Monday, April 16, 2007

Big Video News

Well, it's NAB, so that's hardly surprising, but there's a bunch of interesting things that caught my eye:

a) Apple announced Final Cut Studio 2. Another upgrade expense, but as always they seem to throw in some cool new features that you feel like you just have to have. I haven't looked too closely, but the feature that is supposed to remove camera shake sounds very neat.

b) Microsoft wants everyone to stop using that pesky Flash format for streaming video. So they have come up with Silverlight, which is cross platform (for the moment; I'm sure once they put Flash out of business they'll dump that pesky Apple support.) The big plus for this one is it's support for HD, but if it just fixes the many synch problems that Flash has, then people will probably jump at it..

c) Meanwhile, Adobe wants to bring Flash video to the desktop. The Adobe Media Player (hmmm...interesting name) will "let users subscribe to and play video podcasts published with RSS (Really Simple Syndication). The application also allows users to comment on and share videos." Currently, I use a site that lets me save Flash FLV movies to my desktop, and then use a media player which does an okay job of playing the movie; except that it keeps generating error messages when it loads and finishes the movie. Getting rid of those messages would be nice.

d) Finally, and most exciting, for me, is the new XDCAM prosumer camera - the XDCAM EX - which Sony is showing:

I wrote some time back about how cool XDCAM is (mainly because it's not tape based) but that the cameras are very expensive. This camera looks interesting; though it really depends what the price is. No official was announced, but if it's about $3,000 (which is what the current HDV tape based consumer cam from Sony sells at) then that's pretty cool. If it's more like $8,000 - as one news site has a Sony rep suggesting - then I guess I'll be waiting a few more years.

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