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DSLR video Video Cameras Video Production

Vimeo at IBC 2010

Vimeo.com does their standard fun and entertaining coverage of IBC 2010. They show off some of the new cameras coming out soon and new video gear.

Vimeo at IBC 2010 from Stephen Niebauer on Vimeo.

Categories
Live Streaming Video Production

Is YouTube Live Streaming Coming?

The guys over at TechCrunch noticed that on a screenshot in a help article for the new YouTube moderator feature, that there is a button for Live Stream to edit setting for a YouTube channel.

YouTube has been experimenting with Live Streaming events like a U2 concert, and various other events, mostly politcal in nature, but this could be hinting at a not so distant future rollout of Live Streaming services to the whole YouTube community.

Live Streaming is exploding in popularity as Ustream.tv recently received 75 Million dollars to help expand their services worldwide. If YouTube really does turn on Live Streaming to all users, it could be really interesting to see where producers alliances will lye as each of the services will no doubt fight for exclusive deals with content producers.

(TechCrunch.com)

Categories
Live Streaming Video Production Web Video Technology

Ustream.tv Announces Global Production Services

Last week Ustream.tv announced that they are adding Global Production Services (GPS for short) to their growing list of offering. This is another tool in Ustream’s arsenal that is make Ustream the live stream provider the choice of more and more producers. They are offering three different packages to meet the different needs of many of the Ustream producers. The packages list base prices that don’t include travel or other costs that are based on the location.

The Ustream backpack has gained a lot of attention while Leo Laporte was using it to live stream his coverage from this year’s SXSW. They are offering two different options with the mobile LiveU rig. There is the $3,000 a day rate that includes camera and technical staff and there is a month to month or yearly rental option to just rent the backpack equipment and includes 40 hours of streaming a month. Twit.tv and Pixel Corps have rented the Ustream Mobile Livepack and swear by it’s quality.

Conference streaming has blow up in the past year or so, and it used to be really expensive and you had to deal with some hairy technical goo with distributing the video. That has changed with the growth of services like Ustream and Justin.tv that make the distribution easy. The conference level package includes 2 cameras, Tricaster Studio and all the staff you need to make sure the video go off without a hitch. With the conference and concert packages you have to provide a beefy enough Internet connection to stream the video to Ustream.

The concert package is pretty close to the conference package, but adds a third camera and operator and a director to help give the production a coherent overall look. To note with both the conference and concert packages you’ll still need audio people and they will have to provide a audio feed to the Ustream production staff, which shouldn’t be any problem if you have competent audio people you’re working with.

Categories
Audio Equipment gear Video Production

The Classic Interview Mic

The Electro-Voice 635 has been the go to microphone for generations of news reporters. It was designed to survive and thrive in the various conditions that news reporters find themselves in. It has a 4 stage pop filter that helps block out wind and the long handeled body is a perfect size to fit a mic flag on and still have enought handle to hold.

More and more I see reporters and producers moving to the 635’s younger cousin, the RE50. The RE50 adds some upgrades to the 635 and is the next evoultion in the product line. Both mics are in a similar price range from about 100 dollars to around 150 dollars.

If you’re looking for a good mic to do interviews and what someting with the professional touch then either of these mics are great choices.

Categories
NAB 2010 video Video Production

Vimeo Covers NAB 2010

Some of the guys at Vimeo headed out to Las Vegas to cover the new toys at NAB 2010. I really liked the videos did at CES this year and this one about NAB is great too. Love seeing some of the new things people are thinking up. Really want to get my hands on the 3D GoPro Hero rig they showed in the video. Check it out for yourself.

Vimeo at NAB 2010 from Stephen Niebauer on Vimeo.

Categories
gear Video Production

Cheap LED Camera Lights

Good lighting is key in helping improve the production value of your videos, but getting pro level equipment is very pricey. Litepanels are the drool worthy LED lights that caught the eyes of ENG photographers and new media focused content producers like TWIT and Mahalo that turned to litepanels for low power consumption and low heat producing lighting.

Litepanels LP Micro Pro

Litepanels are the original and the the lights that the pros use, but they come at a price.

Sima SL-20LX Ultra Bright Video Light

These Sima lights are one of the most affordable options and what I personally recomend. I’ve seen several people use them and for under 30 bucks it worth a shot.

Switronix TL-50 30w Dimmerable DC Powered LED Light Fixture 5600k

The Switronix is a competetor to the Litepanels and is priced and aimed to pros. It’s a little pricey like the Litepanels, but has really good battery life and puts out a lot of light.

Flashpoint Shoe Mountable LED 70 Video Light with 4 Leaf Barndoor.

This is a larger LED light with adjustable barn doors for focusing the beam of light. Seems like a good bargin at 70 bucks, but I haven’t heard much from people that have used the light.

Categories
Video Cameras Video Production

Open Letter to Cisco about Flip Video

Dear Cisco,

When you purchased Pure Digital, the company that makes the line of Flip Video cameras, I like many people, scratched my head, wondering why Cisco would buy them and what they were going to do. I feel the new sliding Flip Camera is a dud; it’s not a revolutionary product like the original Flips were it’s an also rand. We already have a touchscreen video camera and its called the iPhone 3GS and costs about the same as the new almost 300 dollar camera. I had so many high hopes, we heard rumors of a camera with integrated Wi-Fi for features that you would get from something like a Eye-Fi card where video can be instantly uploaded without hooking up to a computer. Allow me to help with a list of things that I would like to see in future devices.

  • External Audio Input: Please, Please, Please add an audio input jack, the Kodak Zi8 has it and I think that fact that its really hard to find one in stock shows that consumers and creatives want that feature. Please also add a menu feature to turn off auto gain control too.
  • 1080P: It’s the next evolution of the product line, just be sure that you maintain good performance in low light.
  • 720P 60fps: Not high on my list, but would like to have it as an option when I need it.
  • Live Video Output: Would be nice to be able to hook up the flip to a larger monitor by the HDMI and component connections to help with framing shots.

Thanks,

Zach Scott

Categories
Live Streaming NAB 2010 Video Production

NAB 2010: NewTek Unveils New Tricaster TCXD850

Photo: Collen Kelly (TWiT’s Vice President of Engineering)
Last night at their dealer meeting and officially today, NewTek unveiled their newest addition to the Tricaster line, the TCXD850. The TCXD850 addresses some of the main complaints of users when they debuted the TCXD300 back in December. The TCXD850 sports 8 HD-SDI inputs where the TCXD300 only 3. Eight HD camera inputs should be more than enough inputs for most producers, especially anybody who is considering the Tricaster.

Photo: Collen Kelly (TWiT’s Vice President of Engineering)

The new Tricaster also adds more pro level features like redundant power supplies that make the Tricaster more attractive to broadcast engineers that have to keep their equipment up and running. I have never heard of power supply failures being a problem with Tricasters, but since there is a windows PC at the heart of the Tricaster, it’s one of the more likely parts to fail, and I’ve had more than my fair share of power supplies die. The new Tricaster also adds a boat load of more audio inputs over the two balanced inputs the TCXD300 has.

The TCXD850 will be available on July 15th and will sell in a NTSC only version for $24,995 and an international version for $27,995.

Categories
gear Live Streaming SXSW Video Production Web Video Technology

How a Toaster is Changing Online Video

Since I was a kid, I can remember flipping through the pages of video production magazines like Videography and drooling over all the new cameras and gear that I wished I had.  One ad that would always stop me in my tracks was the ads for something called a video toaster. At first glance, it brought thoughts of the flying toaster screen-saver that was so very much the thing to have on your computer at work, but the Video Toaster was something far more cooler and powerful. The Video Toaster ran on the Amiga computer and consisted of a fairly cheap hardware and software combination to bring a powerful live switching / linear editing solution that was affordable. Later generations of the video toaster added more and more features and has become the Newtek Tricaster that we know today.

1994 Promo Video for the Video Toaster 4000

Live streaming video has come along way from the postage stamp sized video of NASA TV that I remember watching using real player on my 56K modem more than ten years ago. Watching high quality video is common place now and made possible by the increase in the availability in broadband and fast, cheap, computers. Streaming services like, Ustream, Justin.tv and Bit Gravity have made getting your video content out even easier. I remember days spent trying to get several servers to work together to feed a rtsp stream to a couple of computers across a LAN, and now anyone with a webcam can be easily streaming to an audience of thousands without the hassle of working out the back-end technnology.

The Tricaster isn’t a brand new product, but has seen huge growth in sales with the rise of people creating live video content for the web. The Tricaster has a lot of bang for the buck, replacing hugely expensive satellite trucks with a small box that can be easily shipped and it price ranges from just under $5,000 for the basic tricaster to $15,000 for the new drool worthy HD Tricaster TCXD300. The new HD Tricaster is an extremely attractive alternative to other HD switchers in the market that generally start in the $100,000 range and the Tricaster has more features. The Tricaster has made online TV networks possible and affordable like TWIT.tv and ThisWeekIn.com.  When a normal TV studio would normally need a crew of a dozen or more, the TWIT live stream is controlled solely by Leo Laporte that switches cameras while hosting and all of the rest of the duties of head TWIT all while on air.

Photo: © Newtek Inc.

Newtek had a big presence this year at SXSW with the Tricaster equipped Mini Cooper showing up all across Austin as Newtek made it possible for companies such as SiliconAngle.com, TWIT.tv, and This Week in Startups, and Revision 3 to bring the SXSW experience into people’s homes.

And its not just online video producers that are increasing using the Tricaster, more and more “old media” producers are integrating Tricaster into their productions for web content or video played in sports venues. I think this trend will only continue to increase as more people start creating live web video and old media looks for more ways to reduce costs and attract a larger audience.

Categories
Video Production

Happy Birthday YouTube

Yesterday marked the five year anniversary for YouTube.  It was on February 14 2005 when the youtube.com domain was registered. It wasn’t until April 23rd 2005 when the first video was uploaded to YouTube and the landscape of online video would be forever changed.

The First video Uploaded to YouTube

Blog post from one of YouTube’s founders, Chad Hurley, commemorating the 5 year anniversary.

When we registered the YouTube domain on February 14, 2005, we set out to create a place where anyone with a video camera and an Internet connection could share a story with the world. Five years into it, we’re as committed as ever to the core beliefs and principles that guided YouTube’s creation:

Video gives people a voice – From classrooms to war-torn countries, the Queen of England to the King of Pop, the Pope to the President of the United States, and the hillsides of Port au Prince to the streets of Tehran, video has the power to give rise to the most diverse set of faces and voices ever seen or heard in human history.

We succeed when our partners succeed – Our content partners run the gamut, from major Hollywood studios to aspiring filmmakers and vloggers who can turn the ordinary into something extraordinary on the turn of a dime. Content creation isn’t our business; it’s theirs. But breaking open access to media and distribution means delivering the world’s largest global audience and the revenue models they need to succeed, as well as the tools they need to control their content.

Video evolves fast, YouTube must evolve faster – The Internet evolves at break-neck speed. We launch products quickly and constantly iterate to stay one step ahead of it. Our goal? To set the standard in online video delivery. Fast loading, high quality videos need to be able to play on any device, anywhere, anytime. And whether we’re supporting 1080p, 3D, or deploying auto-speech recognition technology, we innovate with an eye toward providing the best possible experience for all of you.

Thanks for being part of the YouTube community and for shaping what the site is today. We’re looking forward to celebrating our fifth anniversary throughout the year and hope you’ll keep watching, keep uploading, keep sharing, keep informing, keep entertaining, and keep discovering the world through video.

Chad Hurley, Co-Founder & CEO, YouTube