Production Technology Trends by Richard Lackey
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.
“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 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.