PRO­DUC­TION TECH­NOL­OGY TRENDS

Richard Lackey, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ager at UAE based dis­trib­u­tor UBMS gives his take on the ma­jor tech­nol­ogy trends that in­flu­enced broad­cast and pro­duc­tion in 2018.

Digital Studio - - 2018 YEAR END REVIEW -

“2018 HAS BEEN A REAL MIX OF NEW IN­NO­VA­TION AND THE CON­TIN­U­ING PROGRESS OF LONGER TERMS TRENDS TO­WARDS BET­TER QUAL­ITY IMAG­ING ACROSS ALL FACETS OF OUR IN­DUS­TRY.” - Richard Lackey, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ager, UBMS

2018 has been an in­ter­est­ing year for a num­ber of rea­sons. In the broad­cast sec­tor the slow march to­wards an IP fu­ture has steadily pro­gressed, with more clar­ity on stan­dards than be­fore, but enough re­main­ing uncer­tainty to hold the brakes on wide­spread adop­tion.

While we are still very much in the open­ing chap­ter of the IP era, fun­da­men­tal ques­tions are be­ing ad­dressed and prob­lems are be­ing solved. Early adopters are suc­cess­fully im­ple­ment­ing com­plete end to end IP sys­tems around the world in stu­dios, con­trol rooms and trucks, net­worked across mul­ti­ple sites, even across con­ti­nents. It is clear that de­cen­tral­ized IP based in­fras­truc­ture, vir­tu­al­iza­tion and the cloud looms ahead with in­creased in­evitabil­ity, as does the adop­tion of HDR in both HD and UHD. Adop­tion will likely take some time in our re­gion, the tran­si­tion from base­band in­fras­truc­ture to IP will hap­pen grad­u­ally over the com­ing years. We look for­ward to play­ing a key role in this story as it un­folds in this re­gion.

One area we are see­ing rapid change is in stu­dio and lo­ca­tion light­ing. The adop­tion of RGBW LED soft­lights in par­tic­u­lar, and ARRI SkyPanel to be spe­cific is a ma­jor high­light of 2018 for UBMS. Be­ing awarded ARRI Sys­tem In­te­gra­tor sta­tus this year, SkyPanel has been adopted by stu­dios large and small, as well as rental houses cater­ing to cin­ema and com­mer­cial pro­duc­tions through­out the re­gion.

In the cin­ema and video world, 4K has given way to 6K and 8K, as cine cam­eras are trend­ing to­wards ever higher pixel res­o­lu­tions and larger sen­sors. The su­per 35 for­mat is giv­ing up ground to full frame and larger im­agers, and lens man­u­fac­tur­ers have fol­lowed suit, with more full frame cin­ema lenses on the mar­ket than ever.

While dig­i­tal cin­ema has adopted HDR and high color bit depth since its in­cep­tion, 2018 has fi­nally seen a dis­tinct move to­wards 10-bit color en­cod­ing and higher bit rates in the pro­sumer and even high end con­sumer video sec­tor with some cam­corders now of­fer­ing 4K 10-bit HDR record­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties. This trend should con­tinue fur­ther into even more pro­fes­sional and con­sumer video prod­ucts as 10-bit color en­cod­ing re­places 8-bit as a min­i­mum stan­dard.

Of course, 2018 has wit­nessed the largest launch of new mir­ror­less cam­era sys­tems ever, with Sony, Canon, and Nikon go­ing head to head to win the hearts and minds of young, in­de­pen­dent film­mak­ers and pho­tog­ra­phers keen to push the cre­ative lim­its of what is pos­si­ble with a com­pact, large sen­sor cam­era sys­tem that ful­fills the needs of both pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­phy and videog­ra­phy in the same de­vice. I be­lieve this is the year we can fi­nally say the days of the DSLR are num­bered, as com­pact mir­ror­less takes over.

2018 has been a real mix of new in­no­va­tion and con­tin­u­ing progress of longer term trends to­wards bet­ter qual­ity imag­ing across all facets of our in­dus­try. At UBMS we take great pride in hav­ing our fin­ger on the pulse of these new tech­nolo­gies, look­ing for­ward and pro­vid­ing a roadmap for all of our part­ners and cus­tomers in the re­gion.

Richard Lackey, Busi­ness Devel­op­ment Man­ager, UBMS

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