of Mac Pros. Everyone I know who touched a Mac Pro this year had nothing but positive things to say about it.
We got our hands on our own drones.
The TV show South Park brilliantly skewered the newfound “drone culture” In the United States. But everything the poked fun at is true. You can get a drone for $200 on Amazon and there are no laws whatsoever. If you pay close to $1000 you can get a really nice drone with camera stabilization. This past year, I saw a wedding where the wedding photographers were using drones. If wedding photographers are getting their hands on drones, then we all can. The cost for a drone is less than hiring a helicopter to shoot for you, and you get to keep the drone at the end of the day. Also, you avoid the terror of a helicopter ride. What is there not to love?
We stuck a GoPro to everything
The best YouTube videos of the year were the ones where people attached a GoPro to something random and it usually generated adorable results. Your dog loves a stick? Attach a GoPro to the stick and see your dog’s excitement from the stick’s point of view. Your kid is riding a bike for the first time? Attach a GoPro to their handle bars and capture those first moments. Wonder what happens inside your dishwasher? Put your GoPro in there and run a cycle! This year people stuck GoPro to everything and we got some of the most unique camera angles ever captured. I can’t wait to see what people will attach a GoPro to next year.
2014 was a great year, and 2015 will be even better. Thank you for reading Imagine! See you at the Imaginnaire gala.
Steve McGrath is a Broadcast Sales Engineer for HB Communications. He has worked with NBC, ABC, CBS, NESN, NECN, Fox, ESPN, Pentagon, Powderhouse and many others. You can reach him at Steve.McGrath@HBCommunications.com.
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