July 9, 2020 at 10:10 pm
Blackmagic made the big announcement for the giant ATEM switcher production panel. It’s interesting because there are no big sporting events going on, no concerts going on, and no big corporate events going on.
You would think that during this Covid time, they would have thought more about a self contained upgrade to the Web Presenter (like the AJA Helo) – or Hyperdeck recorders that could record simultaneous ProRes/DNxHD full res and Proxy at the same time. Isn’t that what the market is asking for now ? The ATEM Mini Pro is not a self contained AJA Helo.
Rescue 1, Inc.
July 10, 2020 at 12:30 am
Bob, I don’t really know anything about this hardware/workflow, having worked mainly in single-producer docs.
But is it possible for a network to use a production switcher controlling many remote-via-online inputs, where they are treating each signal sent in as a live camera or graphics source, and deploying this unit to assemble a live show from these “feeds?”
Or maybe BM had it in development for so long, they said, we gotta announce and get this thing off the books! 🙂
July 10, 2020 at 2:18 am
In a normal year BM would be running with Resolve 17beta and possibly a new camera. Maybe they have taken the shutdown period to take the foot off the accelerator and make sure software is closer to release and hardware can be manufactured and delivered. They have been criticized in the past for jumping the gun with product and not supplying or software that was a bit raw.
Perhaps these new panels have eager broadcasters waiting for them. BM tends to know their market.
July 10, 2020 at 2:58 am
[Douglas K. Dempsey] “Or maybe BM had it in development for so long, they said, we gotta announce and get this thing off the books! ☺
Haha! Always a possibility! I’ve always admired that Blackmagic isn’t coy about holding releases. If it’s ready to go, let’s go!
[Douglas K. Dempsey] “But is it possible for a network to use a production switcher controlling many remote-via-online inputs”
Always sniffing around for what’s happening across the industry, just seeing what people are up to in various corners of the world, I found THIS picture this morning, exactly what you’re talking about Doug: lots of inputs of home sources, mixed with broadcast graphics, being managed from home, for broadcast.
The company is the Broadcast Management Group, and their product is called Live At Home. From context, I’m going to assume that it’s pronounced to rhyme with Hive, as in “Live From New York!”, but honestly it could just as easily rhyme with Give, as in, “I’m broadcasting this from where I live, which is now also where I work.”
They’re really going all-in on this, across their product line.
You can read more about it here.
That said, I thought the same thing that Bob did, and noted that BMD’s hero image is definitely oriented toward not-at-home scenarios.
Then I thought, wait a minute, don’t I remember that Australia has been kicking COVID’s ass, instead of the other way around? I don’t want to belabor this, lest I stoke the ire of the crowd who thinks that math is political (me, I think that math is the ANTIDOTE to politics)….but here’s the number of total deaths from COVID in Australia: 106. (More here.)
By itself, that doesn’t mean much because Australia has such a smaller relative population to, say, the US, but looking at on a proportional basis, Australia has seen 356 cases and 4 (FOUR) deaths per million people, compared to 9727 cases and 410 (four HUNDRED ten) deaths per million people. Numbers galore, here.
So really, in the scheme of things, Australia and New Zealand (similar to Oz: 308 cases and FOUR deaths per million people) are still closed up pretty tight, but they’re a heck of a lot closer to opening than the US.
Numbers in places like S. Korea (260 cases and 6 deaths per million), Japan (161 cases and 8 deaths per million), Thailand (46 cases and POINT EIGHT deaths per million, in a population of 69 million people!), and Singapore (where BMD has an office, also 4 deaths per million) are similarly one percent or less of what they are in the US.
And combine just those few markets (Australia, Japan, New Zealand, S. Korea, Singapore, Thailand), and you’ve got nearly 300 million people living in conditions that have ACTUALLY flattened the curve, or come close to it. You don’t need to add too many more countries to get to nearly half a billion such folks.
(Did you know that Morocco has 39 million people? 8 deaths per million. Indonesia isn’t so much smaller than the US at 273 million people, but they’re at 259 cases and 12 deaths per million….again with the US at 9727 and 410 respectively, still a lower death per millions number than UK, Belgium, Spain, Italy, France, and Sweden. )
Again not wanting to get into the politics or arguing about why this or that, but when people ask themselves what their broadcast and live production business needs to look like over the next couple of quarters, much of the world is looking at a picture that looks a lot different than the US and northern Europe.
Blackmagic, both based in such a country and doing business in lots of others, I think is doing a pretty good job of keeping its fingers on a lot more pulses than just ours.
Besides, they did a KILLER launch in March of a bunch of products for home and remote streaming that are still awesome.
And to end where I began, with this stellar observation from Professor Dempsey:
[Douglas K. Dempsey] “Or maybe BM had it in development for so long, they said, we gotta announce and get this thing off the books! :-)”
July 10, 2020 at 4:00 am
Haha, great analysis, Tim!
We hope it ultimately makes sense, as we love BM and hope they keep stirring it up!
July 10, 2020 at 5:41 pm
I’d make the argument that because of COVID there are significantly more production events happening now than before that demand equipment like switchers, and especially an appetite for cheap options like Blackmagic. With in-person events becoming ever rarer, more things are going to live-streaming (graduations, conferences, houses of worship, etc.) so more people are live streaming now than before – and a lot of them are doing it for the first time, so cheaper options like Blackmagic have got to be pretty popular.
July 11, 2020 at 2:02 am
David, Bob Zelin’s point is that BM have just released two panels that are not designed for the area of increased usage you point out. The release of the ATEM mini range a few months ago was aimed squarely at that increased market.
July 11, 2020 at 8:46 pm
It seems to me that these new switchers are particularly targeted towards the Asian market now and other markets in the future. Note the 8K capabilities, including 8K DVE. I personally have no use for 8K broadcast, but that’s still pretty impressive. So I would imagine that Grant is looking past the next 6 months to a year, and rather further into the future.
Remember that in this arena BMD is competing head-to-head with Grass Valley. They are by no means out of the business and are certainly still selling product.
Oliver Peters – oliverpeters.com
July 12, 2020 at 12:31 am
[Oliver Peters] “It seems to me that these new switchers are particularly targeted towards the Asian market now and other markets in the future. Note the 8K capabilities, including 8K DVE. ”
I want to underscore that I don’t disagree with Bob thinking, “Wait a minute, is the right message?” in his first post, especially because so much of the messaging was around live events and sports. Tiptoeing lightly around politics, I’d say in the US and northern Europe, that pitch is premature.
In Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, etc., it’s not premature at all. Not that those markets are ready to open all the way up today, but that the second half of their 2020 will look very different from what’s going on in “our” market. They’re going days and even weeks at a time with zero new cases, while “we” are still breaking records of new cases more days than not.
(btw, it’s worth remembering that the US and Canada combine to make up only a third of the COW’s traffic. EU+UK is another third. There are MILLIONS of people coming to the COW every year from nations who have seen impacts along the lines of 1% or less of what “we” have faced, and whose numbers are trending very much down, if not flat near zero.)
[Oliver Peters] ” I would imagine that Grant is looking past the next 6 months to a year, and rather further into the future.”
Yeah, infrastructure for broadcast (in the sense of big control rooms) and major concert production are on very different buying cycles. It’s not unusual to have to lock in next year’s spending by the end of summer. Grant is coming out a little ahead of the traditional IBC timeframe to lock in 2021 dollars (and for many companies, FY 2021 starts in December anyway), but this is pretty typical for Blackmagic. They go big into IBC, but they usually start their “fall” pitch in July and August.
I’d be surprised not to see another big round of announcements from Blackmagic next month too, and I won’t be surprised if not’s especially “work from home” focused again.
Other than Resolve, of course. 🙂
July 12, 2020 at 7:56 am
Given the Tokyo Olympics has been postponed, maybe BM are rushing to get this product out so they get a sniff at the delayed broadcast. 8K may seem premature but not to NHK.
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